Handbook of Home Rule eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 281 pages of information about Handbook of Home Rule.

Is it not time that the opponents of Home Rule for Ireland should define their position?  They defeated Mr. Gladstone’s scheme last year in Parliament and in the constituencies; and they defeated it by the promise of a counter policy which was to consist, in brief, of placing Ireland on the same footing as Great Britain in respect to Local Government; or, if there was to be any difference, it was to be in the direction of a larger and more generous measure for Ireland than for the rest of the United Kingdom.  This certainly was the policy propounded by the distinguished leader of the Liberal Unionists in his speech at Belfast, in November, 1885, and repeated in his electoral speeches last year.  In the Belfast speech Lord Hartington said:  “My opinion is that it is desirable for Irishmen that institutions of local self-government such as are possessed by England and Scotland, and such as we hope to give in the next session in greater extent to England and Scotland, should also be extended to Ireland.”  But this extension of local self-government to Ireland would require, in Lord Hartington’s opinion, a fundamental change in the fabric of Irish Government.  “I would not shrink,” he says, “from a great and bold reconstruction of the Irish Government,” a reconstruction leading up gradually to some real and substantial form of Home Rule.  His Lordship’s words are:  “I submit with some confidence to you these principles, which I have endeavoured to lay down, and upon which, I think, the extension of Local Government in Ireland must proceed.  First, you must have some adequate guarantees both for the maintenance of the essential unity of the Empire and for the protection of the minority in Ireland.  And, secondly, you must also admit this principle:  the work of complete self-government of Ireland, the grant of full control over the management of its own affairs, is not a grant that can be made by any Parliament of this country in a day.  It must be the work of continuous and careful effort.”  Elsewhere in the same speech Lord Hartington says:  “Certainly I am of opinion that nothing can be done in the direction of giving Ireland anything like complete control over her own affairs either in a day, or a session, or probably in a Parliament.”  “Complete control over her own affairs,” “the work of complete self-government of Ireland, the grant of full control over the management of its own affairs:”  this is the policy which Lord Hartington proclaimed in Ulster, the promise which he, the proximate Liberal leader, held out to Ireland on the eve of the General Election of 1885.  It was a policy to be begun “in the next session,” though not likely to be completed “in a day, or a session, or probably in a Parliament.”

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Handbook of Home Rule from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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