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London, July 1, 1896. getting over the terrible significance of this brutal fact. Many things happened last month, some We are rich, Ireland is poor; we are strong, Ireland on the of which occupied considerable space in is weak; we have imposed upon her our system of Anglo-Irish the newspapers, but that of which taxation, with the result that we have compelled her camente the results may prove hereafter the to pay, not one-twentieth of the Imperial revenue, most important has attracted comparatively little which is all that could fairly be claimed from her, attention. Certainly, at least twenty times as much having regard to her wealth and taxable resources, space has been given to chronicling the details of the but one-seventh, the difference between these two loss of the Drummond Castle, or the cricket match fractions amounting to no less than two and threebetween Australia and All England, than has been quarter millions per annum. If this has been perdevoted to the one item of really supreme import- sisted in for half a century, it would mean that we ance, which, notwithstanding the fateful issues with have extorted from our poorer Irish fellow-subjects which it is charged, has passed almost unnoticed. I a sum of 100 millions sterling more than they in refer to the publication of the draft of the Royal justice ought to have been asked to pay. There is Commission appointed to inquire into the financial no getting over that. It is as hideous as a nightrelations of Great Britain and Ireland. Ten out of mare to us now that we have discovered it; but in the thirteen commissioners have arrived at a definite face of this who can marvel that the Irish should feel conclusion, which is, that for an indefinite time, that England was more of a vampire draining possibly extending over half a century, we, the pre- their life-blood, than an elder brother upon whose dominant partner, have been taxing our junior strength and wealth they could confidently rely to partner to the tune of two millions and three- supplement their weakness and poverty ? . quarters every year in excess of what he was justly The It will be a salutary task, although full liable to pay. This payment has been enforced by Argument for of humiliation and shame for us, to the strong hand of an overwhelming majority. The Home Rule- ponder this matter gravely. During the Irish protested and were silenced, but now the Royal half-century that we have been taxing Ireland to the Commission, on which English members are in a great extent of two millions and three-quarters per annum majority, has reported that the Irish were right and above what she ought justly to have paid, who has that we were wrong to the tune of £2,750,000 every been the leading financial authority of the English year.
people? Mr. Gladstone and none other ! Yet Mr. It is difficult at first sight to realise Gladstone, of all English statesmen, has been thost Predominant all that this means; but when the truth passionately imbued with the desire to do justice to
Partner is seen in all its bearings, and the British Ireland. Nevertheless, down even to the present as Vampire.
hampire, public slowly assimilates this very por- day when the Commissioners reported, even Mr. tentous fact, it cannot fail to enormously reinforce Gladstone seems to have had no inkling of the cruel the movement in favour of Home Rule, for there is no injustice which our fiscal system was inflicting upon