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THE WEEK AT WESTMINSTER. IRISH GRIEVANCES. Sir. Redmond raised a discussion in the House on Thursday regarding the proclamation of certain districts of Ireland, in which the United Irish League is most active, by moving the adjournment of the House to consider a matter of "urgent public importance." Mr. Redmond protested against the revival of coercion very earnestly. It affected, he said, most prejudici- ally the future of Ireland, and was a confession of inability to govern her by the same laws as obtained in England, Scotland, and Wales. He brought in all the time-worn phrases about "government by coercion," "the suspension of the right of trial by jury," and contended t L;t t the Irish tenantry in this land struggle v. ^ve really engaged in a great trade-union contest. He declared that for every branch of the United Irish League which was suppressed two would spring up in its place. For every man sent to prison for discharging his duty in the movement a dozen would be ready to take his place. They would meet the Government face to face. and give them blow for blow. They would reply to coercion by hardening their hearts and strength- ening their organisation, so that redress must come. MR. WYNDHAM'S DEFENCE. Mr. Wyndham defended the Government policy in a speech of great merit. He admitted the gravity of the step which had been taken, but contended that the condition of affairs in Ireland demanded grave measures. He shewed how fear was brought into men's lives by the publication of veiled threats in Irish newspapers, and how there had been a persistent increase in bov- cotting, which justified the step taken. It was the duty of the Government to put an end to this boycotting, to aid the boycotted by excep- tional means, to dispel the brooding apprehension which blighted all intelligence, killed all initia- tive, and clouded every prospect of advancing their position by honest toil. There were several further speeches before the motion was put, one of the most notable being that of Lord Hugh Cecil. The motion was lost by 253 votes to 148. FRIDAY'S SITTING. The House of Commons was rather dull after Mr. Balfour had made his statement regarding the peace movement. The Post-office Vote came up for discussion, and some debate arose as to the position of telegraph clerks, it being alleged that prospects were held out to them which were never fulfilled. Mr. Austen Chamberlain denied that there had been any breach of faith. It was possible for certain men to obtain a maximum salary, but, of course, no guarantee was given that they should all obtain that salary. Mr. Bowles complained of the intolerable tyranuy exercised by Civil servants through electoral agencies in order to obtain more wages thar they were entitled to, and attention was after- wards directed to the frequent interruption of telegraphic communication with the north by storms and other causes. Mr. Austen Chamber- lain admitted the inconvenience, but pointed out that some forms of telegraphing could not be conducted on underground wires, and it was necessary for the present to maintain overhead wires even in places where underground ones were laid down. The Post Office would not place any obstacle in the way of linking their over- head wires with Marconi's system, so that mes- sages might be transmitted to ships at sea. Irish grievances occupied the rest of the sitting. SPION Kop. The House of Commons ranged itself over many subjects on Monday without getting much satis- faction from any of them. London tramways claimed its attention first of all, and then it turned to rend Mr. Brodrick over the Spion Kop despatches. For half-an-hour he had to stand a continuous bombardment from the Opposition and Ministerial benches, the ques- tioner-in-chief being Mr. Swift MacNeill. Mr. Malcolm opened the ball by asking why the despatches had been published. Mr. Brodrick explained that the despatches had been published in full because they had become the subject of controversy, to which Mr. Malcolm retorted by asking whether it was not the case that the publication of the de- spatches had given far more gratification to the enemies than to the friends of this country. That supplementary question, however, received no answer. In reply to Mr. MacNeill, who, Mr. Brodrick said, had no title to represent Sir R. Buller, he stated that the Government had not felt it incumbent upon them to publish further papers relating to operations in Natal prior to the relief of Ladysmith. They had not received any demands from Sir R. Buller for the publication of any telegrams, nor would the Government permit any officer to publish any telegrams without their authority. Mr. MacNeill put two more questions to the Secretary for War-why the Spion Kop despatches published in April, 1900, had been given to the public as if they were published in their entirety, whereas they were in reality published in fragmentary form, and also why the statement which Sir Charles Warren had laid before the Commander-in-Chief when he was withdrawn from his command had not been included in the Spion Kop papers. Mr. Brodrick replied that it was not usual to indicate blanks in publishing despatches, and he would not undertake in future to indicate them. As to General Warren's statement, he said it did not form part of the despatches, and, therefore, it had not been published. It was dated in August, 1900, many months after General Warren had left Natal. He declined to publish any further statement either by the officers involved impugning each other's conduct, e7 justifying their own shares in the transaction. THE INCOME-TAX. Having got through the questions, the House turned to the Budget and discussed the extra penny on the Income-tax. The principal con- tribution to the debate came from Sir William Harcourt, who declared that the Budget was an unpopular one. Sir Michael Hicks-Beach de- fended the increase, and ridiculed the suggestion that the registration duty on corn was a step in the way of Protection. The Government carried the resolution for the increase of the Income-tax by 290 to 61. THE BUDGET. The registration duty on corn and flour was debated at considerable length on Tuesday, the attack on the Government proposal being led by Sir Edward Strachey, who, as an agricultural representative, put forward the argument that the tax was one which touched the poorest of the poor. It was the thin end of the wedge of Protection for all kinds of manufactured articles, and would injuriously affect farmers who had devoted attention to stock-breeding, and handi- cap the dairy farmer in his competition with such countries as Denmark. The main Opposition attack came from Sir Henry Fowler, who objected to the tax on the grounds, firstly, that it was Protective; secondly, that, if it was agreed to, the policy of England in the future would be a po^^F ° Protection and thirdly, that it was a violation of the principle that taxation ought not to be levied on the necessities of life. He held that the duty would represent the addition of a halfpenny on the poor man's loaf, and the statement was met by cries from the Ministerialists, "A farthing." "No," re- peated Sir Henry, "a halfpenny"; but he added that, even II it was a farthing, the addition to persons eating nothing but bread would be a very serious tax on them, the poorest of the poor. He argued that the Chancellor, instead ot taxing the food of the people, ought to have increased the duty on tobacco and beer. The Chancellor of the Exchequer immediately replied, traversing the statements of Sir Henry. He argued that the duty was not in any sense a form of Protection, and declared that, it was absurd to say that people earning twenty shilhngs a week ate nothing but bread. Sir t Miehapl wound ud bv deHnrJnnr fii-jt ;t w. ) 1 absolutely necessary that the area of indirect taxation should be widened. There was con- siderable further discussion liefore the resolution (which was on the rej;ort of the rewolurioi passed in Committee of Ways and Means ]af't week) was put and carried by 223 votes to 197. THE r,v.i;i{ Hil.i. On Wednesday Mr. Tomlinsoji moved U, CSCfind reading of the Beer hili. Fie .aid lit main object of the bill \va, to eiu« ih.i. beer should be br ■>\ved iVoiii liarley. msU. a v. j hops, these being tlie prime coiistitut-Mt N I and any substitute, "o-ing merely adjuuvi- Mr. Ernest Flower oj.|.oH< <1 the bill ii" I moved that this House decline to |»,.i ■with the consider u Kin of a bill interii lir^ «i. freedom in tii,- of beei in tin country, which. i.iiils! it imp.) ed upon i J. scientific development of B-'ltish hre^,t!- industries arbit ral-/res: riei ion* i hat cannot tit enforced upon tore-gn, eutors, in no ^;i;- provided sal'egr<;ii J 1 ior the public health < secured for eousu I ers a guarantee as 1,1 <• purity of the maLviaIs employed. Mr. < seconded the amendment, and other nse»i.e spoke upon it. The feature oi the »]« ba'e fine speech againsr. the bill by Mr. I'.eS i Moulton, which undoubtedly iiiJiueiu-tnl the IH <:1 of the division, wl ich shewed a majority W. 7. Maitwt the bill.




FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 1902.