Motion to Reject Home Rule Bill Defeated
Today in the House of Commons amidst Nationalist cheers the motion for the rejection of the Home Rule Bill was defeated by a majority of 109, with 243 members voting for the rejection and 252 voting against. The majority for this motion was smaller than last year but it must be noted that on that occasion 31 more members voted. The Prime Minister defended the Government's actions in pressing forward with this issue, stating that Home Rule had the support of the majority of people in Ireland and the approval of the colonies. Speaking on behalf of the Irish Party, Mr. T.P. O'Connor ridiculed the failure of the anti-Home Rule tour of Britain and expressed confidence that the sensible people of Ulster would work with Nationalist Ireland once the Bill had been passed. In opposition, Mr Campbell spoke strongly against the possible introduction of the Bill, bringing attention to the Chief Secretary, Augustine Birrell's, promise that soldiers would not be employed to 'mow down the Protestants of the North'. The debate was closed by Sir Rufus Isaacs.