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No. 3604 August 2, 1913
FROM BEGINNING VOL. CCLXXVII
NINETEENTH CENTURY AND AFTER 269
FORTNIGHTLY REVIER 265 Color-Blind. Chapter XIV. By Alice Perrin. (To be continued.)
TIMES 278 In the Wake of the Western Sheep. BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE 285 The Little Brothers of the Pavement. By Gilbert Coleridge.
CORNHILL MAGAZINE 294 At Cherry-Tree Farm. By C. Edwardes. (To be concluded.)
CHAMBERS's JOURNAL 299 The Panama Robbery.
SATURDAY REVIEW 305 M. Poincaré and the Triple Entente.
SPECTATOR 310 "Japan Among the Nations.” By Admiral Mahan, TIMES 312 Morality and the Child. By E. Nesbit.
NEW WITNESS 316
258 Deaf. By H. M. Waithman.
OUTLOOK 258 BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
VII. VIII. IX.
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PEACE OR CIVIL WAR?
Sir Edward Carson's speech on the closely allied by commercial and other 17th of May, at the opening of the ties, Willowfield Drill Hall in Belfast, has Volumes have been written upon this been received by the Unionist Press as Irish question, and the Government of a quiet but solemn warning; by the Ireland Bill has been examined from organs of the Government it has been every point of view in the Press and treated rather as the vaporing of an on the platform-everywhere except in angry leader who keeps up the appear- the House of Commons, where discusance of a brave resistance in a cause sion has been stifled with the brutal already lost; while an apathetic Brit- frankness of a Ministry that having for ish public, jaded by daily records of the moment a giant's power are deterexcitement from every country in the mined to use it as a giant The Bill world, refuse to accept the possibility has been rejected by the House of of anything untoward that would Lords, as it would have been rejected affect them more nearly than would a by any conceivable independent Second massacre in Mexico or the Balkan Chamber, and now, in its stereotyped States, or an earthquake in Japan. shape, awaits the form of a second
And yet, while they have eyes and acceptance by the Slaves of the Ring see not, they are all but face to face in the same House of Commons; but with a crisis more grave than the Irish the peculiarity of this first cause and rebellion of 1798, and that may tear effect of the Parliament Act is that England herself as she has not been from every quarter, Nationalist, Uniontorn for two hundred and fifty years. ist, or independent, it is condemned as The fact is that the British people are inadequate or unworkable. Its finantired of the name of Home Rule; they cial proposals are shaken to the founare sick of the dominance of the dations by financial writers of the Nationalist Parliamentary party, and highest repute, while its fantastic heartily anxious to get rid of the provisions that keep the word of prom. Irish members from the House of ise to the ear and break it to the hope Commons. They do not believe that are the cause of deep heart-burning to any further harm will come of Home honest Nationalists, of whom there are Rule than a loud grumble, and pos- many. This is by the way, for if this sibly a local riot in Ulster, easily sup- Government remains in power, so far pressed, and leaving a population that as two of the three estates of the realm in the course of time would resign are concerned, it must take its place themselves to an accomplished fact. upon the Statute-book. Happily there
This is comforting to those who lie are signs that the thinking voters who at the feet of the dominant caucus that in ordinary circumstances eschew the sits at present on the shattered frag- turbid waters of party politics are ments of the British Constitution, but awaking to the danger of the position. is it true? If it is not, then we are all They are the reserve of considered but face to face with a very real peril, power that in times of grave danger a peril in which political dissatisfac- decide elections over the heads of the tion, however intense, will pale before party limpets unthinking and sectarian fanaticism, latent in Belfastchangeable
entered upon the agents' and not entirely absent from Glasgow lists as safe votes. and Liverpool, with which Belfast is It is now beginning to be recognized
that this despotic Government that has destroyed the Second Chamber and reduced the salaried members of the House of Commons to a condition of serfdom is itself held in bondage by a party that has over and over again freely and frankly declared its hostility to the British nation, and owes its success to the knowledge that from the date of the Clerkenwell explosion a Radical Government has gracefully yielded to the arguments of crime and outrage. They may not like it, but though the captured Cabinet may secretly disprove, it is affected by political locomotor atary, the feet acting independently of the head.
To recapitulate Irish history in this connection is useless. We may accept it that down to the date of Catholic emancipation Ireland had many grievances, and that during the eighteenth century there were sauguinary incldents that
Unionist Nationalist, can read of without horror. Other countries have similar unhappy records of the past, but they wisely bury their dead and refuse to exhume the skeletons as an everlasting reminder. The Ireland with which this Government of Ireland Bill deals is an Ireland prosperous beyond all previous records; an Ireland to which the Imperial Government has advanced or promised over one hundred and fifty millions sterling to enable the tenant farmers to try the experiment of acquiring the full ownership of their farms; an Ireland which enjoys in the fullest measure every extension of county and municipal government enjoyed by England and Scotland; and an Ireland where justice is as ably and impartially administered in the High Courts as it is in Great Britain. In addition to this, the taxes in Ireland are lighter, and while that portion of the United Kingdom pays at present nothing towards the Imperial cost of the Army and Navy
and other necessary items of Imperial expenditure, the Irish members returned to Parliament hold a preponderant influence in that assembly.
Rebellions more or less serious have had their place in the centuries that have rolled by since Pope Adrian endowed King Henry the Second with the Lordship of Ireland by a bull sealed with an emerald seal that accompanied the bequest and gave to Ireland the name of the Emerald Isle. Such rebellions were usually the result of unsatisfied grievances; but this demand for Home Rule comes at a time of abounding prosperity, complete civil and religious equality, and redress of every grievance. It would then seem a matter of surprise, not that one-third of the population are bitterly opposed to a change from the present solidarity of the United Kingdom, but that two-thirds should demand it.
The reasons given for the desire for Home Rule, not in the set speeches of the platform but in the conversations by the wayside, are sometimes curious. There is a widespread belief that under Home Rule the Irish Government will, without delay, open mines in every direction. The belief is quite independent of the existence of minerals. It is there, and one might as well argue on the non-existence of fairies, who are, all the world knows, potent for good or evil. “What good do you expect to get from Home Rule?" was a ques. tion put to an intelligent peasant. The answer was prompt: “We will pay no more rent or taxes, and if we want money we'll send up a petition to the Parliament in Dublin and get a grant." That man is an ardent Home Ruler, and is rightly so according to the faith that is in him. His political views were free from sentiment, as those of a Dublin carman equally anxious for the Bill. “What will you do when Home Rule comes?" was
asked. “What will we do? Faith, Opponents of Home Rule may be we'll tear up them tram-lines," was the classed in two divisions. One sees in reply. Again a non-sentimental but the disruption of the United Kingdom highly practical appreciation of ad- the first symptom of the decadence of vantageous possibilities from his point England. This is the Imperial aspect. of view. There are many thousands The other, while sharing the views of whose hopes are as strong and as the first realizes that, as Irishmen visionary, and we must not judge too driven from that full citizenship of the harshly of the play of their Celtic im- United Kingdom that is their birthagination; nor can we ignore the fact right, they will be abandoned to the that sentiment plays a large part in political domination of a faction re the agitation. But behind the senti- garded by them with the deepest ment is the knowledge that the crea- distrust born of experience in the tion of an Irish Parliament and Minis- past. try would create a large number of On the general question of the effect small offices for aspirants of the proper upon the Empire of the disruption of way of thinking.
the United Kingdom it is at present It is difficult for one not resident in useless to dogmatize. The fact reIreland to understand the attitude of mains that a House of Commons domthe farmers. The Census statistics for inated by a log-rolling coalition has deIreland show that the agricultural pop- stroyed the Constitution under which ulation in 1911 was 780,867, as against the Empire was born and has grown 613,397 engaged in commercial pur- to its present proud position, and by suits. The farmers are therefore in a promptly yielding to criminal methods majority, but are practically dominated has laid the axe to the root of sound by the more nimble-minded urban pop- and stable government; but in this ulation. The great work of Sir Horace Home Rule proposal we are brought Plunkett in the establishment of co- face to face with a situation that not operative farming societies is begin- even the levity of the present Govern. ning to quicken their business in- ment can afford to disregard, and it stincts, but the struggle between town behoves thoughtful men to contemplate and country will for sometime result the position should the Bill become in the political triumph of the towns, law under the provisions of the Parliawhose interest would lie in looking to ment Act. Irishmen of all persuasions land rather than commercial profits in have hitherto been part and parcel of the incidence of future taxation. A the United Kingdom. They have single farmer will, in conversation, fought and commanded under its have no hesitation in expressing his banner, and have taken their full share doubts as to the advisability of Home in the expansion of the Empire. The Rule, but in the presence of another most progressive and prosperous of the will speak very guardedly, while with population are Unionists to the core, a larger number he will at once de- and they bitterly resent their repudiaclare for the measure. This to tion by Great Britain at the dictation Englishman accustomed to an open as- of a party whose speeches in America sertion of different opinions is difficult and elsewhere showed that their goal to understand, but in parts of Ireland is total separation from England; who, there are occult forces at work that in their place in Parliament, cheered make men living in country places the Boer successes in the dark days of very cautious in expressing opinions the South African war, and who rethat may be distasteful to a majority. fused in an Irish city a place for the