Зображення сторінки

failure which has resulted from driving farmers and labourers off the land, would have shown him that mankind and land were not to be separated, and that the earth will yield fruit only to careful and loving tillage. We should have supposed that the moment he entered upon the occupation of the starved and dilapidated farm he would set additional labourers to work to make up for past deficiencies. But not so. A single Saturday was not allowed to pass without the dismissal of ten labourers, who thus suddenly lose their means of support at the beginning of the winter season. Only forty-two men and boys are now employed on this enormous farm. The land, if divided into lots of from five to ten acres, would give pleasant and profitable employment to three hundred men and their families. In building the accommodation they would require every artisan in the neighbourhood might be fully occupied, and the result would be in even greater proportion than the labour expended. Then the shopkeeper would rejoice, children would blossom as the rose, and life be worth living. It is in the power of our landlord to blight all this possible prosperity, and he does it.


economic farm has “busted.” Instead of pocketing the profit effected by the expatriation of four farmers and twenty labourers, it has now been found, after twenty years' experience, that, so far from wealth being produced, it has been absorbed. On the 29th September last, the great landlord took possession of the great farm, confiscating the flocks and the herds, the steam engines and the steam ploughs, for arrears of rent.

These arrears have been piled up to a degree that would have caused a scandal even in Ireland. Fourteen thousand pounds is, it appears, the landlord's modest claim, and his preference title for rent leaves the farmer penniless and his other creditors wholly unsatisfied. We thought that our sufferings were at least enriching the farmer and the landlord, but under this economic system the landlord gets less than he did before, and no one else gets anything. We begin to wonder why we should allow ourselves to be the victim of a system which seems to have about it as much of the fool as of the knave. We sincerely hope that the cross between these two will not breed again, and that the species will come to an end. It adds much to our mortification to find that our landlord is such a very ordinary man. Quite as capable as any of us of making blunders, and with nothing on the other side to distinguish him. No man expects a landlord in the present day to exhibit more capacity than is involved in the effort of receiving rent, but then he ought to have ancestors. So far as we know, our landlord has no remarkable ancestors. If one of his great-grandfathers had killed a great many Frenchmen for the benefit of his country, that would be good reason for starving a number of Englishmen on his own behalf. We can, however, discover nothing about our landlord either very good or very bad to justify our subserviency. Why should a man who is not much better or much worse than the rest of us be allowed to import fox cubs, stop our footpaths, close our playgrounds, drive away our farmers, and expatriate our labourers all for the benefit of nobody, not even of himself?

We are sinning against light and against knowledge, for in the very locality which has illustrated the failure of the big farm system we have abundant evidence that small working farmers can live and prosper. Weighted as they are with treble the rent that the large farmers pay, they still live, and live a life much more worth living than that of the labourer on nine shillings or ten shillings per week, and a working farmer produces from the land three or four times as much as a large farmer. If our landlord had adopted the opposite policy to that of which he became enamoured, and if instead of aggregating farms he had divided them, the population would have increased instead of diminishing, and he might have become the happy centre of a prosperous people.

Will he learn by experience? It does not seem so. We might have supposed that the

The agricultural labourer is giving up his favourite recreation of leaning against a post and staring into space, and has taken to reading. Country squires and parsons, please note!

There is an Unconquerable in man, when he stands on his Rights of Man. Let Despots and Slaves and all people know this, and only them that stand on the Wrongs of Man tremble to know it.- Carlyle.

Our INHERITANCE: LAND COMMON PROPERTY NOW And For Ever.—This little tract urges with much force the old point that land differs from all property in its independence of individual production or destruction, and therefore belongs to the race and not to the individual. The writer gives a review of the results of private property and land, and exhorts the community at large to resume possession.

Of the justice of assessing the owners of ground rents to the local rates there can be no question. The value of these rents has been created by the community, and consequently the community ought to get at least some benefit from it. At present, however, the ground landlords do not contribute a farthing to the local rates even when imposed on account of improvements which increase the value of their property. They simply put into their pockets the “unearned increment, and give nothing for it in return.-Daily Chronicle.

RENT AGITATION IN SOUTH Devon. –The whole of the tenant farmers on Lord Devon's estate at Salcombe, Marlborough, and South Huist, have signed a petition to the manager, stating that unless their rents are reduced they will quit at Lady Day next. The rents average about £1 25. 6d. per acre, and the farmers state that unless there is a reduction they must be ruined. This united action is excellent, and with increasing courage and consciousness of right it may be carried still further. Let them tender a suitable rent and refuse to leave their homesteads and farms.

[ocr errors]

WHAT DOES MR. GLADSTONE MEANP We ask this question with unfeigned regret. | as I can, my friends, who may perhaps decline to Mr. Gladstone has made an oracular pronounce

be so bound, in determining the precise manner in

which all the principal enactments in a future Bill ment at Nottingham which no oracle can for the government of Ireland should be framed. interpret. In a party sense this may be a wise I am not prepared, and I do not intend, so to bind movement, but we fear that it is not so. Men

myself. (Great cheering.) I have endeavoured to

give clear and intelligible indications by which, as do not prepare themselves for battle when the an honest man, I shall be constrained to act in trumpet utters an uncertain sound. At the next

their letter and in their spirit. (Cheers.) I have

said with regard to many important subjects that election, whenever it may take place, intelligent

have created great difference of opinion, that I, for electors will require to know for what they are my part, will not allow any proposals I have been voting. On the Irish question they will look in a party to making, or any opinions I may person

ally lean to, to become impediments in the way of vain to Mr. Gladstone's speeches for enlighten

the settlement of that great question (cheers), proment, unless he becomes more explicit in the vided that settlement complies with the conditions future than he has been in the past.

originally laid down, provided it is not a fraud

upon the people (renewed cheers), provided it has Soon after their introduction, Mr. Gladstone

the acceptance of Ireland (loud cheers)—for with. frankly confessed the failure of his Irish bills, out that acceptance who would be fool enough to and wished them to be looked upon as dead.

disturb the present condition of things ? (cheers),

as he would have the knowledge, that he would In subsequent speeches he indicated that Irish

lose the whole fruit of his labour--provided it does Members would not be excluded from Parlia nothing to impair, but rather to strengthen and ment, that Imperial credit should not be

consolidate the unity of the Empire (cheers), and

provided that no just claim of the minority is employed for the purchase of Irish land, and

neglected. I think it is a wide and strong pledge that the fiscal proposals should be revised. In that I give in saying that, neither as to the retention a series of paragraphs of captivating style, Mr.

of Irish members, nor as to the use of Imperial

credit in the purchase of Irish land, nor as to the Gladstone now relieves himself from all former delegation instead of surrender of power to the utterances, and leaves his way open to return Irish Parliament-let me interject here the asserto all the proposals which so alarmed the

tion that no power ever was surrendered, and there

never was any such proposal, or any proposal but nation.

to delegate-- (hear, hear)—that as to the mode of That it is the intention of the party to avail

action, and the particulars and the times under themselves of this opening, and breathe life into

which the English administrative system is to be

altered from one that is English and anti-National the deceased and discredited measures, is in spirit to one that is Irish and National in spirit indicated by several concurrent incidents.

--to the whole of those proposals the declaration Lord Wolverton, than whom perhaps no one

I have made applies, and, rely upon it, you will

find that neither I, nor any infirmities of mine, will better knows Mr. Gladstone's mind, named upon those points stand in the way of a settlement approval of the bills as the formula of admis

desired by the two countries. (Cheers)." sion to his monster picnic, to which Sir T. Grove

Mr. Gladstone in these sentences frees himmust have subscribed if he had presented himself self from every proposal he has made, and from on the occasion. Sir Chas. Russell speaks of the every expression which he has used respecting application of Imperial credit to the purchase of

those proposals. The ingenious use of the Irish land as a matter of course; and within a

expression, “ No infirmities of mine shall stand few days there has appeared a “Handbook of

| in the way,” &c., can be applied either to the Home Rule,' edited by Mr. Bryce, with a

Bills themselves or to the modifications of which preface by Earl Spencer and an elaborate con

he has spoken. He thus obtains an absolutely tribution from Mr. Gladstone, in which there

free hand, and the indications we have named are two articles explaining and eulogising the

seem to show that he will use his freedom to go Home Rule Bill, and the Bill for land purchase.

back to the original Bills with all their objec. There seems to be no reason for this resur

tionable features. rection and eulogy under Mr. Gladstone's

This action on the part of Mr. Gladstone auspices, unless it be intended to revive these

places the country in a very serious position. measures.

No doubt the Liberal party feel certain that the At Nottingham Mr. Gladstone said :

atrocities which the Government are committing, " It is sometimes thought that I ought to pro

will ensure to them a majority at the next elecceed further and to bind myself, and bind, as far | tion. But it will be a terrible alternative to have to support a Government of Coercion, or again be the ruin of the Liberal party. But the a party whose Home Rule measures include the ruin of the party would be a small calamity buying of Irish land at twenty years' purchase, compared to the triumph of injustice involved the exclusion of Irish Members from Westmins in land purchase, and the certain disruption of ter, the establishment of a first order with a the Empire involved in the exclusion of the large property qualification, and tribute instead Irish Members from Westminster. Under these of partnership in taxation. It is a fatal sign that circumstances, every Radical voter should make just in proportion as Liberal prospects improve it clearly known that he will not support any through Tory blunders, so do the leaders hark candidate who fails to pledge himself against back to the objectionable features of their Homeland purchase and government without repre. Rule proposal. This obstinate perversity may sentation.


THERE cannot be the slightest doubt as to the bribe. It reminds us of the charitable deeds necessity of preserving order in the streets of of highwaymen. What is really wanted is a London, and it would be much to be regretted change in the laws which make those rich if men who had such an excellent case as our who ought to be poor and those poor who unemployed should throw it away by any act ought to be rich, which lead to the hindrance of approaching to violence. Let them be sure all healthy productive energies, and which give that all such actions play into the hands of their the command of the labour market to a few enemies, and there are not wanting indications great employers. Of such a kind, as we have that the Government would eagerly welcome often pointed out, are the laws which permit some excuse for suppressing by violence the the gross inequality which exists between the entirely justifiable demonstrations of the un taxation of land and of houses. The land employed. The police have acted on several owner grows rich in his sleep. He need not occasions in a manner calculated to provoke | move a finger. Society, labouring from morn to rather than allay the passions of these assemblies. night like a gigantic army of restless ants, turns But it is all the more necessary on this account the soil on which it lives into gold dust. that working men should imitate their Irish But who profits ? Not society. For it the brethren in their patience in face of provocation soil is still common-place clay. The landowner far more severe. But if disorder were to follow alone reaps the benefit of the change. He from the present state of things, it would be alone sees the glitter of the gold dust. We largely traceable to that spirit of indifference to often hear people speak of the immense value the social problems of the day which prevails of the ground at Hyde Park Corner ; what among the richer classes in England at the does this prove except the immense industry of present time. If men find that the only way to London ? And in reward for this industry the attract attention is by outrage, to outrage they only benefit Londoners receive is that they will unhappily resort. For such outrages, not have to shovel immense sums of money into only those who commit them, but also the whole the pockets of the owners of Hyde Park Corner community is to blame, for they are the direct in order to have the privilege of making some punishment of a neglect of duty on the part of improvements on their property ! “But how the community at large. Nor will the case be does this bear on the want of employment and bettered by a resort to rough and ready remedies poverty in London ?" it will be asked. Why such as the Mansion House Fund in 1885, from thus. The absence of taxation enables the fear of the just vengeance of the victims of ground-landlords of London to exact immense social neglect. No permanent remedy can be and abnormal rents. By so much then London found in Mansion House Funds or in relief is poorer-so much less food can be boughtworks. These may be necessary at times, but so much less can be paid in wages. But these they must be regarded as part of the penalty we rents would matter little if in paying them pay for the maintenance of unjust laws, and as ratepayers paid their rates and taxes also. If unerring signs of a profoundly diseased state of ground-rents were properly taxed, this resultsociety. As long as the laws remain unchanged, equivalent to the almost entire abolition of to refuse such remedies as these is to refuse any rents—would immediately follow. But over remedies at all. But at the same time, for the and above their rents, householders have to rich to give back in the form of charity what pay heavy rates and taxes on their houses. has been unjustly taken-or rather a tithe of Directly a house is built it has to bear what has been unjustly taken--from the poor, the three burdens of house rent, ground rent, has two bad results. It establishes and con and rates and taxes. What is the effect of this? firms the unjustly rich, and it pauperises In the first place, to diminish sadly the income the unjustly poor. It is of the nature of a l of householders, and thereby their consuming

and producing power. In the second place, to discourage house-building, which can only be undertaken at the gravest risks on the part of the builders, while the land speculators on whose land they build are sure of unearned profit without any risks at all. Thus, many builders have been ruined, and many masons and bricklayers thrown wholly out of work. These two effects agree in one thing. They mean a diminution of employment. If men are poorer- and they are poorer when overtaxedless things are bought, less things are made, and therefore less men are employed. It is equally obvious that if house-building is discouraged, less men are employed. And it is equally obvious that this diminution of employment gives an almost complete command of the labour market to the few employers who remain, and leaves them in the position of slave-drivers, to dictate what work and what wages they will.

Thus in many ways the present inequality of taxation leads up to this absence of employment which is becoming so grave a cause of misery and disorder in our great metropolis. There are other effects upon which we need not dilate here. If less houses are built, overcrowding is

the natural result. If money goes into the pockets of the idle at the cost of the industrious, both are demoralised. Poverty on the one hand and vicious luxury on the other are the natural offspring of such an arrangement. But what we have to insist on here is that the absence of work cannot be alleviated by any. thing less than a radical change in our laws of taxation. Once this is thoroughly realised, an agitation will arise which will be more formidable to the Duke of Bedford and Co, than any demonstrations can be which are so essentially lacking in aim as those recently held in Trafalgar-square. What we want to do is not to discourage such demonstrations-the more of them the better—but to give them an object and an aim. Anything more absurd than the assumption of the Standard and the Times that a man who agitates is necessarily a criminal, cannot well be imagined. It is the weak man who succumbs to injustice without a complaint. The strong man who is worth his salt, fights against injustice, and is only beaten, if beaten at all, in spite of himself. Let men agitate, say we,

but unless they know what they are agitating | for, they will be weak for want of purpose.


ANSWERS. MR. CHAMBERLAIN commenced his Irish from the fertile lands and charged them imCampaign by stating at Stranraer that,

possible rents for the sodden bogs and the “ Three hundred years ago Ulster was as dis stormy hills to which the people have been driven. loyal and turbulent as any other part of Ireland ; but after the unsuccessful rebellion the English

At Larne Mr. Chamberlain's courage had Government determined to plant the forfeited increased, and he said estates with Scotch Presbyterians and English

“ You have now a democratic Parliament, a Puritans. ... They established industries

Parliament representing the whole people, a Parlia. and commerce, and it would be disgraceful if now

ment in which every just and reasonable claim is you were to desert these men in their need and

certain of favourable consideration." hand them over to the party of sedition.” This statement of the claims of Ulster will

Here he commenced that policy of audacity not be attractive to the Irish people. It

which contributed so largely to make his tour a correctly reminds them of historical events not

success. It requires a wonderful stretch of much to the credit of their invaders, and it

imagination to speak of our Parliament as demorightly states the fact that by "industries and

cratic or representing the people, but still more commerce,” permitted to them and practically

elasticity is required to describe it as favourable denied to the rest of Ireland, the “Scotch

to the consideration of every just and reasonable Presbyterians and English Puritans” made

claim. Our Parliament is controlled by landthemselves less dependent on landlords than is

lords and capitalists, and just legislation cannot the case with a community purely agricultural.

be expected from it. The weight of landlordism is intolerable if it

In his first great speech at Belfast, Mr. be unrelieved by manufacturing or commercial

Chamberlain saidindustry. No nation has ever been able to bear

"Irish loyalty in the House of Commons is this burden. France, Germany, and Austria

represented only by 17 votes (hear, hear) ; sedition,

on the contrary, enjoys a majority of 86 votes partially relieved themselves of the burden (laughter). Even in Ulster, even in the province during the last century, but Irish landlords, in which I am speaking, out of 33 members, supported by British bayonets and buckshot,

Loyalists can only secure 16. The majority of one

is counted on the other side to the Parnellite or have kept down the Irish people, driven them | Nationalist Party."

Mr. Burke modestly said that "he did not Parliament at Dublin would be followed within a know how to draw up an indictment against a

| few months by the absolute independence of Ire

land and the absolute severance of Ireland from whole people.” Mr. Chamberlain has no such Great Britain." scruples. To his mind the majority of 86 Here is the old bogey of separation revived represent "sedition,” although it is scarcely con by the very man who has himself proposed ceivable that in any country, under any cir- several schemes for Home Rule. The severance cumstance, the majority in favour of any

of Ireland is more likely to come about under proposed course could be much larger than that the existing condition of things than under of the National party in Ireland. If ever the reasonable Home Rule. Even the proposal voice of the people is to have attention, it should

of Home Rule has done much to promote real obtain it when the majority is so decisive as that union. As a proof of this last assertion, take of the Nationalists in Ireland.

Mr. O'Brien's midnight speech at Woodford :Speaking again at Belfast, Mr. Chamberlain " It had taken a great deal,” he said, “ to conrepeated his eulogy of the present Parliament vince him that the English people were with them; and its readiness to adjust every grievance, and

but he was now convinced beyond the shadow of a

doubt that the hearts of the English masses were then he went on to say that :

being won over to the Irish cause every week in "There are two Irelands. There is an Ireland thousands and in millions." which is prosperous and loyal and contented, and Does this look like separation ? there is an Ireland which is miserable and dissatisfied, and continually under the control and leader

Then Mr. Chamberlain went on to say : ship of agitators, who profit by the disturbance

" In Great Britain you have capital and to that they create. There are also two races in Ire

spare; millions and millions of money are conland, and when it is proposed to put the race which stantly seeking investment. If Ireland were peacehas shown all the qualities of a dominant people, able and settled, this capital would be poured into which has proved in the history of the world that it

Ireland." can justify the ascendency which it has secured The plain answer to this is that “if Ireland when it is proposed to put that race under the other, which, whatever its merits may be, has

were peaceable and settled," i.e., if Ireland subalways failed in the qualities which compel success, mitted without a complaint to the rack-renting I say that is an attempt against Nature; it is an of Irish landlords, yet more money would be attempt which all history and all experience show must of necessity fail, and can only lead to disaster

drawn out of her. As it is, some ten millions are and confusion."

drawn from the produce of her soil annually Here it is that Mr. Chamberlain shows the and spent, for the most part, in England, while weakness of his case as against the Irish people. the contributors are left in the deepest poverty. So able a champion never resorts to the abuse But for those who protest against this evil and of his opponent's attorney if he has a better line who by protesting have diminished it, more to adopt. Who are the agitators "that profit by | millions would be extracted, and Ireland, inthe disturbance which they create ?” Will he stead of being richer, would be poorer. venture to name Michael Davitt, or Charles | Again, Mr. Chamberlain made various Stewart Parnell, or John Dillon, or William accusations against the Irish Members. He O'Brien and a host of others who have suffered accused them downright of caring nothing for and are prepared to suffer for the cause of the interests of the tenant farmers of Ireland. Ireland ?

The absurdity of bringing this charge against · Again, Mr. Chamberlain speaks of a “domi men to whose efforts alone were due the Land nant people," and of the “ascendency which it Acts of 1870, 1881, and, we may add, 1887, has secured.” Did he ever know of any such and who anticipated all these Acts over and domination or ascendency which did not lead to over again, is almost laughable. But Mr. oppression, and has he no sympathy for a Chamberlain passes over all previous Land people “rightly struggling to be free?What Acts and bases his charge (1) on their readiness has come to our ex-Democrat who has thus to accept the Land Bill of last year; (2) on deserted the weak for the strong, and then alleged obstruction to the Land Act of last accuses those who do not follow him in his session ; and (3) on their refusal to accept his change, of "profiting” by their efforts to limit pet compromise in the matter of arrears—the oppression.

compromise of revising all debts, either to Again, Mr. Chamberlain expressed his as tradesmen or to landlords. Taking the last surance, in his speech at Coleraine, that:

charge first, we can only repeat what we have “ The creation of a practically independent | said before, that no more pernicious principle

« НазадПродовжити »