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Does Ireland present an unsolvable problem everlastingly to be given up; is the I gap unbridgable which separates the in- habitants into two distinct and unblendabie classes; are the conflicting views so fiercely and persistently urged absolutely irrecolle,ul- able*! These are questions which must, nowadays, be recurring to many minds. Confronted by the unyielding attitude of the rival elements one recalls the clever puzzle evolved from a subtle braan. What would happen if an irresistible force came into col- iision with an immovable object?" The present situation is sombre and most unpromising. And every day's dallying in- creases the difficulties and aggravates the dangers of a development in Ulster too ter- rible for contemplation. In the tense condi- tion of an armed people who for months have been nerved-racked and tuned up to a desperate exaltation, one fool behind a gun is capable of causing the floodgates of pas- sion to fly open precipitating what might e-asiiy prove the greatest disaster that has I Aver overtaken the British Empire. Lord Roberta' contribution to Thursday's debate I in the Upper House was the most brief of all. It occupied only half a minute, but it thrilled the audience. "It is unthink.a.ble," declared the foremost soldier of the age, with great solemnity, that the British Army should be called.Upon to fight against the Ulster volunteers." As Lord Woiseley said in J 893, to do Sp would ruin the British Army. And yet the "unthinkable" is bound to happen if the Government persevere with their present policy of forcing Home Rule upon Ulster, whilst the Uiktefmen, because of the refusal to submit the iasue to the country, are permitted to believe that they are the victims of unconstitutional legisla- I tion which has not the sanction of the elec- torate. For no one now seriously challenges the reality of the formidable force which has been organised to resist by force subjection to a Nationalist Parliament. The Hon. ?eor?e PeeL in his newly issued book de- signed to scarify the Ulster leader, "Reign I of Sir E. Carson," emphasises the gigantic i proportions and preparedness of the l ister volunteers. He. the advocate of Home Rule, suggests a ralilel with another rally of de- .t?'min? men. In that of^er^jp|itember ?f 1651. w?MUf?he battle of Wor«est«r etafeed the great Civil War. Oliver Cromwell had at his disposal an array which the hlstorJIn tells us had grown silently and almost imper- ceptibly since 1645 up to close on 50,000 men! A formidable host! So formidable, indeed, that immediate steps were taken to reduce it to more manageable proportions. But the total forces of 811 Edward Carson in Ulster alone were declared by the highest authority tr, number altogether, in the sum- mer of 1913, no less than 200,QOC. 'at the lowest estimate.' The same authority, moreover, stated that in the opinion of com- petent judges, the number of men available for any emergency would exceed that figure I by a further 20.000 or 30,000." Unless the Government, by modifying the Home Rule Bill, with or without the co- operation of the Unionist leaders, to such a degree as to disarm the hostility and fears of the Protestant minority who constitute quite a fourth of the entire population of I Ireland, or unless the Government seeks f.'opulai sanction for the measure, troops will have to be sent to Ulster to enforce the mea- sure. since it could rot tolerate armed re- sistance. And the first collision would be the opening of another dark chapter in the history oF a co-intrv which has experienced many. The idea of bloodshed is equally re- pulsive. whether the victims he Nationalist and Catholic, or Unionist and Protestant, but i-natters have been brought to such a mint that the greatest wisdom, tfiet and for- bp-ararce cn the part of British politicians are needed to prevent a civil war involving the employment on either <ide of combatants without the restraint and d:sciplinq of pro- fessional soldieTg and therefore mcre liable to give way to savage deeds, the memory of which will be burned deep into the minds cf Northerners and Southerners alike, thus adding another complication in future states- manship to grapple with, and adding fresh barriers of hatred between two peoples who occupy one small country. Home Rule is not an end in itself, but the means to an end, and in that capacity is incapable of achieving a.ny good and use- ful national purpose, except it take a form acceptable to the great body of the Irish people. Protectant as well as Catholic. A settlement by consent offers" the only hope of a peaceful and enduring arrangement. If imposed in the teeth of Ulster resistance, n the latter could be overcome by force, it would wake of the North a fester- ing sore permanently fatal to the peace and prosperity of Ireland. There in truth, not a consideration vhlch appeals to the reasonable nund that .^oes not plead for the exnaustion of a., the resources cf ci viliz-a- tion to prevent the Northmen and the Southerners from flying at one another's throats. By the irony of events, this crown- thanks to Unionigt legislation, Mr. John Redmond could speak a year or two ago of Ireland as studded with the beautiful and happy homes of an ^maneinate.-l peasantry," and when the cultivators of iphe soil, who rm tihe great bulk of its workers, are, in the language of Mr. SJ,dn.eyl Br, "con- fronted with the realities of a competitive agricultural existence. For the first time, the question for Ireland is not who is to own the soil and how little he is to pay for it. and how much he is to get out of it. The struggle over the rent and owner- ship of the land has ccnased and is ceasing. The infinitely more momentous struggle for a bvjng on the landha.s just D. In other c-rds, the Irish farmer is being faced not •ith a hostile class, or a hostile country, w,ibli, competition for markets against ■vt'r-saa competitors." Ireland and the Irish are likely to be t.he rbjecte of so much discussion in the im- ■ ?-diate future, that every honeet contri- bution* helpful to our understardire of both (■ ion Id b& wielcome. As a sMiccinet ex- oressive description, in a few wmr4. it would •x> difficult to improve upon tli,at recently riven hv. I.Áwd Dunraven. He wrote: "A country not naturally adapted to p.-Yeat ) manufacturing industries, but poaeesaed oi good water-power and of some ooaJ; a coun- try extremely well adapted to agricultural industries of aJl kinds, but containing a large number of uneconomic holdings; a country poor in this world's goods., not with- out resources, but greatly needing capital for their development; a people endowed with greiat natural capacity for industrial manufacturing pursuits, especially of an artistic character, but forced to depend upon agriculture through a lack of other indus- trial occupations, and as far as agriculture is concerned, engaged largely in a specu- lative branch of it; a people heavily hiaudi- capped in respect of agriculture by the weight of inadequate means of transit, crushed in the poorer districts under the loW. of local rates, feeling the burden of indirect taxation more acutely than any other Thnritt; of the United Kingdom, a people suffering under, but recovering from, the enervating effects of past legislative restric- tions upon their natural development." In the most recent volume in The Nation's, Library." published bv Collins, entitled The New Birth of Ireland," the author, Mr. Redmond-Howard—a nephew, we believe, of Mr. John R-edmond-dwells upon a. common quality in Irish people, who, in racial origin, training, environment, con- victions. appear to be most divprse types. One can often distinguish (he ob- serves) the politics of the settlers and the natives, but it is almost impossible to dis- tinguish them in point of nationality (using the term in its psychological sense), and Lord Charles Beresford, Bernard Shaw, John Redmond, and Mr. Dooley have very much of the same fundamental spirit of the race whence they have sprung or by which they have been adopted—for though four more opposite personalities could hardly be imagined, they are all somehow looked upon as in their way typical Irishmen. The woof of the web of Irish character is the extreme facility of consciousness —the lightning genius of the Gael, to use Thomas Davis's phrase—which makes him express himself often, it is true, m terms of reckless extravagance, but, as Miss Bryant says, merely to check exaggerations is to sit upon the safety valve. Yet these exaggerations are as often in the direction of love as that of hate." It is in this similarity in essentials, de- spite distinctions in origin and differences, political and religious, which renders inter- necine stnte so easy to start and maintain, and so terrible in its manifestations. Of course we know that the Protestants of the North are mainly of Scotch, and in a lesser degree of English stock, and that they have hardly a conviction in common with 'heir neighbours, who are predominantly Gaelic. But to the onlooker from out- side there is no discernible >tign by which lie can distinguish between the two classes, which for centuries have been hopelessly estranged. When the writerlVld the sad and gruesome privilege of witnessing the fearful fighting in Beha.M in 1886, he could usually discriminate between the opposing factions wihen these were in groups or J.a,rge I bodies, but only because the Protestants.: were better dressed i?an their opponent?. mainJy un&kil!ed wcrkm?.n, attTacted into' the citv from the a gncuhursi a.rea?.? JndiVKtuaUy.. Aeit.hte'' ,n !<?e.ft:h? ft1t:j nor gesture did bathdic differ from Protestant to the s-.nmgex to both, and hence prudence dictated a discreet reticence in expressing opinions at a time when every one seemed to be in a bad temper, and the most innocent remark was liable to be misinterpreted and resented. No political advantage mow or in the fu- Lure would be. worth the price that would he exacted if the dogs of war were let loose in the Emerald Isle. It would be a crime against humanity to abandon to the fury of I civil war peepl? with so much that is lovable and good in their nature. A Government that by its acts unleashed the grim hounds would shoulder a terrible responsibility. I The supreme difficulty is how to reconcile North and South, satisfy the "SPiraticnq and relieve the fears of both with-it imperilling the safety of the United Kingdom and the continuance of the Empire. And in regard to this consideration it must be noted that- apart. from the repeated assertion bv re- sponsible Nationalist leaders that. the ulti- mate aim is the entire separation of Ireland I from Great Britain, even Mr. John Red- mond, whilst avowing a desire for reconcilia- tion, will not, any more than his colleagues, accept this or any other Home Rule BOl as a final settlement. His attitude inow does not materially differ from that of 1893, when he said in the House of Commons, "The word 'provisional,' so to speak, has been I' stamped in red ink across every page cf the Bill. I recognise that the Bill is offered as a compromise and accepted as such. England has no right to ask from Irish members any guarantee of fmality in its acceptance." The oex-perience of every country that has granted a limited autonomy under pressure is alike. It has been used to remove the limitations. Hence' the untjustworthiness of the safe- guards offered to Ulster and the insecurity of assurances that a Parliament on College Green may not at a crisis in the fate of the Empire become a source of dangerous weak- ness to the latter and of strength to the enemy. Irishmen with Nationalist ideas are apt to believe that Unionists ;,e haters of their race, despite the fact that Ireland owes its I boldest and most beneficial legislation to Unionist Governments, and fail to appre- ciate the truth that roth a desire to do the best for Ireland nud at the fame time avert perils to the Empire operate together to produce resistance to measure* capable of preparing the way for the total indepen- dence of ireland. Admiral Ma ban, an Vmerican with no anti Irish bias, but judging the si-tuauon solely from the strate- gical standpoint, has written--and there is no higher living authority It Is impossible for a military man or a statesman with an- preciation of military condition* to look at the map and not oerceive thrt the ambition of Irish separatists realised would be even more threatening to the national lif- than the secession of the South was to that of the American Union." But it may be and is being argued that even a truncated system of Home Rale wou'd end the feud of centuries and render Ire- land loyal and satisfied. There are at least two classical examples suggesting possibiH- I ties of a verv different nature. In 17/.1 Fran-klin had p.n interview with Lonl Chat- km in which, in his own words, "I as- se-ed him that having more than once tra.- velled almost from one end of the Continent, (of America) to the other, and kept a great variety of company, eating, drinking and conversing with them freely, I never had in pny conversation from any person, drunk or sober, the least expression of a wWi for senaration or a hint, tha* -i ?i to Aniei, i cl. a thing would be advantageous to America." And vet within three years came the de- coration of independence. Tr. Gladder- in 18% 'u-ide the most of the legislative inde- pendence of Swed-rl1 and Norway united noder one Crown With what effect? Not discord, not convulsions, not lialiget to peace, not, hatred, not. aversion, but a con- s'rantlv snowing sympathy, and every man j who knows their condition knows that I speak the truth wbeo I say that in every !& !?.!  year that passax the Norwegians and the Swedes are more and more feeling them- selves to be the children of a common country united by a tile which never is to be broken." Mr. Glad- stone lived nearly .Jong enough to have seen "une never to ¡.M broKtui tit pun, ;>.s-i»v..»jr and Sweden offere d the alternative of letting the Norwegians go their own way or at- tempting to prevent the secession by force of arm.?. In dealing with Ireland one is disposed to end at the same point with which one began. Is it beyond the wit of man to de- vise an arrangement whereby Irish National- ists and Unionists can be satisfied and re- conciled, and Ireland be prevented from be- coming to Great Britain what his heel was to Achilles, the most vulnerable point. The testimony of history is heavily weighted in regard to the last proviso. As Mr. J. R. Fisher, the editor of the "Northern Whig," points out in his Historical Retrospect," from the 16th century till the Act of Union, every enemy of this country could safely count on a foothold and active friends in Ireland. "In Elizabeth's time the menace was from Spain; Spanish forces twice suc- ceeded in effecting a landing on the Irish coast and were welcomed by the inhabitants. Spain was then the most powerful enemy of England and of civil and religious liberty all the world over if the Spanish Armada had been successful on sea the Spanish army in England would have found enthusiastic supporters in Ireland. La.ter on it was in Ireland and by the aid of subsidies from an Irish Parliament that St-rafford raised lu,000 men to invade Scotland and England in sup- port of Charles 1. against his Parliament. and, incidentally to drive the Scottish set- tlers out of Ulster It was under the im- pression of this manifest danger that Orom- well abolished the Irish Parliament and summoned Irish rep -esentatives to the first united Parliament c.i Wei^minster." "As the power (A Spain declined 11 (quot- ing still from the "Rftrosped") "France came to be the ehkr menace to the peace of Europe. Again Ireland instinctively allied herself to the enemy. Tyrconnel now pJayed the part of S'traffo?d and with the aid of French troops and French subsidies and a sympathetic Irish Parliament endeavoured to destroy the UTrter plantation and make Ireland a. jumping-off place for the invasion of England." Other instance, might be ad- j duced, always to the same effect, w'th no 1 single exception to f,b* rule constituting Ire- land a ready ally to every enemy of England. Justification may he pleaded for this oor" gist-oncy in enmity-the unsympathetic n(1. ture of Enghs-n. rrle 'in Ireland the diffi- culty of assimilation with a country that rejected the predominant religious faith of tne Irish—-nevertheless the fa.ct remains, oisturomg in its constant .recurrence despite varying circumstances, that Ireland'ha* ever We" on the side of te foes of tM, ever try. Tht possibility m the tradition being P-rvod by an Lmh Parliament in Dublin when G?at Britain ? b?ttHna for ufp? piflins t,h reh.?ancc to for life ex- Uni enemy within < ii^d r** 4^ ?. Pr??.nt ?..T 'y in ?n?. wh<? T' V in oy? .y h? wmwt od ev?.y ?tacj. ? tcmpt&tior! for o-rUrries

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