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offender to suffer the injury he had inflicted on another; and its purpose was deterrent. It has been abandoned
by the law, but the instinct on which it rests is imperishei able. Those who denounce it most vehemently in the
treatment of crime themselves invoke it quite unconi sciously for the treatment of other offences. They urge,
for instance, that slum landlords should be compelled to live in their own rotten hovels, or that coal-owners should be compelled to descend their own pits and hew
coal. This is the lex talionis which inflicts on the doer }
of evil the evil he does to others in order to induce him 3 to mend his ways. What those who denounce it really
object to is not retribution, but the offence to which it is applied. In Russia the Bolshevists emptied the prisons of ordinary criminals, but filled them up again with their political opponents, and treated the newly-created class of criminals far more severely than the old had
Recently an amusing incident took place in Glasgow at a meeting of the Independent Labour Party. The chairman of the Party, who is a Labour Baillie of Glasgow, was severely heckled on the question of Labour magistrates administering the law.
Question.-Does Baillie Dollan imagine he is helping on the social revolution by sending men to prison?
' Answer.-It depends on who is sent to prison. I think it would be socialistic if I sent profiteers and slum-property owners to prison. It certainly would give me great pleasure to send such gentry to prison if the opportunity arose.'
It may be remembered that the reason given by Robert Smillie for refusing to be Food Minister during the war was that he would not have the power to hang people without a jury.
The proposal to abolish the penal treatment of crime is not serious. Even under the legal changes mentioned above the penalty of imprisonment is still an essential part of the treatment; but it is suspended over the heads of delinquents and acts as a deterrent while avoiding the harm incidental to actual incarceration.
Art. 13.-IRELAND: HOPES AND FEARS.
The story of Irish affairs during the last three months is, indeed, sad and sordid. At the end of June, it was expected on all hands that the Southern Irish Parliament would speedily meet for the purpose of confirming and approving the newly published Constitution of the Irish Free State. The day of meeting had been already fixed, and a majority of the deputies was assured, but de Valera and Childers, with the reckless fanaticism and carelessness of human life that the public has learned to expect from them, organised open rebellion, and they were able to command the services of so many members of the Irish Republican Army, that their opposition became most formidable. Dublin was selected as the centre of disturbance, and for ten days, from June 28 until July 6, street fighting disgraced the capital of Ireland.
Mr. Rory O'Connor and his gang of armed men had been in possession of the Four Courts since April, and it became necessary to dislodge them. It was discovered, indeed, that they were about to declare war on British troops! They were forced to surrender on June 30; but they left behind them explosive bombs, which blew up after their departure and destroyed one of the few remaining beautiful public buildings of 18th-century Dublin. Not only were the Law Courts greatly injured, but the Public Record Office, where were preserved the materials of Irish history since the days of the Plantagenets, and in whose archives were kept priceless collections of wills, deeds, parish registers, and the like, was utterly destroyed by fire. It is no exaggeration to say that the destruction of the Irish Record Office is a national misfortune which can never be repaired; and not the least melancholy circumstance attending its destruction is the fact that neither those who wantonly destroyed it, nor the regular' troops who took them
' prisoners, displayed any adequate concern at the loss of so precious a national possession.
The rebels were finally dislodged on July 6 from the houses which they had occupied in Dublin, and thereafter they confined their operations, save for occasional snipings,' to the rural districts of Ireland. One of their
leaders, Charles Burgess-or Cathal Brugha, as it became fashionable to call him in the interests of the Irish language—was mortally wounded on the last day of the Dublin fighting. It must be admitted that most of this fighting was half-hearted. The rebels in the Four Courts and elsewhere were allowed, for the most part, to escape, although the buildings which they occupied were supposed to be surrounded by military forces. The official bulletin of the National’Army congratulated the troops on having got possession of the Law Courts without serious loss of life on the part of the mutineers, one of the strangest bulletins ever issued in the time of war! And the prisoners that were taken were generally released very quickly without any guarantees as to their future behaviour. In one instance, at least, orders were issued to the troops that they should fire over the heads of the mutineers. The reluctance of Mr Collins' men to kill or imprison their late brothers-in-arms is intelligible enough, and it was regarded as proper and becoming by the masses of the Irish people, who have never understood that the crime of treason deserves punishment, but that the Irish Government should have adopted this policy of 'letting off' those who disputed its authority hy force of arms, has proved disastrous. There is nothing gained by taking men prisoners if you release them within a few days, for they go back to their former activities with increased bitterness. Yet this was Michael Collins' deliberate policy. He imagined that the spectacle of men who had been arrested being set at liberty by the Government would be greeted with ridicule for the rebels and admiration for the generous Ministers who took so disdainful a course.
He was fatally wrong, and his own death later on was the direct consequence of his policy. Meantime, all through July and August, the rebels, under the leadership of de Valera and Childers, were burning and destroying wherever they got an opportunity. They had learnt from Collins and Mulcahy the devices of guerilla warfare in their attacks on British troops in 1921, and they were not slow to use against their former comrades the lessons of the past.
Driven out of their strongholds in Limerick, and Waterford, and Cork, they dispersed again and again to
the southern hills, leaving behind them in every case burning buildings and an impoverished countryside. It might be said of them as of the followers of Catiline, nihil cogitant, nisi cædes, nisi incendia, nisi rapinas.' But, unhappily, no Cicero has arisen among the Irish to condemn de Valera's brigands with such outspoken veracity. Their aim has been, and still is, to make the task of the Irish Government impossible by encouraging and promoting arson and assassination. The wireless telegraph station at Clifden has been destroyed; one of the cables connecting Valentia with America was cut at the instigation of Childers, although the purpose of this piece of sabotage is not easy to discern; countless private mansions and public buildings, such as railway stations, police barracks, and the like, have been burnt; roads are mined and bridges have been blown up; and the financial burden that has thus been laid on the Irish Free State is so heavy, if the damage is to be made good or compensation awarded, that it is difficult to see how Ireland can avoid bankruptcy in the near future. Nor is this all. The outrages on private persons in the south and west of the country, that have been committed by these marauding gangs, are without parallel in living memory. A peculiarly dreadful assault in Co. Tipperary on a lady—it is better not to go into details as to her name or station-was reported by Lord Carson to the House of Lords; but the offenders have not been brought to justice, nor has any publicity been given to the incident in Ireland. It was not the only case of the kind, but the Government have done little to rouse public indignation against the criminals. Indeed, the censor
, ship of the press which has been established in Ireland is an indication of the weakness of responsible ministers, who are unwilling to allow the facts of the situation under their rule to be made known to the world.
It is true that an official pronouncement of the Irish Government, issued on July 15 to Michael Collins in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the National Forces, described in strong language the method of warfare pursued by the Irregulars as 'utterly destructive of the economic life of the nation' and as sheer brigandage.' It is also true that the Irregulars have always been defeated when they stood to fight, and that they have
been turned out of the large towns, but the policy of concealment of details of revolting outrages, such as that in Tipperary to which we have referred, of release of many prisoners who were caught in arms, of ignoring the mischief worked by Madame Markievitch, Miss MacSweeney and their wild associates (who should have been deported or interned long since) has aggravated the disorders which it was intended to remove. An important letter was addressed to Mr Churchill by Lord Salisbury on July 27, setting out in particular the sufferings of Irish loyalists, and claiming for them the intervention of the British Government. Mr Churchill replied (as perhaps was inevitable) that the only course open to Great Britain at the moment was to give every assistance to the Irish Ministers, who were, he believed, doing their best to save their country and its new-found liberties.' No doubt, Irish Ministers had this at heart; but when their efforts to restore order seemed to be conditioned by the determination to punish no criminal, it is not surprising that they were as unsuccessful as Lord Salisbury's catalogue of outrages shewed them to have been.
It is a significant circumstance that, so soon as fighting began in the area of the Irish Free State, the disorders in Belfast began perceptibly to diminish. The murder of Sir Henry Wilson, which shocked Ulster and hardened its heart against Irish Republicans, did inot lead to reprisals in Belfast. On the contrary, the forces of law and of civilised Government have done much in the North-Eastern area of Ireland to promote peace and prosperity, although much still remains to be done. This goes far to support the Orangemen's explanation of, or excuse for, the outrages which were rife in Belfast last May and June, viz. that they were initiated or provoked by Sinn Fein gunmen who had been sent to the North for that purpose. At any rate, they diminished in number and in violence as soon as the gunmen were needed in the South to help their revolutionary comrades. This is significant, and tends to show that the officially published stories of organised conspiracy to exterminate Belfast Roman Catholics, such as the Dail Eireann Publicity Department issued on June 28, were destitute of foundation in fact. Individual groups of Orangemen