Handbook of Home Rule eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 329 pages of information about Handbook of Home Rule.

To conclude:  the cause of Irish discontent is the conjoint operation of the passion for nationality and the vicious system of land tenure, and the scheme of the Irish Home Rule Bill and the Land Bill removes the whole fabric on which Irish discontent is raised.  The Irish, by the great majority of their representatives, have accepted the Home Rule Bill as a satisfactory settlement of the nationality question.  The British Parliament can, through the medium of the Home Rule Bill and the establishment of an Irish Legislature, carry through a final settlement of agrarian disputes with less injustice to individuals than could a Parliament sitting in Dublin, and, be it added, with scarcely any appreciable risk to the British taxpayer.  Of course it may be said that an Irish Parliament will go farther—­that Home Rule is a step to separation, and a reform of the Land Laws a spoliation of the landlords.  To those who urge such arguments I would recommend the perusal of the speech of Burke on Conciliation with America, and especially the following sentences, substituting “Ireland” for “the colonies:”—­

“But [the Colonies] Ireland will go further.  Alas! alas! when will this speculating against fact and reason end?  What will quiet these panic fears which we entertain of the hostile effect of a conciliatory conduct?  Is it true that no case can exist in which it is proper for the Sovereign to accede to the desires of his discontented subjects?  Is there anything peculiar in this case to make it a rule for itself?  Is all authority of course lost when it is not pushed to the extreme?  Is it a certain maxim that the fewer causes of discontentment are left by Government the more the subject will be inclined to resist and rebel?”


[Footnote 9:  Burke’s Speech on American Taxation, vol. i. p. 174]

[Footnote 10:  This is the opinion of both English and American lawyers.  See Blackstone’s Comm., i. 90; Austin on Jurisprudence, i. 226.  As to American cases, see Corley on Constitutional Limitations, pp. 2-149.]

[Footnote 11:  “Lectures on the Colonies,” p, 641.]

[Footnote 12:  Burke, vol. i. p. 181.]

[Footnote 13:  “Letter on Affairs of Ireland,” i. 462.]



A mere enumeration or analysis of the contents of the Irish Government Bill, 1886, and the Land (Ireland) Bill, 1886, would convey scarcely any intelligible idea to the mind of an ordinary reader.  It is, therefore, proposed in the following pages, before entering on the details of each Bill, to give a summary of the reasons which led to its introduction, and of the principles on which it is founded.  To begin with the Irish Government Bill—­

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