but was a note of warning to them of have met. To the insinuations of the the serious and important responsi- hon. Member the Government could give bility which they had taken upon them- a perfect reply. The hon. Member had selves in having, without reasonable said that he had been prevented from cause, arrested an hon. Member of proceeding with the Motion ; but he that House, and in continuing to detain might easily have made it that night. him in prison. Her Majesty's Govern-{"No!”] The hon. Member for the ment had also incurred the responsibility City of Cork dissented from that stateof proclaiming a great, populous, and ment; but, looking at the state of the peaceful city like Dublin, and of placing Order Book for the night, no one could it in a state of siege by a stroke of the doubt that the Motion might have been pen. Mr. Justice Fitzgerald, who cer- brought on. Indeed, he had been much tainly was not an admirer of the Land surprised that morning, on looking at League, shortly before the Government the Business for that night, to find that took that step had declared the state of the Motion had been withdrawn. The Dublin to be eminently tranquil; and, hon. Member had chosen to raise the indeed, the only ground that the Chief question on the Motion for the adjourn. Secretary himself had assigned for pro- ment of the House rather than by direct claiming that city was because one or Motion, because he was aware that by two speeches had been made in it of doing so he could make no charge which which the Government did not approve. the Government could meet. Could a parallel case be found in MR. DALY said, that his hon. Col. modern history, a case in which a great league had asked what were the words peaceful city had been placed in a state or acts on which the hon. Member for of siege merely because one or two per- Tipperary had been arrested ; and they sons, whose very names were not given, believed that all the evidence which had made speeches which were disap- the Government possessed, and on which proved by a Member of the Government the arrest was made, could be given by of the day? He admitted that the course the Government officials; therefore, the which had been pursued on this occasion Chief Secretary need not shelter himself of moving the adjournment of the House behind the extraordinary powers given was somewhat irregular; but the Irish to the Government by the Coercion Act, Members had felt bound to take it in and refuse to answer the questions which order to bring a matter of utmost had been put. The Government had urgency under the notice of the House 30,000 soldiers and 12,000 policemen in and of the country. The right hon. Ireland; and, therefore, they could have

; Gentleman had said that Her Majesty's no fear of any result arising from the Government were compelled, in the reasons which they might give. The first place, to make the laws of the Government should have courage, and country respected and obeyed in Ire- answer all the questions categorically. land. He (Mr. Justin M.Carthy) sup. He believed that this Liberal Government posed they could exact and enforce a would be accused of doing a mean and sort of sullen obedience to the law by dastardly act, and then of sheltering the use of their military and police ; but thomselves from the consequences of to make the law respected in Ireland that act in a cowardly way. Practically, was not within the power of all their Her Majesty's Government had, of their police or all their soldiery until they own motion, disfranchised one of the made the law different from what it was, Irish constituencies. His hon. Friend and administered it otherwise than they the Member for Tipperary could have did at present.

spoken with authority in regard to the Mr.W.E. FORSTER said, he thought evictions in Ireland, and which were that the course adopted by the hon. Mem- going forward in the most monstrous ber for Longford (Mr. Justin M.Carthy) manner, as on all these things he had a was unfair and unreasonable. It was more intimate knowledge than any other in the power of the hon. Member to have man. The position of the Government, brought forward that night the Motion in not answering the questions put, was of which he had given Notice--a Motion unsound and untenable. which brought a direct charge against MR. J. COWEN said, he was as. Her Majesty's Government, which the tonished that the Government had not Government were perfectly prepared to given a more satisfactory answer to the

Ur. Justin Jl Carthy



question that had been addressed to man. To see a starving family crouchthem. They would have reasons for ing in the cold on a bleak hillside was a arresting Mr. Dillon, and surely they spectacle that no one could behold withmight state them. In the absence of out emotion. Mr. Dillon had witnessed this information, all the House could do these scenes, and he had spoken in was to speculate on the cause of the strong, but not too strong, reprobation arrest. No one, he supposed, would of them. He might probably have overaccuse Mr. Dillon of having been en stepped the thin line that separated gaged in houghing cattle, shooting legality from illegality. But the surlandlords, or burning property. There roundings being recollected, no generous was no overt act that he had committed. man would judge him harshly. EspeThe only ground for his arrest, therefore, cially ought this to be the case with must be his speeches. He had not seen the present Government. There were any report of those speeches, except Members of the Administration who such as had appeared in the English had lived amongst Leagues, and had newspapers, and these reports were not risen to power through agitation. If to be trusted. They were usually at- everything they had said and everytempered to the appetites of English thing they had done during periods of readers. Many of the statements that excitement had been as strictly watched appeared in the English papers respect and as strictly judged as Mr. Dillon's ing Ireland were absolutely false-others speeches and doings had been, some of were grossly exaggerated. Even when them would certainly not have escaped the statements were themselves correct, a prosecution if they had escaped imthe explanation necessary to their under- prisonment. Mr. Dillon knew that the standing was withheld. To form an es- mass of the English people were ignorant timate of what had been said by any man of the condition of Ireland, that a large in Ireland from what appeared in the number were not only ignorant but inEnglish newspapers was to do that man different, and that some an injustice. Before the House passed hostile. It was a cynical but too coma condemnation of his Friend he begged mon observation that this country would it to pause. He asked it to consider the be benefited if Ireland was cut adrift circuinstances—the strongly extenuating from us, or if she was sunk beneath the circumstances-under which Mr. Dillon Atlantic waves long enough to procuro had spoken. There had been great the destruction of her population. This agricultural depression over the whole hard view of Ireland and her people was Kingdom. This depression had been not so prevalent now as it was in former most severely felt in Ireland. In some years; yet still it existed. Mr. Dillon places it had deepened into distress also knew that nothing ever was ob-in others into want and starvation. tained in the way of political or social Mr. Dillon, during several months, had consideration from this country until employed himself in going from one part there had been an agitation amounting of the country to another, and had been almost to an insurrection. We conbrought face to face with the realities of ceded nothing to Ireland from a sense the situation. The Government had in- of justice-only from force. We yielded troduced a Bill designed to improve the to fear what we refused to reason. (“No, social condition of the Irish people. The no!”] Some hon. Members denied that measure might be wise or unwise ; but statement. He appealed to history in that was its purpose. The landlords, or confirmation of what he had said. at least a large section of them, feared Since the Union there had been three that the operation of the Bill would be serious attempts made at ameliorainjurious to their interests, and, with a tivo legislation in Ireland. Ani how view of getting quit of the responsi. had those attempts been initiated ? One bility that it entailed upon them, they of the pledges given by the English Go. were scattering notices of ejectment vernment in 1800 was that if the Irish broadcast. These ejectments had, in Parliament would consent to the Union many instances, matured into evictions. the penal laws against the Catholics He did not know whether hon. Gentle should be at once repealed. How was men had witnessed an eviction. The that pledge fulfilles ? Thirty years harrowing scenes that accompanied them were allowed to elapse before any serious could not be viewed unmoved by any attempt was made to comply with the VOL. OCLXI. (THIRD SERIES


engagement, and then it was not com- I would never have been attempted if it plied with because of its righteousness had not been for the action of the Land or its justice. The Prime Minister League. If there had been no Land of the day had the audacity to declare League there would have been no Land that Catholic Emancipation was yielded Bill. The moyement directed by the because there were only two alternatives. League had created a public opinion The one was emancipation and the other such as had compelled the Government Civil War. Emancipation was therfore, to take action. The League really had in his judgment, only a less evil than forced the Government nieasure. The Civil War, and hence it was conceded. Ministry was the acting power, but the Sir Robert Peel endeavoured to deal with organization which Mr. Dillon controlled the three great Irish grievances-Land, was the motive power. It was most Education, and the Church. But he did unfair to send to prison the men who not deal with these questions from any had aroused the public opinion which intrinsic sense of the injustices under rendered the measures of the Ministry which the people were labouring. Eng- possible. What were the simple facts land was at the time in trouble with of the case ? Mr. Dillon had collected foreign States. There was a dispute a larger amount of information respectwith America about Oregon, and a dising the condition of Irish peasants than pute with France about Otaheite. The was possessed by any other man in the Government were afraid if they went to House. There was no Member there, war with either or both of these Powers not even the Irish Secretary, who had that French or American troops might anything like the amount of information be landed in Ireland. The Irish, being on the subject that he had. He was on discontented, might receive them as de- his way to Parliament to submit this liverers. It was not because the people information to it. An announcement were suffering from an injustice, but to that effect had been made in all the because it was desirable to send them papers. It was well known to his what Sir Robert Peel described as a Friends that he intended to be in the message of peace, that the three mea- House last Thursday and to take part sures he had indicated were proposed. in the discussion. The Government ar; It was fear of the Irish aiding the rested him on his way there, and landed French or the Americans in the threat him in Kilmainham. And what would ened wars that got for them the Queen's be the consequence of that step? If he Colleges, an increased grant for May- had been in Parliament his power would nooth, and an attempted amendment of have been circumscribed ; but now that the laws respecting land. The third he was in prison his counsel would occasion when Parliament essayed to solve be more potent than

er. The Irish the Irish difficulty was during the last peasants trusted him and respected him, Liberal Government. The circumstances and they would trust him and respect were still fresh in their recollection. him all the more since he suffered for They all knew how many times the then. Mr. Dillon might be a rebel at question of Land Reform had been sub- Westminster; but he had long been mitted to the House by Mr. Sharman a patriot in Tipperary, and now he Crawford and others, and how often would be a martyr. Ministers used Resolutions respecting the Irish Church no end of smooth words about the had been rejected. The House refused condition of Ireland; but they did not to legislate on these points until the back up these words by their actions. Fenians broke open a prison van in the The arrest of Mr. Dillon was like streets of Manchester, released two of sticking a blister on a raw mround. their leaders, and blew down the wall The English people were singularly un. of Clerkenwall Gaol, in the expectation fortunate in their government of subject of setting free a third. It was a fear races. For some reason or other-even of the Fenian insurrection that caused when they had the best intentions—they the Church and Land Questions in failed to win the good feeling or the 1868-9 to pass from the domain of affections of those they ruled. He could speculation to that of practical politics. not explain it. He could only lament Mr. Dillon knew all this. Every Irish- it. But such was unquestionably the man knew it, and they also know that fact. They had ruled Ireland for 710 the legislation of the present Session years, and the people were as discon

Mr. J. Cowen


tented and dissatisfied as they were cen- | He was in earnest in what he did and turies ago. France ruled Alsace some said. He would not equivocate, he would 200 years, and in that time the Alsatians not excuse; he would be “as harsh as became even more French than the Gas- truth, and as uncompromising asjustice.” cons. There must be something either If they laboured under the delusion that in the manner or the spirit of the English by degrading such men they would faadministration that engendered in the cilitate their rule in Ireland, they were Irish people so much distrust. The minds in error. He knew their theory was that of some statesmen were said to be like Ireland ought to be taught to fear before the pupils of the human eye-they con- she was taught to love. The falsity of tracted themselves the more the greater that theory had been shown by expethe light that was shed in upon them. rience. By Coercion Bills and Arms With all the experience of the past, and Bills they could not win the confidence with good intentions, the present Govern- of a suffering, struggling, and sensitive ment were treading in the footsteps--the race. They could not kill ideas by painful and disastrous footsteps-of past chains and prisons. Ideas were as indeAdministrations. Just let them look for structible as either earth or heaven, and a moment at what they had done during the attempts to annihilate them by pains these troubled times. There never was and penalties would fail now as they had an agitation that did not have at its head failed in all past times. It was a source one or two men who typified the hopes of deep regret to every man concerned and aspirations of the people. These in the future of Ireland to see the men in the present agitation in Ireland prospects of the legislation the Governwere Mr. Davitt and Mr. Dillon. They ment were prosecuting blasted by the embodied, to a larger extent than any harsh, unwise, and illiberal treatment other two, the spirit and wishes of the that they were now manifesting towards Irish race. And how had the Govern- Mr. Dillon, Mr. Davitt, and their counment treated them ? They had sent one trymen. to penal servitude and the other to gaol. MR. MAC IVER said, he agreed most The late Government, when they believed cordially with much that had fallen from that Mr. Davitt was guilty of some the hon. Member who had just spoken. offence against the law, attempted to put it was not necessary to approve of what him upon his trial. This was a fair and Mr. Dillon had done to condemn what honourable way of treating him. If he had been done by the Government. had broken the law, it was right that he What the hon. Member for Tipperary should be made to feel the consequences. had done had been compared fairly in But the present Government did not the light of what the Prime Minister follow a like course. They went back himself said when he was in Opposition. upon a conviction that in equity and But the Government allowed this agitamorals, if not in law, had been more tion in Ireland to go on to an extent than complied with. He did not speak they ought not to have done. They of the wisdom, of the cruelty, of the might long ago have stopped this agitajustice of Mr. Davitt's re-imprisonment. tion, which had led to the formation of But he was there to declare that he did this Land League ; but they did not wish not know in his experience- and he did to do it. The Prime Minister said that not believe any man in that Ilouse knew the explosion at Clerkenwell Prison and -of a meaner thing having been done thu murder of a policeman at Manchester by any Government than the sending rere necessary to bring the Irish Church back to slavery of this man. If the Question within the range of practical Government imagined that that was the politics. Ho Mr. Mac Iver) spokedirectly way to pacify the Irish people they were to the right hon. Gentleman, the apostle grossly mistaken. The treatment of Mr. of peace, the Chancelior of the Duchy Davitt would neither be forgotten nor of Lancaster, who represented Birmingforgiven by those who shared bis opi- ham, which provided arms and ammunions and admired his character. And nition for all the world. His inconMr. Dillon. He was not a common man. sistency on this and every question was He was not angling for Office—he was well known to a'l in that House; but not canva sing for a job. He knew the he did say that the right hon. Gentleman wants of his countrymen. He had seen in his Irish views was perhaps moro inand sympathized with their sufferings. consistent than on any other question,


The right hon. Gentleman, however, had thing which the hon. and learned Memalways been perfectly consistent in one ber desired to impede the discussion of respect. He disliked the landed inte- more than another it was an Irish grierrest of this country. He (Mr. Mac ance. The line taken that evening by Iver) had no desire to make any the Government was altogether inconlengthened remarks; but he wished to sistent with their arguments when the say that he thought the Government Coercion Bill was passing through the had been very lax. They ought either House.

They ought either House. The Government had said that to have arrested Mr. Dillon before or they could not give the House further not at all; but they allowed the time to information, because, if they did, the go by, and they had now arrested him person who had supplied it would be when he was coming to take his seat in liable to be intimidated by his neighthat House. He cordially supported the bours. But the right hon. Gentleman views expressed by the hon. Member for the Chief Secretary for Ireland had now Newcastle.

changed his ground completely. Who MR. T. P. O'CONNOR said, he had could intimidate those who had given been much astonished by the speech of the information on which the hon. Memthe Prime Minister, which was a re- ber for Tipperary (Mr. Dillon) had been markable instance of the way in which arrested ?" He (Mr. T. P. O'Connor) a great master of Parliamentary Forms took it that his hon. Friend had been could evade the real issue. The right put in prison because of certain speeches hon. Gentleman said that was an irregu- which he had made openly at a Land lar mode of bringing forward that sub- League meeting in Dublin. That speech ject, and because he considered it to be had been published in all the news

: 80 he declined to enter into it. He fur- papers, and there could be no fear of ther challenged them to bring a sub-anyone being intimidated in consequence stantive Motion before the House, when of the information given against him. they might discuss the whole trans- Therefore, the whole reason for the abaction; but when the Government were solute silence and secrecy urged in reasked to give facilities for the discus- gard to the nature of the information sion of a substantive Motion they with disappeared in the case of his hon. held all such facilities. The Irish Mem- Friend. The hon. Member for Birkenbers had been prevented at all points head (Mr. Mac Iver) had said the arrest from bringing forward the matter in a should have taken place sooner, or not regular way; and the right hon. Gentle- at all. If his hon. Friend were engaged man the Chief Secretary for Ireland, in in the utterance of speeches which were the face of all the facts they had had to exciting to public disorder, he oughtnever confront, had risen in his place and de- to have been allowed to make a second clared that the Irish Members were speech, and accordingly they were driven afraid to bring the subject forward. He to this conclusion that the hon. Gentlehad told them they could have brought man was arrested for a speech made on the Motion that night; but if he had months ago, or he was arrested for a looked at the Order Book he would have speech made two or three weeks ago, seen that there were seven Notices of If the arrest was in respect of a speech Motion down for that night, four of made months ago, it had come too late; which were opposed. One of them re- but there could be no doubt it was made lated to police superannuation, and the on account of a speech delivered only hon. and gallant Member in whose name two or three weeks ago. The only recent it stood (Colonel Alexander) took too speeches made by his hon. Friend that deep an interest in the subject to give he knew of which had attracted notice way in favour of the Irish Members. To during the last few weeks were two, ono another of those Motions Notice of oppo- of which was made on a Sunday, and the sition had been given by the hon. and other at a Land League meeting in Duba learned Member for Bridport (Mr.

War- lin. The speech

made on the Sunday could ton), who, though his career in the not have been the cause of his arrest, House had not been long, had already because his hon. Friend was in prison acquired a reputation for unyielding and before the report of it could have come relentless hostility to any proposition before the Dublin authorities. He was, which he wished to prevent from coming therefore, forced to the conclusion that before the House. If there was any, it was in consequence of his speech be

Mr. Mac Iver

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »