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the publications of the Irish Press Agency. There cannot, however, be the least doubt that any Englishman who does devote a little of his time to this study will speedily become convinced of two things:

- First, that under the law as it stands it is still possible in a great many cases for Irish landlords to do the most cruel injustice to their tenants; and, secondly, that the history of the dealings of Irish landlords with their tenants down to this very hour fully justifies us in refusing to place any trust in their forbearance, or in their sympathy for the people whom we represent. As I have said, the winter in Ireland depends on the action of the landlords. If they follow the example set by a few within the last three weeks, we shall have peace. If, on the other hand, they do as they did in the autumn of 1880; and if they follow the example of men whose names I could mention ; and if the language which is repeated to us as having been used by a number of agents and landlords is sought to be acted upon, it would take a very wise man indeed to predict what this winter will bring forth. Two things are certainfirst, that the National organisation is immensely stronger than it was in 1880; and, secondly, the difficulties of the farmers are greater even than they were in that year. And such being the case, any one who wishes to realise what is before the Irish Government if they are called upon by the landlords to support them in a policy of extortion and eviction, had better read the history of the autumn of 1880 and the spring of 1881, and he will then be able to form an opinion for himself.

If then a struggle for existence is forced on the Irish tenants this winter, it seems to me that a very great responsibility will lie on the Liberal party in England. For it will be in thir hands to decide whether the great work of reconciliation between the two people, so happily begun by Mr. Gladstone last spring, is to be rudely interrupted.

As it is, we of the Irish National party do feel under a considerable obligation of gratitude to the Liberal party for the way in which they stood by us during the spring, at the elections in July, and on Mr. Parnell's bill. And I personally have a deeper feeling of gratitude to many individual members of that party for words of encouragement and sympathy spoken in private. But if we are to have another land war in Ireland, the new faith of the Liberal party may be put to a severe strain. Many bitter things will be said, and in spite of all that we can do deeds may be done in Ireland which will shock them deeply. But if when they are in trouble about what is going on in Ireland, they will only remember that all through the spring and down to September last we did everything in our power to effect a compromise—if they will turn to the debate on Mr. Parnell's bill, and then read the past history of this Irish land question, they will not wonder at the intense bitterness of feeling which exists on this question in the minds of the Irish people. And they will be able to understand much which in the past was utterly inexplicable to them. If they will be strong in their faith, and sufficiently wide in their sympathies to enter into the bitterness of an oppressed people, all will come right very soon.

And Mr. Gladstone will live to see then two peoples who have bated each other for seven hundred years agreeing to live side by side as friends—equally free, though under the one Crown.

JOHN DILLON.

FRANCE, CHINA, AND THE VATICAN.

I.

The latest intelligence from China and Rome seems to leave no doubt that France has found means of preventing any action on the part of the Vatican, and so far to have gained a free hand to deal in her own interest with China, uneinbarrassed by the independent action of a third Power. The Pope, compelled to choose between sending a Nuncio to Peking, as desired by the Chinese, and a rupture with France under a menace of war on the Church, the withdrawal of the subvention of 50,000,000 francs, and the termination of the Concordat, could have little option. But the end is not yet. China may be less open to intimidation than heretofore, and assert ber undoubted right to refuse the recognition of an assumed protectorate over Roman missions, irrespective of the nationality of their members, and its extension to the native converts throughout the Empire. French interference between the Chinese authorities and the subjects of the Eniperor of China has never had any treaty warrant or justification by the law of nations. China has the remedy therefore in her own hands, to a certain extent, by simply refusing to admit the pretension. Of course, in doing so, the Chinese Government must be prepared to resist any action, either diplomatic or belligerent, to coerce them-even by a renewal of M. Jules Ferry's system of ‘intelligent destruction' on their coast; and in the Treaty Ports where the French have free access under a treaty of peaceproceedings from which the Chinese have only recently been relieved. But, as the latter have shown that even a great destruction of property and sacrifice of life could not induce submission to demands which they deemed too humiliating and unjustifiable, it may not be wise to trust too much to such means of coercion. France may well consider whether the cost of such measures in the late operations was adequately compensated by any advantage gained. The French inflicted a great amount of injury no doubt upon the Chinese Government and the people in property and commerce, and a great sacrifice of lives also; but they had to pay their own expenses after all, which were too heavy to hold out much inducement to recommence a similar inglorious and unsuccessful struggle.

In any case it is to be remembered that other nations besides the French have interests in China, and are liable to serious damage by the renewal of hostile action. Interests in trade, compared with which the total amount of French trade in China is wholly insignificant—and, so far as such interests are concerned, this fact gives the French the advantage, if not the satisfaction of knowing that it is their rivals, and the British more especially, who are the chief sufferers; and, under the law of nations, without any claim to compensation. Every sovereign and independent state, being the guardian of its own honour and interests, is entitled, by the jus gentium accepted among Western nations, to take such measures as it may deem expedient to obtain redress for injuries received, subject only to the limitations imposed by international treaties in the common interest.

In view of these circumstances, and the unsettled contention between China and France, which is fraught with so much evil, not only to one or other of the contending parties, but to all the Treaty Powers in various degrees, according to the magnitude of the stake of neutral Powers in the China seas, it may be well to ascertain accurately what is the relative proportion of the commercial interests engaged in the intercourse of Western nations with China. The Reports and Returns of the trade of the Treaty Ports, issued annually by the Inspector-General of the Imperial Maritime Customs, furnish in the most authentic and complete form all the necessary data.

In estimating the proportionate share of France, however, in such a comparative view, it would not be fair to take the Custom House returns for 1885 as a test, since French carrying trade was by the hostile operations of the French fleet reduced in that year to a mere simulacrum. But, if we take the return of all trade of foreign countries with China at the Treaty Ports for the year 1882, the following statistics will give a fair comparative statement during a period immediately preceding the commencement of French operations: The total net value of foreign trade was

145,052,074 The exports amounted to

1,789,015 And the total gross value therefore was

146,841,089 Of which the British dominions contributed

111,090,769 Leaving for other foreign countries

35,750,320 Thus accounted for in detail

HK. Taels.

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Deducting the percentages for the Chinese flag, and then taking the average of the percentages for foreign flags (as given at p. 27) under the four headings of (1) Tonnage Employed; (2) Total Foreign and Coast Trade ;(3) Duties on Cargo; and (4) Tonnage Dues, the comparison between foreign flags in the carrying trade from and to foreign countries and between the ports of China is as follows :

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It is thus evident that the stakes held by the other Treaty Powers and France are so hugely disproportionate, that the former, who were as neutrals merely spectators, had much to lose and nothing to gain; while these conditions were exactly reversed, and France, so far as trade and material interests connected therewith were concerned, had a bare 3} per cent. en jeu.

If such preponderating interests of a material kind do not entitle neutral States to any consideration for the heavy or incurable injury they may suffer from the acts of a quasi-belligerent, it may at least justify a searching inquiry on the part of the sufferers into the causes of quarrel, and the pleas either party may advance for liberty to inflict any amount of loss or damage not only on each other as principals, but on one or more neutral Powers.

The ostensible cause of a state of continued enmity and irreconcilable antagonism is, no doubt, Religion, and its propagation under the Roman Catholic Church, coupled with the claim of France to exercise a protectorate over all missions of that persuasion in Chinapersisted in notwithstanding ever-recurrent disturbances and massacres of missionaries and their converts, by outbreaks of popular hostility throughout the Empire.

It is evidently all-important, if this common danger is to be averted, to ascertain the actual fons et origo of such widespread and continuous hostile feeling, and not only one persistent in its manifestation, but as a rule, with few exceptions, directed against the Romish missions in the first instance, under the French protectorate. Is it religious fanaticism and intolerance in the Chinese population ? or is there a political and social motive underlying the whole movement ? It is essential that the true answer to

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