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must be continued for a long time, perhaps a generation ; be carried out by men more impartial and more capable than the present Irish magistrates ; be accompanied by large amendments in law and administration ; be conducted on the principle of keeping Ireland out of English party politics.
3. The policy of small concessions in the way of local government will solve neither branch of the present problem ; will whet rather than appease the appetite for legislative independence. It is trying to stop half-way down an inclined plane.
4. Nothing will be gained by giving any form of Home Rule which the bulk of the Nationalist party is not prepared to accept as a settlement. There is, therefore, little use in discussing schemes till the demands of that party have been specifically formulated.
5. Separation and such a remodelling of the British Constitution as would sacrifice the sovereignty of Parliament are out of the question.
6. No scheme of Home Rule or local self-government is admissible which would leave the landowners at the mercy of Irish elective bodies.
7. No such scheme as aforesaid is admissible which does not recognise and provide for the case of the Ulster Protestants.
Ifitis said that these propositions suggest more difficulties than they solve, I answer that it is well to determine where the real difficulties lie, and, while we offer a fair hearing to proposals of change, to declare frankly what limits no change shall overpass. The outlook may be dark, but we make it no darker by calculating the consequences which must follow the steps we are about to take. There is much cause for anxiety but none for despondency. Democracy, at which it is now fashionable to rail, is not the cause of our present perplexities, for these were as great under the oligarchy before 1832, and during the period of middle-class rule that followed. Sudden reversals of policy such as that of last summer have not been due to popular fickleness, but to the arts of party politicians. The whole British people is more likely to succeed in dealing with Ireland than were the class governments of earlier days, because it has a stronger sense of justice, is less influenced by special tenderness for landlords and more by goodwill to the Irish in general, and can give to its decisions, whatever they may be, the weight of a nation's will. The material strength of England, great as it is, is not a more important factor in this question than the spirit of fairness and unselfishness which her people have more and more begun to display towards Ireland. It is to be hoped that the Nationalists in Ireland and America will not mistake this spirit, which has borne many provocations quietly, for a want of firmness or of courage. If they do, they will be fatally mistaken. England will yield nothing to menace; but she is strong enough to be magnanimous. Recognising the novelty of the present situation, recollecting the lamentable errors of the past, contrasting her own peace and prosperity with the miseries of distracted Ireland, she is prepared to give a calm and patient consideration to any and every scheme which offers a prospect of alleviating those miseries and of creating a better feeling between peoples whom nature meant to be friends, and whose friendship is essential to the welfare and the greatness of her empire.
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