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another part of his speech Sir Henry ridiculed the idea that, under a scheme of Home Rule, with a separate Parliament in Dublin, any effective veto could be given to the Imperial Parliament which would keep the Dublin Parliament in check. Nationalist member would for a moment accept the suggestion that the Imperial Parliament at Westminster should have power to repeal the Bills of the Dublin Parliament, and recently Mr. Michael Davitt had thrown off all disguise, and had declared that the safeguards for Ulster which were contained in the Bill of 1886 were not to exist in any future measure, and that the demand for separation was for the future to be wider and larger than it had been in the past.
Addressing a Liberal Unionist conference at Portsmouth. (April 2), Mr. Chamberlain remarked that there was no possible chance of Home Rule becoming a question of practicable politics in the present generation. It would have to yield to constructive legislation, and the Gladstonians were not in a condition to carry out a constructive policy. The Unionist party were in a much more favourable position. They were not pledged to satisfy the Irish agitators, and were not committed to a policy of Constitutional reform which was to take precedence of all other questions. The labouring population was in almost every respect better off than it was fifty years ago. This result had been largely brought about by beneficial legislation. It should therefore encourage them to proceed further in the same direction, because, although they had done much, there was much that still remained to be done. In spite of the flood of wealth which had flowed into this country, there were still one in forty of the men, women, and children in the country who were in receipt of parish relief. The agricultural labourers still toiled in many places for 10s. a week, and had nothing to look forward to in their old age but a pauper's dole and a pauper's grave, and in almost all our large towns there were vast districts infested with disease-districts which seemed to be permanently handed over to squalor, misery, and crime. It was the duty of statesmen and of politicians to do what they could, to try experiment after experiment, to see if they could not, in some measure, proceeding upon the safe lines which the experience and precedents of the past afforded, diminish this mass of misery, which was a scandal to civilisation. There was one influence which, within their own time, had done much to improve the condition of the labouring population-the spread of popular education. In Scotland free education had been obtained by the assistance of the present Government, and the same Government was pledged to extend its benefits to England and Wales. The great object of the working classes, in their own interest, ought to be to make the condition of the labourer better and more hopeful, and to make his life on the soil more attractive to himself. That was the object of that portion of the "unauthorised programme" of 1885, which was ridiculed then
under the name of "three acres and a cow." Scores of seats in that election were won by the votes of the agricultural labourer, who believed in the promises that were made to him, and who hoped for the allotments and small holdings which were held out to him in connection with the land; and that policy, like everything else, was put aside in 1886 in order to conciliate Mr. Parnell and to obtain 86 Irish votes. After referring to what the Government had done and were pledged to do in the matter of allotments, small holdings, factory legislation, and free education, Mr. Chamberlain concluded by advocating a system of Government provident assurance, and a closer supervision of industrial societies.
Few members put in an appearance when the House of Commons reassembled (April 6). The sitting was occupied in Committee of Supply on the Civil Service Estimates, with which a fair amount of progress was made. But some familiar crotchets and objections were aired. Sir George Campbell (Kirkcaldy) protested on the vote for the Royal parks and palaces-against the levying of a shilling fee on entrance to Holyrood, because it made Americans "swear," and gave them the impression that Scotchmen were "stingy;" and Mr. Labouchere (Northampton) was indignant because some of the deer shot in Richmond Park were presented to the Lord Mayor. He thought they should be "given to the poor, who wanted a dinner, rather than to a Lord Mayor, who would be far better without one." On the following day (April 7) a Treasury Bill for amending the law relating to Savings Banks was read a third time and passed, subsequently passing the House of Lords. At the same sitting Mr. Ritchie (St. George's, E.) explained two amending and consolidating bills relating to the public health of London, and the two measures were read a second time. The more important of the two bills I was afterwards carried through its later stages, and passed in both Houses. The Rating of Machinery Bill (No. 2) was read a second time at this sitting, with some show of enthusiasm; but, though the bill subsequently went into Committee, it was not further proceeded with.
A discussion of some importance occurred on the motion for the second reading of the Hares Bill (April 8), a measure enacting that the county councils should be empowered to establish a close time for hares during the breeding season. The bill was strongly opposed by Sir William Harcourt (Derby), who, as the author of the Ground Game Act, objected to the practical repeal of that measure, while it was as vigorously supported by Sir Henry James (Bury). The Government took no part in the debate, which continued for several hours, and resulted in the second reading of the bill, after a motion for its rejection had been defeated by 124 votes to 63. The bill, however, was afterwards dropped. At the same sitting a Religious Equality Bill, intended "to remove certain grievances of the Nonconformists under the Marriage and
Burial Acts"-the second reading of which was moved by Mr. Conybeare (Camborne)-was talked out.
At a morning sitting (April 10), when the House was expecting no such announcement, Mr. W. H. Smith (Strand) read the names of the gentlemen appointed to form the Royal Commission on Labour, and the terms of the reference to them. Those terms were as follows:
"To inquire into the questions affecting the relations between employer and employed, the combinations of employers and of employed, and the conditions of labour, which have been raised during the recent trade disputes in the United Kingdom. And to report whether legislation can with advantage be directed to the remedy of any evils that may be disclosed, and, if so, in what manner." The following were the Commissioners appointed by Her Majesty :--The Marquis of Hartington, M.P., the Earl of Derby, K.G., Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, M.P., Sir John Gorst, M.P., Mr. Mundella, M.P., Mr. L. Courtney, M.P., Mr. H. Fowler, M.P., Sir E. Harland, M.P. (shipbuilder and engineer), Mr. J. C. Bolton, M.P. (Chairman Caledonian Railway), Mr. Gerald Balfour, M.P., Mr. Jesse Collings, M.P., Mr. T. Burt, M.P. (Secretary Northumberland Miners' Association), Mr. W. Abraham, M.P. (South Wales Miners' Committee), Sir Frederick Pollock (Corpus Professor of Jurisprudence, Oxford), Professor Marshall (Professor of Political Economy, Cambridge), Sir W. Lewis (Manager of Bute Docks, Cardiff), Mr. T. H. Ismay (Managing Director of White Star Steamship Company), Mr. David Dale (ironmaster), Mr. G. Livesey (Chairman of South Metropolitan Gas Company), Mr. W. Tunstall (cotton manufacturer), Mr. J. Mawdsley (Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners), Mr. Tom Mann (President of Dock Labourers' Union), Mr. Edward Trow (Secretary of Board of Conciliation of the Iron and Steel Trades), Mr. Henry Tait (Chairman of the United Trades Council, Glasgow), Mr. S. Plimsoll, Mr. Hewlett (Managing Director of the Wigan Coal and Iron Company), and Mr. M. Austin (Secretary Irish Democratic Labour Federation). Mr. Justin McCarthy (Londonderry) asked leave to move the adjournment of the House, in order to call attention to the refusal of the Government to nominate Mr. Michael Davitt as a Commissioner, but as he was supported by only 29 members, he was precluded from proceeding with the motion.
At the evening sitting on the same day Sir Joseph Pease (Barnard Castle) moved a resolution declaring the system by which the Indian opium revenue was raised to be indefensible, and urging the Indian Government to cease granting licences for the cultivation of the poppy and the sale of the drug in India, except for medical purposes, and to stop the transit of Malwa opium through British territory. A debate, in which strong opinions were expressed on each side, ensued. Speaking
for the Government, Mr. W. H. Smith (Strand) declined to assent to a resolution which deprived India of a large part of its revenue, without at the same time providing a means whereby the deficiency could be made up. The motion, however, was carried by 160 votes to 130. Sir Robert Fowler (London) then moved to add the following words to the resolution:-" And this House, feeling the pressure of taxation on the people of India, will take steps to reimburse the deficiency so caused to the Indian Government." But this proposed addendum was talked out by Mr. T. Healy (Longford, N.).
The House of Lords did not reassemble till April 14, when the leaders of the House on each side bore witness to the estimable qualities of the late Lord Granville, and to the loss which the country had sustained by his death. A question was raised (April 16) upon the case known as the Clitheroe case, in which the Court of Appeal had held that a husband was not entitled to restrain his wife's liberty and compel her to live with him. The Lord Chancellor, who had presided in the Appeal Court, declared with some warmth that the Government "would not bring in a bill to enable a man to imprison his wife," and, even if they did, the facts in the Clitheroe case were "not likely to assist them in passing it." Lord Esher, who, as Master of the Rolls, had also adjudicated on the Clitheroe case in the Appeal Court, said that persons who disapproved of the judgment must be prepared to affirm that a husband "might lawfully beat his wife or imprison her in a cellar or a cupboard," or lock her up in the house and block up the windows.
The House of Commons devoted the whole of an evening sitting (April 14) to the discussion of a motion by Mr. A. Acland (Rotherham) in favour of parish councils and the reform of vestries. The motion was seconded, without a speech, by Mr. John Morley (Newcastle-on-Tyne). Mr. Hobhouse (Somerset, E.) moved an amendment for the grouping of rural parishes under district councils. After numerous members had spoken, Mr. Ritchie (St. George's, E.) pointed out what the Government had already done in the way of local government reform, and expressed the view that district councils were far more urgently required than parish councils. He admitted, however, that no system of local government reform would be complete which did not eventually deal with parochial administration. He thought it would be difficult to undertake any reform of this kind without at the same time dealing with the question of parish areas, but he hoped there would ultimately be a link between county councils and district councils, and between the latter and parish councils. The amendment was carried by 175 to 142; whereupon Mr. Ritchie proposed to amend the amendment by including within its purview the reform of parish government. Mr. John Ellis (Rushcliffe) intervened with a motion for the adjournment of the debate, and this was agreed
to, though the subject was not again taken up during the Session.
On the following day (April 15) the House, as the Times remarked, "spent an unusually lively afternoon" in discussing the second reading of the Intoxicating Liquors (Ireland) Bill. The object of the Bill was to continue the Irish Sunday Closing Act of 1878; to extend its provisions to Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, and Waterford; and to require the closing of publichouses at 9 o'clock p.m. on Saturdays. The bill was warmly supported by both front benches, but the Irish members were not all agreed about it, though their differences did not correspond to their party divisions. Mr. Flynn (Cork, N.), who moved the rejection of the Bill, declared that "no Irishman could walk more than five or six miles without a glass of whisky." Col. Saunderson (Armagh, N.) gravely suggested in reply to this amid roars of laughter that a publichouse might be set up at every five miles' end on an Irish road, and an Irishman started at one end, and then they could ascertain how far he could walk-a matter which he was afraid there was no determining beforehand. Mr. Parnell (Cork City) opposed the bill, and attacked the front Opposition bench for presuming to dictate in such a matter to the Irish towns concerned; but he was followed by his colleague in the representation of Cork, Mr. M. Healy, who declared that "neither on this nor on any other public question does the honourable gentleman who has just sat down represent the city of Cork." Mr. Healy added:-"If the honourable gentleman wishes to test the truth of my words, let him keep the promise which he made to his constituents." The second reading was carried by 248 to 94, but though there was afterwards a long debate— occupying more or less of three sittings-on a motion to refer the bill to the Standing Committee on Law, it never got into Committee, and was not further proceeded with.
The Tithes Bill having been disposed of before Easter, the Irish Land Purchase Bill was the only measure of capital importance before the House of Commons between Easter and Whitsuntide. This bill, to the progress of which more detailed reference has yet to be made, went into Committee on April 9, and did not emerge from that stage until May 22. Meanwhile, however, and prior to the introduction of the Budget, the House was occasionally occupied with business of less importance. Some of the matters to which its attention was given have already been mentioned. Others may now be enumerated. Mr. Conybeare (Camborne) obtained leave to move the adjournment of the House (April 16), in order to discuss the conduct of the Government of India in imprisoning for nine months, without trial, a Cashmere sheikh named Abdul Rasoul, and deporting him to London, for supposed treasonable communications with the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh; but Sir John Gorst (Chatham) showed that the man had been worse served by those who had