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Title: Home Rule - Second Edition
Author: Spender, Harold, 1864-1926
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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     On and after the appointed day there shall be in Ireland an
     Irish Parliament, consisting of his Majesty the King and two
     Houses, namely, the Irish Senate and the Irish House of

     Notwithstanding the establishment of the Irish Parliament, or
     anything contained in this Act, the supreme power and authority
     of the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall remain unaffected
     and undiminished over all persons, matters, and things within
     his Majesty's dominions.

                         THE HOME RULE BILL (1912).
                         (THE GOVERNING CLAUSE.)

     "If we conciliate Ireland, we can do nothing amiss; if we do
     not we can do nothing well."

                         SYDNEY SMITH.

     "The cry of disaffection will not, in the end, prevail against
     the principle of liberty."


                        HOME RULE

                      HAROLD SPENDER

                      WITH A PREFACE
                          BY THE
          RT. HON. SIR EDWARD GREY, BART., M.P.,

                     _SECOND EDITION_
           _With Text of Home Rule Bill (1912)_

                   HODDER AND STOUGHTON
                 LONDON NEW YORK TORONTO

     "There can be no nobler spectacle than that which we think is
     now dawning upon us, the spectacle of a nation deliberately set
     on the removal of injustice, deliberately determined to break
     with whatever remains still existing of an evil tradition, and
     determined in that way at once to pay a debt of justice and to
     consult, by a bold, wise and good act, its own interests and
     its own honour."



It must surely be clear to-day to many of those who opposed the Home
Rule Bill of 1893 that there is a problem of which the solution is now
more urgent than ever. We who were Gladstonian Home Rulers approached
the problem originally from the Irish side: those who did not then
approach it from that side refused to admit the existence of any
problem at all. Since that time circumstances have made it necessary to
approach the problem from the British as well as from the Irish side.

The British Parliament has hitherto been regarded as a model to be
imitated; if it continues to attempt the impossible task of transacting
in detail both local and Imperial business, it will end as an example
to be avoided. In the last fifty years the amount of work demanded for
particular portions of the United Kingdom, for the United Kingdom as a
whole, or for the Empire has increased enormously; in all three
categories the work is still increasing and will increase: one
Parliament cannot do it all. This is one new aspect of the Home Rule

Mr. Spender states the case with force and sympathy from the Irish
point of view, with which none of us, who were convinced supporters of
Home Rule twenty years ago can ever lose sympathy, and with which the
younger generation should make itself acquainted. He makes also a very
valuable and opportune review of recent changes in the situation, and
considers how Home Rule should be adapted to British and Imperial
needs, and should serve them. The whole book is the result of his own
reflection, observation and research; the conclusions to which he comes
for the settlement of the financial and other details of Home Rule
ought to receive most careful consideration as valuable contributions
to the discussion of the subject. But, of course, they must not be
assumed necessarily to be mine or to be those that will be adopted in
the Government Bill.

But I agree with him entirely that Home Rule is necessary to heal
bitterness in Ireland, and to effect that reconciliation without which
there cannot be real union: that it is necessary to relieve Parliament
at Westminster and to set it free for work that concerns the United
Kingdom as a whole or the Empire: in other words, that there is a
problem to be solved, and that the first step in solving it must be
Irish Home Rule in a form that opens the way for Federal Home Rule.

In the autumn of 1910 a considerable part, at any rate, of the
Conservative Party seemed ready to admit the need for some solution:
to-day they have apparently drifted back to the barren position of
opposing all proposals for Home Rule: if they were to render this
solution impossible, they would but make the problem more urgent.

                         EDWARD GREY.

  _February, 1912._


THE HOME RULE CASE                                         3
  The Case that Does Not Change:
      (i.) The Sea.
     (ii.) The Race.
    (iii.) The Creed.

THE HOME RULE CASE                                        19
  The Case that Has Changed and is Now Stronger:
   (i.) The Councils and
  (ii.) The Land.

THE HOME RULE CASE                                        35
  The Case that Has Changed--(_continued_):
   (i.) The Congested Districts.
  (ii.) The Board of Agriculture.
 (iii.) Old-Age Pensions.
  (iv.) The Universities.

THE HOME RULE PLAN                                        47
  The Nineteenth Century Bills and the Bill of 1912.

HOME RULE DIFFICULTIES                                    63

HOME RULE DIFFICULTIES                                    77
  Rome Rule _or_ Home Rule?

HOME RULE IN HISTORY                                      89
  Five Centuries of Limited Home Rule (1265-1780).

HOME RULE IN HISTORY                                      99
  Grattan's Parliament.

HOME RULE IN THE WORLD                                   113
  The Case from Analogy.

HOME RULE FINANCE                                        125


A. The Home Rule Bill of 1912                            143
B. The Shrinkage of Ireland                              160
C. The Act of Union                                      163
D. The Home Rule Bills of 1886 and 1893                  167
E. The Irish Board of Agriculture                        184
F. The Reduction in Irish Pauperism                      186
G. The Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1881                      187
H. The Congested Districts Board                         188
J. Irish Canals and Railways                             190
K. Home Rule Parliaments in the British Empire           191

                    THE HOME RULE CASE


                  i.--THE SEA.
                 ii.--THE RACE.
                iii.--THE CREED.

     "Ireland hears the ocean protesting against Separation, but she
     hears the sea likewise protesting against Union. She follows
     her physical destination and obeys the dispensations of

    (First speech against the Union 15th January, 1800).



Very nearly a generation of time has elapsed since, in 1886, Mr.
Gladstone expounded in the British House of Commons his first Bill for
restoring to Ireland a Home Rule Parliament. Nearly twenty years have
passed since that same great man, indomitably defying age and
infirmities in the pursuit of his great ideal, passed the second Home
Rule Bill (1893) through the British House of Commons. That Bill stands
to-day unshaken in regard to all its vital clauses. Some of us still
hold the faith that that Bill would, if it had become law in 1893, have
saved Ireland from many years of wastage, and would have built up, to
face our enemies in the gate, a stronger and stouter fabric of Empire.

The Bill of 1893 only survived the perilous tempests of the House of
Commons[1] to fall a victim to the House of Lords.[2]

Nearly twenty years have elapsed since that day, and now the successors
of Mr. Gladstone, the Progressives of the United Kingdom, Liberals,
Labour Members and Nationalists, approach the same task with the Bill
of 1912.[3] Some of them are veterans of the former strife. They can
turn, like the present writer, to the thumbed diaries of that great
combat,[4] and can recall the great scenes of that prolonged
Parliamentary agony with a sense of treading again some well-worn road.
Others are new to the issue, and can only hear, like "horns of Elf-land
faintly blowing," some faint echo from the dawn of consciousness.

But young or old, we must again set forth on our travels, and this

"It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles."

It will be the memory of the "Great Achilles" that will sustain us. For
this task comes to Liberals as a sacred trust from Mr. Gladstone. It is
from him that they have learnt that race-hatred is poison, and that the
only true union between nations is--in a phrase that has outlived the
silly laughter of the shallow--the "Union of Hearts."[5] It is Mr.
Gladstone's work that they design to accomplish. It is the memory of
his passionate and sustained devotion through the last twenty years of
that glorious life that has thrown a halo round this cause, and still
gilds it with a "heavenly alchemy."

But, before we "smite the sounding furrows," our first duty is to
survey once more the seas over which we shall have to voyage. We have
to consider again both the old and the new "case for Home Rule"--not
merely the case of 1886 or 1893, but the still stronger case of 1912.

For the world never stands still, and in every generation every great
human problem presents different aspects, and shows new lights and
shadows. Every great human question is like a great mountain which on a
second or third visit reveals new and unsuspected depths and heights,
new valleys and new peaks, slopes which new avalanches have furrowed,
and glaciers which have receded or advanced.

Not that the real, great, main outline ever changes. As with the
mountains, so with the great human problems; there are always certain
great features which remain permanent.


There are, for instance, in the Irish case the sixty-five miles of sea
which, since the earliest dawn of human memory, have divided Ireland
from Great Britain. A fact absurdly simple and obvious, but the
greatest feature of all in this mighty problem of human government!

"The sea forbids Union, and the Channel forbids Separation." There is
no change in that great physical condition. Those sixty-five miles of
sea have neither increased nor diminished since 1893. That sea is still
too broad for "Union"--in the Parliamentary sense of that word--and too
narrow for Separation.

To anyone standing on the deck of one of those swift steamships which
now cross to Ireland from so many points on the British coast, there
must, if he has any imagination, come some vision of the vast
impediment which this sea has placed in the way of direct control by
England over Ireland's domestic affairs. Looking back down the vista of
history, he must see a succession of fleets delayed by contrary winds,
of sea-sick kings and storm-battered convoys, of conquest thwarted by
the caprice of ocean, of peace messengers and high administrators
brought to anchor in the midst of their proud schemes.

The same causes still operate. In this respect, indeed, Ireland appears
to be simply one instance of a general law. It may almost be laid down
as an axiom that no nation can govern another across the sea. How often
it has been tried, and how often it has failed! France has tried it
with England, and England has tried it with France. Great Britain tried
it with North America, and Spain tried it with South. In this matter
even the great quickening of modern communications, even the miracles
of steam and electricity, seem to have made little difference. For even
at the present moment, if we look around, we shall see how great a part
the sea has played as the deciding factor in forms of government. It is
the sea which has made us give self-government to Canada, Australia,
and South Africa. It is the sea which keeps Newfoundland apart from the
Canadian Federation, and New Zealand apart from Australia. Even within
the scope of these islands the same law prevails. It is the sea which
makes us give self-government to the Isle of Man and the Channel
Islands. Almost the only exception is Ireland. In Ireland we have
defied this great law; and in Ireland that defiance is a failure.

And yet not defied it completely; for the very facts of Nature forbade.
While we have taken away the Irish Legislature, we have been obliged to
leave the Irish their separate laws, their separate Administration and
Estimates, and their separate Executive in Dublin. That Executive has
been for a whole century practically uncontrolled by any effective
Parliamentary check. The result is that it has grown, like some plant
in the dark, into such quaint and eccentric shapes and forms as to defy
the control of any Minister or any public opinion[6]. Perhaps the worst
condemnation of the Act of Union has been that while we destroyed the
Irish Parliament we have been obliged to leave Dublin Castle.


Then there is the permanent, abiding difference of Race. It is a truism
of history that the Englishman who settles in Ireland becomes more
Irish than the Irish. The records of the past are filled with great
examples. The Norman adventurers who spread into Ireland after the
Conquest have become in modern times the chiefs of great Irish
communities, until names like Joyce and Burke have come to be regarded
as typical Hibernian surnames. It is a commonplace of modern history
that the counties settled by Cromwellian soldiers have become most
typically Irish. Tipperary, Waterford, and Wexford--there were great
Cromwellian settlements in those counties. And yet they have taken the
lead in the fiercest insurrections of modern Irish democracy.

It is only in the North of Ireland, within the confines of the province
of Ulster, and there only in the extreme north-east corner, within the
counties of Londonderry, Antrim, and Down, that the settlers have
formed a distinct and definite racial breakwater against purely Irish
influences. The plantation of Ulster in the reign of James I. took into
Ireland some of the most dogged members of the Scotch race, men filled
with the new fire of the Reformation, men stalwart for their race and
creed. They went as conquerors and as confiscators, and for centuries
they worked with arms in their hands. They slew and were slain, and
were divided from the native Irish by an overflowing river of blood.
That river is not yet bridged.

It has been said that there is no human hatred so great as that felt
towards men whom one has wronged. The planters of Ulster inflicted
upon Ireland many grievous wrongs and endured some fierce revenges. The
result is that even to-day there is a section of them that still stands
apart from the other colonisers of Ireland--a race still distinct and
apart. Is it impossible that even there the binding and unifying
principle of Irish life may begin to work? That is the question of the

But though Ireland thus contains at least one instance of a mixture of
races not altogether dissimilar from that of England, it still remains
true that, taken as a whole, Ireland is a country marked with the
Celtic stamp. There, too, the power of the sea comes in. If there had
been only a land frontier, it is possible that the Teutonic influence
would have overpowered the Celtic. But the sea forms a sufficient
barrier to cut off every new band of immigrants from the country of
their origin. This isolation drives them into insular communion with
the country of their invasion. Thus, however often invaded and
"planted," Ireland has continued detached.

This detachment has been apparent ever since the earliest dawn of
Western civilisation. Right up to the Norman Conquest Ireland remained
apart and aloof from Central European influences. For long ages she had
been the rallying-place of the Celt as he was driven westward by the
Teuton and the Roman. Even after Great Britain had been absorbed by the
Roman Empire, Ireland still remained unconquered, the one home of
freedom in Western Europe. This independence of Rome continued far into
the Christian era. Ireland developed a separate Christianity of a
peculiarly elevated and noble type, full of missionary zeal and
inspired by high culture. That Christianity even swept eastward, and
for a time dominated Scotland and England from its homes in Iona and
Lindisfarne. This Irish Christianity brought upon itself the enmity of
Rome by continuing the Eastern tonsure and the Eastern ritual, and
finally, at the great Synod at Whitby in the year 664[7], Rome
conquered in the struggle for Britain, and the Irish religion was
driven back across the sea.

But Rome and European Christianity, as it was represented in the Roman
spirit, achieved a very slow victory over Ireland herself. The English
Pope Adrian gave to Henry II. a full permission to conquer Ireland for
the faith. But it was fated that Irish Catholicism should be built up
not by submission to the Catholic Kings of England, but by resistance
to the Protestant Kings from Henry VIII. onward. Thus it is that, even
in religion, in spite of the passionate loyalty of the modern Irishman
to the Roman See, Ireland still stands somewhat distinct and aloof from
the rest of Europe.

But if that be so in religion, still more is it so in customs and
manners. Take the analogy of a mould. The Celtic civilisation of
Ireland is like a mould, into which fresh metal has been always
pouring; white-hot, glowing metal from all over the world, from England
and Scotland, from France, from Rome, and even from far-off Spain. But
though the metal has always been changing, the mould still remains
unbroken, and as the metal has emerged in its fixed form it has always
taken the Celtic shape. So that to-day, in face of the Imperialistic
tendencies of the British Empire, Ireland remains more than ever
passionately attached to her nationalism, and more than ever potent to
influence all newcomers with her national ideas.

It is in that sense that the question of race still remains a
permanent feature in the Irish problem. It is precisely because the
Irish nationality is so persistent that it is hopeless to expect a
permanent settlement of her government problem within the scope of such
an iron uniformity as the Act of Union. It is because Ireland nurses
this "unconquerable hope" that the only golden key to these
difficulties lies in some form of self-government.


But besides the sea and the race, there is yet one more feature of the
Irish problem which remains practically unchanged. Ireland still
remains predominantly Catholic, while Great Britain is still
predominantly Protestant. The great movement of the sixteenth century,
known as the Reformation, passed from Germany through Holland and
France into Great Britain. It won Scotland completely. In England,
after a prolonged struggle with a powerful Catholic tradition, it ended
in the compromise still represented by the Anglican Church. But there
the victory of the Reformation closed. The movement was checked at St.
George's Channel. In Ireland Catholicism stood with its back against
the Atlantic, and fought a stern, long fight against all the political
and social forces of the British Empire. The attack of Protestantism
was supported by the full power and authority of the conqueror. It
lasted for two centuries. It began with Elizabeth and James as a simple
imperative, mercilessly applied without regard to national conditions.
It came under Cromwell as a scorching, devastating flame. It remained
under William and the Georges as a slow, cruel torture applied through
all the avenues of the law. The end of all that effort was, not to
convert or destroy, but to weld the national and religious spirits
into one common force, acting together throughout the nineteenth
century as if identical.

Purified by persecution, Catholicism in Ireland, almost alone among the
religions of Western Europe, stands out still to-day as a great
national and democratic force.

But though the persecution failed, it built up, by a double process of
immigration and monopoly, a very powerful Protestant population with
all the stiff pride of ascendancy. For generations the Protestants of
Ireland enjoyed all the offices of government, and had the sole right
of inheritance. Thus both the land and the government slipped into
their hands. Since no Catholic could inherit land under the penal laws,
and since the penal laws lasted for nearly a century, it followed
inevitably that the whole land of Ireland fell into the hands of the
Protestants. That is why even at the present day the vast majority of
the Irish landed and leisured classes are Protestants. The Catholics,
during that dark period, became hewers of wood and drawers of water.
Thus property in Ireland came to mean, not merely a division of
classes, but also a division of creeds. In spite of all the great
reforms, the descendants of these Protestants still retain most of the
wealth and most of the Government offices in Ireland.[8] Their
resistance to any change is not, therefore, altogether surprising; and
we must remember amid all the various war-cries of the present
agitation that these gentlemen are fighting, not merely for the
integrity of the Empire, but also for position, income and power.

This state of affairs has varied very little for the last

The Census of 1911 contains, like most previous Irish Census returns, a
schedule asking for a statement of religious faith. That enables us to
tell with comparative accuracy the proportions between the Catholics
and Protestants in Ireland since 1861, when the schedule was first
introduced, right up to the present day.

The Preliminary Report shows that the variation has been very slight.
The round figures for 1911 are:--

    Roman Catholics                    3,238,000
    Protestant Episcopalians             575,000
    Presbyterians                        439,000
    Methodists                            61,000

The figures for 1861 were:--

    Roman Catholics                    4,500,000
    Protestant Episcopalians             693,000
    Presbyterians                        523,000
    Methodists                            45,000[9]

There has been an all-round decrease, corresponding to the decrease of
the population. That decrease has been brought about by emigration, and
that emigration has taken place mainly from the Catholic provinces of
Munster and Connaught. It is inevitable, therefore, that the Catholics
should have diminished more than the Protestants. The result of forty
years' wastage of the Irish Catholic peasantry is that the proportions
of Catholics to Protestants are now three to one, as against four to
one in 1861. Allowing for the great fact of westward emigration, this
means that the relations between these two forms of Christianity in
Ireland are practically stationary.

The Protestants, too, we must not forget, are divided into two
sects--Episcopalian and Presbyterian--which in their history have been
almost divided from one another as Catholicism and Protestantism, so
much so that several times in Irish history--as, for instance, in
1798--the Catholic and Presbyterian have been brought together by a
common persecution at the hands of the Episcopalian.

We must also bear in mind that the Protestants are mainly concentrated
in the two provinces of Ulster and Leinster. Ulster contains nearly all
the Irish Presbyterians--421,000 out of 439,000--men who are rather
Scotch by descent than actually native Irish. Ulster also contains
366,000 Episcopalians, making, with 48,000 Methodists, 835,000
Protestants in Ulster, out of 1,075,000 in the whole of Ireland. The
rest of the Episcopalians are in Leinster--round Dublin--where 140,000
are domiciled. Munster contains less than 60,000 Protestants in all,
and Connaught contains little over 20,000.[10] It is practically a
Catholic province.

The great fact about this religious situation in Ireland, therefore, is
that you have a Catholic country with a strong Protestant minority.

We are asked to believe that this presents an insuperable obstacle to
the gift of self-government. But Ireland does not stand alone in this
respect. There are many other countries in the world where the same
difficulty has been faced and overcome. Take the German Empire. It has
included since 1870 the great state of Bavaria, where the great
struggle of the Reformation ended with honours divided. Modern Bavaria
contains a population which, according to the Religious Census of
December 1st, 1905, is thus divided:--

    Roman Catholics                    4,600,000
    Protestants                        1,844,000
    Jews                                  55,000

Strangely enough, the proportions are almost precisely the same as in
Ireland. But this state of affairs has not prevented the German Empire
from leaving to Bavaria, not merely a king and parliament, but also an
army subject to purely Bavarian control in time of peace, and a
separate system of posts, telegraphs, and state railways.[11] Are we to
say that trust and tolerance are German virtues, unknown to the British

But they are not unknown to the British people. Our own colonists have
set us a better example. Canada has a far more difficult religious
problem than Great Britain. She has two provinces side by side--Quebec
and Ontario--both with the same religious problem as Ireland. In both
there are strong religious minorities. Quebec is predominantly
Catholic, and Ontario is predominantly Protestant. Thus:--

        Catholics                      1,429,000
        Protestants                      189,000

        Protestants                    1,626,000
        Catholics                        390,000

How is this problem solved? Why, by Home Rule. For a long time--from
1840 to 1887--Canada made the experiment of governing these two
provinces under one Parliament and from one centre. That experiment
never succeeded. As long as they were under one government, the
minority in each of these provinces insisted on appealing for help to
the majority in the other. There arose the evil of "Ascendancy "--the
government of a majority by a minority. At last the Canadians faced the
problem. In 1867 they divided the provinces, and gave them each a Home
Rule government of their own, subject to the Dominion Parliament. Since
then there has been no more trouble about Ascendancy. Quebec and
Ontario now settle their own affairs, including Education and all other
local matters, and no one ever hears anything about the ill-treatment
of minorities.

So much, then, for the permanent factors--Sea, Race, and Religion.
There is no insuperable obstacle there. Rather it is here--in these
great dominating facts--that the strongest argument for Home Rule must
ever be found. For it is those things that constitute nationality.

The real difficulties in the way of Home Rule were found, both in 1886
and 1893, not in these permanent things, but in the changing facets of
human laws. It was the Land Question that in all the speeches of 1886
provided the strongest argument. It was the absence of local
government, and the presumed incapacity for local government, that
filled so many Unionist speeches. It was the quarrel over University
Education that provided the best evidence of incompatibility of temper
between Irish Catholic and Irish Protestant.

I shall show that in all these respects the problem has completely and
radically changed since 1893.

       *       *       *       *       *


[1] By a majority of 34 on the third reading--301 to 267--September
1st, 1893.

[2] Friday, September 8th, 1893. 419 to 41; majority against the Bill
of 378.

[3] See Appendix A for this Bill.

[4] "The Story of the Home Rule Session." (1893.) Written by Harold
Spender, sketched by F. Carruthers Gould (now Sir Francis C. Gould).
London: _The Westminster Gazette_ and Fisher Unwin.

[5] This famous phrase was first coined by Grattan, but was so often
said by Gladstone that it was, in 1886, regarded as his.

[6] See a very interesting account of the present Irish Executive in
"Home Rule Problems" (P.S. King and Son. London. 1s.) in a chapter
(iv.) entitled "The Present System of Government, in Ireland," by
G.F.H. Berkeley. There are 67 Boards, of which only 26 are under direct
control of the Irish Secretary. No Parliamentary statute applies to
Ireland, of course, unless that country is expressly included by name.

[7] See, for a popular account of this Synod, Green's "History of the
English People," Vol. I., p. 55.

[8] The central Civil Service is predominantly Protestant, and in
municipalities like Belfast the Catholics hold a very small proportion
of the salaried posts.

[9] Census for 1911. Preliminary Report. Page 6.

[10] Census Summary. Preliminary Report. Page 6.

[11] See "The Statesman's Year Book," 1911, pp. 877-8.

                    THE HOME RULE CASE

                       NOW STRONGER

                 i.--THE COUNCILS AND
                ii.--THE LAND.

     "They saved the country because they lived in it, as the others
     abandoned it because they lived out of it."




Those who, like myself, visited Ireland last summer as delegates of the
Eighty Club included some who had not thoroughly explored that country
since the early nineties. They were all agreed that a great change had
taken place in the internal condition of Ireland. They noticed a great
increase of self-confidence, of prosperity, of hope. Many who entered
upon that tour with doubts as to the power of the Irish people to take
up the burden of self-government came back convinced that her increase
in material prosperity would form a firm and secure basis on which to
build the new fabric.

What does this new prosperity amount to? The new Census figures leave
us in no doubt as to its existence. For the first time there is a real
check in that deplorable wastage of population that has been going on
for more than half a century. The diminution of population in Ireland
revealed by the 1901 Census amounted to 245,000 persons. The diminution
revealed by the 1911 Census amounts to 76,000. In other words, the
decrease of 1901-11 is 1.5 per cent., as against 5.2 per cent, for
1891-1901, or only one against five in the previous decade[12]. This is
far and away the smallest decrease that has taken place in any of the
decennial periods since 1841; and this decrease is, of course,
accompanied by a corresponding decline in the emigration figures.[13]

What is even more refreshing is the evidence which goes to show that
the population left behind in Ireland has become more prosperous. For
the first time since 1841, the Census now shows an increase--small,
indeed, but real--of inhabited houses in Ireland, and a corresponding
increase in the number of families[14].

It is the first slight rally of a country sick almost unto death. We
must not exaggerate its significance. Ireland has fallen very low, and
she is not yet out of danger. There is no real sign of rise in the
extraordinarily small yield of the Irish income tax. That yield shows
us a country, with a tenth of the population, which has only a
thirtieth of the wealth of Great Britain--a country, in a word, at
least three times as poor[15]. The diminution in the Irish pauper
returns is entirely due to Old-age Pensions.[16] The much-advertised
increase in savings and bank deposits, always in Ireland greatly out of
proportion to her well-being, is chiefly eloquent of the extraordinary
lack of good Irish investments.

The birth-rate in Ireland, although the Irish are the most prolific
race in the world, is still--owing to the emigration of the
child-bearers--the lowest in Europe. The record in lunacy is still the
worst, and the dark cloud of consumption, though slightly lifted by the
heroic efforts of Lady Aberdeen, still hangs low over Ireland.[17]

Finally, while we rejoice that the rate of decline in the population is
checked, we must never forget that the Irish population is still
declining, while that of England, Wales and Scotland is still going

But still the sky is brightening, and ushering in a day suitable for
fair weather enterprises. Perhaps the surest and most satisfactory sign
of revival in Irish life is to be found in the steady upward movement
of the Irish Trade Returns.[19] That movement has been going on
steadily since the beginning of the twentieth century.[20] It is
displayed quite as much in Irish agricultural produce as in Irish
manufactured goods; and in view of certain boasts it may be worth while
to place on record the fact that the agricultural export trade of
Ireland is greater by more than a third than the export of linen and
ships.[21] Denmark preceded Ireland in her agricultural development,
but it must be put to the credit of Irish industry and energy that
Ireland is now steadily overhauling her rivals.[22]

The mere recital of these facts, indeed, gives but a faint impression
of the actual dawn of social hope across the St. George's Channel. In
order to make them realise this fully, it would be necessary to take my
readers over the ground covered by the Eighty Club last summer, in
light railways or motor-cars, through the north, west, east and south
of Ireland. Everywhere there is the same revival. New labourers'
cottages dot the landscape, and the old mud cabins are crumbling
back--"dust to dust"--into nothingness. Cultivation is improving. The
new peasant proprietors are putting real work into the land which they
now own, and there is an advance even in dress and manners. Drinking is
said to be on the decline, and the natural gaiety of the Irish people,
so sadly overshadowed during the last half-century, is beginning to

It is like the clearing of the sky after long rain and storm. The
clouds have, for the moment, rolled away towards the horizon, and the
blue is appearing. Will the clouds return, or is this improvement to be
sure and lasting? That will depend on the events of the next few years.

       *       *       *       *       *

What has produced this great change in the situation since 1893? To
answer that question we must look at the Statute Book. We shall then
realise that defeat in the division lobbies was not the end of Mr.
Gladstone's policy in 1886 and 1893. That policy has since borne rich
fruit. It has been largely carried into effect by the very men who
opposed and denounced it. Not even they could make the sun stand still
in the heavens.

The Tories and Liberal dissentients who defeated Mr. Gladstone gave us
no promise of these concessions. The only policy of the Tory Party at
that time was expressed by Lord Salisbury in the famous phrase, "Twenty
years of resolute government." Although the Liberal Unionists were
inclined to some concession on local government, Lord Salisbury himself
held the opinion that the grant of local government to Ireland would be
even more dangerous to the United Kingdom than the grant of Home

If we turn back, indeed, to the early Parliamentary debates and the
speeches in the country, we find that Mr. Chamberlain in 1886
concentrated his attack rather on Mr. Gladstone's Land Bill[24] than on
his Home Rule scheme. In his speech on the second reading of the 1886
Bill, indeed, Mr. Chamberlain proclaimed himself a Home Ruler on a
larger scale than Mr. Gladstone--a federal Home Ruler. But in the
country, he brought every resource of his intellect to oppose the
scheme of land purchase.

Similarly with John Bright. Lord Morley, in his "Life of Gladstone,"
describes Bright's speech on July 1st, 1886, as the "death warrant" of
the first Home Rule Bill. But if we turn to that speech we find that
Bright, too, based his opposition to Home Rule almost entirely on his
hatred of the great land purchase scheme of that year. He called it a
"most monstrous proposal." "If it were not for a Bill like this," he
said, "to alter the Government of Ireland, to revolutionise it, no one
would dream of this extravagant and monstrous proposition in regard to
Irish land; and if the political proposition makes the economic
necessary, then the economic or land purchase proposition, in my
opinion, absolutely condemns the political proposition." In other
words, John Bright held to the view that it was the necessity for the
Irish Land Bill of 1886 which condemned the Home Rule Bill of that

So powerfully did that argument work on the feelings of the British
public that in the Home Rule Bill of 1893, not only was the land
purchase proposition dropped, but in its place a clause was actually
inserted forbidding the new Irish Parliament to pass any legislation
"respecting the relations of landlord and tenant for the sale, purchase
or re-letting of land" for a period of three years after the passing of
the Act.[25]

So anxious was Mr. Gladstone to show to the English people that Home
Rule could be given to Ireland without the necessity of expenditure on
land purchase, and with comparative safety to the continuance of the
landlord system in Ireland!

Such was the record on these questions up to the year 1895, when the
Unionists brought the short Liberal Parliament to a close, and entered
upon a period of ten years' power, sustained in two elections with a
Parliamentary majority of 150 in 1895 and of 130 in 1900.

But the biggest Parliamentary majorities have limits to their powers.
Crises arise. Accidents happen. There is always a shadow of coming doom
hanging over the most powerful Parliamentary Governments. With it comes
an anxiety to settle matters in their own way, before they can be
settled in a way which they dislike. Thus it is that we find that
between 1895 and 1905, during that ten years of Unionist power, two
great steps were taken towards a peaceful settlement of the Irish

One was the Irish Local Government Act of 1898, which extended to
Ireland the system of local government already granted in 1889 to the
country districts of England. The other was the great Land Purchase Act
of 1903, which carried out Mr. Gladstone's policy of 1886, and set on
foot a gigantic scheme of land-transference from Irish landlord to
Irish tenant. That scheme is still to-day in process of completion.

It is these two Acts which have largely changed the face of Ireland.


Take first the Act of 1898. Up to that year the county government of
Ireland was carried on entirely by a system of grand jurors, consisting
chiefly of magistrates, and selected almost entirely from the
Protestant minority. These gentlemen assembled at stated times, and
settled all the local concerns of Ireland, fixing the rates, deciding
on the expenditure, and carrying out all the local Acts. They formed,
with Dublin Castle, part of the great machinery of Protestant
Ascendancy. Very few Catholics penetrated within that sacred circle.

These gentlemen, even now for the most part Protestants, still hold the
power of justice. But the power of local government has passed from
their hands. Every county of Ireland now has its County Council.
Beneath the County Councils there are also District Councils exercising
in Ireland, as in England, the powers of Boards of Guardians. Neither
the Irish counties nor the corporations of Ireland's great cities have
power over their police. There are no Irish Parish Councils. Otherwise
Ireland now possesses powers of local government almost as complete as
those of England and Scotland.

How has this system worked? In the discussions that preceded the
establishment of local government in Ireland we heard many prophecies
of doom. So great was the fear of trusting Ireland with any powers of
self-government that the Unionists actually proposed, in 1892, a Local
Government Bill, which would have established local bodies subject to
special powers of punishment and coercion.[26]

It was with much fear and trembling, then, that the Protestant Party in
Ireland entered upon the new period of local government. As a matter of
fact, all these fears have been falsified. Instead of proving
inefficient and corrupt, the Irish County Councils have gained the
praises of all parties. They have received testimonials in nearly every
report of the Irish Local Government Board. If, indeed, they possess
any fault, it is that they are too thrifty and economical.[27]

In one respect, indeed, these County and District Councils of Ireland
have conspicuously surpassed the corresponding bodies that exist in

One of the most important measures passed by the British Parliament
during this period of Irish revival has been the Irish Labourers' Act.
It was one of the first measures passed by the new Liberal Parliament
of 1906, and it has been since often amended and supplemented. But its
main provisions still stand. In this Act the Imperial Government grants
to the local authorities in Ireland loans at cheap rates for the
purpose of re-housing the Irish agricultural labourers. It places the
whole administration of these loans in the hands of the Irish District
Councils--a very delicate and difficult task.

So efficiently have the District Councils done their work that more
than half the Irish labourers have already been re-housed. It is fully
expected that within a few years the whole Irish agricultural labouring
population will have received under this Act good houses, accompanied
always with a plot of land at a small rent.

Compare with this the administration of the Small Holdings Act by the
English local authorities. That Act, passed in 1908, placed the actual
allocation of small holdings in the hands of the English County
Councils. It is not necessary to dwell here upon the notorious failure
of most of the high hopes with which that measure was passed through
the British Parliament. The cause of that failure is obvious. The
promise of the Small Holdings Act has been practically destroyed by the
refusal of the County Councils to throw either goodwill or efficiency
into its administration.


But the second of the two great renovating measures--the Irish Land
Purchase Act of 1903--has contributed even more powerfully than the
first to the recovery of Ireland during the last ten years. There again
we have a great instance of the supremacy of the spirit of Parliament
over the prejudices of Party. The whole tendency of democratic
government is so rootedly opposed to coercion that it is difficult for
any party to continue on purely coercive lines for any long period. And
yet, as Mr. Gladstone always pointed out with such prescience, the only
alternatives in Ireland were either coercion or government according to
Irish ideas.

Now, the most noted Irish idea was the desire for personal ownership of
the soil by the cultivator himself. In the years 1901 and 1902, just
when the Unionists were embarrassed with all the complications of the
South African trouble, the Tory Government were faced again with this
imperious desire. They found arising in Ireland a new revolt against
the power of the landlords. The Land Courts of Ireland, set up under
the Act of 1881, had given to the Irish tenant two revisions of
rent--the first in 1882, and the second in 1896--amounting in all to
nearly 40 per cent. But these sweeping reductions had produced a new
trouble. They had brought about a state of acute hostility between
landlord and tenant without any real control of the land by either. The
landlords, deprived of their powers of eviction and rent-raising, were
in a state of sullen fury. The tenants had made the fatal discovery
that their best interest lay in bad cultivation. Both parties were
opposed to the existing land administration, and the Irish people were
on the eve of another great effort to attain their ideals.

The Tory Government of 1902-3, then, either had to change the whole
system, or they had to enter upon a new period of coercion with a view
of suppressing the increased passion of the tenants for the full
possession of the land. Looking down such a vista, the Irish landlords
themselves could see nothing but ruin at the end. The Irish tenants
might suffer, indeed, but they would be able to drag down their
landlords in the common ruin along with them. The prospect facing the
Irish landlord was nothing less than the entire, gradual disappearance
of all rent.

With such a black prospect ahead, the time was ripe for a remarkable
new movement, started by two distinguished Irishmen--Mr. William
O'Brien on the side of the tenants, and Lord Dunraven on the side of
the landlords. The omens were auspicious. Lord Cadogan, one of the old
guard, had retired from the Viceroyalty, and had been succeeded in 1902
by a younger and more open-minded man, Lord Dudley. A still more
remarkable man, Sir Anthony MacDonnell (now Lord MacDonnell) had been
appointed to the Under-Secretaryship of Dublin Castle under
circumstances which have not even yet been clearly explained. Sir
Anthony MacDonnell was known to be a Nationalist, although his
Nationalist tendencies had been strongly modified by a prolonged and
distinguished career in India. Mr. Wyndham, then Chief Secretary, made
the remarkable statement that Sir Anthony MacDonnell was "invited by me
rather as a colleague than as a mere Under-Secretary to register my
will." There is, indeed, no doubt that if the full facts were known, it
would be found that the new Under-Secretary was appointed on terms
which practically implied the adoption of a new Irish policy by the
Tory Government. In other words, the party which is at the present
moment (1912) entering upon an uncompromising fight against Home Rule
was, in 1903, contemplating a policy not far removed from that very

In the mind of Sir Anthony MacDonnell himself--and probably of several
members of the Government--the policy took two forms. One was to settle
the problem of Irish land, and the other was to settle the problem of
Irish Government.

The first of these great enterprises went through with remarkable
smoothness. Both landlords and tenants were weary of the strife, and
ready for peace on terms. The leaden, merciless pressure of the great
Land Courts set up by Mr. Gladstone's Act of 1881 had gradually worn
down the dour and obstinate wills of the Irish landlords. The very men
who had denounced land purchase as the worst element in the scheme of
1886 were now enthusiastic on its behalf. The only opposition that
could have come to such a scheme was from the House of Lords, and the
opposition of the House of Lords, as we all know, did not exist in
those blessed years. Mr. Wyndham was sanguine and enthusiastic, and
both Irish tenants and Irish landlords found a common term of agreement
in mutual generosity at the expense of the taxpayer. With the help of
that taxpayer--commonly called "British," but including, be it
remembered, the Irish taxpayer also--the landlords were able to go off
with a generous bonus, and the tenants were able to obtain prospective
possession of their farms, while paying for a period of years an annual
instalment considerably less than their old rent.

The terms to both landlords and tenants were so favourable that the Act
of 1903 was, after a short period of pause, followed in Ireland by
results which transcended the expectations of Parliament. There was a
rush on one side to sell, and on the other to buy. From 1904 to 1909
the applications kept streaming in, and the Land Commissioners were
kept at high pressure arranging the sale of estates. The pace, indeed,
was so rapid that it laid too heavy a strain on the too sanguine
finance of Mr. Wyndham's Act. The double burden of the war and Irish
land proved too great. The British Treasury found that they could not
pour out money at the rate demanded by the working of the Act. In 1909
it was found necessary to pass an amending Act, which has given rise to
fierce controversy in Ireland. That Act slightly modified the generous
terms of the Act of 1903, but not before under those terms a revolution
had already been effected. Practically half the land of Ireland had
passed before 1909 from the hands of the landlords into those of the

Even on the new terms the process will go on. By voluntary means if
possible, but if not, by compulsion, the land of Ireland will pass back
within twenty years into the hands of the people.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here, then--in land purchase and the new machinery of local
government--are the two leading facts in the great change which had
come over Ireland since 1893. What do they signify?

Why, this. In 1886 and 1893 the Unionists pointed out, not without some
heat and passion, two main difficulties in the path to Home Rule. One
was the incompetence of the Irish people for local government. "They
are by character incapable of self-rule," was the cry; and we all
remember how Mr. Gladstone humorously described this incapacity as a
"double dose of original sin."

That incapacity has been disproved. The Irish have been shown to be
fully as capable of self-government as the English, Scotch, and Welsh.

The other great difficulty was the unsolved land question. "We cannot
desert the English garrison--the Irish landlords," was the cry. "We
cannot trust the Irish people to treat them justly." But the Irish land
question is now settled. The Irish landlords are either gone or going.
The Irish tenants are becoming peasant-proprietors. All that is
required now is a national authority to stand as trustee and guardian
of the Irish peasantry in paying their debt to the British people--or,
perhaps, even if the material condition of Ireland under Home Rule
should justify that course, to take over the debt. That is the new
"felt want," and the only way to supply it is to create a responsible
Irish self-governing Parliament.

Thus the two principal changes in Ireland since 1893 have not weakened,
but immensely strengthened, the case for Home Rule.

       *       *       *       *       *


[12] See Appendix B.

[13] Appendix B (4), 31,000 in 1911, the lowest figure since the
Famine. There is a similar decline in the number of the Migratory
Labourers, from 15,000 in 1907 to 10,000 in 1910 (Cd. 6019).

[14] Appendix B (2) and (3). 2,000 families and nearly 3,000 inhabited

[15] The yield of Irish income tax is practically stationary at
£1,000,000, as against £30,000,000 yielded by Great Britain. (Inland
Revenue Report, 1910-11, page 100.) The assessment to income tax is
£40,000,000 for Ireland, as against £93,000,000 for Scotland (with
about the same population), and £878,000,000 for England.

[16] See Appendix F. The diminution is from 99,000 to 80,000.

[17] The deaths from consumption in Ireland declined from 10,594 in
1909 to 10,016 in 1910. (Irish Registrar-General's Report, 1911, p.

[18] See Appendix B.

[19] The most trustworthy thermometer of Irish trade is to be found in
the volume now yearly issued by the Irish Government--the Report on the
Trade in Imports and Exports at Irish Ports. In the absence of Irish
Customs there must be some uncertainty in the tests, but the Government
figures are collected from the "manifests" of exporters and importers.
(The latest report comes up to the 31st December, 1910. Cd. 5965.)

[20] The growth of Irish trade since 1900 can be seen at a glance in
the following table (including exports and imports):--

 1904                     103,790,799
 1905                     106,973,043
 1906                     113,208,940
 1907                     120,572,755
 1908                     116,120,618
 1909                     124,725,895
 1910                     130,888,732

[21] The export of manufactured goods increased from £20,000,000 in
1906 to £26,000,000 in 1910. Those goods consisted mostly of linen and
ships from Belfast. The export of farm stuffs increased from
£31,000,000 in 1905 to £35,000,000 in 1910.

[22] Ireland now exports into England three times as much live stock as
any other country. She imports more potatoes and poultry than any
other. She also stands in butter only second to Denmark, in eggs only
second to Russia, and in bacon and hams only third to the United States
and Denmark (Cd. 5966).

[23] "Local authorities are more exposed to the temptation of enabling
the majority to be unjust to the minority when they obtain jurisdiction
over a small area, than is the case when the authority derives its
sanction and extends its jurisdiction over a wider area. In a large
central authority the wisdom of several parts of the country will
correct the folly and mistakes of one. In a local authority that
correction is to a much greater extent wanting, and it would be
impossible to leave that out of sight in any extension of any such
local authority in Ireland."--Lord Salisbury (1885).

[24] Proposing to buy out the Irish landlords at an estimated cost of

[25] See Appendix D for a summary of the 1893 Home Rule Bill.

[26] It was named by Mr. Sexton the "Put 'em in the dock Bill," and
that phrase practically killed it.

[27] See the Local Government Board Reports _passim_:--

"Before concluding our reference to the Local Government Act we may be
permitted to observe that the predictions of those who affirmed that
the new local bodies entrusted with the administration of a complex
system of County Government would inevitably break down have certainly
not been verified. On the contrary, the County and District Councils
have, with few exceptions, properly discharged the statutory duties
devolving upon them. Instances have, no doubt, occurred in which these
bodies have, owing to inexperience and to an inadequate staff, found
themselves in difficulties and have had to receive some special
assistance from us in regulating their affairs; but this has been of
rare occurrence." (Annual Report of the Irish Local Government Board
for year ending March, 1900.)

"In no other matter have the Councils been more successful than in
their financial administration. After the heavy preliminary expenses
necessarily attending the introduction of a new system of local
government had been provided for, and the Councils and their officers
had succeeded in obtaining a satisfactory basis on which to make their
estimates of future expenditure, they found it possible to effect
considerable reductions in their rates, and there seems to be every
reason to anticipate that, with extended experience, there will be a
still further general reduction of county rates." (Annual Report of the
Irish Local Government Board for year ending March, 1902.)

Our impression as travellers was that the Irish County Councils do not
yet spend enough money on their roads.

                    THE HOME RULE CASE


                  i.--THE CONGESTED DISTRICTS
                 ii.--THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE
                iii.--OLD-AGE PENSIONS
                 iv.--THE UNIVERSITIES

     "Although while I live I shall oppose separation, yet it is my
     opinion that continuing the Legislative Union must endanger the




But Land Purchase and County Councils are only part of the great change
that has come over Ireland since 1893.

There are other great transformations. There is the redemption of the
congested districts. There is the revival of agriculture. There is the
Old Age Pensions Act. Finally, there is the reform of the Universities.


Take, first, the daring policy of social renovation by which the
forlorn peasantry of the West are being saved from the grey wilderness
into which they had been thrust by the landlordism of 1830 to 1880.

It is the habit of the Unionist Press to claim the whole of this work
as their own. That is rather bold of a party that lifted not a finger
while these people--said by those who know them to be the best
peasantry in Europe--were driven from the rich lands of Ireland to till
the barren moorland and scratch the very rocks on the shores of the
Atlantic. The Tories do not explain why they allowed the House of Lords
for a whole half century to seal up the exile of these poor folk by
rejecting every measure proposed for their welfare. As a matter of
fact, of course, the policy of redeeming the congested districts was
not first proposed either by the Tories or by the Liberals, but by the
Irish members themselves.

The Tory claim is based, of course, on the fact that the first step
towards action by the British Government dates from the famous Western
tour of Mr. Arthur Balfour in the early nineties. Perhaps Mr. Balfour
was tired of the monotony of five years of coercion. At any rate, he
took that journey, and it was the best act of his political life. He
travelled along that misty fringe of the Atlantic. He saw--as we saw
last summer, and I saw in 1891--the utter poverty of that unhappy land,
where human life, sustained only by the charity of American exiles,
still pays its doleful toll to far-off, indifferent landlords. Who can
tell whether some touch of remorse did not enter into the heart of the
man who up to that time had been the greatest of Irish coercionists
since Castlereagh, when he saw with his own eyes the sorry plight of
the poorest people in Europe--the people who, in the opinion of General
Gordon, were, as a result of a century of British civilisation, more
destitute and miserable than the savages of Central Africa?

Mr. Balfour, at any rate, relented from his policy of more oppression.
He even entered upon the first small beginnings of a policy of

It was a very small beginning--that first Congested Board--and a
Commission that reported on its work nearly twenty years after[28]
decided that the Board had neither powers nor cash sufficient for its
work. The Liberal Government of 1906-10 frankly accepted the opinion of
the Commission, and gave the Board both new powers and new funds in the
Irish Land Act of 1909. Under that Act the Congested Board is endowed
with £250,000 a year, and has authority over half the area and a third
of the population of Ireland.[29] Over these great regions[30] this
authority now possesses extensive powers of purchase, rehousing,
replanting, creation of fisheries, provision of seed and
stocks--powers, in short, extending to the complete restoration, by
compulsion if necessary, of a whole community. The Board is appointed
by the Chief Secretary,[31] and already in two short years it has
accomplished great work. Estates are being bought and replanted;
holders are being migrated from bad land to good; villages are being
rebuilt; industries encouraged; health safeguarded; fisheries revived.
Those who examine its work as we did last summer will experience the
feeling of men looking on at a splendid and gallant effort to salvage a
race submerged.

This work, indeed, is still in its infancy. There are many absentee
landlords who are still holding out for heavy and extravagant prices as
a reward for the poverty and misery which they have often in large part
caused by their own neglect. The Board appears to be reaching the
limits of voluntary action. Much of the hope for the future of Ireland
rests on their courage and skill.


The passing of landlordism has produced a great revival of energy and
life in the rural districts. That revival began in the nineties, and
the credit for first realising its importance and significance must be
given to Sir Horace Plunkett. But private organisation alone could not
meet the needs of the situation. In 1899 the Government were persuaded
by the Irish party to pass an Act founding a new Irish Board of
Agriculture on broad and generous lines.[32]

This Irish Board of Agriculture is a very remarkable body. It is
practically a Home Rule authority for agricultural purposes only. The
Irish Minister for Agriculture by no means rules as an autocrat. He has
to submit his policy to a large "Advisory Council" of over 100 members
elected by all the County Councils of Ireland. Out of this Council a
committee is chosen which is practically a Cabinet. This Agricultural
Parliament now plays a most important part in the life of Ireland. It
speaks for the whole nation more than any other public body. Its
discussions are practical and useful. It is a training ground for the
rulers of the future, and it is playing a vital part in bringing
together the best men of the North and South. The Ulster members are
already, in agricultural matters, working in a friendly spirit side by
side with the men from the South.

Thus advised and kept in touch with public opinion, the Board of
Agriculture is the most popular and effective Department in Dublin
Castle. It gives us a foretaste of the new power that will be given to
Irish administration by the Home Rule spirit.

For it is just this central guidance that the other great new Irish
developments chiefly lack. Take local government. There is not a County
Council in Ireland which would not be stronger if it were directed--and
sometimes, perhaps, even commanded--from the centre by a sympathetic
national authority. There is not a Board in Ireland, whether it be the
Congested Districts Board, or the Estates Commissioners, or the Land
Commission, that would not be more wisely directed if there were some
central arena in which the great principles of administration could be
seriously and responsibly debated and settled. For, in spite of the
popular notion that Irishmen are too talkative, there is really too
little discussion in Ireland on practical affairs. The great unsolved
political problem blocks the way. The block cannot be removed except by
settlement. One of the strongest reasons for granting Home Rule is in
order to free the mind of the nation for attention to the national


One of the most remarkable events of the last few years has been the
unexpected side-share of Ireland in the great social legislation of
Great Britain. Even the Irish members themselves have scarcely foreseen
how immensely Ireland, being the poorest partner in the United Kingdom,
would benefit by a policy "tender to the poor." The most conspicuous
example of that effect has been Old-age Pensions. Old-age Pensions have
fallen on Ireland as a shower of gold. Her share is already well over
£2,000,000. The great new fact in Irish social welfare is that she now
draws that great draught from the Imperial Exchequer.

Travelling along the Atlantic coast last summer, I inquired in many
local post-offices as to the amount of pensions given weekly in those
little grey villages. I found that often the old-age pensioners would
number between 100 and 200 in small villages of less than 2,000 people.
The emigration of the youth has left a disproportionate number of the
old, and it is not necessary to bring any railing accusation against
the honesty of the Irish race in order to understand why it is that
Old-age Pensions have done so much for Ireland. But the fact remains,
and it carries with it a great and unexpected relief to the Irish


Last, but not least, we have the great stimulus given to higher
education by the passage of Mr. Birrell's Irish University Act. For a
whole generation the progress of higher education in Ireland has been
held up by a barren and wearisome religious quarrel. Now that quarrel
has vanished, and Ireland is organising a great system of University
education for her Catholic as well as her Protestant youth. Not the
least stimulating experience of the Eighty Club in Ireland was the day
which we spent, under the guidance of the distinguished Principal, at
Cork University College, where we saw Catholics and Protestants, men
and women, young and old, working together in friendly harmony in the
splendid buildings which have sprung up to house the undergraduates of
the south-west. The same process is going on at Dublin, Galway, and
Belfast. The machinery is being rapidly prepared for training up in the
best possible atmosphere of mutual tolerance the new rulers of Home
Rule Ireland.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such have been the great Acts of Parliament which have created a
changed situation in Ireland. But the crown is still wanting to the
work. Those who travel in Ireland and make any close inquiry into the
work of these Acts must feel that there is a great gap unfilled. It is
a gap at the top. All these new roads of reform are well and truly
laid--but they all lead nowhere.

Take one startling fact. Two Commissions of late years have considered
the great and glaring need of Ireland in the want of swift, cheap, and
convenient transport both for persons and goods. One of these
Commissions was on Canals, and the other on Railways. Both decided in
favour of national control. But as there is no national authority which
anyone trusts, both reports have been stillborn.[34]

It was probably some such facts that led, as far back as August, 1903,
to the uprising among the more moderate Unionist Irishmen of a
remarkable movement which is still affecting Ireland. This movement
took shape in a body; called the Irish Reform Association, presided
over, like the Land Conference, by that remarkable Irish peer Lord
Dunraven. That Conference put forward a set of proposals which are now
historical, and which have since, in varying forms, inspired the
movement for what is popularly known as "Devolution."[35]

Mild as are the proposals of this new party, they do not differ in
principle from the proposals of the Home Rulers.

These proposals obtained the backing of a large section of the Unionist
Party. They undoubtedly had the sympathy of Sir Anthony MacDonnell. It
is difficult to say, at the present moment, what precise part was
played by Mr. George Wyndham, then still the Irish Chief Secretary. But
the eloquent fact remains that the ultimate triumph of the Ulster
Unionists over the Devolution Party of 1903 was marked by his
resignation. There would seem to be no substantial doubt that in 1903
there arose in the Unionist Party the same division in regard to Home
Rule as arose in 1885, when Lord Carnarvon, the Tory Viceroy, met Mr.
Parnell. For the moment the better spirits seriously contemplated
removing once and for all the bitterness of the Irish grievance. There
was a return of that feeling in the autumn of 1910, when, for the
moment, at a period still known politically as the "age of reason,"
most of the Unionist Press admitted how much good reason and
common-sense there was on the side of Home Rule. On each of these
occasions the same result has occurred. At the critical moment the
extreme faction of the Ulster Unionists has intervened and driven back
the Tory Party to its fatal enslavement.

But the great fact which produced these movements still remains as
valid and potent as ever. It is that, whatever improvements you
introduce into the Irish machine, it can never work properly until the
central motive power is a self-governing authority.

So deeply have the better Unionists been committed to that view in the
past, in 1885, 1903, and 1910, that they are now shaping a new argument
to face the situation of 1912. This argument is simple. It is that the
new prosperity of Ireland is not a help, but a bar to Home Rule.

"If Ireland can prosper so well without Home Rule," so runs this line
of reasoning, "why give her Home Rule at all?"

This is indeed a strange and cruel argument. We all know the people who
used to say Home Rule was impossible because Ireland was disturbed.
They are now occupied in saying that she must be denied Home Rule
because she is so peaceful.

But now it appears that this ingenious dilemma is to be applied to her
material condition also. As with order, so with finance. In the old
days Ireland was refused Home Rule because she was too poor. How could
she get on without England? She would be bankrupt. But now that she is
better off she is to be refused it because she is too prosperous!

Is it not quite obvious that these are arguments after judgment? That
the people who use them are merely seeking excuses for refusing Home
Rule altogether and at all seasons?

The British people, essentially a just and serious people, will not
listen to these last desperate pleas, the coward fugitives of a routed

They will rather believe that all these material improvements in the
condition of Ireland only make the need for Home Rule stronger and more
urgent. They will realise that Ireland requires not a material, but a
moral cure to give her the full value of the new reforms. Her need is
to be removed once and for all from the class of dependent communities.
She wants the great tonic cure of self-reliance and

For it is as true to-day as it was when Mr. Gladstone spoke these wise
and searching words in April, 1886[36]:--

     "The fault of the administration of Ireland is simply this:
     that its spring and source of action, and what is called its
     motor muscle, is English and not Irish. Without providing a
     domestic Legislature for Ireland, without having an Irish
     Parliament, I want to know how you will bring about this
     wonderful, superhuman, and, I believe, in this condition,
     impossible result, that your administrative system shall be
     Irish and not English?"

The greatest need is still this--to make the "motor-muscle" Irish.

       *       *       *       *       *


[28] The Report of the Congested Districts Commission was issued in

[29] See 19th Report (1911), Cd. 5712. The Act of 1909 more than
doubled the area and population, bringing the area to 4,000,000 acres,
and the population to 600,000. The former endowment was £86,000.

[30] Comprising the whole of the counties of Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo,
Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, Kerry, and parts of the counties of Clare and

[31] The members of this admirable Board are Mr. Birrell, Lord
Shaftesbury, Mr. O'Donnell, Dr. Mangan, Sir Horace Plunkett, Sir David
Harrel, and six others.

[32] For the governing clauses of that Act see Appendix E.

[33] May not the Insurance Act do the same? It is very likely.

[34] See Appendix J.

[35] Private Bill legislation to be settled in Dublin. Irish internal
expenditure to be handed to a financial council half elected and half
nominated. An Irish Assembly to be created with a small power of

[36] April 8th.--Second Reading Speech on 1886 Home Rule Bill.

                    THE HOME RULE PLAN

                      BILL OF 1912.

     "Without union of hearts identification is extinction, is
     dishonour, is conquest--not identification."


     "It would be a misery to me if I had forgotten or omitted, in
     these my closing years, any measure possible for me to take
     towards upholding and promoting the cause, not of one Party or
     another, of one nation or another, but of all Parties and of
     all nations inhabiting these islands; and to these nations,
     viewing them as I do with all their vast opportunities, under a
     living union for power and for progress, I say, let me entreat
     you to let the dead bury the dead, and to cast behind you every
     recollection of bygone evils, and to cherish, to love, and
     sustain one another through all the vicissitudes of human
     affairs in the times that are to come."

                         Mr. GLADSTONE
                    (First reading of 1893 Bill, 13th February).



The Home Rule Bill of 1912 is now before the country, both in the clear
and simple statement of the Prime Minister and in the test of the Bill
itself[37]. The Bill has already passed through the fire of one
Parliamentary debate, and secured one great majority of 94 in the House
of Commons.

What are the general outlines of this great measure? Its central
proposal is the creation of an Irish Parliament, responsible for the
administration of Irish affairs. That Parliament is to consist of a
Senate and a House of Commons, numbering respectively 40 and 164,
guided by an Irish Executive, chosen in the same manner as the British
Imperial Cabinet. Ireland, in other words, is to be governed by
responsible Parliamentary chiefs, commanding a majority in the Irish
House of Commons. In this honest recognition of facts and terms we have
an advance on the vagueness of former proposals. Otherwise, both this
Parliament and this Executive are to have the same liberty and are to
be restrained by almost precisely the same checks and safeguards, in
regard both to religious rights and Imperial sovereignty, as those
which existed in the Home Rule Bills of 1886 and 1893. Ireland is to
retain at Westminster a representation of forty-two members.

What is to happen if the two Irish Chambers differ? According to the
Bill, the Senate is to be nominated, at first by the Imperial
Government, and afterwards by the Irish Parliament, and the members are
to sit by rotation for eight years. The Irish House of Commons, on the
other hand, is to be elected by the same constituencies as at present,
and the membership is to be distributed in proportion to the
population--an arrangement which will give Ulster fifty-nine
representatives.[38] It is clear that under those conditions a powerful
Irish Government remaining in office beyond a certain period would have
command of both Houses, as indeed happens at present under similar
conditions both in Canada and New Zealand.[39] But if one Party should
hold power for a prolonged period, and then give place to another, the
new Government will find itself, as Mr. Borden finds himself in Canada
at present, restrained from precipitate change by an Upper House
nominated by his predecessors.

What would happen in that case? To settle that problem, the Home Rule
Bill contains a clause[40] adopting the provisions of the South Africa
Act, enabling both Houses to hold a joint sitting, in which the
majority will prevail. As long as that provision holds, it matters very
little whether the Upper Chamber is nominated or is elected, as some
propose, by proportional representation. In either case, the Irish
House of Commons will be the real governing body, as indeed it must be
if the Irish Executive is to be properly responsible, and the new Irish
Constitution to work smoothly.

So much for the general provisions of the present Bill. The details as
to safe-guards and exclusions will be found in the full text of the
Bill contained in Appendix A, and I shall leave the question of finance
to the chapter specifically devoted to that subject.

Let us turn now to the chief arguments against the measure as set forth
in the recent debate, and as expressed with ability and power in a
pamphlet entitled "Against Home Rule," to which practically all the
chief leaders of the Unionist cause contribute articles[41]. Apart from
the Ulster case, dealt with in a previous chapter, the main argument
seems to be that the English people have not been sufficiently
consulted. "It is all so sudden," said the elderly lady when she
received a proposal from an elderly suitor who had been delaying his
passion for a score or so of years. The same painful outcry comes from
the Unionist Party twenty-seven years after the first beginning of the
discussions of Home Rule in this country.

One can imagine, indeed, that a foreign visitor, coming to this land in
ignorance of the past of English politics, would suppose that the Home
Rule controversy had now arisen for the first time. Attending Unionist
meetings, he would hear an immense amount of eloquence devoted to the
wrongs of the English people in being rushed into a premature decision,
and being asked to give judgment without proper trial. The Home Rulers
would be represented to him as men of rash and precipitate temper, who
wanted to bring about in a few months a change which would affect the
United Kingdom for centuries. And finally he would hear men thanking
God that there existed a House of Lords which, in spite of the
machinations of the Home Rulers, could still give the British public
two more years to ruminate over the question of Home Rule.

He would naturally gather from this that the proposal of Home Rule for
Ireland had come upon this country with entire freshness, and had never
before been discussed among rational men. Filled with this impression
he might perhaps be surprised if he obtained the chance of hearing the
"still, small voice" of truth through the clamour and the uproar, to
discover that this plan of Home Rule was not born yesterday, but no
less than twenty-five years ago. He would find that for a whole
generation every nook and cranny of this proposal has been meticulously
explored, and that there have been on this subject thousands, if not
millions, of speeches and leading articles, hundreds of books, and
dozens of Parliamentary debates. He would even learn from many
politicians that their chief difficulty was the utter boredom of their
constituents over a subject which has been worn down by argument to the
very threads.

But he would be more surprised than all to discover that this proposal
had already been considered in at least four General Elections--1886,
1892, and the two elections of 1910.[42] "It has been deliberately
rejected by the people on two occasions" would be the cry which he
would hear most commonly from his Tory friends, and he would find that
they referred to the elections of 1886 and 1895. Our friend the
foreigner would naturally be impressed by that argument. But what would
be his amazement to discover that his informants had forgotten to
enlighten him on the equally important fact that Home Rule had been
definitely accepted and approved by the British electorate, not in two,
but in three elections--the election of 1892 and the two elections of
1910? He would discover that on all these three occasions the subject
had been definitely placed before them, that on all three occasions the
electorate had definitely supported Home Rule, by majorities varying
from forty in 1892 to 124 in December, 1910. As to the other General
Elections, might not our foreigner reflect that if an electorate were
really to discover that its vote for the approval of a measure was
treated--as in 1892--with indifference, it might naturally weary of

Might he not even, if he were a shrewd man, suspect that that was the
very object and aim which his informants had in view?

But perhaps his surprise would reach its highest point when he
discovered that this Home Rule proposal, so far from appearing now for
the first time in a definite form, had actually twice before taken the
definite and statutory form of Home Rule Bills, both the specific and
considered proposals of Liberal Governments, both fully drafted and
laid before Parliament, and both still to be purchased at any
Government printers. The first of these Bills, the Bill of 1886, was,
indeed, rejected by the House of Commons on the second reading, and
never ran the gauntlet of full Parliamentary debate. But the second,
the Bill of 1893, occupied fully five months of Parliamentary time, and
was carried successfully by Mr. Gladstone through all its stages in the
House of Commons. It was amended on many points without the
interference of Government authority. It presents a full scheme of
self-government for Ireland, so clearly and minutely considered as to
provide an efficient and reasoned basis for the measure of 1912.

THE BILLS OF 1886 AND 1893

The aim of both these great measures--the Bills of 1886 and 1893--was
to give the Irish control of their own local affairs and to distinguish
as clearly as possible between those affairs and Imperial matters. The
method chosen in both Bills is to follow the Parnell scheme of
enumerating the subjects excluded from the legislative power of the
Irish Parliament. The excluding clause became considerably enlarged in
the Bill of 1893 as it was left by the House of Commons. The 1893 Bill
also contains a far more definite and stronger assertion of Imperial
authority, which is inserted twice--first in the Preamble, and then in
the second clause of the Bill.[43]

In both Bills there was a safeguarding clause as well as an excluding
clause. The safeguarding clause also grew considerably between 1886 and
1893. It is almost entirely directed to preventing the Irish
Legislature from establishing any new religious privileges, or
interfering with any existing religious rights. The clause, as it
emerged in 1893, not only forbade any new establishment or endowment of
religion, but seemed to leave the claims of all denominations precisely
as they stand at present.

This safeguarding clause reappears in the Bill of 1912, but it has been
shortened and redrafted by the Government. It contains very important
additional safeguards to prevent the adoption by the Irish civil power
of the principles contained in the recent Papal Decrees against mixed
marriages, and in regard to the right of Catholic clergy to claim
exclusion from the courts of justice. The Irish Parliament will be
debarred from acting on these decrees, and thus the whole agitation
against "Ne Temere" falls to the ground.


The 1886 Bill established, as we have seen, an arrangement by which
Ireland should be governed by one legislative body consisting of two
orders, a first and a second. These orders were to deliberate and vote
together, except in regard to matters which should come directly under
the Home Rule Act, amendments of the Act, or Standing Orders in
pursuance of the Act. In such cases the first order possessed the right
of voting separately, and seemed to possess an absolute veto.

The first order of the legislative body created by the 1886 Bill
consisted of 103 members, of whom 75 were elected members and 28
peerage members. The elected members were to be chosen under a
restricted suffrage, and the peerage members were to be the
representative Irish Peers. The second order was to consist of 204
members, elected under the existing franchise.

All this was rather complicated and confusing, and was, perhaps
rightly, brushed aside by the framers of the 1893 Bill. They
constituted the Irish Legislature on the model of an ordinary Colonial
Parliament with two Chambers--a Legislative Assembly and a Legislative
Council. The Legislative Council was to consist of 48 members, elected
by large constituencies voting under a £20 property franchise. The
Legislative Assembly was to consist of 103 members, elected by the
existing constituencies under the existing franchise. In cases of
disagreement between the two Houses, it was proposed that, either after
a dissolution or after a period of two years, the Houses were to vote
together, and that the majority vote should decide the matter. Since
1893 that provision, in almost precisely the same form, has been
adopted by the Australian Commonwealth, and, in a more progressive
form, by, the South African Parliament.

In the Bill of 1912 these provisions of 1893 reappear, but in a broader
and more liberal form. The Irish Legislative Assembly and Legislative
Council--names which seem to give to Ireland a position of a
subordinate--have given way, as we have seen, to the frank and
generous titles of Senate and House of Commons, both forming the Irish
Parliament. The machinery for settling disagreements has come back from
its journey round the world refreshed by a new draft of democracy,
imbibed from the climates of Australia and South Africa. In cases of
differences between the Assemblies they will meet and decide by common
vote, without the necessity of a dissolution. That is a great and
important simplification, and for it the Irish have to thank the genius
of the founders of the South African Constitution.


Every student of the Home Rule question knows that Mr. Gladstone
several times varied his proposals in regard to the Irish
representation at Westminster. The Irish Party were, from the
beginning, indifferent on the point; but it was quite clear that this
was a matter vitally affecting Imperial interests. The first proposal
grafted into the Bill of 1886 was that the Irish should cease to attend
at Westminster altogether. But, after seven years of consideration,
there grew up a general agreement that the entire absence of the Irish
Party at Westminster might create a series of difficult relations
between the Parliaments, and might even gradually lead to separation.
The first proposal of the Bill of 1893 was that the Irish members
should attend in slightly reduced numbers and vote at Westminster only
on Irish concerns. But this proposal--known as the "In and Out"
clause--found little favour in debate, and suffered severely at the
hands of Mr. Chamberlain. Mr. Gladstone finally left the matter to the
judgment of the House of Commons, and--after a severe Parliamentary
crisis, in which the Government narrowly escaped destruction--it was
decided that 80 Irish members should sit in the British House of
Commons without any restriction of their power or authority.

In the Bill of 1912 the solution finally reached in 1893 is again
adopted, with one vital difference--that the Irish members to be
summoned to Westminster will be reduced not to 80, but to 42. Those
members will possess full Parliamentary powers, as indeed it is right
and necessary they should, as long as the Parliament at Westminster
continues to exercise such large powers over Ireland. But Mr. Asquith
threw out the suggestion that the British House of Commons should, by
its Standing Orders, arrange for a further delegation of Parliamentary
power to national groups. The House of Commons has already a Scotch
Committee, and to that might be added an English Committee and a Welsh
Committee. It would be a serious thing for the central body to
over-ride the opinions of these committees.

But Mr. Asquith also threw out an even more important hint as to the
future development of the Home Rule policy. It is clear that if the
Irish Home Rule Bill is simply the first stage in a process which will
lead to the creation of Home Rule Parliaments for local affairs in
Scotland, England and Wales, then such slight control as the 42 Irish
members may retain over British affairs will be only temporary. What,
then, is the present Parliamentary relationship between Irish Home Rule
and the Federal idea?


Since the year 1893 there has been a great change of feeling in regard
to the whole Home Rule question. The British Parliament has gone
through a great crisis in its procedure, and it has, for the moment,
accepted a temporary way out in the form of a drastic use of the
closure, applied by Mr. Balfour, under Standing Orders, to so vital a
matter as Supply. That violent remedy known as the "Compartment
Closure" is now almost automatically extended by both parties, under
the very thin veil of liberty left by a special resolution, to almost
every great measure that comes before the House of Commons.

This development of the British Parliamentary system has created a new
outlook on the Home Rule question. The case of Ireland still stands by
itself, with great grievances and strong historical claims behind it.
Home Rule for Ireland will always have a peculiar urgency, arising from
conditions of geographical position. But the passion for Irish liberty
is now mingled in the average British mind with the passion for the
liberty of the British House of Commons. It is recognised that unless
Ireland is freed the British Parliament will remain in chains.

This new attitude has widened the outlook of Home Rulers until Home
Rule has ceased to be a merely Irish question. Nothing was more
dramatic during the recent debates over the Insurance Bill than the
sudden wave of federal feeling in the House of Commons which compelled
the Government to grant a separate administrative insurance authority,
not merely to Ireland, but also to Scotland and Wales. Similarly with
Home Rule. What was in 1893 only a pale glimmer of foresight, is with
many, in the year 1912, a passionate conviction. It is that after Home
Rule has been given to Ireland it must be extended also to Scotland,
Wales, and possibly England.

Now it would be plainly useless to grant Home Rule to any of these
countries until there is a wider and deeper demand for it. The issue of
Home Rule for Ireland was definitely raised in both the elections of
1910, and when the people gave their votes they knew, and were
actually warned by Mr. Balfour himself, and by most of the other
Unionist chiefs, that the result would be the creation of a Home Rule
Parliament in Ireland. But it cannot be said that the same proposal was
so definitely and effectively put forward in regard to Scotland and
Wales. In both those countries there is a very widespread desire for
Home Rule. But there has not yet been any definite democratic vote on
that desire. It may be necessary, therefore, to delay the extension of
Home Rule to those countries. But the desire is sufficiently strong
both in Scotland and in Wales to justify the Government in so framing a
Home Rule Bill as to enable those other parts of the United Kingdom to
be brought under its provisions in due time. There is a strict analogy
for that proceeding in the North America Act of 1867, which created the
Dominion of Canada. That Act joined together three provinces at first,
but left the door open for other provinces to come in. They have since
come in, one by one--all except the island of Newfoundland--until the
great federation of States which we now know as the Canadian Dominion
has been gradually built up.[44]

What follows from all this? Surely that a Home Rule Bill for Ireland
must be so framed as to render it a possible basis of a federal
Constitution in the near future. But if the Irish members were entirely
excluded from the British Parliament, as in 1886, then we should be
turning our backs on Federalism. The only analogy to such a
Constitution would be that of Austria-Hungary, where two countries are
united in one Government, but work through two Parliaments. Lord Morley
tells us that Mr. Parnell was very anxious to imitate in the 1886 Bill
the ingenious machinery of "Delegations," by which the relations of the
Austrian and Hungarian Parliaments combine for common affairs.[45]

There is much to be said for that machinery in Austria-Hungary,
strongly binding together two countries which must otherwise have
inevitably drifted asunder. But Mr. Parnell was thinking only of
Ireland, and he was not a Federalist. We are thinking of the whole
United Kingdom, and many of us are Federalists. The machinery of
"Delegations" therefore would not suit our purpose.

What seems to be required ultimately at Westminster is a small
Parliament devoted to Imperial affairs--Imperial finance, Imperial
legislation, and Imperial administration--and leaving to subordinate
Parliaments the administration of local matters. Many are firmly
convinced that in that way the United Kingdom would become a more
successful and efficient country, with legislation better adapted to
the needs of its inhabitants, and with a mind more free for the
consideration of great Imperial affairs. This now seems to them the
only way to produce order out of the present constitutional chaos.

What, then, are the lines that should be followed if we are to go
forward to that goal? An Imperial Parliament of that nature would
probably be a smaller assembly than the present House of Commons,
which is far too large for modern conditions. There is, therefore, good
ground for reducing the representation of Ireland to 42, or 38 less
than in 1893. That will clear the way for a future Imperial assembly of
between 300 and 400, it being understood that as each section of the
United Kingdom obtains its own Home Rule Parliament it will consent to
have its representation at Westminster reduced in proportion.

As long as the present system of Cabinet Government resting on
majorities exists--and it is the only conceivable system for a
completely self-governing democracy--it still seems, as it seemed to
the men of 1893, impossible to agree to any "in and out" arrangement.
Under such a plan the Government might possess a majority on Imperial
or English affairs, while it could be out-voted on Irish affairs.
Although such a situation might conceivably work for a time, it might
come to a sudden deadlock in a moment of emergency. It seems best,
therefore, that the 42 Irish members at Westminster should possess full
voting powers. If any Liberal dreads the prospect of having 42 Irish
members still possibly giving votes hostile to Liberal views--say, on
education--I would ask him to remember that the Liberal Party will not
have to mourn the loss of Irish votes still almost certain to be cast
in their favour on behalf of many democratic measures.

       *       *       *       *       *

The prospect of this larger federal settlement opens a larger vision
than that of 1886 or 1893. Strangely enough, it is the same vision as
that sketched by Mr. Joseph Chamberlain in the daring speech which he
made on the second reading of the Home Rule Bill of 1886:--

     "In my view the solution of this question should be sought in
     some form of federation, which would really maintain the
     Imperial unity, and which would, at the same time, conciliate
     the desire for a national local government which is felt so
     strongly in Ireland. I say I believe it is on this line, and
     not on the line of our relations with our self-governing
     Colonies, that it is possible to seek for and to find a
     solution of this difficulty."[46]

       *       *       *       *       *


[37] See Appendix A for the text of the 1912 Bill.

[38] It is proposed that the representation be divided as
follows:--Ulster, 59 members; Leinster, 41; Munster, 37; Connaught, 25;
The Universities, 2; making a total of 164.

[39] In Canada the Senators are selected for life. Since 1891 the New
Zealand Senators are selected for seven years only.

[40] See Appendix C.

[41] "Against Home Rule." London: Warne and Co., 1/-net.

[42] Home Rule was not properly debated in the General Election of
1895, which turned on other issues, and in the General Elections of
1900 and 1906 it was laid aside by common consent.

[43] See Appendix D.

[44] The 146th clause of the British North America Act (1867) reads as


"It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the advice of Her
Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, on Addresses from the Houses
of Parliament of Canada, and from the Houses of the respective
Legislatures of the Colonies or Provinces of Newfoundland, Prince
Edward Island, and British Columbia, to admit those Colonies or
Provinces, or any of them, into the Union, and on Address from the
Houses of Parliament of Canada to admit Ruperts Land and the North
Western Territory, or either of them, into the Union, on such terms and
conditions in each case as are in the Addresses expressed, and as the
Queen thinks fit to approve, subject to the provisions of this Act: and
the provisions of any Order in Council in that behalf shall have effect
as if they had been enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland."

[45] For a description of this machinery see Chap. IX., "Home Rule in
the World," p. 121.

[46] April 9th, 1886.

                  HOME RULE DIFFICULTIES


     "Violent measures have been threatened. I think the best
     compliment I can pay to those who have threatened us is to take
     no notice whatever of the threats, but to treat them as
     momentary ebullitions, which will pass away with the fears from
     which they spring, and at the same time to adopt on our part
     every reasonable measure for disarming those fears."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Sir, I cannot allow it to be said that a Protestant minority
     in Ulster or elsewhere is to rule the question for Ireland. I
     am aware of no constitutional doctrine on which such a
     conclusion could be adopted or justified. But I think that the
     Protestant minority should have its wishes considered to the
     utmost practicable extent in any form which they may assume."

                         GLADSTONE (1893).



"Sooner or later," said a wise man to me the other day, "always sooner
or later in the Home Rule question you bump up against religion." That
is, unhappily, still true, though not so true to-day as in 1886 or in
1893. No one who visits Ireland to-day can doubt that the religious
hatreds of the past are being softened; but, unhappily, this process,
as recent events have vividly shown us, is still fiercely resisted by a
small minority.

It may almost be said that in Ireland religious intolerance is a
political vested interest. It would indeed be impossible to justify the
immense preponderance of salaried power and place still given at the
centre to the Protestant minority[47] unless you could maintain the
idea that the Catholic is a dangerous man when in a place of power.
That consideration, doubtless largely unconscious, may yet partly
explain the immense amount of energy devoted in the north-east of
Ireland to the encouragement of religious prejudice--honest in many of
the rank-and-file, artificial, I fear, in many of the organisers.


Belfast, so like a great modern city in its magnificent outward aspect,
is still largely mediæval at heart. Its chief social energies are
thrown into that vast and powerful organisation known as the "Orange
Society"--still wearing the badges of the seventeenth century, still
uttering its war-cries, and still feeding on its passions. This immense
religious club has to support in the modern age that theory of
religious incompatibility which nearly every other community has long
ago abandoned. It has to justify itself in excluding from the municipal
honours of Belfast almost every Roman Catholic. It has to justify the
majority of 300,000 Belfast Protestants in giving a small and
inadequate representation among the rulers of this great wealthy town
to the minority of 100,000 Catholics. To maintain this policy of
Ulster ascendancy the Orange chiefs watch every document that comes
from Rome with a lynx eye, and try to catch a glimpse of the "Scarlet
Woman" behind every Latin rescript.

All this may appear to some good politics; but surely it is past
tolerance when these manufacturers of intolerance talk of the
intolerance of others.

In all these respects Belfast stands almost alone in Ireland. A canon
of the Catholic Church--a man of winning manners and charming
personality, who lives on quite friendly terms with his Protestant
neighbours in the South of Ireland--told me that on the only occasion
when he visited Belfast he was spat at in the streets. The story is
quite credible to those who have watched the deliberate manipulation of
the worst religious passions by the party organisers of Ulster, not
always unassisted by their colleagues in London.

One result is that if you ask any question as to the character of a man
in the city of Belfast, the answer will always come to you in terms of
religion. In the South the reply will be, "He is a Nationalist," or "He
is a Unionist." But in Belfast it will be, "He is a Catholic," or "He
is a Protestant."

So fierce is this feeling in Belfast that until recently all political
and social differences were submerged by it, and every fresh effort
towards local progress was broken up by the revival of religious
prejudice. Things have been somewhat changed by the wonderful social
and political crusade, quite independent of all religious differences,
carried on by that remarkable young citizen of Belfast, Mr. Joseph
Devlin, who captured the constituency of West Belfast in 1906 and
retained it in 1910 largely on a social reform policy. He has for the
first time given Ulster a glimpse of something better than religious
fanaticism--a social policy based on the unions of religions for the
good of all.[48]

This break in the dark clouds must surely spread until a better spirit

For Belfast, perhaps, has more to gain than any other great Irish city
by a policy that would pacify Ireland. If Belfast could once shake off
the memory of her immigrant origin, and look to Ireland rather than
Great Britain as her native country, she would perceive that the gain
of Catholic Ireland must be her gain also. Her prosperity can never be
sure or certain as long as it stands out against a background of Irish
poverty. The linen industry can never rest secure as long as there are
so few industries to support it. The linen merchants cannot really gain
by their isolation. Belfast at present has a great export trade. She
clothes Great Britain in fine linen. But what about her home trade?
Would not Belfast be even more prosperous if she could clothe Ireland
too?--if Ireland could afford to put aside her rags and replace them
with "purple and fine linen" from the factories of the North?

Might not Belfast, in that case, be able not merely to enrich her
merchants but to raise the social conditions of her own people? For it
is unhappily the case that the researches of the Women's Trade Unions
have disclosed in Belfast conditions of sweated labour that have
surprised and alarmed even the most hardened investigators. The lofty
buildings and humming mills of Belfast are revealed to be resting on a
swamp of social misery. Nor is this at all remarkable, for the mass of
the people are kept helpless and divided by their religious divisions,
which are too often used as a weapon to prevent them from combining for
higher wages and shorter hours. Religious fanaticism is not quite so
self-sacrificing in its commercial results as superficial observers
might suppose.

It is impossible, indeed, that Belfast can continue for ever in a
prosperity isolated and aloof from the country in which she is
situated. Either she must throw in her lot with Ireland or Ireland must
drag Ireland down into one common pit of adversity. Lord Pirrie, the
enterprising and fearless director of the great shipbuilding works on
Queen's Island--works which maintained their pre-eminence and continued
their output through the dark days of the shipbuilding trade on the
Clyde and the Thames--has been converted to Home Rule. Other business
men will follow his example, for Belfast, as much as any other town in
Ireland, suffers in Private Bill legislation from the remoteness of the
Legislature and the Administration. She, too, has too often to endure a
financial policy not suited to her needs. She, like the rest of
Ireland, has everything to gain and nothing to lose by a policy that
will enable Ireland to obtain legislation better fitted to the needs of
the Irish people.

In spite, indeed, of her outcries, Ulster has already gained more from
the policy of the Nationalists at Westminster than from that of the
Orange reactionaries who represent half the province at Westminster.
Those Orangemen have identified the robust Radicalism and
Presbyterianism of Ulster with the narrowest demands of the Anglican
landlords and Tories of England. Happily for Ulster, they have been
defeated. The farmers of Ulster are at present buying their farms under
the policy of Land Purchase which the Orange Ulstermen resisted. These
farmers have freely used the Land Courts which their representatives
denounced as revolution and the "end of all things." They are profiting
by the triumphs of Nationalist policy even while they denounce the
Nationalists in terms which are reserved by other people for criminals
and wild beasts.

The best men in Ulster will probably think twice before prolonging a
campaign of rebellion. We have heard of late threats of refusal to pay
taxes or rents to the Irish Parliament. But what could be more
dangerous to a city like Belfast than a no-rent campaign under the
guidance of English lawyers? If the farmers are advised not to pay
their rents to Dublin, is it not likely that the working-class tenants
of Belfast may refuse to pay their rents to their own landlords? At
their own peril, indeed, will a class which largely lives on rent and
interest strike a blow at the habits and customs which enforce such
payments. The kid-glove revolution of linen merchants might suddenly
and swiftly turn into something nearer to the real, red thing. It is
dangerous to set examples in revolution.

As Ulster gradually swings round to the inevitable, she will discover
that there is a very bright silver lining to what seems to her so black
a cloud. Ulster, while still represented at Westminster, will send 59
members to Dublin under the 1912 Bill. Thus she will have no small or
mean representation in the future Irish Parliament. She may have far
more power than she imagines, if she uses it with wisdom. A strong
Progressive section from the industrial North may hold the balance
between the parties of the South and centre. It would be rash to
predict the future. But there are many causes--education, Free Trade,
enlightened local government, to take a few--in which Ireland will gain
immensely by a strong, clear progressive lead. "The best is yet to
be." Why should not Belfast--Belfast Protestant united with Belfast
Catholic--have in these matters a greater and nobler part to play under
Home Rule than under the present system of distant, ignorant,
absent-minded, rule?

As for religious persecution, the thing would be absurdly impossible
under any Home Rule Bill that possessed the guarantees and safeguards
of the 1912 Bill. But, beyond those safeguards, Ulster will always
have, in any such extreme and improbable event, an appeal to all the
forces of the Empire--an appeal which would certainly not be in vain.

The conviction of these truths will gradually penetrate the shrewd
brain of Ulster and save her from the madness of rebellion or
secession. The patience and moderation of the Government will gradually
disarm these men. Who knows whether in the end the majority in Belfast,
as in Ulster, as a whole may not voluntarily prefer to join rather than
hold aloof from a great national restoration?

       *       *       *       *       *

In one of his 1893 Home Rule speeches, Mr. Gladstone reminded the House
of Commons, with impressive power, of the splendid reception given in
1793 to the Protestant delegates from Grattan's Parliament at Dublin,
who had come to plead for the concession of their rights to the
Catholics of Ireland.

It was the Act of Union that destroyed all that generous feeling, and
revived again the passions of ascendancy and fanaticism among the
Orangemen of North-east Ulster.

But the old, generous feelings may yet return again.


The great majority of the Protestants in Ireland stand outside this
ring. They have no more share in the good things than the average
Catholic. Those men, Irishmen first and Protestants afterwards, are now
taking their part in public life and earning their proper share in the
rewards of public zeal.

The delegates of the Eighty Club made a special public appeal for
information as to cases of religious intolerance. They received a great
many responses to this appeal, but it is hardly any exaggeration to say
that they found no genuine cases of religious intolerance outside the
North-east corner of Ulster, where they received some conspicuous
examples of the religious persecution of Liberal Protestants by their
Orange co-religionists.[49]

Journeying southwards, however, the Eighty Club delegates passed with
every mile into a serener atmosphere. They received deputations at
every wayside station from the public bodies in the south of Ulster.
These presented documents stating the bare facts as to the
representation of these two forms of the Christian religion--so often,
alas! belying the doctrine of Christian love by the practice of mutual
hatred--on their public bodies. They found, for instance, in Monaghan,
a predominantly Catholic town, that seven seats on the local Council
went to the Unionist and Protestant Party, a considerable concession
from a majority large enough in numbers to pack the whole of the
council if they so desired. That little town might give a good lesson
to some of the boroughs of our great county of London, where it is an
almost universal practice for either party to seize the whole of the
seats if they are capable of doing so.

Take one more instance in that district--out of the many--in the town
of Cavan, a preponderantly Catholic borough. There, out of twenty-three
candidates at the last election standing for eighteen seats, four
Unionists were elected by a similar method of compromise. Where is the
evidence of the Orangemen in their strongholds meting out similar
measure to the Catholics?

Passing further south they found that although the great majority of
the public bodies was naturally Nationalist and Catholic, there was no
sign of that spirit of rigid exclusiveness extended towards the
Catholics by the Protestants in the city of Belfast. Of course, a large
number of the Protestant officials found so frequently in the service
of these public bodies are appointed in Ireland by the Crown, and not,
as in England, by the local authorities. But the Protestants are not
confined to those offices. Dublin has several times freely elected a
Protestant to the Lord Mayoralty of that city. In other parts of
southern Ireland the Eighty Club found Protestants as masters in the
county schools, surveyors of taxes, local registrars, clerks of the
works, rate collectors, and public librarians. The Catholics on the
local bodies recognise that the Protestants in the south possess, owing
to their superior advantages in education, a great proportion of the
brains, and they are not slow to do justice to this fact in filling
public posts.

In regard to elections, let us be quite candid. It is not to be
expected that an Irish elector will return at the head of the poll men
who hurl abuse and calumny at the Irish race and at the religion held
by the great majority of the Irish race. Treachery to one's cause and
one's faith is not required by any proper doctrine of tolerance.
Surrender is not the same thing as compromise. We do not, for instance,
expect in England that a Unionist constituency should return a Liberal,
or a Liberal constituency should return a Tory. We expect men to live
up to their faith, and even admire them for doing so. In Ireland,
similarly, Nationalist voters, as a whole, prefer Nationalist members,
and will continue to do so until this great issue of Home Rule is


But when a Unionist or a Protestant comes forward with a single eye to
the public good, and displays in public affairs a broad and generous
spirit, he finds no difficulty in securing his place in public life. In
county Cork and Tipperary we found Protestant landlords who had sold
their estates. Having ceased to be rent collectors, they are becoming
real leaders of their people. These landlords are reorganising
co-operative societies, encouraging agricultural experiments, looking
after schools, and helping generally in the regrowth of Ireland with a
real good will. Many of these men are Devolutionists. Take, for
instance, Sir Nugent Everard, the public-spirited squire who, with
great enterprise, enthusiasm, and perseverance, is reviving that old
Irish tobacco industry which once played so big a part in the
prosperity of Ireland. Sir Nugent Everard is a Protestant, but he has
been elected to his county council. On that council, too, he has been
appointed chairman of several committees by his Catholic fellow county

There is, indeed, at the present moment throughout the south of Ireland
a new spirit of willingness, amounting almost to eagerness, to accept
the services of all distinguished Protestants who will work for the
common good of Ireland. That is not at all surprising when we remember
that the Irish Party have, in the past, numbered among their leaders at
least three distinguished Protestants--Grattan, Butt, and Parnell--and
at the present day always return a steady percentage of Protestant
representatives to the Imperial Parliament.[50]

The plain fact is that, except in the north-east corner, religious
intolerance is a dying cause in Ireland, and even in Belfast it is
mainly kept alive by artificial respiration frequently administered by
English Unionist leaders.

Every phase of Irish life is expressed in Irish humour. Two Irish
stories commonly related to-day in the south really throw some light on
the change of feeling in Ireland. One is that of a Protestant parson in
the south who found that the Bishop was about to visit his parish for a
confirmation. But, unhappily, it so happened that there were no young
people to confirm. The parson was in despair. After long reflection, he
took a great decision. He went across to the Catholic priest and
described his unhappy plight. "Indeed," he said, "I shall be a ruined
man." "Sure," said the priest sympathetically, "I will lend you a
congregation." "How will you do that?" said the parson. "Faith! I'll
tell the boys and girls to go across." And the story relates that when
the Bishop came down he actually found the church full of "boys and
girls" who, for the moment, figured as Protestants.

The second story comes from Ulster, and seems to show that there is
some softening even in the rigour of that climate. It is said that
"once upon a time," when July 11th came round one of the Orange
drummers found that on the last occasion he had broken his drum, and
could not get it mended. Finding himself faced with disgrace, he
wandered through the town after a drum, and finally found himself
looking at a very beautiful specimen of its kind standing in a Catholic
schoolroom. After much heart-searching, the Orangeman at last went in,
and timidly told the Catholic priest the extremity of his Protestant
need. "You shall have the drum," said the priest; "but you must not
break it this time." And so, on that condition, the drum was handed

Perhaps if such relations were to become more common the drums would
actually beat more softly in the north of Ireland.

       *       *       *       *       *


[47] Take the facts given by Mr. John J. Horgan, in his interesting
pamphlet entitled "Home Rule--A Critical Consideration":--"In a country
of which three-fourths of the population are Catholic there has not
been a Catholic Viceroy since 1688. There never was a Catholic Chief
Secretary. There have been three Catholic Under-Secretaries. There have
been two Catholic Chancellors. In the High Court of Justice there are
seventeen Judges; _three_ of them are Catholics. There are twenty-one
County Court Judges and Recorders; eight of them are Catholics. There
are thirty-seven County Inspectors of Police; five of them are
Catholics. There are 202 District Inspectors of Police; sixty-two of
them are Catholics. There are over 5,000 Justices of the Peace; a
little more than one-fifth of them are Catholics. There are sixty-eight
Privy Councillors; eight of them are Catholics.

"Let us now consider some of the large Government Departments. Take the
Local Government Board. This body consists of two elements--the
nominated and highly paid officials and those who secure admission
through competitive examinations. From the latter class Catholics
cannot, of course, be excluded. The permanent Vice-President is to all
intents and purposes the Local Government Board. He is a Protestant and
a Unionist. Of the three Commissioners, two are Protestants, one a
Catholic. On the permanent staff we find forty-seven nominated
officials, thirty-four of whom are Protestants: and the balance of
thirteen Catholics. The thirty-four Protestants draw an average yearly
salary of £653 13s., while the average yearly salary of the thirteen
Catholic officials only amounts to £580. On the permanent staff created
by competitive examination the story is very different. Here we find
forty-three Catholics and twenty-five Protestants. Brains and ability
could not be kept out. But what about their remuneration? The average
salary of the forty-three Catholics amounts to £207 13s. 6d., while
that of the twenty-five Protestants is £304 8s. Can any sensible man
believe that there is no favour here?"

[48] The result is that since 1906 Ulster has been half Nationalist in
its Parliamentary representation. Taking the last three General
Elections together, the Nationalists have nearly an average hold over
half the seats in Ulster:--1906: Nationalist and Liberal, 17; Unionist,
16. 1910 (January): Nationalist and Liberal, 15; Unionist, 18. 1910
(December): Nationalist and Liberal, 16; Unionist, 17. And yet people
talk as if Ulster was entirely Unionist!

[49] Many of these experiences were narrated to me personally by the
sufferers, and consisted of boycotting in religion, trade and social

[50] There are now eight Protestants among the Nationalist Party. The
directors of Maynooth College told us that the two best friends of
their college were Burke and Grattan. A portrait of Grattan hangs in
their hall. It was, too, a Catholic Corporation that re-gilded the
statue of William III.--William of Orange--at Dublin.

                  HOME RULE DIFFICULTIES

              ROME RULE _or_ HOME RULE?

     "There is a principle on our part which must ever prevent
     (Catholicism being established) in Ireland. It is this--that we
     are thoroughly convinced that it would be the surest way of
     de-Catholicising Ireland. We believe that tainting our Church
     with tithes and giving temporalities to it would degrade it in
     the affections of the people."


     "I want soldiers and sailors for the State; I want to make a
     greater use than I now can do of a poor country full of men. I
     want to render the military service popular among the Irish; to
     make every possible exertion for the safety of Europe ... and
     then you, and ten other such boobies as you, call out 'for
     God's sake, do not think of raising cavalry and infantry in
     Ireland....' They interpret the Epistle to Timothy in a
     different manner from what we do!"

     "'They eat a bit of wafer every Sunday, which they call their
     God!' ... I wish to my soul they would eat you, and such
     reasoners as you are!"

                         SYDNEY SMITH
                       (Peter Plymley's Letters).



Those who watch closely the exploitation of the religious cry against
Home Rule will have observed that its exploiters always endeavour to
make the best of both worlds. One world is expressed in the phrase,
"Home Rule means Rome Rule." The other by the watchword, "Priest-ridden
Ireland." Those who use the first of these cries are always trying to
persuade themselves that the gift of Home Rule will increase the power
of the Catholic Church in Ireland and produce a kind of religious
tyranny over the Protestant minority. How that could be done under a
measure so carefully safeguarded as, for instance, the Bill of
1912,[51] they never condescend to tell us. It is part of their policy
never to enter into details, but to produce a general atmosphere of
distrust and unreason.

But it is often these very same people who draw terrible pictures of
the power of the Roman Catholic Church already existing in Ireland at
the present moment. They do not explain how both of these propositions
can be true--how, if Ireland is already "priest-ridden"--a superlative
phrase--without Home Rule, there is any room for an increase of that
evil under Home Rule. They never seem to contemplate the possibility
that the proper and natural corrective to the power of the priest, if
it be excessive, is the creation of a strong rival civil power.

Is it, indeed, so certain that "Home Rule" would increase the power of
Rome in Ireland? I have even heard it said that the Home Rule cause
finds its headquarters at Rome, and that it is part of a gigantic
conspiracy of the Vatican to break up a Protestant Empire. Do those who
reason thus ever reflect how it is that the English Catholics are often
among the most formidable opponents of the Home Rule cause?

Why are the English Catholics so often opposed to Home Rule? The answer
was given by Cardinal Manning in the famous phrase quoted by Lord
Morley: "We want every one of their eighty votes."


Those who fear Home Rule as "Rome Rule" in Ireland had better, indeed,
examine themselves as to whether their action in defeating the Home
Rule Bill of 1893 has not, so far as it goes, led to this very same
effect in England. It must never be forgotten that it was with the help
of the 80 Irish votes, pressed back to Westminster by the Irish Bishops
in sympathy with the Catholic Bishops in England, that the British
Parliament passed those clauses of the 1902 Education Act which are
most offensive to English Nonconformists. Dr. Clifford has coined the
expression "Rome on the rates." It is not, perhaps, a phrase that tells
the whole story. We cannot forget how many of the poorer Catholics in
our great cities are the descendants of the unhappy Irishmen who were
evicted between 1840 and 1880 from the cabins of Ireland. Those poor
exiles have a special call on our purses. But Anglicanism--rich
Anglicanism--has also been placed on the rates. It has been placed
there through a working alliance between the English Church and Rome,
carrying out its aims by means of the votes of the Catholic Irish
members. Those members only acted up to their principles in so voting.
It was Great Britain that compelled them to remain as full voters in
full strength at the British Parliament. As long as they are there the
Irish must be expected to vote for the interests of their own religion
and their own people. But what of the sincerity of the people who,
after using the aid of the Irish to endow the Catholic and Anglican
schools in England, now raise this outcry about "Rome Rule" in Ireland?

It is vital, indeed, to point out that in these matters Home Rule for
Ireland is the only possible road to Home Rule for England also. Under
the 1912 Bill the Irish vote at Westminster is reduced to 42, and will,
if English self-government be also extended, be excluded from education
altogether. Thus the first plain and practical result of Irish Home
Rule would be not so much to give the Roman Catholics more power in
Ireland as to give the Protestants more liberty in England. But who can
doubt that it would also introduce a new element of civil power into
the schools of Ireland?[52]


As to Ireland itself, indeed, there can be no doubt that the great
national wrongs of the Irish people have immensely strengthened the
hold of the Roman Catholic Church over that island during the last

Let us look back for a moment at the historic relations between Roman
Catholicism and the Irish National cause.

No doubt the iron hammer of Cromwell--in England the rebel, in Ireland
the conqueror--and the long torture of the penal laws both contributed
to weld together the religious and political faith of Ireland. During
those dark days, Nationalism and Catholicism were almost identical
terms. It has been shrewdly remarked that Henry VIII. and Elizabeth
might probably have converted Ireland to Protestantism if they had
preached the reformed faith in the Irish language. However that may be,
it is quite certain that Protestantism stood throughout the eighteenth
century as the sign and uniform of the conqueror and the devastator.
Catholicism remained as the hope and sign of the conquered. Any
Irishman who became a Protestant was naturally suspected of being a
traitor, not merely to his religion but also to his nation.

Yet at the end of the eighteenth century the British Government had a
great opportunity of dividing the national from the religious cause.
Grattan's Parliament, with all its brilliancy and efficiency, was,
after all, a Parliament from which every Catholic was excluded. That
Parliament, indeed, as we have noted, granted the franchise to the
Catholic peasant and abolished the penal laws. But it was part of the
policy of the British Government to show that Grattan's Parliament
could not grant Catholic emancipation in its full sense. The grant was
to be kept as a bribe by which to achieve the policy of the Union.
Anyone who reads the story in the pages of Lecky[53] must see how that
motive ran like a sinister thread throughout the whole working of
British policy from 1795 to 1800.

Well, that policy succeeded only too thoroughly for the time. Among the
various forms of bribery which induced the Irish Parliament to give a
vote for the Union at the second time of asking, the gift of money and
titles were, perhaps, less powerful than the offer of Catholic
emancipation. Recent researches have shown that that offer led to the
conversion of Bishops and their clergy throughout the whole of Ireland,
besides winning over the great body of Catholic Peers.

It is now known, indeed, to be the fact that the British Government
actually induced the Vatican to bring pressure upon the Irish leaders
and the Irish bishops in order to achieve their object. It is almost
certain that unless that offer had been made, and unless the Catholic
Party in Ireland had been informed that the Act of Union was the
inevitable price for Catholic emancipation, Lord Castlereagh would
never have succeeded in closing the Irish Parliament.[54]

That bargain was broken. It is unhappily the case that the British
Ministers must have given their pledge to the Catholic Party in Ireland
with the conscious knowledge of their inability to carry it out. For
over them all was their King, George III., still with the Royal
privilege of dismissal for his Ministers, and resolutely, fiercely
resolved not to grant Catholic emancipation. Pitt relieved his
conscience by a two-years' resignation, but he returned to Parliament
without achieving his pledge. For another thirty years the struggle
went on. It is the Duke of Wellington himself who has handed down to
history the testimony that Catholic emancipation was only finally
granted in 1829 in order to save Ireland from a second rebellion.

It is that record that has driven Ireland into the arms of Rome, and
who can wonder?

England has now only paid the price of that great betrayal of 1800--a
betrayal almost as great as the broken treaty of Limerick. Those who
read the story of 1800 to 1830, and especially the brilliant sketch of
O'Connell's life in Lecky's "Leaders of Irish Public Opinion," will
know that it was in the course of this prolonged struggle for Catholic
emancipation that the forces of religion and politics were first thrown
into close alliance in Ireland. It was not until after 1820 that the
Catholic priest took the place of the Irish landlord, and became what
he was throughout most of the nineteenth century, the political leader
of his district. It was O'Connell who first carried out that great
revolution in political strategy. It was he who first placed the flocks
of the Irish people under the guidance of shepherds who carried the
crook and not the rent-book. If the Home Rule movement has been
assisted by religious fervour, that has been the fault of British
statesmen. If the Irish have stood apart from the rest of Europe by a
steadily deepening loyalty to their faith, the reason is largely to be
found in the British policy of 1800.


What is the moral of all this? Some of the Unionists themselves give a
shrewd though cynical comment on the situation when they suggest, in
the intervals of crying "Home Rule means Rome Rule," that probably the
Roman Catholic priests have no great zeal for Home Rule. I do not,
myself, for a moment believe that that is the case. The Roman Catholic
priests of Ireland have themselves been elevated and purified by the
great struggle, both social and political, through which they have
passed. They stand apart from the rest of the priesthood of Europe,
distinguished above all others by their deep and strong democratic
sympathies. When all others deserted the people of Ireland in the black
times of the '98 Rebellion, in the dark and evil days of the famine of
1847, or through the murderous retaliations that followed, the Irish
priesthood stood staunchly by Ireland. Those who remained faithful then
are not likely to desert the cause of their people now that it is on
the verge of success. A broader and more enlightened view of the future
was expressed to me by that distinguished man the Vice-president of
Maynooth College, when he said:--"We do not expect any direct gain for
our faith, but as Irishmen we are with Ireland, and as Catholics we
cannot but believe that the prosperity of a Catholic nation must
redound to the glory of Catholicism." That is the view of a good
Catholic who is also a good citizen.

But though we may believe in their resisting power to this great
temptation, we must remember that the failure to settle the Home Rule
question would give to the bishops and priests a great power in
Ireland. They would remain the great, pre-eminent centre of national
authority. Look at their position now. They are public men; they are
allowed, without envy or opposition, to maintain an unchallenged
control over the schools; they have a voice in all great public
decisions of policy, even in regard to such matters as old-age
pensions, insurance, or agriculture. The present position plays into
their hands. "Rome Rule" is far more powerful without "Home Rule."

So much for the Irish clergy. But what of Rome itself? Looked at from
the distance of the Seven Hills, and viewed from the standpoint of a
Church that contemplates all forms of human government with equal
indifference, always regarding only the good of their Church, is it not
possible that the acute diplomatists of the Eternal City may think
that they stand to gain more by prolonging than by satisfying the
present hunger of Ireland? At present Rome holds Ireland in fee. As
long as Ireland possesses no strong secular central power she must
always lean on the authority of her bishops and archbishops. But Rome
thinks probably more of the 40,000,000 people of Britain than of the
4,000,000 of Ireland. As long as England persists in holding Ireland in
bondage she must pay to Rome some compensation. The eighty votes at
Westminster are still doing the work which Cardinal Manning required of
them. Is it likely that Rome is so beset with anxiety to drive them
across the Channel? Is it altogether unlikely that some of the more
shrewd Italian or Spanish diplomatists at the Vatican--advised,
perhaps, by their English bishops and dukes--may hope to affect the
issue rather in the Unionist than in the Home Rule direction? Such
suspicions may be entirely baseless, but it will be impossible to
disregard them entirely during the events of the next few years.

It would not be the first time, nor the latest since Castlereagh, when
the extreme Protestant Unionists of this country conspired with the
Tory Ultramontanes of the Vatican to traffic away the liberties of

Amid all these doubts and perplexities we shall be wise to stick fast
to the central doctrine that civil liberty and religious liberty stand
together. This is the one truth that emerges from the history of Europe
during the last three centuries. Wherever we look--whether in Germany,
France, Holland, Scotland, or England--we see that these two rights
have always gone hand in hand.

Is there, indeed, a single instance in human history when the grant of
civil liberty has led to the forging of religious chains? Look to the
West, and note how, in the freest countries of the world--in the United
States and Canada, where there is not even a shadow of an establishment
for any form of religion--every kind of human faith lives together in
simple human brotherhood, and draws from that brotherhood new food for
the refreshment of mankind. In Ireland the one reason why the religious
quarrel has been maintained is to be found in the absence of civil
liberty. At every crisis of Ireland's fate the passion of religious
hatred has been worked--then as now--in order to prolong civil and
political despotism.

May we not be sure that Home Rule, instead of strengthening this evil
tendency, will weaken it? May we not be equally sure that it will take
no blood or muscle from the cause of true religion, certain to flourish
with greater richness and power where Christian love prevails?

Is it possible, in short, that in Ireland alone, of all countries,
freedom should mean persecution? On the contrary, is it not far more
likely that Home Rule for Ireland will mean neither Rome Rule nor
Orange Rule, but the "rule of the best for the good of all"?

       *       *       *       *       *


[51] See Appendix A for the text of the Bill.

[52] The priests have now practically complete power of dismissal over
the elementary teachers in the Irish schools. The only appeal is to the

[53] In his "History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century." That book
is one of the most conscientious pieces of work in all modern
historical literature. It should be read by all who wish to gain a
thorough understanding of the Irish problem.

[54] See a very interesting pamphlet entitled "The Closing of the Irish
Parliament," by John Roche Ardill, LL.D. (Dublin). Dublin: Hodges,
Figgis and Co. Price 1s. 6d.

[55] For instance, it was by a Unionist intrigue at the Vatican that
the Pope was induced to denounce the "Plan of Campaign," and to
restrain the agitation among the Irish priests.

                   HOME RULE IN HISTORY


     "You parade a great deal upon the vast concessions made by this
     country to the Irish before the Union. I deny that any
     voluntary concession was ever made by England to Ireland. What
     did Ireland ever ask that was granted? What did she ever demand
     that was not refused? How did she get her Mutiny Bill--a
     limited Parliament--a repeal of Poynings' Law--a Constitution?
     Not by the concessions of England, but by her fears. When
     Ireland asked for all these things upon her knees, her
     petitions were rejected with Percevalism and contempt; when she
     demanded them with the voice of 60,000 armed men, they were
     granted with every mark of consternation and dismay"

                         SYDNEY SMITH.



What is the fact of Irish history vital to our present cause? Surely it
is this, that up to the year 1800--the year of the Act of
Union--Ireland had possessed for practically five centuries a Home Rule
Government in some shape or form. In other words, self-government had
been the rule and not the exception throughout the centuries preceding
1800. This is a complete and sufficient answer to those who argue that
the supporters of Irish Home Rule are making a proposal of a completely
novel and revolutionary kind, without precedent in the history of the
Western world.

As a matter of plain fact, it was the framers of the Act of Union who
were the revolutionaries, and it is the supporters of Home Rule who are
returning to the ancient paths. The Home Rulers have five centuries
behind them, as against the one century behind the Unionists. From the
days of Simon de Montfort[56] the Irish Parliament developed side by
side with the English, growing with the growth of English rule in
Ireland, and varying with its limitations. Its powers, indeed, were
placed under a grave and serious limitation by Poynings' Law, passed
in the reign of Henry VII.,[57] and strengthened in the reign of Mary
Tudor.[58] They were for a brief time entirely taken away by Oliver
Cromwell, who was, strangely enough, the first great Unionist ruler of
Ireland. Restored by Charles II., the Irish Parliament was again
limited in power by the Government of George I.[59] But in 1782 it
broke through all these limitations, and became for a short brilliant
period a fully self-governing Parliament.

We have thus the illuminating fact that, with one single exception--and
that an example eminent in English affairs, but certainly not to be
followed in Irish--every great English ruler and monarch governed
Ireland under a distinct Irish Home Rule Parliament up to the year
1800. If Home Rule is so certain to be ruinous to Empire, how, we may
well ask, did these rulers build up the British Empire? How did
Marlborough and Clive, Chatham and Walpole, do their great world-work
with an Irish Parliament behind them? The answer is, of course, that
they did it better, and not worse, because Ireland was so far satisfied
with her fortunes as to be willing to put her full force into the
struggle for Empire.

For as long as Ireland possessed a Parliament she always possessed


As against these five centuries, we have one century of Irish rule
under a united Parliament--1800 to 1911. One against five. But as the
one is more recent, we have here not a bad provision of material for an
answer to the question: "Which has proved in the past the best way of
governing Ireland--Union or Home Rule?"

In regard to the century of Union, the record lies before us, open and
palpable, a tale of disaster and tragedy almost without parallel in the
modern history of the world. We see in the statistics of Irish
population, of Irish disease, of Irish poverty during the nineteenth
century[60] a black picture of material decay that literally "cries to
Heaven" for redress.

Side by side with these statistics, too, we have others to clinch the
evidence which traces the cause to the Act of Union. For the nineteenth
century was no century of decay. On the contrary, in almost every other
Western country, and especially in countries of the same racial and
religious fusion--in the United States, in the United Kingdom, and in
the British Colonies--the nineteenth century was a period of rising
population, advancing commerce, and abounding prosperity.

Nor is it the fact that British Ministers had any deliberate malice
against Ireland. On the contrary, many noble Englishmen worked
themselves grey during the nineteenth century in their efforts to make
the best of the Union system. Viceroy after Viceroy, and Chief
Secretary after Chief Secretary, have gone to Ireland full of hope, and
have come back converted reluctantly to the admission that their
efforts have been in vain and their work wasted under the present form
of Government.[61]

    "For forms of government let fools contest;
      Whate'er is best administered is best"

sang Pope. But there are some forms of government so bad that they
cannot be well administered. Among them is the form of government
established under the Act of Union.

Unionist writers who are honest enough to admit the decay of Ireland
between 1800-1900 attempt to trace it to any other cause than the Act
of Union--to over-population, to the Catholic religion, to the Irish
character, or even to the potato. But they labour in vain. If Ireland
stood alone, they might succeed. But it does not stand alone. Precisely
at the time when Ireland was decaying, all other Western nations were
flourishing. Precisely when the Irish race was withering in Ireland,
the same race, with the same religion and the same national
characteristics, was prospering exceedingly in America, and was even
contributing much of the power, skill and value for building up the
white British Colonies.

Unvarying progress on one side--on the other, unvarying decline, until
checked by the willingness of England to listen to the voice of
Ireland. What evidence could you have more convincing, what witnesses
more eloquent?

Perhaps, indeed, the most convincing statement of this very case was
given to the world, not by an Irishman or by any Liberal statesman, but
by the great Lord Salisbury. Speaking in 1865 as Lord Robert Cecil, he
uttered the following wise and statesmanlike summary of the policy of
the Union up to that date:--

     "What is the reason that a people with so bountiful a soil,
     with such enormous resources (as the Irish), lag so far behind
     the English in the race? Some say that it is to be found in the
     character of the Celtic race, but I look to France, and I see a
     Celtic race there going forward in the path of prosperity with
     most rapid strides--I believe at the present moment more
     rapidly than England herself. Some people say that it is to be
     found in the Roman Catholic religion; but I look to Belgium,
     and there I see a people second to none in Europe, except the
     English, for industry, singularly prosperous, considering the
     small space of country that they occupy, having improved to the
     utmost the natural resources of that country, but distinguished
     among all the peoples of Europe for the earnestness and
     intensity of their Roman Catholic belief. Therefore, I cannot
     say that the cause of the Irish distress is to be found in the
     Roman Catholic religion. An hon. friend near me says that it
     arises from the Irish people listening to demagogues. I have as
     much dislike to demagogues as he has, but when I look to the
     Northern States of America I see there people who listen to
     demagogues, but who undoubtedly have not been wanting in
     material prosperity. It cannot be demagogues, Romanism, or the
     Celtic race. What then is it? I am afraid that the one thing
     which has been peculiar to Ireland has been the Government of

Nothing has occurred since 1865 to vary that judgment.


So much for the one century of Union. What about the five of Home Rule?

"Were there no black centuries before 1800? Had Ireland no grievances?
What of the 'curse of Cromwell,' the broken 'Treaty of Limerick,' and
the penal laws?"

Thus I shall be challenged.

There were, indeed, black centuries before 1800, and black events.
Ireland endured a special share of the agony inflicted upon Europe by
the great religious struggles of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. She suffered, perhaps, more than any other country from the
divisions of Christian Europe following on the revolt of Luther against
Rome in 1520. The statutory limitations of the Irish Parliament during
that period led to many interferences from England, and the gradual
exclusion of Catholics divided the Parliament from the Irish nation.
The artificial infusion of a fanatical Protestant population by James
I. and Cromwell produced a terrible embitterment of the struggle. There
were crimes on both sides, and calamities beyond telling. But, with all
that, it is still to be doubted whether any of those centuries presents
such a picture of national decay, both industrial and social, as is
presented by the Ireland of the nineteenth century.

For through the blackness of that night the Irish Parliament always
shone like a star. Ireland grew with its growth, and withered with its
decay. Precisely as she had more Home Rule she advanced, and precisely
as she had less she fell back. But as long as the Parliament existed at
all it could never be said that the final spark of liberty had been
stamped out.

Even in the eighteenth century, when Catholic Ireland seemed to be
crushed, and Ireland lay supine beneath the double weight of the penal
laws and the commercial restrictions of England--an Ireland pictured
for all time by the keen, merciless pen of Dean Swift--still the vestal
flame was not quite extinguished. Captured by ascendancy, dominated by
fanaticism, narrowed to one faith, or even to one section of that
faith, the Irish Parliament still always provided a framework and
machinery for a possible moment of regeneration and recovery.

That moment came in 1782--came, unhappily both for England and for
Ireland, in such a form as to seem to justify the hard
saying--"England's danger is Ireland's opportunity."

The story of 1782 has been told with surpassing brilliancy in the
greatest of all Mr. Lecky's books--the darling of his youth and the
worry of his old age--his "Leaders of Irish Public Opinion."[63] The
disastrous and wasting struggle against our own kith and kin in the
American colonies--forced on England by the folly of the same type of
statesmen now resisting Home Rule--had reduced these islands to an
almost defenceless condition. The British Army, intended for the
defence of Great Britain, had been sent away into the forests and
prairies of Northern America to fight an invisible foe, and to meet
with a disastrous and undeserved defeat. But in their blind passion to
subdue the Americans the British Government had for the moment
forgotten Ireland. In their eagerness to conquer their colonies they
had forgotten to maintain their hold on the half-conquered country at
their side. The British troops had been withdrawn from Ireland as well
as from England. At that dramatic moment France came into the struggle
with her fleet, and Ireland, with her great harbours and her accessible
coastline, could not be left defenceless. As Ireland had no British
troops to defend her, it was inevitable that she should be allowed to
defend herself.

Ireland, never slow in a fight, rose to this crisis. In a few months
there sprang up throughout the country that wonderful movement of the
Irish Volunteers. Ireland in a few weeks produced an army that kept
Europe from her shores. Sixty thousand Irishmen stood to arms. Ireland
could no longer be hectored or bullied. She was, for the moment--for
the only time in her history--mistress of her own fate.

The American War came to its only possible end with the grant of
American Independence. Great Britain turned to look to her own domestic
affairs, and found herself face to face with the possibility of a
second war. For Ireland, having once armed to resist Europe, refused to
disarm until she received her liberty. The Volunteers, in other words,
would not disperse except on the conditions that the Irish Parliament
should become a reality. Poynings' Law was to be repealed. The right of
legislative initiative was to be given back to the Irish Parliament,
and England was to admit solemnly and categorically the right of
Ireland to make laws for herself.

It was a tremendous demand, but the British Government had no choice
except to yield. Exhausted with the American struggle, the British
Ministers could not face a second war. The demands of Ireland were
granted, and thus in a moment Grattan's Parliament, in the full panoply
of armed strength, sprang into existence.

Well might Grattan exclaim, at the opening of that Parliament, in words
that still send a thrill through every true lover of freedom:--

     "I found Ireland on her knees. I watched over her with an
     eternal solicitude. I have traced her progress from injuries to
     arms, and from arms to liberty. Spirit of Swift! Spirit of
     Molyneux! Your genius has prevailed. Ireland is now a Nation!
     In that new character I now hail her! And, bowing to her august
     presence, I say, _Esto Perpetua_."[64]

       *       *       *       *       *


[56] The first real representative English Parliament, of course, was
summoned by Simon de Montfort in 1265. Grattan was accustomed to claim
"seven centuries" as the lifetime of the Irish Constitution; but in
that, of course, he went back behind the days of a representative

[57] Poynings' Law was passed by the Irish Parliament, at Drogheda, in
1495, under the influence of Sir Edward Poynings, the Lord Deputy of
Ireland to the Viceroy Prince Henry, afterwards King Henry VIII. The
essential provision of Poynings' Law was that it secured all initiative
in legislation to the English Privy Council, leaving to Ireland nothing
but the simple power of acceptance or rejection. Ireland was thus left
only a veto, though a veto is often a considerable weapon.

[58] An Act in the reign of Mary forbade the Irish Parliament to alter
or add to an Act of Parliament returned to her from England.

[59] 6 of George I. made the Irish Parliament subordinate and

[60] See Appendix B.

[61] Among the Viceroys converted of later years to Home Rule by
experience of the present system of Irish Government may be named Lord
Spencer, Lord Dudley, and probably the last Lord Carnarvon. The
resignation of Mr. George Wyndham was due to the suspicion of his

[62] Quoted by Mr. Stephen Gwynn, M.P., in his brilliant book "The Case
for Home Rule." (Maunsel & Co., Dublin.)

[63] See the essays on Flood and Grattan. (Longmans, 2 vols., 1903.)

[64] Grattan, 16th April, 1782.

                   HOME RULE IN HISTORY

                   GRATTAN'S PARLIAMENT

     "To destroy is easy: the edifices of the mind, like the fabrics
     of marble, require an age to build, but ask only minutes to
     precipitate: and as the fall of both is an effort of no time,
     so neither is it a business of any strength. A pick-axe and a
     common labourer will do the one--a little lawyer, a little
     pimp, a wicked Minister the other."

                         GRATTAN (1800.)

     "Yet I do not give up my country. I see her in a swoon, but she
     is not dead--though in her tomb she lies helpless and
     motionless, still there is on her lips a spirit of life, and on
     her cheeks a glow of  beauty--

    'Thou art not conquered: Beauty's ensign yet
    Is crimson on thy lips and in thy cheeks,
    And Death's pale flag is not advanced there.'"

                    (In the final debate on the Act of Union,
                         May 26th, 1800).



Grattan's Parliament was the first Parliament with full legislative
authority possessed by Ireland since the time of Henry VII. It existed
for nearly twenty years, and in that brief time it did a great work for
Ireland. If we look for its epitaph we shall find it, strangely enough,
in the words spoken in 1798 by the man who pursued Grattan's Parliament
with his venomous hate, and finally compassed its doom--the famous
Irish Chancellor, Lord Clare:--

     "=There is not a nation on the face of the habitable globe
     which has advanced in cultivation, in agriculture, in
     manufactures, with the same rapidity, in the same period, as

But, great and splendid as was Grattan's victory, there were two points
of weakness in the settlement of 1782, soon to be revealed by
experience. One was that although the Irish Parliament obtained the
right of legislation, the appointment of the Government and the
Executive was still placed in the hands of the Irish Privy Council, and
therefore of the British Central Government. That meant, in the end,
that the British Government still possessed the leverage for recovering
the powers of legislative initiative and legislative veto.

As far as Ireland possessed separate executive powers, she used them
with loyalty and patriotism. Take, for instance, her finance. Ireland
possessed, under the settlement, a separate Irish Exchequer, and the
British Government could levy no war taxes in Ireland, except with the
consent of the Irish Parliament. That gave to the Irish Parliament an
immense power of checking and hampering England in her struggle against
Napoleon. If we were to judge from some of the talk heard at the
present moment, one would take for granted that Ireland must have
refused all help to England in that struggle.

On the contrary, the Irish Parliament voted sums freely to Pitt for the
wars against France. The Irish statesmen would have no dealings with
the English Whigs in their pro-French policy. Like that other great
Irishman, Edmund Burke, Grattan was opposed to the spirit of the French
Revolution. In that great European crisis Ireland showed herself what
she really is--a nation inclined in all essentials to conservative
rather than revolutionary ideas.


But it was the existence of a separate external executive, gradually
limiting the legislative powers of the Irish Parliament, that finally
brought out the gravity of the other signal defect in the settlement of
1782. That defect was the failure to effect a complete settlement of
the Catholic question. For the Irish Parliament, even after 1782, was
still confined to Protestants. Could any reasonable man call that a
final solution of the problem of government in a country where
four-fifths of the people were Catholics? With a truer foresight than
Grattan, Flood desired that the Volunteers should refuse to lay down
their arms until the Catholic question had been settled. But Grattan,
still filled with that spirit of generous trust which has been the
undoing of so many noble Irishmen, refused to use the military power
for any further exaction of terms. He disbanded the Volunteers.

Grattan trusted that once the Irish Parliament was endowed with full
powers, the Catholic question would settle itself. He could rely with
certainty on his own Protestant followers. He persuaded them to repeal
the penal laws. He prevailed upon them to extend the franchise to the
Catholic peasant. Both those great reforms were passed through the
Irish Parliament in the fulness of its strength and power, and the
British Government were compelled to acquiesce. But there Grattan
reached the limit of his authority. There was one more great step which
had to be taken before the Catholic claims could be satisfied. It was
necessary to concede the right to a Catholic, as to a Protestant, to
sit in the Irish Parliament. When Grattan made that proposal, he found
himself faced with new forces. The British Government and the
Ascendancy Party in Ireland had already begun to regain their hold over
the Irish Parliament. The forces of patronage and corruption were
already at work.

If those had been the only powers Grattan might have defeated them.
Neither he nor his admirers were perhaps wholly aware of what we now
know to be the centre of this resistance--the dogged, almost insane,
obstinacy of George III. Pitt indeed had already lost his earlier
reforming zeal. The shadow of the French struggle had already fallen
across his path, and had already shaken his early faith in freedom and
progress. But if Pitt had been left alone he might still have done
justice. It was George III. that lost us the soul of Ireland, as he
lost us both the body and soul of North America.

There were, indeed, moments in those difficult days when the British
people seemed to realise dimly the wisdom of what Burke saw to be the
wisest British fighting policy--the policy of rallying Catholic
Ireland against revolutionary France. There was, for instance, the
mission of Lord Fitzwilliam in 1795--a Whig mission extorted from Pitt
against his will, due to a Parliamentary complication, and backed from
London with but half-hearted support. That famous mission which sent
through Ireland such a strange, sad thrill of hope, soon closed in mist
and darkness. Lord Fitzwilliam went to Ireland, as many Englishmen have
gone since, with the intention of doing justice. He was thwarted, like
most others, by the resistance of the local Ascendancy Party, fighting
doggedly for the remnants of its power. It was the place-holders of
Ireland who, intriguing with the Ministry in London, led to the recall
of Lord Fitzwilliam.[66]

For that party was then playing the same part as it is attempting to
play to-day. They were playing then, as ever since, on the nerves of
Protestant England. They were conjuring up the dread of Catholic power,
and the terror of Irish disloyalty. Unhappily, in the confusions of the
moment--the confusions of the French wars--they succeeded. By
compelling the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam they wrecked the hopes of the
Grattan Parliament.

For after 1795 that Parliament was practically doomed, and events moved
rapidly to their climax. Grattan, thwarted in his policy, and unwilling
to be responsible for a body over which he had no control, withdrew
into retirement. The Irish Catholics, feeling themselves again betrayed
and deserted, relapsed all over Ireland into sullen indifference and
detachment. The Protestant Parliament, deprived of their leader, swung
more and more towards the Ascendancy Party. Even so, indeed, the virtue
of self-government continued to work. No Parliament has left a better
record of good local work for the prosperity of its country than
Grattan's Parliament. From end to end of Ireland new industries had
sprung up, and new life had been put into old industries. Ireland then
was prosperous. Her exports had doubled. Her wealth was increasing. Her
towns overflowed with life, and Dublin for the moment almost rivalled
London in its brilliancy and its wit.[67]


This prosperity might have saved Grattan's Parliament but for a new
movement which had crossed the two channels from France. It is doubtful
whether the Catholics alone could have wrecked Grattan's Parliament. It
was, curiously enough, the Irish Presbyterians of Ulster--our friends,
the Orangemen--who sowed the seeds of revolt against the Protestant
Parliament of 1782. It was they, in the combination known as the
"United Irishmen," who started the movement that culminated in the
Irish Rebellion in 1798. These Presbyterian Nonconformists had all been
deeply affected by the doctrines of the French Revolution. They had for
years past been agitating for a reform of the Irish Parliament on the
lines subsequently adopted in 1831--chiefly by the abolition of the
rotten boroughs. Grattan was with them, but again he was powerless. He
was opposed, both in Dublin and in London, by the existing executives.
Those executives now rested their power almost entirely on the members
returned by those very same rotten boroughs. For ever since 1782
bribery had been going on, and as early as 1790 England had been
rapidly buying back the hold she had lost in 1782. These being her
weapons, it was not likely that the Irish executive was going to yield
to the claims of the Irish Presbyterians. The Government resisted, and
the movement of the Irish Reformers became more and more formidable.

All these causes of unrest culminated in the Irish Rebellion of 1798--a
horrible event, beginning with the lawlessness of the revolutionary
Presbyterians in the north--lawlessness so feebly checked as to raise
grave suspicions in regard to the attitude of the Irish Government
itself towards a possible revolution. But the outrages of the Orangemen
on the Catholics in Ulster, and the Catholic feeling of desertion by
the Government, soon produced a far more terrible outbreak in the
south. That practically culminated in a religious war between Catholic
and Protestant. From that moment the Rebellion was marked by atrocities
on both sides almost as terrible as anything which occurred in the
French Revolution. The Rebellion was extinguished in blood and fire.

The period of exhaustion and despair that followed in Ireland was
seized upon by Castlereagh and Pitt for destroying the Irish
Parliament. An immense machinery of bribery and corruption, assisted by
pledges that were broken and prophecies that failed, all working under
the double shadow of rebellion and war, drove the Irish Parliament to
reluctant suicide, and passed into law, both at Dublin and Westminster,
the Union Act of 1800.

That great light of the Irish Parliament thus passed suddenly into
darkness. The Chamber which had resounded with the eloquence of Flood
and Grattan passed over to the money-changers, and ever since the clink
of coin has taken the place of the silver voices of the Irish


The events of 1800 left Ireland, for the moment, prostrate under the
heel of Great Britain. The last remnants of self-government disappeared
with the absorption of the two exchequers in 1817. Although Ireland
still retained a separate administration, that administration was not
under the control of any self-governing authority. Out of the Dragon's
teeth of the Union rose the sinister army of a new bureaucracy,
recruited almost entirely by the enemies of Ireland, and for the most
part even working with its guns trained against the hopes and
aspirations of the Irish race.

The artificial stimulus given to agriculture by the French wars
concealed for some years the greatness of the disaster. The population
of Ireland continued to rise. The Irish landlords, indeed, had for the
moment a strong motive to multiply their tenants, in the existence of
the forty shilling freehold vote granted by the Irish Parliament.
Holdings were sub-divided, and the cultivation of the potato encouraged
an even larger population on a lower level of subsistence. This
prepared the way for the great catastrophe of the Irish famine in
1847. It was that famine which brought out fully, for the first time,
the tremendous calamity inflicted on Ireland by the destruction of her

For it was not that England showed any lack of sympathy in dealing with
the Irish famine. It was indeed that event which finally converted Sir
Robert Peel to the abolition of the Corn Laws, and, more even than the
agitation of Richard Cobden or the speeches of John Bright, contributed
to the final triumph of Free Trade. It was not want of sympathy that
wrecked Ireland then. It was want of understanding. For it was only an
Irish Government, living on the spot, and responsible to the people of
Ireland itself, that could have risen to the great height of that
tremendous emergency.

The monstrous human disaster that followed--the loss of 2,000,000 of
population in twenty years--was the direct result of the destruction of
all the means of prompt salvage and repair which could have been
brought to bear only by a Home Rule Government.

During those calamitous decades another great evil emerged as a result
of the Union. Many bad things have been said against the Irish land
laws, and many of them are justified. But the Irish land laws in their
old working were simply rather an exaggerated form of the very same
laws that have survived in England right up to the present moment. Why
is it that these laws proved intolerable in Ireland, and have yet
survived up to the present moment in England? Simply because, after the
passing of the Act of Union, they were aggravated by the great and
terrible social evil of Absenteeism.

Even those bad laws could be made to work as long as there was a human
relationship between the landlords and their tenants. Up to 1830, at
any rate, there was a strong motive for that relationship. The victory
of Catholic emancipation was a colossal triumph for the genius of
Daniel O'Connell. It removed one of the worst surviving religious
injustices in this kingdom. But in Ireland it was a victory of the
tenant over the landlord, and it was achieved by a new alliance between
tenant and priest against the landlord. While giving emancipation to
the Catholics, the Act of 1830 also raised the level of the franchise,
and abolished the forty shilling freehold vote, thus removing the
landlord's motive for preserving the small tenancies.

The result was that the Irish landlords as a class--always, of course,
with many conspicuous individual exceptions--entered from 1830 onwards
upon a new career of hostility towards their tenants, amounting to
little less than a passion for revenge. Being, for the most part, both
Protestant and Absentee, they lost all interest in their tenantry,
except that of rent collectors. The Irish famine made matters far
worse. For the famine deprived the Irish tenant, for the moment, of the
power of paying rent. Not only so, but by reducing him to pauperism it
turned him into a distinct and definite burden on the rates.

The Irish landlords then first conceived the idea that, by getting rid
of the people, they could save their pockets. At the same time, they
made the great discovery that beasts were more profitable than
peasants. Hence the great clearances and evictions of the period
between 1840-1870. Hence the cruel compulsory exodus of vast masses of
the people of Ireland to the shores of America. Hence, finally, the
bitter cleavage between landlords and tenantry which brought the whole
land system of Ireland crashing into ruin.

These disasters had one good effect. They roused the Irish people from
their indifference. The bitter proofs of mis-government shown by the
breakdown of their land system brought home to every cottager the need
of a Home Rule Government. The great agitations for land reform and
Home Rule went on side by side--sometimes taking a form of violence,
but more and more of orderly constitutional pressure--until in the
seventies there emerged at Westminster a powerful Irish Party, too
strong either for the neglect or the indifference of any British


It was impossible, indeed, for Great Britain to be indifferent, for she
had suffered almost as much as Ireland. The hostility of the Irish
Party formed a perpetual source of danger to her Governments, both
Liberal and Tory, and a chronic source of instability in her
administration. The democratic movement in England was continually
weakened by the necessity of keeping Ireland down. That necessity
largely broke the strength of the great reform movement of the
thirties. It destroyed Sir Robert Peel's Government in the forties. It
broke down the strength of Mr. Gladstone's Government in the eighties.
Ireland and Irish affairs absorbed so much of the time of the British
Parliament that the affairs of Great Britain herself were neglected.
The old free and easy ways of the British Parliament were brought to a
summary close by the obstruction of the Irish Party in the eighties,
and the modern rules of compartment closure and strict limitation of
debate were forced upon the Mother of Parliaments.

It was these consequences, quite as much as the sufferings of Ireland,
that gradually converted a great body of the British people to the
cause of Home Rule. That process was going on throughout the seventies
and the eighties, and was brought to a climax by the conversion of Mr.
Gladstone in 1886. Since then the cause which was so despised in the
days of O'Connell has had one of the great English parties behind it,
and has so steadily made its way in the favour of the British nation
that it now stands on the threshold of accomplishment.

       *       *       *       *       *

What, then, emerges from this survey? It is that in returning to Home
Rule as the mode of governing Ireland we are simply going back to the
old and traditional method of Irish rule. It is also that, on surveying
the past, we find not merely that Home Rule has often saved Ireland,
but that always the wider and the more generous the form of Home Rule
the more it has helped Ireland. The wiser course of accepting Irish
advice in Irish affairs has always turned the tide of disaster, and
brought the hope of a new happiness for Ireland. Surely here we have a
convincing proof that the logical consummation of this policy by the
restoration of Home Rule is the only means of bringing back Ireland to
a full and secure enjoyment of lasting well-being.

       *       *       *       *       *


[65] For confirmation of this see Lecky's "Leaders of Public Opinion in
Ireland," Vol. I., p. 120.

[66] It is clear from Lecky's account that Lord Fitzwilliam's recall
was due, not so much to any change of policy in London as to his action
in dismissing Beresford, one of the most prominent figures of the Irish
Protestant Party.

[67] There is a very close and minute account of the growth of Irish
prosperity under the Grattan Parliament in O'Connell's great Repeal
speeches to the British Parliament in 1834. Between 1782 and 1797 the
consumption of coffee in Ireland went up by 600 per cent., the
consumption of tea by 84 per cent., of tobacco by 100 per cent., and
wine by 74 per cent. All these figures ran down rapidly after 1800.

[68] The Irish Parliament House, built in the eighteenth century, was,
after the Act of Union, handed over to the Bank of Ireland. The House
of Lords has been left intact, but special secret instructions were
given that the Irish House of Commons should be divided into
compartments in order that the memories of the Irish Parliament should
be forgotten. Those instructions were carried out, and the Chamber of
the Irish House of Commons ceased to exist.

                  HOME RULE IN THE WORLD

                  THE CASE FROM ANALOGY

     "I wish the Irish were negroes, and then we should have an
     advocate in the Hon. Baronet. His erratic humanity wanders
     beyond the ocean, and visits the hot islands of the West
     Indies, and thus having discharged the duties of kindness
     there, it returns burning and desolating, to treat with
     indignity and to trample upon the people of Ireland."




"Ah!" but I shall be told by Unionist critics who have followed me so
far, "but the tendency of the world at present is all towards great
empires and away from little states. You are reversing the process."

This will probably be one of the most frequent arguments that we shall
hear during the present discussions. We shall, perhaps, have thrown at
our heads cases like the absorption of Persia by Russia, of Tripoli by
Italy, of Morocco by France, and of the Congo by Germany.

If we are to argue the matter on those lines it will be fair to point
out, on the other side, that during the last decade Norway has
separated from Sweden, new provincial and state governments have been
created in Canada and the United States, new self-governing powers have
been given to Cuba and the Philippines by the Americans in faithful and
loyal adherence to their word at the time of the Spanish-American war,
and, even more recently, new powers have been given to Alsace and
Lorraine by the German Empire.

So the argument might go on, to and fro, each party pelting one another
with cases from other parts of the world. Perhaps at that point it
might be well to remember the grave and wise warning given us by Lord
Morley in his "Life of Gladstone"--that each case of political
re-adjustment really stands by itself, and that often little light can
be thrown, but rather darkness deepened, by studying too closely the
analogies from other communities.

Still, though the case of the relations between England and Ireland
must always stand on its own merits, there are general tendencies in
the world which come under law. There are certain lessons to be
gathered from other countries which we should be unwise to ignore. The
Greeks, who were great constitution builders, amused themselves in
their later period by making immense collections of political specimens
from among the Hellenic States. Doubtless their politicians derived
some advantage from this practice of their philosophers.

There are general tendencies, and those tendencies may be classified
under the two familiar heads of (1) the tendency towards unity and (2)
the tendency towards division. These two tendencies are always going on
side by side in various parts of the world. But the puzzling part of
political study is that very often what seems a tendency towards unity
conceals a tendency towards division, and that what seems a tendency
towards division is really a tendency to unity.


Take, for instance, the famous case of the British Empire. Any
superficial observer from another clime or another planet might
conclude from reading the records, that the tendency within the British
Empire during the last century lay toward division. He would find on
looking the matter up in any book of reference that the British Empire
now includes nearly thirty Parliaments.[69] He would discover that the
powers of the central authority have been gradually waning until
practically every great white community outside the United Kingdom has
now complete control over its own local affairs. He might even be
excused some astonishment if he discovered also that these communities
placed heavy taxes on the imports of the mother country, and were in no
degree restrained from doing so, and that there even existed a party in
the home country who contended that that act of filial attention ought
to be rewarded by special preferences to colonial imports at home.
Perhaps he would be most astonished when he discovered that these
colonies were now engaged in raising their own navies and armies, which
might possibly in the future be used for purposes independent of the
central control.

Pursuing his enquiries, he would discover that this country of Great
Britain had conducted at great cost of life and money, less than ten
years ago, a war to prevent the separation and secession of one great
white community--that of South Africa--and that, having carried that
war to a successful conclusion, the central government had followed up
that war by granting to that great white community a strong central
local government, with complete control of its local affairs. "You talk
about the tendency to unity," he would say, "but have we not here a
clear instance of division?"

To all of which we should reply, and reply correctly--"Not at all! The
secret of our Empire is that we have found unity in difference. We have
achieved the miracle of combination by means of division of power."

We should probably have some difficulty in persuading him of this
truth. He might be some Rip Van Winkle, who had gone to sleep during
the War of American Independence, and still derived from those days his
notions of the right principles of colonial government. But if he
conducted his enquiries further he would end by being fully persuaded.
For what would he discover? He would find out that in spite of, or
perhaps by means of, this principle of division the British Empire was
now the most united Empire in the world. He would learn the amazing
story, incredible to almost any other nation, of the great rally of
colonial troops to the help of the Empire at the time of the Boer War.
He would read of the periodical Imperial Conferences at the Centre in
London. He would learn of the new drawing together now going on both in
regard to foreign policy and military strategy. He would contrast all
this with the spirit of the American Colonies between 1776 and 1782. He
would look back, perhaps, to the beginning of this new era of
self-government, and recall the memory of Canada in rebellion, of
Australia in a state of permanent quarrel with Downing Street, and of
South Africa in perpetual, recurring, chronic confusion and disorder.
He would learn that before 1837 every white British colony was
discontented,[70] and that now every colony was loyal. He would
contrast these two pictures of Empire. Perhaps, then, he would realise
that the true secret of the strength of the modern British Empire lay
neither in militarism nor Imperialism, neither in swagger nor bounce
nor boasting nor pride, but in the gradual development of that amazing
policy of generosity and goodwill which is best typified in the phrase,
"Home Rule."

It is Home Rule that has saved the British Empire up to the present. Is
it not likely that it is Home Rule that will save her in the future?

"Ah! but"--again will come the cry of the critic of the narrow
vision--"look at the South African Union. Is not that an instance of
unionism as against Home Rule? Have we not there in this latest
achievement a specimen of State authorities over-ruled by a central

In answer to that cry, I turn to the eighty-fifth clause of the South
African Act, 1909. In that clause I find the following powers reserved
for the local authorities of Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and the
Orange River Colony:--

  (1)  Direct taxation within their provinces.
  (2)  The right of borrowing money on their own credit.
  (3)  All education other than higher education.
  (4)  Agriculture.
  (5)  Hospitals.
  (6)  Municipal institutions.
  (7)  All local works and undertakings within their provinces.
  (8)  All roads and bridges within their provinces.
  (9)  Markets and towns.
  (10) Fish and game preservation.
  (11) The right of fine and imprisonment, and
  (12) Generally all matters which, in the opinion of the
  Governor-General in Council, are of a merely local or private

Ireland would not very much mind that kind of unionism!

The fact is, of course, that this instance of South Africa is a typical
example of the principles of unity and division working at the same
time. In regard to South Africa as a whole, the Union Act was a great
and beneficent grant of Home Rule. It was the end of a long period of
harassing interferences with the affairs of South Africa on the part of
the Imperial Government at home, through its High Commissioner on the
spot. That process is even now unfinished. It will probably in the end
have to be brought to completion by the inclusion within the authority
of the South African Parliament of countries like Rhodesia, and even,
perhaps, of Basutoland.

But in regard to South Africa itself, the same Act was a case of true
unionism required and necessitated by the conditions of the country.
Before 1909 the South African states were suffering within themselves
from excessive division of functions. They were quarrelling over
railways and tariffs. They were unable to pursue any common policy or
common aim. That perpetual division of functions weakened them in the
presence of the world, and rendered them unfit for local guidance. We
should have a similar situation in this country if England, Ireland,
Scotland, and Wales were all under separate governments, with separate
tariffs and separate policy. In that case the doctrine we should be
preaching to-day would not be Home Rule, but Unionism. For these two
tendencies throughout the world are like a see-saw. Both are required
for efficient government. Both may be carried to excessive and
exaggerated lengths. Our case in regard to the United Kingdom is that
unionism has been carried to excessive lengths, and requires to be
tempered by Home Rule.

For let any Unionist glance round the world outside the British Empire.
He will find that the British do not stand alone in their trust in the
Home Rule principle. Nearly every great Empire in the world rests upon
Home Rule as its basis. Even Russia, perhaps the most centralised of
all, has its provincial councils, known as the Zemstvos, and it was one
of M. Stolypin's most daring actions that he even broke the letter of
the Russian Constitution in order to strengthen the Zemstvos of Eastern
Russia. Finland, too, a province of Russia, possesses a larger form of
local government than is even being demanded by Ireland. It is a
curious irony of the present situation that many of those Britons who
refuse self-government to Ireland are most diligent in watching the
action of Russia in relation to the powerful and--up to the
present--almost independent Parliament of Finland.


If we pass from Russia to the other great human combinations, we shall
find the principle of Home Rule far more extensively and powerfully
developed. Take China, a combination of 400,000,000 of human beings,
now changing before our eyes from an absolute monarchy to a
constitutional republic. But whether as a monarchy or a republic, China
has always rested her rule on gigantic and almost autonomous provinces,
under separate Viceroys. Those provinces have doubtless been subject to
the same autocratic control as China herself, but with the change in
her central government they will probably pass by an easy transition
into Home Rule provinces. Or come nearer home to an Empire which most
Englishmen imagine to be the most centralised in the world--the German
Empire. That Empire rests upon a basis of twenty-six autonomous
governments, varying from autocracies at one end to republics at the
other. The German Empire contains within it every form and shape of
human community, varying from sheer mediævalism to extreme modernism.
But whatever the form or shape of these separate governments, they are
all alike in having control over their own local affairs. Most of the
great states of Germany still possess control even over their own
railways. They have their own Parliaments, their own judges, and, in
many cases, their own reigning sovereigns. It was part of the wisdom of
the founders of the German Empire that they made no attempt to
interfere with these local powers. They contented themselves with
combining all those forces for common defence, including them under a
common tariff, and giving to them a common vote for a common assembly
at the centre. In other words, Germany rests upon the two principles of
unity and division, and in that combination lies its strength.


Or turn to the United States. There you have another of those powerful
human governments resting on a basis of forty-six State authorities,
each with its own legislature, and even with its own little army. Each
of those state governments has control over such great matters as
criminal and civil law, marriage and divorce, licensing, education,
game laws, and the regulation of labour. They have the right to place a
direct tax upon property. They have their own governors and their own
ministries. And yet they all work harmoniously within the central
authority of the Federal States. Probably by no other means could that
great combination be held together.


Or come back to Europe, and take the astonishing case of Austria and
Hungary. There you have two countries of different race and different
language, with different ideals, and with bitter memories of past
strife lying between them. A generation ago it was a commonplace among
all politicians that the Austrian Empire must break up. Yet it still
holds together, and has recently shown itself capable even of
aggressive action. The prophecy of decay is being pushed further and
further forward, and Austria still remains the great Christian bulwark
of Europe. How has that miracle been achieved after the terrible
internecine struggles of the mid-nineteenth century? How is it that
Hungary has forgotten the hangings and the butcheries of the sixties,
and still works within the Austrian Empire? Why, simply by virtue of
the principle of Home Rule.

Austria and Hungary, indeed, represent a far more extreme and daring
instance of this principle than it is necessary to put forward in
regard to Ireland. They possess distinct Parliaments and distinct
ministries. Those Parliaments sit apart and legislate apart and neither
possess any representation in the other. But they have, as we have
already seen, their link, not merely in a common Emperor and King, but
in a common body called the Delegations. There is the Austrian
Delegation and the Hungarian Delegation, both consisting of sixty
members, twenty from each Upper House, and forty from each Lower House.
The delegations sit alternately at Vienna and Buda Pesth, and they
deliberately and independently communicate their decisions by writing.
But if after three such interchanges no decision is arrived at, then
the whole 120 meet together and settle the matter by vote without
discussion. They possess a common Minister for Foreign Affairs, a
common Minister of War, and a common Minister of Finance. Count Von
Aehrenthal, who has in late years produced so startling an effect on
European politics, is the common Minister for Foreign Affairs for
Austria and Hungary, two countries with distinct Parliaments.


I return from this tour of the world back to the British Empire. Here,
too, the principle of Home Rule has been working, not merely in regard
to our white dominions, but during the last ten years even more
daringly in regard to the countries of our black subjects. The great
Indian Reform Act of 1909 has created in India what are practically the
first beginnings of Home Rule Councils. Seven great provinces of India
have now each of them Legislative Councils of their own, and on nearly
all of these Councils the unofficial members are in the majority.[71]

The powers of these Legislative Councils are still very limited; but
who can doubt that they will increase?

We are, in other words, faced with the fact that while Ireland has been
waiting for Home Rule we have taken the first great step in granting
Home Rule to India. Surely this is a fact that presents a new challenge
to the reactionary Unionist of the United Kingdom. Does he really
contend that Ireland is incapable of receiving the same liberties as we
are granting to India? Or will he make the wicked and dangerous
suggestion that we are only conceding these things to India by force
from fear of disorder, and in that way threaten the happy peace of

Surely the concession of Home Rule to India removes the last vestige of
an Imperial argument against Home Rule for Ireland also!

       *       *       *       *       *

Such are the results of a general survey at the present moment. They
show that in proposing Home Rule for Ireland we are not rowing against
the tide, but following the drift of a general law which is prevailing
all over the world.

       *       *       *       *       *


[69] See Appendix K. This figure includes, of course, the Isle of Man
and the Channel Islands.

[70] See the Letters of Lord Aberdeen quoted by Mr. Gladstone.

[71] The Governors of Madras and Bombay and the five
Lieutenant-Governors each have Legislative Councils. Under the new
scheme the Legislative Councils of the provinces are constituted as

  Madras        48 members.  20 official.  26 unofficial.  2 experts.
  Bombay        48    "      18    "       28     "        2    "
  Bengal        51    "      18    "       31     "        2    "
  United        49    "      21    "       26     "        2    "
  East Bengal   43    "      18    "       23     "        2    "
   and Assam
   Punjab       27    "      11    "       14     "        2    "
  Burma         18    "       7    "        9     "        2    "

                    HOME RULE FINANCE

     "You gave £20,000,000 to the negroes or to their masters. Will
     you give £20,000,000 to the Irish?"


     "The noble Lord, towards the conclusion of his speech, spoke of
     the cloud which rests at present over Ireland. It is a dark and
     heavy cloud, and its darkness extends over the feelings of men
     in all parts of the British Empire. But there is a consolation
     which we may all take to ourselves. An inspired King and bard
     and prophet has left us words which are not only the expression
     of a fact, but which we may take as the utterance of a
     prophecy. He says, 'To the upright there ariseth light in the
     darkness.' Let us try in this matter to be upright. Let us try
     to be just. That cloud will be dispelled. The dangers which
     surround us will vanish, and we may yet have the happiness of
     leaving to our children the heritage of an honourable
     citizenship in a united and prosperous Empire."

                         JOHN BRIGHT (1868)



Home Rule finance is already the subject of a whole library of books
and pamphlets, and there is some danger that the money question may
occupy a place out of all perspective and proportion in the coming
controversy. Men quarrel over money very easily, and some of the
fiercest opponents of Home Rule still imagine that they can silence the
Home Rulers by talking "money" at the top of their voices. But the Home
Rulers must not be drawn into that net. They must refuse to view this
matter as a question merely of book-keeping and accounts. They must
remember always that the financial difficulty is simply another
statement of the fact of Irish poverty, and that Irish poverty is due
to the Act of Union. It is not any financial arrangement, but Home Rule
itself, that will cure the difficulties of Irish finance.

On the one side, the English are being told that they are going to be
bled white in order to please Ireland. On the other side, the Irish are
being warned by their extremists that England hopes to undo the effects
of Home Rule by a dowry of impoverishment. On both sides of the Channel
the enemies of Home Rule hope to use this as a weapon to defeat the
cause. Let us, therefore, keep our heads, and look at the problem
calmly and sanely.

What is the present position in regard to Irish finance? It has totally
changed since 1893. It follows, therefore, that the financial proposals
of the 1886 and the 1893 Bills are of little value to us as a guide to
the policy of 1912.[72] In those days the British Government could
cheerfully propose a fixed contribution of over £4,000,000 from the new
Irish Parliament, as in the Bill of 1886, or an allocation of one-third
of the general revenue of Ireland, for Imperial expenditure, as in the
Bill of 1893. Lord Morley has told us that in 1886 Mr. Parnell was
gravely disturbed over the finance proposals of Mr. Gladstone. We
thought him unreasonable at the time, and perhaps a little mean. I can
remember Liberals saying hard things about the Irish attitude in those
days. But the events that have occurred since prove that Mr. Parnell,
on that occasion, was only exercising his customary shrewdness. He saw
to the root of the matter. He was evidently possessed with the fear
that he might be saddled with a poverty-stricken Home Rule Parliament,
and the course of events since 1886 has somewhat justified his fear.


For since 1886, two events have happened. The first has been that
Ireland instead of being the creditor is now the debtor of England. The
most recent Treasury estimate, as given by Mr. Asquith in his first
reading speech on the Home Rule Bill of 1912 gives the true deficit of
Ireland for 1912-3 at £1,500,000. I am aware that the Treasury
estimates are open to many criticisms, which have been brilliantly
stated by Professor Kettle in his handbook on "Home Rule Finance,"[73]
but for our present purposes we are bound to accept these figures.

What do they show? In the first place, they fully bear out the forecast
of the Financial Relations Commission that the position of Ireland
under the Act of Union would become steadily worse. We have probably
not yet reached the bottom of the hill. Ireland is so poor that each
new Act for the relief of poverty increases the disproportion between
the expenditure of Great Britain and Ireland. There is no way out of
that vicious circle. If England were to increase Irish taxation she
would simply increase the poverty which she has to relieve. During the
last fifty years, in fact, the British Government has had to give back
in some form of relief an equivalent for almost every increase of
taxation enforced upon Ireland. If Ireland cannot pay, England must
pay. That means that unless Home Rule is given during the next twenty
years Ireland will become an increasingly heavy charge upon Great

In face of these facts, it is clear that Great Britain will be wise to
"cut the loss." Considerable scorn has been thrown on the suggestion
made by Professor Kettle and others that Great Britain should present
Ireland with a dowry of £20,000,000 on the occasion of setting up a
Home Rule Parliament. Mr. Kettle called it a "wedding present," to
which Mr. F.E. Smith retaliated with some humour that it was really a
"separation allowance." Mr. Kettle has since replied with even better
humour that as Home Rule is the only true marriage between the nations
his description is the more correct. This is all a pretty play of wit,
but we must not allow it to conceal from us the fact that if John Bull
deals generously with Ireland at this present moment he will be playing
the part, not merely of a philanthropist, but of a good business man.

There are many ways in which this generosity can be shown. A big
capital sum of money would probably be bad both for England and for
Ireland. It would give Ireland a sense of dependence, and it would
leave England with a sense of injury. There are many other better ways
of making this financial adjustment. The charge which has turned
Ireland into a debtor to England, for instance, is the £2,500,000 drawn
from the Imperial Exchequer for Irish Old-age Pensions. The men and
women who are receiving those pensions are the veterans of the famine
period, and England has a special obligation towards them.

The Home Rule Bill of 1912 provides that these old age pensions should
be kept for the moment as an Imperial charge. That will be both a
generous and humane provision.

Another proposal made by Irish financial reformers is that the Royal
Irish Constabulary, a force which costs £1,370,000 a year, should be
regarded and paid for as an Imperial force. The argument is that the
Royal Irish Constabulary was created in the interests of the English
garrison--was, in fact, an army of occupation, which, since the new
settlement of the Irish land question, has become, in Mr. Kettle's
witty phrase, an "army of no occupation."

That proposal is not adopted in the Home Rule Bill of 1912. The force
is kept under the control of the British Government for six years, and
it will then be handed over to Ireland. In the meantime, it will be
paid for out of the money reserved from Irish revenue by the Imperial
Government. We shall have to wait, therefore, for six years before the
Irish Government is able to apply economy to what is perhaps the most
expensive and most extravagant service in the whole administration of

The general financial proposals of the 1912 Bill are as follows:--

The British Treasury takes the Irish revenue and divides it into three
portions. The first is the postal revenue, which will be both collected
and controlled by the Irish Government, as the Post Office will be
handed over immediately. The second is the "transferred" revenue,
amounting to £6,350,000, which is the estimated cost of the services
delegated to the Irish Parliament, such as the Civil Service, the
payment of judges, and so forth. This revenue will still be collected
by the Imperial Government, but handed over to Ireland. The third
portion will be the "reserved" revenue, consisting of the amount
retained by the British Treasury for the services over which it will
retain control. Those services will be as follows:--

    Old Age Pensions                   2,660,000
    National Insurance                   190,000
    Land Purchase                        616,000
    Constabulary (Royal Irish)         1,380,000
    Collection of Revenue                300,000

This leaves the profit and loss account for Great Britain as follows:--

    Receipts.                Expenditure.
    £9,485,000     On "Reserved Services"     £5,046,000
                   On "Transferred Sum"        6,350,000

The upshot is that the British deficit, which stands at present at
£1,500,000, will rise to £1,911,000. That will be covered by a grant of
£500,000 a year. That grant will be reduced annually by decrements of
£50,000 until it reaches £200,000.

There is no need for the British taxpayer to be alarmed at this
balance-sheet. The essential fact is that Home Rule will work steadily
on the side of thrift and saving. The substantial points are--(1) that
pensions will from this time forward steadily decrease; (2) that the
Royal Irish Constabulary will be diminished; and (3) that any increase
in the prosperity of Ireland will result in an increasing yield of
taxation collected by the British Treasury and devoted to the benefit
of the British taxpayer. The British taxpayer, in a word, is thoroughly
well looked after.

Doubtless these proposals will be subjected to much criticism in
committee, and no one would pretend that they could not be improved in
detail. It might be argued, for instance, that it would be better for
Great Britain to make herself responsible for the Royal Irish
Constabulary as an Imperial charge, and therefore have a motive for
reducing it. That action might be taken as a generous substitute for
the bonus of £500,000 a year, which may possibly not produce favourable
effects on the relations between the two countries. As against the
extra charge to the British Treasury, you would have the fact that the
British Government could immediately proceed to reduce the

But once give Ireland a chance by some such settlement as this, and
then the main problem of finance will solve itself. For we cannot
ignore one very important aspect of that problem--the extravagance of
Irish government. One of the most startling revelations of the
Financial Commission Report was that Ireland, a poor country, cost
twice as much to govern as Belgium, a country of nearly twice the
population. Mr. Kettle has shown since that the Civil Service of
Ireland is four times as great, and costs more than four times as much,
as the Civil Service of Scotland.[74]

Why is this? Because at the present moment two systems of government
are existing in Ireland side by side--the old and the new. The old is
for the most part an encumbrance and an impediment, but the new is
required for doing the work of land purchase and agricultural
development. Ireland is like a household into which a new staff of
servants is being imported, while nobody dares to disturb the old.
Could there be a more extravagant way of governing a country?

The only way to put that house in order is to give it Home Rule. All
the rights of existing civil servants must be respected, and therefore
the saving on that account will only be gradual. Mr. Kettle estimates
it at £700,000 within a reasonable time. That is probably even an
under-estimate. For once this kind of saving begins, it soon tells on a
nation's expenditure. Ireland is at present governed from the point of
view of the place-hunters. Once Ireland begins to be governed from the
point of view of the Irish people, then the reign of extravagance will
be at an end.

Once the Home Rule Parliament is set up we shall be able to distinguish
clearly between Ireland's local and her Imperial obligations. We shall
hear much indignant talk against any proposal that Ireland shall pay
less than her full proportional contribution for Imperial Defence.
Those who are so moved on this question seem to forget that the British
Colonies pay practically nothing. Yet we have never heard that they
are paupers on that account. They certainly derive more from the
Empire than Ireland. Therefore, there would be nothing either degrading
or unjust even if Ireland were relieved from all Imperial expenditure
for a term of years. For Ireland requires time to recover from the
impoverishment of the past, and it may be wise to give her that time.
But once that time is over, the Irish Parliament will probably wish to
follow in the steps of the Grattan Parliament, and contribute her
honest due to the Empire of which she will be a part. But that due must
be paid, not out of deficit, but out of surplus. As long as Ireland has
a deficit produced by poverty, it is absurd to talk to her about
Empire. Once she has a surplus--and a surplus will soon come with the
working of Home Rule--then she will play her part in a manly way.

For we must never forget that Home Rule in itself is a great financial
asset. During the brief period of the Grattan Parliament, as we have
seen, Ireland doubled her exports. During that time the Parliament
carried out public works in every part of Ireland, and industry throve.
Those things cannot be done by an absentee Parliament. They can only be
done by a Parliament on the spot. They are intensely and earnestly
needed by Ireland at present. For Ireland is largely an industrial
derelict, waiting for the restoring hand of a central governing power.
It is impossible to put this aspect of the matter into figures. Here we
must move in faith. But we cannot see this matter clearly unless we
believe firmly--as we have every justification for believing--that Home
Rule means wealth to Ireland.


But we have to remember that since 1893 a great and authoritative
Financial Commission has reported that England stands in debt to

The British public has never quite realised what the Report of 1896
signified, or quite understood the effect which it produced on the
Irish nation. The Financial Relations Commission was a body created by
the Liberal Government in 1894, soon after the defeat of the Home Rule
Bill, and partly as a consequence of that defeat. It consisted of
fifteen of the ablest financiers in the United Kingdom, including two
great Treasury Chiefs, Lord Farrer and Lord Welby, Sir Robert Hamilton,
Sir David Barbour, and that great Parliamentary financial expert Mr.
W.A. Hunter. The chair was occupied by an ex-Chancellor of the
Exchequer, Mr. Childers.[75] The Commission sat for two years, and
carried out a most searching investigation. They reported in 1896.
Their united Report consists of only two pages in the Blue Book,[76]
and the essence of it is contained in five short paragraphs, as

      (1) That Great Britain and Ireland must, for the purpose of
    this inquiry, be considered as separate entities.

      (2) That the Act of Union imposed upon Ireland a burden which,
    as events showed, she was unable to bear.

      (3) That the increase of taxation laid upon Ireland between
    1853 and 1860 was not justified by the then existing

      (4) That identity of rates of taxation does not necessarily
    involve equality of burden.

      (5) That whilst the actual tax revenue of Ireland is about
    one-eleventh of that of Great Britain, the relative taxable
    capacity of Ireland is very much smaller, and is not estimated
    by any of us as exceeding one-twentieth.

Now, what does this amount to? As worked out in the various minority
reports, it means that, in the opinion of this Commission, Ireland has
been over-taxed for many years at the rate of over £2,000,000 a year.
As to the precise sum the Commissioners differ. Some went as high as
£3,500,000, others down to £2,000,000, but all, except Sir Thomas
Sutherland and Sir David Barbour, set it at about £2,000,000. Mr.
Childers, unhappily, died before the close of the Commission. But he
wrote an epoch-making Report, in which he estimated the excess of
taxation at £2,250,000.[77]

Now, it is useless to make light of this Report. It was the solemn
judgment of the highest financiers of the day on the financial workings
of the Act of Union. If we turn back to the debates in Parliament in
1800, especially to the speeches of Pitt, prophesying that the Act of
Union would take the wealth of England across St. George's Channel, and
apply it to Ireland, we cannot escape some sombre reflections on the
short-sightedness of great statesmen. Pitt's judgment was disturbed by
the existence of a war with France, which created in him an intense
desire to unite the two countries. Otherwise he would probably have
foreseen that for a rich partner to unite his finances with a poor
partner certainly meant bankruptcy for the one, and probably, in the
end, also ruin for the other. Taking the nineteenth century as a whole,
the fundamental financial error has been this--that Ireland has been
taxed on the theory of equality with England in point of wealth. That
equality has not existed. What was a light burden for the one country
has proved for the other a burden too heavy to be borne.

The result has been that Ireland, being continually overtaxed, has sunk
steadily in her resources, and has gradually become less and less of a
taxable country. The taxes have returned less and less, and have had to
be returned in the form of relief of poverty. A crisis in that
situation is now reached, and it is quite clear that we stand at the
parting of two roads. Now that the balance is beginning to work against
England, it is certain that the only alternative to the restoration of
Ireland is the gradual dragging down of England.

It is useless and unjust to argue, in answer to this great Report, that
Ireland ought not to have been regarded as a financial unit at all. Any
country that is an island, and possesses a social organisation of its
own, with a definite relationship between rich and poor, must
necessarily be a financial unit. But even if that were not so, it is
too late to argue the question with any honour. For we must never
forget that the whole financial legislation of the United Kingdom in
regard to Ireland is based upon the Act of Union, which was practically
a solemn treaty between the two countries, passed--we will not say
how--by both the British and the Irish Parliaments. It is the essence
of that treaty that Ireland entered into it upon certain financial
terms, and among those terms was the condition that she should be
treated as a separate financial unit.

This Report, therefore, immensely strengthens the claim of Ireland to
more generous financial terms in 1912 than in 1886 or in 1893.

We want to set up in Ireland a high and strong sense of financial
responsibility. The control therefore, as well as the expenditure, must
be placed as far as possible in Irish hands, and for that purpose the
management, as well as the collection, of Irish taxes ought to be left
as far as possible with the Irish Exchequer that must be set up.

The tendency is started by the principle of the Bill of 1912, and the
policy of the next decade will be to place in Irish hands as rapidly
as possible both the collection and the administration of the finance
for all the great Irish services, including those at present "reserved"
as well as those at present "transferred."

This brings us finally to the vexed problem of Customs and Excise. It
is notorious that the greater part of the Irish revenue--the revenue of
a poor country, derived for the most part through indirect taxation--is
drawn from Customs and Excise.[78]

It is not, perhaps, surprising, therefore, that the Bill of 1912 should
go some way towards meeting the demand that has sprung up in various
quarters, both in Ireland and in England, for the control of customs
and excise by the Irish Parliament. The proposal of the Government is
that we should extend to Ireland, with some variations, what is at
present the financial arrangement in regard to customs and excise
between the British Treasury and the Isle of Man. The first fact to be
remembered quite clearly is that the Irish Parliament is absolutely
debarred from creating any new duty. It will not be able to draw up any
new set of tariffs. In other words, it will have to adapt its revenue
to the general financial policy of the central government, whether that
be a free trade policy or a tariff reform policy. But Ireland is to be
allowed to vary her customs within certain limits. She may, for
instance, reduce her customs to the lowest point, on the only condition
that she loses thereby equivalent revenue. But on the main custom
duties which fall on such articles as tea, sugar, cocoa, tobacco, and
so forth, she cannot raise her customs beyond 10 per cent. The only
exceptions will be beer and spirits, on which Ireland may raise her
customs or her excise to any point that she desires. It will be
necessary, of course, to have rebates or countervailing duties in
regard to articles transferred from Great Britain to Ireland, or _vice
versa_, and to that very slight extent alone will these proposals
affect the trade relations between Ireland and England.

I may add that the same power of reduction or addition will extend both
to income tax and death duties up to the limit of 10 per cent. for
increase--a provision which will safeguard the industries of the North
from being sacrificed to the needs of the South.[79]

Such are the proposals of the 1912 Home Rule Bill. They appear to
present an ingenious compromise between the complete delegation of
customs and excise and the complete centralisation. There are very
serious objections to the complete separation of these duties. One is
that separation of customs has been accepted everywhere as vitally
inconsistent with the Federal idea. No State of the American Union has
separate customs. Even Bavaria, a State of the German Empire which
possesses, as we have seen, a separate army, post office, and national
railways, has no separate customs. Such a plan could, therefore, hardly
fit in with Federalism, as at present realised in any part of the
world. The second objection would be the very grave offence given to
the free trade sentiment of Great Britain, and the very grave injury to
trade between Britain and Ireland, if we were to hand over to Ireland
the right of placing taxes on English goods. Under such circumstances
it would certainly be impossible to persuade the British public to
grant a bonus to Ireland in order to give her the power of taxing
British goods. That would clearly be too great a strain upon the
Christian sentiment even of John Bull.

Parnell, it is well known, felt a strong temptation to make a demand
for separate customs. But he always put it aside as impolitic, probably
on this very ground; and the rise of the Tariff Reform movement since
his death has certainly not weakened those considerations, because it
has led to a corresponding rise of free trade feeling among a large
part of the British public on this side of the Channel.

It is quite clear that the Government's compromise on customs and
excise, ingenious as it is, will be subject to very close and shrewd
criticism. But the first duty of Home Rulers, both in Great Britain and
Ireland, is to avoid the carefully-baited trap of a quarrel on points
of detail. That is the obvious game of the enemies of Home Rule. The
proper policy of every true Home Ruler is to preserve through all the
vicissitudes of those financial discussions a sane and steady
perspective, well knowing that, after all, finance is not really the
true heart of this problem.


We must not reduce a great human problem to a squabble over
pocket-money. We must in this, too, as in the religious and political
sides of the question, have faith in the result of freedom. We must
believe, as we have every right to believe, that liberty will bring to
Ireland a new power over her resources, and a new skill in using
them--that her magnificent harbours will no longer be silent, or her
rivers empty; that her factories will hum once more with a new life and
industry; that the grass will cease to grow in her streets and on her
wharves, and that the rich and strong will cease to fly from her
shores. All this must be taken into account in any reasonable
calculation of the future. It is just as foolish to err from lack of
faith as it is to blunder from excess of credulity.

For here, indeed, we have an excellent precedent to give us hope. It
was the common evidence of all experts at the time that Ireland grew
greatly richer under the twenty years of Grattan's Parliament. The
future Irish Parliament will, just as it will be more representative,
so supply Ireland with a machine even more efficient than Grattan's
Parliament. If so, we have every reason to suppose that within twenty
years we shall have a richer Ireland, with a far greater taxable
capacity. For can we doubt that the alchemy of liberty will here, too,
even in this sordid realm of finance, repeat its ancient power?

       *       *       *       *       *


[72] For these proposals see Appendix D.

[73] For instance, in the absence of Irish Customs the estimates of
true Irish revenue can only be approximate. On the expenditure side,
too, there are grave matters of consideration. For instance, should the
vote for Irish Constabulary be regarded as a local or Imperial charge?
Or Irish judges, or even Irish poverty? It was the definite opinion of
the Financial Relations Commission that until Home Rule was set up
there could be no possible way of distinguishing between local and
Imperial expenditure in Ireland.

[74] There are 4,397 civil servants in Ireland with incomes over £160 a
year, as against 944 for Scotland. (Inland Revenue Report, 1909-1910.)

[75] The members of this Commission were:--The Rt. Hon. Hugh Childers,
Lord Farrer, Lord Welby, the Rt. Hon. O'Conor Don, Sir Robt. Hamilton,
Sir Thomas Sutherland, K.C.M.G., Sir David Barbour, K.C.S.I., the Hon.
Ed. Blake, M.P., Bertram W. Currie, Esq., W.A. Hunter, Esq., M.P., C.E.
Martin, Esq., J.E. Redmond, Esq., M.P., Thomas Sexton, Esq., M.P., and
added in June, 1894, Henry F. Slattery, Esq., and G.W. Wolff, Esq.,

[76] C. 8262, price 1s. 10d.

[77] Lord MacDonnell has estimated the total over-payment of Ireland in
the nineteenth century as exceeding £300,000,000.

[78] Out of a total tax-revenue of £24,000,000 from 1906-9 Ireland paid
no less than £18,000,000 in Customs and Excise. (Inland Revenue

[79] See the Government Outline of Financial Provisions, Appendix A.
















[Sidenote: A.D. 1912.]

AMEND the PROVISION for the Government of Ireland. BE it enacted by the
King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of
the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--

_Legislative Authority._

[Sidenote: Establishment of Irish Parliament.]

1.--(1) On and after the appointed day there shall be in Ireland an
Irish Parliament consisting of His Majesty the King and two Houses,
namely, the Irish Senate and the Irish House of Commons.

(2) Notwithstanding the establishment of the Irish Parliament or
anything contained in this Act, the supreme power and authority of the
Parliament of the United Kingdom shall remain unaffected and
undiminished over all persons, matters, and things within His Majesty's

[Sidenote: Legislative powers of Irish Parliament.]

2. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Irish Parliament shall
have power to make laws for the peace, order, and government of Ireland
with the following limitations, namely, that they shall not have power
to make laws except in respect of matters exclusively relating to
Ireland or some part thereof, and (without prejudice to that general
limitation) that they shall not have power to make laws in respect of
the following matters in particular, or any of them, namely--

    (1) The Crown, or the succession to the Crown, or a Regency; or
        the Lord Lieutenant except as respects the exercise of his
        executive power in relation to Irish services as defined
        for the purposes of this Act; or

    (2) The making of peace or war or matters arising from a state
        of war; or the regulation of the conduct of any portion of
        His Majesty's subjects during the existence of hostilities
        between Foreign States with which His Majesty is at peace,
        in relation to those hostilities; or

    (3) The navy, the army, the territorial force, or any other
        naval or military force, or the defence of the realm, or any
        other naval or military matter; or

    (4) Treaties, or any relations, with Foreign States, or
        relations with other parts of His Majesty's dominions, or
        offences connected with any such treaties or relations, or
        procedure connected with the extradition of criminals under
        any treaty, or the return of fugitive offenders from or to
        any part of His Majesty's dominions; or

    (5) Dignities or titles of honour; or

    (6) Treason, treason felony, alienage, naturalisation, or aliens
        as such; or

    (7) Trade with any place out of Ireland (except so far as trade
        may be affected by the exercise of the powers of taxation
        given to the Irish Parliament, or by the regulation of
        importation for the sole purpose of preventing contagious
        disease); quarantine; or navigation, including merchant
        shipping (except as respects inland waters and local health
        or harbour regulations); or

    (8) Lighthouses, buoys, or beacons (except so far as they can
        consistently with any general Act of the Parliament of the
        United Kingdom) be constructed or maintained by a local
        harbour authority; or

    (9) Coinage; legal tender; or any change in the standard of
        weights and measures; or

    (10) Trade marks, designs, merchandise marks, copyright, or
        patent rights; or

    (11) Any of the following matters (in this Act referred to as
        reserved matters), namely--

    [Sidenote: 8 Edw. 7. c. 40 1 & 2 Geo. 5. c. 16. 1 & 2 Geo. 5. c.
        55. 9 Edw. c. 7.]

            (a) The general subject-matter of the Acts relating
          to Land Purchase in Ireland, the Old Age Pensions Acts,
          1908 and 1911, the National Insurance Act, 1911, and
          the Labour Exchanges Act, 1909;

            (b) The collection of taxes;

            (c) The Royal Irish Constabulary and the management
          and control of that force;

            (d) Post Office Savings Banks, Trustee Savings Banks,
          and Friendly Societies; and

            (e) Public loans made in Ireland _before the passing
          of this Act_:

            Provided that the limitation on the powers of the
          Irish Parliament under this section shall cease as
          respects any such reserved matter if the corresponding
          reserved service is transferred to the Irish Government
          under the provisions of this Act.

Any law made in contravention of the limitations imposed by this
section shall, so far as it contravenes those limitations, be void.

[Sidenote: Prohibition of laws interfering with religious equality,

3. In the exercise of their power to make laws under this Act the Irish
Parliament shall not make a law so as either directly or indirectly to
establish or endow any religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof,
or give a preference, privilege, or advantage, or impose any disability
or disadvantage, on account of religious belief or religious or
ecclesiastical status, or make any religious belief or religious
ceremony a condition of the validity of any marriage.

Any law made in contravention of the restrictions imposed by this
section shall, so far as it contravenes those restrictions, be void.

_Executive Authority._

[Sidenote: Executive power in Ireland.]

4.--(1) The executive power in Ireland shall continue vested in His
Majesty the King, and nothing in this Act shall affect the exercise of
that power except as respects Irish services as defined for the
purposes of this Act.

(2) As respects those Irish services the Lord Lieutenant or other chief
executive officer or officers for the time being appointed in his
place, on behalf of His Majesty, shall exercise any prerogative or
other executive power of His Majesty the exercise of which may be
delegated to him by His Majesty.

(3) The power so delegated shall be exercised through such Irish
Departments as may be established by Irish Act, or subject thereto, by
the Lord Lieutenant, and the Lord Lieutenant may appoint officers to
administer those Departments, and those officers shall hold office
during the pleasure of the Lord Lieutenant.

(4) The persons who are for the time being heads of such Irish
Departments as may be determined by Irish Act, or, in the absence of
any such determination, by the Lord Lieutenant, and such other persons
(if any) as the Lord Lieutenant may appoint, shall be the Irish

Provided that--

    (a) No such person shall be an Irish Minister unless he is a
        member of the Privy Council of Ireland; and

    (b) No such person shall hold office as an Irish Minister for a
        longer period than six months, unless he is or becomes a
        member of one of the Houses of the Irish Parliament; and

    (c) Any such person not being the head of an Irish Department
        shall hold office as an Irish Minister during the pleasure
        of the Lord Lieutenant in the same manner as the head of an
        Irish Department holds his office.

(5) The persons who are Irish Ministers for the time being shall be an
Executive Committee of the Privy Council of Ireland (in this Act
referred to as the "Executive Committee"), to aid and advise the Lord
Lieutenant in the exercise of his executive power in relation to Irish

(6) For the purposes of this Act, "Irish services" are all public
services in connexion with the administration of the civil government
of Ireland except the administration of matters with respect to which
the Irish Parliament have no power to make laws, including in the
exception all public services in connexion with the administration of
the reserved matters (in this Act referred to as "reserved services").

[Sidenote: Future transfer of certain reserved services.]

5.--(1) The public services in connexion with the administration of the
Acts relating to the Royal Irish Constabulary and the management and
control of that force, shall by virtue of this Act be transferred from
the Government of the United Kingdom to the Irish Government on the
expiration of a period of six years from the appointed day and those
public services shall then cease to be reserved services and become
Irish services.

(2) If a resolution is passed by both Houses of the Irish Parliament
providing for the transfer from the Government of the United Kingdom to
the Irish Government of the following reserved services, namely--

    (a) All public services in connexion with the administration of
        the Old Age Pensions Acts, 1908 and 1911; or

    (b) All public services in connexion with the administration of
        Part I. of the National Insurance Act, 1911; or

    (c) All public services in connexion with the administration of
        Part II. of the National Insurance Act, 1911, and the Labour
        Exchanges Act, 1909; or

    (d) All public services in connexion with the administration of
        Post Office Savings Banks, Trustee Savings Banks, and
        Friendly Societies;

the public services to which the resolution relates shall be
transferred accordingly as from a date fixed by the resolution, being a
date not less than a year after the date on which the resolution is
passed, and shall on the transfer taking effect cease to be reserved
services and become Irish services:

Provided that this provision shall not take effect as respects the
transfer of the services in connexion with Post Office Savings Banks,
Trustee Savings Banks, and Friendly Societies until the expiration of
ten years from the appointed day.

(3) On any transfer under or by virtue of this section, the transitory
provisions of this Act (so far as applicable) and the provisions of
this Act as to existing Irish officers shall apply with respect to the
transfer, with the substitution of the date of the transfer for the
appointed day, and of a period of five years from that date for the
transitional period.

_Irish Parliament._

[Sidenote: Summoning, &c., of Irish Parliament.]

6.--(1) There shall be a session of the Irish Parliament once at least
in every year, so that twelve months shall not intervene between the
last sitting of the Parliament in one session and their first sitting
in the next session.

(2) The Lord Lieutenant shall, in His Majesty's name, summon, prorogue,
and dissolve the Irish Parliament.

[Sidenote: Royal assent to Bills of Irish Parliament]

7. The Lord Lieutenant shall give or withhold the assent of His Majesty
to Bills passed by the two Houses of the Irish Parliament, subject to
the following limitations; namely--

    (1) He shall comply with any instructions given by His Majesty
        in respect of any such Bill; and

    (2) He shall, if so directed by His Majesty, postpone giving the
        assent of His Majesty to any such Bill presented to him for
        assent for such period as His Majesty may direct.

[Sidenote: Composition of Irish Senate.]

8.--(1) The Irish Senate shall consist of forty senators nominated as
respects the first senators by the Lord Lieutenant subject to any
instructions given by His Majesty in respect of the nomination, and
afterwards by the Lord Lieutenant on the advice of the Executive

(2) The term of office of every senator shall be eight years, and shall
not be affected by a dissolution; one fourth of the senators shall
retire in every second year, and their seats shall be filled by a new

(3) If the place of a senator becomes vacant before the expiration of
his term of office, the Lord Lieutenant shall, unless the place becomes
vacant not more than six months before the expiration of that term of
office, nominate a senator in the stead of the senator whose place is
vacant, but any senator so nominated to fill a vacancy shall hold
office only so long as the senator in whose stead he is nominated would
have held office.

[Sidenote: Composition of Irish House of Commons.]

9.--(1) The Irish House of Commons shall consist of one hundred and
sixty-four members, returned by the constituencies in Ireland named in
the First Part of the First Schedule to this Act in accordance with
that Schedule, and elected by the same electors and in the same manner
as members returned by constituencies in Ireland to serve in the
Parliament of the United Kingdom.

(2) The Irish House of Commons when summoned shall, unless sooner
dissolved, have continuance for five years from the day on which the
summons directs the House to meet and no longer.

(3) After _three years from the passing of this Act_, the Irish
Parliament may alter, as respects the Irish House of Commons, the
qualification of the electors, the mode of election, the
constituencies, and the distribution of the members of the House among
the constituencies, provided that in any new distribution the number of
the members of the House shall not be altered, and due regard shall be
had to the population of the constituencies other than University

[Sidenote: Money Bills.]

10.--(1) Bills appropriating revenue or money, or imposing taxation,
shall originate only in the Irish House of Commons, but a Bill shall
not be taken to appropriate revenue or money, or to impose taxation by
reason only of its containing provisions for the imposition or
appropriation of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the payment
or appropriation of fees for licences or fees for services under the

(2) The Irish House of Commons shall not adopt or pass any resolution,
address, or Bill for the appropriation for any purpose of any part of
the public revenue of Ireland or of any tax, except in pursuance of a
recommendation from the Lord Lieutenant in the session in which the
vote, resolution, address, or Bill is proposed.

(3) The Irish Senate may not reject any Bill which deals only with the
imposition of taxation or appropriation of revenue or money for the
services of the Irish Government, and may not amend any Bill so far as
the Bill imposes taxation or appropriates revenue or money for the
services of the Irish Government, and the Irish Senate may not amend
any Bill so as to increase any proposed charges or burden on the

(4) Any Bill which appropriates revenue or money for the ordinary
annual services of the Irish Government shall deal only with that

[Sidenote: Disagreement between two Houses of Irish Parliament.]

11.--(1) If the Irish House of Commons pass any Bill and the Irish
Senate reject or fail to pass it, or pass it with amendments to which
the Irish House of Commons will not agree, and if the Irish House of
Commons in the next session again pass the Bill with or without any
amendments which have been made or agreed to by the Irish Senate, and
the Irish Senate reject or fail to pass it, or pass it with amendments
to which the Irish House of Commons will not agree, the Lord Lieutenant
may during that session convene a joint sitting of the members of the
two Houses.

(2) The members present at any such joint sitting may deliberate and
shall vote together upon the Bill as last proposed by the Irish House
of Commons, and upon the amendments (if any) which have been made
therein by the one House and not agreed to by the other; and any such
amendments which are affirmed by a majority of the total number of
members of the two Houses present at the sitting shall be taken to have
been carried.

(3) If the Bill with the amendments (if any) so taken to have been
carried is affirmed by a majority of the total number of members of the
two Houses present at any such sitting, it shall be taken to have been
duly passed by both Houses.

[Sidenote: Privileges, qualifications, &c. of members of Irish

12.--(1) The powers, privileges, and immunities of the Irish Senate and
of the Irish House of Commons, and of the members and of the committees
of the Irish Senate and the Irish House of Commons, shall be such as
may be defined by Irish Act, but so that they shall never exceed those
for the time being held and enjoyed by the Commons House of Parliament
of the United Kingdom and its members and committees, and, until so
defined, shall be those held and enjoyed by the Commons House of
Parliament of the United Kingdom, and its members and committees at the
date of _the passing of this Act_.

(2) The law, as for the time being in force, relating to the
qualification and disqualification of members of the Commons House of
Parliament of the United Kingdom, and the taking of any oath required
to be taken by a member of that House, shall apply to members of the
Irish House of Commons.

(3) Any peer, whether of the United Kingdom, Great Britain, England,
Scotland, or Ireland, shall be qualified to be a member of either

(4) A member of either House shall be incapable of being nominated or
elected, or of sitting, as a member of the other House, but an Irish
Minister who is a member of either House shall have the right to sit
and speak in both Houses, but shall vote only in the House of which he
is a member.

(5) A member of either House may resign his seat by giving notice of
resignation to the person and in the manner directed by standing orders
of the House, or if there is no such direction, by notice in writing of
resignation sent to the Lord Lieutenant, and his seat shall become
vacant on notice of resignation being given.

(6) The powers of either House shall not be affected by any vacancy
therein, or by any defect in the nomination, election, or
qualification, of any member thereof.

(7) His Majesty may by Order in Council declare that the holders of the
offices in the Irish Executive named in the Order shall not be
disqualified for being members of either House of the Irish Parliament
by reason of holding office under the Crown, and except as otherwise
provided by Irish Act, the Order shall have effect as if it were
enacted in this Act, but on acceptance of any such office the seat of
any such person in the Irish House of Commons shall be vacated unless
he has accepted the office in succession to some other of the said

_Irish Representation in the House of Commons._

[Sidenote: Representation of Ireland in the House of Commons of the
United Kingdom.]

13. Unless and until the Parliament of the United Kingdom otherwise
determine, the following provisions shall have effect:--

    (1) After the appointed day the number of members returned by
        constituencies in Ireland to serve in the Parliament of the
        United Kingdom shall be forty-two and the constituencies
        returning those members shall (in lieu of the existing
        constituencies) be the constituencies named in the second
        Part of the First Schedule to this Act, and no University
        in Ireland shall return a member to the Parliament of the
        United Kingdom.

    (2) The election laws and the laws relating to the qualification
        of parliamentary electors shall not, so far as they relate
        to elections of members returned by constituencies in
        Ireland to serve in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, be
        altered by the Irish Parliament, but this enactment shall
        not prevent the Irish Parliament from dealing with any
        officers concerned with the issue of writs of election, and
        if any officers are so dealt with, it shall be lawful for
        His Majesty by Order in Council to arrange for the issue of
        any such writs, and the writs issued in pursuance of the
        Order shall be of the same effect as if issued in manner
        heretofore accustomed.

       *       *       *       *       *

So far for the constitutional clauses. The clauses from 14 to 26 are
occupied with finance. They are so technical that it will be more
convenient to substitute the terms of the very clear Memorandum issued
by the Government:--


_Present Irish Revenue and Expenditure._

It is estimated that the revenue to be derived from Ireland in the year
1912-13 will be as follows:--

  Customs                                  3,230,000
  Excise                                   3,320,000
  Income tax                               1,512,000
  Estate duties                              939,000
  Stamps                                     347,000
  Miscellaneous                              137,000
  Post Office                              1,354,000
            Total                         10,839,000

It is estimated that the expenditure for Irish purposes in the year
1912-13 will amount to £12,354,000. The expenditure may be divided for
the purposes of this Memorandum as follows:--

  All purposes not separately specified     5,462,000
  Post Office                               1,600,000
  Old Age Pensions                          2,664,000
  Charges under the Land Purchase Acts        761,000
  National Insurance and Labour Exchanges     191,500
  Royal Irish Constabulary                  1,377,500
  Collection of revenue                       298,000
     Total                                 12,354,000

The expenditure therefore exceeds the revenue by £1,515,000.

It is anticipated that in a period of ten or fifteen years the charges
under the existing Land Purchase Acts will increase by £450,000, and
under the National Insurance Act by £300,000. On the other hand, it is
estimated that within twenty years the cost of Old Age Pensions will
decrease by £200,000.

_Charges upon the Irish Exchequer._

The Bill provides for the establishment of an Irish Exchequer and an
Irish Consolidated Fund.

From the Irish Exchequer will be defrayed the whole of the present and
future cost of Irish government, with the exception of the expenditure
on certain services, termed in the Bill Reserved Services.

_Charges upon the Imperial Exchequer._

The Imperial Government will retain the control, and the Imperial
Exchequer will continue to bear the cost, of the Reserved Services,
namely, Old Age Pensions, National Insurance, Labour Exchanges, Land
Purchase, and Collection of Taxes. For a period of six years the Royal
Irish Constabulary will also be one of the Reserved Services.

There are provisions for the transfer to the Irish Government of
certain of the Reserved Services under the conditions stated below.

_Revenue of the Irish Exchequer._

The Bill provides, in the first instance, for the period during which
the yield of Irish taxes is less than the cost of Irish administration,
and contemplates certain modifications after a financial equilibrium
has been attained.

During that period the revenue of the Irish Exchequer will consist of a
sum transferred annually from the Imperial Exchequer, and termed in the
Bill the Transferred Sum, together with the receipts of the Irish Post

The Transferred Sum will be fixed at the outset at such amount as will
cover, with the addition of the Post Office revenue, the present
expenditure on Irish Government, with the exception of the cost of the
Reserved Services. Included in the Transferred Sum will also be a
specified sum as surplus. The amount of this surplus will be £500,000
annually for a period of three years, then diminishing by £50,000 a
year for six years till it reaches £200,000, at which sum it will

Subject to this variation in the amount of the surplus and to certain
minor variations specified in the Bill, and subject also to any changes
consequent upon the exercise by the Irish Parliament of the powers of
increasing or reducing taxation which are defined below, the amount of
the Transferred Sum, fixed in the first year after the passing of the
Act, will remain the same until an equilibrium is reached between the
total revenue derived from Ireland and the total expenditure on Irish

_Revenue of the Imperial Exchequer from Ireland._

The Bill provides that until such equilibrium is established the whole
of the proceeds of all Irish taxes shall be collected by the Treasury
of the United Kingdom, and be paid into the Imperial Exchequer. (This
provision does not apply to Post Office revenue.)

The revenue so collected should be sufficient to cover the Transferred
Sum and to provide a balance sufficient to defray a part of the cost of
the Reserved Services. As the revenue from Ireland increases in the
future, the receipts of the Imperial Exchequer will increase
proportionately, and the yearly deficit which will fall at the outset
upon the Imperial Exchequer will gradually be lessened and ultimately

_Joint Exchequer Board._

The Bill establishes a Joint Exchequer Board of Great Britain and
Ireland, consisting of two members appointed by the Imperial Treasury
and two by the Irish Treasury, with a Chairman appointed by His Majesty
the King.

The duty of the Board will be to determine certain questions of fact
arising from time to time under the financial provisions of the Bill.

The figures given in this Paper are estimates only, and do not purport
to be final. The Bill, therefore, does not rest upon these figures, but
enables fuller returns to be obtained after the passing of the Act, and
it provides that the amounts of Irish Revenue and Expenditure for the
purposes of the Act shall be, not the figures given in this Paper, but
such sums as may be determined after the passing of the Act, upon the
basis of these fuller returns and of the more accurate figures of
Revenue and Expenditure which will then be available, by the Joint
Exchequer Board.

_Revenue and Expenditure Accounts._

If, however, the estimates given above are assumed, for purposes of
illustration, to be the figures finally determined, the Irish
Government's Budget in the first year would balance as follows:--

    _Revenue._                |    _Expenditure._
                       £      |                         £
Transferred Sum    6,127,000  | All purposes not
Post Office        1,354,000  |  separately
                              |  specified        -  5,462,000
Fee Stamps            81,000  | Post Office       -  1,600,000
                              |                     ----------
                              |                      7,062,000
                              |     Surplus       -    500,000*
                  ----------  |                     ----------
     Total       - 7,562,000  |     Total          - 7,562,000
* Subject to subsequent reduction as stated above.

The Imperial Government's receipts and expenditure on Irish account
would balance as follows:--

    _Revenue._                |    _Expenditure._
                        £     |                          £
Irish Revenue                 | Transferred Sum      6,127,000
 (excluding Post              | Old Age Pensions     2,664,000
 Office and fee               | National Insurance
 stamps)            9,404,000 | and Labour
Deficit             2,015,000 | Exchanges              191,500
                              | Land Purchase--
                              |  (1.) Land
                              |    Commission          592,000
                              |  (2.) Other
                              |    Charges             169,000
                              | Constabulary         1,377,500
                              | Collection of
                              |  Revenue               298,000
                   ---------- |                      ----------
                   11,419,000 |              Total  11,419,000

_Powers of Varying Taxation._

The Bill confers on the Irish Parliament the following financial

1. It may add to the rates of Excise Duties, Customs Duties on beer and
spirits, Stamp Duties (with certain exceptions), Land Taxes, or
Miscellaneous Taxes, imposed by the Imperial Parliament.

2. It may add to an extent not exceeding 10 per cent, to the Income
Tax, Death Duties, or Customs Duties other than the duties on beer and
spirits, imposed by the Imperial Parliament.

3. It may levy any new taxes, other than new Customs Duties.

4. It may reduce any tax levied in Ireland, with the exception of
certain Stamp Duties.

The Imperial Treasury will collect the revenue arising from any
increases in taxation enacted by the Irish Parliament in the exercise
of these powers; and an addition will be made to the Transferred Sum of
such amount as the Joint Exchequer Board may determine to be the
produce of the additional taxation. Similarly, if taxation, is reduced
by the Irish Parliament, a deduction will be made from the Transferred
Sum corresponding to the loss of revenue due to the repeal of a tax or
to collection at the lower rates.

The Irish Exchequer will therefore gain or lose by any increase or
decrease in taxation enacted by the Irish Parliament, and the net
revenue of the Imperial Exchequer will remain unaffected by such

If Excise or Customs Duties are imposed at different rates in Great
Britain and Ireland respectively, provision is made for the adjustment
of the taxes paid in respect of articles passing from one country to
the other.

As administrative difficulties might arise in certain cases if the 10
per cent. limitation mentioned above were in terms to prohibit
additions to the taxes in question to an extent of more than 10 per
cent. of the rates of tax, the Bill effects the object in view by
enacting that only such proceeds of the tax as do not exceed 10 per
cent. of the yield of the Imperial tax shall be transferred to the
Irish Exchequer.

The Bill makes no specific reference to the powers of the Imperial
Parliament to levy taxation in Ireland. The provision in clause 1 that
the supreme power and authority of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
shall remain unaffected retains the existing powers of the Imperial
Parliament in this regard.

_Transfer of the Reserved Services to the Irish Government._

After six years, the control of the Royal Irish Constabulary will pass
to the Irish Executive. The Irish Parliament is empowered to assume at
any time, with twelve months' notice, legislative and executive control
with respect to Old Age Pensions, to National Health Insurance, or to
Unemployment Insurance, together with Labour Exchanges. When any such
transfer of Reserved Services is effected, the financial burden will be
assumed by the Irish Exchequer, and an addition will be made to the
Transferred Sum corresponding to the financial relief given to the
Imperial Exchequer.

_Loans and Capital Liabilities._

Loans made for the purposes of land purchase and loans made before the
passing of the Act for other Irish purposes will be among the Reserved
Services, and the payment of interest and sinking fund charges will be
made by the Imperial Exchequer.

New loans may be raised by the Irish Parliament on the security of the
Irish revenue. Provision is also made for enabling the joint Exchequer
Board, if so authorised by the Irish Parliament, to issue the loans and
to meet the interest and sinking fund charges by means of deductions
from the Transferred Sum.

The Bill provides for the apportionment between the two Exchequers of
liability for existing loans raised for Irish services.

_Readjustment when Financial Equilibrium is reached._

When the total revenue received from Ireland by the Imperial Treasury
has been sufficient, during three consecutive years, to meet the total
charges for Irish purposes, the Exchequer Board shall report the fact
with a view to a revision of the financial arrangements. Since it is
impossible now to foresee what services may remain at that time as
Reserved Services, what loans may have been contracted during the
intervening years, and what changes may have been made in the rates of
taxation, the Bill does not attempt to enact the modifications which
may then be desirable.

It contemplates, however, as part of the present financial settlement,
that Parliament will then consider, on the one hand, the fixing of such
contribution by Ireland to the common expenses of the United Kingdom as
may be equitable, and, on the other hand, the transfer to the Irish
Legislature and Government of the control and collection of such taxes
as may be deemed advisable.

The remaining clauses--from 27 to 47--are concerned with readjustments
as to judges, civil servants, police and other matters, and do not vary
substantially from the corresponding clauses in the Bill of 1893
(published in Appendix D). The first meeting of the Irish Parliament
is fixed for the first Tuesday in September, 1913.

There are only two other clauses which require special notice, as
adding fresh provisions to those laid down in the Bill of 1893.

The first is the 26th clause, which gives to the Irish special powers
of representation at Westminster in the case of a revision of the
financial arrangements:--

"For the purpose of revising the financial provisions of this Act in
pursuance of this section, there shall be summoned to the Commons House
of Parliament of the United Kingdom such number of members of the Irish
House of Commons as will make the representation of Ireland in the
Commons House of Parliament of the United Kingdom equivalent to the
representation of Great Britain on the basis of population; and the
members of the Irish House of Commons so summoned shall be deemed to be
members of the Commons House of Parliament of the United Kingdom for
the purpose of any such revision."

The second--Clause 42--provides that Irish laws shall be interpreted
always in legal subordination to Acts of the Imperial Parliament:--

"(2) Where any Act of the Irish Parliament deals with any matter with
respect to which the Irish Parliament have power to make laws which is
dealt with by any Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed
after the passing of this Act and extending to Ireland, the Act of the
Irish Parliament shall be read subject to the Act of the Parliament of
the United Kingdom, and so far as it is repugnant to that Act, but no
further, shall be void."




Year. |  Population. | Decrease. | Decrease  |   Great Britain.
      |              |           | per cent. | Increase per cent.
      |              |           |           +-----------+------------
      |              |           |           | England.  | Scotland.
1841  |  8,196,597   |     --    |    --     |    --     |     --
1851  |  6,574,278   | 1,622,319 |   19.8    |  12.65    |   10.2
1861  |  5,798,967   |   775,311 |   11.8    |  11.9     |    6.0
1871  |  5,412,377   |   386,590 |    6.7    |  13.21    |    9.7
1881  |  5,174,836   |   237,541 |    4.4    |  14.36    |   11.2
1891  |  4,704,750   |   470,086 |    9.1    |  11.65    |    7.8
1901  |  4,458,775   |   245,975 |    5.2    |  12.17    |   11.1
1911  |  4,381,951   |    76,824 |    1.7    |  10.9     |    6.4

N.B.--This Table is compiled from the Preliminary Reports of the Census
of 1911, which give the population returns only as far back as 1841.
There was, of course, a Census of the United Kingdom as early as 1801,
but the official returns extended at first only to England and
Scotland, and it was not until 1813 that there was any official census
of Ireland. Even then it was far from correct. The first trustworthy
Irish Census was that of 1821. For 1821 and 1831 the Census figures are
given in "Whitaker" as follows:--

          1821                6,801,827
          1831                7,767,401

It is probable that the apparent rise of the population from 1821 to
1841 amounts to little more than the more correct taking of the Census
among an illiterate population. But on the whole subject of the rise of
population between 1821 and 1841, see my remarks in Chapter VIII. p.
105. It was due of course very largely to the creation of faggot votes
by Protestant landlords desirous of being returned to Parliament under
the old law before the passing of Catholic Emancipation in 1829. It was
an artificial rise in the poorest section of the population going along
with a steady decline in the general material prosperity of Ireland.
Hence the great collapse of the famine period.


(From Preliminary Census Report, 1911.)

     Year.      | Number of Families.
  1841          | 1,472,787
  1851          | 1,204,319
  1861          | 1,128,300
  1871          | 1,067,598
  1881          |   995,074
  1891          |   932,113
  1901          |   910,256
  1911          |   912,711 _First Increase since 1841._


(From same source.)

  Year.         |  Number of Inhabited Houses.
  1841          | 1,328,839
  1851          | 1,046,223
  1861          |   995,156
  1871          |   961,380
  1881          |   914,108
  1891          |   870,578
  1901          |   858,158
  1911          |   861,057 _First Increase since 1841._


For Decennial Periods, 1852-1910.

Period.   | Average Number of    | Per 1,000 of
          | Emigrants, per year. | Population.
  1852-9  |     115,842          |     15.2
  1860-9  |      85,960          |     15.2
  1870-9  |      60,327          |     11.2
  1880-9  |      80,491          |     16.0
  1890-9  |      44,955          |      9.7
  1900-9  |      35,886          |      8.1
  1910    |      32,457          |      7.4
  1911    |      31,058          |      7.



An Act for the Union of Great Britain and Ireland.--[2d July 1800.]

WHEREAS in pursuance of His Majesty's most gracious Recommendation to
the Two Houses of Parliament in _Great Britain_ and _Ireland_
respectively, to consider of such Measures as might best tend to
strengthen and consolidate the Connection between the Two Kingdoms, the
Two Houses of the Parliament of _Great Britain_ and the Two Houses of
the Parliament of _Ireland_ have severally agreed and resolved, that,
in order to promote and secure the essential Interests of _Great
Britain_ and _Ireland_, and to consolidate the Strength, Power, and
Resources of the _British_ Empire, it will be advisable to concur in
such Measures as may best tend to unite the Two Kingdoms of _Great
Britain_ and _Ireland_ into One Kingdom, in such Manner, and on such
Terms and Conditions, as may be established by the Acts of the
respective Parliaments of _Great Britain_ and _Ireland:_

And whereas, in furtherance of the said Resolution, both Houses of the
said Two Parliaments respectively have likewise agreed upon certain
Articles for effectuating and establishing the said Purposes, in the
Tenor following:


[Sidenote: That _Great Britain_ and _Ireland_ shall, upon _Jan. 1,
1801_, be united into One Kingdom; and that the Titles appertaining to
the Crown &c., shall be such as His Majesty shall be pleased to

That it be the First Article of the Union of the Kingdoms of _Great
Britain_ and _Ireland_, that the said Kingdoms of _Great Britain_ and
_Ireland_ shall, upon the First Day of _January_ which shall be in the
Year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and one, and for ever
after, be united into One Kingdom, by the Name of _The United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland;_ and that the Royal Stile and Titles
appertaining to the Imperial Crown of the said United Kingdom and its
Dependencies; and also the Ensigns, Armorial Flags and Banners thereof,
shall be such as His Majesty, by His Royal Proclamation under the Great
Seal of the United Kingdom, shall be pleased to appoint.


[Sidenote: That the Succession to the Crown shall continue limited and
settled as at present.]

That it be the Second Article of Union, that the Succession to the
Imperial Crown of the said United Kingdom, and of the Dominions
thereunto belonging, shall continue limited and settled in the same
Manner as the Succession to the Imperial Crown of the said Kingdoms of
_Great Britain_ and _Ireland_ now stands limited and settled, according
to the existing Laws, and to the Terms of Union between _England_ and


[Sidenote: That the United Kingdom be represented in One Parliament.]

That it be the Third Article of Union, that the said United Kingdom be
represented in One and the same Parliament, to be stiled _The
Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland._


[Sidenote: That the Number of Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and of
Commoners herein specified, shall sit and vote on the Part of _Ireland_
in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.]

That it be the Fourth Article of Union, that Four Lords Spiritual of
_Ireland_ by Rotation of Sessions, and Twenty-eight Lords Temporal of
_Ireland_ elected for Life by the Peers of _Ireland_, shall be the
Number to sit and vote on the Part of _Ireland_ in the House of Lords
of the Parliament of the United Kingdom; and One hundred Commoners (Two
for each County of _Ireland_, Two for the City of _Dublin_, Two for the
City of _Cork_, One for the University of _Trinity College_, and One
for each of the Thirty-one most considerable Cities, Towns, and
Boroughs), be the Number to sit and vote on the Part of _Ireland_ in
the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom:

[Sidenote: That such Act as shall be passed in _Ireland_ to regulate
the Mode of summoning and returning the Lords and Commoners to serve in
the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall be considered as Part of the
Treaty of the Union.]

That such Act as shall be passed in the Parliament of _Ireland_
previous to the Union, to regulate the Mode by which the Lords
Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons, to serve in the Parliament of
the United Kingdom on the Part of _Ireland_, shall be summoned and
returned to the said Parliament, shall be considered as forming Part of
the Treaty of Union, and shall be incorporated in the Acts of the
respective Parliaments by which the said Union shall be ratified and

Here follow clauses making provision (1) that the House of Lords shall
decide all questions of rotation or election in regard to Peers from
Ireland, (2) that Irish Peers not sitting in the Lords may be elected
to Commons, but loses thereby all privileges of Peerage, (3) that the
Crown may create Irish Peerages in proportion of one for each three
that become extinct until the Irish Peerage is reduced to 100, when
they can go on creating enough to keep up to the 100.

The rest of this article consists of machinery provisions.


[Sidenote: The Churches of _England_ and _Ireland_ to be united into
One Protestant Episcopal Church, and the Doctrine of the Church of
_Scotland_ to remain as now established.]

That it be the Fifth Article of Union, That the Churches of _England_
and _Ireland_, as now by Law established, be united into One Protestant
Episcopal Church, to be called, _The United Church of England and
Ireland_; and that the Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government of
the said United Church shall be, and shall remain in full force for
ever, as the same are now by Law established for the Church of
_England_; and that the Continuance and Preservation of the said United
Church, as the established Church of _England_ and _Ireland_, shall be
deemed and taken to be an essential and fundamental Part of the Union;
and that in like Manner the Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and
Government of the Church of _Scotland_, shall remain and be preserved
as the same are now established by Law, and by the Acts for the Union
of the Two Kingdoms of _England_ and _Scotland_.


places Irish subjects under same laws and provisions in regard to trade
and navigation prohibitions and bounties, imports and exports, and
provides for the gradual abolition of customs duties between Great
Britain and Ireland.


provides that the Irish National Debt shall be kept distinct from the
British National Debt. It fixes the proportions of contributions to
revenue at 15 for Great Britain as to 2 for Ireland for 20 years. To be
revised at the end of 20 years on a variety of alternative bases of
calculation (Customs, trade, income, etc.). The contributions to be
raised in both countries by taxes fixed by the United Parliament, and
Parliament to have power to vary taxes, unify debt, and any Irish
surplus to be reduced by reduction of taxation. Loans in future to be


first recites that all present laws to remain in force till repealed.
Provides also that these Articles not to become Act until passed by

Ends by reciting the measure to be passed through Irish Parliament
regulating the representation of Ireland at Westminster after 1801.



(1) THE BILL OF 1886.

[Sidenote: A.D. 1886]

A Bill to Amend the provision for the future Government of Ireland.

BE it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the
advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in
this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as


_Legislative Authority._

[Sidenote: Establishment of Irish Legislature.]

1. On and after the appointed day there shall be established in Ireland
a Legislature consisting of Her Majesty the Queen and an Irish
Legislative Body.

[Sidenote: Powers of Irish Legislature.]

2. With the exceptions and subject to the restrictions in this Act
mentioned, it shall be lawful for Her Majesty the Queen, by and with
the advice of the Irish Legislative Body, to make laws for the peace,
order, and good government of Ireland, and by any such law to alter and
repeal any law in Ireland.

[Sidenote: Exceptions from powers of Irish Legislature.]

3. The Legislature of Ireland shall not make laws relating to the
following matters or any of them:--

    (1.) The status or dignity of the Crown, or the succession to
         the Crown, or a Regency;

    (2.) The making of peace or war;

    (3.) The army, navy, militia, volunteers, or other military or
         naval forces, or the defence of the realm;

    (4.) Treaties and other relations with foreign States, or the
         relations between the various parts of Her Majesty's

    (5.) Dignities or titles of honour;

    (6.) Prize or booty of war;

    (7.) Offences against the law of nations; or offences committed
         in violation of any treaty made, or hereafter to be made,
         between Her Majesty and any foreign State; or offences
         committed on the high seas;

    (8.) Treason, alienage, or naturalization;

    (9.) Trade, navigation, or quarantine;

   (10.) The postal and telegraph service, except as hereafter in
         this Act mentioned with respect to the transmission of
         letters and telegrams in Ireland;

   (11.) Beacons, lighthouses, or sea marks;

   (12.) The coinage; the value of foreign money; legal tender; or
         weights and measures; or

   (13.) Copyright, patent rights, or other exclusive rights to the
         use or profits of any works or inventions.

Any law made in contravention of this section shall be void.

[Sidenote: Restrictions on powers of Irish Legislature.]

4. The Irish Legislature shall not make any law--

    (1.) Respecting the establishment or endowment of religion, or
         prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or

    (2.) Imposing any disability, or conferring any privilege, on
         account of religious belief; or

    (3.) Abrogating or derogating from the right to establish or
         maintain any place of denominational education or any
         denominational institution or charity; or

    (4.) Prejudicially affecting the right of any child to attend a
         school receiving public money without attending the
         religious instruction at that school; or

    (5.) Impairing, without either the leave of Her Majesty in
         Council first obtained on an address presented by the
         Legislative Body of Ireland, or the consent of the
         corporation interested, the rights, property, or privileges
         of any existing corporation incorporated by royal charter
         or local and general Act of Parliament; or

    (6.) Imposing or relating to duties of customs and duties of
         excise, as defined by this Act, or either of such duties or
         affecting any Act relating to such duties or any of them;

    (7.) Affecting this Act, except in so far as it is declared to
         be alterable by the Irish Legislature.

[Sidenote: Prerogatives of Her Majesty as to Irish Legislative Body.]

5. Her Majesty the Queen shall have the same prerogatives with respect
to summoning, proroguing, and dissolving the Irish Legislative Body as
Her Majesty has with respect to summoning, proroguing, and dissolving
the Imperial Parliament.

[Sidenote: Duration of the Irish Legislative Body.]

6. The Irish Legislative Body whenever summoned may have continuance
for _five years_ and no longer, to be reckoned from the day on which
any such Legislative Body is appointed to meet.

_Executive Authority._

[Sidenote: Constitution of the Executive Authority.]

7.--(1.) The Executive Government of Ireland shall continue vested in
Her Majesty, and shall be carried on by the Lord Lieutenant on behalf
of Her Majesty with the aid of such officers and such council as to Her
Majesty may from time to time seem fit.

(2.) Subject to any instructions which may from time to time be given
by Her Majesty, the Lord Lieutenant shall give or withhold the assent
of Her Majesty to Bills passed by the Irish Legislative Body, and shall
exercise the prerogatives of Her Majesty in respect of the summoning,
proroguing, and dissolving of the Irish Legislative Body, and any
prerogatives the exercise of which may be delegated to him by Her

[Sidenote: Use of Crown lands by Irish Government.]

8. Her Majesty may, by Order in Council, from time to time place under
the control of the Irish Government, for the purposes of that
Government, any such lands and buildings in Ireland as may be vested in
or held in trust for Her Majesty.

_Constitution of Legislative Body._

[Sidenote: Constitution of Irish Legislative Body.]

9.--(1.) The Irish Legislative Body shall consist of a first and second

(2.) The two orders shall deliberate together, and shall vote together,
except that, if any question arises in relation to legislation or to
the Standing Orders or Rules of Procedure or to any other matter in
that behalf in this Act specified, and such question is to be
determined by vote, each order shall, if a majority of the members
present of either order demand a separate vote, give their votes in
like manner as if they were separate Legislative Bodies; and if the
result of the voting of the two orders does not agree the question
shall be resolved in the negative.

[Sidenote: First order.]

10.--(1.) The first order of the Irish Legislative Body shall consist
of one hundred and three members, of whom seventy-five shall be
elective members and twenty-eight peerage members.

(2.) Each elective member shall at the date of his election and during
his period of membership be bonâ fide possessed of property which--

    (a.) if realty, or partly realty and partly personalty,
         yields two hundred pounds a year or upwards, free of all
         charges; or

    (b.) if personalty yields the same income, or is of the
         capital value of four thousand pounds or upwards, free of
         all charges.

(2.) For the purpose of electing the elective members of the first
order of the Legislative Body, Ireland shall be divided into the
electoral districts specified in the First Schedule to this Act, and
each such district shall return the number of members in that behalf
specified in that Schedule.

(3.) The elective members shall be elected by the registered electors
of each electoral district, and for that purpose a register of electors
shall be made annually.

(4.) An elector in each electoral district shall be qualified as
follows, that is to say, he shall be of full age and not subject to any
legal incapacity, and shall have been during the twelve months next
preceding the _twentieth day of July_ in any year the owner or occupier
of some land or tenement within the district of a net annual value of
twenty-five pounds or upwards.

(5.) The term of office of an elective member shall be _ten years_.

(6.) In every fifth year thirty-seven or thirty-eight of the elective
members, as the case requires, shall retire from office, and their
places shall be filled by election; the members to retire shall be
those who have been members for the longest time without re-election.

(7.) The offices of the peerage members shall be filled as follows;
that is to say,--

    (a.) Each of the Irish peers who on the appointed day is one
         of the twenty-eight Irish representative peers, shall, on
         giving his written assent to the Lord Lieutenant, become a
         peerage member of the first order of the Irish Legislative
         Body; and if at any time within _thirty years_ after the
         appointed day any such peer vacates his office by death or
         resignation, the vacancy shall be filled by the election
         to that office by the Irish peers of one of their number
         in manner heretofore in use respecting the election of
         Irish representative peers, subject to adaptation as
         provided by this Act, and if the vacancy is not so filled
         within the proper time it shall be filled by the election
         of an elective member.

    (b.) If any of the twenty-eight peers aforesaid does not
         within _one month_ after the appointed day give such assent
         to be a peerage member of the first order, the vacancy so
         created shall be filled up as if he had assented and
         vacated his office by resignation.

(8.) A peerage member shall be entitled to hold office during his life
or until the expiration of _thirty years_ from the appointed day,
whichever period is the shortest. At the expiration of such _thirty
years_ the offices of all the peerage members shall be vacated as if
they were dead, and their places shall be filled by elective members
qualified and elected in manner provided by this Act with respect to
elective members of the first order, and such elective members may be
distributed by the Irish Legislature among the electoral districts, so,
however, that care shall be taken to give additional members to the
most populous places.

(9.) The offices of members of the first order shall not be vacated by
the dissolution of the Legislative Body.

(10.) The provisions in the Second Schedule to this Act relating to
members of the first order of the Legislative Body shall be of the same
force as if they were enacted in the body of this Act.

[Sidenote: Second order.]

11.--(1.) Subject as in this section hereafter mentioned, the second
order of the Legislative Body shall consist of two hundred and four

(2.) The members of the second order shall be chosen by the existing
constituencies of Ireland, two by each constituency, with the exception
of the city of Cork, which shall be divided into two divisions in
manner set forth in the Third Schedule to this Act, and two members
shall be chosen by each of such divisions.

(3.) Any person who, on the appointed day, is a member representing an
existing Irish constituency in the House of Commons shall, on giving
his written assent to the Lord Lieutenant, become a member of the
second order of the Irish Legislative Body as if he had been elected by
the constituency which he was representing in the House of Commons.
Each of the members for the city of Cork, on the said day, may elect
for which of the divisions of that city he wishes to be deemed to have
been elected.

(4.) If any member does not give such written assent within _one month_
after the appointed day, his place shall be filled by election in the
same manner and at the same time as if he had assented and vacated his
office by death.

(5.) If the same person is elected to both orders, he shall, within
_seven days_ after the meeting of the Legislative Body, or if the Body
is sitting at the time of the election, within _seven days_ after the
election, elect in which order he will serve, and his membership of the
other order shall be void and be filled by a fresh election.

(6.) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, it shall be lawful for the
Legislature of Ireland at any time to pass an Act enabling the Royal
University of Ireland to return not more than two members to the second
order of the Irish Legislative Body in addition to the number of
members above mentioned.

(7.) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, it shall be lawful for the
Irish Legislature, after the first dissolution of the Legislative Body
which occurs, to alter the constitution or election of the second order
of that body, due regard being had in the distribution of members to
the population of the constituencies; provided that no alteration
shall be made in the number of such order.

Clauses 12 to 20 are the Finance Clauses, which are dealt with at the
end of this Appendix.


21. The following regulations shall be made with respect to police in

(_a._) The Dublin Metropolitan Police shall continue and be subject as
heretofore to the control of the Lord Lieutenant as representing Her
Majesty for a period of _two years_ from the passing of this Act, and
thereafter until any alteration is made by Act of the Legislature of
Ireland, but such Act shall provide for the proper saving of all then
existing interests, whether as regards pay, pensions, superannuation
allowances, or otherwise.

(_b._) The Royal Irish Constabulary shall, while that force subsists,
continue and be subject as heretofore to the control of the Lord
Lieutenant as representing Her Majesty.

(_c._) The Irish Legislature may provide for the establishment and
maintenance of a police force in counties and boroughs in Ireland under
the control of local authorities, and arrangements may be made between
the Treasury and the Irish Government for the establishment and
maintenance of police reserves.

Clause 22 reserves to the Crown the power of erecting forts, dockyards,

_Legislative Body._

[Sidenote: Veto by first order of Legislative Body, how over-ruled.]

23. If a Bill or any provision of a Bill is lost by disagreement
between the two orders of the Legislative Body, and after a period
ending with a dissolution of the Legislative Body, or the period of
_three years_ whichever period is longest, such Bill, or a Bill
containing the said provision, is again considered by the Legislative
Body, and such Bill or provision is adopted by the second order and
negatived by the first order, the same shall be submitted to the whole
Legislative Body, both orders of which shall vote together on the Bill
or provision, and the same shall be adopted or rejected according to
the decision of the majority of the members so voting together.

[Sidenote: Ceaser of power of Ireland to return members to Parliament.]

24. On and after the appointed day Ireland shall cease, except in the
event hereafter in this Act mentioned, to return representative peers
to the House of Lords or members to the House of Commons, and the
persons who on the said day are such representative peers and members
shall cease as such to be members of the House of Lords and House of
Commons respectively.

Clause 25 refers constitutional questions to the Judicial Committee of
the Privy Council.

Clause 26 abolishes religious test for the Lord Lieutenant.

Clauses 27-30 safeguards interests of Judges and Civil Servants.

Clauses 31-36, transitory and miscellaneous.

37. Save as herein expressly provided all matters in relation to which
it is not competent for the Irish Legislative Body to make or repeal
laws shall remain and be within the exclusive authority of the Imperial
Parliament save as aforesaid, whose power and authority in relation
thereto shall in nowise be diminished or restrained by anything herein

Clause 38 continues existing laws, courts and officers.

[Sidenote: Mode of alteration of Act.]

39.--(1.) On and after the appointed day this Act shall not, except
such provisions thereof as are declared to be alterable by the
Legislature of Ireland, be altered except--

    (a.) by Act of the Imperial Parliament and with the consent
         of the Irish Legislative Body testified by an address to
         Her Majesty, or

    (b.) by an Act of the Imperial Parliament for the passing of
         which there shall be summoned to the House of Lords the
         peerage members of the first order of the Irish Legislative
         Body, and if there are no such members then twenty-eight
         Irish representative peers elected by the Irish peers in
         manner heretofore in use, subject to adaptation as provided
         by this Act; and there shall be summoned to the House of
         Commons such one of the members of each constituency, or in
         the case of a constituency returning four members such two
         of those members, as the Legislative Body of Ireland may
         select, and such peers and members shall respectively be
         deemed, for the purpose of passing any such Act, to be
         members of the said Houses of Parliament respectively.

(2.) For the purposes of this section it shall be lawful for Her
Majesty by Order in Council to make such provisions for summoning the
said peers of Ireland to the House of Lords and the said members from
Ireland to the House of Commons as to Her Majesty may seem necessary or
proper, and any provisions contained in such Order in Council shall
have the same effect as if they had been enacted by Parliament.

Clause 40, definition clause.

_Summary of Finance Provisions._

(Clauses 12-20.)

Clause 13. The Irish Parliament is to have the right to impose all
taxes except customs and excise.

The Irish Parliament to pay annually to the British Exchequer these
sums, fixed at the level for the following 30 years:--

 £1,466,000 as interest on the Irish share in the National Debt.
  1,666,000 towards the Army and Navy.
    110,000 towards the Imperial Civil expenditure.
  1,000,000 towards the Irish Constabulary.
 £4,242,000 in all.

The Irish Exchequer to pay annually £360,000 towards the reduction of
the National Debt, and their payment of interest to be reduced in

If any reduction takes place in Army and Navy to the extent of reducing
British proportions below 15 times the Irish, then the Irish to be
reduced by 1-15th.

The Irish Government to receive the revenues of Crown Lands in Ireland.

If the Irish Constabulary is reduced, then the Irish contribution
towards Constabulary to be reduced accordingly.

Clause 14. The first charge for the Irish contributions to be on the
customs and excise collected in Ireland. The rest to go to the Irish

The first charge on other Irish taxes to be (1) any deficit in Irish
contribution to British Exchequer, (2) any interest on any Irish debt,
(3) Irish public service, (4) Irish judges, etc.

Duty laid upon Irish Government to raise taxes equal to paying these

Clauses 16 and 17. Provisions as to Irish Church Fund and Irish loans
(now obsolete).

Clause 18. In case of war Irish Government "_may_" contribute more
money for the prosecution of war.

Clauses 19 and 20. Machinery clauses.

(2) THE BILL OF 1893.

[Sidenote: A.D. 1893.]

A Bill intitled an Act to amend the provision for the Government of

WHEREAS it is expedient that without impairing or restricting the
supreme authority of Parliament, an Irish Legislature should be created
for such purposes in Ireland as in this Act mentioned:

Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and
with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and
Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of
the same, as follows:

_Legislative Authority._

[Sidenote: Establishment of Irish Legislature.]

1. On and after the appointed day there shall be in Ireland a
Legislature consisting of Her Majesty the Queen and of two Houses, the
Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly.

[Sidenote: Powers of Irish Legislature.]

2. With the exceptions and subject to the restrictions in this Act
mentioned, there shall be granted to the Irish Legislature power to
make laws for the peace, order, and good government of Ireland in
respect of matters exclusively relating to Ireland or some part
thereof. Provided that, notwithstanding anything in this Act contained,
the supreme power and authority of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland shall remain unaffected and undiminished
over all persons, matters, and things within the Queen's dominions.

[Sidenote: Exceptions from powers of Irish Legislature.]

3. The Irish Legislature shall not have power to make laws in respect
of the following matters or any of them:--

    (1.) The Crown, or the succession to the Crown, or a Regency;
         or the Lord Lieutenant as representative of the Crown; or

    (2.) The making of peace or war or matters arising from a state
         of war; or the regulation of the conduct of any portion of
         Her Majesty's subjects during the existence of hostilities
         between foreign states with which Her Majesty is at peace,
         in respect of such hostilities; or

    (3.) Navy, army, militia, volunteers, and any other military
         forces, or the defence of the realm, or forts, permanent
         military camps, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other
         needful buildings, or any places purchased for the erection
         thereof; or

    (4.) Authorising either the carrying or using of arms for
         military purposes, or the formation of associations for
         drill or practice in the use of arms for military purposes;

    (5.) Treaties or any relations with foreign States, or the
         relations between different parts of Her Majesty's
         dominions, or offences connected with such treaties or
         relations, or procedure connected with the extradition of
         criminals under any treaty; or

    (6.) Dignities or titles of honour; or

    (7.) Treason, treason-felony, alienage, aliens as such, or
         naturalization; or

    (8.) Trade with any place out of Ireland; or quarantine, or
         navigation, including merchant shipping (except as respects
         inland waters and local health or harbour regulations); or

    (9.) Lighthouses, buoys, or beacons within the meaning of the
         Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, and the Acts amending the same
         (except so far as they can consistently with any general
         Act of Parliament be constructed or maintained by a local
         harbour authority); or

   (10.) Coinage; legal tender; or any change in the standard of
         weights and measures; or

   (11.) Trade marks, designs, merchandise marks, copyright, or
         patent rights.

Provided always, that nothing in this section shall prevent the passing
of any Irish Act to provide for any charges imposed by Act of
Parliament, or to prescribe conditions regulating importation from any
place outside Ireland for the sole purpose of preventing the
introduction of any contagious disease.

It is hereby declared that the exceptions from the powers of the Irish
Legislature contained in this section are set forth and enumerated for
greater certainty, and not so as to restrict the generality of the
limitation imposed in the previous section on the powers of the Irish

Any law made in contravention of this section shall be void.

4. The powers of the Irish Legislature shall not extend to the making
of any law--

    (1.) Respecting the establishment or endowment of religion,
         whether directly or indirectly, or prohibiting the free
         exercise thereof; or

    (2.) Imposing any disability, or conferring any privilege,
         advantage, or benefit, on account of religious belief, or
         raising or appropriating directly or indirectly, save as
         heretofore, any public revenue for any religious purpose,
         or for the benefit of the holder of any religious office as
         such; or

    (3.) Diverting the property or without its consent altering the
         constitution of any religious body; or

    (4.) Abrogating or prejudicially affecting the right to
         establish or maintain any place of denominational education
         or any denominational institution or charity; or

    (5.) Whereby there may be established and endowed out of public
         funds any theological professorship or any university or
         college in which the conditions set out in the University
         of Dublin Tests Act, 1873, are not observed; or

    (6.) Prejudicially affecting the right of any child to attend a
         school receiving public money, without attending the
         religious instruction at that school; or

    (7.) Directly or indirectly imposing any disability, or
         conferring any privilege, benefit, or advantage upon any
         subject of the Crown on account of his parentage or place
         of birth, or of the place where any part of his business is
         carried on, or upon any corporation or institution
         constituted or existing by virtue of the law of some part
         of the Queen's dominions, and carrying on operations in
         Ireland, on account of the persons by whom or in whose
         favour or the place in which any of its operations are
         carried on; or

    (8.) Whereby any person may be deprived of life, liberty, or
         property without due process of law in accordance with
         settled principles and precedents, or may be denied the
         equal protection of the laws, or whereby private property
         may be taken without just compensation; or

    (9.) Whereby any existing corporation incorporated by Royal
         Charter or by any local or general Act of Parliament may,
         unless it consents, or the leave of Her Majesty is first
         obtained on address from the two Houses of the Irish
         Legislature, be deprived of its rights, privileges, or
         property without due process of law in accordance with
         settled principles and precedents, and so far as respects
         property without just compensation. Provided nothing in
         this subsection shall prevent the Irish Legislature from
         dealing with any public department, municipal corporation,
         or local authority, or with any corporation administering
         for public purposes taxes, rates, cess, dues, or tolls, so
         far as concerns the same.

Any law made in contravention of this section shall be void.

_Executive Authority._

5.--(1.) The executive power in Ireland shall continue vested in Her
Majesty the Queen, and the Lord Lieutenant, or other chief executive
officer or officers for the time being appointed in his place, on
behalf of Her Majesty, shall exercise any prerogatives or other
executive power of the Queen the exercise of which may be delegated to
him by Her Majesty, and shall, in Her Majesty's name, summon, at least
once in every year, prorogue, and dissolve the Irish Legislature; and
every instrument conveying any such delegation of any prerogative or
other executive power shall be presented to the two Houses of
Parliament as soon as conveniently may be. Provided always that the
lieutenants of counties shall be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant of
Ireland as representing Her Majesty.

(2.) There shall be an Executive Committee of the Privy Council of
Ireland to aid and advise in the government of Ireland, being of such
numbers, and comprising persons holding such offices under the Crown as
Her Majesty or, if so authorised, the Lord Lieutenant may think fit,
save as may be otherwise directed by Irish Act.

(3.) The Lord Lieutenant shall, on the advice of the said Executive
Committee, give or withhold the assent of Her Majesty to Bills passed
by the two Houses of the Irish Legislature, subject nevertheless to any
instructions given by Her Majesty in respect of any such Bill.

6. All the powers and jurisdiction to be exercised in accordance with
the provisions of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 1870, and the Fugitive
Offenders Act, 1881, by the Lord Lieutenant or Lord Justices, or other
Chief Governor or Governors of Ireland, or the Chief Secretary of the
Lord Lieutenant, shall be exercised by the Lord Lieutenant in pursuance
of instructions given by Her Majesty.

_Constitution of Legislature._

7.--(1.) The Irish Legislative Council shall consist of forty-eight

(2.) Each of the constituencies mentioned in the First Schedule to this
Act shall return the number of councillors named opposite thereto in
that schedule.

(3.) Every man shall be entitled to be registered as an elector, and
when registered to vote at an election, of a councillor for a
constituency, who owns or occupies any land or tenement in the
constituency of a rateable value of more than twenty pounds, subject to
the like conditions as a man is entitled at the passing of this Act to
be registered and vote as a parliamentary elector in respect of an
ownership qualification or of the qualification specified in section
five of the Representation of the People Act, 1884, as the case may be:
Provided that a man shall not be entitled to be registered, nor if
registered to vote, at an election of a councillor in more than one
constituency in the same year.

(4.) The term of office of every councillor shall be eight years, and
shall not be affected by a dissolution; and one half of the councillors
shall retire in every fourth year, and their seats shall be filled by a
new election.

8.--(1.) The Irish Legislative Assembly shall consist of one hundred
and three members, returned by the existing parliamentary
constituencies in Ireland, or the existing divisions thereof, and
elected by the parliamentary electors for the time being in those
constituencies or divisions.

(2.) The Irish Legislative Assembly when summoned may, unless sooner
dissolved, have continuance for five years from the day on which the
summons directs it to meet and no longer.

(3.) After six years from the passing of this Act, the Irish
Legislature may alter the qualification of the electors, and the
constituencies, and the distribution of the members among the
constituencies, provided that in such distribution due regard is had to
the population of the constituencies.

9. If a Bill or any provision of a Bill adopted by the Legislative
Assembly is lost by the disagreement of the Legislative Council, and
after a dissolution, or the period of two years from such disagreement,
such Bill, or a Bill for enacting the said provision, is again adopted
by the Legislative Assembly and fails within three months afterwards to
be adopted by the Legislative Council, the same shall forthwith be
submitted to the members of the two Houses deliberating and voting
together thereon, and shall be adopted or rejected according to the
decision of the majority of those members present and voting on the

_Irish Representation in House of Commons._

10. Unless and until Parliament otherwise determines, the following
provisions shall have effect--

    (1.) After the appointed day each of the constituencies named
         in the Second Schedule to this Act shall return to serve
         in Parliament the number of members named opposite thereto
         in that schedule, and no more, and Dublin University shall
         cease to return any member.

    (2.) The existing divisions of the constituencies shall, save as
         provided in that schedule, be abolished.

    (3.) The election laws and the laws relating to the
         qualification of parliamentary electors shall not, so far
         as they relate to parliamentary elections, be altered by
         the Irish Legislature, but this enactment shall not prevent
         the Irish Legislature from dealing with any officers
         concerned with the issue of writs of election, and if any
         officers are so dealt with, it shall be lawful for Her
         Majesty by Order in Council to arrange for the issue of
         such writs, and the writs issued in pursuance of such Order
         shall be of the same effect as if issued in manner
         heretofore accustomed.

Clauses 11-20 are the finance clauses, which are dealt with at the end
of this Appendix.

Clauses 21 and 22 substitute the Judicial Committee of the Privy
Council as Court of Appeal for Ireland in place of House of Lords.

Clause 23 abolishes religious test for the Lord Lieutenant.

Clauses 25-28 safeguard interests of Judges, Civil Servants.

29.--(1.) The forces of the Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin
Metropolitan Police shall, when and as local police forces are from
time to time established in Ireland in accordance with the Fifth
Schedule to this Act, be gradually reduced and ultimately cease to
exist as mentioned in that Schedule; and thereupon the Acts relating to
such forces shall be repealed, and no forces organised and armed in
like manner, or otherwise than according to the accustomed manner of a
civil police, shall be created under any Irish Act; and after the
passing of this Act, no officer or man shall be appointed to either of
those forces;

Provided that until the expiration of six years from the appointed day,
nothing in this Act shall require the Lord Lieutenant to cause either
of the said forces to cease to exist, if as representing Her Majesty
the Queen he considers it inexpedient.

Sections (2) to (5) safeguard interests of existing police.

Clauses 30-33. Miscellaneous.

34.--(1.) During three years from the passing of this Act, and if
Parliament is then sitting until the end of that session of Parliament,
the Irish Legislature shall not pass an Act respecting the relations of
landlord and tenant, or the sale, purchase, or letting of land
generally: Provided that nothing in this section shall prevent the
passing of any Irish Act with a view to the purchase of land for
railways, harbours, waterworks, town improvements, or other local

(2.) During six years from the passing of this Act, the appointment of
a judge of the Supreme Court or other superior court in Ireland (other
than one of the Exchequer judges) shall be made in pursuance of a
warrant from Her Majesty countersigned as heretofore.

Clause 35. Transitory.

Clause 39. Definitions, etc.

_Summary of Finance Provisions._

(Clauses 11-20.)

The General Revenue of Ireland to be kept apart as specified. One-third
to be allocated to Imperial expenditure. Two-thirds to form the special
revenue of Ireland and to be spent in purely Irish expenditure.

War taxes to be imposed on Ireland simultaneously and identically with
Great Britain and to be paid into the British exchequer.

After six years all taxation except customs and excise to be
transferred to Ireland and all these arrangements to be revised.



This Board was set up in 1899 by the Agriculture and Technical
Instruction (Ireland) Act.

The constructive clauses of this Act are the following:--

Clause 1 establishes a Department of Agriculture, its powers to be
exercised either by the President or Vice-President.

Clauses 2, 3, 4 and 5 define its powers.

Part II. creates the advisory machinery to which reference is made in
the text, and they run as follows:--

_Consultative Council, Agricultural Board and Board of Technical
Instruction, and Financial Provisions._

7. For the purpose of assisting the Department in carrying out the
objects of this Act there shall be established--

     (a) a Council of Agriculture;

     (b) an Agricultural Board; and

     (c) a Board of Technical Instruction.

8.--(1.) The Council of Agriculture shall consist of the following

    (a) Two persons to be appointed by the county council of each
         county (other than a county borough) in each province; and

    (b) A number of persons resident in each province equal to the
         number of counties (exclusive of county boroughs) in the
         province, to be appointed by the Department with due regard
         to the representation on the council of any agricultural or
         industrial organisations in the province.

(2.) For the purposes of this section the county of Cork shall be
regarded as two counties, and four persons shall be appointed by the
council of that county.

(3.) The members representing each province shall constitute separate
committees on the Council and shall be styled the provincial committees
of the respective provinces.

9. The Agricultural Board shall consist of the following members:--

    (a.) Two persons to be appointed by the provincial committee
         of each province; and

    (b.) Four persons to be appointed by the Department.

10. The Board of Technical Instruction shall consist of the following

    (a.) Three persons to be appointed by the county council of
         each of the county boroughs of Dublin and Belfast;

    (b.) One person to be appointed by a joint committee of the
         councils of the several urban county districts in the
         county of Dublin; such committee to consist of one member
         chosen out of their body by the council of each such

    (c.) One person to be appointed by the council of each county
         borough not above mentioned;

    (d.) One person to be appointed by the provincial committee of
         each province;

    (e.) One person to be appointed by the Commissioners of National

    (f.) One person to be appointed by the Intermediate Education
         Board; and

    (g.) Four persons to be appointed by the Department.

11. The Council of Agriculture shall meet at least once a year for the
purpose of discussing matters of public interest in connexion with any
of the purposes of this Act.

12. The Agricultural Board shall advise the Department with respect to
all matters and questions submitted to them by the Department in
connexion with the purposes of agriculture and other rural industries.

13. The Board of Technical Instruction shall advise the Department with
respect to all matters and questions submitted to them by the
Department in connexion with technical instruction.



The Report of the Irish Local Government Board for 1911 shows a
reduction in Irish pauperism between March, 1910, and March 26th, 1911,
amounting to over 18,000:--

March 26th, 1910                 99,607
March 25th, 1911                 80,942

An analysis of the figures shows that the reduction is almost entirely
due to the Old-age Pensions Act. There is little or no reduction in
children, lunatics, or mothers, while there are the following
reductions in aged and infirm paupers:--

                                   |  1910.  |   1911. | Reduction.
Aged and infirm in work-houses     | 13,478  |  11,291 |   2,187
                                   |         |         |
Aged and infirm on out-door relief | 51,304  |  35,681 |  15,623
                                                Total  |  17,810

leaving only 855 of the reduction unaccounted for.



The provisions which have revolutionised the land system of Ireland are
contained in Clause 8 of the Land Act of 1881, which runs as follows:--

8.--(1.) The tenant of any present tenancy to which this Act applies,
or such tenant and the landlord jointly, or the landlord, after having
demanded from such tenant an increase of rent which the tenant has
declined to accept, or after the parties have otherwise failed to come
to an agreement, may from time to time during the continuance of such
tenancy apply to the court to fix the fair rent to be paid by such
tenant to the landlord for the holding, and thereupon the court, after
hearing the parties, and having regard to the interest of the landlord
and tenant respectively, and considering all the circumstances of the
case, holding, and district, may determine what is such fair rent.

(2.) The rent fixed by the court (in this Act referred to as the
judicial rent) shall be deemed to be the rent payable by the tenant as
from the period commencing at the rent day next succeeding the decision
of the court.

(3.) Where the judicial rent of any present tenancy has been fixed by
the court, then, until the expiration of a term of fifteen years from
the rent day next succeeding the day on which the determination of the
court has been given (in this Act referred to as a statutory term),
such present tenancy shall (if it so long continue to subsist) be
deemed to be a tenancy subject to statutory conditions, and having the
same incidents as a tenancy subject to statutory conditions consequent
on an increase of rent by a landlord.



The present Congested Districts Board, so often referred to in the
text, is constituted under the following clauses of the Irish Land Act
of 1909:--

45.--(1.) From and after the appointed day, the Congested Districts
Board shall consist of the following members:--

    (a.) The Chief Secretary, the Under Secretary to the Lord
        Lieutenant, and the Vice-President of the Department of
        Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland, who
        shall be ex officio members:

    (b.) Nine members appointed by His Majesty (in this Act
        referred to as appointed members):

    (c.) Two paid members appointed by His Majesty (in this Act
         referred to as permanent members).

(2.) An appointed member shall hold office for five years, and shall be
eligible for re-appointment. On a casual vacancy occurring by reason of
the death, resignation, or incapacity of an appointed member or
otherwise, the person appointed by His Majesty to fill the vacancy
shall continue in office until the member in whose place he was
appointed would have retired, and shall then retire.

46.--(1.) For the purposes of the Congested Districts Board (Ireland)
Acts, as amended by this Act, each of the following administrative
counties, that is to say, the counties of Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim,
Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, and Kerry, shall be a congested districts
county, the six rural districts of Ballyvaghan, Ennistymon, Kilrush,
Scariff, Tulla, and Killadysert, in the county of Clare, shall together
form one congested districts county, and the four rural districts of
Bantry, Castletown, Schull, and Skibbereen, in the county of Cork,
shall together form one congested districts county.

(2.) No electoral division shall, after the passing of this Act, be or
form part of a congested districts county, unless it is included in a
congested districts county constituted under this section.

The Act follows closely on the lines of the Report of the 1908
Commission, and places a third of Ireland under the Board.



(1.) That such waterways in Ireland as, on a review of all the facts,
your Majesty's Government may deem of importance to the cause of cheap
inland transport, should come under State control; and

(2.) That a Controlling Authority should be constituted for the purpose
of taking over those inland waterways which are already under the
control of the State, of Local Authorities, or of a public trust, and
of acquiring such other waterways as are determined to be of importance
either to the drainage of the country, or to the cause of cheap inland


The principal recommendation of the Majority Report of the Viceregal
Commission on Irish Railways (1910) runs as follows:--

      (1.) That an Irish Authority be instituted to acquire the
    Irish Railways and work them as a single system.

      (2.) That this Authority be a Railway Board of twenty
    Directors, four nominated and sixteen elected.

      (3.) That the general terms of purchase be those prescribed by
    the Regulation of Railways Act of 1844 (7 and 8 Vic. cap. 85.
    sec. 2), with supplementary provisions as to redemption of
    guarantees, and purchase of non-dividend paying or non-profit
    earning lines.

      (4.) That the financial medium be a Railway Stock; and that
    such stock be charged upon (1) the Consolidated Fund; (2) the
    net revenues of the unified Railway system; (3) an annual grant
    from the Imperial Exchequer; and (4) a general rate, to be
    struck by the Irish Railway Authority if and when required.



  Canada                10
  Australia              7
  South Africa           5
  Newfoundland           1
  New Zealand            1
      Total             24

Besides these Autonomous Parliaments--

    (1.) India has also now seven "Legislative Councils," partly

    (2.) The Isle of Man has "House of Keys," with almost complete
         legislative power.

    (3.) The Channel Islands have their own semi-independent
         governing Assemblies.

    (4.) The Crown Colonies have Assemblies possessing a
         considerable local representative element.

WYMAN & SONS, LTD., Printers, Fetter Lane, London, E.C.; and Reading.

       *       *       *       *       *

    | Typographical errors corrected in text:                   |
    |                                                           |
    | Page 146: etablished replaced with established            |
    | Page 176: intituled replaced with intitled                |
    |                                                           |

       *       *       *       *       *

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