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perty (Irelandet a the hon. adlar

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201 Protection of Person and {May 10, 1881) Property (Ireland) Act, 1881. 202
fore the Land League meeting that his, that was true. The hon. Member was
hon. Friend had been arrested. But, on understating rather than overstating the
April 7, Mr. Justice Fitzgerald stated in case. Was he to be put in prison be-
a Charge to the Grand Jury that Dublin cause he spoke what was true? Did
was in an unusually peaceful and orderly anybody suppose that the public peace
condition. For himself, he (Mr. T. P. and order could be preserved in Ireland
O'Connor) had never seen Dublin in if the Government were criminal enough
anything but a peaceful and orderly to allow evictions to be made ?
state. The right hon. Gentleman the who knew the animosity which the
Chief Secretary for Ireland was ques- present action of the landlords in Ire-
tioned with regard to the Charge, and land created, or the feeling of the people
his reply was that since the Charge of towards them, could fail to be aware
Judge Fitzgerald one or two speeches that 10,000 or 12,000 evictions could not
had been made in the Land League. take place without resistance. If that
Was the Metropolis of Ireland to be were so, could his hon. Friend, knowing
proclaimed in a state of siege, and were the fact, be blamed for stating it? As
the liberties of 300,000 people to be a chief officer of the Land League, it
placed at the mercy of every policeman, was his duty to proclaim the facts; and
because one man made speeches which instead of having been imprisoned for
it was sought to prevent? If such a doing so, he ought to be thanked for it;
thing were heard of as occurring at Ber- if he had abstained from doing so, he
lin, or even at St. Petersburg, English would not have been performing his
Members would receive it with disgust, duty as a citizen. Instead of that, there
and would hardly believe it possible. could be no doubt that that was the
What was the speech of his hon. Friend? speech which led to his hon. Friend's
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancas- arrest. It was deplorably strange, but
ter had himself declared that if the Irish it was true, as had been said by the hon.
people had the control of their own Member for Newcastle (Mr. J. Cowen),
affairs, either justice would be done to that the Irish people had never gained
the Irish tenants, or the Irish tenants anything from England except by vio-
would exterminate the landlords. If he lence or threatened insurrection, and the
(Mr. T. P. O'Connor) were to act the Land Bill was no exception to the rule;
part of a plagiarist, and to give as his whereas his ideal was that of a country
own, in the Council of the Land League where legitimate ends were pursued by
in Dublin, some of the speeches of the Constitutional and legitimate
right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secre- Indeed, a country could scarcely be said
tary for Ireland on the Compensation to be civilized in whicle the means did
for Disturbance Bill of last year, with not exist of influencing public opinion
regard to the horrors of eviction, with by peaceful meetings or through the
regard to the process of eviction, with Press; while violence was the miserable
regard to the threats of violence, and the concomitant of English rule in Ireland.
ditficulty of preserving and maintaining He charged that upon the Government
the public peace, he had no doubt he as one of the worst and most demoral-
would have an uncomfortable lodging in izing influences which they exercised
Kilmainham before 24 hours were over ; in this country; and, in conclusion, he
but if he were to adopt some of the begged to say that if the Government
speeches of the right hon. Gentleman gave the Irish Members facilities for
the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancas- discussing the arrest of his hon. Friend
ter, he did not think he would even be (Mr. Dillon), the question would be dis-
let off with a lodging in Kilmainham, cussed in a frank, full, and fair manner;
but believed that he would be brought but if the Government demurred to or
before a packed jury, if a packed jury denied that reasonable request, then
could be gotin Ireland now,and sentenced they would be compelled to take such
to penal servitude for inciting to riot. means as the Forms of the House might
No one could deny the truth of what the afford of securing attention for a matter
hon. Member for Tipperary had said; which lay near to millions of Irish
but its very truth was its guilt in the hearts.
eyes of the Government. His hon. MR. JESSE COLLINGS said, he had
Friend had said that there were 10,000 opposed the passing of the Coercion Bill,
persons threatened with eviction; and and he now regretted some of the conse-

because, if the had supplied it's antimidated by i che right hon li

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1

quences of that Bill. He did not rise to : 50 policemen, at which the most painful criticize the policy of the Government scenes were witnessed. And who was Mr. with regard to the arrests that had taken M.Geough? Why, a gentleman who, place in Ireland, because he was not in according to the evidence given before à position to say whether or not any of the Bessborough Commission, was one of the action taken there was justified. those who had brought Ireland into the There was, however, abroad, he thought, condition in which she was now placed. a very general feeling of regret that, as It appeared that one of his tenants, a the Government had stayed their hands widow, wished to sell her tenant rigbt so long, they had not found it consistent in a farm for which she paid £20 with their duty at the last moment to a-year; but that he refused to accept avoid arresting Mr. Dillon. No one a man as tenant who was ready to take that had read the speeches of Jr. Dillon it, unless he consented to have the rent could doubt that he had made statements increased to £27 a-year. Those terms which would justify his arrest; but what were refused. The widow, in consequence, he (Mr. Collings) wished to ask the Go- could not sell her tenant right, and she vernment was this-when were they to was evicted without any compensation. stop in the process of arresting various That such proceedings should create a Leaders of the Land League ? He could deep feeling of irritation in the minds of not help regretting that the Government the Irish people was scarcely matter for had chosen that particular time to create wonder. "He (Mr. Collings) gave the a feeling of irritation by their action in Chief Secretary for Ireland credit for Ireland, a time when a Land Bill had his humanity ; but he must say people been brought in, which redeemed the were tempted to commit offences in their promise of the Government. It was a despair. They might say that that view Bill which throughout the whole of was not logical ; but then they were England had been received with favour, dealing with a people who thought they and generally in Ireland with thankful had no right to be turned out on the ness and appreciation. [No, no!”] roadside. When they talked about

“] The Bill was generally received with sending large forces to be present at appreciation, and in a manner better these evictions, so as to prevent resistthan the Government could have ex- ance, they lost sight of the fact of what pected; and by doing what they had, human nature would do under such cirthey were likely to destroy, to a great cumstances. They must not forget that extent, their remedial legislation. The the very beasts would fight for their lair state of Ireland appeared to be now and young ones when driven to desperaeven worse than it was a few months tion; and these evictions must be stopped, ago as regarded the feelings of the people; unless thoy were to increase even the and a word ought, he thought, to be disorder which they had now. There said about those who were the real cul- | had been the greatest misconception in prits in the case, and without whom the this country as to the character of the Dillons could not exist in Ireland. He agitation in Ireland, and it seemed to meant the men who were evicting the ten- him that the Chief Secretary for Ireland ants from their farms. By arresting 50 had been duped by the Tory landlords Dillons the Government would not secure in Dublin Castle. The story which had the object which they seemed to have in been placed before thousands of people view. It had been said by the Prime by the English Press as to the roasting Minister that “crime dogged the steps alive of a process-server had turned out of the Land League ; but

anyone

false. The Times, a short time ago, rewho had read the statistics of crime in presented the hon. Member for the City Ireland would see at once that crime of Cork (Mr. Parnell) to have told the dogged the steps of eviction, and if Irish people to stick to their arms; but, crime was to be stopped evictions must on turning to the Dublin Freeman, he be seen to. The Government must be (Mr. Collings) found that what the hon. aware that the Coercion Bill was being Member really had said wasput to a purpose which they never con- “ Your organization has given you the benetemplated. A week or two ago, evic- fits you have gained, and I advise you to stick tions were enforced at the instance of a to the arm which has done so much for you." justice of the peace for the county of What was to be done? He strongly Armagh, Mr. M Geough, with the aid of advised the right hon. Gentleman at the

Mr. Jesse Collinys

on

head of the Government to publicly sig- people were our own flesh and blood ? nify his intention of making the Bill (Several Irish MEMBERS: No, no!! Oh, retrospective in its clauses. Even this yes, they were. He was sorry the Bill might not pass this Session, and Irish Members were so parochial that the landlords would be protected in their they could not understand his mean. legalized plunder.

ing. In a wider sense the Irish people Mr. SPEAKER said, the hon. Mem- were their own flesh and blood. He ber was travelling into a Bill which was would ask the right hon. Gentleman appointed for a future day.

to hold out some hope to these poor MR. JESSE COLLINGS, apologizing, creatures who were turned out of their said, he was led away from the question homes every day, and who, if they by a consideration of the injustice done left the country, left with curses to the Irish people while the Land Bill England. The Government dare not was being delayed in the House. The logically carry out the Coercion Act; right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secre- if they did they would be compelled to tary for Ireland, speaking last August, shoot down the people. [An Irish MEMstated that if the landlords used their BER: They have done so already.) Ho powers in such a manner as to force the maintained that the people of England Government to support them in injus- were not prepared to approve of any tice, the Government would accompany such extremities. The Government their request for special powers with a were in the position of an unskilful Bill which would prevent them being physician dealing with a skin disease. obliged to support injustice. After that They were taking steps to spread that speech, one might have hoped that some disease inwards, and, by casting into thing would be done to prevent the in- prison the leaders of the Land League, justice which the Government would not they were leaving the whole thing in deny was at present taking place in Ire- the hands of the ruffian part of the land. He did not know, for instance, population. He therefore appealed to whether it would not be possible to re- the right hon. Gentleman to say somefuse the use of troops and Constabulary thing whereby the bad landlords would at evictions, until the justice of the case be taught that if they persevered in the of the Irish tenants was first settled. Ho course which led to crime they would would appeal to the Prime Minister to have to make restitution. He was saysay one word of confort to these poor ing nothing against the Government; Irish people, every one of whom, as well but he was asking that they should give as every one of the people of England, effect to their good intentions. He rebelieved in the right hon. Gentleman. gretted that the Coercion Act was being [Cries of "No!from the Irish Members.] used simply for the purpose of evictions He would say yes, and, speaking from and of collecting rents whether those rent experience of public meetings in Eng. were just or unjust, in a most barbarous land, he said the mention of the name manner, and with a total disregard to of Gladstone always raised unbounded the position and poverty of the poor enthusiasm.

people who were evicted. Let the House Me. HEALY: No, no!

remember that the Irish people were MR. JESSE COLLINGS: I say, yes. turned out of their homes for resistMr. T. P. O'CONNOR: Not lately. ing a law which Parliament was about

MR. JESSE COLLINGS maintained to proclaim an unjust law. Insisting that even recent proceedings had not de- on those evictions, bad landlords were stroyed the popularity of the Prime Mi-doing that which they knew two months nister. He made the appeal to the right hence it would be unlawful for them hon. Gentleman from a sense of pity for to do; and what was more natural than the poor people of Ireland, and could that the people of Ireland should refuse assure the House that, if he were the obedience to the law which gave them Chief Secretary for Ireland, he could no protection in return ? not sleep in his bed for thinking of Mr. Gibson and Sir William Harthe injustice inflicted on these unfor- court rose together; but Mr. SPEAKER tunate persons. He would remind the called upon Prime Minister of the theory he pro- Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT, who pounded long ago, but which was still said, that he did not rise to reply to the well remembered - namely, that the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Collings),

a

but to ask the House to consider the MR. GIBSON said, he quite agreed Position in which it had been placed by with the right hon. and learned Gentlethe hon. Member. He would admit, as man the Secretary of State for the Home fully as the hon. Member could desire, Department in thinking that no good that the evictions in Ireland, and the object would be gained by discussing consequences to which they led, were a the matter further. He would havě very serious question; but he could not been glad if the discussion had termihelp thinking that the hon. Member had nated before the hon. Member for Ipsingeniously intended to do the Govern- wich (Mr. Collings) had spoken ; but ment a good turn by continuing the de- a new direction had been given to it by bate on the Land Law (Ireland) Bill. that hon. Member, who had made That evening was devoted to private a peculiar, not to say extraordinary Members; but his hon. Friend had speech. The Motion had been intromanaged to make a speech which would duced unexpectedly by the hon. Memhave been very suitable for the second ber for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell). reading of that Bill, but was scarcely Thereupon the hon. Member for Ips: appropriate to a Motion for the adjourn- wich, watching his opportunity, had ment of the House. He did not propose risen and produced a mass of letters to follow up the discussion introduced and documents which he fired away

for by his hon. Friend. That would be very half-an-hour, and pleaded earnestly for irregular on the part of the Government. a reply from a Minister. He avoided The debate had been diverted into that calling upon the right hon. and learned channel, and that was why he rose at the Gentleman the Secretary of State for same time as the right hon. and learned the Home Department, who the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gibson), who, Member knew was always ready to he rather thought, was about to make an speak; and, indeed, he looked thoroughly elaborate reply to the hon. Member for put out when the right hon. and learned Ipswich. There was no doubt the dis- Gentleman got up to say a few words cussion had been raised upon another on the subject. He (Mr. Gibson) had matter, and no doubt it was a very no intention of making an elaborate serious and grave matter that a Member speech; bụt he should like to make a few of the House should be arrested and im- remarks in answer to what had fallen prisoned. So serious a matter was it from the hon. Member for Ipswich. The that it was a most unsatisfactory thing hon. Member from one of his documents to attempt to deal with it upon a Motion drew comfort, which he found in the for adjournment, for on such a Motion speech made last August by the Chief no decision of the House could be taken. Secretary for Ireland ; but he forgot to If there ever was a question upon which draw the obvious moral, when the right the House should definitely pronounce, hon. Gentleman stated last August that it was upon the conduct of the Govern- if he saw occasion for interfering with ment in arresting a Member of that the landlords he would not hesitate to House ; but it was quite clear that no take action. It must therefore be fairly definite and distinct opinion could be and honestly assumed that he had found pronounced upon such a Motion as that, nothing since that time, with all the vast however willing anyone might be to information at his disposal, that would give an opinion. How, on a mere in- justify him as a responsible Minister terlocutory Motion, could the Govern- in submitting to the House a proposal on ment enter on the details of the grounds the subject. But the case did not rest of the arrest of the hon. Member for on that obvious inference ; for, within Tipperary? That was a question of the the last two months, the Chief Secretary gravest gravity, and the Government for Ireland stated in the House there was were not entitled to go into it except nothing whatever in the conduct of the upon the most urgent grounds, and landlords as a class calling for objection after a distinct challenge of their con- from him, and similar remarks were made duct had been given, and a decision of on a recent occasion by the Prime Ministhe House invited.' He thought that, ter. What, then, was the meaning of the in the circumstances, the House would extraordinary remarks about landlords upon reflection, agree with him that no made by the hon. Member for Ipswich ? advantage could be gained by continu- Some glimmering of what was due to

justice appeared to have crossed the Sir William Harcourt

ing the debate.

mind of the hon. Member towards the sponsibility of the Irish Executive was close of his speech, when he said no one of the gravest kind. He (Mr. Gibson) could tell at present whether the evic- concurred in that, and should not, at the tions were just or unjust. That thought proper time, hesitate to criticize frankly should have suggested to him some cau- and fully the conduct of that Execution, when he said just before the real tive. Before the Irish officials were culprits were the landlords; that they strengthened by the addition of excepwere trying to clear the land from ten- tional powers, they did not apply until ants as from vermin. What proof did he on the very eve of the meeting of Paroffer of that, or of his other statements, liament the powers left in them by the that they were seeking for ill-gotten and ordinary law with anything like adequate legalized plunder, and that what they vigour. Before the meeting of Parliawere doing were reckless outrages. ment the Executive in Ireland had, in [“ Hear, hear!from the Irish Mem- fact, been so administered that it did not bers.] He did not object to applause command proper respect in that country, from any quarter. He desired to point For a short period after the passing of out that those were strong statements the Peace Preservation Act many people to be made in that House without any thought that a quieter state of things proof, especially as they culminated in was going to arise; but the fact remained the statement that the speaker was un- at that moment, that with the powers of able to tell the House whether evictions the ordinary law and of the exceptional were just or unjust. In the name of law at their disposal, the administracommon sense, what did the hon. Mem- tion of the country had been such that ber for Ipswich think the Irish land- the Irish Executive was not regarded lords should do when they were not paid by the community, from the Giant's their rents ? Had the hon. Member the Causeway to Cape Clear, with anything faintest conception that, at the present approaching to due respect. These, moment, on many thousands of holdings of course, were matters to be gone into in Ireland rents were deliberately, with when they should come regularly before out reason, justice, or cause, withheld the House for discussion, and the Governfrom the landlords? Were the land- ment had the opportunity of defending lords to remain idle in those circum- themselves. He should then, probably, stances ? Was it to be suggested for not hesitate to take part in the disa second that the landlords, face to cussion. He would admit that the face with an organization whence came position of those responsible for the unjust and improper teaching, were maintenance of law and order was a to remain utterly quiescent, and not difficult and responsible position, and to seek to recover their legal rights ? | that every fair "allowance should be The proposition of the hon. Member, made in reference to their conduct; but, when seen from a sensible point of at the same time, they must expect that view, was utterly absurd. Did the hon. their conduct would be jealously scanned Member deny that in thousands of and anxiously scrutinized by those who cases rents were improperly and un- had to look to the law for their vindicajustly withheld ? Did he mean that the tion and protection. landlords so treated were to do nothing? THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR Why, there must, in the very nature of IRELAND Mr. Law) said, that his things, be a substantial increase of evic- right hon. and learned Friend the tions. That would of necessity b9 so, Member for the University of Dublin unless the landlords were, in the words (Mr. Gibson) had made some very of the hon. Member for Ipswich, to sub. i natural observations on the strange dimit to be made the victims of legalized I vergence of the debate from its original plunder and legalized outrage. He' purpose. It might, accordingly, have regretted that there was some truth in | been expected that his right hon, and one sentence used by the hon. Member | learned Friend would have kept in

1 for Ipswich. The hon. Member had | mind the principles which, according to said that the condition of Ireland was him, ought to have guided the hon. worse now than when the Peace Preser. Member for Ipswich, and, at all events, vation Act was passed. He held also would not so far have forgotten his posithat the state of things in Ireland tion as to make the Motion for adjournnow was grave and serious, and the re- ment the occasion for a somewhat fiery

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