Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,290, he granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of pay-Tent during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1932, for such of the Salaries and Expenses of the Supreme Court of Judicature and Court of Criminal Appeal of Northern Ireland, and of the Land Registry of Northern Ireland, as are not charged on the Consolidated Fund, and other Expenses.
Hon. Members will remember that when the Northern Ireland Government was set up in 1921 the Supreme Court was a reserved service, and as such the cost of the Supreme Court is defrayed out of money provided by the Imperial Funds. The moneys are recovered out of the Northern Ireland share of reserved taxes. The particular Vote upon which the Supplementary Estimate is based is in respect of the salaries of the officials of the Supreme Court and the Land Registry. In the original Estimate allowance was made for appropriations in aid which consist of fees payable in respect either of the Supreme Court or the Registry. Allowance was made for appropriations of £30,975. Owing to the bad state of trade in Northern Ireland, and the consequent decrease in litigation and also in the transference of land, these fees failed to come up to the anticipated amount. The revised Estimate is now put forward showing that £2,375 less will be received on that account. On the other hand, we are able to set against the amount certain savings made upon the estimated expenditure. Almost the whole of the total saving of £1,085 comes under sub-head A and is due to the fall in the bonus to the civil servants and to some readjustment of staffs. It is therefore necessary to ask the Committee for the Supplementary Estimate of £1,290. I may add that
When the Estimate was originally made the Imperial contribution for Northern Ireland was fixed at a sum of over £7,000,000, and the amount of the work in the High Court of Northern Ireland then was a great deal in excess of what it is to-day. If you take the number of judges in the High Court of Northern Ireland, there are five for a population of 1,250,000, and compared with the 29 judges—
In addition to judges, there are other officials whose salaries are charged in this Estimate. I was only contrasting the amount of expenditure upon the High Court of Northern Ireland with the expenditure upon High Court judges here. It might be thought that a great deal of the time of the High Court in Northern Ireland would have been taken up by commercial cases, but as Northern Ireland is largely an agricultural area there is a great deal less work to be done there on that account than would fall to similar courts in this country. I am informed that the High Court of Northern Ireland finds it very difficult at the moment to keep going in the sense that the amount of litigation there is very scarce. Therefore, I think there should be a far greater reduction in this Estimate than has yet been disclosed. With regard to the appointments in Northern Ireland, I note that I cannot raise the matter generally, but I wish to say in regard to the last appointment, that the chief qualification given in the official organ of Northern Ireland was that the individual mentioned had drafted the repeal of Proportional Representation. In other words, most of these appointments are made on a political basis, and to that I have the strongest objection.
Ireland has been fortunate in having less cases of all kinds, and that is why we ought to have greater reductions in this Estimate. Seeing that most of these appointments are really in the nature of sinecures and confined to followers and supporters of the Northern Government, it is all the more reason why this House should exercise meticulous care in passing an Estimate of this kind. It is not very long since another Estimate came before the Committee dealing with the Northern Ireland Court, and it is not very long since an additional appointment was made to the High Court Bench of Northern Ireland.
The question of the number of officials employed is a matter which arises on the main Estimate and not upon this one, and the hon. Member should take that opportunity of discussing it.
If you confine me in that way I must complain that I have not had the latitude which I have seen extended to other Members earlier in the evening. Perhaps I am more unfortunate in addressing the Committee now than I should have been a couple of hours ago. Seeing that most of these appointments are suggestions from the Northern Ireland Government, they ought to bear any additional expenditure that may arise in consequence.
It would be a very extraordinary decision from the Chair if on these rare occasions those of us who represent 33⅓ per cent. of the minority in Ireland are to be silenced. I would at least make a claim upon the magnanimity of the presiding officer of this Committee when representatives like myself and my colleagues call attention to what we regard as a very great grievance. As my hon. Friend has said, many hon. Members have been guilty of a series of eloquent irrelevancies during the afternoon. The Committee is asked to pass an additional sum on account of law and order in Northern Ireland and for the administration of justice. I claim that this Committee ought not to vote any sum to Northern Ireland for that purpose until those who occupy responsible positions in Northern Ireland recognise the rights of those who constitute the minority there. I do not propose to discuss the question of the appointment of Judges or the recent addition made to the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland except to this extent. I am, I think, entitled to call the attention of the Committee to the fact that this country, against the overwhelming patriotism, intelligence and national pride of Ireland, forced on our country two Parliaments which nobody in Ireland at that time wanted. One portion of that country in the spirit of broad religious tolerance, which they have always manifested in dealing with the minority—
We cannot go into the discussion about the Governments of Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State. As to the earlier statement of the hon. Member, I shall only quote the Ruling of Mr. Speaker Peel:
On a Supplementary Estimate it is in order only to discuss the particular items which constitute the Supplementary Estimate.
The hon. Member and his colleague appear to be trying to raise the question of policy and that can only be done on the main Estimate.
I was only pointing out that we are voting an additional sum for the cost of law and administration in Ireland and that the Committee are not entitled to vote additional sums for the Administration of law and justice in Northern Ireland unless it is real law and real justice. I do not want to go into the details of these matters, but in the Free State we have a minority of 7 per cent., whereas in Northern Ireland—
That does not arise on this Estimate. The hon. Member can raise this point on the main Estimate. The only question now before the Committee is whether £21,290 should or should not be granted.
That is the main point to which I will confine myself. Since I am not permitted to discuss matters which the English Parliament ought to know about before it, is asked to vote further sums for this purpose, it is not in the public interest to encourage the appointment of additional officials at the cost of the taxpayers of this country unless those officials are appointed in a spirit of impartiality.
There was an additional judge appointed the other day. With regard to bankruptcy, it is quite true there are fewer individual bankrupts in Northern Ireland, but, in consequence of your action in dividing Ireland, the North of Ireland is practically bankrupt at the present time. Therefore, as this Committee represents the concentrated wisdom, power and greatness of the British Empire, the less attention called to that fact the better. There may be fewer personal bankruptcies, but those who represent Northern Ireland see nothing but bankruptcy before Northern Ireland under the present regime. In view of your Ruling, I do not intend to proceed further on this matter, but, considering the latitude given to many Members of this House in dealing with the other Estimates which have been discussed, this anxiety on the part of those who boast of having finally solved the Irish question not to have an inquest or inquiry into what is going on is remarkable. This has, however, given me the opportunity of saying that there is a minority of 33⅓ per cent. in Northern Ireland who are treated as the blacks are treated in South Africa. They are denied all civic rights. A camel could pass through the eye of a needle easier than a Catholic could get an appointment in Northern Ireland.
When he died you took great care not to appoint another. That is the last thing you ought to mention. The British Government, when it set up the Judicature, appointed five judges, of whom one was a Catholic. When he died and the time came for making another appointment you did not appoint another Catholic, with the result that in Northern Ireland there are five judges, not one of whom is a Catholic, whereas in Southern Ireland, where the minority is only 7 per cent., there are five Catholic and four Protestant judges. The less the hon. Member intervenes in this Debate the better. I know there is no question that rouses the passions and feelings of the hon. Member more than the appointment of judges. I never knew any Ulster Member yet who was ever animated by any other spirit. We knew them in the long record of the fight and the settlement of the Irish question. Place and power—that was all they wanted.
I was tempted by the hon. Gentleman because the mention of a judgeship in the presence of an Ulster Union lawyer sends them mad. That is the one great luxury which Ulster has enjoyed in the last 10 years. All their petty politicians have been appointed judges.
I am very much obliged to the hon. Member. There is no one for whom I have a greater personal regard than the hon. Member. My only regret is that he has not been made a judge. I would trust myself to him if I were in the dock. What I object to is that when they appoint judges they do not appoint the right men. The latest appointment—
I will resume my seat in a moment without your ordering me to do so, so as not to tempt you into art act of discourtesy to a Member of this House. [HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order!"] I hope I am not disrespectful to the Chair. I take no objection and am grateful for the latitude the Chair has given to me. We Members here are so few and we intervene so seldom in Debate, but we represent a class of people that are greatly wronged. I have raised this question and am glad to have had the opportunity of giving publicity to a state of things in Northern Ireland which no one can defend.
|Division No. 61.]||AYES.||[7.12 p.m.|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Colonel Charles||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Albery, Irving James||Dickie, John P.||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.)||Dunglass, Lord||Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Eastwood, John Francis||Hume, Sir George Hopwood|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Eden, Robert Anthony||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)|
|Atkinson, Cyril||Ednam, Viscount||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E.||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.|
|Balniel, Lord||Ellis, Robert Geoffrey||Janner, Barnett|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Jesson, Major Thomas E.|
|Bernays, Robert||Elmley, Viscount||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato|
|Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton)||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)|
|Blindell, James||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Kerr, Hamilton W.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Everard, W. Lindsay||Kirkpatrick, William M.|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Knatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R.|
|Briant, Frank||Foot, Dingie (Dundee)||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Leckie, J. A.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lees-Jones, John|
|Buchan, John||Fuller, Captain A. E. G.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.|
|Burghley, Lord||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Liddall, Walter S.|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Glossop, C. W. H.||Lindsay, Noel Ker|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe-|
|Campbell, Rear-Adml. G. (Burnley)||Goff, Sir Park||Llewellin, Major John J.|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Goldie, Noel B.||Loder, Captain J. de vere|
|Carver, Major William H.||Gower, Sir Robert||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Graves, Marjorie||MacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick)|
|Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Greene, William P. C.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Chorlton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Grenfell, E. C. (City of London)||McEwen, J. H. F.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||McKeag, William|
|Colville, Major David John||Gunston, Captain D. W.||McKie, John Hamilton|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Guy, J. C. Morrison||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Macmillan, Maurice Harold|
|Copeland, Ida||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Maitland, Adam|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Harbord, Arthur||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Hartland, George A.||Margesson, Capt. Henry David R.|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Marsden, Commander Arthur|
|Cross, R. H.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Martin, Thomas B.|
|Crossley, A. C.||Hepworth, Joseph||Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Hillman, Dr. George B.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Holdsworth, Herbert||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hopkinson, Austin||Millar, Sir James Duncan|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Milne, John Sydney Wardlaw-|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Hornby, Frank||Mitchell, Harold P.(Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)|
|Mitcheson, G. G.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Stones, James|
|Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Moreing, Adrian C.||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Morgan. Robert H.||Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Renwick. Major Gustav A.||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Moss, Captain H. J.||Reynolds, Col. Sir James Philip||Templeton, William P.|
|Muirhead, Major A. J.||Robinson, John Roland||Thompson, Luke|
|Munro, Patrick||Ropner, Colonel L.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Rosbotham, S. T.||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Ross, Ronald D.||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Train, John|
|North, Captain Edward T.||Rothschild, James A. de||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Nunn, William||Runge, Norah Cecil||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|O'Connor. Terence James||Russell, Hamer Field (Shef'ld, B'tside)||Wallace, John (Dunfermilne)|
|O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Ormiston, Thomas||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Palmer, Francis Noel||Salmon, Major Isidore||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Pearson, William G.||Salt, Edward W.||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Penny, Sir George||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Perkins, Walter R. D.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Petherick, M.||Scone, Lord||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bliston)||Selley, Harry R.||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Pickering, Ernest H.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Pike, Cecil F.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Potter, John||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Somervell, Donald Bradley||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Ramsbotham, Herwald||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Ramsden, E.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Rankin, Robert||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Rea, Walter Russell||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)||Mr. Shakespeare and Mr. Womersley.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Maxton, James|
|Buchanan, George||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Kirkwood, David||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Daggar, George||Lawson, John James|
|Devlin, Joseph||Logan, David Gilbert||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Edwards, Charles||Lunn, William||Mr. Healy and Mr. Groves.|
Question put, and agreed to.