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what was the official information that we knocked off, the men kicked, stoned, bad received from Mitchelstown, and it and beaten with the sticks which were was stated that we had not got the offi- in the possession of the crowd. All the cial report of the circumstances, but that facts of the case will be necessarily the moment we received it we would more fully in our possession on Monday submit it to the House; and now we than at present, and I have no doubt that are told that the necessarily imperfect all the circumstances will be very fully distelegraphic summary which was read cussed, and on the Motion which we are by the Chief Secretary to the House was told will be made by the right hou. Memnot worth hearing, because it comes ber for Derby (Sir William Harcourt) a from a tainted source. Why did they very considerable debate will take place. ask us to get official information at all? I will, therefore, suggest that this disMay I ask why it should come from a cussion, which has now gone on for tainted source? Why are we told it a considerable time, may now with comes from an incriminated quarter ? advantage be allowed to close. No Are the police any more on their trial in doubt many hon. Gentlemen would like this matter than anybody else ? [Inter- to be heard on the question, because ruption from a Home Rule Member.] The they feel a great interest in the matter, conduct of the police in this case—[Re- and may think they will not have annewed Interruption
other opportunity of speaking. What MR. SPEAKER: Order, order! I good will be obtained by discussing the must ask the hon. Gentleman not to question on imperfect information? The interrupt so constantly, or else I shall arguments have been well placed on the have to take further notice of his con- one side by the hon. Member for West duct.
Belfast, and the police have been adeMR. GIBSON: The conduct of the quately denounced. On the other side police has been denounced without their of the House we have stated our views having an opportunity of being heard. as clearly and simply as we could withThe only statements which the House out exaggerating the facts on the has heard against them were state- material we have received. Our informents which have been made by hon. mation is from the County Inspector on Members. The Government, however, the spot. There is no doubt that when rely, and I think they are entitled to the discussion takes place all hon. Memrely, and that the facts will show they bers will have a very full opportunity are entitled to rely, on the statement of going through the circumstances of communicated by my right hon. Friend, this occurrence, which has resulted in a which appears to be marked with the loss of life, which every one, no matter stamp of truth. Why is it hon. Mem- in what part of the House he sits, must bers on the reports of newspapers de most sincerely deplore. nounce the police as Bashi-Bazouks and MR. O'KELLY (Roscommon, N.) as being unworthy of the name of said, he was sorry to have heard Christian men at all ? The statements from the Treasury Benches a few in this morning's newspapers, when moments ago so romantic a defence they come to be examined carefully, will of what he considered to be a very be found not very different from the illegal act. The right hon. and learned statement made by my right hon. Friend. Gentleman who had just spoken had They show that there was a severe and given them a very coloured and picprolonged attack by a very superior and turesque account of how these occurapparently organized force upon a com- rences took place in Mitchelstown. The paratively insignificant body of police. right hon." and learned Gentleman What were the forces brought upon that rested his justification of the action of the field ? On the one side were 3,000 men, police on the necessity of getting & a great number of them armed with report of the speeches, but he had not blackthorns, and a peasant cavalry who explained to them why it was necessary proceeded to break up the order of the to take this report in any particular police. On the other side were about part of the crowd. The right hon. and 50 policemen to whom, in the discharge learned Gentleman failed entirely to of their bounden duty, in a few moments understand that this police reporter resistance was offered. You find them could have taken his report just as well flying for their lives, their helmets on the edge of this crowd as he could
in the middle of it-in fact he could police barracks the mass of the people have taken it a great deal better on the were listening to the speeches at some edge than in the middle. Therefore distance from the police barracks. there was in the first place no absolute There was no collection of men of such necessity for the police forcing their way force or of such importance near the into the crowd. Then the right hon. barracks as could by any possibility have and learned Gentleman conveniently placed the lives or even the persons of mixed up the events of the day. So the policemen in danger. They could not far as their information went, and the have been in the slightest danger from information they were now relying on the attacks of the few
persons who might was the independent information which have advanced to the barracks. Thereappeard in the Press generally, there fore there was no legal justification in were three stages in these proceedings the action of the police. But all the in Mitchelstown. There was first the Gentlemen who had spoken from the advance of 20 police with the police re- Ministerial Bench had also skimmed porter. Now, anyone who was in the over another most important point, and habit of attending meetings in Ireland that was that from the beginning to the knew it was utterly unnecessary to send end of these proceedings they missed 20 policemen with the Government re- the presence of any commanding officer porter. He had never seen 20, but he whatever. What were these magistrates had often seen three or four who were for? Who were in command of these sent to protect the reporter from being armed policemen? If these men were pushed whilst he was in the middle of left to run loose among the people and the crowd. There was no necessity for use their deadly arms without control sending these 20 policemen, but that they ceased to be soldiers and police, was only the initial stage of the pro- and became brigands. He said the ceedings. When these men came into action of these men was rather the action the crowd they forced their way in and of brigands than the action of peace there was no riot. But these 20 police officers in defence of order. The fact men retired from the field and came that some of the police were injured had back reinforced, and that was the time nothing to do with the question at issue. this fighting arose which so shocked the The question at issue was how this right hon, and learned Gentleman. They trouble arose. The right hon. Gentlehad undoubted testimony that this man the Chief Secretary for Ireland fighting began with the action of therein- said when the people attacked the police forced body of police attacking the people, the police defended themselves. If men and that was the essential point of the went into a fight they m
expect to be These men made no peace- hurt; but the fact that they had escaped ful effort to report the meeting. They without serious injury was a contradicdid not pretend they could not have tion of the highly-coloured statements reported it without this appeal to of both the Chief Secretary for Ireland violence, which resulted in the collision and the Attorney General for Ireland, between the crowd and police. The because if the crowd had been of the police then retired to the barracks. They nature which it was represented—if had the further effort on the part of the there had been any organized attempt Ministry to create the impression that or intention to hurt or injure the police the people who formed the mass of the -it would be impossible for those men meeting pursued the police and attacked to have got off as they had got off. But them in the barracks. All the informa- the point after all, and the essential tion which the Irish Members had point, upon which this discussion received contradicted that statement. turned, was what right had these men There was no such movement of the to attack the meeting in the beginpeople on the barracks. The police ning ? That was the point to which were allowed to retire into the barracks, the Government had to address themand the fact that a few policemen retiring selves to _justify their conduct in before such a mob were all of them able Ireland. He warned the Government to get back into the barracks was a proof that if the spirit which was displayed that they was not pursued by the mob. by the Chief Secretary for Ireland and Therefore they had come to this position the Attorney General for Ireland spread -that when the firing began from the among the subordinate officials in Ire
land, they would find, and properly | about. The speakers always, or nearly find, that they would not be allowed to always, spoke from waggonettes. He had commit these outrages with impunity. again and again listened at meetings,
Mr. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.) said, and if he had the necessary stenographie he did not rise to prolong the debate, power he could certainly from the but to ask a question upon a point bottom of the street have easily rewhich had been left ambiguous by ported speeches. He mentioned this to the Attorney General for Ireland. He show that there was no necessity for the wished to ask him whether he contended note-takers to push up through the that a police reporter had any right of crowd. The right hon. and learned interference at a meeting different from Genileman said there was a great numthat of a reporter of a newspaper; and ber of people there. Well, if there was whether, if that were so, the right de- a great number of people there, they pended upon Statute or upon Common would be incensed by the shorthand Law ?
reporter pushing into the centre of the MR. GIBSON said, that he did not crowd. But was it the object that the know whether he was quite in Order in meeting should pass off peacefully? Disanswering the question, or whether the tinctly not, because they heard that the hon. and learned Member was in Order first commencement of the attack was in asking it; but his view of the law in consequerce of the police batoning was that if the Government had reason horses. They knew perfectly well that to believe that the meeting was a meet- if they batoned horses they would sway ing which would be attended with dis- in one way or the other. The right hon. order and breach of the peace or ille- and learned Gentleman said they upset gality, they were bound, if they thought the order and ranks of the police. The that speeches were to be made at that people probably tried to prevent the meeting which might require the notice horses going on one side, and thus upset of the law, to have a reporter present, the ranks of the police on the other. and that that reporter was entitled to be That was the more natural outcome of admitted, and persons who resisted the the circumstances, and the police should reporter were guilty of a violation of the have borne it with good temper. But it law. He would call the attention of the did not appear to be the case. The right hon. and learned Member to the fact hon. and learned Gentleman repeated that this meeting was held in the public three times that the people were armed streets of a town.
with blackthorns in profusion ; but the MR. HUNTER: Will the right hon. right hon. and learned Gentleman knew and learned Gentleman give any autho- that in Ireland the commonest thing in rity for that opinion ?
the world was to go about with a blackMR. SPEAKER: Order, order! The thorn. He (Dr. Tanner) come down to hon. and learned Gentleman is not en- the House every afternoon with a blacktitled to speak twice.
thorn, although he did not consider that DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid) said, he went about armed with a blackthorn. he had once had the curiosity to read a It was one of the commonest sticks for very celebrated pamphlet called Killing walking purposes in those districts. The no Murder. It was written, he under- right hon. and learned Gentleman should stood, by a celebrated man, Oliver have known that those peasant cavalry, Cromwell, the Protector of Great Bri. as he called them, came from the counties tain. It appeared to him that the of Limerick and Tipperary. Why should right hon. and learned Gentleman had they not travel such a long distance by adopted the argument of that pamphlet horses when they had them? The right in his defence of law in Ireland. The hon. and learned Gentleman's meanright hon. and learned Gentleman told ing was that they came there to attack them that at the meeting there was the armed forces of the Crown, but he great difficulty in getting the police (Dr. Tanner) said that was not the case. reporter through the crowd, and that İle should like to know whether in this it was in consequence of the oppo- instance the police note-taker had ap. sition offered by the people that the plied for admission to the waggonette ? police batoned the people, and that it He had attended numerous meetings, was by these circumstances that the and where such application was made it lamentable occurrences were brought had always been acceded to. The action
of the police in firing on the people from Member for the Northwich Division of the upstairs windows was, in the first Cheshire (Mr. Brunner). It was of the place, unnecessary; and, secondly, dis- utmost importance that statements comorderly. They had such proceedings municated to this House should be corbacked up by responsible Ministers in rect and impartial. The language of the House. They knew that the out- the Chief Secretary that afternoon would come of such speeches as had been made be an incitement to the police, who read by the Chief Secretary for Ireland when their newspapers every day, and who such laws existed in Ireland as at pre- were greatly influenced by the tone of sent was sure to be violence. After the their masters. When, for instance, the meeting at Ennis the people of Ireland right hon. Gentleman the Member for had been taunted with cowardice by the Mid Lothian's policy was before Parlianewspapers of this country. Now the ment, and the right hon. Gentleman hounds of the law had been sated with the Member for Newcastle was Chief bloodshed, and let the huntsman cheer Secretary, the attitude of the police them on in their bloody course.
towards the people and the leaders of Mr. NOLAN (Louth, N.) said, he de- the people became exceedingly mild. sired to read an extract from the ac. The worst enemy of the Chief Secretary counts of the proceedings which appeared for Ireland could not wish to take a in one of the London papers of that word away from, or to add to, his speech. morning, which would remind the House He, however, regretted to find that none of the real facts of the case after the of those who had spoken from the Gogarbled account that had come from the vernment Benches had expressed any Treasury Bench.
regret at the circumstances that had MR. SPEAKER: I must ask the occurred. There was one thing which hon. Gentleman to withdraw the word ought to go home to the minds of the "garbled."
British people, and make them more MR. NOLAN: I think, Mr. Speaker, keenly sensible of the terrible nature of you are under a misapprehension. this deplorable event, and that was that
MR. SPEAKER: The hon. Gentle one of the unfortunate men who were man charged the Chief Secretary for killed was not a rioter, but was disIreland with supplying garbled accounts charged home from the British Army to this House, and I must ask him to after, perhaps, serving Her Majesty in withdraw the word "garbled."
various parts of the world, and on his MR. NOLAN: I do not apply the term return to Ireland he was shot down by to the right hon. Gentleman, or any the very men who were paid by the taxMember of the House.
payers of this country for the protection MR. SPEAKER : The expression of life and property. could have no meaning if the hon. Gen. tleman did not apply it to any Member
Question put. of the House.
The House divided :--Ayes 85; Noes MR. NOLAN said, he miglit not have 25 : Majority 60.-(Div. List, No. 476.) made himself understood. What he intended to convey was that accounts sup
Bill read a second time, and committed plied by officials to the Government
for Monday next. were garbled. The account which he wished to read stated that the people who assembled in the square were per
ADJOURNMENT. fectly peaceable and orderly until the
THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREApolice attacked them wantonly and SURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, cruelly with their batons, and that had Westminster): In fulfilment of the the police not interfered no disorder pledge which I gave to the hon. Memwhatever would have occurred. This ber for Cavan Mr. Biggar), I now beg account, short as it was, would appeal to move that this House do now adeloquently to hon. Members on the journ. other side of the House, and would convey what he was convinced would turn Motion made, and Question proposed, out to be a truthful account of what
“ That this House do now adjourn.”occurred. That was written by the hon. (ur. W. H. Smith.) VOL. COOXXI. THIRD SERIES.)
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE_VACANT HOUSE
Monday, 12th September, 1887.
Government Boundaries (259); Prison THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR
(Officers' Superannuation) (Scotland)* (264';
Superannuation Acts Amendment (262); THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Technical Schools (Scotland) * (260). MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.) said, that Second Reading-Committee negatived – Merchant the measure was really directed against
Shipping (Miscellaneous) * (257). certain transactions in connection with a particular graveyard near the Totten
WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE (No. 2) BILL. ham Court Road. The Government
PERSONAL COMPLAINT. strongly reprobated the shocking cha- Lord DENMAN said, he had to comracter of the use to which the burial plain that a Bill he had introduced for ground of Whitfield's Tabernacle had conferring the franchise on women had been put ; but they felt that they could been excluded from the Notice Paper not interfere in the matter proposed in for that day as requested on the 9th in. the Bill without giving compensation to stant, at the instance of the Clerk; and the owners of the ground. The land he thought it was extraordinary that had ceased to be used as a burial ground the Clerk should have opposed the privifor many years. It had been leased, leges of a Peer of 32 years' experience. had reverted to the owner in fee, and When the days for an Address to the had then been sold under an Order of Crown against the abolition of the Chief the Court of Chancery. The parties to Justiceship of the Common Pleas and whom it now belonged desired to make office of Chief Baron of the Exchequer use of the property. The Home Office had expired, he (Lord Denman) wished having interfered to prevent the land to bring it forward again on the 29th from being built upon, the owners had day; but Sir William Rose told the noble resorted to the shocking expedient of Earl (Earl Granville) that he could not permitting fairs to be held on the do so. However, he (Lord Denman) ground. The Government intended to found that there was no precedent enforce any existing law that was appli- against it, so, at the last day, it was recable to the case, and would inquire poated, but adjourned, by Lord Campwhether they could not put a stop to the bell on the Auchterarder case. He exhibitions of which the burial ground had also been told by the present was the scene by enforcing the provi- Chief Clerk that he could not bring sions of the Open Spaces Act and the forward a Notice as to the opening Disused Burial Grounds Act, 1884. But of museums on Sunday; but on an should the law fail to meet the case, application to the noble and learned they could not undertake to interfere Lord (Lord Herschell) it was allowed. with the rights of private property unless On the 11th of August last Mr. Woodall compensation were given. He thought withdrew his Women's Suffrage Bill; that the hon. Member would agree with therefore, on the 12th of August, he (Lord him that in these circumstances it would Denuan) asked the Chief Clerk to put not be right to press this Bill upon the it on the Paper issued on a Tuesday for attention of the House.
the next Tuesday, hoping to ask the MR. SEXTON: Will the Committee House on the Monday if it might restage of the Appropriation Bill be taken main on the list for the next day, which as the first Order of the Day on Mon- | application was refused, so that three day?
weeks had been lost. The Women's MR. A. J. BALFOUR: Yes.
Suffrage (No. 2) Bill was now on the list Question put, and agreed to.
of Bills in progress ; and he wished to
know if a Clerk of less experience than House adjourned at a quarter after Sir William Rose could exclude it? Eight o'clock till Monday next. THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR
INDIA (Viscount Cross) said, it would