Supreme Court of Judicature, etc., Northern Ireland.

Class Iii. – in the House of Commons on 11th February 1932.

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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.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

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

none of this amount will actually fall upon the taxpayer of this country, as the additional amount will be recoverable out of the Northern Ireland share of reserved taxation.

Photo of Mr Cahir Healy Mr Cahir Healy , Fermanagh and Tyrone

When the Estimate was originally made the Imperial contribution for Northern Ireland was fixed at a sum of over £7,000,000, and the amount of the work in the High Court of Northern Ireland then was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—

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

I must point out to the hon. Member that the question of judges cannot be raised upon this Estimate because their salaries are charged on the Consolidated Fund and are not affected by this Estimate.

Photo of Mr Cahir Healy Mr Cahir Healy , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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.

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

The hon. Member cannot raise that question on this Estimate.

Photo of Mr Cahir Healy Mr Cahir Healy , Fermanagh and Tyrone

I have heard many matters raised with regard to the other Estimates which seem to me—and I am asking for your instruction—not to be any more relevant.

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

The hon. Gentleman cannot raise that question on this Estimate. The only question that arises is that Ireland has been very fortunate in having less bankruptcy proceedings.

Photo of Mr Cahir Healy Mr Cahir Healy , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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.

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

The question of appointments to the High Court Bench cannot arise on this Vote as the salary is charged on the Consolidated Fund. If the hon. Member wishes to raise the matter, he must do it on the appropriate Motion.

Photo of Mr Cahir Healy Mr Cahir Healy , Fermanagh and Tyrone

In addition to Judges, there are a, number of officials employed in the Courts whose salaries are not charged on the Consolidated Fund.

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

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.

Photo of Mr Cahir Healy Mr Cahir Healy , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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.

7.0 p.m.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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—

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

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.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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—

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

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.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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.

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

There is no question in this Vote of the appointment of officials. This Estimate arises from Northern Ireland having fewer bankruptcies than were originally estimated.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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.

Photo of Mr Ronald Ross Mr Ronald Ross , County Londonderry

The First Chief Justice was a Catholic.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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.

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

The hon. Member has allowed himself to be drawn away somewhat from his argument. I hope he will not permit himself to be tempted further.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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.

Photo of Mr Ronald Ross Mr Ronald Ross , County Londonderry

The hon. Member must at least be grateful to me. I have enabled the hon. Member to make a series of remarks that are quite out of order.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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—

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

The hon. Member was interrupted and I allowed him a little, latitude, but the appointment of judges cannot be discussed.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Fermanagh and Tyrone

You do not know anything about Ireland, that is why you look so comfortable. The qualification I read of this judge was—

Photo of Mr Robert Bourne Mr Robert Bourne , Oxford

If the hon. Member continues to disobey my Rulings, I must order him to resume his seat.

Photo of Mr Joseph Devlin Mr Joseph Devlin , Fermanagh and Tyrone

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.

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 249; Noes, 24.

Division No. 61.]AYES.[7.12 p.m.
Ainsworth, Lieut.-Colonel CharlesDenman, Hon. R. D.Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.
Albery, Irving JamesDickie, John P.Horsbrugh, Florence
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)Dugdale, Captain Thomas LionelHudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.)Dunglass, LordHudson, Robert Spear (Southport)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Eastwood, John FrancisHume, Sir George Hopwood
Aske, Sir Robert WilliamEden, Robert AnthonyHunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)
Atholl, Duchess ofEdmondson, Major A. J.Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)
Atkinson, CyrilEdnam, ViscountHunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Elliot, Major Rt. Hon. Walter E.James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.
Balniel, LordEllis, Robert GeoffreyJanner, Barnett
Barclay-Harvey, C. M.Elliston, Captain George SampsonJesson, Major Thomas E.
Bernays, RobertElmley, ViscountJoel, Dudley J. Barnato
Bevan, Stuart James (Holborn)Emmott, Charles E. G. C.Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)
Birchall, Major Sir John DearmanEmrys-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, JamesEssenhigh, Reginald ClareKerr, Hamilton W.
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.Everard, W. LindsayKirkpatrick, William M.
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)Fielden, Edward BrocklehurstKnatchbull, Captain Hon. M. H. R.
Briant, FrankFoot, Dingie (Dundee)Knox, Sir Alfred
Broadbent, Colonel JohnFoot, 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 IanLeech, Dr. J. W.
Browne, Captain A. C.Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Lees-Jones, John
Buchan, JohnFuller, Captain A. E. G.Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)Lennox-Boyd, A. T.
Burghley, LordGillett, Sir George MastermanLiddall, Walter S.
Cadogan, Hon. EdwardGlossop, C. W. H.Lindsay, Noel Ker
Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)Gluckstein, Louis HalleLister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe-
Campbell, Rear-Adml. G. (Burnley)Goff, Sir ParkLlewellin, Major John J.
Caporn, Arthur CecilGoldie, Noel B.Loder, Captain J. de vere
Carver, Major William H.Gower, Sir RobertLumley, Captain Lawrence R.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)Graves, MarjorieMacAndrew, Maj. C. G. (Partick)
Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)Greaves-Lord, Sir WalterMacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)Greene, William P. C.Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Chorlton, Alan Ernest LeofricGrenfell, E. C. (City of London)McEwen, J. H. F.
Clarry, Reginald GeorgeGretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. JohnMcKeag, William
Colville, Major David JohnGunston, Captain D. W.McKie, John Hamilton
Conant, R. J. E.Guy, J. C. MorrisonMcLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)
Cooper, A. DuffHacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.Macmillan, Maurice Harold
Copeland, IdaHamilton, 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 HenryMakins, Brigadier-General Ernest
Crooke, J. SmedleyHarbord, ArthurMallalieu, 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, JosephMason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)
Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel BernardHillman, Dr. George B.Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John
Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)Holdsworth, HerbertMerriman, Sir F. Boyd
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)Hopkinson, AustinMillar, Sir James Duncan
Davison, Sir William HenryHore-Belisha, LeslieMilne, John Sydney Wardlaw-
Dawson, Sir PhilipHornby, FrankMitchell, Harold P.(Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)
Mitcheson, G. G.Reid, David D. (County Down)Stones, James
Molson, A. Hugh ElsdaleReid, 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 PhilipTempleton, William P.
Muirhead, Major A. J.Robinson, John RolandThompson, Luke
Munro, PatrickRopner, 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. deTryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Nunn, WilliamRunge, Norah CecilWallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
O'Connor. Terence JamesRussell, Hamer Field (Shef'ld, B'tside)Wallace, John (Dunfermilne)
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir HughRussell, Richard John (Eddisbury)Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Ormiston, ThomasRutherford, Sir John HugoWard, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Palmer, Francis NoelSalmon, Major IsidoreWard, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Pearson, William G.Salt, Edward W.Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Penny, Sir GeorgeSamuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Perkins, Walter R. D.Sandeman, Sir A. N. StewartWatt, Captain George Steven H.
Petherick, M.Scone, LordWayland, 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, JohnSmiles, 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 BradleyWinterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Ramsbotham, HerwaldSomerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Ramsden, E.Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
Rankin, RobertSouthby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Rea, Walter RussellSpears, Brigadier-General Edward L.TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)Mr. Shakespeare and Mr. Womersley.
NOES.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)
Attlee, Clement RichardGrenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)Maxton, James
Buchanan, GeorgeGriffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Parkinson, John Allen
Cape, ThomasJones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Salter, Dr. Alfred
Cocks, Frederick SeymourKirkwood, DavidTinker, John Joseph
Cripps, Sir StaffordLansbury, Rt. Hon. GeorgeWilliams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
Daggar, GeorgeLawson, John James
Devlin, JosephLogan, David GilbertTELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Edwards, CharlesLunn, WilliamMr. Healy and Mr. Groves.

Question put, and agreed to.