« PreviousContinue »
MR. HUNTER: I shall not move my able Baron Basing, the Right Honourable Sir Amendments. Henry Selwin-Ibbetson, and the Right Honour able John Tomlinson Hibbert."—(Mr. Ritchie.) Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
MR. RITCHIE: I now move in Clause 1, line 9, after "England," to insert" and Wales."
MR. MASON (Lanark, Mid): I recog nize that this Bill is a distinct advance with regard to the Office of Secretary for Scotland; and I move, as I have been requested, that the date on which it shall come into force shall be altered from the 1st of January, 1888, to the 1st of November, 1887.
Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 9, after "England," to insert "and Wales."-(Mr. Ritchie.)
Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
MR. RADCLIFFE COOKE (Newington, W.): I think it would be extremely undesirable to insert those words, because there is an Act of George II. which declares that wherever the word "England" is used in Statutes it shall include Wales. We have quite enough to do without passing laws twice over.
MR. RITCHIE: We do not think that the Amendment is necessary; but we very frequently have to put into Bills words which are not of themselves necessary. I believe that the Welsh Members desire to have these words inserted.
CRIME AND OUTRAGE (IRELAND)—
FATAL RIOTS AT MITCHELSTOWN. MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.): Before the House adjourns I wish to put a Question to the Head of the Government. Intelligence of the utmost gravity has arrived to-night from Ireland, and, in my opinion, a situation of unprecedented public peril has been suddenly created there. My information is that whilst a meeting, addressed by English and Irish Members of Parliament, was peacefully in progress this afternoon in the public square at Mitchelstown, a body of Constabulary armed with rifles suddenly forced themselves on the meeting, and eventually fired with bullets on the people, killing two men on the spot, and dangerously wounding several others; and I am informed that one man has since died. I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury (Mr. W. H. Smith) whether he or any other Member of the Government can give us any information; whether they are in possession of any; and particularly I want to know who was in command of the armed forces, and who ordered them to fire; who, in fact, is responsible for this occurrence?
THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster): I am aware of the fact that an unfortunate collision has occurred; but I am not informed of the details, nor have the Government received any official information on the subject. It is, therefore, impossible for me to give the hon. Gentleman the information which he desires. I can only express my profound regret at the circumstance.
MR. SEXTON: I can only protest against the absence of the Irish officials when this sad affair was so well known, and when it might reasonably be expected it would form the subject of a Question in this House.
MR. W. H. SMITH: I had not the slightest idea that the hon. Member had an intention to put a Question on the subject, or I would have secured the attendance in the House of one of the Irish Officers.
MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne): I should have thought that the Government having-according to the right hon. Gentleman's own admissionthemselves received intimation that this had occurred, and knowing of this de
plorable occurrence, would have deemed it a sufficient reason to suppose that a Question would be addressed to the Government.
MR. W. H. SMITH: I have received no official information.
MR. CONYBEARE: But they apparently knew what had occurred. This is rather too grave an occurrence for such a lame excuse, or to be passed by as
an unfortunate collision." It is all very well for the right hon. Gentleman to express regret at these things; but he should have been a little wiser before, and have taken measures to prevent this civil war arising in Ireland through the mischievous policy of the Government.
MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.): Are we to understand that the Government have heard of this from merely an unofficial source, and that they did not think it a sufficiently grave matter to inquire into and obtain official information?
MR. W. H. SMITH: As soon as the information reached us, we at once telegraphed to Ireland for information— full information-on the subject.
MR. SEXTON: And I wish to point out that eight hours after this murderous occurrence the Government are without information on the subject.
MR. BIGGAR (Cavan, W.): I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House if he will adopt the practice prevailing in former Parliaments, and at the close of Government Business to-day will he move the adjournment of the House, or does he intend to allow Private Business to be taken?
MR. W. H. SMITH: As soon as the Government Business is concluded tomorrow-or, rather, to-day-I shall move the adjournment of the House.
MR. J. ROWLANDS (Finsbury, E.): Is it the intention of the Government to resist the passing of the Vacant Grounds (Nuisances Prevention) Bill, which stood for second reading last night?
MR. W. H. SMITH: This Bill was blocked by direction of the Government, because there was an understanding between the promoter of the Bill-the hon. Member for West St. Pancras (Mr. Lawson)-and the Home Office that the Bill should not be pressed if it were objected to by the Home Office. There are very serious objections to it, and therefore the Bill is blocked.
An hon. MEMBER: No notice was taken of this Bill last night, and when the Motion for second reading was made no grounds of objection were advanced. The treatment of this Bill by the Government will be taken by Nonconformists as a grievous and crying scandal.
The House divided:-Ayes 84; Noes 16: Majority 68.-(Div. List, No. 470.)
House adjourned at a quarter
after One o'clock.
ful state of brigandage" exists in the
THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr.
HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Saturday, 10th September, 1887.
SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the pensions given as compensation for loss in office in the Transvaal, which are lumped in the Colonial Vote without details, have
The House met at Twelve of the ever been brought to the knowledge of clock. the House in the same way that new retiring allowances are always submitted by every other Department, in Returns stating names, amounts, and cause of grant?
THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir HENRY HOLLAND) (Hampstead): I believe that those pensions, not being granted under the Superannuation Act, were not brought in detail before the House when they were first granted in those Acts. I have already explained the same manner as new pensions under how they were granted upon the retrocession of the Transvaal.
MINUTES.]-PUBLIC BILLS-Second Reading
Committee Report Considered as amended Third Reading-Escheat (Procedure) * ; Sheriffs (Consolidation) * ; Valuation of Lands (Scotland) Amendment * , and passed.
Committee-Report-Third Reading - Expiring
Deeds of Arrangement (No. 2) ;
British Settlements , and passed.
SOUTH AFRICA-THE TRANSVAAL
SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL asked,
presumed they appeared in 1884, the
SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL said, that
SIR HENRY HOLLAND said, that no details of names had ever been brought before Parliament, in the same way as in the case of pensions under the Superannuation Act. The Vote, however, for these pensions came up every year; and any hon. Member could, of course, make inquiry, as the hon. Member himself did this year.
EGYPT-ATTACK ON BRITISH OFFICERS COMMISSION OF INQUIRY -MAJOR MACDONALD FLOGGING OF SHEIKHS.
SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.) asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether Her Majesty's Government have considered and approved the proceedings of Major Macdonald, British Member of the Extraordinary Commission sent to try, in a summary and extra legal manner, certain Egyptian villagers, particularly in sentencing to be flogged two Sheikhs of the village, not for having taken part in the affray, but for not preventing it, and also sentencing to be imprisoned and fined a number of other Sheikhs, because they were Chiefs of the Tribes to which the accused men belonged; and, whether Her Majesty's Government have approved the conduct of the British Authorities who sent British troops and English prison warders to carry out the sentences?
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N.E.): Her Majesty's Government have not thought it necessary to express any disapproval of the conduct of the British officer who took part in the Court to which the Question of my hon. Friend refers. At the same time, I must point out that I cannot admit that in the terms of his Question he has accurately described the case as stated in the Papers before the House. I have no reason to think that the Court was extra legal. It sat under the authority of the Government of Egypt; nor can I admit that the Sheikhs in question were flogged for the reasons stated, although the reasons stated were probably considered aggravations of their offence.
SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL said, that the Court was extra legal. He asked if it was not the fact that Egypt at the present moment was subject to certain conditions of legality; if it was the fact that there exists a Legislative Council; whether that Legislative Council was consulted; and whether the Extraordinary Commission was not issued by the Khedive upon his own sole authority; could it be shown that the punishment of the Sheikhs or headmen of the village was justifiable; and could it be shown that they could have prevented the affray?
SIR JAMES FERGUSSON: The hon. Gentleman has put a great number of Questions, and I cannot undertake to answer them off-hand; but I may say that a Legislative Council is not consulted in Executive acts. The Commission, I believe, was legally constituted; and the punishment of the Sheikhs was due to the fact that they were Chiefs of the villagers which were concerned in the outrages upon the officers, and were present and abetting them.
SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL gave Notice that he would call the attention of the House to the subject on the earliest possible opportunity.
MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton) inquired, whether the affray to which the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy had called attention did not originate in a British officer having wounded four out of five men-possibly by accident, and upon a struggle arising out of the wounding in killing one of them right out-as the officer said also by accident?
SIR JAMES FERGUSSON: The Papers are before the House, and hon. Members are as able as I am to say what is in them. I think it is hardly necessary for me to repeat the explanations which I gave at great length about the affair when it occurred.
hon. Friend the Chief Secretary I have communication between Mitchelstown to inform the hon. Gentleman, with re- and London.? gret, that we have not yet got any official information on the subject of this Question. All I know is that in regard to the unfortunate action of the police at Mitchelstown yesterday-and there is no doubt that an unfortunate collision did take place the police having been attacked, two men lost their lives in consequence of gun-shot wounds. The Government have sent a telegram to Mitchelstown, and they expect to get official information at the earliest possible moment. I do not think it is desirable, nor that the House would expect me, to make any statement with regard to the occurrence until we have that official information on the accuracy of which we can confidently rely.
COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.): On the same subject, Sir, I should like to ask the First Lord of the Treasury a Question of which I have given him private, although I admit somewhat scanty, Notice. I wish to know whether the Government will consider the propriety of compensating those sufferers from the action of the police who may not be proved to have committed any unlawful act; and in the case of those persons who have been killed, if it can be shown that they were innocent parties, and were guilty of no unlawful act, whether the Government will consider the propriety, in the same manner, of compensating the families of the deceased men?
THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster): I fully appreciate the motives of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, and the entire absence of anything like Party spirit in the observations which he has made. But I am sure he will see that, in the absence of that complete information which we ought to possess before we attempt to deal with so grave a question as this, I am unable to give him an answer. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman thinks it right to repeat his Question on Monday I hope to be able to give some information to the House.
MR. SEXTON: The right hon. Gentleman will recollect that I called attention to the deplorable occurrence which took place last evening at the rising of the House this morning. I will, therefore, ask whether any effort has since been made to establish direct telegraphic
MR. GIBSON: I have already said that a telegram was sent last night to Mitchelstown. I believe that a further telegram has been sent this morning; and I understand that arrangements have been made to keep the wire open for the purpose of transmitting information to the Government.
MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton): I beg to ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland whether the attempt to disperse the meeting at Mitchelstown was solely in consequence of the meeting having been proclaimed? Is it the view of the Government that the proclamation of a meeting which would otherwise be a lawful meeting constitutes that meeting an unlawful assembly, so that it may be dispersed by force, killing all persons who make any attempt to resist?
MR. GIBSON: As I have already pointed out, it is out of my power to make any statement in reference to the facts of the case, because, up to the present moment, Her Majesty's Government have received no official information. What I understand occurred is this-a Government shorthand writer was, in discharge of his duty to take notes of the speeches, about to take notes of the speeches that were going to be delivered when the police, who were protecting him, were attacked. That, I believe, was the origin of this unfortu