Against Home Rule (1912) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 318 pages of information about Against Home Rule (1912).
tragic interpretation, from which the fanatic and the place-hunter would recoil—­when too late.  The blatant publican who strangles a neighbourhood in the toils of usury and illicit drink, and the bestial survivor of half-forgotten murder-rings take note of these signs.  The atavism of cruelty returns.  Emboldened by Mr. Birrell’s bland acquiescence in milder prologues to Home Rule, a new plan of campaign is, even now, being devised, charged with sinister consequences from which all men in 1903 trusted that Ireland would be for ever absolved.  The prospects of Irish Agriculture under Home Rule include the return, after a brief chapter of “hope, and energy the child of hope,” to the old cycle of bitterness and listlessness and despair.

A consideration of these alternatives leads to this dilemma.  If the Government concede fiscal autonomy Land Purchase ends.  If they refuse it, and Mr. Redmond accepts a “gas-and-water” Bill, that compromise, so accepted, will receive from Mr. Dillon the treatment accorded to the recommendations of the Recess Committee and of the Land Conference.  The compromise will be repudiated and the millions already advanced for purchase will be used as a lever to extort complete autonomy.  The lever is a powerful one.  All depends upon who holds the handle.

It may be said in conclusion that the Unionist policy of Land Purchase vindicates the Union, and that the treatment it has received demonstrates the futility, and the tragedy, of granting Home Rule.

XV

POSSIBLE IRISH FINANCIAL REFORMS UNDER THE UNION

BY ARTHUR WARREN SAMUELS, K.C.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL POSITION.

The best possible system for Irish financial reform is adherence to the principles of the Act of Union.  The constitution, as settled by the Act of Union and the Supplementary Act for the amalgamation of the Exchequer, contemplated that each of the three Kingdoms should contribute by “equal taxes” to the Imperial Exchequer.  “Equal taxes” were to be those which would press upon each country equitably in proportion to its comparative ability to bear taxation.  These taxes were to be imposed subject to such exemptions and abatements as Scotland and Ireland should from time to time appear to be entitled to.  If their circumstances should so require, they should receive special consideration.

All the revenues of England, Scotland and Ireland, wherever and however raised, when paid into the common Exchequer, form one consolidated fund.  The Act for the consolidation of the Exchequers directs that there shall be paid out of the common fund “indiscriminately” under the control of Parliament all such moneys as are required at any time and in any place for any of the public services in England, Scotland, Ireland or elsewhere in the Empire.[76] Such payments are to be made without consideration of anything but necessity.  They are to be without differentiation on the ground

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