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Law (Ireland) Bill. I read it many invest this gentleman, whoever he may times over in conjunction with a gentle- be, with any sort of glory by bringing man of the highest ability, character, him to the Bar; but, on the other hand, and patriotism, and I came to the con. I think that to put in motion the clusion that I was bound by every con- machinery of this House, and the ausideration of duty to support that mea- thority and dignity of the Chair, for the sure. Sir, I believe that a more tho- purpose of debarring from entering the rough measure was never introduced precincts of the House a gentleman who into Parliament. [“ Question !”] Sir, has no title to be there-except such as it is the Question. I believe that a more is possessed by every one of the 4,000,000 thorough measure was never introduced people of this Metropolis and by the into Parliament; and I have no doubt | 34,000,000 people of this Realm would it will be carried through by the Go be an operation too great, too serious, vernment and the Liberal Party un for the end at which it aims; and, con. flinchingly, and without allowing its sequently, I should hope that my hon. main provisions to be impaired. What- Friend will not put in movement such ever differences I may have with the machinery for a purpose apparently so Government on matters of general Irish trivial. But, besides the Motion before policy, I am resolved to co-operate with us, there is the discussion which has them loyally to carry this measure, as if arisen upon it, and to that I confess I those differences did not exist, or had attach no inconsiderable significance. never existed. I cannot claim to be In the first place, in the position I have more docile or tractable than other the honour to hold in this House, I Members ; but I believe that I am as think it is only fair that I should render willing to hear what has to be said on my testimony as to the Gentlemen whose the other side of the question as any characters have been impugned. Ono other Gentleman, and to yield when I of them has sat here for a very short find reason against me. Long as I have time; the others have sat here for a been in the House I have never allowed considerable time. One of them has, I --and I never intend to allow-myself think, sat here for a very considerable to be carried on one side whilst my con- time; and I know of no title that any man victions are on the other.
possesses to say one word reflecting on MR. GLADSTONE: Sir, it appears the Parliamentary character or conduct to me that there are two matters which of any of the three. I am quite sure, with have come into our view on the present respect especially to the hon. Member occasion. One is the Motion made by for Mayo (Mr. O'Connor Power, who my hon. Friend, with respect to which has been particularly attacked, that it considering it nakedly in its terms, I ap- was needless for him to challenge any prehend there can be no doubt it is a man to cast imputations upon him, as he proposition which must be affirmed- did in the strength of conscious innothat is to say, that the letter which has cence; because, so far as I am acquainted been read is a breach of the Privileges with the sentiments of this House and of this House. I am not speaking now I think I know the sentiments of a very of the authorship of that letter; but the large, and, perhaps, preponderating matter of the letter attaches to it that number of Members – the very last character. At the same time, I greatly thing they would think of doing, either doubt whether we ought not to endea- at this moment or at previous periods, vour to persuade my hon. Friend not when the hon. Member may have been to persist in the Motion that he has taking a political course different from made. And for this reason. He him- ourselvos-that one of them would self has said that he thinks there is dream of would be to raise the slightest no advantage in enabling a person to question as to his motives, or to throw aspire to the character of a martyr by the slightest doubt upon his honour. calling him to the Bar of the House'; Another personage has, however, apand he suggests in lieu of that that peared upon the scene-namely, the hon. you, Sir, in your official capacity, should Member for the City of Cork, and the order that this gentleman be debarred case stands thus :-We have before us a from entering the precincts of the House. letter of the matter of which—whatever I quite concur with my hon. Friend in its importance may be—of the matter of thinking that we should not do well to which I imagine that almost, if not quito,
every man in this House is of opinion which the hon. Member for the City of that it is in a high degree libellous, Cork is the centre and the soul. And scurrilous, and discreditable to the per- this House has a right to know from the son who wrote it. Under these circum- hon. Member for Cork whether he stances, the hon. Member for the City of thinks this is the manner in which it Cork rises, and ho describes the gentle- becomes him and his agent to describe man whose name appears at the close of the Parliamentary proceedings of his this letter as his friend. [Mr. PARNELL: Colleagues. I think he will feel the Hear, hear:] What course does he force of this appeal. He will be aware take in respect to the matter of the that they, and aware that we, have a letter? He does not avow it, and he right to know whether it is by means does not condemn it. But the measure like these—by terrorism like this, as it that he takes is a measure to endeavour has been justly called - I might, perto throw the House off the scent as to haps, say by terrorism of a kind not unthe person who is really in question. likely in certain circumstances and in “Do not, I entreat you," he says, certain places to be followed up by other “bring into accusation the proprietors or measures—whether it is thus that the the writers of The Freeman's Journal,” hon. Member seeks to establish peace, and he sets them forth as the victims order, and liberty in Ireland ? Sir, the whom the hon. Member for Galway has writer of that letter, be he who he may, in view. Now, although I have had no is a man in whose mouth every profescommunication with the hon. Membersion of a regard for liberty is a mockery for Galway, I venture to say that these and a delusion. And there could be no are not the persons he has in view. The greater misfortune for Ireland than that summoning of the editor, or proprietor, the cause of her people should be disor printer of The Freeman's Journal to graced by having its support and its the Bar would, I apprehend, be, if this propagation confided to such men. were a matter which ought properly to MR. HEALY, having referred to the be pursued, only a formal step on the avidity with which denunciations directed road of detection of the real offender, against Irish Members were listened to, and the real offender in this case is the said, it was exceedingly remarkable that gentleman whom the hon. Member for though there was no collusion between Cork has described as his friend and has the hon. Member for Galway and the tried to screen from our view. What I hon. Member for Mayo, the hon. Memmean is this. The hon. Member for ber for Mayo should have so conveniently Cork says that we have no evidence as in his pocket the proofs of guilt of certo the authorship of this letter-no evi- tain Members connected with the Land dence at all. We know that it was pub- League. (Mr. O'Connor Power said, lished in Dublin on Thursday in last he had got more.] If the Motion of the week; we know that Mr. Egan exists; hon. Member for Galway were carried, we trust that he is well; we think it and Mr. Egan should be excluded from probable that he has read this letter the precincts of that House, he could as published in The Freeman's Journal. only say that Mr. Egan, on the very first And if Mr. Egan, being in existence, opportunity, would be found coming into and being in the possession of sound that House in a representative characinind, and in possession of his health, ter; and he, for one, if only to prove and having read that letter, thinks that how utterly such sentiments as those the appearance of that letter with his which had proceeded from the hon. name at the foot of it does not call upon Member for Galway were discredited in him for some disavowal, then, Sir-I am Ireland, he, for one, would be willing to not speaking now of legal evidence, give way for him. He felt sure, no which I do not want, because I do not matter with what satisfaction such an wish to proceed in the matter. [Mr. arrangement might be regarded in that PARNELL: Proceed, proceed.] I think House, that that satisfaction would be we have the strongest moral evidence nothing to the satisfaction which tho that the letter was writton by Mr. Egan. constituency which he had the honour to But Mr. Egan is not to be regarded as represent would feel in having as a an individual, but as a powerful and pro- Representative a man so upright, a man minent officer of an organization; and who had spent so much of his time and that organization is the organization of of his money in the cause of Ireland as Mr. Patrick Egan. He himself might had been given to the hon. Member for have brought under the Speaker's notice Galway and the hon. Member below a more gross and calumnious attack him, but he would have been rebuked made on himself and other Irish Mem- for wasting the time of the House, and bers, not in an Irish but in an English delaying an important measure. The newspaper ; but he had refrained from statements made in the paper to which doing so, though he was called an Ob- he had just referred were as untrue as structive, because the Land Law (Ire- many others which appeared in English land) Bill was before the House; and newspapers about the Irish Members; he regretted that the hon. Member for and he would advise the hon. Member Galway, who professed to be more in for Galway and those who acted with favour of that measure, had not taken him to show some of the patience with the same course. He would read to the which the Irish Members on his side House four lines from that newspaper. bore the attacks directed against them.
Mr. H. SAMUELSON asked whether, MR. MITCHELL HENRY: I would on a Motion that a certain article in a ask the permission of the House to withnewspaper was a Breach of Privilege, it draw my Motion-[“No, no!")-after was in Order for a Member to rise in the noble vindication of the rights and his place and read other newspaper arti- privileges of Members of this House cles which he thought were injurious to which that Motion has evoked from the him, but with respect to which he pro- Prime Minister, and which I trust will posed to make no Motion to the House ? | be a lesson to hon. Members, both as re
MR. SPEAKER said, that the hon. gards their conduct towards their fellowMember for Wexford had a right to Members and also as regards those with speak on the Question before the House. whom they associate themselves. I beg
MR. HEALY said, as the hon. Mem- to withdraw my Motion. ber for Frome had never been noted
MR. A. M. SULLIVAN said, he MR. H. SAMUELSON wished to make did not intend to interfere in a scene himself understood before the hon. Mem which to him was exceedingly painful, ber for Wexford proceeded to castigate and one which he regretted should at him. Was the hon. Member in Order all have occupied the attention of the in reading an extract that had nothing House; but the Prime Minister alluded whatever to do with the Question before just now to the fact that the hon. Memthe House, and upon which he founded ber for Cork City claimed Mr. Egan as no Motion ?
a personal friend; and he (Mr. SulliMR. SPEAKER said, that the hon. van) confessed at a moment when such Member for Wexford was about to quote obloquy and denunciation were hurled from a newspaper when the hon. Nem- at the head of a gentleman whom he had ber for Frome interrupted him.
long called a friend, it would ill become MR. HEALY, after the reproof just him to refrain from saying that he shared addressed to the hon. Member for Frome, with the hon. Member for Cork the priwould let him severely alone. He would vilege of calling Mr. Patrick Egan his now read the extract to which he had friend. One might honestly differ from alluded from a newspaper which he a friend, and one's friend might often would not advertise by naming it. That say and do things which one might repaper said that of course Mr. Healy grot. He read with sincere sorrow the was put up by Mr. Parnell to oppose the letter of his friend Mr. Egan, for the sake Vote of Thanks to Sir Frederick Roberts of one passage contained in it. He had and the troops engaged with him in the long known his hon. Friend behind him Afghan War; that if that young man (Mr.O'Connor Power), and nothing within was left to himself he would make a very his knowledge or belief would ever ingood Member of Parliament; but, un- duce him to sympathize with a charge fortunately, he was not only elected as a reflecting upon his personal honour. He follower of Mr. Parnell, but also as an deplored that letter; but he complained employé of that person, and if he did of the Motion before the House, which not obey orders the connection would must not be withdrawn. The hon. Memterminate and the salary would cease. ber must not be allowed to make an If he had brought that matter before the empty parade. He knew that in atHouse he would not have received the tacking Mr. Egan amid screams of apsympathetic and cordial cheers which plause he was attacking Mr. Egan in a
place where he could not be heard. I shut our eyes to the fact that this is not (Mr. O'Connor Power: Mr. Egan is an isolated letter which is written and well represented in this House.] Be- can be regarded as an isolated transacsides, Mr. Egan's letter had been re- tion. We cannot ignore the fact that plied to in Ireland in language which the letter must be taken in connection he could not trust himself to describe in with the proceedings of the body from that House. The hon. Member for Gal which it is asserted the letter emanated. way had raised a scene which he knew It is impossible to close our eyes to the well the enemies of Ireland would gloat fact that there is a system of terrorism, over, which he knew was calculated to which is applied in the most unscrupuhold Ireland up to ridicule, and which lous manner, and of which this letter he knew every honest Irishman would may be, and appears to be, an example. deplore. Mr. Egan, owing to the in. And that being the case, I think this famous system which prevailed in Ire- House has no option but this—that it is land now, was driven from his home. bound to protect, as far as it can, its There was neither justice nor law in Ire- Members from attacks of the kind which land at present, when men were dragged are aimed at hon. Members, and calfrom their beds, and every protection culated to disparage, if possible, the which men should have in a free land honesty of their votes and proceedings. was denied. Mr. Egan had a large The hon. Members who have spoken in mercantile business in the City of Dublin, this debate may very safely leave their and in that city he had borne for years a characters in the hands of those who spotless reputation as a merchant and a have witnessed their conduct in this man of business. He seized that op- House. I can add nothing to what has portunity to claim Mr. Egan as his friend, been said by the Prime Minister on that and he should hardly be deterred from subject. But I do think it is a case in that course because the hon. Member for which, the charge having been made, Galway came there in his last Parlia- not by Mr. Egan as an individual, but ment to have it out with the people of as the representative--the treasurer-of Ireland by exhibiting their Represen- the Land League, and his action having tatives engaged in a discreditable quarrel been taken of and not disavowed in this of this kind. The hon. Member for the House, and the challenge, therefore, County of Galway had been no party to having been put with all that weight these charges whatever. IIe was in no and authority, it seems to me that it is way touched by the accusation. Let him quite impossible for us to do otherwise go through with his discreditable work. than give a vote which, undoubtedly, is Let him not fire his blank cartridge and that which the House will be bound to then run away. Let him bring the pub-give if the Motion of the hon. Member lisher and Mr. Egan before the Bar; | is put. I should myself, under other and the House would find that Mr. Egan circumstances, have joined in the request was as honourable a man as the Mem- to the hon. Member to do that which he ber for Galway ever associated with in- says he is willing to do-to withdraw his side or outsido the Houso.
Motion, and leave the matter upon what SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE: Sir, has been said; but we are told that that it has more than once been my lot to course will not be allowed. We shall take part in proceedings when letters or be challenged to vote, and I think it articles in the newspapers have been would be well for the hon. Member not challenged as Breaches of Privilege in to attempt to withdraw, but to take a this House; and the general inclination vote on his Motion. of my mind, and my general course, has SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT: No been to dissuade the House, as far as doubt, the declaration made by the possible, from taking notice in a serious hon. and learned Member for Meath manner of imputations such as those (Mr. Sullivan) makes it impossible that that are cast upon the House, or its the Motion should be withdrawn; and Members, in public newspapers. If this I think, under these circumstances, it had been an ordinary case of that sort, will be advantageous that we should seo I should entirely have agreed with those who are the Members of this House who who think that that course should be approve of this letter, and who declare pursued on the present occasion. But, Sir, it to be not an improper letter, and not I think that it is utterly impossible to a Breach of the Privileges of this House.
Every man who votes against the Mo- | thi tion is a man who approves this letter. gua ["No!"] The hon. Member for Cork He City (Mr. Parnell) shakes his head. Has chi he dared to say whether he approves this if t letter or disapproves? He is in a position wo in which he dare not say one or the other. ma He will not undertake in this House to me say he approves it, and he dare not say Ses out-of-doors that he disapproves it. That I is the explanation of the position of the sai hon. Member for Cork City with refer- hea ence to this disgraceful, this scandalous, ha this discreditable document. How is tho this production headed? This letter is tha headed thus in The Freeman's Journal
“The following letter from Mr. Patrick Egan, Paris, treasurer of the Irish National Land League, was intended to be read at the meeting it of the Land League yesterday, but it arrived the too late."
It is an official missive—an address to the the Irish Land League. I challenge the Th hon. Member for Cork City to get up and Th deny that it was not sent as an official fol letter from the Irish Land League to ari The Freeman's Journal. Will he dare for get up and justify this letter in the face the of the House? If he does not, then I wa venture to say there is no man in Eng- Ga land, Scotland, or Ireland, who will not tio say that the letter signed "P. Egan," the and the spirit and sentiment it expresses, for are the sentiments of the hon. Mem- ba ber for Cork City. It is his policy, his ev spirit, his actions, which are expressed the in every line of that letter. The hon. WO Member for Cork City and those who ext follow him will vote their approbation rig of this letter, and they will say that it tur is not a Breach of the Privileges of this Mo House; but I believe that a great and it. overwhelming majority of the Repre- wa sentatives of the people of the three gre countries-the Gentlemen who are Mem- bu bers of the House of Commons-will ad affirm the Motion which has been brought ] forward by my hon. Friend the Member Si for Galway, and declare that language of this description is scandalous, and a to Breach of the Privileges of this House.
LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE tle wished to point out that the debate was is rather drifting away from the Question which was before the House. They ag were getting into a discussion upon the conduct and character of the hon. Mem- pro ber for Cork, and that was not the Eg Question before them. No one in that ces House would be suspected of sympa- and
Sir William Harcourt