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a little knowledge or a spark passing interest in them, comes of humour would have kept forth, anashamed, with a prothem silent. They are, in truth, posal of Dominion Home Rale, responsible by their negligence and urges that Ireland should and folly for the bloodshed have complete control over her whioh they pretend to deplore, own navy and army. What and had they been anything Mr Asquith means by coming else than politieians, debauched out at all from his retirement by the oynicism and levity of we do not know. Triple intheir trade, they would surely deed must be his brass covering have kept silence. They have if he thinks that any citizen nothing of any value to suggest of Great Britain can look back or propose. Yet they must take without horror upon his disrefage in speech. It was Lord graceful record in Ireland. Morley who began it, and Lord Even though he has been Morley was followed at brief rockless enough onoe more to intervals by Viscount Grey of all attention to his failure, Fallodon and Mr Asquith. it must be as clear to him as There remains only Mr Birrell. to others that we shall never Is it possible that he will not yield to Ireland the control of let us share the fruits of his her armed forces until we have shameful experience ?
been beaten in the field. The It is many years since Lord question is not worth arguing. Morley first pointed out the We are content to quote once easy path of inaction.
of inaction. He again the well-measured opinion oared nothing for law and which Captain Maban held and order. His natural sympathies explained many years ago. “It were for the criminal, A is impossible,” said Captain murdered policeman seemed to Mahan, who spoke with authorhim a plain inoonvenienoe, and ity, "for & military man or a he was never so happy, it statesman with appreciation of soomed, as when he let a military conditions to look at murderer out of jail. That the map and not perceive that which he did at Gweedore has the ambition of the Irish been ever since a beacon light Separatists, if realised, would of hope to the assassin and the be even more threatening to incendiary. Yet he has his the national life of Great plan ready, and is eloquent in Britain than the secession of denanoiation of those who the South was to that of the would restore by a just polioy American Union. It would be of repression peace and justice deadlier also to Imperial ag. to rebel-ridden Ireland. His pirations; for Ireland, by sin is bad enough; it is venial geographical position, lies in comparison with the sin of across and controls the eomMr Asquith. And Mr Asquith, munications of Great Britain who by this time has probably with all the outside world, forgotten all about Easter Day save only that considerable and Lord Hardinge's Commis- but far from preponderating sion, if indeed he ever took a position which borders the
North Sea and the Baltio. Commissioners, unbiassed men Independent and hostile, it and wholly free from partisan oould manaole Great Britain, prejudice. "The main cause whioh at prosent is, and for years of the rebellion,” they wrote, to come must remain, by long “appears to be that lawlessodds, the most powerful mem- ness was allowed to grow up ber of the Federation, if it unohooked, and that Ireland take that form. The Irish for several years past has question, therefore, is vitally been administered on the prinimportant not only to Great ople that it was safer and Britain bat to the Colonies. more expedient to leave law in The legislative supremaoy of abeyance if collision with any the British Parliament ... faction
faction of the Irish people cannot be yielded in the age could thereby be avoided." of an island where independent So the gamblers, Mr Asquith action might very well be and his colleagues, applied the attended with fatal conse- same principle to Ireland quenoes to its partner. The which served them in their instrument for such action in relations with foreign powers. the shape of an independent They subordinated everything Parliament could not be to politioal expedienoy and trusted
to avowed hoped for the best. The logioal friends." There is Mr Asquith's result was the rebellion of answer, and we can hardly Easter Day and the wanton believe, even in the confused slaughter of English soldiers. state of publio opinion, that And whose direot fault was any sane man would prefer it ? “We are of opinion," the authority of Mr Asquith say the Commissioners, “that to the authority of Captain the Chief Seoretary, as the Mshan.
administrative head of your Bat to take the true measure Majesty's Government, is priof Mr Asquith's indelioaoy in marily responsible for the interfering in the matter of situation that was allowed to Ireland at all, we have but to arise and the outbreak that turn baok to the report of oocurred." Mr Birrell was Lord Hardinge's Commission. "primarily responsible,” and It is anlikely that Messrs Mr Asquith was responsible Asquith and Birrell were ever not only for Mr Birrell's at the pains to read this appointment but for his abjeot report. It is certain that Mr polioy of submission to Mr RedAsquith found its disoussion mond and the Nationaliste. "inexpedient,” and neither of Nor oan Mr George escape the two statesmen, so far as is his share of the infamy. He known, has donned a white was a member of the Cabinet sheet or stood in the pillory, whioh made Ireland's conTheir callousness, indeed, is spiraoy with Germany certain, not easily intelligible. Here is and which deluged Ireland in the explanation of the Easter blood. Mr George, too, is an Day rebellion given by the adept in that fatal polioy
VOL. CCVIII. —NO. MCCLXI.
which subordinates law and them. Are you surprised?" order to politioal expedienoy. We are not surprised that the For a year he has permitted policemen shot the assassins. murder and rapine to stalk We are surprised at the through Ireland. The blood anger, a trifle belated, of Mr of many a slaughtered police- George, who hitherto has not man is upon his inactive hand. shown muoh sorrow at the And then suddenly he was murder of heroes, and whose moved to make the speech of government in Ireland has been & man and a statesman. It the negation of government. has been said by a wit that the Thus greatly daring, be most powerful man in England swept away the cobwebs of is the last one who spoke to falsehood with which the sen. Mr George. Who was it, we timentalists have besmirobed wonder, who inspired Mr what have been called reGeorge with the rudiments of prisals. “ The police," says truth and wisdom when he he, "naturally feel that the spoke out at Carnarvon?
time has come for them to Whosever was the inspira- defend themselves.” It has tion, the speech itself was indeed, and since Mr George's brave and fearless. Mr George Government has bitherto repointed out with an admirable frained from defending them, laoidity that more had been they are right to defend done to redress the errors of themselves. Nor, in his presthe past in Ireland than in any ent mocd, is Mr George content country. He piotured, with to stay at that point. “You exoellent foroe, the brutality must restore order," says and ounning wherewith police- he, “by measures very stern. men and soldiers going quietly You cannot permit the counabout their duty had been try to be debased into a con: murdered. “Five policemen,” dition of complete anaroby." said he, “were driving along It is a pity that Mr George a road in Ireland. They are did not make that simple dissuddenly fired at by oivilians. oovery before. “A small body If a policeman had seen the of assassins, a real murder a98assins ten minutes before he gang,” thus be goes on, “sre would have
thought they were dominating the country and harmless-looking
farmers look. terrorising it and making it ing after their flooks or the impossible for reasonable men orops. They used soft-nosed to come together to consider explosive bullets. A second the best way of governing the car with police comes up in country, ... and it is essen; two minutes. It was what the tial in the interests of Ireland assassins did not reokon with that that gang sbonld be Finding these men not merely broken up, and unless I A killed bat mutilated almost mistaken we shall do it. beyond description, they found Again we regret that Mr the men who were undoubtedly George did not the assassins and they shot essential duty in hand year
How much bloodshed fied, even if we put England, and misery would he have Sootland, and Wales under her spared us and Ireland.
vindiotive heel! She doesn't Then with excellent justice want to be satisfied. She he compared the situation in wants grievance, which Ireland with the situation of she 088 growl and snap the Southern States of America. over as a dog growls and “There is a limit,” he said, snaps over a bone. And Mr speaking with the voice of George had no diffioulty in statesmanship, “as Abraham proving that Mr Asquith, in Lincoln discovered, to the his foolish desire to deprive disruptive rights of a minor- Ireland of her grievanoe, would ity. ... The Southern States endanger at once and destroy had just as good a right to finally the British Empire. set up an independent Republio“Do you know," he asked, as Ireland, Wales, or Sootland. “that Ireland was our worry
History now shows that during the war? . .. IreAbraham Lincoln was abso- land was a real peril. They lately right in saying there were in touch with Geris a limit to the right which man submarines. There it even & separate community stands at the gateway of has to tear up & large Britain; you cannot turn to combination that has been the right, you cannot turn to working together for oommon the left, exoept by either the ends. That is the limit in right or left gate of Ireland. Ireland." That is also the ... It is girdled with British limit, if Mr George had only wrecks; yes, and British seafound it out before, in India, men are there too; and we are whioh has been rent asunder to hand over Ireland to be to please Messrs Montagu and made a base of the submarine Gandhi, and in Egypt, which fleet, and we are to trust to for no motive that is visible luok in our next war. Was has been handed over to there over such lunaoy proZaghlul and his friends. posed by any body?”
For Mr Asquith and his No: there never was such polioy of Dominion Home Rule lunaoy proposed, not even by Mr George reserved his fieroest Mr George himself, who, now soorn. He pointed out with that he is momentarily awake, anerring foroe the danger of sees plainly enough the danger Dominion Home Rule, which which confronts Great Britain. would give Ireland á navy “Don't you take these risks," and an army of her own, and says he. “This is a great leave her ports wholly unoon- country-a great country; it trolled by us, with the power has done more for buman freeof olosing them against us if dom than any other country. she chose. This is what Mr Don't risk its destinies and its Asquith would give Ireland future through any folly or in order to satisfy her. As any fear of any gang in though Ireland would be satis- Ireland. We saw the great war through at gigantio remember what he has done, oost; we are not going to or rather left andone, in quail before handful of Russia, and we quail, as he 888&ssins in any part of the pretends that he does not, British Empire. Hand our before the future. If only he ports over to Ireland, the ‘gate- would translate his words into way of Great Britain! They aots there would be some hope might starve us." Starve as for us. Unhappily this is not they certainly would, and it his practice, and maybe tohas taken Mr George two morrow he will make another years to enunciate this simple speech which shall soothe the truth.
888assing. For the moment He has (or should have) we must be content with the many sins upon his consoience, speech that he has given as. and not the least of his sing is After all, a pious aspiratio that sin of inaction of which is perhaps better than nothing. he has been guilty in Ireland. Yet if Mr George were the As soon as the Armistice was master of his own eloquence, deolared, it was his business to if his mind were bound by formulate a strong polioy and the words that he speaks or to restore law and order to by the opinions which he Ireland. Being the viotim of shapes, the logical conclusion politioal expedienoy he has of what he said at Carnarvon done precisely nothing. He could be summed ap in one has looked on while brave word-Union. Truly if the men and peaceable citizens Union did not exist to-day it were foully and treacherously would be necessary to invent done to death. And now, at it. If Ireland oan defeat us the eleventh hour, he discovers in the next war, and in the the risks with which we are meanwhile contrive our starfaoed. He sees at last that in vation, as she could if Mr the next war we should lie at Asquith, the ohief begetter of Ireland's meroy, that even in the Easter Day Rebellion, had time of peace abroad Ireland his way, then Ireland is as might starve as out. And he little to be trusted with a gays, boldly and clearly, that parliament as with a port. . he is not going to quail." What As Mr Lloyd George says, does it mean? Is it politios after Abraham Lincoln, “there or is it repentanoe, or is it is limit to the disrupmerely the last oomer? Does tive rights of & minority. ” he see that the mass of British In origis far legs voters are opposed to murder? danger than our own, Lincoln Is he sorry for the oriminal fought until the revolting negleot of the last years? Has States were compelled to remain a wise adviser got at his listen- within the Union, and the task ing ear?
We do not know, which lies ahead of as is the nor do Mr George's brave game task from which Lincoln words give us much did not shrink. As a result of fidence for the future. We his oourage and firmness he has