Against Home Rule (1912) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Against Home Rule (1912).
of the locality of the expenditure, or of the relative amount of the contributions to the common chest of England, Scotland or Ireland.  All expenditure is alike “common”; whatever its object may be, civil, naval or military or foreign, it is all alike “Imperial,” and all of it is under the constitution “indiscriminate.”  The whole United Kingdom forms one domain, and but one area for the purposes of expenditure.  As long as the Act of Union lasts no one of the three Kingdoms can be said to be “run” either “at a loss” or “at a profit.”  They are all run together as one incorporate body.  The common revenue balances the common expenditure, and they bear together one another’s burden and the weight of Empire.


The Act for the amalgamation of the Exchequers of Great Britain and Ireland contained provisions for the continued representation of Ireland in fiscal matters at the Exchequer and in Parliament.  Power was given to His Majesty by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Ireland to appoint a Vice-Treasurer of Ireland.  The Vice-Treasurer could sit in Parliament, and appointment to the office did not vacate a seat in the House of Commons.  This office has been allowed to fall into abeyance.  The Exchequer is only represented in Ireland by a Treasury Remembrancer.  Most persons who know Ireland would concur in the view that the existing arrangement is not satisfactory, and that it would be of great advantage to Great Britain, as well as to Ireland, to have in Parliament a Minister specially responsible for Irish finance, acting under the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  The Vice-Treasurership should be revived, and the occupant of it should be a member in touch with Irish opinion, understanding Ireland and her real wants, which are often very different from the demands upon the Exchequer that are most loudly proclaimed.  The restoration of the office would facilitate business, and tend to remove many misunderstandings, and prevent many mistakes.  Personal interviews in Ireland with such a Minister would be worth reams of correspondence, and would save weeks of time.  Promptitude, economy and efficiency would be secured.


For the purposes of a system of Tariff Reform, the revival of the Irish Vice-Treasurership is expedient.  The peculiar circumstances, conditions, aptitudes, and requirements of Ireland must be regarded, inquired into, discussed and weighed.  Her commercial, industrial, and agricultural interests must be specially considered.  They vary in many particulars from those of Scotland and England.  This can only be done satisfactorily by a responsible Irish Minister charged with the duty of protecting and securing her interests and harmonising them with those of the sister Kingdoms in the framing of a scientific scheme of Tariff Reform.

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