Against Home Rule (1912) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Against Home Rule (1912).

The main Irish objection to a scheme of this description is that, whatever tax be imposed, the amount taken from the Irish taxpayer would be 50 per cent. greater than the amount going into the Irish Exchequer.  It is easy to foresee that such an arrangement would have led to much friction and difficulty, and that it could not have lasted even the six years for which it was provisionally fixed.  If applied to the present situation Ireland would have been contributing less than L3,000,000 for Imperial services, although a very moderate estimate of what her contribution should be would require her to pay at least L5,000,000.  In spite of this modest payment, however, this scheme would have confronted the Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer with a deficit of more than L2,250,000 rising at once to L2,700,000 in consequence of the Insurance Act.

In reviewing the three financial schemes which have previously seen the light, the following facts stand out clearly:—­

1.  Some contribution was expected from Ireland for Imperial services in each scheme.

2.  The rates of customs, excise, and postage were in all cases to be controlled by the Imperial Parliament.

3.  The customs were in every case to be collected by officers of the Imperial Exchequer.

4.  In the two schemes of 1893 “true” revenue and not “collected” revenue was the basis of the financial arrangement.

5.  Each of these schemes would involve the Irish Parliament from the outset in a huge deficit.

In view of these facts it is certain that any arrangement which pretended to give a Budget surplus to the Irish Parliament would involve, overtly or covertly, the payment of a large subsidy to Ireland out of the Imperial Exchequer.  Such a contingency is not likely to make Home Rule more acceptable, or the path of any Bill through Parliament more easy.


[Footnote 50:  See Parliamentary Debates.]

[Footnote 51:  Based on White Papers 233 (1910) and 220 (1911).]

[Footnote 52:  No contribution from Ireland in this year; local expenditure is estimated to have been in excess of revenue contributed.]

[Footnote 53:  Since the above was written, Mr. Birrell has promised (March 27, 1912) to publish the report “some time” after the introduction of the Home Rule Bill.]




There is no argument in favour of Home Rule for Ireland which is more frequently used to-day than that which is based on the analogy of our Colonial experience.  In the history of every one of our Colonies—­so runs one variant of the argument—­from Lord Durham’s report on Canada down to the grant of responsible government to the Transvaal, “Home Rule” has turned disaffection into loyalty, and has inaugurated a career of prosperity.  Why should

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