Against Home Rule (1912) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Against Home Rule (1912).
Government to contract no friendships abroad, and to interfere on behalf of every petty princedom oppressed by a powerful neighbour, and every downtrodden subject of some foreign power.  It is these same men who wish to dissolve the Union, and to impose obligations at home upon an inadequate army which would leave us powerless abroad.  And the longer war delays in coming, the greater will be the danger when it comes.  With the increase in armaments, this country must undergo a proportionate sacrifice.  If compulsory service should be adopted, it must apply to Ireland as well as the United Kingdom.  But how will an independent government in Dublin view the compulsory enrolment of the manhood of Ireland, two-thirds of which have been taught to regard England as the national and hereditary enemy?  The Irish are, above all, a military race.  Had we been able to enforce such service within the Union, whatever temporary opposition it might have encountered, it might ultimately have proved an indissoluble bond of friendship.

The future is very dark, and it is all important that we should face it with open eyes.  War cannot long be delayed, and there is too little time left to put our house in order.  Even if Home Rule could be shown to be an act of justice due to a wronged people who have proved themselves capable of self-government, even then it could not be justified in the present crisis abroad.  But it is not so.  Ulster will fight for the same cause as did the Northern States of America, and may well show the same self-sacrifice.  It will be civil war in a country peculiarly adapted to the movements of irregular troops, well acquainted with its features; it will be accompanied by atrocities which will be remembered for centuries.  And this is the tremendous risk we are deliberately running, when we only possess six divisions of regular troops to support our allies on the continent and to safeguard the interests of the whole British Empire.

It is for the British people to decide whether the thin red line is to be still thinner in the day of battle, and whether those who should be fighting side by side shall be embittered and divided, or whether they will rather believe the words of the greatest naval expert living[69]: 

“It is impossible for a military man or a statesman with appreciation of military conditions, to look at the map and not perceive that the ambition of the Irish separatists, realised, would be even more threatening to the national life than the secession of the South was to that of the American Union.”


[Footnote 69:  Admiral Mahan.]





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Against Home Rule (1912) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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