international atmosphere. He instanced the Franco-German agreement in Morocco. As to Indian affairs, he laid stress on the need of trusting the men on the spot, and assumed that the promised Bill would not establish Parliamentary institutions. He commented severely on the state of Ireland, and asked how much longer the Government would rely on the ordinary law. He asked pointedly what would be done regarding the amazing old-age pension figures from Ireland (p. 30), and he doubted whether, in a time of profound peace, any Chancellor of the Exchequer had been confronted by such a financial situation. He commented unfavourably on the proposed Irish Land Bill, but commended the minor Bills proposed.

The Earl of Crewe, who followed, also went through the Speech, and ascribed the state of things in Ireland to the Land Act of 1903. The Crimes Act was a rotten weapon. The number of old people in Ireland was unfortunately great, and there was perhaps a miscalculation in the Act based on misapplication of the English ratio of the aged to the general population.

The debate was resumed on February 17 by the Marquess of Londonderry, who drew attention to the state of Ireland. He declared that lawlessness extended over twenty-two counties, illustrated by figures the increase of boycotting and cattledriving, which had developed into cattle-maiming, and laid stress on the Craughwell murder (p. 5), and the increase of shooting crimes since the dropping of the Arms Act. Many crimes, too, were unreported, and heavy charges fell on some counties for extra police. These would have been averted if the Government had used their powers. Lord Denman, replying for the Government, said that they courted investigation into their action in Ireland, but these debates were not much use. Ireland could not be judged by ordinary standards. Roughly, one-third was now disturbed, Clare and East Galway being worst. The figures of agrarian outrages (343) were not nearly so bad as in 1880, 1881, and 1886, and 1,210 persons had been brought up for agrarian offences, of whom 1,114 were ordered to find bail. Of the 680 cases of cattle-driving in 1908, less than 100 were organised crimes. The figures of the prosecutions and convictions at the winter assizes had not been unsatisfactory. The Craughwell murder was not a culmination but an isolated incident. The existing disorder was largely due to the land hunger set up by the Act of 1903. After suggesting that a Tariff Reform Ministry, under "Confederate" and Canadian pressure, might wreck the Irish grazing industry by admitting Canadian cattle, he said the congestion could only be relieved by breaking up the grass lands, and that the conditions did not justify resort to the Crimes Act. After speeches from several Unionist Peers declaring the Ministerial explanations unsatisfactory, Lord Macdonnell, on the following day, sketched the history of the land question since 1902, deploring the severance of Mr.

Wyndham's connection with Ireland (ANNUAL REGISTER, 1905, pp. 39-47, 59), and on the whole concurring in the view of the Government. He advised a little more concession as to the bonus under the Land Act of 1903: land purchase would then be concluded in ten or fifteen years, the great leverage of discontent would be gone, and a strong body of Irish opinion would be proud of the Imperial connection.

After a number of speeches from Unionist Peers connected with Ireland, laying stress on the existing order and calling for the Crimes Act, the Lord Chancellor said such debates had taken place for thirty years. Ireland had been passing through an agrarian revolution and there, as elsewhere, crime had accompanied each stage. The state of things was bad, but it had been worse; the great difficulty was to get evidence. He gave figures showing a recent improvement. The condition of things would not justify the Crimes Act: in 1903 the then Government had not used it in the Tallow boycotting case. He strongly condemned "ordering to stand by "-otherwise packing juries to obtain convictions-and said that the disorder would always go on so long as responsibility for Irish affairs was refused to the Irish people. The Conservative party might have to grant Home Rule.

The Address was then agreed to.

In the Commons, Mr. MacNeill moved to drop the Sessional Order directed against the interference of Peers in Parliamentary elections, so as to "clear the decks for action" against the House of Lords. Mr. Asquith preferred its retention as the assertion of a principle, but left the question to the House, which retained it by 221 to 142.

The Address was moved by Mr. F. N. Rogers (Devizes, Wilts), and seconded by Mr. Benn (St. George, Tower Hamlets).

Mr. Balfour followed. He congratulated the country on the withdrawal of foreign affairs from party politics, expressed some misgivings regarding Persia, and remarked on the declaration of Ministers regarding finance. He hoped for ample opportunity for the discussion of naval problems. No plan for relieving unemployment would be effective which did not attempt to increase employment for skilled labour. The Government should strive to increase the confidence of the investing public, and to use every machinery they could devise to extend our foreign trade. These things they had not done; in fact they were accused of having, by rash speech and action, driven capital abroad. The folly of rejecting a method of bargaining with other nations and obtaining preference in the Colonies was patent to any one not hidebound by obsolete formulas. He went on to comment at some length on the treatment of voluntary schools as exhibited in the Swansea dispute (post, p. 42), contrasting it with Mr. Runciman's speech regretting his failure to settle the education controversy. He further commented on the increase of Irish agrarian outrages and boy

cotting, and ridiculed the "cult of consistency" which prevented the application of the Crimes Act. He charged the Government with the greatest of all crimes-that of not performing the elementary duties for which Governments exist.

Mr. Asquith replied. He described the state of Persia as going from bad to worse. Great Britain would be no party to making loans or supporting the Shah so long as he continued his present disastrous policy. The Russian and English views of the situation were in general agreement. Regarding Turkey he made complimentary references to the Foreign Secretary and the late Grand Vizier, declaring that the Government and the British people desired only to see Turkey strengthened and reinvigorated by reforms based on liberty and equality. After references to India and to the happy situation in South Africaconsequent on the grant of self-government to the new Colonies. -he vindicated the Government against Mr. Balfour's implied charge of extravagance. He defended the grant of old-age pensions in advance of the Poor-Law Report, and stated that careful inquiry was being made into the Irish figures. In New Zealand the old-age pensions law had to be amended every two years. Mr. Balfour's remarks on the emigration of capital showed progress in his "long, difficult, and intractable process of self-education" in tariff reform principles; but the capital went abroad as manufactured goods and created additional employment in England as well as abroad. In the Swansea school case the Board of Education had acted as a Court of Appeal, and the advice of the Attorney-General had been followed in preference to that of the Commissioner [Mr., afterwards Mr. Justice, Pickford]. The trouble in Ireland arose from the eagerness of the Irish people to invest in Irish land. He admitted the deplorable state of things in some parts, but the serious cases of cattle-driving had been dealt with, the Coercion Act would be of no use against boycotting, and the real difficulty lay in getting evidence. Coercion Acts had never been considered necessary to deal with outrages in numbers like the present. Finance must necessarily be the first business of the session; social reform had to be paid for; the other measures were either fulfilments of pledges or stages in the social reform programme, of which the Old Age Pension Act was only the first instalment. If they could be carried and financial needs adequately provided for, the session would not have been fruitless or inglorious.

Among subsequent speakers, Mr. Henderson (Barnard Castle, Durham), the Labour leader, foreshadowed opposition by his party to increased naval expenditure, regretted that time should be spent on Welsh Disestablishment, and expressed disappointment at the references of the Speech to unemployment. This last point was emphasised by Mr. Chiozza Money (L., Paddington, N.), and later the Solicitor-General (Sir S. Evans) explained that Welsh Disestablishment was brought forward


owing to the increasing feeling of Wales in its favour, and the hopes held out in 1895. Subsequently Mr. Lynch (L., Ripon, W.R. Yorks) urged the revival of the suspended Persian Constitution. (Sir Edward Grey said that representations had been made to the Shah, but there would be no dictation of a constitution.) Should the Shah refuse, Mr. Lynch added, England and Russia should withdraw all aid, including the Russian officers.


Next day Mr. Barnes (Lab., Blackfriars, Glasgow) moved an amendment declaring the proposals of the King's Speech inadequate for dealing with the causes or evils of unemployment. These causes he found in private ownership of land, capitalism," and the introduction of improved machinery: labour bureaux would be of no use. The remedies were taxation of land values, afforestation, nationalisation of the railways, and shorter hours of labour. Mr. Harold Cox (L., Preston) contended that the proposed remedies would increase unemployment, ridiculed the idea of putting skilled artisans to afforestation, and suggested trade insurance against unemployment. challenged the Opposition to demonstrate how that evil would be diminished by Tariff Reform. Among subsequent speakers, Sir Charles Dilke (L., Forest of Dean, Glouc.) made some discriminating criticisms on the afforestation proposals.


Mr. Burns's reply for the Government irritated the Labour members. After a reference to the mismanagement of the charitable relief given to crowds on the Thames Embankment, he said that there were two aspects of the unemployed problem -the fluctuation in the skilled trades, which was tending to be met by insurance against unemployment, which might be associated with the Government scheme of labour exchanges, and the case of unskilled casual labourers, whose wages were too low to admit of such insurance. It was trifling with these to suggest that land nationalisation would help them. The picture given of the state of the skilled trades seemed overcoloured. The problem was not so vast as some members alleged, and the Government hoped considerably to reduce the numbers of the unemployed. During the last three years it had gained experience adverse to land reclamation, women's workrooms, and labour colonies. He spoke favourably of the results obtained by local borrowing for public works. Afforestation was not included in the King's Speech because the Report of the Committee should be read with that of the Poor Law Commission, and the Government must know that money would be available. As regarded the proposals in the Speech, the Irish Land Bill would reduce Irish migration to England, the Housing Bill would keep the country labourers on the land, there were to be labour exchanges, wages boards, costly amendments of the Old Age Pensions Act, and a Shop Hours Bill. This legislation would be extended if the Liberal Government were in power, as they would be, for another three years. They were also pledged to deal with the Poor Law Report.


Mr. Crooks (Lab., Woolwich) expressed bitter disappointment with Mr. Burns for his recommendation of the casual ward and for his substitution of indoor for outdoor relief for the unemployed in East London. He urged that there should be a proper register of unemployed, and denounced the Government for neglect of duty. Subsequently Mr. Collings (U., Bordesley, Birmingham) recommended small ownership plus fiscal reform, Mr. Munro-Ferguson (L., Leith Burghs) and Mr. Summerbell afforestation, which Mr. Ellis Davies (L., Eifion, Carnarvonshire) said was impracticable without first taxing land values; and Mr. Keir Hardie (Lab., Merthyr Tydfil), in a bitter speech, charged the Prime Minister and Mr. Churchill with breaking their promises, threatened the Government with a Labour campaign against them in the country, and said that the working classes would prefer Protection associated with social reform to Free Trade associated with indifference to popular needs.

Mr. Churchill, President of the Board of Trade, wound up the debate. He thought the materials insufficient for a judgment on the issues raised by the supporters of the amendment. The responsibility of protecting law-abiding citizens from the consequences of trade fluctuations beyond their control could not be repudiated by any Government any more than that of dealing with those of a famine in India or an earthquake in Messina. Unemployment existed under Protection and during great commercial activity; we did not know the exact dimensions or all the elements of the problem. He gave reasons against the assumption that unemployment was greater among unskilled than among skilled labourers and among non-unionists than among trade-unionists, and, coming to practical remedies, he urged that the points for consideration were the proper organisation of the existing demand for labour, the regulating and steadying of the labour market and the treatment of the unemployable. Attention should be directed to the prevention of the manufacture of unemployables, and here he laid stress on the evils of boy labour and the premature termination of education. By establishing labour exchanges the Government hoped to modify the mobility of labour by ensuring that men should only move when employment elsewhere was obtained for them. Their establishment was only a first step towards fulfilling the pledges of the Government. It had determined to deal with unemployment by various converging ways, and it was absurd to pretend that so complex a question could be solved by the simple expedient of a tariff of 10 per cent. on imported manufactured goods. Before developing their suggestions they must consider the Poor Law Commission Report, and see the financial position. He saw no reason why this Parliament should not so deal with the matter as to become as memorable in the history of England as it already was in that of the Empire. The amendment was rejected by 205 to 101.

It had been intended that the chief official Opposition

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