"Most important of all, the Irish language is one of the things that distinguish us from England. It is a mark of that separateness which it is the business of every Nationalist to maintain and emphasise on every possible occasion. It is one of the signs—perhaps the chief sign—of nationality.... The Irish language is a weapon in our fight against England, and we cannot afford to throw away even the smallest weapon that may serve us in that struggle."
And the policy of the League as regards the primary schools is made quite clear by the resolution passed unanimously at their annual meeting in 1912:—
"That we re-affirm the demand of the last Ard Fheis in regard to the position of Irish in the primary schools, viz., that Irish be the sole medium of instruction in the Irish-speaking districts; that it be the medium as far as possible in all other schools, and that it be a compulsory subject in every school throughout the country where parents are not opposed to it; furthermore, that a knowledge of Irish be required from all teachers entering for training as teachers, and that no certificate be issued to those who fail to qualify in Irish at the final examination, and that none but inspectors having a knowledge of Irish be employed to inspect schools where Irish is taught."
It will be seen therefore that if the League carry their point (as no doubt they will under a Home Rule Government) no graduate of the Belfast University who wishes to become a teacher in a Belfast school will be allowed to do so unless he passes an examination in a language which not one of his pupils will ever wish to learn; and this, not for the purpose of ensuring general culture, but to further a political object with which he has no sympathy.
The League leave no stone unturned in their efforts to substitute the Irish for the English language. For instance, it is usually considered in other countries that the names of the streets of a town are put up in order to help people who want to find their way, and not for political reasons. But in Dublin, where not one per cent. of the people can read Irish, the names have recently all been painted up in that language, in the hope of de-Anglicizing the rising generation. An incident occurred recently which will show how the movement is being taken up. There is in Dublin an excellent regulation that children may not become "street traders" without a licence. A bright little boy came to apply for one. The magistrate, being a kindly man, enquired of the lad what his circumstances were. The boy explained that part of his earnings went towards the support of his widowed mother; and that he was trying to keep up his education by attending a night school. "And what are you learning there?" said the magistrate. "Irish," replied the boy. Even the magistrate could not resist telling him that he thought his time would be better spent at Arithmetic. Yet from the boy's point of view, there is something to be said. Irish may be of use to him in obtaining a Government appointment, however small; for local bodies (such as the Dublin Boards of Guardians) now refuse to appoint clerks who cannot send out notices of meetings in Irish, though no member of the Board to whom they are sent can read them; and the League fully expect that the Home Rule Government will do the same with regard to every appointment in their gift. If the railways are taken over by the Government (as they probably will be) it can be seen what an immense impetus can be given to the movement.
Then Secondary Schools have been established for the same object. The Irish Educational Review recently contained the following account of one of them:—
"At Ring, in the County Waterford, there is already in existence an Irish secondary school where classics, modern languages and all the usual secondary school subjects are taught and where Irish and English fill their rightful places, the former being the ordinary language of the school, the latter a foreign language on no higher level than French or German."
The Act of 1909, which founded the "National" University (to which I shall refer again), gave power to County Councils to levy a rate for scholarships. Immediately the Gaelic League saw their opportunity. They endeavoured to persuade the Councils to refuse to do so unless Irish were made compulsory at the University. The Councils generally (except of course in Ulster) agreed to the plan; but some of them (such as the Kildare Council) were faced by a difficulty. Not a single child in the county spoke Irish; and so if that language were made compulsory, no one could compete for the scholarships. So they compromised matters, by deciding that they would levy a rate if Irish were made compulsory after 1915, by which time some of the young people in the county would have been able to learn it; and the University agreed to do so.
This rating power, I may remark, looks extremely liberal as it appears in the Act; for the scholarships are to be tenable at any University. The Irish Unionist members, knowing quite well how it would be worked, opposed the clause; and as usual were denounced as bigots and fanatics. It is needless to add that as soon as the Act came into force, County Councils and Corporations at once passed resolutions that scholarships derived from the rates should not be tenable at Trinity College, Dublin, or at Belfast, but only at the National University—thus practically saying that no Protestants need compete.
Beyond forcing the children to acquire a smattering of Irish, it cannot be said that so far the efforts of the League as to the language have been very successful; for the census returns show that the proportion of the population who could speak Irish in 1891 was 14'5; in 1901, 14'4; and in 1911, 13'3; and the numbers who spoke Irish only fell from 20,953 in 1901 to 16,870 in 1911.
But the efforts of the League are not confined to the language. English games, such as cricket, are forbidden; if football is played, it must be the Gaelic variety with rules totally different from those observed by the hated Saxon. Even the patients in asylums are forbidden to play cricket or lawn tennis. And some of the more enthusiastic members of the League have actually "donned the saffron," in imitation of the Ersefied Normans of 400 years ago. However, it is so hideously ugly, and so suggestive of the obnoxious Orange, that that phase of the movement is not likely to extend.
Even the "Boy Scout" movement has been made use of for the same object. As soon as some corps had been established in Ireland, the Nationalists started a rival organization with an Irish name, in which all the boys solemnly undertake to work for the independence of Ireland, and never to join England's armed forces. The boys take a prominent part in the annual ceremonies in honour of Wolfe Tone, the Manchester martyrs, and other Nationalist heroes.
The whole thing would be laughable if it were not so very sad. Even such matters as sports and education, where all creeds and parties might be expected to work together amicably, must be used as instruments to bring about separation; and the result already is not so much to widen the gulf between Ireland and England as the gulf between the two parties in Ireland; for the Protestant minority in the south, who know that most of their children will have to leave the country, are not likely to let them fritter away their youth in the study of a language which can be of no possible benefit to them in any part of the world to which they may go; and the idea that the Ulstermen will ever adopt a Celtic tongue is too ridiculous to be considered. But perhaps the most painful thought of all is that the Nationalists should be ready even to sacrifice the prospects in life of the rising generation of the country in order to satisfy their blind hatred of England.
IRELAND UNDER THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT.
I come now to the policy which has been pursued by the present Government since 1906. It must be remembered that the Radical party returned to power pledged to Home Rule as a principle, but with a sufficient majority to enable them to retain office without depending on the Irish vote. Hence there was no necessity for them to introduce a Home Rule Bill; but of course they set aside the policy of the Unionist Government, and resolved to govern Ireland according to their own ideas. What those ideas were, and what the result has been, I shall now proceed to show; but in doing so I shall as far as possible confine myself to quotations and statistics which can be verified, so that I may not be accused of giving an unfair report.
The Chief Secretary for the first year was Mr. Bryce, who was afterwards appointed British Ambassador at Washington. The Government at once repealed the Act which forbade the carrying of arms without a licence; withdrew all proclamations under the Crimes Act of 1887; and resolved not to stop any political meetings. Accordingly the Nationalists commenced holding a series of demonstrations all over the country. A few specimens taken from the speeches made at them will suffice to show their general tenour.
"Let them all be ready, and when England got into trouble with European Powers, they would pounce upon her with the ferocity of a tiger."—T. Walsh, District Councillor.
"They must stand together as one man, and make it impossible for England to govern Ireland."—P. White, M.P.
"If there had been 100,000 Fenians in Ireland at the time of the Boer War there might now have been a Republic in Ireland, and British supremacy would have been tumbled in the dust."—J. Daly, formerly Mayor of Limerick.
And Mr. Bryce, when leaving Ireland at the end of the year, stated that he had not found any harm in any of the speeches delivered at the meetings.
At this time the agitation began to assume a new form. One of the most important of Irish industries is the cattle trade with England, the annual value of which exceeds L14,000,000. In several parts of Ireland, notably in Meath and the central counties, the soil and climate are specially suited for cattle raising, and the land is generally held in large grazing farms. It was decided by the Nationalists in the autumn of 1906 that this industry must be destroyed. Bodies of men assembled night after night to break down the fences and gates of the farms and drive the cattle many miles away, in order that the farmers might be ruined and forced to leave the country; and then the derelict farms would be divided amongst the "landless men." L. Ginnell, M.P., explained the programme fully in a speech he made in October 1906:—
"The ranches must be broken up, not only in Westmeath but throughout all Ireland ... He advised them to stamp out the ranch demon themselves, and not leave an alien Parliament to do the duty ... He advised them to leave the ranches unfenced, unused and unusable ... so that no man or demon would dare to stand another hour between the people and the land that should be theirs."
The agitation, commencing in Meath, was gradually extended, county by county, over a large part of Ireland where the Nationalists are supreme. Other measures were resorted to, in order to carry out their object. Arson, the burning of hayricks, firing into dwelling-houses, spiking meadows, the mutilation of horses and cows, the destruction of turf, the damaging of machinery, and various other forms of lawless violence began to increase and multiply. At the Spring Assizes in 1907, the Chief Justice, when addressing the Grand Jury at Ennis, in commenting on the increasing need for placing law-abiding people under special police protection, said:—
"In a shire in England, if it was found necessary, either by special protection or protection by patrol, to protect from risk of outrage thirty persons, what would be thought?"
And Mr. Justice Kenny at Leitrim, after commenting upon the increased number of specially reported cases, as shown by the official statistics, and alluding to several cases of gross intimidation, said:—
"In these latter cases I regret to say no one has been made amenable; and when there is such a state of things, it justifies the observation made by the learned judge who presided at last Connaught Winter Assizes, that when the chain of terrorism was complete, no witness would give evidence and no jury would convict."
Thereupon Mr. Birrell, who at the beginning of the year had succeeded Mr. Bryce as Chief Secretary, having no doubt studied these and similar reports, said in a speech at Halifax in the following month:—
"You may take my word for this, that Ireland is at this moment in a more peaceful condition than for the last six hundred years."
Soon afterwards, Mr. Justice Ross, who, as Judge of the Land Judge's Court, Chancery Division, was in charge of many estates in Ireland, said:
"He had known from other Receivers about this widespread and audacious conspiracy at present rampant in the West of Ireland ... This was actually a conspiracy which on ordinary moral grounds amounted to highway robbery, to seize on these grass lands, to drive away the stock of the people who had been in the habit of taking it; and then, when the owner had been starved out, the Estates Commissioners were expected to buy up the property and to distribute it amongst the very people who had been urging on the business, and who had been engaged in these outrages."
When an Ulster member drew attention to this in the House of Commons, Mr. Birrell replied:—
"There is no evidence before the Government that a widespread conspiracy is rampant in the West of Ireland."
And in reply to another question he said that:—
"The reports he received from the police and other persons revealed the condition of Ireland generally as to peace and order as being very satisfactory."
During the month of October 1907, twenty-nine claims for compensation from the rates in respect of malicious injuries had been proved and granted in twelve counties, the amount levied from the ratepayers being about L900. The malicious injuries comprised destruction of and firing into dwelling houses, mutilation of horses and cattle, burning cattle to death, spiking meadows and damaging mowing machines, damages to fences and walls, burning heather and pasturage, damage to gates in connection with cattle driving, and injury to cattle by driving. And in November an attempt was made to assassinate Mr. White Blake and his mother when driving home from church in the County Galway. A few days after this occurred Mr. Redmond said at a meeting in North Wales:—
"Whilst there is no crime or outrage there is widespread unrest and impatience, and there are, over a certain section of the country, taking place technical breaches of the strict letter of the law in the shape of what is called cattle driving. Now let me say first of all that in no instance has any single beast been injured in the smallest degree in any of these cattle-drives; in no instance has any malicious injury been done to property, life or limb, or beast."
All this time the Government adhered to their determination not to put the Crimes Act in force, but merely to place accused persons on trial before juries at the Assizes. The results were as follows: At the Summer Assizes in 1907, 167 persons were returned for trial; of these, 57 were actually tried, of whom three were convicted, 31 acquitted, and in 23 cases the juries disagreed. The trials of the remaining 110 were postponed. At the Michaelmas sittings, 94 persons were put on trial, of whom 5 were convicted and 2 acquitted; in 72 cases the juries disagreed, and in the remaining 15 the Crown abandoned proceedings. At the Winter Assizes 86 persons were tried for unlawful assembly, riot and conspiracy in connection with cattle-driving. None were convicted; 11 were acquitted; in 12 cases the prisoners were discharged on legal points; and in 63 the juries disagreed.
I fully admit that there is much to be said for the juries who refused to convict. When a Government is doing its utmost to suppress anarchy and to enforce law and order, it is no doubt the duty of every loyal subject to render assistance even at the risk of his own life and property. But when a Government is conniving at anarchy, and deliberately refusing to put in force the Act which would put a stop to it, I say it is too much to expect of any man that he should face the prospect of being ruined and probably murdered, and his family reduced to beggary, in order to enable the Government to keep up the farce of pretending that they are trying to do their duty.
During the first half of 1908, there were 418 reported cases of cattle-driving; and arson, outrages with firearms, meadow-spiking, and similar offences increased in proportion. The judges urged in vain that the law should be put in force. But the policy of the Government remained unchanged; the Daily News (the Government organ) when cattle-driving was at its height said that thanks to the excellent government of Mr. Birrell cattle-driving now had practically become extinct even in those few parts of the country in which it had existed; and in July Mr. Birrell, addressing a political meeting at Port Sunlight, said that:—
"They were led to believe that the state of Ireland was of an appalling character, that crime predominated, and that lawlessness almost universally prevailed. All he could say was that a more cheerful land was nowhere to be found."
In 1909 matters became somewhat quieter, chiefly because Mr. Birrell promised to introduce a Land Bill by which the cattle-drivers hoped to get all they wanted. Hence their leaders advised them to "give Birrell a chance," but Mr. Redmond warned the Government that if they did not carry out their pledge, they would speedily find Ireland ungovernable. In February 1909, Lord Crewe, speaking for the Government in the House of Lords, made the remarkable statement:—
"As regards intimidation, I have always shared the view that well-organized intimidation cannot be checked by law. I know no method of checking it."
If this is not an admission that the Government had failed in their duty, it is hard to say what is. The result of their line of action will be seen by the following table, which has been taken from various returns which the Ulster members, by repeated questions in Parliament at last succeeded in forcing Mr. Birrell to make public:—
Agrarian outrages 1906 234 " " 1907 372 " " 1908 576 Cattle-drives 1905 Nil " " 1907-8 513 " " 1908-9 622 " " 1908 219 Cattle maiming, mutilating, etc. 1907 142 Persons boycotted 1907 196 " " 1908 270 " " 1909 335 Cost of extra police 1908 L47,000
Agrarian outrages 581 Malicious injuries to property, Intimidating by threatening letters, etc. 285 Firing into dwelling houses 58 Rioting, robbery of arms, etc. 31 Killing and maiming cattle 83
It may be asked, why did not the Ulster members call the attention of Parliament to this state of things? The answer is, they did so again and again; Mr. Birrell gave stereotyped replies, much after this form, with hardly a variation:—
I have seen in the newspapers a report that a few shots were fired into a farmhouse in Galway. No one appears to have been seriously injured. The police are making enquiries. No arrests have been made.
(He might as well have added that he knew perfectly well that no arrests ever would be made.) Then he would go to a political meeting and say that the peaceful condition of Ireland was shown by the small number of criminal cases returned for trial at the Assizes; and would bitterly denounce the "Carrion Crows" (as he designated the Ulster members) for trying to blacken the reputation of their country.
One instance may be given more in detail, as typical of the condition to which Ireland had been brought. Lord Ashtown (a Unionist Peer residing in County Galway) began issuing month by month a series of pamphlets entitled "Grievances from Ireland." They contained little besides extracts from Nationalist papers giving reports of the meetings of the United Irish League, the outrages that took place, and the comments of Nationalist papers on them. His object was to let the people in England see from the accounts given by the Nationalists themselves, what was going on in Ireland. This, however, was very objectionable to them; and one of their members asked Mr. Birrell in the House of Commons whether the pamphlets could not be suppressed. Mr. Birrell made the curious reply that he would be very glad if Lord Ashtown were stopped, but that he did not see how to do it. What he expected would be the results of that remark, I do not know; but no one living in Ireland was much surprised when a few weeks afterwards a bomb outrage occurred at the residence of Lord Ashtown in the County Waterford. It was a clumsy failure. A jar containing gunpowder was placed against the wall of the house where he was staying and set on fire. The explosion wrecked part of the building, but Lord Ashtown escaped unhurt. He gave notice of his intention to apply at the next assizes for compensation for malicious injury. The usual custom in such cases is for a copy of the police report showing the injury complained of, to be sent to the person seeking compensation; but on this occasion the police refused to show Lord Ashtown their report, stating that they had received orders from the Government not to do so. But shortly before the case came on, a report, not made by the police authority in charge of the district, but by another brought in specially for the purpose, appeared in the Nationalist papers. This report contained the remarkable suggestion that Lord Ashtown had done it himself! When under cross-examination at the trial, the Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary who made the report was obliged to confess that he did not believe that he had, but had only inserted the suggestion in obedience to instruction received from the Government. Lord Ashtown proved his case and was awarded compensation. But the matter did not end there. He had employed a surveyor, Mr. Scully, to draw plans and take photographs showing the amount of the damage. Mr. Scully was surveyor to the Waterford Corporation. It was proposed at the next meeting of the Corporation that he should be dismissed from his office for having given evidence for Lord Ashtown. The motion was carried unanimously, eight councillors being present; and at the following meeting it was ratified by eight votes to two. A question was asked about the matter in the House of Commons; and Mr. Birrell, with the figures before him, replied that Mr. Scully had never been dismissed.
Two other instances of this period must be briefly referred to. It has already been shown how the Irish Parliament endowed Maynooth as a College for Roman Catholic students both lay and theological; and how Trinity College, Dublin, opened its doors to all students, without distinction of creed. But the Roman Catholic Church turned Maynooth into a seminary for theological students only; and the bishops forbade young laymen to go to Trinity. In 1845 Sir Robert Peel attempted to supply the want by founding the Queen's University, with Colleges at Belfast, Cork and Galway, where mixed education should be given in secular subjects, and separate instruction in those appertaining to religion; but that again was denounced as a "satanic scheme for the ruin of faith in the rising generation"; and the crusade against the university was so successful that in 1879 it was destroyed and another—the Royal University—put in its place. This in its turn was abolished in 1909; the College at Belfast was raised to the status of a University, and a new University ominously called the "National University" was founded into which the existing Colleges at Cork and Galway were absorbed, with a new and richly endowed College in Dublin at the head. It may seem strange that the Radical Government who are pledged to destroy all religious education in England should found and endow a Denominational University in Ireland. But the matter could be arranged by a little judicious management and prevarication; it was represented in Parliament that the new University was to be strictly unsectarian; during the debate, Sir P. Magnus, the member for the London University, said that he had no reason to believe that there was any intention on the part of the Chief Secretary to set up denominational Universities in Ireland; he accepted his word that they were to be entirely undenominational. Then, when the Act was passed, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin was appointed Chancellor of the National University, with a number of Jesuits as Professors, and Cardinal Logue stated as follows:—
"No matter what obstacles the Nonconformists may have inserted in the Constitution of the University to keep it from being Catholic, we will make it Catholic in spite of them."
Personally, I do not object to denominational Universities. I regret that young men who are going to live in the same country should not be able to study law and medicine together; but if that is their feeling and the feeling of their parents, I admit that having separate Universities may be the best solution of the difficulty. But if so, let it be openly avowed that the University is denominational; to "make it Catholic" and at the same time to say that it is no injustice to Protestants that County Scholarships paid for by the ratepayers should be tenable there and nowhere else, seems to me absurd.
The other incident to which reference must be made was the great Convention held in Dublin in 1909. The Nationalists, believing that a Home Rule Bill would soon be introduced, devised the scheme of assembling a monster Convention, which would be evidence to the world of how admirably fitted the Irish people were to govern their own country. It was attended by 2,000 delegates from all parts of the country, who were to form a happy family, as of course no disturbing Unionist element would be present to mar the harmony and the clerical element would be strong. Mr. Redmond, who presided, said in his opening address:—
"Ireland's capacity for self-government will be judged at home and abroad by the conduct of this Assembly. Ireland's good name is at stake, and therefore every man who takes part in this Assembly should weigh his words and recognise his responsibility."
The meeting ended in a free fight.
At the end of 1909 Mr. Asquith did a very clever thing. A general election was pending, and he wished to avoid the mistake which Gladstone had made in 1885. He therefore, at a great meeting at the Albert Hall unfolded an elaborate programme of the long list of measures which the Government would introduce and carry, and in the course of his remarks said that Home Rule was the only solution of the Irish problem, and that in the new House of Commons the hands of a Liberal Government and of a Liberal majority would in this matter be entirely free. He and his followers carefully abstained from referring to the subject in their election addresses; and Mr. Asquith was thus free, if he should obtain a majority independent of the Irish vote, to say that he had never promised to make Home Rule part of his programme; but if he found he could not retain office without that vote, he might buy it by promising to introduce the Bill and refer to his words at the Albert Hall as justification for doing so. The latter happened; hence the "Coalition Ministry." The Irish party consented to please the Radicals by voting for the Budget, and the Nonconformists by voting for Welsh Disestablishment, on condition that they should in return vote for Home Rule. As Mr. Hobhouse (a Cabinet Minister) expressed it in 1911:—
"Next year we must pay our debt to the Nationalist Members, who were good enough to vote for a Budget which they detested and knew would be an injury to their country."
But the people of England still had to be hood-winked. It was hardly likely that they would consent to their representatives voting for the separation of Ireland from Great Britain; so the Nationalists and their Radical allies went about England declaring that they had no wish for such a thing; that all they desired was a subordinate Parliament leaving the Imperial Parliament supreme. Thus Mr. Redmond suggested at one meeting that Ireland should be conceded the right of managing her own purely local affairs for herself in a subordinate Parliament, subject to the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament; and at another meeting said:
"We are not asking for a Repeal of the Union. We are not asking for the restoration of a co-ordinate Parliament such as Ireland had before the Union. We are only asking that there should be given to Ireland a subordinate Parliament. We therefore admit the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament. That means that after this subordinate Parliament is created in Ireland, if the Parliament is foolish enough, rash enough, as it never will be, but if it were foolish enough and criminal enough to use the powers given to it for injustice or oppression of any class or creed, the Imperial Parliament would have the power to stretch forth the arm of its authority and to say 'you shall not do that.'"
Of course it may be argued that they had changed their minds; that in former times they worked for separation, but now realised that a subordinate Parliament was all that Ireland required. But unfortunately for this theory, they have themselves repudiated it; when Mr. Redmond was accused of speaking with two voices, one in America and one in Great Britain, he passionately replied:—
"I indignantly deny that accusation. I have never in my life said one word on a platform in America one whit stronger than I had said in my place on the floor of the House of Commons. I have never in America or anywhere else, advocated the separation of Ireland from Great Britain."
How far this is true, the quotations from his speeches which have already been given, will have shown. But the Government have kept up the farce; Mr. Winston Churchill said during the debate on the Bill of 1912:—
"The Home Rule movement has never been a separatist movement. In the whole course of its career it has been a moderating, modifying movement, designed to secure the recognition of Irish claims within the circuit of the British Empire."
But not even the immediate prospect of Home Rule can be said to have made those parts of Ireland where the League is supreme a happy place of residence to any but advanced Nationalists. The following report of a case in the Magistrate's Court at Ennis in November 1912 will speak for the condition of the County Clare:—
Patrick Arkins was charged with knocking down walls on the farm of Mrs. Fitzpatrick in order to compel her to give up the farm. Inspector Davis gave evidence that from January 1910 to that date there were 104 serious outrages in his district. In 42 firearms were used, 27 were malicious injuries, 32 were threatening notices, 1 case of bomb explosion outside a house, 1 robbery of arms, and 1 attempted robbery. A sum of L268 had been awarded as compensation for malicious injury and there were claims for L75 pending for malicious injuries committed during the week ended 11th inst. There were two persons under constant police protection, and 16 receiving protection by patrol. Head Constable Mulligan said that Mrs. Fitzpatrick was under police protection. Since February 11th, 1912, there had been 12 outrages in the district, Mrs. Fitzpatrick was under almost constant police protection. Acting Sergeant Beegan deposed that there had been 12 outrages on the Fitzpatrick family during the last four years; these included driving cattle off the lands, threatening notices, firing shots at the house, knocking down walls, spiking meadows; the new roof of a hay barn was perforated with bullets, and at Kiltonaghty Chapel there were notices threatening death to anyone who would work for Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Timothy Fitzpatrick gave similar evidence as to the outrages, and said that his father had taken the farm twenty-one years ago, and had paid the son of the former tenant L40 for his goodwill.
(I may add that Arkins was committed for trial, convicted at the Assizes and sentenced to seven years penal servitude; and was released by Mr. Birrell a few weeks afterwards.)
In another Clare case, in February of the present year, the resident Magistrate said as follows:—
"It is a mistake to say that these outrages are arising out of disputes between landlord and tenant; nine out of ten arise out of petty disputes about land. What is the use of having new land laws? A case occurred not long ago in this county of a man who had bought some land twenty years ago, and paid down hard cash to the outgoing tenant. The man died, and left a widow and children on the land for fourteen years. But in 1908 a man who had some ulterior object got the man who had sold the farm to send in a claim under the Evicted Tenant's Act, which was rejected. That was what the advisers of the man wanted—they only wanted a pretext for moonlighting and other disgraceful outrages, and the woman was kept in a hell for four years. A man was caught at last and convicted, and one would think that this was a subject for rejoicing for all right-minded men in the county. But what was the result? A perfect tornado of letters was printed, and resolutions and speeches appeared in the public press, condemning this conviction of a moonlighter in Clare as an outrage against justice."
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Killaloe, in a sermon preached in December 1912, referring to County Clare said:—
"That county had had an evil record in the matter of crime, and they were so accustomed to outrages of almost weekly occurrence around them that it was not easy to shock them. There was an inoffensive family sitting round the fireside with a couple of neighbours. They had given no offence, they had wronged no man, they had crossed no man's path. But that inhuman beast went to the door and lifted the latch, and there, at a few yards distance, fired into that innocent group of men, women and children, as if they were a flock of crows, killing the mother outright and almost blowing the forehead off a young girl. There was no denying the fact that that brutal murder was the natural outcome of the disgraceful system of intimidation and outrage that had been rampant for a long time in certain districts of that unhappy county and of the immunity from punishment enjoyed by the wicked and cowardly moonlighter. In addition to their other acts of savagery, they had shot out the eyes of two men within the last couple of years. A decent, honest man was shot on the road to Ennis. The people passed the wounded man by and refused to take him into their car through fear. Not one of these well-known miscreants was brought to justice. The murderers of poor Garvey, the cow-houghers, the hay-burners, were said to be known. In any other country, for instance in the United States, such ruffianism would be hunted down or lynched; but there, in the places he referred to, they had a curtain of security drawn round them by the cowardice or perverted moral sense on the part of the community amongst whom they lived.... It was only last Thursday night, before the county had recovered from the shock of Mrs. O'Mara's murder, that right over the mountain an unfortunate postman was shot on the public road between Crusheen and Baliluran for no other reason apparently than that another fellow wanted his job of one and six-pence a day! It has come to this, that if you differ with one of them for a shilling, or refuse to give him his way in everything the first thing that comes into his head is to moonlight you.... They have not elevation or social instinct to settle their petty disputes by process of law provided for the purpose by a civilized society, nor have they Christianity enough to bear a little wrong or disappointment for Christ's sake. No, nor the manliness even to meet an opponent face to face and see it out with him like a man; but with the cunning of a mean and vicious dog, he steals behind him in the dark and shoots him in the back, or murders the helpless woman of his family, or shoots out the eyes of the poor man's horse, or cuts the throat of his bullock and spikes his beast upon a gate."
Nor has the present year brought much improvement. In May 1913, Mr. R. Maunsell was fired at and wounded close to the town of Ennis. His crime was that he managed a farm for a Mr. Bannatyne, whose family had been in possession of it for about sixty years, but who had recently been denounced by the United Irish League and ordered to surrender it. As he has refused to do so, he is now compelled to live under police protection.
The abolition of landlordism and the acquisition of firearms can hardly be said to have brought peace and tranquillity to the County of Clare.
And as to Galway, we may gather the state of affairs from the report of a case tried at the Winter Assizes of 1912. Three men were charged with having done grievous bodily harm to a man named Conolly. Conolly swore that he knew a man named Broderick who had become unpopular but he (Conolly) kept to him and this brought displeasure on him from the accused and others. On the night of the 11th September he went to bed; he was subsequently awakened and found 44 grains of shot in his left knee and four in his right. He then lay flat on the floor. Other shots were fired through the window but did not strike him. The judge said the district was a disgrace to Ireland. Day after day, night after night, heaps of outrages were committed there, and not one offender was made amenable to justice. The jury disagreed, and the accused were again put on their trial. The judge in charging the jury on the second trial said that then, and for some time, the district was swarming with police, and though outrages were frequent, it was impossible for them to bring anyone to justice. No one was sure he might not be fired at during the night; and people were afraid to give evidence. The jury again disagreed.
During the autumn of 1912 an effort was made to hold a series of meetings throughout the south and west of Ireland to protest against Home Rule. The conduct of the Nationalists with regard to them supplies a striking commentary on Mr. Redmond's statement at Banbury not long before, that all through his political life he had preached conciliation towards those who differed from him on the question of Home Rule. The meetings were in some cases stopped by force; at Limerick the windows of the Protestant Church and of some houses occupied by Protestants were smashed; at Tralee the principal speaker was a large farmer named Crosbie; all his hay and sheds were burned down, and he was awarded L600 compensation by the County Court Judge.
But an incident had occurred in the north which, though in a sense comparatively slight, has, in consequence of the circumstances connected with it, done more to inflame the men of Ulster than persons not living in Ireland can realise. In June of last year a party of Sunday School children from a suburb of Belfast went for a picnic to Castledawson (co. Derry) under the charge of a Presbyterian minister and a few teachers and ladies. On their way back to the railway station, they were met and assailed by a procession of men belonging to the Order of Hibernians armed with pikes who attacked the children with the pikes and with stones, seized a Union Jack which a small boy was carrying, and knocked down and kicked some of the girls and teachers. Worse might have happened had not some Protestant young men, seeing what was going on, come to the rescue. The minister was struck with stones whilst he was endeavouring to get some of the children to a place of safety. No Nationalist has ever expressed the slightest regret at the occurrence. Several of the aggressors were tried at the Winter Assizes and sentenced to three months' imprisonment. Before the end of the term they were released by order of the Government. Mr. Birrell, in justifying his action, said that the judge had remarked that there was no evidence before him of actual injury. This, like many of his statements, was literally true; but he omitted to mention that he had prevented the evidence from being given; the injured women and children were quite ready to give their testimony, but were not called by the counsel for the crown.
It is unnecessary to say that this foretaste of Home Rule government has made the Presbyterians of Ulster more determined than ever to resist it to the bitter end.
I shall next proceed to consider the Bill which the Government have introduced as a panacea for the woes of Ireland.
CRITICISM OF THE BILL NOW BEFORE THE COUNTRY.
That the maintenance of the Union is possible, and that complete separation is possible, are two indisputable facts. But the question is, was Wolfe Tone right when he said that these were the only two possibilities; or is there a third one, and if so, what?
Residents in the Dominions will naturally be inclined to reply "Yes; place Ireland in the position of a colony possessing responsible government, such as New Zealand." It is a taking idea; but a little reflection will show the falseness of the analogy. The relations between the Mother Country and the self-governing colonies (now often called "Dominions") have grown up of themselves; and, like most political conditions which have so come about, are theoretically illogical but practically convenient. The practical convenience arises partly from the friendly spirit which animates both parties, but still more from the nature of the case. The distance which separates the Mother Country from the Dominions causes the anomalies to be scarcely perceptible. In theory the Sovereign, acting on the advice of British Ministers, can disallow any colonial statute, and the British Parliament is supreme—it can pass laws that will bind the colonies, even laws imposing taxes. But we all know that if the Home Government were persistently to veto laws passed by the large majority of the people in New Zealand, or the British Parliament were to attempt to legislate for the colonies, relations would at once become strained, and separation would be inevitable. The only important matters on which the Home Government attempts to bind the colonies are those relating to foreign countries (which are necessarily of an Imperial nature) and those as to which the colonies themselves wish to have an Act passed, such as the Act establishing Australian Federation. In other words, the "supremacy of Parliament," which is a stern reality in England, has very little meaning as regards New Zealand. Even if the people of New Zealand were to manage the affairs of their country in a manner contrary to English ideas—for instance if they were to establish State lotteries and public gambling tables—England would be but slightly affected, and certainly would never think of taking steps to prevent them. And those matters in which the Home Government is obliged to act are just those in which New Zealand has no desire to interfere; for instance, New Zealand would never want to appoint consuls of her own (which was the immediate cause of the separation between Norway and Sweden); in the very few cases in which New Zealand desires to make use of political or commercial agents abroad, she is content to employ the British representatives, for whom she is not called upon to pay. If New Zealand attempted to take part in a European war in which England was not concerned—the idea is almost too absurd to suggest—the only thing that England could do would be to break off the connection and repudiate New Zealand altogether. And if New Zealand desired to separate from the Mother Country, many people would think it a most grievous mistake, but England certainly would not seek to prevent her doing so by force; and though England would in some ways be the worse for it, the government of England and of the rest of the Empire would go on much the same as before. In certain points, it is true, thoughtful men have generally come to the conclusion that the present state of affairs cannot go on unchanged; the time is coming when the great Dominions must provide for their own defence by sea as well as by land; and whether this is to be done by separate navies working together or by joint contributions to a common navy, it will probably result in the formation of some Imperial Council in which all parts will have a voice. That however, is a matter for future discussion and arrangement.
But when we turn to Ireland, everything is different. The two islands are separated by less than fifty miles. Ireland has for more than a century been adequately represented in the Imperial Parliament; the journey from Galway to London is shorter than that from Auckland or Dunedin to Wellington. So long as Europe remains as it is, Great Britain and Ireland must have a common system of defence—which means one army, one navy, and one plan of fortifications. Again, Irishmen, traders and others, will constantly have to make use of government agents in other countries. Now unless Great Britain is to arrange and pay for the whole of this, we are met at once by the insoluble problem of Irish representation in the British Parliament. If Ireland is not represented there, we are faced with the old difficulty of taxation without representation; if Ireland is represented there for all purposes, Ireland can interfere in the local affairs of England, but England cannot in those of Ireland; if we have what has been called the "in-and-out" scheme as proposed by Gladstone in 1893—that is, for the Irish members to vote on all questions of an Imperial nature, but to retire when matters affecting England only are under discussion—then, even if the line could be drawn (which is doubtful) we might have the absurdity of an English ministry which possessed the confidence of the majority of Englishmen and whose management of England met their approval, being turned out of office by the Irish vote, and England being governed according to a policy which the majority of Englishmen detested. Of course it may be said that there ought to be a number of small Parliaments in the British Isles, like those in the Provinces of Canada or the States of Australia, with one great Parliament supreme over them—in other words, Federation. That might be a good thing, although it would in its turn start many difficulties which it is unnecessary now to discuss, for it is not Home Rule nor does Home Rule lead to it. Federal systems arise by the union of separate States, each State giving up a part of its power to a joint body which can levy taxes and can overrule the local authorities. In fact, when Federation comes about, the States cease to be nations.
(I must here remark in passing that constant confusion has been caused by the various senses in which the word "nation" is used. Thus it is often quite correctly employed in a sentimental sense—we speak of Scottish National character, or of the National Bible Society of Scotland, though Scotland has no separate Parliament or flag and would on a map of Europe be painted the same colour as the rest of Great Britain. Quite distinct from that is the political sense, in which the Irish Nationalists use the word when speaking of being "A Nation once again," or of "The National Independence of Ireland.")
It might be possible for the United Kingdom to be broken up into a Federation (though it is strange that there is no precedent in history for such a course); but that would not be "satisfying the National Aspirations of Ireland." In fact, as Mr. Childers, one of the ablest of English advocates of Home Rule, has stated: "The term Federal, as applied to Irish Home Rule at the present time, is meaningless."
But when we come to examine the existing Bill, which will become law in 1914 unless something unforeseen occurs, we find that it is neither the Colonial plan nor Federation but an elaborate system which really seems as if it had been devised with the object of satisfying nobody and producing friction at every point. England (by which of course I mean Great Britain; I merely use the shorter term for convenience) is not only to pay the total cost of the army, navy and diplomatic services, including the defences of Ireland, but is also to grant an annual subsidy to Ireland commencing with L500,000 but subsequently reduced to L200,000. Whether the English taxpayer will relish this when he comes to realise it, may be doubted. Certainly no precedent can be cited for a Federal system under which all the common expenditure is borne by one of the parties. And further, the present Government state freely that they hope to carry out their policy by introducing a Bill for Home Rule for Scotland and possibly also for Wales. Will the Scotch and Welsh consent to contribute towards the government of Ireland; or will they demand that they shall be treated like Ireland, and leave the people of England to pay all Imperial services and to subsidize Ireland, Scotland and Wales? Then again, Ireland is to send forty-two representatives to what is still sarcastically to be called the "Parliament of the United Kingdom," but will no doubt popularly be known as the English Parliament. They are to vote about the taxation of people in Great Britain, and to interfere in local affairs of that country, whilst the people of Great Britain are not to tax Ireland or interfere in any way with its affairs. This is indeed representation without taxation. Of course it is inevitable that the Irish members will continue to do what they are doing at present—that is, offer their votes to whatever party will promise further concessions to Irish Nationalism; and they will probably find no more difficulty in getting an English party to consent to such an immoral bargain than they do now.
The provisions as to legislation for Ireland are still more extraordinary. The Irish Parliament is to have complete power of legislating as to Irish affairs, with the exception of certain matters enumerated in the Act; thus it may repeal any Acts of the Imperial Parliament passed before 1914. On the other hand, the English Parliament (in which Ireland will have only forty-two representatives) will also be able to pass laws binding Ireland (and in this way to re-enact the laws which the Irish Parliament has just repealed), and these new laws the Irish Parliament may not repeal or overrule. Now this power of the English Parliament will either be a reality or a farce; if it is a reality, the Irish Nationalists will be no more inclined to submit to laws made by "an alien Parliament" in which they have only forty-two representatives than they are at present to submit to those made by one in which they have 103; if it is a farce, the "supremacy of the Imperial Parliament" is a misleading expression. The Lord Lieutenant is to act as to some matters on the advice of the Irish Ministry, as to others on the advice of the English. Anyone who has studied the history of constitutional government in the colonies in the early days, when the governor was still supposed to act as to certain affairs independently of ministerial advice, will see the confusion to which this must lead. Suppose the Lord Lieutenant acts on the advice of the English ministers in a way of which the Irish Parliament do not approve, and the Irish Ministry resign in consequence, what can result but a deadlock?
But most extraordinary of all are the provisions as to finance. The Government appointed a Committee of Experts to consider this question. The committee made their report; but the Government rejected their advice and substituted another plan which is so elaborate that it is only possible to touch on some of its more important features here. I have already said that the English Parliament will have no power to tax Ireland. That statement, however, must be taken subject to two reservations. The Bill provides that if ever the happy day arrives when for three consecutive years the revenue of Ireland has exceeded the cost of government, the English Parliament (with the addition of twenty-three extra members summoned from Ireland for the purpose) may make new provisions securing from Ireland a contribution towards Imperial expenditure. As this is the only reference to the subject in the Bill, the general opinion was that until those improbable circumstances should occur, the English Parliament would have no power to tax Ireland; but when the debates were drawing to a close, the Government astonished the House by stating that according to their construction of the Bill, should any new emergency arise at any time after the Bill becomes law (for instance, a great naval emergency requiring an addition to the Income Tax) it would be not merely the right but also the duty of the Imperial Chancellor of the Exchequer to see that the charge should be borne by the whole United Kingdom—in other words, the Parliament in which Ireland possesses only forty-two representatives may and ought to tax Ireland for Imperial purposes. The friction which will arise should any attempt of the sort be made, especially as the power is not stated in the Bill, is evident. In plain words, it will be impossible to levy the tax.
But apart from these rights, which one may safely say will never be exercised, the financial arrangements will from their very complexity be a constant source of trouble. All taxes levied in Ireland are to be paid into the English Exchequer (or as it is called in the Bill "The Exchequer of the United Kingdom"). Some of the objects for which these taxes have been levied are to be managed by the Irish Government—these are called "Irish services"; others are to be managed by the English Government—these are called "Reserved services." The English Exchequer will then hand over to the Irish Exchequer:—
(a) A sum representing the net cost to the Exchequer of the United Kingdom of "Irish Services" at the time of the passing of the Act;
(b) The sum of L500,000 a year, reducible to L200,000, above referred to; and
(c) A sum equal to the proceeds of any new taxes levied by the Irish Parliament.
Then the balance which the English Exchequer will retain, after handing over these three sums, will go to the "Reserved Services." But as, in consequence of the establishment of the Old Age Pensions and some other similar liabilities, the aggregate cost of governing Ireland at this moment exceeds the revenue derived from Ireland by about L1,500,000, the English taxpayer will have to make up this sum, as well as to give to Ireland an annual present of L500,000; and even if the Irish Government succeeds in managing its affairs more economically than the Government at present does, that will give no relief to the British taxpayer, for it will be observed that the first of the three sums which the Exchequer of the United Kingdom is to hand over is not a sum representing the cost of the "Irish Services" at any future date but the cost at the time of the passing of the Act.
It is possible of course that the Irish revenue derived from existing taxes may increase, and so the burden on the English taxpayer may be lightened; but as it is more probable that it will decrease, and consequently the burden become heavier, the English taxpayer cannot derive much consolation from that.
It will be seen from the foregoing remarks that a number of extremely intricate and difficult financial questions must arise; for instance, what sum really represents the net cost of "Irish Services" at the time of the passing of the Act; what sum equals the net proceeds of new taxes imposed by the Irish Parliament; and at what moment it can be said that the revenue of Ireland has for three consecutive years exceeded the cost of government. All such matters are to be decided by a Board of Five, of whom one is to be nominated by the King (presumably on the advice of the English Ministers), two by the English Government, and two by the Irish. From the decisions of this Board on matters of fact there is to be no appeal. It is needless to point out that every detail in which the three English members overrule the two Irish will be fought out again in the English Parliament by the forty Irish members. This again will show how vain is the hope that future English Parliaments will be relieved from endless discussions as to Irish affairs. Professor Dicey has well named the able work in which he has analysed the Bill and shown its impossibilities "A Fool's Paradise."
The provisions concerning those matters as to which the Irish Parliament is to have no power to legislate are as strange as the other clauses of the Bill. For six years the Constabulary are to be a "reserved service"; but as they will be under the orders of the Irish Government, the object of this is hard to see—unless indeed it is to create an impression that the Ulstermen if they refuse to obey them are rebelling not against the Irish but the Imperial Government. The Post Office Savings Banks are "reserved" for a longer period; as to the postal services to places beyond Ireland, the Irish Parliament will have no power to legislate; but the Post Office, so far as it relates to Ireland alone, will be handed over at once to the Irish Parliament—although even in the case of Federal Unions such as Australia the Post Office is usually considered to be eminently a matter for the Federal authority. And the question whether an Irish Act is unconstitutional and therefore void will be decided by the Privy Council, which will be regarded as an essentially English body; hence if it attempts to veto an Irish Act, its action will be at once denounced as a revival of Poyning's Act and the Declaratory Act of George I.
The Bill excludes the relations with Foreign States from the powers of the Irish Parliament, but says nothing to prevent the Irish Government from appointing a political agent to the Vatican. That is probably one of the first things that it will do; and as the Lord Lieutenant could never form a Government which would consent to any other course, he will be obliged to consent. This agent, not being responsible to the British Foreign Office, may cause constant friction between England and Italy.
But quite apart from the unworkable provisions of the Bill, everything connected with its introduction and passing through Parliament has tended to increase the hatred which the Opposition feel towards it, and the determination of the Ulstermen to resist it if necessary even by force. Those who lived in Australia whilst Federation was under discussion will recollect how carefully the scheme was brought before the people, discussed in various Colonial Parliaments, considered over again line by line by the delegates in an Inter-Colonial Conference, examined afresh in the Colonial Office in London and in the Imperial Parliament and finally laid before each colony for its acceptance. Yet here is a matter which vitally affects the government not of Ireland only but of the whole United Kingdom, and thus indirectly of the Empire at large; it was (as I have shown) not fairly brought before the people at a general election; it has been introduced by what is admittedly merely a coalition Government as a matter of bargain between the various sections, at a time when the British Constitution is in a state of dislocation, as the power of the House of Lords has been destroyed and the new Upper Chamber not yet set up; and it has been passed without adequate discussion. This I say deliberately; it is no use to point out how many hours have been spent in Committee, for the way in which the discussion has been conducted has deprived it of any real value. The custom has been for the Government to state beforehand the time at which each batch of clauses is to be passed, and what amendments may be discussed (the rest being passed over in silence); when the discussion is supposed to begin, their supporters ostentatiously walk out, and the Opposition argue to empty benches; then when the moment for closing the discussion arrives, the Minister in charge gets up and says that the Government cannot accept any of the amendments proposed; the bell rings, the Government supporters troop back, and pass all the clauses unamended. As an instance of this contemptible way of conducting the debate, it is sufficient to point to the fact already mentioned, that so vital a matter as the power of the English Parliament to tax Ireland was not even hinted at until nearly the end of the debates.
And now the Bill is to become law without any further appeal to the people.
Are English Unionists to be blamed if they declare that an Act so passed will possess no moral obligation, and that they are determined, should the terrible necessity arise, to aid the Ulstermen in resisting it to the uttermost?
THE DANGER TO THE EMPIRE OF ANY FORM OF HOME RULE. THE QUESTIONS ANSWERED.
In the last chapter I explained how hopelessly unworkable is the particular scheme of Home Rule which is contained in the present Bill. I now proceed to show why Home Rule in any form must lead to disaster—primarily to Ireland, ultimately to the Empire.
Politicians who, like ostriches, possess the happy faculty of shutting their eyes to unpleasant facts, may say that there is only one nation in Ireland; but everyone who knows the country is quite aware that there are two, which may be held together as part of the United Kingdom, but which can no more be forced into one nation than Belgium and Holland could be forced to combine as the Kingdom of the Netherlands. And whatever cross-currents there may be, the great line of cleavage is religion. Of course I am aware of the violent efforts that have been made ever since the commencement of the Nationalist agitation to prove that this is not so. Thus Parnell, addressing an English audience, explained that religion had nothing to do with the movement, and as evidence stated that he was the leader of it though not merely a Protestant but a member of the Protestant Synod and a parochial nominator for his own parish. Of course everyone in Ireland knew perfectly well that he was only a Protestant in the sense that Garibaldi was a Roman Catholic—he had been baptised as such in infancy; and that he was not a member of the synod or a parochial nominator, and never had been one; but the statement was good enough to deceive his Nonconformist hearers. That Protestant Home Rulers exist is not denied. But the numbers are so small that it is evident that they are the rare exceptions that prove the rule. The very anxiety with which, when a Protestant Home Ruler can be discovered he is put forward, and the fact of his being a Protestant Home Ruler referred to again and again, shows what a rare bird he is. To mention one instance amongst many; a Protestant Home Ruler has recently been speaking on platforms in England explaining that he came in a representative capacity in order to testify to the people of England that the Irish Protestants were now in favour of Home Rule. He did not mention the fact that in the district where he resided there were about 1,000 Protestants and he was the only Home Ruler amongst them—in fact, nearly all the rest had signed a Petition against the Bill. And when we come to examine who these Protestant Home Rulers are, about whom so much has been said, we find first that there is in this as in every other movement, a very small number of faddists, who like to go against their own party; secondly a few who though they still call themselves Protestants have to all intents and purposes abandoned their religion, and therefore cannot fairly be reckoned; thirdly, a few who hold appointments from which they would be dismissed if they did not conform; fourthly, some who say openly that Home Rule is coming and that whatever their private opinions may be it is the wisest policy to worship the rising sun (bearing in mind that Mr. Dillon has promised that when the Nationalists attain their end they will remember who were their friends and who their enemies, and deal out rewards and punishments accordingly); and fifthly, those who have accepted what future historians will describe as bribes. For the present Government have showered down Peerages, Knighthoods of various orders, Lieutenancies of Counties, Deputy-Lieutenancies and Commissions of the Peace—not to speak of salaried offices both in Ireland and elsewhere—on Protestants who would consent to turn Nationalists, in a manner which makes it absurd to talk any more about bribery at the time of the Union. And yet with all this the Protestant Home Rulers are such an extremely small body that they may be disregarded. And indeed it is hard to see how an earnest, consistent and logically-minded Protestant can be a Nationalist; for loyalty to the King is a part of his creed; and, in the words of a Nationalist organ, the Midland Tribune, "If a man be a Nationalist he must ipso facto be a Disloyalist, for Irish Nationalism and loyalty to the throne of England could not be synonymous."
On the other hand, a large proportion of the educated Roman Catholics, the men who have a real stake in the country, are Unionists. Some of them, however earnest they may be in their religion, dread the domination of a political priesthood; others dread still more the union of the Church with anarchism. As has already been shown, they refuse to join the United Irish League; some in the north have actually subscribed the Ulster Covenant; many others have signed petitions against Home Rule throughout the country; and a still larger number have stated that they would gladly do so if they did not fear the consequences. It is probably therefore correct to say that the number of Unionists in Ireland decidedly exceeds the number of Protestants; in other words, less than three-fourths of the population are Nationalists, and more than one-fourth (perhaps about one-third) are Unionists. And more than that; if we are to test the reality of a movement, we must look not merely at numbers but at other matters. Violent language may be used; but the fact remains as I have previously stated that even if the Nationalists are taken as being only two-thirds of the population, their annual subscriptions to the cause do not amount to anything like a penny per head and that the agitation could not last for six months if it were not kept alive by contributions from America and the Colonies. But though the Nationalist movement has not brought about a Union between the Orange and the Green, it has caused two other Unions to be formed which will have an important influence on the future history of the country. In the first place it has revived, or cemented, the Union which, as we have seen, existed at former periods of Irish history, but which has existed in no other country in the world—the Union between the Black and the Red. That a Union between two forces so essentially antagonistic as Ultramontanism and Jacobinism will be permanent, one can hardly suppose; whether the clericals, if they succeed in crushing the heretics, will afterwards be able to turn and crush the anarchists with whom they have been in alliance, and then reign supreme; or whether, as happened in France at the end of the eighteenth century and in Portugal recently, the anarchists who have grown up within the bosom of the Church will prove to be a more deadly foe to the clericals than the heretics ever were—it is impossible to say; but neither prospect seems very cheerful.
In the second place, the Nationalist movement has drawn all the Protestant bodies together as nothing else could. Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists have all joined hands in the defence of their common liberties. The Nationalists have left no stone unturned in their efforts to prove that the northern Protestants are disloyal. They have succeeded in finding one speech that was made by an excited orator (not a leader) forty-four years ago, to the effect that the Disestablishment of the Church might result in the Queen's Crown being kicked into the Boyne. As this is the only instance they can rake up, it has been quoted in the House of Commons and elsewhere again and again; and Mr. Birrell (whose knowledge of Ireland seems to be entirely derived from Nationalist speeches) has recently elaborated it by saying that when the Church was going to be disestablished "they used to declare" that the Queen's Crown would be kicked into the Boyne, and yet their threats came to nothing and therefore the result of Home Rule will be the same. The fact was that the Church establishment was the last relic of Protestant Ascendancy; and as I have already shown, that meant Anglican ascendancy in which Presbyterianism did not participate; hence, when the agitation for Disestablishment arose, though some few Presbyterians greatly disliked it, their opposition as a whole was lukewarm. But when in 1886 Home Rule became a question of practical politics, they rose up against it as one man; in 1893, when the second Home Rule Bill was introduced and actually passed the House of Commons, they commenced organising their Volunteer army to resist it, if necessary, by force of arms; and they are just as keen to-day as they were twenty years ago. They are certainly not disloyal; the republican spirit which permeated their ancestors in the eighteenth century has long since died out completely. Sir Walter Scott said that if he had lived at the time of the Union between Scotland and England, he would have fought against it; but, living a century later and seeing the benefit that it had been to his country, his feelings were all on the other side. That is what the Presbyterians of Ulster say to-day. They point to the way in which Ulster has, under the Union, been able to develop itself; with no richer soil, no better climate, and no greater natural advantages than other parts of Ireland, the energy, ability, and true patriotism of the people have enabled them to establish and encourage commerce and manufactures which have brought wealth and prosperity to Ulster whilst the other Provinces have been stationary or retrograde. There cannot be a better instance of the different spirit which animates the two communities than the history of the linen industry. Michael Davitt bitterly described it as "Not an Irish, but an Orange industry." And from his point of view, he was quite right; for it is practically confined to Ulster. In that Province it has during the nineteenth century developed so steadily that the annual export now exceeds L15,000,000 in value and more than 70,000 hands are employed in the mills. Not long ago, a Royal Commission was appointed to enquire whether it was not possible to grow flax in the south and west, and if so why it was not done. The Commission made careful enquiries, and reported that in both Munster and Connaught efforts had been made to establish the industry (notably by the late Lord Bandon, one of the much-abused landlord class, who had let land for the purpose at a nominal charge, obtained seed and brought experts from the north to instruct the people); that it had been proved that both soil and climate were quite as well adapted for it as in Ulster; but that after a few years the buyers refused any longer to purchase the flax as it was so carelessly and badly prepared that it was valueless; and so the industry had died out. In both south and west the people expressed their readiness to revive it if a large grant were made to them by the Government, but not otherwise.
Then again we may take the growth of the cities. It seems hard now to realise that one reason why the people of Dublin opposed the Union was because they feared lest, when their city ceased to be the capital, Cork might grow into a great industrial centre and surpass it. Cork has remained stationary ever since; Belfast, then an insignificant country town, has become a city of 400,000 inhabitants, and the customs from it alone are more than double those from all the rest of Ireland put together. And what is true of Belfast is true also on a smaller scale of all the other towns north of the Boyne.
This remarkable contrast between the progress of the north-east and the stagnation of the rest of the country is no new thing. It has been observed ever since the Union. So long ago as 1832 the Report of the Commission on the linen manufacture of Ireland contained the following words:—
"Political and religious animosities and dissensions, and increasing agitation first for one object and then for another have so destroyed confidence and shaken the bonds of society—undermined men's principles and estranged neighbour from neighbour, friend from friend, and class from class—that, in lieu of observing any common effort to ameliorate the condition of the people, we find every proposition for this object, emanate from which party it may, received with distrust by the other; maligned, perverted and destroyed, to gratify the political purposes of a faction.... The comparative prosperity enjoyed by that portion of Ireland where tranquillity ordinarily prevails, such as the Counties Down, Antrim, and Derry, testify the capabilities of Ireland to work out her own regeneration, when freed of the disturbing causes which have so long impeded her progress in civilization and improvement. We find there a population hardy, healthy and employed; capital fast flowing into the district; new sources of employment daily developing themselves; a people well disposed alike to the government and institutions of their country; and not distrustful and jealous of their superiors. Contrast the social condition of these people with such pictures as we have presented to us from other districts."
This energetic, self-reliant and prosperous community now see before their eyes what the practical working of government by the League is. They see it generally in the condition of the country, and especially in the Dublin Convention of 1909, the narrow-minded administration of the Local Government Act wherever the power of the League prevails, and the insecurity for life and property in the west; they know also that a Home Rule Government must mean increased taxation (as the Nationalists themselves confess) which will probably—in fact, one may almost say must certainly, as no other source is available—be thrown on the Ulster manufactures; is it not therefore a matter of life and death to them to resist it to the uttermost?
But as I have said, the great line of cleavage is religion. Here I know that I shall be accused of "Orange bigotry." But I am not afraid of the charge; first because I do not happen to be an Orangeman; and secondly because I regard bigotry as the outcome of ignorance and prejudice, and consider therefore that a calm examination of the evidence is the very antithesis of bigotry. In order to make this examination I desire in the first place to avoid the mistake that Grattan made in judging the probabilities of the future from the opinions of personal friends whom I like and respect, but who, as I know (and regret to think), possess no influence whatever. I consider that there are other data—such as works of authority, the action of the public bodies, statements by men in prominent positions, and articles in leading journals—from which it is safer to form an estimate. The Ulstermen are content that the country should be governed, as far as religion is concerned, on modern principles—that is to say, in much the same way that England, Australia and New Zealand are governed to-day. The Nationalists, whatever they may say in England or the Colonies, have never in Ireland from the commencement of the movement attempted to deny that their object is to see Ireland governed on principles which are totally different and which the Ulstermen detest. As long ago as 1886, the Freeman's Journal, the leading Nationalist organ, said:—
"We contend that the good government of Ireland by England is impossible ... the one people has not only accepted but retained with inviolable constancy the Christian faith; the other has not only rejected it, but has been for three centuries the leader of the great apostasy, and is at this day the principal obstacle to the conversion of the world."
And as recently as December 1912, Professor Nolan of Maynooth, addressing the Roman Catholic students at the Belfast University, said:—
"Humanly speaking, we are on the eve of Home Rule. We shall have a free hand in the future. Let us use it well. This is a Catholic country, and if we do not govern it on Catholic lines, according to Catholic ideals, and to safe-guard Catholic interests, it will be all the worse for the country and all the worse for us. We have now a momentous opportunity of changing the whole course of Irish history."
Then another of their papers, the Rosary, has said: "We have played the game of tolerance until the game is played out"; and has prophesied that under Home Rule the Church will become an irresistible engine before whom all opposition must go down. And whatever the educated laity may desire, no one who knows Ireland can doubt that it is the clerical faction that will be all-powerful. The leading ecclesiastics are trained at the Gregorian University at Rome; and one of the Professors at that institution, in a work published in 1901 with the special approval of Pope Leo XIII, enunciated the doctrine that it is the duty of a Christian State to put to death heretics who have been condemned by the Ecclesiastical Court. Of course no one supposes that such a thing will ever take place in Ireland; but what the Ulstermen object to is putting themselves under the rule of men who have been trained in such principles and believe them to be approved by an infallible authority.
In 1904 some foreign merchants at Barcelona wished to build a church for themselves. Republican feeling is so strong in the municipality that permission was obtained without difficulty. But the bishop at once protested and appealed to the King. The King wrote back a sympathetic letter expressing his deep regret that he was unable to prevent this fresh attack on the Catholic faith.
We are constantly being told that the tolerance and liberality shown by the majority in Quebec is sufficient of itself to prove how foolish are the apprehensions felt by the minority in Ireland. Well, I will quote from a journal which cannot be accused of Protestant bias, the Irish Independent, one of the leading organs of the Nationalist-clerical party in Ireland:—
"(From our own Correspondent.)
"In connection with the celebration of the anniversary of Wolfe's victory and death, which takes place in September, prominent members of the Anglican Church have inaugurated a movement for the erection of a Wolfe Memorial Chapel on the Plains of Abraham. The organisers of the movement hope ultimately to secure the transfer of the General's remains to the chapel for interment on the scene of his victory.
"The population being largely French-Canadian Catholics, the Catholic Church organ of Quebec strongly protests against the erection of an Anglican chapel in the heart of a Catholic district."
Now if this conduct on the part of the Roman Catholic authorities is quite right at Barcelona and Quebec, why is it "Orange bigotry" to suggest that the same people may act in the same way at Cork or Galway?
Again, in 1910, a remarkable volume was published, written by Mrs. Hugh Fraser, the sister of the novelist, Marion Crawford, entitled "A Diplomat's Wife in Many Lands." The authoress was a very able woman, who had travelled much and mixed in cultured society wherever she had been; her book was highly reviewed by various English Magazines. She tells the story of a child of Jewish parents living at Rome in the days of Pope Pius IX, who was secretly baptized in infancy by a nurse, and at the age of seven was forcibly taken from his parents and placed in a Convent School. She explains that not only was this quite right, but that such a course is inevitable in every country in which the Church has power; and that the feelings of the heretic mother whose child is taken from her are a fair subject of ridicule on the part of good Catholics. Can Irish Protestants be accused of bigotry when they contend that these writers mean what they say? English Nonconformists argue that they ought to wait until the time comes and then either fight or leave the country; but the Irish Protestants reply that it is more sensible to take steps beforehand to ward off the danger. And whether they are right or wrong, the fact remains that those are their ideas, and that is their determination; and this is the situation which must be faced if Home Rule is forced upon the people of Ulster.
By a striking coincidence, two meetings have recently been held on the same day—the 16th of May 1913—which form an apt illustration of the position adopted by the two parties. The first was a great demonstration of Unionists at Belfast, organised in order to make a further protest against the Bill and to perfect the organisation for opposing it by force, if the necessity arises; the second was a large meeting of the United Irish League at Mullingar. The Chairman, Mr. Ginnell, M.P. (who has gained prominence and popularity by his skill in arranging cattle-drives), said that the chief cause of the pressure last session was to get the Home Rule Bill through its first stage. It was still called a Home Rule Bill, though differing widely from what most of them always understood by Home Rule. Deeply though he regretted the Bill's defects and limitations, still he thought almost any Parliament in Ireland was worth accepting—first, because it was in some sense a recognition of the right to govern themselves; and secondly, because even a crippled Parliament would give them fresh leverage for complete freedom. No one could be silly enough to suppose that an intelligent Ireland, having any sort of a Parliament of its own, would be prevented by any promise given now by place-hunters, from using that Parliament for true national purposes.
That no army which the Ulstermen can form will be able to stand against British troops supported by cavalry and artillery is evident; but it seems almost past belief that England should be ready to plunge the country into civil war; or that British troops should march out—with bands playing "Bloody England, we hate you still," or some other inspiring Nationalist air—to shoot down Ulstermen who will come to meet them waving the Union Jack and shouting "God save the King." And if they do—what then? Lord Wolseley, when Commander-in-Chief in Ireland in 1893, pointed out the probable effect on the British Army in a letter to the Duke of Cambridge:—
"If ever our troops are brought into collision with the loyalists of Ulster, and blood is shed, it will shake the whole foundations upon which our army rests to such an extent that I feel that our Army will never be the same again. Many officers will resign to join Ulster, and there will be such a host of retired officers in the Ulster ranks that men who would stand by the Government no matter what it did, will be worse than half-hearted in all they do. No army could stand such a strain upon it."
And then England, having crushed her natural allies in Ulster, will hand over the Government of Ireland to a party whose avowed object is to break up the Empire and form a separate Republic. Dangers and difficulties arose even when the independent legislature of Ireland was in the hands of men who were loyal and patriotic in the noblest sense of the term, and when there were in every district a certain number of educated gentlemen of position who (as we have seen) were always ready to risk their lives and fortunes for the defence of the realm; what will happen when the loyal minority have been shot down, driven out of the country, or forced into bitter hostility to the Government who have betrayed and deserted them? As Lecky wrote years ago:—
"It is scarcely possible to over-estimate the danger that would arise if the vast moral legislative, and even administrative powers which every separate legislature must necessarily possess, were exercised in any near and vital part of the British Empire, by men who were disloyal to its interests. To place the government of a country by a voluntary and deliberate act in the hands of dishonest and disloyal men, is perhaps the greatest crime that a public man can commit: a crime which, in proportion to the strength and soundness of national morality, must consign those who are guilty of it to undying infamy."
If English people are so blind that they cannot perceive this, foreigners, whose vision is clearer, have warned them. Bismarck said that England, by granting Home Rule to Ireland, would dig its own grave; and Admiral Mahan has recently written:—
"It is impossible for a military man or a statesman to look at the map and not perceive that the ambition of the Irish separatists, if realised, would be even more threatening to the national life of Great Britain than the secession of the South was to the American Union.
"The legislative supremacy of the British Parliament against the assertion of which the American Colonists revolted and which to-day would be found intolerable in Canada and Australia cannot be yielded in the case of an island, where independent action might very well be attended with fatal consequences to its partner. The instrument for such action, in the shape of an independent Parliament, could not be safely trusted even to avowed friends."
So then, having reviewed the evidence as calmly and dispassionately as I can, I answer the two questions which I propounded at the outset of the enquiry—That the real objects of the Nationalists are the total separation of Ireland from England and the establishment of an Independent Republic; and that the men of Ulster in resisting them to the uttermost are not merely justified on the ground of self-preservation, but are in reality fighting for the cause of the Empire.
The following Report of the Annual Pilgrimage in memory of Wolfe Tone, which took place on the 22nd of June last, and the article in the Leinster Leader (a prominent Nationalist journal) will show how closely the Nationalists of to-day follow in the footsteps of Wolfe Tone.
THE MEMORY OF WOLFE TONE.
ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO BODENSTOWN.
(From our Reporter.)
On Sunday last the annual pilgrimage to the grave of Theobald Wolfe Tone took place to Bodenstown churchyard. This year the numbers who attended exceeded those of last year, about a thousand coming from Dublin and another contingent from Tullamore, Clare, and Athlone. The procession formed outside Sallins station was a most imposing one, being made up of St. James' Brass Band and the Lorcan O'Toole Pipers' Band and the Athlone Pipers' Band, the National Boy Scouts, the Daughters of Erin, and members of the Wolfe Tone Memorial Clubs.
At the graveside demonstration, Mr. Thos. J. Clarke presided and said it was a gratifying thing that numbers of their fellow-countrymen were to-day swinging back to the old fighting line and taking pride in the old Fenian principles. He introduced Mr. P.H. Pearse, B.A.
Mr. Pearse then came forward and delivered an eloquent and impressive oration, first speaking in Irish. Speaking in English, he said they had come to the holiest place in Ireland, holier to them than that sacred spot where Patrick sleeps in Down. Patrick brought them life, but Wolfe Tone died for them. Though many had testified in death to the truth of Ireland's claim to Nationhood, Wolfe Tone was the greatest of all that had made that testimony; he was the greatest of Ireland's dead. They stood in the holiest place in Ireland, for what spot of the Nation's soil could be holier than the spot in which the greatest of her dead lay buried. He found it difficult to speak in that place, and he knew they all partook of his emotion. There were no strangers there for they were all in a sense own brothers to Tone (hear, hear). They shared his faith, his hope still unrealised and his great love. They had come there that day not merely to salute this noble dust and to pay their homage to the noble spirit of Tone, but to renew their adhesion to the faith of Tone and to express their full acceptance of the gospel of which Tone had given such a clear definition. That gospel had been taught before him by English-speaking men, uttered half-articulately by Shan O'Neill, expressed in some passionate metaphor by Geoffrey Keating, and hinted at by Swift in some bitter jibe, but it was stated definitely and emphatically by Wolfe Tone and it did not need to be ever again stated anew for any new generation. Tone was great in mind, but he was still greater in spirit. He had the clear vision of the prophet; he saw things as they were and saw things as they would be. They owed more to this dead man than they should be ever able to repay him by making pilgrimages to his grave or building the stateliest monuments in the streets of his city. They owed it to him that there was such a thing as Irish Nationalism; to his memory and the memory of '98 they owed it that there was any manhood left in Ireland (hear, hear). The soul of Wolfe Tone was like a burning flame, a flame so pure, so ardent, so generous, that to come into communion with it was as a new optimism and regeneration. Let them try in some way to get into contact with the spirit of Tone and possess themselves of its ardour. If they could do that it would be a good thing for them and their country, because they would carry away with them a new life from that place of death and there would be a new resurrection of patriotic grace in their souls (hear, hear). Let them think of Tone; think of his boyhood and young manhood in Dublin and in Kildare; think of his adventurous spirit and plans, think of his glorious failure at the bar, and his healthy contempt for what he called a foolish wig and gown, think how the call of Ireland came to him; think how he obeyed that call; think how he put virility into the Catholic movement; think how this heretic toiled to make freemen of Catholic helots (applause). Think how he grew to love the real and historic Irish nation, and then there came to him that clear conception that there must be in Ireland not three nations but one; that Protestant and Dissenter must close in amity with Catholic, and Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter must unite to achieve freedom for all (applause). Let them consider the sacrifices Tone had made; he had to leave so much. Never was there a man who was so richly endowed as he was, he had so much love in his warm heart. He (speaker) would rather have known Tone than any other man of whom he ever read or heard. He never read of any one man who had more in him of the heroic stuff than Tone had; how gaily and gallantly he had set about the doing of a mighty thing. He (speaker) had always loved the very name of Thomas Russell because Tone so loved him. To be Tone's friend! What a privilege! for Tone had for his friends an immense love, an immense charity. He had such love for his wife and children! But such was the destiny of the heroes of their nation; they had to stifle in their hearts all that love and that sweet music and to follow only the faint voice that called them to the battlefield or to the harder death at the foot of the gibbet. Tone heard that voice and obeyed it and from his grave to-day he was calling on them and they were there to answer his voice; and they pledged themselves to carry out his programme to abolish the connection with England, the never-failing source of political evils and to establish the independence of their country, to abolish the memory of past dissensions, and to replace for the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter, the common name of Irishman (applause). In that programme was to be found the whole philosophy of Irish Nationality; that programme included the philosophy of the Gaelic League and of later prophets, and it was to that programme they pledged their adhesion; they pledged it now at the graveside of Tone; they pledged themselves to follow in the steps of Tone, never to rest by day or night until this be accomplished, until Ireland be free (applause); fighting on, not in despondency, but in great joy as Tone fought; prizing it above all privileges, and hoping for the victory in their own day. And if it should be granted to them in this generation to complete the work that Tone's generation left unaccomplished! But if that was not their destiny, they should fight on still, hoping still, self-sacrificing still, knowing as they must know that causes like this did not lose for ever, and that men like Tone did not die in vain (applause).
The address having concluded, wreaths were placed on the grave by the National Boy Scouts and the Inghanite Na h-Eireann.
During the afternoon an aeridheacht was held in an adjoining field at which music, songs and recitations were contributed, and a thoroughly enjoyable Irish-Ireland evening was spent.
AT THE GRAVE OF WOLFE TONE.
The lifework of Theobald Wolfe Tone, for the subversion of English Government in Ireland, and the supreme sacrifice he made in the mighty effort to erect in its stead an independent Ireland free from all foreign denomination and control, was fittingly commemorated on Sunday last, when the annual pilgrimage took place to Bodenstown Churchyard, where all that is mortal of the great patriot lie buried. The pilgrimage this year was worthy of the cause and the man, and afforded some object lessons in what might be accomplished by a cultivation of those principles of discipline and devotion to duty, in the pursuit of a glorious ideal, which Tone taught and adhered to throughout his adventurous and brilliant career. The well-ordered procession, the ready obedience to the commands of the marshals, the intense earnestness of the multitude, and the display made by the youths—the national boy scouts—their military bearing, and the bands and banners which interspersed the procession as it marched from Sallins to Bodenstown was a spectacle which pleased the eye and stirred the emotions. Everything in connection with the pilgrimage was carried out with a close attention to detail, and military-like precision which must have been very acceptable to the great patriot in whose honour it was organised, were he but permitted to gaze from the great Unknown upon this practical demonstration of the perpetuation of the spirit which animated him and his time, in the struggle against English misrule, and the love and veneration in which he is still held, after the lapse of the century and more that has passed since he made the final sacrifice of his life in the cause of freedom. Tone done to death did not die in vain. The truth of this was evident in the character of the pilgrimage on Sunday last, when all that is best and purest in patriotism in the land assembled at his graveside, to renew fealty to the aims and ideals for which he suffered and died, and to hear the gospel of Irish nationality preached and expounded as he knew and inculcated it in his day. A fusion of forces, and the cultivation of a spirit and bond of brotherhood and friendship amongst Irishmen in the common cause, were his methods to attain the great ideal of a separate and distinct nationality, for then, as to-day, the chief obstacle to freedom and nationhood was not so much English domination in itself, as want of cohesion, faction, and the disruption caused by alien traditions and teachings. This was the prevailing spirit of Sunday's commemoration, and as the great mass of people filed past in orderly array and knelt, prayed, and laid wreaths on the lonely grave, the solemnity and impressiveness of the occasion was intensified. In the suppressed murmurs, and silent gaze on the tomb of the mighty dead, one could recognise the eagerness and the hope for another Tone to arise to complete the work which he promoted, and vindicate the purity of the motives which moved men like the leaders of '98 to do and dare for all, and to "substitute the common name of Irishman for Catholic, Protestant, and Dissenter." The promoters, too, were fortunate in their choice of orator for the occasion. Mr. P.H. Pearse did full justice to the occasion, and in language, beautiful and impressive, pictured the man and his movements and the lessons to be drawn by us to-day from the lifework of leaders in thought and action like Tone. Close and consistent adhesion to principles of patriotism and a readiness of self-sacrifice in the pursuit of those principles, were his distinguishing characteristics all through life, and if we in our time would emulate the example of Tone and his times, we must also be ready when the call came to meet any demand made upon us for the promotion of our national welfare. The orator of the day rightly, in our opinion, described that hallowed spot in Bodenstown as one of the holiest places in Ireland to-day, from the nationalist standpoint, holding as it does the ashes of the man who, without friends, money or influence to help him, and by sheer force of character, intensity of purpose and earnestness, prevailed upon the greatest emperor-general the world has ever seen Napoleon Bonaparte, to make a descent on Ireland, in order to aid our starved, tortured, and persecuted people to shake off the shackles that kept them in slavery, and elevate Ireland once more to the dignity of full, free, and untrammelled nationhood. We are all familiar with the events following this great effort of Tone's, and the dark chapters that closed a glorious career. All that is mortal of Tone is in the keeping of Kildare, and it is a trust that we feel sure is not alone felt to be a high honour, but which cannot fail to keep the cultivation of a high standard of nationality before the people in whose midst repose the remains of one of Ireland's greatest sons. Ireland, from the centre to the sea, was represented in Sunday's great gathering to commemorate the achievements of Wolfe Tone, and the occasion was honoured first by the large and representative character of the throng, secondly by the decorum observed all through the day's proceedings, and thirdly, by the regularity and precision which attended the entire arrangements. There was just one other feature which must have been very gratifying to those identified with the organisation of the pilgrimage, namely: the large proportion of ladies and young people, coming long distances, who made up the gathering. And they were by no means the least enthusiastic of the throng. This enthusiasm amongst our young people is one of the most encouraging and promising signs of the times, serving as it does to demonstrate the undying spirit of Irish nationality, and the perpetuation of those principles to which Tone devoted his time, talents, and eventually made the supreme sacrifice of his life in having inculcated amongst his people. It is a glorious legacy, and one that has ever been cherished with veneration for the men who left it. He died a martyr to the cause he espoused, but his memory and the cause live. The living blaze he and his co-workers, in the cause of Irish freedom, kindled has never been completely stamped out, and it still smoulders, and has occasionally burst into flame only to be temporarily extinguished in the blood and tears of our bravest and best who never forgot the teachings of Tone. And now, when the sky is bright once more, and every circumstance portends the dawn of a new era, full of hope and promise for the ultimate realisation of those ideals for which thousands of our race have sacrificed their lives, the spark of nationality which, even since Tone's death, has repeatedly leaped into flame, still glows fitfully to remind us that come what may it remains undying and unquenchable, a beacon to light us on the path to freedom should disappointment and dashed hopes again darken the outlook.