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8:1ch an avowal would be interpreted as an | tuating fortunes of nations would certainly acknowledgment of incapacity, might pro- bring forth. This dislike to English rule duce unfavourable notions in the minds of pervaded the whole island, except a few foreigners as to the efficacy of British in- districts, the inhabitants of which, influstitutions and the stability of British enced by sectarian animosity, believed that power, and that, above all, it would ne- the slaughter of all who differed from cessitate the renunciation of certain poli- them in creed was the first step towards tical maxims and the adoption of such a acquiring religious ascendancy. To what, policy towards Ireland as, in the presence then, was this disaffection attributable: of the party exigencies to which he had Was it to be ascribed to the labours of the referred, might lead to unpleasant con apostles of Fenianism within the last few sequences. Indeed, among all British years ? Most certainly not. They found statesmen he knew of none, except the everything ready to their hands, and all late Sir Robert Peel, who adopted an Irish they had to do was to establish in a few policy regardless of party exigencies. The localities a kind of military organization. reasons he had just stated justified him in Fenianism must be ascribed to disaffection asserting that, in the ordinary course of -not disaffection to Fenianism. By the events, it was not easy for the House to masses Fenianism was looked upon as a obtain a clear perception of the state of kind of insurrectionary experiment, for Ireland, and consequently to deal fairly which they had been long prepared by with the country. But this Parliament what had passed in their minds—by the possessed advantages for dealing with events which had occurred within their this subject which preceding Parliaments memory, by the history of other countries, had not enjoyed. Within the last few and by the national traditions. They had months extraordinary events had OC- not accepted Fenianism, because the Fenian curred which, he thought, must satisfy Society, being secret and oath-bound, was every reflecting Englishman that the state condemned by the Catholic Church, and of Ireland was very different from that because they could not persuade themselves of his own happy and flourishing country, that Fenianism was adequate to attain the that the grievance-mongers had some jus- end it proposed, and because they were tification for their grievances, and that keenly alive to the consequences of failure. those who, possessing full sources of in- But that man would grossly deceive the formation, told a different tale were in House who, from whatever motives, should reality the false prophets, and that the assert that the sympathies of the vast masunny pictures of the Treasury Bench were jority of the Irish people were not on the the imaginary creations of men who either Fenian side. The Fenians might be dedeceived themselves or who for some pur- scribed by some as intending only robbery pose deceived others. Those events had and murder. They might be denounced shown Ireland as she really is. They had at quarter sessions and by Puisne Judges, enabled hon. Gentlemen to judge for them and anathematized by persons higher in selves and, he would add, had imposed authority. But all in vain.
But all in vain. The denun. upon them, as the representatives of the ciation and anathema only recoiled upon English people, the solemn duty of endea- those who uttered them by impairing their vouring by a just and courageous policy influence, for the people of Ireland felt to make Ireland a prosperous, contented, that their country was not what she ought and loyal appendage of the British Crown. to be, that she was pressed down by many At the present moment, from one end of grievances, and that English rule was a Ireland to the other, among the masses of cause of them all. So long as this rethe people, both in town and country- mained, so long the people would continue among millions—there was a feeling of to regard those who endeavoured to overdisaffection towards English rule which throw that rule as true friends of theirs had only been kept from breaking out into and true lovers of their country. open insurrection by the manifest hopeless. true cause of the disaffection in Ireland ness of contending with the vastly supe. was the impression upon the minds of the rior power of England. This hopelessness, people that all the evils that afflicted them however, had by no means taken the shape were the consequences of English rale. It of despair—it influenced only the action was utterly fallacious to imagine that this of the hour, and had settled itself into a impression was the work of those who had resolve to wait for the favourable chances been denounced as “ agitators, " demawhich, it was believed, time and the fluc- gogues," and "rebel conspirators."
people themselves saw the result of Eng- of Legislature from Dublin to London had lish rule in the poverty from which they placed the Irish Members beyond the reach suffered, and the precarious nature of their of Irish public opinion; that it had inposition. Surely nothing more was neces- creased absenteeism, and that it had disorsary than the evidence of their senses to ganized Irish society and had weakened the convince them of their thorough and home sympathies of the higher classes, by complete dependence on the will of others. making them virtually English, socially Their estimate of the value of English and politically, and by imbuing them with rule was derived from the incidents of the notion that, while they could count their daily lives. They knew that the upon the support of the strong arm of laws and institutions under which they England, they need pay little attention to lived were English, and when they found the goodwill of their countrymen. The that those laws and institutions failed to people also were well aware that the ex. insure them a comfortable existence and penditure of the surplus funds of the secure homes, they reasonably and logically public revenue without any appreciable condemned those laws and institutions, and benefit to them, that the possession of all held Englishmen responsible for the failure. ecclesiastical revenues by the Church of If O'Connell were living to-day with un- the minority, and that the exhaustive diminished popularity, and were to appeal drain of absentee proprietors all combined to his countrymen to accept their position to inflict upon them, year by year, heavy and be content with it, they would turn pecuniary loss. Some of these effects of away from him as a traitor to their inte- English rule must co-exist with the Union; rests. The question then naturally suggested but some, and perhaps the more important, itself—Was the disaffection of the Irish were wholly independent of it. They people based upon just grounds, or could affected, more particularly, the trading, English rule be fairly held accountable for artisan, and labouring classes, and the the grievances of which they complained ? floating population generally. But there He, for one, thought these questions must was another and far more influential class be answered in the affirmative. He passed whose dislike to the English rule supplied by, as unworthy of consideration, the oft- life, hope, and inexhaustible resources to repeated assertions that these evils were the disaffected of every other class—he beyond the reach of legislation, and that meant the agricultural tenants. England legislation had done all that could be having taken upon herself the duty of done by legislation for Ireland. He would governing Ireland was responsible before say to the House, “That you are account- God and the world for the grievances of able for the state of Ireland is incontro- this class, whose voice had been so often vertibly determined by this fact, that you heard in that House, and who by petitions have deprived the Irish people of the power had so often implored those who governed of self-government, and have taken upon them to pass laws which would save them yourselves the duty of governing them. from the cupidity and still worse passions That is your duty under the Act of Union.” of their landlords. At this moment there No lengthened argument was needed to was silence in the homes of the peasantry, show that 105 Irish representatives could as if they were listening for the first sounds do nothing which was opposed to the views of a mighty tempest, foretold by strange of the 500 and odd Englishmen with whom signs and threatening clouds. They made they were associated in that House, who, no manifestation of political feeling ; but in the natural order of things, would on to learn what they felt, we must look all occasions, as had been illustrated in the across the Atlantic at the attitude of their course of that very debate, look first to the brethren- from whom they might be said requirements of their own country. He to have only just parted, and for whom would not dwell upon the fact of the Union their hearts were still lonely-marshalling having been carried by force and fraud, in hundreds of thousands, proclaiming that and of its never having, through continued the day of vengeance was at hand, and misgovernment, been approved by the Irish calling out to their fathers and brothers nation, but he would refer to the disad- in the old home to keep aloof from English vantages to be traced to it. The Irish party squabbles, and never more appeal people knew that the mere arrangements for justice to that Parliament which had so for the carrying out of the Act of Union of often spurned their petitions. The moral necessity impoverished their country; they of these demonstrations had penetrated to believed that the transference of the seat the highest hill and the remotest valley, and had sunk deep into the souls of the he had no anti-English sentiment; the peasantry, who were profoundly touched hon. and learned Member for Sheffield by the constancy and devotion which, far (Mr. Roebuck) might laugh, but he did away, amidst the new associations of Ame- not mind that. He repeated that he had rica, still made common cause with them. no anti-English sentiment; he deemed it No matter how we regarded the thousands scarcely possible that a man who had had of banded Irishmen now parading their much intercourse with Englishmen should numbers as a menace to England in the be anti-English. Yet it did not follow States of the Western Republic, by the vast from this that he must approve England's majority of the agricultural population of treatment of all nations subject to her Ireland, by the millions of the Irish people, rule. Perhaps it would be found, before these banded Irishmen were loved and the Parliament was much older, that Eng. trusted, and every indication of their grow- flishmen themselves did not know that. ing strength was hailed with delight. All What he had spoken he conceived to be this might afford pleasant and wholesome the truth, the whole truth, and nothing food for journalists and satirists if, unfor- but the truth. He had spoken with retunat it were not too true that the pea- luctance, because he knew that what he santry had ceased to look to Parliament for had to say would be disagreeable to those the redress of their grievances. If things (“No, no!”] with whom it was his amwere as they ought to be, the House could bition to stand well, if he could only do almost afford to laugh at the idea of a so consistently with truth and without foreign force landing on the shores of sacrificing the interests of his own counIreland, because then the whole popula- try. He could not tell them that Irishmen tion would be prepared to fight for the were loyal and contented, because he knew maintenance of the laws and institutions of the contrary to be the fact. He could their country. What would happen now, not tell Irishmen that they ought to be if a force came, no matter whence, having loyal and contented, when he saw they the avowed intention to overturn English were denied justice. He repeated that it authority and abolish the hated land-law? was a ridiculous doctrine that loyalty Would the landlords be able to appeal to could exist without a cause, that it could their tenantry in defence of insecurity of exist notwithstanding continued misgotenure and high rents—in defence of a vernment; and it was an equally untensystem which allowed one man to sweep able and ridiculous assertion, that the disaway the inhabitants of a' whole country- affection of Ireland had any other cause side (as was recently done in Galway by save and except misgovernment. He did Mr. John George Adair), and even placed not need to come to her Majesty's Gothe Queen's troops at his disposal to assist vernment to learn the state of Ireland. him in exterminating the Queen's subjects, He knew there was disaffection-widein defence of a system which recognized spread disaffection—in Ireland, the result, no more right in the tiller of the soil, in- as he maintained, of just causes; but he dependently of the will of his landlord, knew, besides, that if Her Majesty's Gothan it did in the beast which draws the vernment declared it, was their intention plough? It was this system which had to do all that could be done to remove made it true, as a right hon. Gentleman these causes, and gave proof of honesty of had remarked in that House, that “Every purpose towards Ireland, that spirit of man in a certain rank of life who leaves disaffection would subside ; that same Ireland is an enemy of England." If a spirit which now was threatening to break hostile force came to Ireland, no matter out in an insurrectionary movement, and whence, we should have to contend for which possessed, beyond all question, the the dominion with that force, sustained by popular sympathy, and which made the peothe whole agricultural population, to say ple of Ireland formidable, no matter how nothing of the sides which would be taken they were laughed at or ridiculed. What, by the trading, artisan, and labouring then, was to be done ? Would the Governclasses. No doubt they were indisposed ment persevere in a policy which had proto credit his words; they might think duced the deplorable results to which he that he exaggerated for a sinister purpose, had borne testimony - a testimony he either to lower their reputation before the would not alter if he thought that were world, or to encourage their enemies by the last moment of his life. If that policy giving proof of internal weakness or to was persevered in, it would please the mass gratify an anti-English sentiment. No! of those who contemplated the overthrow of
the British Empire, who did not wish to state of things which imperilled the safety see England conciliate the Irish people, and the tranquillity of the Empire. In the because then the British Empire would be hour of England's need the support of established on a firm and imperishable those to whose selfishness she had too long basis. Or, would the Government dili- ministered would be but a poor substitute gently and carefully investigate the causes for the millions of true hearts and stout of Irish disaffection, and deal with them arms which by her policy she had alienated. impartially and fearlessly? If they did, He could not think that in these days of they would not be required to do anything enlightenment it was their intention to rely offensive to English pride—to do anything upon brute force; his own reliance, in this which in their judgment might tend to the hour of the crisis of Ireland, and, perhaps, dismemberment of the Empire, or impair also of England-his reliance was, as he the stability of British power; but they had said, upon the native virtue of Englishwould have simply to do certain things men; and he implored the Englishmen in which, if England had not dispossessed the that House, for the sake of their own Irish people of the right of self-govern country and of Ireland, to demand before ment, would have long since been carried it was too late, before blood had been shed, out-things which the Irish people now ex- and passion had taken the place of reason, pected the British Government to do, and and before the demon of vengeance had by which the Government might acquire been raised, to do something that would an indefeasible title to the confidence and give a new direction to thought, by conallegiance of the Irish people. The Govern- vincing the people that they might expect ment would be asked to give Ireland a justice from this united Parliament. He large surplus revenue to be expended in hoped that the Amendment which he now works of public utility ; to impose heavy placed in their hands would meet with the penalties on absenteeism ; to do away with approval of the House and of this country, the ascendancy of one Church over another; | as he was confident it would of Ireland; to assimilate the education system and the and he would only further say, that whatPoor Law system to those of England; and ever might be the result, he should press particularly to pass an Act of tenant-right, his Amendment to a division. which would give the tenant-farmers a firm
Amendment proposed, hold on the soil; such an Act as would
In paragraph 22, to leave out from the word make it impossible for the landlord to
our” to the end of the paragraph, in order to render improvements valueless, or worse add the words deep regret to Her Majesty that than valueless, by the action of a notice to wide-spread disaffection exists in Ireland, and humquit; such an act as would give the tenant. bly to represent to Her Majesty that this widefarmers of Ireland freedom of thought and spread disaffection is the result of grave causes, action, and relieve them from that miti- examine into and remove.”—( The O'Donoghue.)
which it is the duty of Her Majesty's Ministers to gated serfdom in which they existed at present. If the Government diligently and MR. BLAKE said, he had very great pleacarefully investigated the causes of Irish sure in seconding the Amendment of his disaffection—if they diligently and care- hon. Friend, who had in his eloquent speech fully investigated what the aspirations and expressed himself so well on every topic wishes of the Irish people were—they connected with the subject before the would find he had correctly stated them; House. It was not his (Mr. Blake's) inand he had done so in no selfish spirit, but tention to trespass long on the time of the he based the claims of the Irish people on House, for his main object in rising to those eternal principles of right which second the Amendment was to interrogate should ever guide the policy of statesmen the right hon. Gentleman, who was the and of nations. If these demands were representative of Her Majesty's Governconceded dissatisfaction would cease ; but ment in the House, as to what policy the if they were refused, then dissatisfaction Government intended to pursue in referwould continue to exist in Ireland until | ence to the present state of Ireland. A the Irish race had been banished from it. considerable amount of surprise had been His reliance was upon the native virtue and created by the only allusion made in Her intelligence of Englishmen; and he was Majesty's Speech to Ireland—an allusion confident that if they brought their love of which referred so much to measures of justice and their intelligence to bear upon repression and prosecution, measures which the question of his unfortunate country- had been resorted to a hundred times bemen, there would soon be an end of that fore, with a view to the pacification of Ireland, and had failed as often as they meadow, 6,500,000 acres, value £8,125,000 ; had been tried. So far as giving greater giving a total of 14,000,000 acres, and a total
value of £61,125,000.” security to the Crown, he might say that, in common with many others, he was in- The population of Ireland was 8,250,000 spired with hope when the speech of the and the value of the produce requiring right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secre- human labour was £5 per head. Dr. tary for Ireland was made recently at the Hancock also estimated the crops of dinner of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, in 1862-3 at £27,327,772, of which the which he very encouragingly stated that, return from cattle was £9,751,188, and although the Government had resolved from crops requiring human labour upon strong measures of repression to put £17,876,584. The population has been an end to the revolutionary movement in reduced to 5,250,000, and this produce Ireland, at the same time it was the in. was only equal to £3 per head against £5 tention of the Government to inquire into per head in 1846. If the value of green the causes which required these repressive crops be added to that of Sir Richard measures, and to take prompt remedial Griffiths' of grass and pasture it would measures to prevent a recurrence of the be seen that the annual produce of Iresame unsatisfactory state of things. Now, land was greater in 1846 than in 1861, it would be exceedingly satisfactory to though the quantity of live stock had know whether these observations of the increased. There cannot, therefore, have right hon. Gentleman had the concurrence been that great increase in the supply of of the Government, and it could scarcely meat which some persons erroneously supbe denied that the House had a right to posed. The acreage under each crop in expect some sort of statement with respect | 1862 and 1864 was as follows:—1862, to the matter. His hon. Friend the Member wheat, 356,321; oats, 1,977,528; potatoes, for Tralee (The O'Donoghue) had in his 1,018,212; green crops, 463,772 ; 1864, clever speech so clearly pointed out what wheat, 276,453 ; oats, 1,814,886; potathe remedial measures were which the toes, 1,039,724 ; green crops, 401,020; state of Ireland required that it was un- showing a net decrease of 282,640 acres, necessary almost for him (Mr. Blake) to It appears quite clear that the animal and offer any observations on that branch of vegetable produce of Ireland had both the subject, as whatever he would say had diminished in precisely the same ratio as been already much better said by the hon. the population. According to Mr. Donelly, Member for Tralee. Having to touch on the produce from all descriptions of crops so many topics the latter had not furnished in 1865 was about thirty-five millions the House with some statistics as to the and a half. Last week Dr. O'Brien, condition of Ireland, to show its position Catholic Dean of Limerick, at the Irish as compared with twenty years ago, as National Association, had truly said in well as its present state. For these sta- speaking of the decline of Ireland—In tistics he was indebted mainly to the works 1860, the value of the horses in Ireland was published by Mr. Fisher, of Waterford, on £4,958,488; in 1864, only £4,490,888; subjects relative to Ireland, on which much in 1860, the value of cattle labour and ability had been expended, and £23,441,451; in 1864, £21,172,508 ; in which afforded valuable sources of in. 1860, the value of sheep was £3,896,288; formation; later he would also quote from in 1864, it was £3,699,357 ; in 1860, the a work from the same gentleman about value of the pigs was £1,588,840; in being published, which had appeared in 1864, it was £1,320,331. The total dethe form of letters in a leading London crease in value on those items in 1864, journal, on the supply of meat obtainable as compared with 1860, was £3,201,965; from foreign markets, which had much in 1863, the quantity of land in Ireland added to his reputation as a statician and going to waste was 4,543,166 acres ; in able writer. According to a statement in 1864, the quantity was 4,601,234 acres, the Report of the Select Committee of the showing an increase of waste of 58,068 House of Lords on the Consolidated An
Again, there was a decrease in nuities, 1852
cereals in 1864, as compared with 1863, “ The gross value of the crops of 1846, had not of 122,437 acres. Here, then, we have a this calamity (the famine) occurred, is estimated decrease of three millions and a quarter by Mr. Griffiths as follows :- Potatoes, 1,500,000 in the value of stock from 1860 to 1864; acres, value £15,000,000 ; oats, 4,000,000 acres, value €14,000,000 ; wheat, fax, and green crops, an increase of 58,068 acres going to waste 2,000,000 acres, value £14,000,000 ; pasture and in one year ; a decrease of 122,437 acres