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ly directed to the instruction of the mass of the people, some of whom claim the care of the state as paupers, while pecuniary assistance is required to aid in the instruction of others. But the nature and amount of the education bestowed on the middle and upper classes, has likewise a very important bearing on the well-being of society. Whilst the education of the poor in Ireland approaches nearer to the standard of the middle and upper classes than is the case in England, the education of the middle and upper classes themselves, is generally inferior to that of the corresponding ranks in Great Britain. This remark will not apply to the learned professions, whose members do not suffer by a comparison with the sister country; neither will it apply to many among the gentry and commercial classes, who are probably fully on a par in this respect with those of the same rank in England or Scotland ; but it must be admitted that the general tone of society, the average amount of intellectual culture, is lower,
“the persons to whom they offered themselves for employment would “not be content with inquiring into their fitness for employment, but “ would also investigate their character for morality (hear, hear). So “ long as they were permitted to mix with the old paupers, their morals “would be corrupted; but if they attended to this point, a most desira“ ble result, which was heretofore impracticable, would be accomplished, “ namely, persons would be found willing to take apprentices out of the “workhouse (hear, hear).-Saunders' News Letler, Nov. 18th, 1847.
both among the landed proprietors, the farmers, and the traders of Ireland, than among similar persons in Great Britain. The education of such parties must mainly depend on themselves; still, it may be desirable that government should afford assistance, by the establishment of schools and colleges for superior instruction. A step has already been taken in this direction, and it is to be hoped that more may yet be done towards supplying the deficiency.
English capital looked to by many as a means of improvement-Its
introduction impeded by want of confidence–Irish capital largely invested out of Ireland—Difficulty of making suitable investments in Ireland -Evil results of non-residence of the landed proprietors-Causes of non-residence-A free sale of land the best remedy-Manufacturing industry in Ireland—The Linen manufacture has flourished in Ulster_The English factory system a cause of the decay of the Irish woollen manufacture-Has had less influence on the Irish linen manufacture-Injurious results of combination have been more felt in Ireland than in England-System of apprenticeship considered--Deficiency of home demand injurious to home manufacture-National importance to Ireland of the linen manufacture and the cultivation of flax-Fisheries might be much more extensively carried on.
The Introduction of English Capital has been relied on by many as an important means of promoting the prosperity of Ireland. We see the superabundant capital of England seeking for profitable occupation in every part of the world ; it works mines, makes railways, advances loans to foreign states ; no undertaking is too great or too distant, if it offer a fair chance of profit. Why then does so little of it come to Ireland, which is so near home, which offers so wide a field for its employment, and where it is so much wanted ? The answer is obvious ; that the security appears more doubtful, or the chances of profit smaller. Capital cannot be forced. Mercantile confidence is of slow growth. The slightest appearance of insecurity disturbs it. Men of capital become alarmed, and withdraw. If we are to obtain assistance from the abounding wealth of our neighbours, we must first obtain their confidence, by showing that we offer good security.
But if our security be ever so good, there must also be the hope of profit. Does Ireland offer this inducement ? How is it, then, that so many of our own countrymen seem unable to find profitable employment for their capital at home, and therefore invest in foreign securities, in railways, or in the public funds ? It is very questionable whether the capital of the country be not fully equivalent to the opportunities which now exist for making use of it. The profits of trade are not higher than in England. Is there any deficiency of capital for the ordinary trade of the country ? The agricultural population are unquestionably poor, yet many possess money hoarded up or lodged in the bank at a low rate of interest. But it cannot be expected that they will expend either labour or money on the improvement of the land, without security of possession. When the landlord is embarrassed, and does not himself possess the means
of improving his estate, how is it possible to assist him effectually, except by enabling him to sell part, and so obtain capital for the improvement of the remainder?
The large importations of the public funds from England into Ireland, which have been made at many and various times since the union, show the increase of property in this country. These imports of stock, the large sums lent on mortgage, and the competition for every estate brought into the market, prove the difficulty of making a suitable investment, rather than any want of capital. An increase of capital would be useless without the means of profitable employment. When we can offer the opportunity of profitable occupation, with the security which peace and quietness would givé, capital will flow in freely, and will be of essential service to the country.
The Absenteeism of so many of the landed proprietors of Ireland has been often complained of ; and some have proposed to compel them by law to reside on their estates. The evil of non-residence has been peculiarly felt during the past year, when the assistance of every man of intelligence was required, in the endeavour to relieve the distress of the suffering poor. Even in the best parts of the country, the duties of carrying out effectively the various measures for relief, fell heavily enough on