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.
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. Such payments are to be made without consideration of anything but necessity. They are to be without differentiation on the ground