Skip to main content

Lords Chamber

Volume 41: debated on Thursday 5 August 1920

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

House Of Lords

Thursday, 5th August, 1920.

The House met at a quarter past three of the clock, The LORD CHANCELLOR on the Woolsack.

Business Of The House

My Lords, I beg to make the Motion standing in the name of the noble Earl the Leader of the House. This saves the Motions standing in the names of the Duke of Sutherland and the Duke of Northumberland lower down on the Notice Paper. I take this opportunity also of informing your Lordships that on Monday next the Leader of the House will move that on the following Wednesday Government Bills shall have precedence over Notices of Motion.

Moved, That Standing Order No. XXI be suspended as respects the precedence of the Committee stage of the Ministry of Mines Bill this day, and that the notices standing in the name of the Duke of Sutherland and the Duke of Northumberland have precedence over that stage of the Bill.

(The Earl of Crawford)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Aberdeen Corporation Order Confirmation Bill



Read 3a (according to Order) and passed.

Overseas Trade (Credits And Insurance) Bill

Read 3a (according to Order) and passed.

Representation Of The People (No 3) Bill

Read 3a (according to Order) with the Amendments and passed and returned to the Commons.

Land Seizures In Scotland

rose to ask His Majesty's Government what policy they propose to adopt in regard to the illegal land seizures that have been taking place in the north and west of Scotland, and whether they consider the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act, recently passed, is adequately fulfilling its purpose.

The noble Duke said: My Lords, there are two points in regard to which I desire to question His Majesty's Government, and both are regarded as of considerable importance, especially in Scotland, where at the present moment there is a good deal of feeling respecting the progress of land settlement. Firstly, I wish to ask what is the policy of the Government regarding the illegal land seizures which are taking place in the North and West of Scotland; and secondly, whether the Government are satisfied with the progress of the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act. A Report of the Board of Agriculture for Scotland, which has just, been issued, is a most disappointing document. It states that the seizures will probably increase in number and spread at a more rapid rate unless more progress can he made than is now possible. The Board do not give us any clear line of policy to be adopted either by them or by the Government to avoid this condition of affairs.

I desire to know whether the Government view this probability of further trouble and the great increase that is bound to occur in land seizures and general lawlessness with complacency. The greatest danger at the present moment is to allow things to drift. We have a very good object lesson to-day in the condition of Ireland. If the matter had been taken up in Ireland a few years ago probably the present situation there would be a very different one. That is why I ant so anxious that Scotland should not be allowed to drift into anything approaching the state in which Ireland is to-day. If the Bolsheviks are stirring up trouble in Ireland you may be sure that they will do the same thing in Scotland if an opportunity arises, and it is the duty of His Majesty's Government to see that that opportunity does not arise.

At present Scotland is not Bolshevik. Its people are loyal to a man. Perhaps in the great industrial centres there are cases here and there of disloyal people, but in the rural areas, where the serious trouble has been taking place; the people are most patriotic and loyal, and most of the men served in the war, and served well. Lawlessness of this kind must, of course, be suppressed with the utmost rigour of the law. It can be avoided altogether by other means, particularly by setting up the machinery of settlement, and thus satisfying the claims—the very good claims—of very many of these ex-Service men. In 1919 the seizures and raids were confined almost exclusively to the Island of Lewis and the Hebrides, but this year, and quite recently, the raids have spread to the mainland, and the tendency to spread further and further is mentioned in the Report of the Board of Agriculture which has just been issued. This tendency can easily be checked if it is taken in hand at the present moment, but if nothing is done it may go on until a certain point is reached at winch it will be very difficult indeed to check.

In view of the helplessness displayed in the Report of the Board of Agriculture, I am very anxious to know what the policy of the Government is. It is to the Government that the Board of Agriculture is responsible, and it seems to me that it is incumbent on the Board of Agriculture to meet and overcome these difficulties instead of making no suggestions whatever for remedying the present state of affairs. I will not weary your Lordships by quoting from the Report of the Board. It is all in the same strain—hopelessness and an utter lack of the realisation of their responsibility in the matter. I fully realise that there are great difficulties, but those difficulties can be overcome if they arc properly faced and if the Board is supported by the Government, on the right lines.

I am very glad that my Question has come up on the day on which a debate is to take place on Ireland. I consider that all this unrest, whether it be in Scotland or India, or elsewhere within the Empire, arises from causes that are closely akin and is part of the same danger that must be faced unflinchingly and dealt with in such a way as to ensure that it will not recur. If every case where land has been seized either on the islands or on the mainland had been dealt with efficiently by the Board at the time of the seizure the whole thing would have been over and satisfactorily settled by now; instead of which the Board did nothing, I am informed, but write long letters on abstruse legal points.

I make no personal attack on the members of the Board of Agriculture themselves. I am sure they are all excellent people, but collectively their efforts have been singularly unsuccessful, at all events as regards land settlement. Let me take one instance, the case of Portskerra, in Sutherland, which formerly belonged to me. My agent offered it to the Board three or four times, and they refused each time definitely to take it over or to say whether they would go on with the scheme. On account of this I sold the property to another owner, who is now having all the difficulties which might have been avoided had the Board dealt with me in the first place. The present impasse which has arisen there and the land seizure trouble would then never have come to a head.

In the Report of the Board I see it is stated that the staff has been increased from 189 to 300 and the salaries from £57,000 to £100,000. I should imagine that at least double the amount of the work would be done but, instead of that, it seems to me that less and less is done and fewer arrangements have been made since the war than might have been made with the former staff before the war. In 1919 there were 3,395 applications for new holdings, but only 282 were settled, of which 201 were for ex-Service men. In 1920, up to the end of June, 12,500 applications were received and of these only 1,621 have been settled. No wonder the Board fear extensions of lawlessness and land seizures when they view these figures, which speak for themselves. Nobody has a greater respect than I have for the Secretary for Scotland. I think he has done conscientious and hard work in the cause of Scotland, but in this matter of land settlement he has been badly let down by his own subordinates. He made a clear statement in the House of Commons yesterday in which he said that he was himself prepared to grapple with the matter at close quarters and he was going to the islands and the other places where agitation has taken place to see what could be done. I am very glad indeed to hear that he is personally taking the matter up and I feel sure that this will contribute very much to a definite and amicable settlement of the matter without loss of time. His statement, none the less, does not remove blame from the Board of Agriculture who are responsible for the utter helplessness displayed in their Report recently issued.

My Lords, as your Lordships are aware, this is not the first occasion on which this problem of illegal land seizures in Scotland has been before us. There was a recrudescence of the raiding in 1918 when several cases occurred in Barra, North and South Uist, in Tiree, and in Sutherlandshire. This was to be attributed to the suspension of the various land settlement schemes which occurred during the war, arid the raiders, for this most part, were applicants to the Board for small holdings who were disappointed by the stoppage of the Board's work in this direction. They attempted to justify themselves at this time by founding a case on the necessity for increasing home-produced food.

There are indications of a similar unrest in the Highlands and islands now. Following the return to their homes of men demobilised from the Army and Navy after the cessation of hostilities, the position has become more acute. To some extent the discontent was allayed by the prospect of fresh legislation and fresh funds for land settlement. The Land Settlement (Scotland) Bill, which was passed in December last year, provided large additional funds and considerably assisted procedure for the acquisition of land by the Board and for the settlement of holders on private estates. The Board pressed on the acquisition of land throughout the country, and already their activity has resulted in a situation where a few more land settlement schemes will entirely exhaust, or earmark for adaptation purposes, the whole of the funds provided under the 1919 Act. Meanwhile, discontent with the progress of land settlement, though that progress was never more rapid than during last year and this year, has grown. Raiders remain in unlawful occupation of certain lands in the islands, while recently forcible possession was taken of the farm of Kirkton, in Sutherlandshire. Elsewhere raids are threatened by applicants, including ex-Service men of the Army and Navy.

The noble Duke complained that the Government had not done anything to put a stop to this raiding, but, according to the law of Scotland, the remedy for illegal occupation of land is to be found by way of interdict in the civil Courts at the instance of the parties aggrieved. When such proceedings are taken and the resultant decrees are put in force it is the duty of the Government, as responsible for law and order, to see that any necessary support and protection are given to the officers of the Court. But the Government cannot themselves initiate such proceedings.

In the second part of the noble Duke's Question he asks whether the Government consider that the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act, recently passed, is adequately fulfilling its purpose. In regard to this it is necessary to remember that the Act has been operative for only seven months. Already practically the whole funds provided by the Act have been expended in acquiring properties in various parts of the country, or have been earmarked for expenditure in the conversion of these properties into small holdings. Considerable difficulties in effecting speedy settlement are experienced. The difficulty that confronts not only the Board but all Departments and local authorities as well as private people is that of securing the erection of buildings. Apart from the question of the very heavy cost of buildings there is also the shortage of material and labour. The Board are making every effort to overcome these difficulties, though they have been further increased by the recent joiners' strike.

Another obstacle, not readily overcome, arises from the lease system in Scotland. Few properties at the time of purchase are free from current leases. The Board must await the expiration of these leases if they are not to deplete their funds by large payments for tenants' compensation. There is often an initial delay even when vacant possession of farms is finally obtained. Cropping may have to be re-arranged to suit the proposed sub-division. Accommodation has to be provided, and fences, roads, and water supplies put in before the holders can get entry. This may mean that the Board may have to engage servants and stock and crop the farm for a year while preparing the ground for settlement. The Board have acquired seventy-nine properties throughout the country, extending to an acreage of 238,181 acres and including approximately 40,000 acres of arable land. On these, 239 new holdings and fourteen enlargements have been formed, and the balance will provide for 594 new holdings and 212 enlargements.

Schemes under the Small Landholders (Scotland) Act, 1911, as amended by Part 11 of the 1919 Act, have also been put into operation. Since the Armistice 161 new holdings and 128 enlargements were formed under the Small Landholders Act. Other schemes, both by way of purchase and under the Small Landholders Act, will be undertaken, but the funds at the Board's disposal will not permit Of more than a few carefully selected undertakings. There remain, however, 5,405 applicants who have been approved as suitable by the Board and for whom the schemes in hand will not provide; there are also 5,402 applicants still to be introduced, a great number of whom, no doubt, would be suitable. The question whether additional funds can be furnished is engaging the attention of the Government at present. The experience of the short period during which the 1919 Act has been in operation is hardly sufficient to enable its success to be fully estimated, but the progress already made tends to show that, within the limits of the funds provided and leaving apart the temporary difficulties that accompany all undertakings at the present day, the Act is an efficient instrument.

My Lords, every one who is interested in the welfare of the northern Highlands will be much indebted to the noble Duke for having raised this very important question. Nothing, perhaps, that fell from him was more important than his remark that whatever you do you must not allow this question to drift; you must put a stop to the illegal acts which are being carried out at the present time. I have listened to the reply of the noble Lord who represents the Government. I perfectly understand, and can quite follow, the difficulties which are encountered in rapidly putting into force the desire entertained by the Government for a large creation of small holdings, not only in England but in other parts of the United Kingdom. There is, however, one thing to be borne in mind with regard to the attempt to establish a great number of crofters in the north of Scotland. The conditions under which they can be carried out successfully must always be carefully considered, because there so much depends upon the climate.

It was My privilege in days gone by for several months each year over a period of many years to reside in northern districts, in the county of Sutherland and elsewhere, and I am going to give a single example from my own experience showing what sometimes befalls the crofters there. I had a forest in the centre of the county of Sutherland for several years, and at the end of the season, when the deerstalking was over, I used to go from there to Dun-robin, which was thirty miles from the land of which I was tenant. About half way between my shooting place and Dunrobin there was a whole colony of crofters who had been established for many years. It is a positive fact that owing to the extremely wet season which had prevailed for three years in succession not once were their crops harvested at all. That is a fact which I have never forgotten.

It is from no wish on my part to oppose the establishment of small holdings wherever possible that I offer these observations, and I may say this, that I was the first Member of Parliament ever to introduce an Act containing the principle of compulsion for the creation of small holdings. The Bill which I introduced, and finally carried successfully, established the system of small holdings upon the basis of ownership. Ownership is the real secret of success if you want the small holders in this country to do the best for themselves. They do not want to be the tenants of some local authority, who would Drove in too many cases, I am afraid. much harsher landlords than the owner of an estate. What they want is absolute security of ownership, and in those conditions these colonies will grow up with great success. That Bill was pronounced to be a great failure, and why? I admit to a certain extent it did fail, but it failed because the Government of that day very shortly afterwards went out of power, and the succeeding Liberal Government thought it much more desirable to create small holdings on the principle of tenancy. But during the very few months in which that Act was put into operation under the Government which introduced it a certain number of colonies were established. My authority is the hook written by Mr. Jesse Collings, who was the greatest. exponent of this question, and who preached the gospel of small holdings for years. You will find in his book that the four or five different colonies then established under that Act are flourishing and enjoying great prosperity up to the present day, and in nearly all of them either the same people or their descendants are in possession.

I have given you an instance of what may possibly happen in the north. If you want small holdings to be successful you must have certain favourable con- ditions. One of them is that the land must he naturally good land. Another is that you must have the means of a ready market. The third is that you must have a favourable climate and a part of the country naturally adapted to the purpose. When people are disappointed that the number of small holdings is not much larger, they forget that where the requisite conditions exist a large number of small holdings are already in existence.

I cannot conclude these remarks without repeating the warning I began with— namely, as to the unwisdom of spending large sums of money in the North of Scotland in creating small holdings, or crofts as they are called there, when from the very nature of things the conditions requisite for success cannot possibly exist as they do in more favoured portions of the country. Notwithstanding this, my Lords, I am entirely in favour of measures being taken without any delay for the purpose of putting a stop to the iniquities which are being practised at the present time, to the raids which are made by people who are taking forcible possession of land; and, above all, for the reason that you have before you, as the noble Duke pointed out, the example of Ireland.

I have closely followed the position in Ireland since 1869. I have watched every proceeding in that country from that year to the present time, and I venture to say that the condition of Ireland is appallingly worse than it ever was at any period in my political career. Why? Because it has been allowed to drift into that position. I should be embarking upon a debate which is yet to come; otherwise there is much that I could have said to you on this point. There have been two policies pursued—a policy of concession and surrender, and a policy of resolute government. When it is said to me, What can you do? I point to the example of fifteen years of resolute government under a Conservative Administration and the results which followed upon it. After those fifteen years the Liberal party came into power, and Mr. Birrell was sent to Ireland. He got all the information, all the Reports, and everything that could be told him, and his verdict to the House of Commons (which I heard myself) was—
"I am delighted to be able to tell the House of Commons that I find Ireland more prosperous, more tranquil, more thoroughly contented than it has been for 600 years."
It is an intolerable crime to allow matters like those we are discussing in the Highlands to-day to drift, to go from bad to worse, because no effective steps are taken to maintain the law. It is for this reason that I hope and trust that this Government will take every measure within their power to prevent in the North of Scotland what has been allowed to grow up in Ireland; otherwise the time will come when we shall see this Government overtaken by the doom of all Governments that cannot make up their minds to be resolute and firm until it is too late.


rose to move to resolve—

"That this House deplores the failure of the Government to warn the public of the true character of the revolutionary movement in Ireland, and of the international influences which are behind it; and urges them to appeal for the united support of the nation in this crisis."

The noble Duke said: My Lords, I do not know that it is necessary for me to apologise for calling your Lordships' attention to the present state of Ireland, because I think the very serious and indeed critical condition of that country is in itself sufficient reason why your Lordships will feel, as I feel, that we should hardly have been fulfilling our responsibilities and our obligations had we not had, before the recess, another opportunity of giving further consideration to the situation in Ireland and expressing our views upon it.

I think those who carefully examine the hard facts of the Irish situation and then turn from the contemplation of those facts to consider the policy of His Majesty's Government must be aware of a certain atmosphere of unreality which seems to pervade every measure and every step which is taken in regard to that country. We have only to look at the present Home Rule Bill. It is ostensibly intended to meet the aspirations of what was, six years ago, the Nationalist part of Ireland and of avoiding the evils of coercion. As that portion of Ireland which was Nationalist six years ago is Nationalist no longer, but something entirely different—what it is we shall see presently—it is perfectly obvious that the Bill does not meet any single requirement and has no relation whatever to the hard facts of the Irish situation.

The same may be said of the other steps that the Government have taken to deal with the situation in Ireland. I am not going to enter into particulars regarding the present position there, because your Lordships will have ample opportunity of considering it on Monday when the Crimes Bill comes before this House, 1,11t I should like to point out that it may be said, roughly, that in the whole of Munster and Connaught, the greater part of Leinster, and considerable areas in Ulster the King's Writ no longer runs except in certain small areas; there is no protection for life or property except in those districts which are immediately under the protection of British troops and police; very large districts have been abandoned altogether by our garrisons, and throughout the whole of those areas a rebel form of Government has been set up. The functions of government, of local administration, and justice have all been usurped by that rebel Government, who have set up courts and tribunals for the trial of offences, for the settlement of the land question, for the compulsory expropriation of property, and so on. All that is quite as well known to your Lordships as it is to me, and is known a great deal better to those who live in Ireland itself.

I may point out that a state of open war exists all over the areas I have mentioned. Fighting on a considerable scale takes place; barracks are besieged in broad daylight; armed parties are attacked, and that primeval mode of dealing with the forces of government, assassination from behind hedgerows, is also adopted on a very large scale. On July 2 the Chief Secretary for Ireland said that fifty-one policemen had been killed during the present year and a very large number had been wounded. Over sixty policemen and soldiers have been killed since January I and a very large number wounded. In July alone twenty-two persons were murdered, and fifty-seven wounded. The estimated loss of property up to July 14 was over £2,000,000.

The situation has been steadily getting worse. In July it was much worse than ever before. The remedy of the Government is to pour troops into Ireland, and their very last measure is to introduce a Bill which sets up a mere summary form of jurisdiction for the punishment of criminals; but as the difficulty is not to punish the criminal but to find the criminal, and find witnesses to give evidence, it is not likely that the Bill will have much result. No doubt it is an excellent measure and I do not want to pre-judge the issue, but it ought to have been introduced long ago. The point is that to deal with the situation in Ireland, the state of war which now exists, it is absolutely futile. It is as futile as it would have been for the British Government, when Germany declared war, to have proposed an international tribunal for the trial of the Kaiser as a reply to that declaration.

Such was the situation a week ago when fresh light was thrown upon it. A deputation consisting of a few Members of your Lordships' House and a considerable number of Members of another place waited upon the Prime Minister in order to draw his attention to the serious condition of affairs in Ireland and to the sinister international influences which were behind this insurrection. What was the Prime Minister's reply? His reply was this, that he was in substantial agreement with the views of the deputation although he thought we, had perhaps slightly exaggerated the Bolshevist influences which were behind the agitation in Ireland. He went on to point out that the state of affairs in Ireland was more alarming than we had depicted. He said—
"The use of force presented great difficulties, because the resources of this Empire were being severely taxed in other directions. We do not got the necessary number of recruits; we do not get the officers, and we do not get the men. I should like to see the same assistance given to the Government for the recruitment of the forces in Ireland as was given to the Government during the period of the war. The troops are facing an intolerable strain, a strain worse than they had to face at any time on the Western Front during the war, and the men are not forthcoming in the necessary numbers. We want hundreds, we want thousands. We are doing our best, but we want help."
The Prime Minister also pointed out that the organisation behind the law had been weakened—the Secret Service, Intelligence Department, and the Constabulary. Then he said—
"Suddenly it is called upon to face, after years of comparative repose, the worst conspiracy we have seen in our time."
He appealed to the deputation for help and advice as to the means for strengthening the forces of law and order, and pointed out that public opinion was not wholeheartedly behind the Government; that it was necessary to get the temperate, moderate, and sensible section of labour behind the Government as well as the great masses of the British people, but that it was the temperate, moderate, and sensible section of labour which presented the difficulty. He also said that it was necessary to have public opinion in the Dominions behind the Government.

If one wished—and I do not—to frame a damning indictment of the Government's policy in Ireland one could find good material in the reply of the Prime Minister to the deputation. The situation in Ireland is far too serious to spend any time in doing anything so futile as crying over spilt milk. We have to find some remedy. The Prime Minister says that " the organisation which is behind the law in Ireland has been weakened—the Secret Service, the Intelligence Department, and the Constabulary." If it has been weakened, why has it been weakened? It can only be the Government's fault. And what does the Prime Minister mean when he says that "suddenly it is called upon to face a conspiracy." There is no "suddenly" about it. The Situation has been developing for years and years. A more unfortunate word could hardly be imagined.

Then the Prime Minister says that "the use of force in Ireland presents great difficulties because the resources of the Empire are being severely taxed in other directions." We all know that, but it is one of the strangest commentaries on the foreign policy of the Government. We are pledged to give Poland all the support in our power, and yet the Prime Minister informs us that we have not the necessary troops to maintain law and order in Ireland. He appealed for help to the deputation—to a casual deputation of Members of Parliament who came to him to point out the situation—and says he would like to see the same measures introduced as were introduced during the war. Is it for the deputation to introduce these measures? The Government knows perfectly well that if it appeals to this House it will get all the help it requires.

The Prime Minister said that it was also necessary to have public opinion behind the Government. If public opinion is not wholeheartedly behind the Government whose fault is that? Has the Government made any attempt to appeal to public opinion on this question? The attitude of the Government is precisely the same as the attitude of the Government before the war. It was then argued that it was no use telling the people the truth because they would not believe it, and we proceeded to try and ease our consciences by proposing such things as a naval holiday and by saying that it was an abstract virtue in every man to defend his hearth and home. The real danger was never pointed out. Exactly the same situation has occurred to-day. The Government are not trying to inform the people of the county of the danger of the situation in Ireland because they are afraid of labour and think it better to say nothing about it.

We are confronted with a state of war in Ireland, and war in Ireland is exactly like war anywhere else. You can only meet that situation by surrendering to the enemy or by fighting. We have to face realities in this matter, and probably we shall be called upon to reconquer that part of Ireland which is in the hands of a rebel Government. That is the issue before the country. If you are going to put the issue before the country and appeal for their support, what is the story you are going to tell? This danger in Ireland has nothing to do with the Nationalist movement championed by Mr. Redmond. It is a demand for complete independence, for an independent. Republic in Ireland. Even that is a very inadequate description of the situation. There is far more behind it.

Sinn Fein in its origin was a very impracticable form of idealism. It was a society designed to uphold the abstract ideal of national independence, the preservation of the Irish language and traditions. How did this Utopian form of philosophy ever become converted into an organisation which to-day maintains an army of 110,000 men, has its representatives abroad and officials in Ireland, and maintains the vast organisation which exists to-day? The man who was mainly responsible for its organisation or for the present development was James Connolly who was executed during the Easter rebellion of 1916. Now Connolly was not merely a demagogue and au agitator, but something more. He was an organiser and a great thinker. The Connolly theory of Irish history was that all those who had championed the cause of independence in Ireland had been mistaken, because they had only tinkered with the problem. Their theory was that England had misgoverned Ireland, and therefore Ireland must be granted Home Rule, or some measure of independence from England. Connolly said the whole of that conception was entirely false; that so far from England having governed Ireland badly England had governed Ireland extremely well, and he laughed at Mr. Redmond's theories. He said "Our grievance is not the misgovernment of Ireland by England, but that England should attempt to govern Ireland at all." That was the first plank in Connolly's programme. He objected to any form of English, or as he called it foreign, domination in Ireland. He said it was necessary, in order to mobilise all the forces of rebellion and revolution in Ireland, to mobilise the fortes of social revolution, and to unite them with those who were in favour of the national independence of Ireland; that England was the great bulwark of capitalism throughout the world and the great obstacle to social revolution; and that England had to be swept away, because she prevented social revolution and the independence of Ireland.

That theory was the origin of the alliance between the social revolutionists and nationalists in Ireland. At the outset we are met with this difficulty. How comes it that a population of peasant proprietors, who are largely Catholics, have been welded into this alliance with those who are out for a communistic republic, and the answer is that the agricultural workers have, chiefly through the influence of Connolly and Larkin, been enrolled in Larkin's great organisation of transport workers, round which all other trade unions in Ireland have been centred. The other reason is that, as in all revolutions, the people who were out for complete national independence had to go to the extremists for support, and the best chance of getting support was from the urban and industrial workers. It is also true, of course, that in every revolutionary movement the extremists always finally capture fife movement.

The reason for this alliance— for these apparently discordant elements having come into unity—cannot be better described than in the words of Mr. Walsh, one of the Sinn Fein members of Parliament—
"If the devil himself and all the devils in bell be against the British Government, the Irish people would be pro-devil and pro-hell." Sinn Fein has got to go forward, because it cannot go back.
To return for one moment to Connolly, if I were to give you a full description of the development of Sinn Fein it would take me all the afternoon, and I shall try to be as brief as possible. When the Prime Minister talks about the "shallow soil of Bolshevism" I would point out that the movement goes back to 1798—to Jacobinism, and how far that goes back I do not think I need remind your Lordships. I do not think it is a good description of the soil of Bolshevism or of Jacobinism to describe it as "shallow," but there is an extraordinary similarity between the revolution of 1798 and the social revolutionary movement to-day. It was Wolfe Tone who did exactly the same as Connolly, and who said he relied for success in his rebellion on that respectable class, the men of no property. That was the class on which Connolly was relying. In 1896 Connolly formed the Irish Socialist Republican Party, and among his other activities at this time— his anti-British activities— he organised the Irish brigade which fought with the Boers in South Africa against us. He was also responsible for various anti-British movements all over the world. He continued his policy as organiser for the next twelve years, and made great progress.

The next date to which I will refer is 1909, when James Larkin formed the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, with industrial and political aims. This, as I have said, was the centre for all other trade unions in Ireland. It made immense progress, and since the 1916 rebellion even women and clerical workers have joined this organisation. When Larkin had formed this union Connolly became organiser for both the Socialist Republican Party and the Transport Workers, and this brought the Irish labour into line with revolutionary labour throughout the world. In 1911 the membership of the Trish Trade Union Congress was 50,000, and in 1918 the Labour Party and Trade Union Congress numbered 250,000. In the great Dublin strike of 1913 the transport workers organised their own citizen army, which, with the Irish Volunteers, carried out the Easter Insurrection of 1916. That insurrection is important because it marks the culminating point of the alliance between the partisans of National Independence and a National Irish Republic, on the one hand, and the partisans of Social Revolution and the Communistic Republic on the other, and also between the Irish National Volunteer Army formed before the war. and which was the Sinn Fein Army, and the Irish Citizen Army formed by Larkin. Those two forces took part in the 1916 Rebellion.

I have traced, very briefly, the development of this movement up to 1916. The failure of the 1916 Rebellion showed that Sinn Fein had very little to expect from Germany, and it then threw itself into the arms of Russia. The Russian Revolution gave it its chance. A delegation was sent to the Russian delegations which were visiting Western Europe, and at the end of November, 1918, immediately after the Armistice, Sinn Fein threw off all disguise and openly declared war on this country, and Dr. McCartan, the envoy of America, was elevated to the rank of so-called Ambassador and appointed to negotiatean alliance with what were termed at that time the "Russian Democrats." The Bolshevists sent over a Mr. Martens, who met Dr. McCartan and concluded an alliance. He was very warmly welcomed by the Irish Revolutionaries in America, and a firm understanding was reached. To quote Dr. MeCartan—
"The 4,000,000 people of the Republic of Ireland, in their struggle to free themselves from military subjugation, want and welcome the aid of the free men of the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic. Between the Russians and the Irish, isolated in their struggle against British armies of occupation to found securely the Republic of Ireland, there can exist only that sense of brotherhood which a common experience, endured for a common purpose, alone can induce."
This declaration was very satisfactory to the Bolsheviks; and Tchitcherin, the Bolshevik Foreign Minister, on June 16, 1919, said how satisfactory it was to the Bolshevists. He stated —
"Whereas in nearly every country our compatriots have neither protection nor representation, we have put all foreigners in the same position, and we will afford them no special protection. Exception will be made, however, in the case of the Irish and the Egyptians. and of any other nationality oppressed by the Allies."
Bolshevism has thus taken Sinn Fein under its wing, for which the latter is duly grateful. " For this special mark of honour," says Mr. Cathal O'Shannon in the Voice of Labour (one of the Sinn Fein papers) "both Irishmen and Egyptians will be grateful to the Soviet Republic." After this the Irish Labour Party were represented at all the international con- gresses which led up to the announcement of the Third International which met at Moscow in March, 1919. We have all the reports of those conferences, and we find that the programme of the Irish Labour Party was identical in every respect with the programme laid down in the Third International. The Third International was founded in Moscow in March, 1919, with the object, of course, of enforcing the dictatorship of the proletariat, the abolition of existing systems of government, and the expropriation of all property.

A message from Russia was read while the Conference was going on as follows—
"John Thompson presented the ease for Ireland at the Soviet Congress at Petrograd, and had a splendid reception. The President Zinoviev sent to the workers of Ireland the sympathy and fraternal greetings of the workers of Petrograd. We stated that the Third International favoured Irish freedom. The meeting had under consideration matters of great importance, and it was felt to be a great compliment that the spokesman of Ireland was privileged to address the assembly. Thompson is now in Moscow for the purpose of discussing Ireland's case with thee central authorities of the Soviet Republic."
It should be noted that the Third International specially singles out Great Britain for attack as being the chief stronghold of capitalism throughout the world, and the main cause of the war, and also the chief oppressor among the nations of the day. It makes special mention of Ireland, and refers to it as an enslaved country, and states that it is the mission of Bolshevism to liberate it.

It is a striking fact in connection with Sinn Fein and the Third International that the programme of each is identical. Take the programme of the Third International—immediate universal dictatorship of the proletariat, involving the seizure of governmental power, and the replacing of it by proletariat power. It goes on—
"This implies the setting up of working-class institutions as ruling power, and the principle of all rights to workers and no rights to any hut workers, and is to be effected by the displacement of all bourgeois judges and establishment of all proletarian courts, the elimination of control by Government officials, and substitution of new organs of management of proletariat."
If we turn to the Sinn Fein programme, which may be gathered from the report and memoranda presented to the International Labour and Socialist Conference at Berne in February, 1919, we find this—
"The enrolment of all workers in the Union, the Transport Union forming an organised pro- letariat. The establishment of Dail Eireann, a council of duly elected representatives of the Irish people to constitute de facto as well as de jure a National Government. The establishment of Republican Court, and the compulsory withdrawal of litigants from British Courts. The formation (promised but not yet accomplished) of a board responsible for local government to take the place of the Local Government Board."
Again coming back to the Third International we find advocated international disarmament of the bourgeoisie and the general arming of the proletariat in order to make revolution secure. That is done by means of the Irish Volunteer Army and the Irish Republican Army, and by an organisation now controlled by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Turning once more to the Third International we read—
"The dictatorship of the proletariat should be the lever of the immediate expropriation of capital and the suppression of the right of private property in the means of production, which should be transformed into the property of the whole nation."
I could go on for any length of time pointing out the programme which is laid down by the Third International for bringing about the dictatorship of the proletariat and showing that it follows exactly on the lines of the revolutionary movement in Ireland. Every step which the Third International advocates is now being taken by the forces of revolution in Ireland. Such is the connection which exists between the Soviet Government, between the forces of international revolution and the forces which are behind this revolutionary movement in Ireland. We have to consider other ramifications of this conspiracy. What is the connection between the international revolutionary movement and the movement in Great Britain? How far is Sinn Fein being helped by the revolutionary movement in these islands? Sinn Fein works through two revolutionary societies which are both affiliated to the Third International. There are some eight or nine societies which are affiliated to the Third International, but those with which Sinn Fein chiefly deals are the London Workers' Committee—which is the headquarters of various Soviet committees that have been established throughout the country, and whose chief activities, though London is the headquarters, are on the Clyde—and the Workers' Socialist Federation, of which Miss Sylvia Pankhurst appears to be the moving spirit. All through this we see the Soviet Government aiming at two things. Its first great effort is to control the Sinn Fein movement in Ireland. Its next effort is to get control of the executives of the miners, the railwaymen, and the transport workers. In that it has been almost wholly successful as regards the miners, and to some extent successful as regards the executives of the transport workers and railwaymen.

The executive of the miners has always been far more under the control of the International revolutionary movement than any other working class organisation in this country. That is chiefly due to the association of its president, Mr. Smillie, with M. Longuet, the French syndicalist, before the war. At any rate it is noticeable that on the outbreak of war the executive of the Miners' Federation adopted a wholly different attitude from that of any other organisation of industrial workers. They adopted the international attitude. They did their utmost to prevent this country coming into the war, and to prevent any one coming forward to enlist. The South Wales Miners' Executive actually refused to co-operate with the Admiralty when, on the outbreak of war, they issued an appeal to the men to forego three days' holiday in order to provide an extra supply of coal to the Navy, of which the Navy was at that time very much in need.

I will not trouble your Lordships with what happened during the early part of the war, but will come to what happened after the Russian Revolution. This seemed to give those elements of British labour to which I have alluded their chance, and in June, 1917, their policy was propounded at the notorious Leeds Conference which was repudiated by all patriotic workers. That was an entirely bogus conference. At that time, chiefly through the agency of Mr. Smillie, the miners' executive dissociated themselves from the trade union movement altogether and associated themselves with the rank and file movement and the shop stewards movement which were designed for the sole purpose of smashing trade unions. A resolution was passed at that conference to set up immediately the organisation of workers' and soldiers' councils all over this country. The purpose of these councils was afterwards described by the secretary of the head committee which was organising them. He said in the Call—
"After thirty years of persistent socialistic propaganda in this country we believe there is sufficient socialistic consciousness amongst the workers to accomplish revolution if means can be found to give it complete and definite expression. The workers' and soldiers' councils will provide the means."
Mr. Smillie was a member of the board, or whatever they call it, the head committee. which was organising all these councils, and towards the end of that year he was present at a meeting of the West London allied engineering trades organising committee when it was decided to set up workers' and soldiers' councils in the engineering trade.

All this time association between the miners' executives and the Bolshevists was becoming closer and closer. An interview between Mr. Smillie and Mr. Litvinoff took place early in 1918, which was described in the Daily Herald of January 19,1918. At that interview Mr. Lityinoff described Mr. Smillie as "the most outstanding figure of the British Labour movement." Mr. Smillie replied by expressing his entire sympathy with the aims of the Bolshevists. in a subsequent conversation with Mr. Williams he announced that "we ought to have a responsible and authoritative body who could occupy a position in this country Comparable with the All-Russia Soviet meeting and shaping policy in Petrograd." There seems little doubt, from the references he constantly makes to the Triple Alliance, that Lenin has taken the hint and sees in the executives of the Triple Alliance the germ of such an authoritative body which will be ready to his hand the moment revolution breaks out in this country. Then we have various messages which passed between the President of the Miners' Federation and Lenin. Compliments have been showered upon him, and, Mr. Williams, the were tars of the Transport Workers' Federation, who has been decorated by Lenin, appears to act as a kind of envoy between the two.

We now come to the beginning of 1919. I may mention that all this time, having decided to set up workers' and soldiers' councils, the work was going on all through 1918, until we come to 1919, after the conclusion of peace. A very large number of workers' and soviet. committees had been formed by the beginning of that year. The London group headquarters, to which I have already referred, has been a party to the Third International. It is presided over by Mr. W. F. Watson, who boasted that there were at this time no fewer than 200 such committees, which are largely composea of undesirable aliens. This organisation works in the closest cooperation with other organisations and notably, as I have said, with the revolutionary societies and committees on the Clyde, formed by Arthur McManus who, as your Lordships will have seen the other day, presided over a meeting of the Communist League in London, a newly formed body which is designed to amalgamate all these different societies. The London workers' committee is associated with the societies on the Clyde of Arthur McManus, John McLean, John Anderson and others.

In November, 1918, a message was sent by the President of the Miners' Federation to McManus and Watson—McManus the moving spirit of the Clyde workers, and Watson the moving spirit of the London workers—to the following effect. Tins message was read at the Reunion of Rebels dinner as follows—
"Say to my comrades McManus and Watson it is impossible for me to be present as I am speaking to the men at Blackburn on Saturday for the purpose of urging them utterly to refuse to recognise the Coalition Government and at once form a Soviet workers' Government as the time is now arriving for the workers to control their destinies."
If that means anything it means that the president of one of the most powerful federations of working men in this country is in league with these revolutionary societies, taking their orders from Lenin. He keeps in close association with them, offers them his sympathy and promises support.

We now come to another member of these Clyde workers who are in the closest touch with Sinn Fein—another member of the name of John McLean, specially mentioned by Lenin in the Third International as being the head of a section of the British Socialist Party. The British Socialist Party is one of the Parties associated with the Third International. Mr. McLean is the head of what is called the miners' reform movement and this is the programme of that movement. I need not read it all because I want to shorten what I have to say. He says that by reducing hours and by increasing wages all profits will eventually be extinguished and therefore the mines will come under the control of the miners. He goes on to say that—
"With a determined revolutionary minority we shall be able to take control of the country and the means of production at once and hold them tight through the workshops and the district and national councils."
This is rather important—
"Through the co-operative movement we shall be able to control the efficient distribution of the necessaries of life and so win the masses over to socialism."
Mr. John McLean, in a speech he delivered in January, 1919, called himself an old friend of Mr. Smillie and quoted his speeches as endorsing the programme of the miners' reform movement. I shall show your Lordships shortly that this is of some importance.

We go back for one moment to these two gentlemen who are specially mentioned by Mr. Smillie in a message to the Reunion of Rebels dinner in November, 1918. I need not go into the private history of Mr. McManus and Mr. Watson, except to observe that Mr. Watson, on December 1, 1918, made a speech in which he boasted that 200 of these workers' committees had been formed, that he himself had brought over a considerable number of soldiers and sailors to the Bolshevik programme and that he had suborned them from their duties. He also said that he had made arrangements for a rising of several hundred Sinn Feiners who were in London at that time. A few days later on December 6. 1918, Mr. Smillie made a speech at Glasgow in which he said that if a capitalist Government were returned in the General Election which was then going on, he hoped the Labour Party would issue an invitation to the Sinn Feiners to come over arid help them because, to use his own words, "We can say, Your fight is ours!" The closer we examine the history of this movement the closer we shall see is the association between all these revolutionary societies, the miners' executive and the Sinn Fein movement in Ireland.

To sum up, the Executive of the Miners' Federation, having throughout the war cut itself completely adrift from other sections of Labour, after the outbreak of the Russian Revolution pledges its support to Russia through its President. The President of the Miners' Federation communicates with the officials of Lenin in this country—with Mr. McLean, who boasts that he is the Bolshevist Consul and the accredited agent of Lenin in Glasgow—and helps them to set up a Bolshevist organisation, and expresses sympathy and promises them support. At the time—the end of 1918—when all this was done it was known that there was a widespread revolutionary movement in this country, by which it was intended to paralyse industry, while the revolutionaries in London would organise a rising there, incite the masses to revolution, and mobilise the foreign element in the East End of London. But the trump card, without which success was unattainable was a strike of the Triple Alliance, which Mr. Smillie was using every effort to bring about.

So much for the situation at the end of 1918. What is the situation to-day? It is very curious how all these movements in the Labour world, these international movements, always synchronise. The defeat of the Polish Army, the invasion of Poland, the growing acuteness of the situation in Ireland, the demands of the Millers' executive in this country— all these come at the same time. The recent Trade Union Congress made a demand that, unless the Government would consent to withdraw troops from Ireland, and to cease to support Poland they would bring about a general strike. This was combined with a demand on the part of the miners for higher wages, and a deputation recently saw the President of the Board of Trade on the subject. The only reason for this recrudescence of activity is that the revolutionaries think that their chances have now revived, owint, to the situation in Ireland, and owing to the situation in Central Europe. It is a very curious fact that. in every speech which the President of the Miners' Federation makes he refers to Ireland. He keeps on reiterating the phrase that there is the greatest danger of a massacre in Ireland. He also says, of course, that Ireland should be left to choose its own form of government, and he hopes it will choose a republic. It is strange that at the moment when he is making these declarations about the fear of a massacre in Ireland Mr. John McLean, who calls himself his "old friend," has hit upon the same phrase. He has recently produced a pamphlet which is headed "Proposed Irish Massacre," in which the Scottish workers are informed that Scottish troops are being used to massacre the Irish. He calls on the Scottish workers to proclaim a general strike, to provoke a civil war and a world war. The west coast of Ireland is, he says, England's weak spot. We know well that Lenin has always realised that the west coast of Ireland was England's weak spot. I could quote numerous declarations by international Socialists from the European Press, and notably from the head of the Communist Party in Holland. He has pointed out that England, being a great prop of capitalism, is the first enemy to be destroyed, and that the way to destroy it is through the control of Ireland by a rebel government.

There is one other matter, before I leave the present situation, which it is necessary to mention. I have already quoted an extract from a speech by Mr. McLean in Glasgow, in which he says that revolution is to be brought about through the control of the co-operative movement, or rather, through the control of the means of distribution by the co-operative movement. The way in which it is hoped to make a general strike successful is by the accumulation of large stores of food by the cooperative movement, and their distribution to the strikers, thus keeping the strikers supplied whilst the rest of the population go short. They hope to carry out this programme by capturing the machinery of the co-operative movement, and the seriousness of the situation may be judged from the fact that the leaders of the co-operative movement have agreed to put their machinery at the disposal of the strikers in the next strike. The Labour Research Bureau of the General Staff for Labour have been working at this plan for some time past. The wholesale co-operative societies have been laying in enormous stocks of provisions and buying motor lorries with a view to taking s leaf out of the Government's book during the railway strike last year.

It may interest the public, and it may interest your Lordships to know that a determined effort is being made on the part of many of the branches of the Co-operative Wholesale Society to induce the delegates to place the financial resources of those societies at the disposal of the Co-operative Party for the furtherance of their political policy. A resolution to this effect was moved by seventeen branches, but was finally defeated. It is noteworthy, however, that in the case of London, the Midlands, Lancashire and South Wales the resolution was passed by a large majority. This shows the danger which the public are now running of seeing the money which they have invested used for the organised starvation of themselves and their families. Although the money is not available for this revolutionary strike the whole of the organisation of the co-operative movement is at the disposal of the strikers, and I think it is a pity that the Government, who must be fully informed of all that is going on have not, so far, informed the public of the nature of this conspiracy.

I have had to travel over a great deal of ground, and I almost despair of making a connected and complete story of it, because the subject is really a very vast one. But it seems to me evident that we have to face a position where it is necessary for the Government to give the public full information regarding what is going on, and to appeal for their support. It is necessary to break through this atmosphere of unreality, and to face hard facts. This atmosphere of unreality is not dissipated by the reflection that at the very time when Soviet Government is, as we know, carrying on these intrigues in this country we are negotiating with its emissaries. Lenin the other day proclaimed that his purpose in this country was what he described as heavy civil war." Every effort is being made by the Bolshevist Government to carry that programme into effect. It is necessary for us to set our house in order before it is too late.

In Ireland we see even those who have hitherto been loyal to the British connection becoming demoralised. There is a general feeling now that any form of government is better than none. "If this country," it is said, "is not going to govern Ireland then you had better hand us over to our enemies, for then we shall, at least, get some form of law and order. It may be only an apology for it, but even that is better than nothing at all."

My Lords, the time has come not, only to inform the public but to appeal to national sentiment, and, as the Prime Minister said, to take exactly those measures which the Government took during the war Why is it so easy to hold mass meetings all over the country and to organise a great campaign when it is being done for the purpose of what I may call a political stunt? Why was it so easy to do that ten years ago for the purpose of appealing to the cupidity of the multitude by such a programme as that of plundering hen-roosts? It was so easy to organise mass meetings all over the country then and to make fine speeches. Why is it not equally easy when there is something a little better, a little nobler, and a little more inspiring to appeal to the people about? There is no use in the Government trying to avoid taking the necessary measures in Ireland—that is to say, those measures which are involved in a state of war. Because it is really going to be taken out of their hands. I do not know whether the Government have reflected—of course, they must have done—on the effect which the present situation is having on the Army in Ireland. Your Lordships have read in the newspapers innumerable instances of our troops having taken the law into their own hands, and this may go from bad to worse. No more disastrous effect on the discipline of the Army could possibly be imagined. It is also having the most disastrous effect on India and Egypt.

If the security and integrity of these islands are not sufficient incentives to the Government to take the action which the situation imperatively demands, there is another consideration which might have that effect, and that is the elementary obligation of honour. We have a beleaguered garrison in Ireland. I am not referring to the soldiers and the police, because after all it might be said of them that they are paid to be killed. But we have another garrison, those who have upheld British interests for 800 years. To our shame and dishonour they are being compelled to submit to the tyranny of those who have set up a rebel Government and defy the King's authority. They have been compelled to submit to it not only for their own sakes or the preservation of their property, but for the sake of their wives and children. When you mention the shame and dishonour of this thing it may, perhaps, be said that after all we in this country bear a greater proportion of that shame because we sit with folded hands, regarding the humiliation of the loyalists in Ireland and contemplating the spectacle of the national honour being dragged in the dust. If on us rests some portion of that stigma and that bitter humiliation, what must be the burden of responsibility and the weight of reproach that rest on His Majesty's Government?

Moved to resolve, "That this House deplores the failure of the Government to warn the public of the true character of the revolutionary movement in Ireland, and of the international influences which are behind it; and urges them to appeal for the united support of the nation in this crisis."—(The Duke of Northumberland.)

My Lords, I do not desire to detain your Lordships for very long, but as the subject of the noble Duke's Motion refers mainly to Ireland and a considerable part of the important speech to which your Lordships listened with close interest was concerned with the situation in that country, it is right that I should say a few words. As a matter of fact, it is against the administration of government in Ireland rather than against the policy of His Majesty's Government in that country that the noble Duke has directed his artillery. This is not the moment to attempt to discuss Irish policy at large. We had a debate a short time ago upon the policy of His Majesty's Government, and upon the policy which might be substituted for it, on the Bill introduced by my noble friend Lord Monteagle, and there would be no purpose, even if it were in order, in repeating anything that was said at that time. In the course of that debate I stated my clear views—at least, I hope they were clearly understood—as to the alternative policy which His Majesty's Government ought to pursue, and I have no desire to repeat them.

All I wish to say now is that I do not believe, unless the policy of His Majesty's Government is boldly changed, that any administrative steps which they can take by the military occupation of the country or otherwise can hope to succeed in the long run. His Majesty's Government have announced their intention of doing two things in Ireland. First of all, they have introduced a measure to intercept the grants and loans made to county councils and other local authorities where those authorities have proved recalcitrant or have shown public sympathy with the forces of rebellion. That may be a necessary thing to do, and I do not dispute it. But it is quite clear, however necessary it may be, that it will not of itself create peace or improve the situation in Ireland. In the second place it is proposed, as the noble Duke reminded us, to set up tribunals of a new description to administer justice in a more summary way than it can be administered by the ordinary Courts of Law. But, as the noble Duke again reminded us, before you can turn those tribunals into a useful piece of machinery you must be able to bring before them the persons charged with offences against the law, and, what is more, even in tribunals of that kind you cannot dispense with evidence. No tribunal can or will convict without a certain definite modicum of evidence, and, as we all know, military tribunals Court s-Martial are very often even more particular as to the necessity of proving a ease than are the ordinary Courts.

One asks, What is it all going to lead to? How is the situation to be in any degree mended, even though such administrative measures as the Government may find it possible to take may lead to a certain surface alleviation of the situation? We first have to ask what Sinn Fein is, and on that the noble Duke expressed a most distinct view, fortified by a number of quotations from documents carefully obtained, I suppose, by some of the societies which have set themselves to combat these revolutionary movements. He traced Very carefully the story of Sinn Fein from the first. It seemed to 111C that the noble Duke in the earlier part of his speech fell into a certain error in apparently supposing that, the revolutionary propaganda. in Ireland was in itself a novel thing, and that it might for practicable purposes be taken as starting from the time when Connolly and Larkin formed their Labour societies.

As we know, there always has been an undercurrent of revolution in Ireland ever since the Union. There have always been societies composed of men who thought that O'Connell and Butt, and latterly even parnell, were pursuing a milk-and-water policy unworthy of those Who desired to strike for national freedom. The degree of success which has been achieved by such revolutionary bodies has varied greatly during the last 120 years. There have been moments when it seemed as though the Irish Republican Brotherhood—in 1866 for instance—was likely once more to become a, formidable ma-'ire in the direction of revolution. It cannot, of course, be disputed that modern developments, the facility of communication and transport, improvements in the form of arms and the like, have added in certain directions new powers to such revolutionary movements and strengthened the hands of their active agents.

Altogether apart from the question as to whether this revolutionary movement in Ireland might not have been dealt with earlier and differently from the manner in which it has been dealt with, I cannot help feeling that there is some colour of criticism of the Government in this respect. We were always told in former days that it was the defect of all Governments, whether Liberal or Conservative, that their treatment of Ireland consisted of alternate doses of conciliation and coercion—one year a Land Bill giving the Irish farmers much of what they asked, followed a year or two later by a Coercion Bill. But this is surely the first time that it has been attempted to carry on both processes simultaneously. To combine a grant of self-government with the announcement that the larger part of the country is to be governed in a purely arbitrary manner represents an attempt for the success of which it is very difficult indeed to hope.

This is not the moment to discuss the contents of the Government of Ireland Bill, and, as I have already said, there is an alternative policy which His Majesty's Government may some day still be tempted to try by remodelling on broad lines the policy expressed in the present Bill. The noble Duke would entirely dissent from any such attempt because, as he pointed out in enforcing his arguments by many illustrations, he desired to prove that the Sinn Fein movement is in reality nothing more—I think I am not misquoting him—than part of a world movement for revolution of which evidences can be found all over Europe and in other parts of the world. There, I confess, I am not in agreement with him. I do not think he attaches enough weight to the purely national side of the Sinn Fein movement as it affects the greater number of those who would describe themselves as Sinn Feiners. No doubt it has joined up to a certain degree with Russian revolutionaries, with American revolutionaries, and revolutionaries in other parts of the world. Assuming that to be so, there is nothing surprising in it. It has always been the desire, as indeed the noble Duke pointed out in the ease of the French Revolution and Wolfe Tone, of revolutionaries all over the world to couple themselves with those in other parts who desired a similar movement. Precisely the same thing happened in India. The Indian revolutionaries, as some of us had good cause to know, were closely allied with extremists in France. Germany, and the United States. Therefore, however deplorable it may be, there is nothing new or fresh in the fact that a certain number of the revolutionary leaders of Sinn Fein have allied themselves closely with those people of revolutionary views in England and else- where and that some reciprocity exists between them.

I cannot help thinking that there must be a great number of people in Ireland who would call themselves Sinn Feiners who neither know or care anything about the Third International but who have a feeling for Irish independence. Those people, I believe, could be satisfied by a grant of real self-government within the Empire. If it is not so, if it really is true that every man, woman, and child in Ireland now who are not immediate followers of Sir Edward Carson are all revolutionaries, determined to have nothing whatever to do with this country in any form, the situation of course is terribly grave, and it will be for the people of this country to consider whether they do desire to go through the whole process of reconquest, and possibly extermination, of a large part of the population of that island. I do not believe it has reached that point, or anything like it, and till I do, one is not called upon to express an opinion as to what the proper policy of His Majesty's Government ought to be.

I cannot help thinking also that the noble Duke, in weaving together the extremely ingenious web of evidence which he produced, has been somewhat biassed by the very severe views which he entertains about the personality and opinions of Mr. Smillie Mr. Smillie is a gentleman all of whose views, I think one might say, would find themselves unacceptable to almost every member of your Lordships' House. Certainly, speaking for myself, I do not know that I ever heard him express an opinion with which I agreed; but I think it is possible, even though he be president of the Miners' Federation, to over-rate, not so much the influence which from the coal trade point of view he may exercise over the Federation in their character of miners, but the influence which his political views exercise over the great body of those who belong to that industry.

The noble Duke told us that the executive of the Miners' Federation did their best in the first place to prevent this country, so far as they were able to do so, from joining in the war, and did their utmost to prevent recruiting. If they did their utmost one can only say that they failed miserably, because there was no trade from which enlistment was better than that of the miners. Indeed, the only difficulty was that too many of them enlisted, and a certain number would have been, as it afterwards proved, much better at work in the pit, and had to be replaced by men who were not competent to get coal. I cannot help thinking that the noble Duke to a certain extent lost the proper perspective of the situation, and that he almost proved too much in making out, entirely to his own satisfaction, I am sure, and very possibly with the agreement of some of your Lordships, that Sinn Fein was in fact part and parcel of the Bolshevist movement, and therefore, from a national point of view, an even greater danger than it must be thought to be if it is regarded as a mainly national movement.

My Lords, the noble Duke did not enter into much detail as to the steps which he thought His Majesty's Government ought to take to combat the ever-increasing danger of this movement, not merely in Ireland but in this country. He frankly admitted that the South and West of Ireland might have to be reconquered by a definite act of war. I fervently trust it may never come to that. I think there are expedients yet to be tried, which may enlist—not on the side of England, because I am afraid England as such is likely to remain unloved in the three southern provinces, however much (and I am not sure it is so very much) she may be loved in Ulster—but I do believe there is a substantial body of opinion in Ireland which can be enlisted on the side of law and order and of decent government. If I did not think so I should come very near to despairing of the whole situation. What the Government may say in reply to the noble Duke of course I have no means of knowing. I am by no means sorry that he has brought the subject forward, and I listened to the whole of his speech with the deepest interest, although, as I have endeavoured to point out, I found much in it with which I was not able to agree.

My Lords, I quite agree with the noble Duke in his description of the present state of Ireland but I entirely differ from him in the reasons which he has given for that state of affairs. I agree with the noble Marquess who has just spoken that there has always been in the minds of Irishmen a dissatisfaction with the political connection with England. I entirely agree with him in thinking that that has been the case since the time of the Union. In the early days the political dissatisfaction was more manifest, as appeared in the Repeal agitation, and afterwards in the Home Rule agitation, but a period came when that agitation ceased and greater importance was attached to economic evils, more especially in regard to the land.

From the time when the land question was first taken up, in the year 1870 I think, up to the time when in 1903 it was finally solved, there was no effort made, so far as the Irish tenant ever saw, by the great British public to lead to a satisfactory solution of that question. It was not till a great Liberal statesman arose who regarded the land question from the point of view of the Irish tenants themselves—I refer to Mr. Gladstone—that the Irish at last gained hope that their views would be regarded by the Government of England. Throughout those years there always was a small section of Irish people who regarded violence and force as a better remedy than appeals to the ideas of British justice, but they were very small in number, and in the course of time I believe they would have disappeared altogether if British Governments in turn had regarded their desire for Home Rule with greater attention than has been the case.

My Lords, the struggle for Home Rule I date from the coining into power of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's Government. Before then it was more a question of ideals than of actual politics, but from the year 1907 a definite proposal was placed before the Government, and improvements upon that proposal have been made from time to time. It is well-known now what the great bulk of moderate opinion in Ireland want. They do not want separation from England. They do not want a Republic. They are opposed, so far as I know, to the idea of a Republic, but there are extreme politicians. The majority of the peasantry is now said to be republican, but that is a matter of yesterday. The claim for a Republic has not a long period of time behind it, and I believe that if a proper system of government were tomorrow established in Ireland you would hear very little of a Republic.

The satisfaction of the Irish wish for Home Rule has always been opposed by the Unionists of Ulster. When it was first brought forward the answer of Ulster was, "We will not have Home Rule, not even in the portions of Ireland which are purely Irish, and which contain no admixture of a foreign element." The Irish people have been essentially desirous that Ireland should be a unit, a nation, in which the Ulster people should be included. I believe that there was no request or demand which the Ulster people might make with the object of securing themselves against anything like oppression from the South or the West that the Ulster people would not have got. Over and over again in the Convention the delegates of Ulster were asked, "What do you want?" "There is nothing which you want," we said, "that we can give you that we will not give you." But we had no response whatever to our desire. As far as I myself could see, there was no will to make any settlement.

The Bill which is now in the House of Commons will not satisfy any section of Irish people. I believe that opposition to it will be continued, and that no military force that can be brought into play will destroy the wish of the people. That will continue from generation to generation, but I think that if the Irish people were given a moderate scheme of Home Rule and allowed to administer their own revenue and their own affairs, they would not put forward any claim for separation from the Empire, nor would they put forward any claim that would in any way weaken the strength of the Empire. If properly and reasonably approached, I think they would make a certain contribution to the Empire.

Having these thoughts and feelings put before your Lordships by responsible men from Ireland and by responsible deputations from Ireland, I can hardly tell you of the despair with which I regard the proposal to establish martial law and withdraw all the ordinary methods of legal procedure in Ireland. It has always been my hope that the North and South might be brought together. There is no difficulty in their coming together in matters of business, and I believe now, as I have always believed, that the question at issue is not really a question of polities, but one that belongs more to the 17th century than to the century in which we now live. I think the noble Duke's diagnosis of Ireland is entirely mistaken, and that the Bolshevik feeling is shared by only a very few extravagant persons, as is the case in England. To impute to Ireland a love or a desire for Bolshevism is, I think, an entire delusion.

My Lords, if I consulted my own inclination it would be not to trouble your Lordships with any observations upon the Motion which has been brought forward to-day by the noble Duke; and for two reasons. In the first place, I am conscious of that want of experience which enables a man in your Lordships' House to place clearly and in order before the House those views which he honestly possesses, and it is a source of regret to me that in any observations which I may make I must be more or less disjointed, and I claim your Lordships' indulgence. In addition, no Irishman, no matter what particular view of politics he may have, can, in looking at the present state of affairs in Ireland, have any feeling other than one of intense grief and sadness. I have always been one of those who have allowed myself to be sustained by hope. During the decades of which I have had experience of Irish life I have only lived to see time after time my hopes not only diverted but apparently destroyed. Yet I still retain some slight belief that if, even at the eleventh hour, some radical and clear change is made in the method of dealing with Ireland our hope may still be justified, and in any observations that I wish to make on the noble Duke's Motion, that is the feeling, the only feeling, which actuates me. I respect every one's opinions no matter how they may differ from my own, and I do not think that at any time any good end is served by remarks which are in any way calculated to embitter a situation which is at the present time terribly embittered.

The noble Duke, in the Motion originally put down by him, proposed simply to call attention to the position in Ireland. That has been modified and put in the form of a very clear Motion which asks the House to resolve that it
"deplores the failure of the Government to warn the public of the true character of the revolutionary movement in Ireland, and of the International influences which are behind it; and urges them to appeal for the united support of the nation in this crisis."
I am not here to do what members of the Government, in due time I am sure, will properly do; but I cannot avoid saying—and this is my reason for intruding on your Lordships' time—that the Motion in its present form, while merely suggesting that there has been a failure by the Government to warn the public of a certain thing, pledges the House clearly and unmistakably to the view of that thing against which the public were to be warned, which was clearly enunciated in the speech of the noble Duke. With that speech, and the views expressed in it, I am bound to say I could not be in agreement. I wish to state, as I understand them, what I conceive to be the suggestions in this particular Motion. If I am wrong, of course I shall stand corrected. Taking not the form of the Motion but the speech which supported it, I imagine that we are asked to say that the state of unrest in Ireland, the present state of affairs in Ireland, is the culmination of one branch of a conspiracy which extends over all Europe and finds its particular development at the present time in Ireland. We are also asked to solicit and appeal for the support of the nation in order to combat that hypothetical (as I believe it to be to a great extent) state of affairs.

The noble Duke has made several quotations, as I understood, from a very important speech of the Prime Minister, of which an official report has appeared in the Press. There is, however, one passage in that speech to which I desire to refer. It occurs near the beginning—
"I am in complete agreement with a great deal of what has been said by both speakers as to the state of affairs in Ireland. To a certain extent I agree as to the origin. There is no doubt at all that there is Bolshevist support behind the anti-British activity in Ireland and I should not be surprised if there were Bolshevist money behind it."
But now comes the important qualification which, in my opinion, takes a much truer view than that put forward by the noble Duke—
"But we should make a mistake if we came to the conclusion that Sinn Fein is purely a Bolshevist conspiracy against Great Britain. It is deeper than that. It is older than that. It is an old feud which breaks out now and again in Ireland. It breaks out sometimes after generations, but it has steadily gone on. In my time I remember two or three outbreaks. I agree that this is the worst I have seen, but I have seen many bad ones, and therefore we must, if we are going to deal with this problem, understand that the roots of it are much deeper than the shallow soil of Bolshevism. How are we to deal with it? Force, of course, is essential as a sanction for any law. We are strengthening our force, but you must remember that the present demand has come at a time when there is a greater demand on the resources of the Empire in the matter of force than at any time in its history."
Speaking with respect of the Prime Minister, these words which I have quoted, if I may say so, give a far truer estimate of the condition of affairs in Ireland than that given by the noble Duke. I may not be in entire agreement with the view of His Majesty's Government as to the extent or the exact form that remedial measures may have to take. That is not, I think, a matter for discussion to-day.

The question to-day is the measure of supposed Bolshevism behind the Irish political movement, and upon that I think I can say that the passage which I have read from the Prime Minister's speech contains substantially a trite view of the situation. The noble Duke will pardon me. I used the words not at all in any way to despise or minimise the views which he has put forward, but as being what I regard as reasonable criticism, and to which I respectfully draw your Lordships' attention. I conceive that the view which has been put forward is one of a series of views which, from time to time as the years pass by, are advanced with regard to this unfortunate Irish question and which invariably are based on the error of confounding cause and effect. In my life, during which I have been brought into contact with Irish affairs, I have seen many instances of this erroneous view (as I believe it to be) of affairs in Ireland, and I shall give you some examples. At the beginning of the '80's a very formidable conspiracy broke out connected with the tenure of land in Ireland. It was accompanied by crimes, and crimes of a very terrible character; it was widespread; it was highly organised; and it was directed by men of great ability. There were also within that organisation those whose objects were solely and entirely those of mending and ending once for all the land system in Ireland, but who detested cordially the crimes in which a small section indulged.

In that we have a parallel at present, because I do say—I am convinced it is so; I can hardly reconcile my mind to thinking anything to the contrary—that the great mass, the large majority, of those who in Ireland at the present time proclaim views that are covered under the general term of Sinn Fein, are not in sympathy with those crimes and that they regret them as much as any member of your Lordships' House. And I think they regret them for the very old reason that crime does not help in the long run the development of national aspirations. But at that time, and in connection with the land war, the idea in this country was that it was all the result of Mere agitation brought about by agitators. The agitators were produced by the economic situation; it was not the agitators who produced the situation.

And in the same way I conceive humbly that at the present time the situation in Ireland has been a growth for which, not the extremists are responsible, but for which our own shortcomings, our own errors, our own dilatoriness are mainly to blame. On that matter I could not gather that the noble Duke had any remedy except the simple remedy of reconquest, as he described it. The very word suggests a condition of affairs almost impossible to contemplate within the small part of Europe which constitutes the British Islands, and the view which I think would be the logical one is that, if after attempts extending over 120 years to regulate Irish affairs upon a proper basis, we find that in 1920, or 1921, there is nothing before us but armed reconquest, we have failed indeed.

I do not think that we have failed. I do not think that matters are at all to be regarded in the light that has been presented to your Lordships. I speak with some knowledge, and, although I may he wrong, I speak at least with conviction, and I do believe that the great majority of those in Ireland still are willing to welcome the remedy, which is not reconquest by force, but reconquest by reasonableness and a due regard to the proper aspirations of Irish people. I do not give up that hope, and I think that the time is not so far off when perhaps we shall realise in Ireland that that is the true state of affairs.

With regard to the immediate matter which was so ingeniously, and with such great ability, woven together by the noble Duke, namely the connection between Sinn Fein and the European revolutionary societies, I should wish to make one observation which appears to me to be reasonable. I am not now going to indulge in any criticism of the action of any member of His Majesty's Government, but I am merely going to deal with the views that have been put forward. In 1914, at the outbreak of the war, I should certainly say that Sinn Fein in Ireland was, in so far as it was largely distributed, rather a philosophic than a violent revolutionary association. But names and words very often convey false impressions, and a name which is attractive in form may be adopted by a party whose aims and objects are totally different from those which, we now conceive, are intimately associated with and indissoluble from that name. The general name "Sinn Fein" was adopted by those who were minded to appeal to force, to violence, and to crime, but with regard to those who always were opposed at heart to those methods I believe that there has been no change, and that they still represent the majority of the people of Ireland.

It would be something extraordinary in the history of communities if, within the space of four years, we saw such a change as has been suggested in the whole population of Ireland, with their traditional views with regard to religious matters, and also having regard to the very strong and potent fact that the proprietorship of the land in Ireland had passed into the hands of the majority from the minority, and that those who are possessed of property do not readily lend their minds to handing it over to some one else; it would be certainly extraordinary if that population were suddenly seized with the wildest and most mischevous form of continental Bolshevism. As the Prime Minister said, there may be grounds for believing that those whose objects are revolutionary in the sense that they would overthrow all civilised government are utilising the situation in Ireland. Who is to be blamed for that? I respectfully submit that if the atmosphere and the conditions are so extraordinarily favourable that this vile plant takes root and develops into a tree in so short a time, it is to the conditions which have made this tree flourish that we must look, and we must again avoid this confusion of cause and effect. I have been one of those who have invariably, through popularity and unpopularity, maintained that there was really only one way of procuring peace in Ireland. It is no satisfaction to me that I think that the course which has beep followed in not adopting those methods—in not setting up a Parliament in Ireland in respect to purely Irish affairs—is responsible for the present state of things. It is a matter not of gratification to me, but of profound regret, that I have seen things go from bad to worse, and that I am convinced that they have gone from bad to worse because of the fatal hesitation which would not permit a measure of real breadth and efficiency to be adopted.

I am only stating my own view. I know that many of your Lordships have views absolutely hostile, and I merely claim the right for myself to place my-views respectfully before your Lordships' House. I see two things. I see this horrible spectre of reconquest which has been held out. Heaven forbid that such a thing should happen! Even now at the eleventh hour I see the possibility of producing by a bold, strong policy a condition of affairs which would absolutely destroy or, if it did not entirely destroy, would render innocuous, any Bolshevist or revolutionary element that exists in my unhappy country.

My Lords, I hope the two noble Lords who have just addressed the House will permit me to say with what sympathy I listened to their speeches. I was sorry for them. They have been brought up in the belief that, after all, the Irish difficulty is just a constitutional difficulty which can be settled by the concession of a certain amount of self-government. They remember the many years in which they have urged it upon their countrymen; and now they are presented with this grim spectre—this element of force, of bitter hatred and deep disorder—they rebel against it and are not able to accept the facts of the situation.

Even so distinguished a statesman as my noble friend Lord Crewe did not seem to me, when he was speaking, to appreciate the real meaning of what is going on in Ireland. He dwelt upon the recurrent disorder which in his political lifetime has taken place there, as if the present situation was really to be reckoned as only another example, perhaps a little worse, of what we have so often seen before. I believe that the noble Marquess is entirely in error. If it does not differ in kind, it differs in degree so profoundly from what we have witnessed that we are face to face with a wholly new proposition which will try to the utmost the powers of our statesmen and the strength of mind of our pepole to deal with.

It is, of course, that point and that aspect of it to which the noble Duke really addressed himself in that masterly speech which he delivered to your Lordships this afternoon. He sketched what was in his belief the true inwardness of the movement in Ireland. It was not that he had forgotten what Lord MacDonnell and Lord Shandon dwelt upon—the old desire for self-government in Ireland, with which we are all familiar. But what my noble friend sees is that it has passed far beyond that, and, as so often happens in these revolutionary movements, the forces of disorder, the extreme forces, are getting—nay, have got—control of the movement. It is no use treating it as a mere question of land hunger or a little adjustment of self-government. The question, as my noble friend submitted it to your Lordships, is whether this is not a revolutionary movement in league with all the revolutionary forces on the Continent, whose main and only object is the destruction of this country.

I do not think it can be doubted that what the noble Duke has said is more or less true. I do not know exactly what line the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack .will take, but I shall be very much surprised if he denies that the virus of Bolshevism has entered into the Irish movement, or if he denies that it is a most powerful force that has got to be reckoned with. I believe he will even admit that it is the most powerful force at the moment in the Irish situation. If he does so, he will, of course, follow in the footsteps of the Prime Minister. No doubt the Prime Minister did not admit my noble friend's case to the full extent to which he stated it, but he did admit that there was a substantial element of truth in it, and that the Bolshevist connection with the Irish movement was well established.

We have to face a movement which is inspired with a profound and deep hatred of this country, and which has for the moment got the upper hand in three parts of Ireland. That is a most tremendous statement that I have made. Is it not true? Does not that differentiate this situation from anything which the noble Marquess, Lord Crewe, remembers? I recall very well the time of the Land League when my right hon. friend Mr. Arthur Balfour was Chief Secretary. I was in Ireland then. No doubt the situation was very serious. There was a good deal not only of disorder but of attack upon life and property, but the forces of the Crown were always absolutely secure. The Queen's power was always well established, and nothing really threatened it. Now under the government of the present Minister three parts of Ireland are no longer under the control of His Majesty's servants. My noble friend Lord Crewe and others have tried to reassure us by telling us that things are not after all so very bad, and I hope he will allow me to say that I distrust those optimistic phrases.

May I ask the noble Marquesss to repeat anything I said to that effect. I have no recollection of saying anything of the kind. I entirely agree with him that you cannot overdraw the gravity of the situation.

I owe my noble friend a great apology, and I entirely withdraw those observations. I am sorry I did not hear all his speech, and that is the reason why I made a mistake. I do not desire for a moment to misquote him, but I do distrust any phrase which minimises the situation. I very well remember debates in your Lordships' House during the last two years, in the course of which we listened to the noble Earl the Leader of the House as he defended the administration of Mr. Duke and explained to us that, after all, things were not so bad, and that the forces of the Government were getting the upper hand. Of course, it was the administration of Mr. Duke, and the administration of Mr. Birrell which went before it, which were responsible in the first degree for what has happened.

In 1917 the noble Earl said—

"That section of the Sinn Fein Party which is really extreme, which is prepared for acts of violence, which would like a rebellion, which tries to promote collisions with the police and military forces and which is animated by direct hatred of England, is, I believe, not only in a minority but in a minority that becomes smaller instead of larger from day to day."
Does my noble friend still think that Sinn Fein is in a minority and is getting smaller day by day? He has lived to witness Sinn Fein, or rather the successors of Sinn Fein, being the ascendent force in Ireland. A year afterwards he said—
"The moment that Sinn Fein in its manifestation was converted into a criminal conspiracy we struck, and I think we struck with success."
What success? Look at Ireland! Where is your success? No; the Government through their hesitation and vacillation, through their Birrells and their Dukes, have reduced Ireland to the condition in which we now see it.

Are we to say that this hesitation and vacillation has come to an end? I hope it may be so. I am, I must say, much encouraged by the speeches which have been delivered in your Lordships' House by the Lord Chancellor. It is a matter of great satisfaction and comfort to some of us to recognise that he is taking a strong line on this question. May I recall what he said on May 19 this year? He said this—
"Let me at once, in reply to the last words that fell from him, make more complete if I can the assurance I attempted to give when I last addressed your Lordships that it is the policy of the Government, whether the struggle be short or long, to employ the whole available forces and all the resources of these islands, in the first place to restore law and order in Ireland, and, in the second place, to render utterly impossible the campaign with the object of secession which is at present in progress in that country."
That is certainly the policy which the Government ought to pursue, and no doubt. it is in pursuance of that policy that the Bills now before another place have been introduced.

It would not be in order for me to say anything in reference to those Bills, and I do not desire to comment on them in any adverse spirit. But I agree with the noble Duke that the Bills by themselves will not be sufficient. It does not depend merely upon these Bills. It depends upon the spirit in which the Government approach the object of restoring law and order in Ireland. I hate these coercive Bills just as much as any of your Lordships, just as much as Lord MacDonnell. Of course they are odious. The suspension of the ordinary law and the pursuit and punishment of these misguided people is not agreeable to any of your Lordships, certainly not agreeable to me. But if you do pursue this policy, if you are forced, as the Government are now, to fall back upon coercion, let it he effective coercion. There is no such cruelty as ineffective coercion; there is no such colossal blunder as ineffective coercion. And when you are driven to coercion, as the Government has been driven, largely through their own fault, let it be done in the spirit in which it is likely to be effective.

When I listened to the Prime Minister—I was in the company of the noble Duke the other day—I heard with regret the familiar balance which he made between coercive legislation and remedial legislation; between coercive legislation and concessions to the spirit of self-government. I am not going to prejudge the ultimate solution of self-government in Ireland now, but I say that this is not the moment to dwell upon it, when you are forced to these exceptional measures to restore law and order. I have said before, and I venture to repeat it now, How can you expect the sentiment of law and order to rally round the Government if you tell the people who are rallying that within a very brief period you propose to hand them over to their enemies? It appears to me to be a fatal combination.

It has often been said in this House that what you want to do, the whole object of government, is to gather round the Administration all the sympathies of the law-abiding people in the country. Quite so. But if you say that within two years you are going to hand them over to their enemies, it is fatal. How can you expect them to stand by you? There is only one way to treat the question when you are face to face with revolutionary disorder as we see it in Ireland, and that is to say that until the King's authority is completely restored in Ireland you will not consider the question of granting any concession of self-government. That must be laid aside until law and order is completely restored; and "we will engage"—this is what the Government should say"— "not only that we will not touch the question of self-government until law and order is restored, but that whatever we do ultimately we will take care that you shall not be handed over to your enemies."

Let me say one further word upon this point, as I believe my noble friend Lord Crewe touched upon it. I think he said that he believed a solution could be found in the grant of some form of Dominion Home Rule. While this is not the time to consider that, I should not like his observation to go by without comment lest it should be thought that many of us consider that Dominion Home Rule would ever be a possible solution of this question. I do not think it would, and may I just say why? Of course, if you can give the Irish complete control, complete independence, that would be a solution of a kind, although a very unsatisfactory solution from the point of view of Imperial con- siderations, but it would be a solution of a kind. But no one that I know of, and no one at any rate who has addressed this House, is prepared to give Dominion Home Rule of so complete a character as that. It is always Dominion Home Rule with limitations. Now, my Lords, those limitations really would make it completely unworkable, unless, of course, Ireland were entirely friendly. If Ireland were as friendly as our existing great Dominions no doubt any system would work, but so long as Ireland continues to be unfriendly—or not Ireland itself, because I believe a body of opinion exists that is not unfriend]y— but so long as the controlling power of Irish opinion is unfriendly, then Dominion Home Rule with limitations would not be a settlement but only a jumping off ground for demands for further concessions, and a jumping off ground which would have this great advantage for the people who demanded further concessions, that they would be able to point to the victories they had achieved in the past and be able to say that there was no moral strength left in the British. Government to resist them.

My Lords, I have ventured to say this much upon the ultimate solution, but I would return to what 1 have already said. I would urge upon your Lordships that this effort of the Government to restore order will be an effort which they will want all their strength of mind to carry through successfully. They must cast aside anything which hampers them, and they must face it with an absolutely single mind. The responsibility upon them is very heavy. I often wonder, as I sit opposite my noble friends who sit upon that Bench, what they must be feeling on the Irish question. When I think of the history of the Unionist Party and the great and distinguished part which they have taken in it, and of their conviction, so often expressed, on behalf of the Union and on behalf of law and order, I wonder how they can face the condition to which, under their administration, Ireland has been reduced.

I do not complain so much of the Prime Minister. He is a Radical, and does not believe in force as a remedy at all. My noble friends know as well as I do that although force is no remedy for evils of the State yet it is an absolutely essential element in administration, and they are the people who have allowed Ireland to get into this state. It is no good their saying that they were not Chief Secretary or Lord Lieutenant. They are members of the Government, and they are responsible, and I earnestly hope that they will reflect upon the deep and profound character of that responsibility, and that when we listen to the noble and learned Lord, the Lord Chancellor, in his reply, we shall have reason to be satisfied that he has laid to heart the lessons of recent experience, that he appreciates the very profound wisdom of the remarks of my noble friend the noble Duke and the strength of his case, and that the Government will convince Irish public opinion now once and for ever that the authority of the Crown and the power of the British Government must be entirely and absolutely restored.

My Lords, I had no intention, until my noble friend was near the end of his speech, of intruding upon your Lordships any remarks, but there are one or two expressions which he used at the close of his speech which I could not entirely accept for myself, and I have no desire that the noble and learned Lord should, in replying, assume that there was no other view than that which is expressed by my noble friend Lord Salisbury.

I am not going on this occasion to recapitulate in any way what I think may be regarded as the responsibility of the Government for the present position, but I think that the noble Duke, in using the words which fell from the Prime Minister, that all this had come suddenly, has shown quite sufficiently what the pre-occupation of the Government has been on equally or more important topics, and how little some members of the Government have been able to appreciate the gradually growing rush and force of a revolutionary movement which has gone so far that there are many people in Ireland, who are the best friends of the British connection, who believe that that movement has got too far now to be resisted. It is not necessary for me to remind your Lordships how often from this Bench we have from every point of view urged that that state of affairs should be brought to an end. We are now, not at the eleventh hour, but at the eleventh hour and fifty-ninth minute, and the reestablishment of British rule in Ireland is probably one of the most serious operations this country has ever undertaken, although I, for one, fully recognise the strength of the Prime Minister's assertion that a country which has just challenged the greatest military Power in the world successfully should not shrink from such an endeavour.

The point which I wish to make is this. While I fully agree with my noble friend as regards the absolute necessity of avoiding threatening force unless the Government are prepared to go right through with the use of force until they have restored law and order which should be done without delay, I do think that he has not stated what is the general feeling with regard to the position in which the Government find themselves with respect to what are called remedial measures. I have never liked the coupling of force with the promise of something which is to be immediately done, but I do not think my noble friend sufficiently allowed for the fact that you have a Bill at this moment before Parliament, a Bill far advanced in the House of Commons and a Bill of which even its authors will not say that they have any encouragement whatever to believe that any class in Ireland will be conciliated by carrying it out. That is really a blot on the present situation. If we were beginning afresh I could quite understand the noble Marquess getting up in this House and saying, "Your present business is to restore order; when that is done talk of what you will make the new constitution of the country so as to satisfy the legitimate aspirations, or what you regard as the legitimate aspirations, of those who wish for self-government."

The real difficulty at this moment is that you cannot ask people to cluster round you for support if you antagonise all of them by a measure of which none of them approve, and I would ask the noble and learned Lord to assure us this afternoon that the Government are fully conscious of the grave responsibility which lies upon them. The noble Duke said that there is a large section of people in Ireland who feel that they must live under some law, and that at this moment they are living under no law. If you want the support of those who have hitherto been opposed to the Government and to retain the support of those who have been and are supporters of British rule, you will be prepared, before you proceed with the measure that is now before the other House for the granting of self-government, to offer more generous terms than you have offered up to now. I make that statement not on my own responsibility but on behalf of many with whom I am associated. I hope that my noble friend will not suppose for a moment that what I am suggesting is that you should hand over, bound hand and foot, the supporters of the British connection to those who have been their implacable enemies. Nor do I suggest that you should be intimidated by murderers, but I do most earnestly suggest that what you are going to give must be something which is acceptable to the loyal classes as well as to the others. You will find, if you take a ballot of the loyal classes in Ireland at this moment as well as of those who have not hitherto been supporters of His Majesty's Government, that both classes desire that if there is to be a measure of Home Rule it should be framed on more generous lines than those on which the present Bill has been brought forward.

I therefore hope that my noble and learned friend, when he rises to reply, will be able to assure us that the situation will be brought to an end, and that while we shall see the re-establishment of law, we shall also see some provision made whereby the large number of persons who desire the British connection in Ireland to continue—and they are the majority of the people—may be enlisted on the side of law by the measure which His Majesty's Government brings in with the intention of satisfying the rights of Ireland.

My Lords, at an earlier period this evening I ventured to express on another subject this opinion, that there has hitherto been two policies in Ireland, one a policy of surrender and concession, the other a policy of firm administration of the law. So far as the speech of my noble friend who has just sat down differs from what I said then. I desire to say now that I entirely adhere to the views I have expressed. I agree with the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, that the first duty of the present Government is to insist above all other things on restoring law and order.

My Lords, the perplexities and the difficulties amid which we grope our way to-day cannot be more strikingly illustrated than by the divergence of view—to some extent real divergence of view— which even the closing moments of this debate exhibited between Lord Salisbury and Lord Midleton. Lord Chaplin has just reminded your Lordships that in his view the first duty of the Government was the restoration of law and order. I have frequently made the same observation, and I repeat it to-night. It is elementary. It has never been doubted by any member of the Government. All that can be dealt with is as to whether or not we have attained to much success in our task of restoring law and order—a topic about which I would ask leave to make hereafter some observations. Let me assure Lord Chaplin that there is no member of the Government, to whatever school of political thought in earlier days he belonged, who does not accept unreservedly the view that this is the first. task of the Government. The divergence of view between Lord Salisbury and Lord Midleton is notable. Lord Salisbury says that we ought to address ourselves to the restoration of law and order, and that we ought to address ourselves to no constructive task of any kind—

Until law and order is restored. Lord Midleton, on the other hand, has recommended—and I entirely assent to his view—that concurrently with the attempts to restore law and order, and without the slightest prejudice to the attempt to restore law and order, we shall discover whether the proposals for which at present we are responsible. can or cannot, without any sacrifice of principle, be made more acceptable to those to whom they are addressed. In that divergence of view to which I have referred there can be, in my judgment, no doubt that Lord Salisbury is wrong and that. Lord Midleton is right. With the exception of the noble Duke who made this Motion, I have gathered the impression from everyone who has spoken in this debate that there is a realisation that there are many men in Ireland to-day who are devoted to the cause of Irish self-government, and who have had no part of any sort or kind in violent crime. Many of them, it may be, are so intimidated that they cannot discharge their duties as jurymen, or will not discharge them, and will not run the risk involved to their lives by developing an active resistance to the campaign of murder and treason which is now going on all over Ireland.

I have had many opportunities, as other members of the Government have had, of acquainting myself with what is being thought by those who live in the south of Ireland, who are loyal to the British connection and who desire, equally with ourselves, that tolerable conditions should be restored in Ireland. I have heard very few who share the views which have been expressed by the noble Marquess in this House to-night. Let me make this abundantly plain. I have, I think, indicated it before, but it is a matter so fundamental to the argument that I would desire to state it beyond the possibility of any misunderstanding or of any misrepresentation. I do not believe that there is one member of this Cabinet who would retain his place and his responsibility as a Minister for one moment, if he were not satisfied that every coercive step was being taken, and would be taken, as necessity justified it, with the object of putting down these murders and assassinations and, so far as possible, bringing to justice those who are guilty of them. We are all agreed, and your Lordships may take it that we are all agreed, in the assertion of that policy. There has been, of course, profound and growing disappointment at our failure to carry out the expectations which, from time to time, have been expressed by those who are responsible, and the noble Marquess who, in these matters—entirely unlike himself in his private capacity—is not always too generous an opponent, has openly taunted members of the Government who sit on the Front Bench to-night. He has recalled, almost with an appearance of rhetorical satisfaction, the expectations which were genuinely entertained and which were expressed in debate by my noble friend the Leader of the House a year or two years ago.

The Leader of the House was too sanguine. Many of us, whether we have discharged Ministerial responsibility or whether we have only had to discharge the somewhat simpler duty of offering intermittent criticism of those who, in these terrible years, have discharged this responsibility—many of us, both those who have belonged to Governments and those who have attacked Governments, have been too sanguine. All his colleagues, including myself, shared his error. That we should be taunted as though we had shown incapacity or incompetence because we could not foresee the whole extent. of this development, is really a course which the noble Marquess, I think, ought not to pursue.

The noble Marquess asked a further question with an extreme exhibition of rhetoric. Pointing to the Government Front Bench, he said, "I should like to know what are the feelings of those who sit there—I do not speak of the Prime Minister, but those who sit there—those who are and have been our leaders, when they realise the state to which they have brought Ireland and the condition in which they find themselves to-day?" The noble Marquess obviously asked that question meaning something which the noble Duke said much more crudely. The noble Duke said that members of the Government must feel themselves involved to-day in shame and dishonour. Such words come with little grace from his lips. Those who are the members of the Government to-day, so far as I know them—I am speaking now of the period before the Armistice—faced as they have been by problems the intensity and the extent and the danger of which are well-known to all the House, have laboured incessantly to deal as best they could with the Irish situation. That they have made mistakes, I am not concerned to deny.

If the noble Marquess is so anxious to know what are the feelings of those who, at the period before the Armistice, were members of the Government, I suggest that he might conveniently consult Lord Robert Cecil. Lord Robert Cecil is a statesman of the greatest possible ability, experience, and patriotism. His devotion to the Union has never been impeached. During the whole period of the tenure of office as Chief Secretary of the present Lord Justice Duke (of whom the noble Marquess has thought it necessary to speak so contemptuously), unless I am mistaken, Lord Robert Cecil was, just as much as the Leader of the House, a colleague of Mr. Duke in the Cabinet, and therefore that source might be accessible to the noble Marquess for information as to how Unionist Ministers felt who shared the responsibility at that period.

If he feels inclined to carry his researches further, he can easily ascertain what are the feelings of Unionist leaders since the Armistice by consulting his most distinguished relative, Mr. Arthur, Balfour, who, of all living Englishmen, I will venture to say, by his record in history, will most command the confidence of the country in dealing with Irish problems. And when the noble Duke says the Government feel shame and dishonour, I say that to speak of statesmen like Mr. Walter Long and Mr. Arthur Balfour, who have grown grey in loyal service to the Union, and to say that they must be feeling, or ought to be feeling to-day, sentiments of shame and dishonour, is to use language which will be repudiated by the whole of the generations earlier than that of the noble Duke which fought with them, shared their successes and, at times, mourned their reverses.

We have so far failed. Nothing is to be gained by attempting to attenuate the extent or the gravity of that failure. We are challenged to-day by forces which can only, so far as their origin is concerned, be obscurely affiliated with the movement of which the noble Duke speaks with so much eloquence. I am not one to deny that Bolshevik influence and Bolshevik propaganda have played a great and growing part in the situation of Ireland. It is, on the contrary, obvious that they have played such a part. It would have been highly surprising if they had not played such a part, because it is almost elementary that in every part of the British Empire in which the opportunity for revolutionary activity has presented itself since the Armistice, and indeed for some considerable period before the Armistice, the revolutionary forces of the world, recognising, as one speaker quite truly said, that the traditional, historic home of stability and order in the world finds its centre and heart in these Islands, have exerted all their power and all their ingenuity to strike at these Islands, or any part of the outlying Dominions, where as it seems at the moment the most final and destructive blow might be aimed.

Undoubtedly India, Egypt and Ireland have been marked out by those who have set before themselves the object of effecting the world's subjugation and of gradually substituting for those varied and ordered systems of Government which civilisation has adopted for centuries, and which we believe the world has finally assented to, a rule of dictatorship by a few men, seizing by violence the reins of power and holding them when seized by continued acts of murder and violence. Such a scheme, as the noble Duke has pointed out, is undoubtedly in progress throughout the world. It has its supporters in every country in the world. It has its supporters in these Islands. It had many supporters in these Islands in the course of the Napoleonic Wars and in the anxious years of our history which immediately followed upon the Battle of Waterloo.

I pass to the Motion which the noble Duke has put forward. He has moved to resolve—
"That this House deplores the failure of the Government to warn the public of the true character of the revolutionary movement in Ireland, and of the international influences that are behind it—"
That is the first limb of the noble Duke's Motion. The second is in these terms—
"and urges them to appeal for the united support of the nation in this crisis"
If the noble Duke's Motion had been limited to its closing words, "that the House urges the Government to appeal for the united support of the nation in this crisis," there is no member of this House who would not have warmly welcomed it, and who would have not stated the view that the noble Duke had rendered a great public service in once again directing attention to this matter. But when I address myself to the first limb of this Motion I find that, the House is invited to pass a vote of censure upon the Government because they have failed to warn the public of the true character of the revolutionary movement in Ireland. I have no means of judging what course your Lordships will think it proper to take, but I confess I should be sorry if your Lordships thought this was a proper justification for passing a Vote of censure upon the Government, or if I thought—and I am sure that this will count much more in your minds—that any useful public service would be served if at this crisis in our fortunes your Lordships, who share equally with the Government the desire to maintain or restore law and order, should be exhibited as voting in one Lobby, while the Government, who have these responsibilities to bear, are voting in the other. I say, in passing, that I doubt Whether any great public purpose would be served by such a demonstration. I doubt still more whether the slightest justification in fact exists for your Lordships taking such a course.

I do not know whether the noble Duke, who has had the good fortune to labour under somewhat less responsibility since the Peace than some of us, has reflected in cool perspective upon the matters which he says the Government ought to have done. The Government, apparently, ought to have warned the public of the true character of the revolutionary movement in Ireland. Enough has been said in the course of the debate to show that any such statement as the noble Duke desires would certainly have been very crude and, I venture to think, by no means accurate. It simply is not true to say that the whole Irish movement is Bolshevist in its character. Such a statement has no contact with known and admitted facts.

I listened to the noble Duke with deep attention, and I and subsequent speakers who commented on the same fact certainly derived the impression that the noble Duke meant to imply that the movement in Ireland at this moment was overwhelmingly Bolshevist in its character. The noble Duke certainly meant that it was revolutionary in its object.

The noble Duke says it is controlled by the. Bolshevist element, but he must mean a little more than that, because he actually proposed to censure the Government because we have not warned the public of the true character of the revolutionary movement in Ireland. I take the view that the particular gang who are devoting themselves to the purposes of murder in Ireland are entirely revolutionary in their motives, and it may well be that they are being financed with money which is supplied from Bolshevist sources. These things are very difficult to prove, because the degree of cunning and ingenuity which are exercised in avoiding detection are very remarkable. But I am quite prepared to take the view that, so far as the criminals and those who directly protect the criminals are concerned, their activities have a revolutionary and a Bolshevist origin, and that many of their funds are derived from Bolshevist sources. But I cannot quite understand what it is that the noble Duke thinks that the Government ought to have done which they have not done. I have been under the painful duty—the recurrently painful duty—of attempting to justify that which the Government has done and has left undone, and the tragedy of that which happens every week makes such a task recurrently painful. I can truthfully say that, having represented the Government in this House for now a period of some nineteen months, I have never, so far as I know, spoken upon the Irish question without making plain, with every language of emphasis that was at my command, how grave I thought the situation was. And I have more than once gone out of my way to manufacture an occasion, when some Bill apparently insignificant but dealing with Ireland was under discussion to rise and render the debate more general in its scope.

The noble Duke—it was unlike him, for it was hardly generous—said, speaking about the Prime Minister, there was a time when a policy was to be developed of robbing hen-roosts, when the Prime Minister could go all over the country and exhibit his persuasive eloquence to the masses, but that was when it was a question—I forget the exact words, but the suggestion undoubtedly was of toadying to Labour. I do not think the noble Duke could have employed that language if he had reflected upon the burdens which the Prime Minister has borne in the course of the last three or four years. And if the noble Duke did not think it right to remember how great and how unceasing were those burdens during the whole course of the war I think he might still have remembered what their extent has been since the day on which the Armistice was signed. Surely the noble Duke has not failed to see that one day the presence of the Prime Minister is imperatively demanded at Spa; on another occasion M. Millerand, responding to the desire and the conviction of the whole French nation that they must yet again meet immediately, comes to Boulogne and the Prime Minister must go there; and then he goes again on the Continent leaving to others decisions and responsibilities, and immediately on his return he must be confronted by deputations, and must meet and justify his policy in the House of Commons. When the noble Duke, in contrast with the activities of the Prime Minister when he was merely Chancellor of the Exchequer in pre-war days and when he was developing and justifying a political policy to the nation, says that he ought to go and address political meetings in this country now, and apparently founds a censure upon it, I must confess it seems to me a very astonishing suggestion.

I may add this, that if the noble Duke means that we have not employed every resource which is open to us in the Press to make it known how gravely we think this situation, the noble Duke is again in error. Our resources in the Press, so far as 1 am in a position to form a judgment, are by no means universal in their scope. But as I have had the duty for some considerable time of being a member of the Committee which was called into existence by the Cabinet some time ago in order to keep in touch with the Irish Government and to make any suggestions that occurred to us—a responsibility which I share with the First Lord of the Admiralty and Mr. Arthur Balfour—it is a point on which I have some knowledge, and I may assure the noble Duke that every effort it has been in our power to make to persuade the Press to bring home to the people of this country the gravity of the situation in which we find ourselves, has been made; nothing has been left undone. I am sure the noble Duke reads the speeches that are made in the House of Commons, and I recollect no occasion since Mr. Macpherson became Chief Secretary the period when this crisis began to make itself felt on which there has been the slightest attempt made in the House of Commons to conceal the gravity of the menace by which we are confronted in Ireland to-day. That has not been challenged even in the alarmist speeches which we have heard to-day.

My Lords, I speak quite plainly when I say that in my judgment our capacity to maintain the security and integrity of this Empire, and therefore our capacity to retain all the glory, all the security, all the material advantage of which this treaty affords us a prospect—all these will be lost if we are unable to make it plain that we are the masters of our own house in Ireland, that we will again restore and make effective the King's Courts, and that we will bring murderers and assassins to justice. I say plainly that it should be accounted to us as failure every day until that task is achieved, and a cause for a feeling of immense depression if we finally fail. But let us hear nothing of shame and dishonour when the only fault that the noble Duke asserts on the Paper is the failure of the Government to warn the public of the true character of the revolutionary movement in Ireland. Be this remembered by those who are very much concerned—I am not speaking of your Lordships, who have been very indulgent during a very trying period—and who have been very ready to criticise the Government elsewhere, that after all the justification of such criticism must depend entirely upon the difficulty of the task with which the Government has been confronted. It is a task so difficult that, so far as my knowledge of history goes, no civilised Government in the whole world has ever been faced with a difficulty of this kind upon quite so large a scale. What is the difficulty? The noble Duke said tonight that there is a state of war. That is entirely wrong; there is a state of onesided war. If it was a state of war the problem would indeed be simple of solution. But what happens now to the Ministers of the Government in Ireland? Every adherent of this criminal conspiracy holds himself to be at liberty, by virtue of the superstition shared by the noble Duke that there is a state of war, to shoot every policeman and every English soldier the moment he meets him. But how about the English soldiers and the policemen who, on the hypothesis that there is a state of war, can give a very good account of themselves? If there is even a suspicion that a policeman or an English soldier has retaliated there is a scream throughout all Southern Ireland, and a coroner's jury brings in a verdict of murder against the Constabulary and the Prime Minister. That is not war.

The noble Duke made no allowance for the nature of the task with which the Executive is confronted for the first time in history, a task that Imperial Rome herself never had to face. Your Lordships will remember many cases of the shooting of brave men by those who are their own fellow-countrymen, particularly that of a Roman Catholic who was killed at the very moment when he put the sacrificial water upon his brow. If he finds people who are fiendish enough to do those kind of things, to do them in lonely streets and villages, choosing their own time, the noble Duke must not turn to any Government—I care not whether it is this Government, or their successors—and say that because they have not put this down, because they have not succeeded in dealing with mischief which no civilised Executive has ever had to face in the history of the world, therefore they must be branded with shame and dishonour. It seems to me we might have looked for a little sympathy from the noble Duke and for a few practical suggestions in a speech which consumed, and which we were all very glad should consume, over an hour of your Lordships time. It is by no means time thrown away, but I should have thought that in the course of so exhaustive a contribution to this debate he might have let fall at least one sentence which the Chief Secretary for Ireland, harrassed as he is, living amid daily and growing peril as he is, might have carried with him back to Dublin when he leaves to-day or tomorrow or whenever it may be. He might have said something of which the Chief Secretary could say, "I read a speech by the Duke of Northumberland which took over an hour to deliver, and 1 am glad I read it so carefully because he has made at least three or four practical suggestions from which I shall derive great help, or some help, in alleviation of that task in which daily and hourly I risk my life."

I listened to the speech of the noble Duke—I did not miss a sentence or a word of it—and I would ask any one of your Lordships who reads it to-morrow to find in it one helpful word in the task and in the perplexities which confront the Government to-day. Let me tell the noble Duke and others who are enthusiastic how they could help the Government more, I think, than by delivering historic or political disquisitions on matters on which generalisations are extremely unsafe. For instance, it is extremely unsafe when the noble Duke quotes a speech made by the head of a great trade union in circumstances of which I know nothing, and then asks your Lordships to label the whole of that trade union on the strength of that individual speech. To suppose, because Mr. Smillie makes a speech on one occasion, that it represents the views of the whole of the trade union of which Mr. Smillie is the head—

I did not say that. I mentioned the executive of the Miners' Federation particularly. I did not say trade union.

Even so, and put in that way, I think the statement made by the noble Duke is inaccurate. When Mr. Smillie makes a speech it is fair to assume, and it very likely corresponds with the facts, that it represents the views of the executive, but in the face of the generalisation which the noble Duke made I do not think he is correct. Your Lordships must remember, as the Marquess of Crewe said, and I am very glad he did, the immense encouragement which was given by the action of the members of trade unions in the course of the crisis in which we have been placed in the last five years. The difficulty in regard to these very coal miners was not to persuade them to recruit but to prevent them from recruiting, to prevent them weakening the coal trade.

It is due to the spirit and tradition of our race to say that, however grave this crisis may be, we must not make ourselves the slaves of pessimism. In the last five years we have passed through moments of very great danger. There was a moment when it was believed, by persons highly placed in our combatant services, that we could not survive the perils of the submarine campaign. At a later stage many who were competent to offer advice believed that the fortunes of battle on the Western Front must end in our destruction. The destiny of this people proved itself able to support these grave perils, and the true heart of this strong people never failed at these critical moments.

I have affirmed in your Lordships House before, and I affirm it again, that if the people of this country realised the character and extent of the crime which prevails in Ireland—the great service which those who possess the ability and the power of clear expression can render would be to help us to do what we have exhausted every effort to do, that is make it known to the men of this country, the officers who served in the late war: there are many young officers whose valour has been asserted on many fields and whose health, happily, is still unimpaired—if they realised that in fighting there, and in supporting the members of the police there, they are sustaining and supporting the cause of the Empire as directly as in the trenches in France, I cannot doubt that there would be sufficient response. The Prime Minister said, in answer to the deputation, that we want thousands. Let it be made widely known that we want thousands; that there is a career of gallant service to the Empire to be rendered by men who will say, "Irishmen are being foully done to death by assassins in Ireland. I will go and help them." There is no limit to the numbers we will take, and no limit to the services which they can render. I cannot help thinking that, while no one will regret this debate which the noble Duke has initiated, your Lordships will hesitate, in the light of the observations I have ventured to make, before even presenting the appearance of adding to the embarrassments which confront the Irish Government to-day.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Ministry Of Mines Bill

House again in Committee (according to Order).

[The EARL OF DONOUGEMORE in the Chair.]

Clause 18:

Cessation of Part II in certain eventualities.

18. If at the expiration of one year from the passing of this Act it appears to the Board of Trade, on the recommendation of the Minister of Mines, that the scheme of this Part of the Act has been rendered abortive by reason of the failure on the part of those entitled to appoint representatives as members of the pit and district committees, area boards, and the National Board to avail themselves of such right, the Board of Trade shall issue and publish in the London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Gazettes a certificate to that effect, and thereupon all the provisions of this Part of the Act shall cease to have effect.

moved to delete "shall issue and publish in the London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Gazettes a certificate to that effect, and thereupon all," and to substitute" lay a report of the facts before Parliament, and thereupon, if a resolution is passed by both Houses of Parliament that".

The noble Marquess said: I am afraid your Lordships will think I am presuming too much on your attention in again addressing you although upon a matter which does not require the vigorous statement which the last debate seemed to call for. Your Lordships will remember that Clause 18 was introduced into the Bill in the House of Commons in order to meet a difficulty which presented itself. This Bill was not very well received by the miners representatives. I do not wish to associate myself with their criticisms but I regret that they are, apparently, opposed to Part II of the Bill, and intimated not only that they would take no part in the discussion but that they would not work it when passed into law. Part II is really the very essence of the Bill as it provides that the miners representatives should serve upon the several committees provided—the pit committees, district. committees, area committees, and the National Board.

I think that when the Bill comes to be worked that it would be found to be too elaborate, at any rate too elaborate to start with. The Government would have done far better to have been content with one or two committees instead of four. However, that is hardly germane to my Amendment. My Amendment deals with the method which the Government have adopted in order to answer the threat of the miners not to work the Bill. I think the Government, so far, arrived at a just conclusion. It would be impossible to work Part II of the Bill unless the miners to-operated and they propose that when the miners have refused to work the Bill that the President of the Board of Trade should have the function of putting an end to Part II. I think that is an undue power to give to a Minister. After all Part II will then be an Act of Parliament, a very important part. of a very important Act, and to give to the Minister alone by his own ipse dixit the right to put an end to the operation of Part II seems to me a very strange, almost an unprecedented, proposal. The noble Viscount is so often armed with precedents with which to confute me that he may, if I may say so, have one up his sleeve.

The last one was not a very good one. Perhaps it is hardly respectable to talk about noble Lords having "anything up their sleeves." Let me say "in reserve." The position may very well be a difficult one. If it was a perfectly simple decision that no miners had been willing to accept and work the Bill then I agree that it does not much matter in whose authority you trust it, because it is obvious that Part II could not then be worked. But it may be a rather difficult point to decide whether or not the miners have in effect and in fact declined to work that part of the Bill, and if that is so—if it is a difficult point to decide, and it may be—I submit that it would be very improper for the Minister alone to have the right to put an end to an important part of an Act of Parliament. The proposal I make—I had hoped that the Government would have accepted it because it really is an attempt to improve the machinery of the Bill—is that upon the event happening, then the authority to decide whether the Act should be put an end to should be both Houses of Parliament by Resolution. That would seem to me to be a proper way of treating it. Then the responsibility would lie upon your Lordships' House and the House of Commons and not be vested in a Ministry. I do not know after the somewhat heated character of our recent discussion whether I might very respectfully suggest that it is not quite certain when this issue comes to be settled that the present Ministers will be in office. There might be a different Minister at the Board of Trade and one very different from my noble friend, in whom I have every confidence and one to whom many of your Lordships would not like to see so vital a power entrusted without power of appeal. Therefore I suggest that the proper course is to leave it to both Houses of Parliament, and I hope the Government will accept my Amendment.

Amendment moved—

Page 13, lines 15 and 16, leave out from ("shall") to ("the") in line 16 and insert ("lay a report of the facts before Parliament, and thereupon, if a resolution is passed by both Houses of Parliament that").—(The Marquess of Salisbury.)

I do not know if I might ask the noble Viscount a question before he replies to the speech of the noble Marquess. It is as to what is intended by the words of the section, "that the scheme of this Part of the Act has been rendered abortive." I think before we come to a decision on the principle as to whether it should be left to the judgment of the two Houses of Parliament, or to the judgment of a Minister of the Crown on the recommendation of a Parliamentary Secretary or a Minister of Mines, that we should know what is really intended to be conveyed by these words. It is quite conceivable that the miners might in a majority of cases not support by a majority the formation of pit committees, and yet it is conceivable that the other three bodies, the district committee, the area board and the National Board, might be accepted. In that event, although the pit committees were not in operation, would it be regarded that the scheme had become abortive when one particular class of committee had not been generally adopted in the country? Or I might take another case which is more probable, having regard to the attitude announced by the men. The district committees in Clause 11, which deal with wages, might not be supported by the men, although they might be quite prepared to follow out the Regulations which would function the pit committees, the area committees, and the National Board. Now I want to know whether in the mind of the Government they think that the scheme, as a whole, must practically be put into operation, and, if it is not put into operation as a whole, it would then become abortive. My own feeling inclines to the view that either one thing or the other will take place, and that there will not be a very delicate question for either the Minister or Parliament to decide, as to whether these provisions in Part II of the Bill have become abortive or not; but of course it is conceivable that it might be a delicate point.

My inclination is to leave it to the judgment of an individual who has been responsible for the functioning of these various bodies rather than to the two Houses of Parliament, and I will give this as my reason, that in the event of it not having been functioned there must be a good deal of controversy raised as to why Part II has not been put into operation, and pressure would be placed upon the Government in Parliament by a section of Peers and by representatives of constituencies in another place, which might raise awkward questions, such as questions relating to nationalisation, which I think in the interest of general harmony ought to be avoided. I should like, however, to hear what the noble Viscount has to say before I come to a definite conclusion as to whether I can support the Amendment or not.

The noble Marquess raises a question as to whether this power of deciding whether Part II of the Bill, and the schemes under it, have been abortive or not, should be left to the decision of a Minister. He thinks that it is too large a matter to be felt to the decision of a Minister, and that it should be decided by a Report placed before both Houses of Parliament. Of course the principle that Parliament has really decided in Clause 18 is that in certain circumstances Part II shall not be worked, because as the noble Marquess knows, really a certain portion of the Bill—the questions of the setting up of all these committees, their representation and the corresponding duty of the Minister, if he approves, of giving them really formal acceptance and making them definite and compulsory—all that portion of the Bill is really bound up with the existence of these committees and must either stand or fall as a whole. Therefore Parliament is saying that in certain circumstances these committees shall not longer function, and this portion of the Bill shall be dead, because I think he agrees that it would be inadvisable that this kind of scheme should be left waiting for a long time, and that if it is not accepted say in twelve months it cannot go on, and the management of the industry must take a different line. That is definitely settled by Parliament, and all Parliament says is that the duty of deciding that question of fact, whether that portion of the Bill is abortive, shall be left to the decision of the Minister of Mines.

I should be very glad if the noble Viscount will tell us what would happen in this case? Supposing the miners were prepared to work it in half the pits but not in the other half, or were prepared to work it in three-fourths of the pits and not in the remainder, what would then happen?

I was going to discuss that a little later in reply to Lord Gainford. I thought that would be the second part of what I was going to state. I am now really on the question whether this duty should or should not be entrusted to the Minister of Mines, and I only wish to point out one or two reasons why your Lordships should not accept the Amendment. The Minister of Mines and the persons working under him would be the persons most competent to form an opinion on this question because they would be working the whole measure and in touch with the industry, and all the information which the Government have and could lay before Parliament would really come from the Ministry of Mines.

I think the great objection to saying that this Part II should not be abortive until both Houses of Parliament have passed a Resolution is this, that the whole object, or at all events the great object, of this Bill is to produce some peace and harmony in the coal industry, and if, unfortunately, these schemes do not work, and if they have to be declared abortive, we will say at the end of the year, there would, of course, have occurred a great deal of discussion and trouble already as to the causes why it had, or had not, been worked.

Is it in the interests of the industry itself, and of harmony, that all these questions shall be debated afresh in Parliament, and that the whole question shall come before it, and everything connected with nationalisation, and all these questions which by that time might be to some extent slumbering, should be wakened up by this question being brought before Parliament and debated. I suggest that it is not always a good thing to have a debate in Parliament. The noble Marquess is a Parliamentarian, and, in a humble way, I suppose I am myself, and we all like Parliamentary debate and want to discuss everything we can. But to be constantly discussing a problem is not always of value to the nation.

These discussions are not always valuable to the nation. To have these questions debated again in Parliament in the short space of a year would, I suggest, be of very little value to the general peace of the country, and certainly not to the peace of the coal industry. I am very much impressed by the strong support on that point which came from the noble Lord, Lord Gainford, who speaks with such knowledge on this subject.

The other point put is a more difficult one. The question asked by Lord Gainford and pressed by the noble Marquess was, "How many committees are you to establish in order to decide whether there has been or has not been a failure to establish the scheme?" and the specific point put was this. Supposing the pit committees did not work, and supposing the district and area committees and the National Board are set up, would you then consider that the scheme has failed? I think it is quite clear that no one then would consider that the scheme had failed, because far more important duties are performed by the district and area committees and by the National Board than by the pit committees. First the committees make representations and then those representations can be put into force if assented to by time Minister. Therefore, their action is not only on wider subjects than those dealt with by pit committees but has much more operative effect. The pit committees no doubt will be of very great value in making suggestions and in giving advice to the management or to the miners in a particular mine, but they are for a small area and of limited importance compared with the much greater importance of the other committees. Therefore I think the answer that I should give on behalf of the Minister to the noble Lord on that point is that it would not be necessary to consider that the scheme has failed because a number of pit committees had not been set up.

The other question is, I think, a little harder to reply to. It is whether, if certain districts fail to set up their committees we should regard the scheme generally as having failed. It is rather difficult beforehand to define, without knowledge of the circumstances existing at the time, the precise extent to which there might be a shortage in certain committees. But I think the real answer was given by the noble. Lord himself when, speaking with his knowledge of the trade, he said that it will not be a matter of defining with great subtlety or by very careful weighing whether or not the scheme has failed. The scheme will either succeed or it will fail. And there will be a general disposition on the part of the miners to work it, or a general disposition on their part not to work it. The Minister will not go into an elaborate set of calculations as to whether here there is a committee and there there is a committee, but will have only to register what will be a patent fact to everybody—that the scheme has either been a success or it has been a failure. That really is the answer I think that I should make to the inquiry. It really becomes less necessary than ever for Parliament to engage in interminable discussions on the position of the industry. Parliament is, wisely I think, leaving it to the Minister simply to be the recorder of what only will be an accomplished fact.

I am sorry the noble Viscount has taken that line. I do not think that he has grappled with the immense difficulty that his answer presents to us. He says it will be patent to everybody. Does he really think that?

Surely it will not be patent at all? And as to its escaping discussion in either House of Parliament, he is under a delusion. He thinks that by leaving it to the Minister the whole will be settled privately without anybody's attention being called to it, and that it will be passed sub silentio. Does the noble Viscount really think that? On the contrary, I think the Minister will be exposed to every kind of pressure in another place. There will be all sorts of irregular pressure—I do not mean improper pressure, but pressure on the floor of the House, and pressure of every kind.

The difference between the noble Viscount's proposal and mine is this—that mine will leave the definite decision to both Houses of Parliament. It will not be decided merely by the pressure of some interested group. The kind of pressure that you might usually get would be that vigorous Members of Parliament would say to the Minister, "Look here, unless you agree to suspend this part of the Act or not to suspend it, we will keep you a week longer in August." The noble Viscount knows well that that kind of pressure may be exercised. If the Government accepted my Amendment the matter would be brought to a definite test, and if there was a majority in both Houses of Parliament for the suspension the suspension would take place. If that were done the Minister would be immensely relieved, and he would not be the target of such pressure as that to which I have referred. He would say, "If you can persuade the House of Commons and the House of Lords to do it, by all means let it be done." He would be relieved of all kinds of pressure.

I am rather afraid that if I put your Lordships to the trouble of a division the result would be that we should not be able to proceed any further with the Bill this evening, because I observe the attendance in the House is not very large. I do not want to do that. and I suggest to the Government that they should promise to consider this. If they will do that between now and the next stage of the Bill, I would be satisfied with that. I think if the noble Viscount would refer it again to the Minister he might then think, in the light of the observations which I have ventured to submit to the House, that this clause as it stands ought to be amended, and I hope that he will do that.

I am not at all in favour of the proposal of the noble Marquess. The miners on the whole will either accept the Bill or will refuse to accept it. If they do not accept the Bill the probability is that they will take no part in any committees. Suppose, however, that some districts accept the conditions and others do not. In such an event the Minister would probably say, "Let those districts that wish to have the benefit of these committees have them, and let the other parts of the country use the committees that are already in existence." We have now some excellent committees. We have not a pit committee like this, but every mine manager has the checkweighman accompanied by several representatives of the union to approach and discuss with him, whenever they like to do so, any matters which concern them. I think that it would be very much better if it is left in the hands of the Minister to decide. I have been connected with Parliament for a very long time, and I know perfectly well that once you introduce any particular question into Parliament you never know where it ends. I think it would be very much better to leave the matter as it is in the Bill and allow the Minister an opportunity of making the final decision.

Before my noble friend replies I should like to suggest to him that there is another view differing from that which has just been put forward. A great many of us think that all this trouble has arisen from the fact that the matter has not been discussed in Parliament but in an irregular fashion by the Prime Minister and other Ministers with the representatives of Labour. Many of us think that it is the absence of Parliamentary discussion and control which is responsible for much of the present trouble.

May I also further suggest that Parliament and the whole country has a very great interest in any scheme which is meant to provide more harmonious working in this particular trade and, in fact, in any other trade, and that it is because of the great interest of Parliament and the people in this, question that there is rather a special case to be made for bringing it before Parliament before it is actually decided? It would only come before Parliament in the sense that there was a doubt. If there was a doubt it would arise from the fact that. the scheme was working partly, that certain initial difficulties had been met, and that there might be great hope of an improvement in the working if it were continued. I think Parliament has a practical interest in the matter.

I am certainly quite ready, as the noble Marquess presses it, to reconsider the point again before Report. There is, of course, a great deal to be said on both sides in a case of this kind. I should like, to say, though not by way of suggestion, the noble Marquess is rather forcing discussion on Parliament because, according to his drafting, the Report cannot be acted upon until both Houses have passed a Resolution in its favour. That is forcing discussion upon Parliament, even supposing Parliament does not want to discuss it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 18 agreed to.

Clause 19:

Schemes as to drainage.

19.—(1) It shall be lawful for the Minister of Mines after consultation with a district committee or area board or holding such other inquiry as he may think fit, and subject to the approval of the Board of Trade, to make schemes with respect to any group of mines as to the drainage thereof, and as to the apportionment as between the owners of the mines in question of any expenditure for a common purpose that may be required by any such scheme, and any such scheme may amend or repeal any local Act of Parliament in connexion with such drainage.

(2) The provisions of section eighty-six and Part I of the Second Schedule to the Coal Mines Act, 1911, which relate to general regulations shall apply with the necessary modifications to schemes under this section.

moved, in subsection (1), to leave out "area board" and insert "committees concerned." The noble Lord said: The Amendments which I move on this clause involve a technical point. There is a provision in subsection (1) that "any such scheme may amend or repeal any local Act of Parliament in connection with such drainage." So far as the coal trade are aware, there is one such scheme in existence to which it relates, and that is in South Staffordshire. That coal field has made representations to the Coal Controller, and I understand the Government have met it to the extent covered by the words which I have put on the Paper. If your Lordships wish it I can go into the matter, but as an arrangement has been made between the Government and the only party concerned perhaps it is not necessary to say anything further.

Amendment moved—

Page 13, line 21, leave out ("area hoard") and insert ("committees").—(Lord Gainford.)

I accept the Amendment. There are also, I think, drafting Amendments which might be made.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Amendments moved—

Page 13, line 29, after subsection (1), insert the following new subsection:

("() For this purpose the Minister may adopt with or without modifications any scheme relating to the drainage of any group or mines proposed by all or any of the owners of such mines.")

Page 13, line 30, after("eighty-six") insert ("and one hundred and seventeen of").— (Lord Gainford.)

On Question, Amendments agreed to.

Clause 19, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 20:

I have in manuscript a drafting Amendment, which I desire to move on this clause.

Amendment moved—

Page 13, lines 34 and 35 leave out ("and eighty-seven") and insert ("eighty-seven and one hundred and seventeen").—(Viscount Peel.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 20, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 21:

Establishment of fund for improvement of social conditions of colliery workers:

21.—(1) There shall be constituted a fund to be applied for such purposes connected with the social well-being, recreation, and conditions of living of workers in or about coal mines and with mining education and research as the Minister of Mines, after consultation with any Government Department concerned, and subject to the consent of the Board of Trade, may approve.

(2) The owners of every coal mine shall before the thirty-first day of March nineteen hundred and twenty-one, and before the same day in each of the subsequent five years, pay into the said fund a sum equal to one penny a ton of the output of the mine during the previous calendar year, and the sums so payable in respect of any mine shall be defrayed as part of the working expenses of the mine and shall be recoverable either as a debt due to the Crown or by the Minister of Mines summarily as a civil debt:

Provided that in the case of the first payment the amount shall be calculated with reference to the output during the six calendar months ending the thirty-first day of December nineteen hundred and twenty.

(3) The duty of allocating the money from time to time standing to the credit of the said fund to the several purposes aforesaid shall be vested in a committee consisting of five persons, appointed by the Minister of Mines, of whom one shall be appointed by him after consultation with the Mining Association of Great. Britain, and another after consultation with the Miners. Federation of Great Britain. The committee shall have the assistance of three assessors appointed by the Minister of Health, the Board of Education and the Secretary for Scotland respectively; the assessors Shall have the right of attending meetings of the committee and of taking part in the deliberations thereof, but not of voting; and different persons may be appointed by the above-mentioned departments to act as assessors in relation to different matters.

(4) The committee may invite a local authority to submit a scheme for any of the purposes to which the fund may be applied, and if such scheme be approved by the committee they may make such grants in aid to the said local authority out of the fund and upon such conditions as may seem to them desirable:

Provided that in no case shall any grant be made out of the fund for building or repairing of dwelling-houses.

(5) Payments out of and into the fund, and all other matters relating to the fund, and moneys standing to the credit of the fund (including temporary investments thereof) shall lx made and regulated in such manner as the Minister of Mines, subject to the approval of the Treasury, may direct.

(6) The Minister of Mines shall in each year cause an account to be prepared and transmitted to the Comptroller and Auditor-General for examination showing the receipts into and issues out of the said fund in the financial year ended the thirty-first day of March preceding, and the Comptroller and Auditor-General shall certify and report. upon the same, and such account and report shall be laid before Parliament by the Minister of Mines.

In connection with the several Amendments to this clause which stand on the Paper in the name of Lord Joicey and myself, perhaps I may be allowed to say that we have discussed our proposals with the representatives of the Government and it has been pointed out to us that, while we are very anxious that the money raised in a locality for the purposes defined in Clause 21 should be spent in the locality, it may be desirable not to tie ourselves too tightly to that principle. It is suggested that there might be certain objects of national importance in connection with higher research work for mining at one of the great universities which would be matters of national interest to which we should all be called upon to contribute. Therefore, although we are anxious that schemes should be arranged in the locality and that they should be considered fairly on their merits, we do not desire absolutely to tie the Government to spending all the money in the locality in which it may be raised. The words which have been agreed to, so far as Lord Joicey and myself are able to represent the trade, are those standing in the name of my noble friend beginning. "Provided that," to be inserted after subsection (3),

moved, after subsection (3), to insert the following proviso—

"Provided that the committee shall take into consideration any scheme submitted by a district, committee and that before allocating any money for a local purpose, they shall consult with the district committee concerned."
The noble Lord said: I think this is a very proper proposal. Of course it is very necessary that the district committee should have some knowledge of any scheme and any expenditure that is going to take place—

Amendment moved—

Page 14, line 41, at end insert the said proviso.—(Lord Joicey.)

I am afraid I must dissent from the arrangement which has been come to. I do not value Lord Joicey's Amendment very highly, although no doubt it goes a certain way, and I think I should have been much better satisfied had I known that there was to be some kind of arrangement between the noble Lord behind me (Lord Gainford) and the Government. The Amendment is of the vaguest type, and it is such a trivial matter that it is hardly worth putting in. I recognise that there may be some special case where it would be wiser to go outside the district, but, if drafting could be arranged of a description which would cover that, perhaps it might be considered. But broadly, it is not right that the money which is collected in one part of the United Kingdom should be expended in another part of the United Kingdom for a purpose of this kind. The effect will be that it will be looked upon simply as an ordinary tax, and there will be none of the moral effect, which is what one desires to have; people should realise that an industry like the coal industry is responsible for the well-being of its employees. That is a valuable principle, which I should like to have seen enacted. I would not confine it to the pit—that would be too small; but the district would be a very reasonable unit; this contribution raised from the coal gotten should be expended in a particular district for the well-being of the employees. This proposal, however, is really a national proposal. It is a method of raising a very large sum of money, which may be expended in any sort of way all over the Kingdom, and I think it would not have a very good effect. It would really minister to the idea that all these things should be done upon a national basis. That is exactly what we want to avoid. We want to maintain local freedom. I do not propose to resist the Amendment, but I am afraid I think it of very little value, and I must reserve to myself the right to recur to this matter on the Report stage. On the other hand, I should have liked to support an Amendment which we have now passed in the name of Lord Gainford, if he had moved it.

I would ask my noble friend to consider the principle of this matter. As the Bill stands at present, supposing a Labour Government came into power I imagine they might use the whole of this fund to support their Labour colleges, which are entirely devoted to the cultivation of the doctrines of Karl Marx and the nationalisation theory; whereas this fund is intended for the direct personal benefit of the miners engaged in the operation of coal mining. It would he quite possible, while limiting the application of the fund to the kind of area that my noble friend suggested, to leave an opening for that kind of utilisation of the fund to which Lord Gainford referred.

I think it would be entirely contrary to the scope of Clause 21 if a Labour Government desired to devote the whole of this mining fund to Labour colleges; we could hardly say that they were purposes connected with recreation, conditions of living, and social well-being.

And then, the education is wholly limited to mining education and research. Surely the committee of five who manage this business could hardly so pervert the funds so allocated as to use them entirely for Labour purposes.

I do not see that this Amendment really affects the question of the national expenditure of the money, as noble Lords think, because, after all, it simply gives power for a district committee to submit a scheme, if they think fit, and they know the requirements of the locality far better than anybody else. Before they allot anything for local purposes they must consider such a scheme. I do not think there is anything unreasonable about that. I do not think that your insisting upon this money being dealt with in a national way would enable them to put up a Labour college. I believe that in the county of Durham, the county council having got rid of everybody who is connected with mines, there is some thought of putting up a Labour college out of the rates. Whether they can do that or not I do not know. However, to some extent they might have a power of dealing with it, if the money were dealt with in a national way. But I feel sure that those who have the power of dealing with this money will treat local requirements in a fair way. The only reason why I should like to see some power given to make it a national expenditure is that some scientific professors might be appointed to the local colleges. For instance, in Durham we have a very fine college, and it would be a very good thing if you could either assist or appoint some scientific man to endeavour to bring information into the mining industry. It is the same in Manchester and various other places. I think really there is no serious objection to the Amendment.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

We now come to two alternative Amendments on the Paper, one in my name and another in the name of Lord Joicey, and I think, on the whole, Lord Joicey's is the better Amendment, as it provides for the maintenance of baths after the termination of powers conferred in this Bill. The importance of this question is that the section dealing with the supply of baths under the Coal Mines Act, 1911, has to a large extent become absolutely inoperative, and it is with a view of enabling baths to be put up and to be supplied under the provisions of Clause 21 that it is suggested it would be an advantage, with a view to establishing baths in at any rate certain districts, that this provision should be inserted.

I move, after subsection (4), to insert the following new sub-section—

"(5) Where money is allocated for the purpose of meeting the cost in whole or in part of providing accommodation and facilities at a coal mine for the workmen taking baths and drying clothes, and such accommodation and facilities are so provided, section seventy-seven of the Coal Mines Act, 1911, shall apply as if such accommodation and facilities had been provided under that section, provided that (a) cost of maintenance shall not be deemed to include any interest on capital expenditure so far as that expenditure was met out of money allocated from this fund, and (b) the contribution of the workmen to the cost of maintenance shall be reduced by the proportion which the money so allocated from the fund bears to the total capital expenditure."
This Amendment is to make Section 77 of the Coal Mines Act, 1911, apply. That section provides that the men have to contribute one-half of the maintenance of the bath, which means that if any grant is made to these baths the interest upon the capital which has been given from the fund is not to be charged to working expenses but to be taken off the contribution of the men. I think it is an Amendment which is necessary.

Amendment moved—

Page 15, line 8, after subsection (4), insert the said new subsection.—(Lord Joicey.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

May I ask the noble Viscount, with regard to the proviso to subsection (4), what exactly is the object of leaving out all questions of repairs to houses? Personally, I hold very strong views that large companies ought to have the responsibility for housing their employees. To put myself in order, I will move that the words of the proviso be omitted.

I hope the noble Earl will not move that, because, strictly speaking, the last Amendment of Lord Joicey's went in after line 8. But this can be done on the Question that the Clause stand part of the Bill.

Amendment moved—

Page 15, lines 14 and 21, omit the words ("Minister of Mines").—(Viscount Peel.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

On Question, That Clause 21 stand part of the Bill—

Might I be allowed to repeat the question I have already asked? Perhaps the noble Viscount will explain why the proviso I referred to has been inserted.

With regard to the point raised by the noble Earl, Lord Midleton, a good many mine owners have a great objection to this money being applied to building houses. Mine owners are accustomed to provide houses for their men. For instance, in Northumberland and Durham we supply free houses, and we have the very greatest objection to giving our money for the purpose of building houses for people in other parts of the country who may be our competitors and who have neglected to build houses themselves. We think it would be very much better that the money should not be applied to that purpose.

On the Question that the clause stand part of the Bill, I should like to make a protest on behalf of the trade in connection with the reflection which apparently has been cast upon the trade by this provision. No other trade, I think, has ever done so much in the way of finding accommodation for their workmen as the coal mining industry has. I go further and say that there is no industry in the country, with the possible exception of the chocolate trade, in which greater interest has been taken in providing for the welfare of those who are employed in it. One objection that the coal trade have to this proposal is that it is somewhat demoralising to the men employed. Hitherto in making provision for the welfare of our men we have always had in view the question of trying to secure certain payments from the men themselves in order that they might become directly interested in expenditure which has been promoted for their welfare. Under these proposals the men are called upon to pay nothing whatsoever, but all the money is to come eventually out of the consumer's pocket, because it is to be a charge upon the industry. When an institute, for instance, has been erected in a mining village it has been usual to arrange that the men shall at any rate pay the interest on a portion of the outlay, or contribute in some form or other to the institute in which mining classes or other lectures may be given to interest and possibly to help to educate the men.

I might give many other illustrations. It is because there is a departure from that principle that I think it right to draw the attention of the Government to the fact. We feel, as a trade, that there ought not to be any reflection cast upon us, because we believe we have already done more than any other industry to spend money in connection with welfare. But we recognise the importance of attention being paid to the welfare of those whom we employ. Therefore I do not propose that this clause be omitted—I think it would be an ungenerous act on our part to do that—but at the same time I wish to make it quite clear that we think that if these kind of impositions are going to be placed compulsorily upon the coal trade they ought equally to be placed upon other industries in the country for the benefit of those employed in them.

When this clause was originally drafted it was based upon the Interim Report of the Sankey Commission, which dealt with the question of housing. In all the evidence given by the miners, housing was almost entirely discussed. The statement in the Report that housing in some colliery districts is very bad is immediately followed by a recommendation that one penny a ton, realising about £1,000,000 a year, be applied for this purpose. I would ask the noble Viscount whether it would not be possible, before the Report stage, for the Government to excise the reference to housing, and whether he could not give some clear indication as to how this money is to be spent, as the reason for it has so largely been removed. The noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, pointed out on the Second Reading that the definition of the objects was somewhat vague, and I think if the provision of housing is removed it should be possible to give some clearer indication than is at present given in the Bill as to what the new objects are.

First of all, on behalf of the Government, I take note of the observations made by Lord Gainford generally on the clause, and I will certainly convey to the Minister the pertinent criticism he had made of the way in which this fund is levied, falling solely upon the industry for the benefit of the miners.

As to the other point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Vernon, I think he complains that there is some inconsistency on the part of the Government, from the fact that originally housing was one of the chief objects for which this fund was going to be raised, whereas at present, as he very pertinently points out, housing is the one object which is entirely excluded. I understand housing was excluded for this reason. As the noble Lord very well knows, the Government has other schemes under which funds are provided for the provision of houses, and it was considered, and the argument had great weight in another place, that there was bound to be a good deal of overlapping if there were to be two sets of authorities building houses for the miners, possibly in the same district, one the local authority and another under this scheme of betterment.

Under the scheme of local authorities houses are to be built for various classes of the population including the miners, and it is thought the work ought not to be done again. That was the reason why housing was excluded. I cannot say much more as to the particular objects because they are set out generally and clearly in the clause—the social well-being, recreation, conditions of life—and the noble Lord will be able to form his own opinion as to how best the money can be spent on recreation.

Is it not possible that a certain amount of money might be available, without overlapping, towards housing, and a certain portion given toward housing men connected with the industry? It is a tenable idea that the industry should to a certain extent be responsible for the housing of the men.

It would be a most unreasonable and unfair thing to penalise the various collieries which have built houses and maintained them in good condition for their workers by taking money from these particular collieries and spending it in improving and building houses for collieries which have neglected to do their duty. I feel sure it would meet with the strongest opposition on the part of the coal industry in various places; it would only benefit those collieries which have neglected their duty. I do not think any industry does more in the way of gifts for chapels, churches, and schools than the coal industry. Let me give you one illustration. During the war the coal-owners of Durham and Northumberland allowed to the wives of the men who went to the front the free use of the house, gave them free coal, and in many cases a money contribution. I know of one company which spent £270,000 in this way, and I do not admit that the coal trade require to be mulcted in this way in order to do their duty. There may be exceptions, but as a rule the coal trade endeavour to do the best they can for the workmen.

Clause 21, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

First Schedule agreed to.

Second Schedule: Part II.

Coal Areas.

Names of Areas.Coal Districts included.
1. ScotlandFife and Clackmannan, The Lothians, Lanarkshire, and Ayrshire.
2. NorthernNorthumberland and Durham.
3.MidlandsCumberland, Lancashire, and Cheshire, North Wales, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Nottighamshire, Derbyshie, South Derbyshire, North Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, South Staffordshire and Worcestershire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Shropshire.
4. Southern Forest of Dean, Somerset, Bristol, and Kent.
5. South Wales South Wales
6. Ireland Ireland.

moved to leave out—

"2. NorthernNorthumberland and Durham"
and to insert—
"2. NorthumberlandNorthumberland.
"3. DurhamDurham"
The noble Lord said: Durham and Northumberland have been associated together in the public mind, but they are very distinct coal areas. Their coal fields are quite distinct, geologically; the character of the coal is different; the markets they obtain are different, and industrially and commercially there is no affinity between the two counties. The customs are quite separate. Conciliation boards have existed for a long time with quite separate individuals representing the owners as well as the miners, and although the two counties have been consulted as to whether they would amalgamate with a view of being placed in one district under the Bill they are to a man opposed to being driven into one district.

Amendment moved—

Page 20, line 6, leave out

("2. NorthernNorthumberland and Durham")
and insert
("2. NorthumberlandNorthumberland.
3. DurhamDurham")—

( Lord Gainford.)

In opposition to what the noble Lord has said, I think there is a great deal to be advanced in support of combining them into one area; but the noble Lord has so forcibly put his case, and he is so well acquainted with the districts themselves, that I should be very unwilling to oppose his Amendment. I am quite ready to accept the Amendment, and as a little bargain I hope he will not press the next one.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

moved, in "4 Southern," to leave out ("and Kent") and insert—

"5. KentKent"

The noble Lord said: Although I only move the Amendment pro forma I feel bound to express the views of the West of England, Somerset, Bristol, and the Forest of Dean coalfields, that they do not desire to be connected with Kent. They believe there is no affinity between them, and the

men of Kent are of the same opinion. The Kent coalfield is, of course, in an immature stage, but in ten years' time. I anticipate that the output from Kent will be very different from what it is to-day. There are, however, provisions in the Bill which will enable districts to be rearranged, and having regard to the way which the noble Viscount has met me I do not wish to press the. Amendment.

I am much obliged to the noble Lord. I do not know the precise connection between Kent and the West of England, but I do know that only about 2,000 men are engaged in the Kent collieries, and it does not seem to justify making it a separate area. When the whole area of Kent is covered with pits and collieries it may be possible to constitute it an area.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Second Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

House adjourned at ten minutes past eight o'clock till tomorrow, a quarter past three O'clock.

From Minutes Of August 5

Exmouth Urban District Council Bill Hl

Returned from the Commons, agreed to, with Amendments.

Unemployment Insurance Bill



Returned from the Commons, with the Amendments, agreed to.

Osborne's Divorce Bill Hl Shekleton's Divorce Bill Hl

Minutes of Evidence and Proceedings before this House on the Second Reading, together with the documents deposited in each case, returned from the Commons.

Erith Improvement Bill

Committed: The Committee to meet forthwith.

Southend-On-Sea Gas Bill

Reported, with Amendments.

Londonderry Corporation Bill Erith Improvement Bill

Reported, with Amendments.

Derwent Valley Water Board Bill

The King's consent signified, and Bill reported with Amendments.