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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- I thiz 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- her ence to this disgraceful, this scandalous, ha this discreditable document. How is the this production headed ? This letter is tha headed thus in The Freeman's Journal
La “The following letter from Mr. Patrick Egan, Paris, treasurer of the Irish National Land poi 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 faco 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 eve spirit, his actions, which are expressed the in every line of that letter. The hon. Member for Cork City and those who ext follow him will vote their approbation rigof this letter, and they will say that it tur is not a Breach of the Privileges of this Me 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 1 forward by my hon. Friend the Member Siz for Galway, and declare that language of this description is scandalous, and a to Breach of the Privileges of this House. I
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 ago were getting into a discussion upon the I 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
that the allegations contained in the Motion was simply a very carefully reletter complained of were unjustifiable. hearsed artifice got up between the But they were asking that the House hon. Member for Galway and the hon. should declare that the letter was a Member for Mayo, to attack in a covert, Breach of Privilege. There was no he would not say underhand way, his doubt that, technically, the letter was hon. Friend the Member for Cork City. a Breach of the Privileges of the House. That was the real animus which was at But he could not help thinking that the the bottom of the simulated innocence suggestion of the Prime Minister was of the hon. Member for Mayo. The better than that of the Homo Secretary. hon. Member for Mayo insinuated in He did not suppose that the right hon. his speech that certain Members of the Gentleman the Leader of the Opposi- Irish Party had asked him to use his tion, or the hon. and learned Member influence to get situations from the Gofor Meath (Mr. Sullivan), would desire vernment; but when called upon for to press the matter to a division. Thero names, he produced a telegram from an was another reason why he thought that obscuro paid clerk of the Land League, the Motion should be withdrawn, and asking him to use his influence to get a that was that the hon. Member for Mayo situation for an attorney who was paid himself had written a reply to Mr. Egan, to defend a few members of the Land and the reply was so strong that the League in a local Court, and who, prohon. Member himself ought to be con- bably, was himself a member of the sidered to havo debarred himself from Land League, or a subscriber to its asking the House to interfore. Ile principles. The hon. Member for Galwould read part of the letter to the way had, in his opinion, made a misHouse. The hon. Member said- take in defending the conduct of the “In my opinion, the real blackleg is the cad
hun. Member for Mayo, which he did who bolts with tho stakes; the real coward is not think was that of a man of high he who keeps out of the fight which he himself honour. has provoked, and who, skulking either in MR. CALLAN said, before the IIouse London or in Paris, tries to hide his own pol.; proceeded to a division, he wished to truønery by impugning the courage of others." | ask a question for his own guidance as Ile (Mr. Labouchere) was not concerned well as that of the House. He saw in to defend Mr. Egan, but, unquestion the valuable book upon the practice of ably, those observations meant that Mr. this IIouse, by Sir Erskine May, that Egan was a thief and a coward; and the Member making the complaint must as the hon. Member for Mayo had an- be prepared to name the printer and swered in such very strong language publisher of the paper in which the the accusation which was made against statement appeared. There was
no him by Mr. Egan, he thought that the allegation here that either the printer matter should now como to an end. or publisher of The Freeman had any
MR. BIGGAR might be allowed to malice in publishing the letter; and in make ono or two observations on this case it was declared a Breach of Privioccasion, as he was joint treasurer of lege of the House--as it undoubtedly the Land League with his friend Mr. was—ho wanted to know what was the Egan. He did not say that he approved course of procedure to be adopted ? He of what Mr. Egan said in his letter, thought when hon. Members who ob. because he was not present when it was jected to the withdrawal of tho Motion written; but, at the same time, he of the hon. Membor for Galwny were might say that he thought Members of made aware that the result of their Parliament would do well not to be so action would be to cause great inconexceedingly sensitive as thoy were. He venienco to the printer and publisher of had seen many attacks upon Members the paper, who were the innocent parties of Parliament, and he had seen very in the transaction, they would probably few Members of Parliament rush into allow the Motion to be withdrawn. Ho, print to defend themselves. Ho had therefore, wished to know what would seen still fewer who came to that House be the result if the letter was declared and asked to be protected from charges a Breach of Privilege ? which were brought against them by MR. SPEAKER : In the event of the writers in newspapors.
He would, Motion before the House being carried, therefore, be disposed to say that the it would be for the House to say what
steps, if any, should be taken with Mr. SPEAKER: I must point out to regard to that Motion. The matter is the House that there is no Question beone entirely for the determination of fore the House at present. The hon. the House. Is it your pleasure that the Member for the City of Cork asks me Motion be withdrawn?
whether, in the event of the hon. VerMR. PARNELL: No. [Cries of ber for Galway not taking advantage of "Agreed !"] Am I entitled to address this opportunity to ask the House to you upon this Question, Mr. Speaker? take further action, he would not lose
Mr. SPEAKER: The hon. Member his right of precedence in the matter : has exhausted his right to speak. I apprehend that if the matter is pont
Lord EDMOND FITZMAURICE: poned now, and no action is taken upon I wish to ask a question. If this Motion it, he will lose his right to ask the be adopted by tho House, will not the House to do so at any future time. House be obliged to take further steps
MR. PARNELL: I will, with your in the matter?
permission, Mr. Speaker, now ask the Mr. SPEAKER: In answer to the hon. Member whether he intends to take noble Lord, I have to say that it is a | any further action ? matter entirely for the determination of MR. MITCHELL HENRY did not the House.
reply. MR. HEALY: The hon. Member for MR. PARNELL: To put myself in Cork City has already spoken on the Order, Mr. Speaker, I shall conclude Question of Privilege ; but the Question with a Motion. Nobody can say thai now before the House is that the Motion we have desired to hinder or impede the be withdrawn, and, therefore, I appre-hon. Member for Galway County in hend, he is entitled to speak upon that bringing this question under the notice Question.
of the House, although I regret exceedMr. SPEAKER : The Motion before ingly that the hon. Member should have the House is the same, and the hon. been guilty of an action almost unpreMember for Cork City, having spoken cedented in this House, by bringing once, is not entitled to speak again. forward a question which concerns a Question put, and agreed to.
gentleman outside this House, and
which concerns other Gentlemen inside MR. PARNELL: I now wish to ask this House, when he knew perfectly well the hon. Member for Galway County that the gentleman whom he was attackwhat steps he proposes to take, having ing could not necessarily have appealcel brought a Motion before the House de- in his own defence. But having pruclaring that the letter published in The ceeded so far, it shows the want of bong Freeman's Journal of the 26th May is a fides of his whole proceedings when he breach of the Privileges of the House, refuses to ask the House to take the and the House having adopted that steps which his Motion naturally points Motion ?
to. Now, I think I am entitled to ask MR. MITCHELL HENRY: This Mo- the hon. Member to proceed with this tion having been carried unanimously matter. If he does not, he will show by the House, I must take ample time that this Motion has been brought forto consider.
ward, not for the purpose so much of MR. PARNELL: On a point of Order, vindicating the reputation of two or three Mr. Speaker, I wish to know whether, Members of this House, as for the pur. in the event of the hon. Member not pose of attacking an absent individual taking advantage of this opportunity to under circumstances which would preask the House to take further action in vent that individual from having the this matter, he will not lose his right to right to reply. I think it is almost the do so at any future time?
first time that a person not a Member Mr. A. M. SULLIVAN wished to of this House has been attacked in the know whether an opportunity was not House, and has not been allowed the going to be given to the hon. Member opportunity of reply, and yet that is for the City of Cork to answer the precisely what the hon. Member for the questions which the Home Secretary County Galway thinks fit to do. It is had called upon him, as a gentleman, evident, from the conduct of the Treato answer ?
sury Bench, that the importance they MR. NEWDEGATE rose to speak. attach to the Motion of the hon. Mem
ber for Galway was not so much from MR. PARNELL: I will not refer to his assumed desire to vindicate the cha- the debate which has just concluded 1; racter of Members of this House, but but I will point out that by the course that they might, by a one-sided blow, which the hon. Member for the County attack the Irish Land League. They of Galway has taken in refusing to prohave shown the importance they attach ceed with this matter to its legitimate to the organization and Mr. Egan, its conclusion, we are deprived of the only treasurer, by endeavouring to connect opportunity that could be afforded us to his action in writing that letter with the answer the untruthful and unfounded Irish Land League, of which he is the allegations of the right hon. Gentleman acknowledged treasurer. I will only say the Home Secretary. [" Order!”] The for myself that Mr. Egan wrote that hon. Gentleman concluded by moving letter without any previous consultation the adjournment of the House. with me, and, so far as I know, without SIR PATRICK O'BRIEN: I rise to any previous consultation with any of make one observation. the members of the Executive of the Mr. SPEAKER: If the hon. Member Irish Land League. I do not say this applied the term “untruthful” to any in order to admit that the let was so Member of this House, I must call upon heinous in its terms, or to judge the him to withdraw it. letter in any way, but merely as a mat- MR. PARNELL raised his hat. ter of fact, which I am entitled to state, MR. SPEAKER: I must call upon as the Land League has been assailed, the hon. Member to withdraw, without when we are told that this letter, being hesitation, the expression which he has written by Mr. Egan from Paris, is ne- used. cessarily the action of the Land League. MR. PARNELL: I took off
hat The first intimation I received of this to signify that I withdrew it. letter was in seeing it in The Freeman's SIR PATRICK O'BRIEN : I merely, Journal, and there is not the slightest Sir, rose to make one statement. I foundation for connecting this letter heard the hon. Member for Mayo during with the Irish Land League. I do not the whole of his long speech, and he did propose to criticize the letter, nor ex- not in any sentence throw himself upon press any opinion on it in the slightest the protection of Englishmen. degree. I say I may have wished that MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Member the letter had not been written, or I may for the City of Cork has committed the not have wished that it had not been irregular act of addressing the House written. But I do not propose here to without concluding with a Motion. [Mr. go into a question which is a question PARNELL was understood to intimate between Irishmen, and not a question that he had moved a Resolution.] I between Englishmen. I believe we shall will now call upon the Clerk to read the always be able to settle our own dis- Orders of the Day. putes amongst ourselves; and I regret Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR said, that he to see the hon. Member for Mayo occu- had distinctly heard the hon. Member pying, for the first time in this Houso, for the City of Cork move the adjournwhat I conceive to be a humiliating ment of the House. position when he is appealing to the MR. JUSTIN MCARTHY said, he protection of Englishmen against his also distinctly heard the Motion made, brother Irishmen.
The tone of the and so did hon. Members near who were speech of the hon. Member delivered on not of the Irish Party. that occasion gave me very great pain, MR. HEALY asked Mr. Speaker whobecause I cannot help feeling that in the ther, it having been signified to him that action which he took
the Motion was made, it should not now MR. SPEAKER: I wish to point out be put? to the hon. Member that the question
Nr. SPEAKER: I have called upon lately debated has been concluded. He the ('lerk to read the Orders of the has now risen in his place, and said he Day. will conclude with a Motion; but he is COLONEL ALEXANDER was bound not entitled to allude to what has al- to say, though he had no sympathy with ready taken place in the House on a the hon. Meinber for the City of Cork, former debate. I must call upon him that he distinctly heard him move the to refrain from doing so.
auljournment of the House,