Imatges de pàgina
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not hesitate to act upon the permission which Parliament has given them to trust to the holding alone as security for their money. The very fact that they are trusting to the holding alone will make their valuers all the more cautious when reporting on the value of the land upon which the public money is to be lent, and experience has now proved that if due caution be used in valuing the holding the purchase money will be quite secure without subjecting the landlord to the annoyance of accepting his purchase money piecemeal.

Not the least important provisions in Mr. Gerald Balfour's Act are those dealing with the Landed Estates Court. This is a peculiarly Irish institution; it has no counterpart in England or Scotland. It was established in order to bring to a rapid sale the estates of landlords, especially of encumbered landlords—incidentally it was empowered to collect the rents of the estates pending the proceedings to a sale. For years past it has almost ceased to be a Court of sale—it has become a colossal land agent. In the debate on Lord Ashbourne's Bill in 1885 it was stated that, even then, the sales on the Landed Estates Court had dropped from 1,500,000l. per annum to 150,000l. per annum.

The Court is choked with estates brought in nominally in order that they might be sold, but really in order that a sale might be averted, and an official receiver permanently employed to collect the rents.

The Court is now agent over probably a twelfth of the agricultural rental of Ireland, and Parliament has decided that this state of things shall not continue. Where an estate in Court is hopelessly encumbered or is one over which a receiver has been appointed, the Judge is, by section 40, empowered to request the Land Commission to cause it to be inspected and valued; and when the Land Commission shall have complied with this request the Judge of the Landed Estates Court is directed to offer to the tenants on the estate to sell their holdings to them on such terms as may seem to him just.

Before making the offer to the tenants the Judge is directed to hear all parties interested, but he can act quite independently of their consent or refusal. Upon the working out of this section by the Land Judge and the Land Commission, more than upon any other known factor, will, in my opinion, depend for years to come the success or failure of land purchase in Ireland.

GEORGE FOTTRELL.

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The retirement of Lord Rosebery from the Liberal leadership relieves the Radical Opposition of its chief difficulty in regard to Eastern politics, or at least makes it possible to propose a true line of conduct to the party which shall not be met by a jingo non possumus. Mr. Gladstone, Sir William Harcourt, Mr. John Morley, are always open to friendly argument where this is based on a true sympathy for liberty; and it is not, perhaps, altogether vain to remind them at times of their own past lapses where a wider interpretation of their admitted principles is pleaded for. I make bold, therefore, to put my view before them of their present Armenian agitation, to point out where I think they are in error, and to suggest what seems to me a more practical plan than any they have yet suggested for gaining the end they have in view. This I take

This I take to be the speedy relief of the Armenians from their present persecution, and an early, humane, and perhaps final, settlement of the whole Eastern Question. I believe all to be within their reach ; but it can only be through their initial acknowledgment of great errors in the past, and the conversion of England, through their own conversion, to as great a work of reparation in the present.

First, then, as to their past lapses. The Liberal leaders in their pronouncements are astonished and indignant at the crimes they see perpetrated at Constantinople and in Asia Minor, at the Sultan Abdul Hamid's duplicity in the matter of reforms, at his arbitrary misgovernment, and at the Armenian blood that he has shed in torrents. I think, nevertheless, that if they would examine their own consciences a little closely, they would find that the present outrageous condition of things at Constantinople is one very largely, indeed principally, of their own contriving.

To begin at the very beginning—the Cyprus Convention and the Treaty of Berlin. It is true that out of office Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues denounced these arrangements strongly, but in office afterwards they persistently upheld and made use of them, and, indeed, on some points intensified their ill consequences. The full story of the Cyprus double-dealing has never, I think, been told in print, and its results have been so far-reaching, and are still so vitally affecting the situation, that I will make no apology for relating its chief episode here. The story, as I remember it well at the time—and it cannot in its main facts be gainsaid-is this. When the Congress met at Berlin in the early summer of 1878, one of the first of its acts was to take from each of the Ambassadors present a declaration that he came to it with clean hands—that is to say, free of all secret engagement between his Government and any other Government represented at the Congress. This declaration Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury gave with the rest. A few days after, however, the text of the Cyprus Convention was published in London by the Globe newspaper, which had obtained it from Mr. Marvin, a man employed as translator at the Foreign Office, and who had for money betrayed it to the press. The incident was within a little of breaking up the Congress. The French and Russian Ambassadors declared themselves outraged at the English ill-faith, and M. Waddington went so far as to order his trunks to be packed for leaving Berlin. The situation was only saved by Prince Bismarck's intervention and the great personal ascendency Lord Beaconsfield had acquired at the Congress. It was compromised on the following terms of English surrender. Lord Beaconsfield agreed with M. Waddington:

1. That France, as a set-off for Cyprus, should be allowed on the first convenient pretext and without opposition from England to occupy Tunis;

2. That, in the appointments then making in Egypt by the Finance Commission, France should march pari passu with England; and

3. That the old French claim of protecting the Latin Church in Syria should be acknowledged.

On these conditions M. Waddington was for the time detached from the Russian influence, and Lord Beaconsfield was able to return to London in triumph, having secured, according to his well-known boast, a 'Peace with Honour. Nevertheless, the germ of the whole of our subsequent troubles in the East, including the French and Russian alliance, may be distinctly traced to the incident above related, and it is necessary to remember it now if we are to understand the full difficulty in which we are involved. Its first embarrassing result was the establishment in 1879 of the Anglo-French financial control in Egypt; its second, the violation of the Ottoman territory in Tunis, with our connivance, in 1881 ; the third, the failure of our moral influence with Turkey and all the Powers, leaving us charged with the fate of Asia Minor, and, at the same time, impotent to control it for good. Now, of course the initial blame in this scandalous affair was not the Liberal Party's. Mr Gladstone denounced it as strongly as the rules of official etiquette, which always screen TURKISH MISGOVERNMENT

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THE retirement of Lord Rosebery from the Liberal leadership relieves the Radical Opposition of its chief difficulty in regard to Eastern politics, or at least makes it possible to propose a true line of conduct to the party which shall not be met by a jingo non possumus. Mr. Gladstone, Sir William Harcourt, Mr. John Morley, are always open to friendly argument where this is based on a true sympathy for liberty; and it is not, perhaps, altogether vain to remind them at times of their own past lapses where a wider interpretation of their admitted principles is pleaded for. I make bold, therefore, to put my view before them of their present Armenian agitation, to point out where I think they are in error, and to suggest what seems to me a more practical plan than any they have yet suggested for gaining the end they have in view. This I take to be the speedy relief of the Armenians from their present persecution, and an early, humane, and perhaps final, settlement of the whole Eastern Question. I believe all to be within their reach; but it can only be through their initial acknowledgment of great errors in the past, and the conversion of England, through their own conversion, to as great a work of reparation in the present.

First, then, as to their past lapses. The Liberal leaders in their pronouncements are astonished and indignant at the crimes they see perpetrated at Constantinople and in Asia Minor, at the Sultan Abdul Hamid's duplicity in the matter of reforms, at his arbitrary misgovernment, and at the Armenian blood that he has shed in torrents. I think, nevertheless, that if they would examine their own consciences a little closely, they would find that the present outrageous condition of things at Constantinople is one very largely, indeed principally, of their own contriving.

To begin at the very beginning—the Cyprus Convention and the Treaty of Berlin. It is true that out of office Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues denounced these arrangements strongly, but in office afterwards they persistently upheld and made use of them, and, indeed, on some points intensified their ill consequences. The full story of the Cyprus double-dealing has never, I think, been told in print, and its results have been so far-reaching, and are still so vitally affecting the situation, that I will make no apology for relating its chief episode here. The story, as I remember it well at the time--and it cannot in its main facts be gainsaid—is this. When the Congress met at Berlin in the early summer of 1878, one of the first of its acts was to take from each of the Ambassadors present a declaration that he came to it with clean hands—that is to say, free of all secret engagement between his Government and any other Government represented at the Congress. This declaration Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury gave with the rest. A few days after, however, the text of the Cyprus Convention was published in London by the Globe newspaper, which had obtained it from Mr. Marvin, a man employed as translator at the Foreign Office, and who had for money betrayed it to the press. The incident was within a little of breaking up the Congress. The French and Russian Ambassadors declared themselves outraged at the English ill-faith, and M. Waddington went so far as to order his trunks to be packed for leaving Berlin. The situation was only saved by Prince Bismarck's intervention and the great personal ascendency Lord Beaconsfield had acquired at the Congress. It was compromised on the following terms of English surrender. Lord Beaconsfield agreed with M. Waddington:

1. That France, as a set-off for Cyprus, should be allowed on the first convenient pretext and without opposition from England to occupy Tunis;

2. That, in the appointments then making in Egypt by the Finance Commission, France should march pari passu with England; and

3. That the old French claim of protecting the Latin Church in Syria should be acknowledged.

On these conditions M. Waddington was for the time detached from the Russian influence, and Lord Beaconsfield was able to return to London in triumph, having secured, according to his well-known boast, a 'Peace with Honour. Nevertheless, the germ of the whole of our subsequent troubles in the East, including the French and Russian alliance, may be distinctly traced to the incident above related, and it is necessary to remember it now if we are to understand the full difficulty in which we are involved. Its first embarrassing result was the establishment in 1879 of the Anglo-French financial control in Egypt; its second, the violation of the Ottoman territory in Tunis, with our connivance, in 1881 ; the third, the failure of our moral influence with Turkey and all the Powers, leaving us charged with the fate of Asia Minor, and, at the same time, impotent to control it for good. Now, of course the initial blame in this scandalous affair was not the Liberal Party's. Mr Gladstone denounced it as strongly as the rules of official etiquette, which always screen

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