officer called the Receiver-General was appointed, into whose hands the produce of every tax, both Imperial and Local, was required to be paid, and it was the duty of the Receiver General to take care that all claims of the English Exchequer, including especially the contribution payable by Ireland for Imperial purposes, were satisfied before a farthing found its way into the Irish Exchequer for Irish purposes. The Receiver General was provided with an Imperial Court to enforce his rights of Imperial taxation, and adequate means for enforcing all Imperial powers by Imperial civil officers. The Bill did not provide for the representation of Ireland in the Imperial Parliament on all Imperial questions, including questions relating to Imperial taxation, but it is fully understood that in any Bill which might hereafter be brought forward relating to Home Rule those defects would be remedied.

An examination, then, of the Home Rule Bill, that "child of revolution and parent of separation, appears to lead irresistibly to two conclusions. First, that Imperial rights and Imperial powers, representation for Imperial purposes, Imperial taxation-in short, every link that binds a subordinate member of an Empire to its supreme head-have been maintained unimpaired and unchanged. Secondly, that, in granting Home Rule to discontented Ireland, that form of responsible government has been adopted which, as Mr. Merivale declares-and his declaration subsequent events have more than verified -when conferred on the discontented colonies, changed restless aspirations for separation into quiet loyalty.

That such a Bill as the Home Rule Bill should be treated as an invasion of Imperial rights is a proof of one, or perhaps of both, the following axiomsthat Bills are never read by their accusers, and that party spirit will distort the plainest facts. The union of Great Britain and Ireland was not, so far as Imperial powers were concerned, disturbed by the Bill, and an Irishman remains a citizen of the British Empire under the Home Rule Bill, with the same obligations and the same privileges, on the same terms as before. All the Bill did was to make his Irish citizen


ship distinct from his Imperial citizenship, in the same manner as the citizenship of a native of the State of New York is distinct from his citizenship as a member of the United States. it has been found that the Central power in the United States has been more than a match for the State powers, and can it be conceived for a moment that the Imperial power of Great Britain should not be a match for the local power of Ireland-a State which has not one seventh of the population or one twentieth part of the income of the dominant community?

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One argument remains to be noticed which Mr. Dicey and the opponents of Home Rule urge as absolutely condemnatory of the measure, whereas, if properly weighed, it is conclusive in its favor. Home Rule, they say, is a mere question of sentiment. National aspirations" are the twaddle of English enthusiasts who know nothing of Ireland. What is really wanted is the reform of the Land Law. Settle the agrarian problem, and Home Rule may be relegated to the place supposed to be paved with good intentions. The Irish will straightway change their character, and become a law-abiding, contented, loyal people. Be it so. But suppose to be proved that the establishment of an Irish Government, or, in other words, Home Rule, is an essential condition of agrarian reform-that the latter cannot be had without the former-surely Home Rule should stand none the worse in the estimation of its opponents if it not only secures a safe basis for putting an end to agrarian exasperation, but also gratifies the feeling of the Irish people as expressed by the majority of its representatives in Parliament. Now, what is the nature of the Irish Land Question? This we must understand before considering the remedy. In Ireland (meaning by Ireland that part of the country which is in the hands of tenants, and falls within the compass of a Land Bill) the tenure of land is wholly unlike that which is found in the greater part of England. Instead of large farms in which the landlord makes all the improvements and the tenant pays rent for the privilege of cultivating the land and receives the produce, small holdings are found in which the tenant

does the improvements (if any) and pays a fixed rent-charge to the owner. In England the tenant does not perform the obligations or in any way aspire to the character of owner. If he thinks he can get a cheaper farm, he quits his former one, regarding his interest in the land as a mere matter of pounds, shillings, and pence. Not so the Irish

discharge all principal and interest due in respect of a capital sum lent at 3 per cent.


Bearing the foregoing assumption in mind, let John Jones be the tenant of the Shannon holding at £10 a year, and John Brown the landlord. Then the account stands as follows:-Shannon holding=£10 a year gross rent. Assume the outgoings to be £20 per cent. ; then the sum payable to the landlord = twenty times the gross rent, after deducting 20 per cent. for outgoings-that is to say, £20X £10-£200-£40 £160. The sum payable by the tenant £4 per cent. on ten years' purchase of gross rental-that is to say, £4 per cent. on £200, or £8 a year for forty-nine years. England lends Ireland £160 stock at 38 per cent. to pay the landlord. And, inasmuch as an annuity of £4 per cent. pays off principal and interest of money lent at 3 per cent, in forty-nine years, the Irish authority pays off the debt in forty-nine years by a payment of £4 per cent. on £160, or £6 8s., for forty-nine years. At the same time, the Irish State authority receives from the tenant £8 a year for the same period, thus gaining the difference between £6 8s. and £8, or £1 12s.. for expenses of collection and profit. The consequence, then, is that by Mr. Gladstone's plan the landlord obtains twenty years' purchase on the net rental for his estate; the tenant's rent is reduced from £10 to £8; the Irish Government receives £8 and pays only £6 8s., making an annual profit of the difference.

tenant. He has made what he calls
improvements, he claims a quasi-own-
ership in the land, and has the charac-
teristic Celtic attachment for the patch
of ground forming his holding, however
squalid it may be, however inadequate
for his support. In short, in Ireland
there is a dual ownership-that of the
proprietor, who has no interest in the
soil so long as the tenant pays his rent
and fulfils the conditions of his tenancy;
and that of the tenant, who, subject to
the payment of his rent and perform-
ance of the fixed conditions, acts,
thinks, and carries himself as the owner
of his holding. A system, then, of
agrarian reform in Ireland resolves itself
into an inquiry as to the best mode of
putting an end to this dual ownership-
that is to say, of making the tenant the
sole proprietor of his holding, and com-
pensating the landlord for his interest
in the ownership. The problem is fur- tion
The problem is fur-
ther narrowed by the circumstance that
the tenant cannot be expected to advance
any capital or pay an increased rent, so
that the means of compensating the
landlord must be found out of the exist-
ing rent.

The plan adopted in Mr. Gladstone's
Land Bill was to commute the rent-
charges, offering the landlord, as a gen-
eral rule, twenty years' purchase on the
net rental of the estate (that is to say,
the rent received by him after deduct-
ing all outgoings), and paying him the
purchase-money in £3 per cent. stock
taken at par.
The stock was to be ad-
vanced by the English Government to
an Irish State department at 3 per
cent. interest, and the Bill provided
that the tenant, instead of rent, was to
pay an annuity of £4 per cent. on a
capital sum equal in amount to twenty
times the gross rental. An illustration
will most readily show how the plan
works, it being only necessary
premise that an annuity of £4 per cent.
paid for a period of forty-nine years will



Another mode of putting the case shortly is as follows:-The English Exchequer lends the money to the Irish State authority at 3 per cent., and an annuity of 4 per cent. paid during fortynine years will, as has been stated above, repay both principal and interest for every £100 lent at 33 per cent. the sale of an estate under the Bill, the landlord receives twenty years' purchase; the tenant pays £4 per cent. on twenty years' purchase of the gross rental; the Irish State authority receives £4 per cent. on the gross rental ; the English Exchequer receives 4 per cent. on the net rental only.

The machinery, so to speak, of the Land Bill is this :-An Imperial Commission is appointed to see that the land

lord obtains a fair price for his estate. The Irish Government create a Land Department to conduct the business on behalf of the Irish Government. The tehant requires no protection, as his rent is necessarily reduced, and consequently no power of refusing to become the owner of the land was given to him, except in certain special cases. It has been found, however, that the absence of a power on the side of the tenant to refuse to become proprietor is liable to misconstruction; it will be advisable, therefore, in a future Bill, to provide that the State should become the proprietor instead of the tenant, if the tenant prefers to retain his existing position instead of becoming an owner on payment of a reduced rent for forty-nine years, and should be entitled to make what bargain it pleases with the tenant.. The notable feature which distinguishes this plan from all other schemes is the security given for the repayment of the purchase-money: hitherto the English Government has lent the money directly to the landlord or tenant, and has become the mortgagee of the land-in other words, has become in effect the landlord of the land sold to the tenant until the repayment of the loan has been completed. To carry into effect under such a system any extensive scheme of agrarian reform (and if not extensive such a reform would be of no value in pacifying Ireland) presupposes a readiness on the part of the English Government to become virtually the landlord of a large portion of Ireland, with the attendant odium of absenteeism and alien domination. Under the Land Bill of Mr. Gladstone all these difficulties are overcome. The Irish, not the English, Government is the virtual landlord. It is the interest of Ireland that the annuities due from the tenants should be regularly paid, as, subject to the prior charge of the English Exchequer, they form part of the Irish revenues. It may be objected that the Irish Government may repudiate the debt; that is rendered impossible by a provision that all the Irish revenues, including the land rents, are to be paid into the hands of the Imperial Receiver-General, whose office we have described above, and it is his duty to liquidate the debt due to his Imperial master, the Imperial Ex

chequer, before the Irish Government can receive any portion of the moneys in his hands. The position of the Receiver-General has perhaps not been sufficiently guarded in the present Bill, and it will be advisable in a future Bill to declare that he shall, if he thinks fit, collect the taxes by Imperial officers. The cardinal difference, then, between Mr. Gladstone's scheme and any other land scheme that has seen the light is this-that in Mr. Gladstone's scheme the English loans are lent to the Irish Government on the security of the whole Irish revenues, whereas in every other scheme they have been lent by the English Government to the Irish creditors on the security of individual patches of land.

The whole question, then, of the relation between Home Rule and agrarian reform may be summed up as follows: -Agrarian reform is necessary for the pacification of Ireland; agrarian reform cannot be efficiently carried into effect without an Irish Government; an Irish Government can only be established by a Home Rule Bill: therefore a Home Rule Bill is necessary for the pacification of Ireland. It is idle to say, as has been said on numerous platforms, that plans no doubt can be devised for agrarian reform without Home Rule. The Irish revenues are the only collateral security that can be obtained for loans of English money, and Irish revenues are only available for the purpose on the establishment of an Irish Government. Baronial guarantees, union guarantees, county guarantees, debenture schemes, have all been tried and found wanting, and vague assertions as to possibilities are idle unless they are based on intelligible working plans.

The foregoing arguments will be equally valid if, instead of making the tenants peasant-proprietors, it were thought desirable that the Irish State. should be the proprietor and the tenants be the holders of the land at perpetual rents and subject to fixed conditions. Again, it might be possible to pay the landlords by annual sums instead of capital sums.

Such matters are really questions of detail. The substance is to interpose the Irish Government between the tenant and the English mortgagee, and to make the loans general

charges on the whole of the Irish Government revenues as paid into the hands of an Imperial Receiver instead of placing them as special charges, each fixed on its own small estate or holding. The fact that Mr. Gladstone's land scheme has been denounced as confiscation of £100,000,000 of the English taxpayers' property, while Lord Ashbourne's Act is pronounced by the same party wise and prudent, shows the political blindness of party spirit in its most absurd form. Lord Ashbourne's Act requires precisely the same expenditure to do the same work as Mr. Gladstone's Bill requires, but in Mr. Gladstone's scheme the whole Irish revenue is pledged as collateral security, and the Irish Government is interposed between the ultimate creditor and the Irish tenant, while under Lord Ashbourne's Act the English Government figures without disguise as the landlord of each tenant, exacting a debt which the tenant is unwilling to pay as being due to what he calls an alien Government.

An endeavor has been made in the preceding pages to prove that Home Rule in no respect infringes on Imperial rights or Imperial unity, for the simple reason that the Imperial power remains exactly in the same position as it was before, the Home Rule Bill dealing only with Local matters. If this statement be correct, it disposes at once of a great part of Mr. Dicey's book. A system which does not affect the Empire or diminish the supremacy of the British Parliament, which merely confers local selff-government on a dependency of the Empire not so important to Great Britain as several of her colonies, can hardly be said "to work irreparable injury to Great Britain and the British Empire."* At all events, Burke thought that the Imperial supremacy alone constituted a real union between England and Ireland. He says:

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My poor opinion is, that the closest connection between Great Britain and Ireland is essential to the well-being-I had almost said to the very being---of the three kingdoms; for that purpose I humbly conceive that the whole of the superior, and what I should call Imperial politics, ought to have its residence here, and that Ireland, locally, civilly, and commercially independent, ought politically to look up to Great Britain in all matters of peace and * Dicey, p. 16.

war. In all these points to be joined with her, and, in a word, with her to live and to die." * How strange to Burke would have seemed the doctrine that the restoration of a limited power of self-government to Ireland, excluding commerce, and excluding all matters not only Imperial, but those in which uniformity is required, should be denounced as a disruption of the Empire !

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I agree altogether with Mr. Dicey when he says that the welfare of thirty millions of citizens must, if a conflict of interest arise, be preferred to the interest of five millions of citizens''-nay, further, that it is an error of democracy

to admit "that a fraction of a nation has a right to speak with the authority of the whole, and that the right of each portion of the people to make its wishes heard involves the right to have them granted."t

What is contended is, that if the aspirations of the Irish people can be satisfied by a Home Rule Bill which cannot injure Imperial rights or the supremacy of the British Parliament, it is folly to reject so cheap a mode of settling a question which has for centuries been a thorn in the side of the English. It is true that, unlike Mr. Dicey, I do not think that in considering Home Rule we ought "to separate in the clearest manner matters of business from matters of feeling." It is not, as he affirms, an "illusion of language or falsely applied historical method to talk of England and Ireland as though they were two human beings." § Surely nations are actuated by the same passions, the same hopes, the same fears, as individuals; and Mr. Dicey corrects himself when, speaking in another part of his book, he says that in Germany the sentiment of nationality has overridden the political divisions which broke up Germany into almost disconnected and often hostile States." ||


On the land question Mr. Dicey agrees that "historical causes have generated in Ireland a condition of opinion which in all matters regarding the land impedes that enforcement of law which is the primary duty of every civilized govern

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He then states that, instead of such a condition being any argument in favor of Home Rule, the proper conclusion is " that if the popular source of discontent be agrarian, then the right course is to amend the Land Laws, while improving the administrative system and enforcing justice between man and man." The short answer to this is that the necessity for amending the Land Laws is the most cogent possible argument for Home Rule, inasmuch as no effectual agrarian reform can be carried into effect without an Irish Government and the collateral security of the Irish revenues, and that neither the Irish Government nor the security of the Irish revenues is obtainable without a Home Rule Bill. What Mr. Dicey means by improving the administrative system is proved by other parts of his book, in which he mentions, with apparent approbation, "the official hierarchy which on the Continent represents the authority of the State," and declares that there is nothing objectionable or anomalous in increasing, as time goes on, the stringency of criminal procedure." § Why any improvements in criminal procedure should succeed in checking agrarian crime when neither the Act of 1881, which, he justly says, established a despotic government, nor the Act of 1882, which he thinks ought to be made permanent, was unsuccessful, Mr. || Dicey does not inform us; nor does he allude to the obvious argument that legislation is ineffective to repress crime generated, as agrarian crime is, by a sense of injustice, unless it at the same time provides some remedy for the injustice. In chapter iv. he deals with the argument in favor of Home Rule derived from foreign experience, by supposing that the Home Rulers hold up for admiration Turkish rule, and think that the Austro-Hungarian Government, and the Russian administration of Finland, and so forth are examples for Home Rule in Ireland. Now, a little consideration would have shown Mr. Dicey that, in stead of adopting foreign types, the framers of the Irish Bills proceeded strictly on the lines of the English Constitution as embodied in the American

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Ibid. p. 119. Ibid. p. 117. Ibid. p. 51.

copy of English prerogatives or in our own colonial Constitutions. Foreign examples were only adduced to show that countries adverse to each other while the one was in a state of dependence to the other became friendly as soon as local independence was accorded to the dependent member.

Every argument against Home Rule is necessarily based on the assumption that it is inexpedient to alter the Act of Union to the extent of allowing a separate Legislature in Ireland. On this hinges the whole case of the opponents to the Home Rule Bill, for, once admit the expediency of a separate body with power to govern Ireland in Local matters, and there remains to the framers of the Home Rule Bill the comparatively easy task of showing that the form they have adopted, either in its present shape or with such amendments as would not be inconsistent with the principle of the measure, is an admirable expedient for removing Irish difficulties. It is right, then, to examine in detail Mr. Dicey's plea on behalf of the maintenance of the Union. With characteristic candor, he begins by admitting that, although eighty-six years have elapsed since the conclusion of the treaty of union between England and Ireland, the two countries do not yet form a united nation. The Irish people are, if not more wretched (for the whole European world has made progress, and Ireland with it), yet more conscious of wretchedness, and Irish disaffection to England is, if not deeper, more widespread than in He says that, if the Union is to be maintained with advantage to any part of the United Kingdom, the people of the United Kingdom must make the most strenuous, firm, and continuous effort, lasting, it may well be for twenty years or more, to enforce throughout every part of the United Kingdom obedience to the law of the land.Ӡ Coupling this expression,


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enforcing the law of the land," with his remarks on coercion in a previous chapter, it is clear that Mr. Dicey's maintenance of the Union rests on the same basis as Lord Salisbury's-that is to say, a benevolent despotism for

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