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A SCENE IN THE HOUSE.

During the debate in the House of Commons on the " shadowing "of Irieb priests and Members of Parliament by the police the following scene occurred.

Mr. Dillon — As the Chief Secretary has now stated that he himself directed the shadowing, I hope that after the debate that baa taken place he will order that it shall be diacontinued (hear, hear). The Chief Secretary — I do nut know that 1 can add anything beyoad wh*t I have already stated. No individuals are studoweii iv Ireland unless they are kuown to be actively engiged in boycotting and intimidation (oh). I repeat that lam desirous «s far as possible to limit this method of dealing with crime, and I will most gl idly take advantage of any presumption iq favour of any individual who is thus endowed, but I cannqt consent to deprive myself of the power of dealing with boycotting and intimidation by promising to abstain from it in future (Ministerial cheers;.

Mr. Dillon (warmly;— l say it is a brutal and abominable outrage (Irish and Opposition cheers), and if any bloodshed arises it is on your head (loud Opposition cbeers).

Mr. Parnell, who was warmly received with loud and pro'onged Irish cheers, said — The right bon. gentleman states that he will gladly take advantage of any presumption in favour of those people who are being shadowed. May I ask him if he will take advantage of the presumption that every person accused of a crime is deemed to be innocent until he has been proved to be guilty ? (L ud and continued Irish and Opposition cheers.)

The Chief Secretary for Ireland— Will the hon. gentleman, upon hia part, undertake on behalf of these people that they will not repeat tbe crime? (Loud laughter on the Opposition benches aod ironical cheers on the Irish benches )

Mr. John Dillou (loudly)— What crime? (Laud and prolonged cheering on the front Opposition and Irish bencnes ) Mr. John O'Connor (in the midut of uproar)— l hurl back the word •' crime " in the tdein of the right hon. gentleman oo behalf of my constitu n s (cheers, loud cries of "order" on the Ministerial benches, and renewed cheers.)

The Speaker here rose to his feat and cried "order, order" repeatedly, but his interference seemed to be ignored upon both sides of the douse, tbe ciies from the lower Opposition benches und the lower Ministerial benches making a perfect medly of voices beyond description, tbe Speaker still remaining sianding, apparently powerless, and shouting " order, order " as often as he could between tbe clamour.

Mr. John Dillon (jumping; to his feet) — He has no right to charge our people with crime (renewed Irish cheers). The Speaker (standing)— Order, order, order, order.

Mr. Dillon (standing, and eventually moved by much excitement) — I will not allow the right hon. gentleman (pointing to the Chief Secretary, who sat curled uo upon toe front Ministerial benches) — I will not allow him to take away the name of tbe Irish people in the way that he has done (renewed cheering from the Opposition benches, and cries of " Name, name " from the Ministerial bencnes).

Tne uproar here became general, all parts of thj house save th^ front Ministerial benches joining in the- din. The Speaker, now absolutely mute, and apparently having abmdoued hope, stood with one foot resting upon hia footstool, while, supportiug himself upon his right leg, he clutched the arm of the chair with one hand, and raised the order paper aloft with the other. Mr. Dillon remained

standing, while the Tories wildly excited themselves in a vain effort to howl him down. In the uproar such words of his could be caught M " 1 mnst be heard," and " I say that the right hon. gentleman has endeavoured to the character of the Irish people by hocusing them ofjerime," and " I ask what crime have they committed." The Speaker (appealing)— Order, order, order, order, order, order,

Mr. Dillon (talking loudly, pointing to the Chief Secretary) - He has, Mr. Bpeaker, accused these people of crime. The Speaker — Order, order (continued uproar). Mr. Dillon— What crime have they been charged with ? (loud Irish and Opposition cheers, with counter cheers and cries of " >'ame " from the.lower Ministerial benches). They have been legally charged with no crime (Irish cheers and Tory cries of " Name "). ° Mr. x)illon — Name away, The Speaker — Order, order.

Mr. Dillon — The Cnief Secrelary has been charging people who are to be presumed to be innocent with having committed a crime (loud cries of " Order "), and I am asking him to withdraw the charge (loud and prolonged Irish cheers). Mr. John O'Connor, rising in his place on the floor of the House ion the lower Opposition side amid much uproar, was received with a ifull volume of howls from the lower Ministerial or Tory benches, Whose occupants seemed bent by main force upon rendering the hon! Igentlemnn inaudible. Shouting at the highest pitch of his voice, he laid — " The Chief Secretary accuses these people of crime. They are %e innocent of crime as he is " (loud cheers and crifs of " More so"). Ha has charged those people with crime, and I ask him now whether hdwill stand up in his place and apologise for tha words he has used (laid and continued cheers, and cries of " No, don't," from the Tory beaches). J

Mr. Dillon and Mr. J. O'Connor both remained standing, the Bpeaker was still upon his feet, and the aproar and excitement continued without abatement for several minutes. At laet The Speaker, apparently under much restrained excitement, addressing Mr. Dillon, made himself heard. He said : The hon. gentleman (Mr. Dillon) has committed a breach of order to which I am bound U call the attention (Tory cheers) of the House. When I rise it is customary for hon. gentlemen to give way (renewed Tory cheers). Mr. John O'Connor's voice was heard ringing above the din • "B&lfonr must apologise." But louder than Mr. O'Connor's vo-ce came a shriek from Mr. T. P. Gill : " Balfour tails lies— Balf jur tells lies." A ?torm of " Name, name," swept across from the Tones, which the Irish returned more fiercely with '• Name away." At last Mr. Peel was able to quell the disturbance somewLat, when uprose, above all men, old Johnson of Ballykilbeg, who informed the Speaker that the member for South Lou-h (Mr. Gill) had cried out twice that the Chief Secretary told lies. "So he does," cried an Irish voice, evoking a ferocious cry of " Order, older," from the Speaker. Mr! Peel behaves very well. He says he did not hear the words. If they were used, they were most unparliamentary indeed ; that hon". members ai both sides of the House were unduly excited. Great toleration anould be allowed for the feelings of bon. gentlemen, and it was better that all the incidents should now be forgotten. The Chief Secretaiy (who was received with Tory chiers)— lf I am at all responeiole for the present character or thd debate 1 regret it (Irish and Opposition cheers). By the word "crime"! was referring to boycotting and intimidation. I have no d^ubt myself as to the epithet which should be applied to those practices, but as the bon, gentleman objects to the word "prims" 1 will, therefore, substitute the ivords " boycotting and intimidation" (Irish cheers and laughter).

Then a calm set in, and the House got quickly into some lively discussions over the clauses of the Publicans' Endowment Bill. These continued all the night until midnight, the Government only defeating the various ameudments by small majorities, ranging from 33 to 45, each announcement of the figures bringing forth tremendous cheering from the Opposition.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/periodicals/NZT18900815.2.15

Bibliographic details

New Zealand Tablet, New Zealand Tablet, Volume XVIII, Issue 16, 15 August 1890

Word Count
1,281

A SCENE IN THE HOUSE. New Zealand Tablet, Volume XVIII, Issue 16, 15 August 1890

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