MT. 31] CONTROVERSY "WITH BUTT 119
prisoners was supported by all sections of the English Liberal party, and the Government were compelled to accept it lest they should be defeated on a division. Here, then, no adverse effect as regards the support of Englishmen was produced by my course of action. Subsequently, on the Marine and Army Mutiny Bills, amendments that I moved were supported by the full strength of all sections of the Liberal party present, as many as 146 and 150 voting for some of the amendments, although at this very time the English Press was teeming with complaints of my " obstruction," and you had yourself thought proper to denounce me publicly in the House on similar grounds a night or two previously. Here again no English votes were lost to me owing to my action. Furthermore, by our action on the Mutiny Bills I obtained some important restrictions of power to inflict cruel punishments, and the Government also agreed to submit these Bills to the consideration of a select committee—Bills that for many years had been adopted as a matter of course almost without discussion.
c The hours at or after midnight are always reserved for Irish Bills, and it is a physical impossibility that it could be otherwise. Consequently no action of mine can diminish the chances of Ireland obtaining what she has never had—a share in the Government time. On the other hand, nothing that I have done interferes with, the time at the disposal of private members, as I have not interfered with measures brought in by such members.
' I cannot sympathise with your conclusions as to my duty towards the House of Commons. If Englishmen insist on the artificial maintenance of an antiquated institution which can only perform a portion of