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same party. Mr. Joseph Devlin is reported in the Irish People ? as having said in the United States some years ago-and Mr. Redmond described him in 1910 as the de facto Chief Secretary of Ireland'
When we have the police and the judiciary in our hands, then will be the time for those who think we should destroy the last link that binds us to England to operate by whatever means they may think best to achieve that great and desirable end. ... I am quite sure that I speak for the United Irish League in this matter. How useful it would be to have this view put forward on a British platform. It is so very easy for the simplest mind to grasp. Or if Mr. T. P. O'Connor would only say to us, as he said at Haverhill, U.S.A., in 1909–
Give to us as you gave to Parnell and I'll promise you that within a few years the land of Ireland will belong to Ireland ; her liberty will be won so that her emblem will take its place along with the other flags of the world's nations. Then we should know for certain that the drainage' and the ' self-reliant' definitions were only so much eye-wash, and that Separation is the ultimate end and object of all the agitation. But, as things are, the people of Great Britain do not realise this elementary fact in the situation; it is carefully concealed from them by the Nationalist party. English Radicals take it as axiomatic that the Irish members must know best what is good for Ireland, without even troubling to inquire whether they themselves are agreed upon what Home Rule means, what it could achieve, and whither it will lead.
It is because the Unionist party has acquainted itself with these and earlier utterances that it cannot surrender one inch to the demand for the Repeal of the Union which lies behind the honeyed supplication for Home Rule. No greater injustice to Ireland could be conceived than this, at a time when her prosperity is increasing by leaps and bounds : to deprive her of the moral and material credit which she derives from absolute unity with the richest country in the world, and to throw the reins of her future welfare to the guidance of men who, however wellintentioned, have never been trained to the administration of public affairs.' Were Great Britain to sanction a step so insane, three results would certainly ensue: bankruptcy for Ireland within a very short time; civil war, of the character indicated by Mr. Gladstone's words quoted at the beginning of this paper; and an immediate intrigue on the part of the victorious party for final separation from Great Britain and annexation to some stronger
· Irish People June 21, 1902.
. Cf. letter from Mr. A. J. Kettle, ex-Treasurer of the United Irish League, in the Freeman's Journal, July 18, 1907, regretting that scarcely any business men are found within the ranks of the U.I.L.
Power. It is heart-breaking to think that we must envisager such a prospect at the bidding of the party whose votes keep Mr. Asquith in office. Could we feel that they had a strong backing in Ireland among the responsible and respectable classes we might be inclined to reconsider the position. But our deepest convictions lie in the opposite direction. Every man who purchases his farm under the Wyndham Act, and who means to work it, becomes a settled opponent of political agitation which threatens to upset his business and destroy his credit; the funds of the United Irish League have gone steadily down from 55501, in 1907 to 35001. in 1909, and Mr. Redmond had to complain, on his return from the United States in February 1910, that the Irish National party would have been bankrupt in this election were it not for the success of Mr. O'Connor's mission to America.' A pretty confession to have to make whilst he is trying to persuade Great Britain that the great soul of Ireland is pining for Home Rule ! I believe the Nationalists claim that there are 3,500,000 Home Rulers in Ireland alone : if each of these were to subscribe but one penny a month to the cause’ the total would reach 175,0001. a year; but in point of fact only 35001. was forthcoming in 1909 from Irish patriots resident in Ireland. There is, I submit, no tangible evidence that the Home Rule agitation has any sound democratic support in Ireland amongst those who are counted (rightly or wrongly) as Nationalists.
But it has an unfaltering and vehement opposition from every Unionist living in that country, that is to say from something between one-third and one-fourth of the total population. None but the most purblind politician can deny this; evidences of it are written large for all who have eyes to see, and the statesman who cannot appreciate the preparations which are going forward to resist Home Rule in Ulster ought to be confined as a criminal lunatic. It is a source of constant wonder to many of us why the Prime Minister chooses, at this grave moment, not only to be blind to the meaning of all that is going on in the North of Ireland, but also deaf to the representations made by Sir Edward Carson on behalf of Irish Unionists. How comes it that a man of Mr. Asquith's calibre elects to believe that solemn warnings, uttered by a man of Sir Edward's world-wide reputation, are all bluff, but that every word spoken by Mr. Redmond (who claims no reputation except in certain districts of Ireland) is to be taken as gospel-truth? I confess that the answer baffles me; and I can only conjecture that Mr. Asquith, who was free born,' has forgotten the great price which the men of the North had to pay for their freedom in 1688. It is the recollection of what the great Revolution cost them and secured for them that gives to Ulster men the grim and steadfast determination never
to surrender their birthright and heritage of citizenship of the United Kingdom ; and it is sympathy with this noble aspiration which should make Great Britain the quicker to apprehend the evidences of uncontrollable hostility with which Ulster always has met and always will meet any attempt to barter away the rights of loyal men, at the bidding of those who have not been ashamed to describe themselves as rebels in the past.
Justice to Ireland, then, demands that Home Rule shall not be thrust upon her without a great deal more proof than is at present forthcoming that she wants it, or that she could live happily under it if she got it. For, as trustees for Ireland, the people of Great Britain are in honour bound to see to it that the Irish people do not suffer eternally, simply because we, in our ignorance and folly, choose to believe that the voice of the agitator is the voice of Ireland, and therefore consent to grant the demand for an Irish Parliament. Two courses alone are open to us : either to persevere in the policy of well-doing which is fast regenerating Ireland, and to ignore the threats of agitation-mongers; or to surrender Ireland to the clamour and the tender mercies of the Nationalist party and see how it works.' The latter course must be unthinkable to honourable men who have given to this question the amount of study that it deserves. We know that, in the matter of finance alone, Ireland is in the awkward position of having a debt, for last year only, of 2,000,0001. (roughly) on account of her local expenditure exceeding her local revenue by about that sum-according to the Chief Secretary himselfand of being unable to pay a penny towards her share of the National Debt or of Imperial charges which, taken together, amount to about six-and-a-half million pounds a year.“ Is this the moment to hand over Ireland to a band of amateur financiers to extricate her from her present and very real difficulties, which can only be surmounted by the most careful management on the part of trained administrators and by further pecuniary aid from Great Britain as her expenditure increases? We Unionists feel that we love Ireland too well to consign her to any fate so cruel, and we know the Nationalist party well enough to make us doubt their capacity for handling problems of so difficult a character with any chance of success. * Knowledge is power; thought is power, but talk is not power,' said an eminent Frenchman long ago; and the trustees for Ireland's welfare (as well as for the security of nearly 200 millions of British money invested in Irish land purchase) are bound to examine the credentials of those to whom they are asked to hand over the administration of
· Note also that in 1911 the indebtedness of Irish local bodies was 22,066,8341. : the rateable valuation of all Ireland was only 15,698,5301. The difference was borrowed on the strength of Ireland's connexion with the British Treasury.
an important part of the United Kingdom. We are prepared, on the other hand, to see her through her financial difficulties in no niggardly spirit; but the Government must remain with those who find the money in order that Ireland may rise above the tidal wave of taxation beneath which the present Chancellor of the Exchequer threatens to submerge all classes of the community.
This attitude, bowever, does not commend itself to the selfstyled 'economists' of the Nationalist party. We may point out the parlous condition into which Home Rule would plunge Irish finance, and urge the necessity of British credit for Irish use at the present time. “No matter,' writes Professor Kettle, in the English Review for January ; 'we prefer freedom to flesbpots
a settlement which calls for men who are statesmen before they are actuaries.' Could any words be better calculated than these to prove how criminal it would be to entrust Irish finance to a Cabinet of Irish Celts in which Professor Kettle might reasonably hope to be Chancellor of the Exchequer; could any language : be chosen more certain than this to sow in British minds the profoundest distrust of committing any further capital to Irish purposes if it is to be administered by so riotous an exponent of political or social economy? It is certainly not in this spirit that Lord MacDonnell approached the same problem in his temperate article last month in the pages of this Review. He supplies an excellent antidote to Mr. Kettle's visionary theories; though he, too, seems to think that the British Exchequer has a bottomless purse upon which Ireland may make perpetual and almost exclusive claims, whilst he does not recognise that the British taxpayer and man of business has very little confidence indeed in those Nationalist politicians to whom he is expected to confide his money; for it goes without saying that both Lord MacDonnell and Professor Kettle require very large sums of British money to be forthcoming to start Ireland along the unknown paths of Home Rule.
Before leaving the question of Irish finance, I would wish to make one or two observations upon certain general proposals which have been advanced whereby, in certain directions, Irish expenditure might be diminished if controlled by the Nationalist party, although in other directions that expenditure would certainly be increased. We have been told that Old Age Pensions will be immediately reduced when Mr. Redmond and his friends are masters of the Parliament in College Green. That is one of the arguments used by the Nationalists in England; but I doubt whether it will be particularly popular among the
Except Mr. John Redmond's (Freeman's Journal, November 14, 1910) What do we care for material reforms in Ireland? They may fill the stomachs of the Irish people. That will not satisfy their spirits.'
• The Finance of Irish Government : a Retrospect and a Prospect, Nineteenth Century and After, January 1912.
peasantry in Ireland who, most probably, have not yet heard of it. To Mr. Kettle, no doubt, an old age pension is merely a 'fiesbpot,' and is not to be compared with the inestimable advantage of 'freedom'; but we must wait and see how the idea commends itself to the aged poor of Ireland and to the electors of that country generally before building any extravagant hopes of economy on this foundation.
In the second place, a substantial reduction of the Royal Irish Constabulary is declared necessary, and large savings are said to be possible under this head. It is, however, doubtful whether this conjecture is well based. It must be remembered that the duties of the R.I.C. are by no means limited to the preservation of law and order in town and country in Ireland. They include a large variety of functions which are not performed by policemen, so far as I am aware, in England, Scotland or Wales. It is common knowledge that the Irish Constabulary have to act (1) as inspectors of Weights and Measures, (2) as Census officers, (3) as inspectors under Food and Drugs Acts, (4) as enumerators of emigrants, (5) as Customs officers, and (6) as excisemen to prevent smuggling and illicit distillation. Moreover, they may be called upon to perform (7) the duties of a soldier, (8) of a billet-master, (9) of an auctioneer for sale of distress; they must (10) enforce certain Acts of Parliament, including the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, the Fishery Acts, and the last Children Act. These are only some of the duties now devolving upon an Irish policeman according to his contract with Government; for these I cannot say that I think he is overpaid, but rather the contrary, considering the ordinary duties which fall to his lot in some turbulent districts that I have visited. But of this we may be certain, that every one of these functions is an important one in any civilised country, and that someone must be paid for discharging it. If the policeman is relieved of such duties he will, doubtless, be thankful ; but the expenses incurred for their performance will only have to be charged under another head in the estimates presented to Parliament, and the resulting economy (if any) will be infinitesimal indeed.
The third item, popularly supposed to be one upon which public money can be saved, is the Civil Service in Ireland. In furthering this idea, Professor Kettle (this time in The Academy) is very precise indeed-up to a point. He is both grieved and angry that in Ireland there are no less than 4397 officials ‘ above the income-tax line,' whereas in Scotland there are only 944; the total salaries being 1,441,1311., as against 319,2371., and this is quoted from the last Report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue. At first sight it would certainly appear as though Ireland endured a superabundance of well-paid