XVII. PRIVATE BILL LEGISLATION
By the Rt. Hon. Walter Long, M.P.
By John E. Healy, Editor of the “Irish Times."
By Godfrey Locker Lampson, M.P.
By an Irish Railway Director.
BY THE RIGHT HON. SIR EDWARD CARSON, M.P.
The object of the various essays collected in this book is to set out the case against Home Rule for Ireland, and to re-state Unionist policy in the light of the recent changes in that country. The authors are not, however, to be regarded as forming anything in the nature of a corporate body, and no collective responsibility is to be ascribed to them. Each writer is responsible for the views set out in his own article, and for those alone. At the same time, they are all leaders of Unionist thought and opinion, and their views in the main represent the policy which the Unionist Government, when returned to power, will have to carry into effect.
Among the contributors to the book are an ex-Premier, four ex-Chief Secretaries for Ireland, an ex-Lord Lieutenant, two ex-Law officers, and a number of men whose special study of the Irish question entitles them to have their views most carefully considered when the time comes for restoring to Ireland those economic advantages of which she has been deprived by political agitation and political conspiracy. At the present moment the discussion of the Irish question is embittered by the pressing and urgent danger to civil and religious liberties involved in the unconditional surrender of the Government to the intrigues of a disloyal section of the Irish people. It is the object of writers in this book to raise the discussions on the Home Rule question above the bitter conflict of Irish parties, and to show that not only is Unionism a constructive policy and a measure of hope for Ireland, but that in Unionist policy lies the only alternative to financial ruin and exterminating civil dissensions.
We who are Unionists believe first and foremost that the Act of Union is required—in the words made familiar to us by the Book of Common Prayer—“for the safety, honour and welfare, of our Sovereign and his dominions.” We are not concerned with the supposed taint which marred the passing of that Act; we are unmoved by the fact that its terms have undergone considerable modification. We do not believe in the plenary inspiration of any Act of Parliament. It is not possible for the living needs of two prosperous countries to be bound indefinitely by the “dead