FAISNEISI AR STAD NA hEIREANN.

- Labharfaidh an tAire Dúithche anois.

The Home Secretary will now make a statement on the effects of England's occupation on Ireland's population.

A Chinn Chomhairle agus a mhuinntir na Dála, The statement I have to make will be a very brief one. At the beginning of the war, or during the progress of it, we read in the English Press accounts of the extermination of the Armenian Nation. It was stated that the Turks had fallen upon the Armenians and had almost destroyed that ancient race, and recruits for the English army to fight for and avenge the Armenians were asked for. The war is now over, and having been over, certain Armenians a week or two ago went to the English Foreign Office in London and there asked for an accession of territory for Armenia. The English Government explained to them that the Armenians should want no territory since they were exterminated. Whereupon the Armenians replied that their extermination existed only in the English Press.

There is a country where the people were and are being exterminated to a greater extent than any other country in Europe or the civilised world and that country is our own. And that extermination has not been carried on by the brutal and courageous method of the sword, but by methods that no other country or empire has used against its people. We were asked at the beginning of the war to sympathise with Bohemia against Austria, then with Alsace-Lorraine and the other little nations, and the picture of the oppression these nations endured was painted in the darkest colours by England.

But no oppression that any country in Europe suffered could equal or be equalled by the oppression that England has inflicted on this country. We in Ireland always sympathised with Poland and other oppressed peoples, but we know that what they have endured under their Governments is as water unto wine compared with what we have endured under the Government of the usurping foreign power in this country.

Until recently, as John Mitchell said fifty years ago, England possessed the ear of the world, into which she poured her story. To-day that is no longer true. England is no longer able to pour any story she wishes into the ear of the world, and we must tell the world that there is no nation in Europe which has suffered so much under an existing Empire as this nation of ours. Poland suffered nationally under Russia, but economically she was fostered. Bohemia, no doubt, suffered to some extent under Austria, but she grew in prosperity and population. Alsace-Lorraine doubled her population under Germany's sway, and Finland, under Russia, doubled its population. But in this country our people have been swept away not in hundreds, not in thousands, but in millions. Now, when a few years ago we were asked to fight for the freedom of Belgium it was pointed out to the Irish people that the Belgians in 1841 numbered half of our population, whereas to-day she has double our number, and when later on it came to be England's role to denounce Russia she reversed the old story of Poland. It was known to the world that whereas we in Ireland, 70 years ago, had double the population of Poland, Poland has twice our population now. In Prussian Poland in 40 years the population has doubled.

Now I stand for a constituency in the North of Ireland, N.W. Tyrone. In Co. Tyrone, in 1841, the inhabitants were double the number of people who are in the place to-day, and in that year there were 54,419 homesteads. At the last Census, in 1911, there were 22,000 homesteads. No war ravaged Ireland during these 70 years, and the story I have related of this Ulster county is true also of the rest of the country. I will ask my colleagues to give the facts in regard to other counties.

(Teachta Cho, Phort láirge) In the Co. Waterford in the period between 1841 and 1911 the population has decreased by 112,621, and in the same period the number of homesteads has decreased by 12,000.

In the Co. Clare there were 182,162 people destroyed between 1841 and 1911, and in the same period 24,532 homesteads were destroyed.

(Teachta Thuaiscirt Roscomáin) In Co. Roscommon in 50 years the population, which might have been more than doubled, had been reduced by 160,000 people and in the same period the destruction of homesteads was 24,133. It was a mistake to take this figure as representing the mere destruction of the population - it meant that a fairly populated county had become empty and that large masses of land had been acquired by a few people. The vast plains of Boyle were now without a plough and the people were without homes.

(Teachta Dheiscirt Chorcaighe) In 60 years three people out of every five in the County Cork have been destroyed, and one homestead out of every two. Let them see if that record can be beaten in North-East France during the recent war.

(Teachta Thuaiscirt Mhuineacháin) In 70 years the population of County Monaghan has decreased by 64 per cent.

(Teachta Dheiscirt Chilldara) Between 1841 and 1911 the population of Co. Kildare has been reduced by 48,000, or two-fifths, while the number of homesteads has been reduced by 5,000.

(Teachta Thuaiscirt Chill Choinnigh) County Kilkenny has lost in population 137,000 people, while the homesteads have been reduced from 32,000 to 15,000.

(Teachta Iar-Mhidhe) Westmeath has lost 81,314 in population from 1841 to 1911, while in the same period there has been a loss of 11,385 in homesteads. All that has occurred in a time of "peace."

(Teachta Dheiscirt na Midhe) Co. Meath has lost 118,737 of its population in 70 years. But these figures do not take into account what the natural increase in population would have been in those 70 years. More than half the population of this rich and fertile county have been wiped out in an average life-time.

(Teachta Dheiscirt Mhuineacháin) It is a standing refutation of the English lie that Ulster is prosperous that in the space of 70 years the population of County Fermanagh has been reduced by 74,000, while the homesteads in the county have been reduced by one half.

(Teachta Iarthar Luiminighe) In 70 years 186,900 people have been exterminated in the County of Limerick, while 21,000 homesteads have been destroyed.

I do not wish that further time should be occupied in dealing with these figures. What you have heard is true not alone of the counties referred to, but of every county in Ireland. What has happened in Ireland is not that we have lost half our population, but that we have lost a great potential population. Had this country been under Russian rule from 1841 to the present time, what happened in Poland would have happened here. Poland has in that period increased in population threefold, and had Ireland the good luck to be under the Russian instead of under the Englishman she would have to-day a population of 24 millions of people. And had she been under the heel of Prussianism instead of being under the hoof of Englishism she would have now 12 millions of people instead of 4 millions.

At the beginning of this war England discovered a use for the Irish people and that was as a help to save her from the menace of Germany. Without a war in Ireland our man power has declined from 4,072,000 to 2,090,000 at the outbreak of the war. That is to say that two million potential fighting men had been banished from Ireland. In her dreams England set herself to kill two birds with one stone to destroy her great commercial rival. Germany, and to complete the extermination of the Irish people. Well, in the last part of her programme she has not succeeded. We have survived her last and greatest attempt at our destruction.

The province from which my ancestors came, the same county which I represent in this Dáil, England has painted to the outside world as being opposed to the remainder of Ireland politically and is being prosperous and contented. It must not be taken for granted that what England chooses to tell the world about another country is true. The Province of Ulster has suffered more than Leinster under English rule. In 1841 there were 2,400,000 people in Ulster; now these are 1,580,000. She has thus lost one-third of her population in 70 years. Every county in Ulster has suffered, and some of them to a greater extent than the counties of Leinster.

I will give you the detailed list: Antrim, which is the only county in Ireland which is opposed in every shape and form to the independence of Ireland, has lost 92,000, or 32 per cent. of its population; Armagh, 112,000, or 48 per cent. of its population; Cavan, 104,000, or 53 per cent. of its population; Derry, 81,000, or 37 per cent. of its population; Down, 121,000, or 37 per cent. of its population; Donegal, 79,000, or 32 per cent. of its population; Fermanagh, 95,000, or 60 per cent. of its population; Monaghan, 128,000, or 64 per cent. of its population; Tyrone, 170,000, or 54 per cent. of its population.

Those are the figures for the 9 counties of Ulster. One city in Ulster Belfast has increased its population, but not to the same extent as other industrial cities in England have increased. Its prosperity is largely due to the fact that it was made the centre of that trade to promote which all Ireland was taxed - namely, the linen trade - and to the fact that a foreigner named Wolff had started a shipbuilding industry there, so that Belfast's prosperity has been raised on a basis of German gold.

Let it not be thought that the destruction of the population affects only one class or creed. The foreign usurping Government claims, and falsely claims, abroad that Protestant Ireland is opposed to the remainder of Ireland, and asserts that Protestant Ireland is prosperous. The difference between the two is that the English Government has detroyed one Protestant in three and one Catholic in two. These figures speak for themselves. Every figure represents a man or a woman, and when we talk of 56,000 or 57,000 people gone we have to think of them with children born in this country being forced to leave that country, or of having been destroyed by the artificial famine of '47, of the human hearts and the human hopes destroyed. The effort to destroy Ireland has been going on for three centuries. It was carried on at first openly and by the sword, and later it was continued by the subtler method of famine. If we were governed by some other country to-day and these same things happened the whole world would cry out in rage against the country that did such a thing. I am old enough to have heard the stories of men who lived in Ireland through the famine years, and I have read the stories of how my countrymen and countrywomen and the helpless little children died of starvation in a land of plenty. I read in the columns of the London Times in the year following that of the famine a comment on that famine in which the English mind revealed itself exultingly: "The Celts are gone with a vengeance, and God be praised." Well, to-day we have the Celts back with us.

> Labharfaidh an tAire Airgid anois.

The Secretary for Finance will now make a statement.

> A Chinn Chomhairle agus a mhuinntir na Dála, You have been given figures to-day showing how the people and the inhabitants of Ireland have been destroyed.

The task falls to me of showing how, while this destruction was going on, we were at the same time paying enormous sums in over-taxation, and were, in addition, being drained of our Capital to an appalling extent.

My duty is not an exciting one, but I promise you that the story I am going to relate will be interesting. You will forgive me for being dry. I have to be. At the same time, I shall endeavour to present the history of the financial relations between this country and England as clearly and as briefly as the subject will permit.

First, let me say to you that the actual over-taxation results of the nineteenth century were anticipated by the Irish Lords when, just 120 years ago, they made the following general protest against the then impending Act of Union:

"Because, when we compare the relative abilities of Great Britain and Ireland, we find the contributions to be paid by the two Kingdoms to the expenses of the new Empire most unequally adjusted; that the share of two-seventeenths fixed upon us as the proportion to be paid by Ireland, is far beyond what her resources will enable her to discharge. Should Ireland undertake to pay more than she shall be able to answer, the Act will be irrevocable, and the necessary consequences will be a gradual diminution of her Capital, the decline of her Trade, a failure in the produce of her taxes, and, finally, her total bankruptcy."

This was regarded as such a serious indictment that the British Prime Minister felt called upon to reply to it, and the comments he made upon the statement were as follows:

PITT: "That the Union was not sought from a pecuniary motive. It must infuse a large portion of wealth into Ireland, and supply the want of industry and capital. There was no ground for the apprehension that Great Britain would tax Ireland more heavily or that Ireland would be subjected to an increase of taxes or to a load of debt. The contribution to be imposed on Ireland would not be greater than her own present necessary expenses. Ireland would continue to contribute in its accustomed proportion, and one of the objects of the Act was to ensure that Ireland would never be taxed but in proportion as we tax ourselves."

At the same time Castlereagh stated:

"That the Plan of Revision gave to Ireland the utmost possible security. That she could not be taxed beyond the measure of her comparative ability, and the proportion of her contribution must ever correspond with her limited wealth and prosperity."

I will draw the distinction between the truth of the Irish Lords and the falsehoods of Pitt.

The Union Makers decided that Ireland's "accustomed proportion" or "proper ratio" was 2 in 15. It may be well to indicate how this proportion was arrived at. The following is a table comparing the Irish expenditure with the British expenditure for some typical years which will show you at once that the manner in which they arrived at this ratio was false:

Irish Expenditure.

British.

Proportion.

1783.

£1,192,897

£15,455,572

1. 12.95

1784.

£1,015,059

£15,566,429

1. 15.33

1797.

£2,693,267

£44,055,285

1. 16.35

1799.

£4,745,111

£30,563,008

1. 6.44

It should be particularly noted that in the years 1783 and 1784, when the Irish Parliament was really independent, in spite of the fact that England was engaged in a mighty war for civilisation, the Irish Chancellor did not pay a single pound to what is called Imperial Expenditure. This, of course, was as it should be.

Between the years 1784 and 1797, the Irish proportion of expenditure as compared with the English did in truth grow, because the English expenditure fell temporarily to a very low level, and in 1797, when expenditure in the latter country again reached what was to it a normal amount, we find the Irish proportion 1 in 16.35. This is the last year that can truthfully be considered a representative year.

Following, 1797, when the Irish Parliament became entirely subservient to Westminster, we get the 1799 figures showing that the British expenditure had decreased to £30,563,008, the figures then being in the proportion of 1 to 6.44. But that increased expenditure on Ireland is the result of the expenditure incurred by England in suppressing the Irish Insurrection of 1798 being foisted on to the Irish Exchequer, and as an outcome of the position so created, the proper contribution of Ireland was declared to be 2 in 15.

In any true calculation of Ireland's debt, the English expenditure in suppressing the gallant men of '98 should not be taken into account. The roads through Wicklow, made to defeat Michael Dwyer, were hardly expenditure on an Irish service that was surely Imperial outlay. The last year, therefore, that gives any true indication of the burden of taxation was 1797. In that year Ireland was one of the most lightly taxed countries in the world, and England one of the heaviest. At that time Ireland's taxation per head was little over 10s., whereas in England they paid £3 10s. 3d. per head.

To make it clear to you in another way, Ireland's total National Debt in 1793 was £2,252,667; in 1801 it had grown to £28,541,157, emphasising again what I have already said that England made the then Irish Parliament pay for the cost of the war of 1798 increasing both our annual taxation and our National Debt.

You will readily see that the premises on which Ireland's contribution were based were inaccurate. It is little wonder, consequently, that the warning of the Irish Lords quoted above was prophetic in its truthfulness, and that after a certain time Ireland had, indeed, almost become bankrupt.

It became evident as time elapsed that Ireland struggled under a load of excessive taxation, and in 1816 the Exchequers of the two countries were amalgamated.

Now, it was specifically laid down in the Act of Union that, for purposes of taxation, Ireland was to be treated as a separate entity, and that the accounts were to be kept distinct. Probably the only advantage that this conferred on Ireland was that it did enable us to see easily that we were being overtaxed. From the amalgamation onwards Ireland had no Account-Keeper, and ever since that time it has become increasingly difficult to find out the true position as regards Ireland and England.

At that time England remitted some £16,000,000 which she averred we owed her, and presented us in exchange with our share in the entire National Debt of England and Ireland.

I have already said that at the time of the Act of Union, the debts of the two countries stood:

Ireland.

Total.

per head.

£28,541,157.

£5 10s.0d.

England.

Total.

per head.

£400,000,000.

£46.

Thus they relieved themselves of an indebtedness of about £20 per head at our expense, and even to this day the English Treasury shows in its returns the amount they remitted in 1816. Remission is a pleasing term, and they bring it forward from year to year.

Immediately after this Consolidation of the Irish Exchequer the figures of taxation for the two countries stood:

Ireland.

Revenue.

per head.

£7,349,000.

£1 3s.5d.

England.

Revenue.

per head.

£49,511,000.

£3 10s.3d.

In the course of taxation from 1817 to 1850, there was scarcely any change in method. The passing of the Corn Laws did not affect the weight of taxation; of course they affected very materially the economic status of Ireland, as will be referred to later.

Roughly speaking, in the year 1850 the Revenue from Ireland was the same as it had been in 1817 £7,186,000 in 1850 as against £7,349,000 in the former year.

In 1853, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr. Gladstone, who has inflicted more taxation upon us than any other British Chancellor except Mr. Asquith imposed the Income Tax and soon afterwards commenced raising the Spirit Duties; and this notwithstanding that one of the clauses of the Act of Union provides that the Income Tax levy should not be imposed upon Ireland.

It should be borne in mind that Gladstone fully realised he was imposing on Ireland through these Taxes further unwarrantable exactions. Not to be outdone by any former Chancellor of the British Exchequer he gave us a remission.

There was in existence at that time a debt due by Ireland to England of £4,500,000. This was lent in the form of Grants during the famine years. The annual payment in respect of this was £250,000, including Sinking Fund. Remember this was only temporary. The entire debt would have been paid off in less than 20 years, and in point of fact portion of it had been repaid in 1853.

In a space of two years Gladstone had recovered for his country the entire amount of £4,500,000 which they had "granted" us for relief of distress during the Famine years, and up to the present time we have paid some £200,000,000, or approximately fifty times the original sum for Mr. Gladstone's kind "remission."

To illustrate more definitely this increase after Gladstone's plum, Ireland contributed:

Year.

Revenue.

per head.

1850

£7,186,000

£1

0

10

1855

8,400,000

1

8

7

1860

9,575,000

1

12

10

1870

10,154,000

1

17

5

1880

10,572,000

2

0

8

1890

11,422,000

2

8

4

England in parallel periods:

Year.

Revenue.

per head.

1850

£49,651,000

£2

7

8

1870

59,678,000

2

5

9

1880

60,060,000

2

0

5

1890

71,588,000

2

3

4

After this date an agitation was raised against over-taxation and the position became so acute that it was thought necessary by the Government to appoint a Commission to enquire into the question.

The Terms of Reference were:

1. "Upon what principles of comparison and by the application of which specific standards the relative capacity of Great Britain and Ireland to bear Taxation may be most equitably determined.

2. "What is the proportion as far as can be ascertained under the principles and specific standards so determined between the taxable capacity of Great Britain and Ireland.

3. "The History of the Financial Relations between Great Britain and Ireland at and after the Legislative Union, the charge for Irish purposes on the Imperial Exchequer during that period, and the amount of Irish Taxation remaining available for contribution towards the Imperial Expenditure. Also the Imperial Expenditure which it is considered equitable that Ireland should contribute."

In view of the importance and far-reaching scope of the finding of this Commission it may be well to say a word as to who the men were who composed it.

First there was:

Mr. Childers an ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer, as Chairman;

Lord Farrar; and

Lord Welby Expert on the Treasury Board of Trade;

men of the type of:

Mr. Redmond, and,

Mr. Sexton, and

three or four strong Unionists and a few other men who were less strong Unionists.

In any event nobody could accuse the members of this Commission of an unfair bias in favour of Ireland.

They found and these findings are too little known and understood in Ireland:

1. "That Great Britain and Ireland must for the purpose of this Enquiry be considered as separate entities;

2. "That the Act of Union imposed upon Ireland a burden, which, as events showed, she was unable to bear;

3. "That the increase in Taxation laid upon Ireland between 1853 and 1860 was not justified by the then existing circumstances;

4. "That identity of rate of Taxation does not necessarily involve equality of burden;

5. "That whilst the actual Tax Revenue of Ireland is about one eleventh of that of Great Britain, the relative taxable capacity of Ireland is much smaller, and is not estimated by any of us as exceeding one-twentieth."

It will be readily observed that of these Nos. 2 and 5 are the vital findings. No. 2, which shows that because of the financial provisions on which the Union was based, over-taxation was inevitable. The arrangement that we had to pay being made, No. 5 follows and shows the extent of the burden.

The following figures will illustrate. They will also serve in a general way to show the extent of the robbery we were subjected to in the ninety-four years of connection with England. In that time we had contributed an average Annual Revenue of somewhat over £6,000,000, or a total of £570,000,000.

Now, according to the findings of the Royal Commission (under No. 5) our just proportion would have been £3,000,000 annually, or a total, roughly, of £280,000,000. In other words, we had been defrauded of an average annual amount of £2,750,000, or a grand total during the period under review of £290,000,000; that is, we had paid double the amount we should lawfully have been called upon to pay.

I will call to the support of the findings of the Commission the testimony of a very distinguished man Mr. A.W. Samuels now Attorney-General for Ireland.

In his Presidential Address of 1906 (afterwards published as a Pamphlet entitled "Some features of recent Irish Finance") to the Social and Statistical Society of Ireland, he said:

"I believe that the present system of taxation with its narrow basis and peculiar incidences presses and has long pressed unduly upon Ireland, and that the Exemption and Abatements Clauses of the Act of Union have not been, and are not, sufficiently observed having regard to the comparative poverty and peculiar circumstances of Ireland. I suggest that the Vice-Treasurership of Ireland under the Act for consolidating the Exchequer should be restored."

The system has not been amended, the narrow and peculiar incidences remain.

The wrong has never been righted, and during the years since the Royal Commission reported the tendency to over-tax us has increased rather than daminished.

Indeed under the Budget which the Chancellor of the English Exchequer has introduced in the Parliament of his country a few weeks ago we find that Ireland will pay about £50,000,000 in taxation. Making deductions in respect of arrears of Excess Profits, and sales of war material, we find that Great Britain will pay £600,000,000 in taxation. Thus, we are paying one-twelfth now and it must be remembered that our taxable capacity in proportion to that of England has decreased very considerably since 1893.

Our payments in proportion to those of England have been well maintained.

Let me now bring my figures up to 1913 I choose that year so as not for the moment to become involved in wartime figures and in doing so it should be noted that I am not going beyond the standard of average annual over-taxation agreed upon by the Royal Commission, viz.: £2,750,000. Had I time, however, to go into details. I would show you that by any responsible calculation the figure was greatly in excess of that.

£

Paid in over-taxation in 1893

290,000,000

Paid in over-taxation from 1893-1913

50,000,000

So that in round figures England had up to the outbreak of the European war plundered us of £340,000,000.

During the four years of war it has been increasingly difficult to make any accurate estimate of the amount of our over-taxation.

I am taking £60,000,000, and no one can accuse me of over-stating the amount. Few there are who will not be inclined to say that I have left a complete margin for a reasonable war-taxation, provided that the war was Ireland's war.

The total over-taxation levied on us, therefore, since the Act of Union is £400,000,000.

English apologists have attempted to deny this over-taxation, or rather to palliate it, by a careful manipulation of the term "Imperial Expenditure." By charging (a) many items that should properly come under this head, against Ireland, they show an inflated expenditure on Irish services, and by charging (b) as Imperial Expenditure many items that are entirely spent in England they increase our liability to contribute.

Thus they have it both ways.

Now it is well to understand what they regard as Irish Expenditure it is described as:

"All outlay in Ireland, whether for the Viceregal Court, Judges, Law Charges, Police, Loans, Grants, Government Offices, or any kind of central or local expenditure, excepting only the Army and Navy."

You will not disagree with me if I protest that not a single one of these services is unconnected with Imperial necessity.

Take the R.I.C. alone. We have twice as many policemen as Scotland, although our population is less than hers. We have one-fifth as many as England, although that country has now almost ten times as many people as Ireland. The excess above the normal in the number of policemen in Ireland is entirely due to Empire needs.

The annual cost of the R.I.C. is upwards of £1,500,000.

A normal Civil Police Force, quite capable of fulfilling efficiently all Police needs in this country, would cost £500,000 at most. Consequently on this one head alone the Empire is costing us over £1,000,000 per annum, and it is charged as an Irish service.

To show clearly what happens under the second part of the argument I again call in the testimony of Mr. Samuels.

Now that his Imperial activities are paid for as an Irish service perhaps he does not feel so keenly on the matter. In any case, his lips are sealed.

His words were:

"The larger the Imperial Column can be made the better for England and the worse for Ireland and Scotland. An examination from these returns shows that, apart from the Crown Civil List, and Naval and Military Expenditure, expenditure actually taking place in England, by being classed as Imperial, is charged against Scotland and Ireland, too, whilst almost all the expenditure in Ireland or Scotland or in England for Irish or Scottish purposes is charged as Irish or Scottish. I examined some of the details of those Treasury Returns in a paper read before the Society in 1897 and pointed out that at least £14,000,000 charged as Imperial Expenditure in the Return for 1893-4 should have been charged against England for English services, and the whole method of computation was differential, empirical, unconstitutional, unfair."

The survey of the financial robbery of Ireland cannot be considered complete even in general outline without a reference to theeffect of the taxation and of financial proposals contained in various Acts on our National life and industry, capital and income.

Taxation is not to be considered by its yield to the Exchequer. Taxes may be used to foster National industry, to relieve the burdens of those least able to pay, to encourage thrift, to increase national wealth, and generally to promote national activity.

England's taxation of Ireland for over a century has been deliberately designed to prevent all these things. A few examples will show my meaning.

In the early part of the Nineteenth Century quite a flourishing Tobacco Industry had been developed in Ireland. In 1819 the English Chancellor in creased the taxes:

On un-Manufactured Tobacco from 1/- to 3/- per lb.

On Manufactured Tobacco from 3/- to 16/- per lb.;

a step which had the effect of destroying completely a young and very promising Irish industry.

Nor is it material wealth alone that the English Government deprived us of by unjust taxation.

The Repeal of the Corn Laws however beneficial that measure may have been to England was disastrous to Ireland, which was an agricultural country. It ruined our greatest industry, and is probably the best illustration in all history of the far-reaching financial and other effects of a law having a different primary object.

The Repeal of the Corn Laws gave cheap food to the English then rapidly progressing towards industrialism. The passing of the Act ruined agriculture in this country. By doing so it destroyed another million of our population.

I have mentioned the new taxation imposed on Ireland in 1853.

This taxation was initiated by Mr. Gladstone and I may here say that I consider Mr. Gladstone the greatest enemy this country has ever had.

I have shown you the Revenue Return of the Tax, but the effect was infinitely worse than the simple. Tax Returns show. Prior to Mr. Gladstone's proposals Income Tax had not been levied on Ireland. Consequently there was a very distinct advantage for those whose incomes were acquired in Ireland, and were residing there. With the imposition of the Income Tax on Ireland the advantage from this point of view disappeared with the result that Absenteeism increased enormously.

Thus the Tax had the effect of draining Ireland'sCapital.

And as I have mentioned Capital, let me give you an illustration of how real-taxation and over-taxation had diminished Ireland's share in the years from 1812 to 1895:

Capital in

Great Britain.

Ireland.

1812.

£1,500,000,000

£563,000,000

1895

10,000,000,000

400,000,000

Thus in some eighty years Ireland's Capital has been reduced by £163,000,000, but like the population and the habitations that you have already heard about this morning, we must, in addition, allow for the ordinary increase that would have taken place under normal conditions.

In the period England's Capital increased seven-fold.

If we apply the same standard of increase to Ireland we find that England has robbed us of Capital to an amount equivalent to a sum twice as large as the first instalment of the Indemnity the Allies propose to recover from the Germans. Or to put it in another way. If the Capital of Ireland had increased relatively to the Capital of England, Ireland's Capital should have been somewhere about £3,940,000,000.

It will be said, however, that a large proportional advantage must be given to England because of her industrialised position. This may be done, but it will, I submit, be quite fair to assume that Ireland's Capital should have increased three-fold.

This is the conservative estimate I have taken in the Summary, and on this basis Ireland's Capital should have been £1,700,000,000 in 1895.

There, then, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Dáil, is the position after a Century of Union with England.

Summarised England stands arraigned with having through her financial machinations:

1. Over-taxed us to the extent of at least £400,000,000;

2. Drained our Capital to the extent of (at a moderate estimate, as already set forth) £1,000,000,000;

3. Destroyed flourishing Industries, and generally retarded our Industrial Development;

4. Banished some millions of our population and made the remainder "pay," as Grattan said they would pay, "the price of their enslavement."

Labharfaidh Aire na nDéantús libh anois.

The Secretary for National Industries will now make a Statement.

An déantús go bhfuil trácht agam le déanamh air anso, ní féidir a rádh gur déantús náisiúnta é, acht is déantús dáiríribh é.

On the present occasion I have to deal with an industry that we cannot call a National Industry. Nevertheless it is an industry and a flourishing one, and one to which more attention has been paid in Ireland than to any other. The French have, I believe, an expression, "Chevalier d'Industrie" - a Knight of Industry - which applies exactly to the class of industry I am now going to describe.

The worst feature, I think, of all the features of the English usurpation in this country and it may seem a very strong thing to say the worst feature of all the features of that usurpation has been the corruption of law and justice. For centuries in the early period of the English intrusion, the invaders frankly declared the Irish nation to be a kingdom, and that was a healthier state of things than what followed. With Henry VIII, a new departure came and the usurpation endeavoured - and with a certain amount of success - to draw the representatives or alleged representatives of the Irish nation into the institutions of English government in Ireland. That was the beginning of a long period of Irish history in which Irishmen by taking part in the institution of English government gave colour to the pretence that the English government had some position of, if not moral, at least legal justification in the country. With that new departure, and from the beginning of it, there began an era of the corruption of law and justice which runs down to our own time; and has been active recently and quite recently, and probably if we knew it, the present time is the worst period of all. Now, sir, I intend to be very brief, for the simple reason that to fully expose the matter that I have in hand to-day it would require not one sitting but a whole Session of this Assembly; and at the end of a continued series of sittings of this Assembly the subject would not be exhausted, because we have to deal here with operations, such as we conceive them and with such evidence as we can find of them, of a secret organisation - an absolute secret organisation which calls itself "the Government" here in Ireland.

For nearly four centuries now Dublin Castle has been the forcing house of such a growth of legal corruption, chicanery, systematic perjury, judicial murder, confiscation, and oppression through forms of law as cannot be paralleled in the history of any other country. One single chapter dealing with one single local manifestation of this appalling system in its early days will be found in Mr. T.M. Healy's book, "Stolen Waters," and in that record there is nothing exceptional. It is merely a specimen, a sample of the entire system. The English authorities in Ireland have obtained control of the machinery of law and justice from the outset, have poisoned and corrupted these institutions, and the working of that corruption has never ceased for a single year. It has been carried on under every alteration of English Party Government, and has been as active under Gladstone as under Balfour, as active under Lloyd George as 300 years ago under Chichester. The entire atmosphere of legal administration through Dublin Castle has at all times been saturated with poison gas, and is so at this moment. In that atmosphere there is neither honesty nor honour. Our concern, however, is not so much with past history as with the living present, and I merely mention the past for the purpose of explaining the present. In regard to this usurpation, to the history of the English trespass on Ireland, past and present are one unbroken unit. I shall now ask attention to several important aspects of the English perversion of law and justice here in this country.

The first thing I have to dwell on is the organised system of perjury. Under the effects of that system as many here present know a number of men are now undergoing sentences of long imprisonment some of penal servitude in English prisons, and the hired officials of the English Government, and, I doubt not, the Ministers of that Government also, are fully aware that the evidence against these men is false, that evidence having been concocted under the supervision of these officials themselves. It may seem incredible that the English Government can always find the requisite supply of perjurers for its political purposes, but it takes good care of that. The headquarters for the training of its police both officers and men is a training school of evidence. The sort of training that is administered there may be judged from a recent exposure. You all remember a short time ago when under English law here, and taking advantage of English law, aHabeas Corpus application was made for the release of the little child who was kidnapped from his home in the County Tipperary, brought here and stowed away in the headquarters of the Constabulary in the Depôt in the Phoenix Park, and brought three times every week alone, with no friend near him, under the charge of these hostile police officials, to undergo a cross examination in the presence of the higher officials of the English Government in Dublin Castle; brought before the English Government this little child three times every week, in order to be subjected to this modern form of the rack and torture. Now the result of that application was that the child was released; but the Court insisted upon having an affidavit from the officials and the police explaining the child's detention, and that affidavit after great difficulty was ultimately produced. It would not have been produced at all because these officials relied on the idea that if they delayed it to the last day of the sittings they would escape the necessity of making an explanation but the Lord Chief Justice stated he would sit to a late hour in the afternoon, and if the affidavit were not forthcoming then he would sit to a later hour in the evening, and the result was that the affidavit had to be forthcoming. When it did come forth he described it as "peculiarly lacking in candour." Now if an ordinary man in the street made a wrong statement, signed his name to it, and swore to the truth of that statement in the presence of a Commissioner, the expression that another man would use, when he found the statement was not true, would embrace the word "perjury" and not "candour." That example of perjury exposed came from the man who has charge of the training of the officers and men of the Irish police. Here we see at once the explanation of this particular system of expert evidence with which we are all familiar in every part of Ireland.

I pass on from that question of the organisation of perjury to another aspect of the example of corruption of justice in Ireland, viz., jury packing. It is unnecessary for me to dwell upon it as we are all so familiar with it. A great deal has been heard of it in the past, but it has not become obsolete. It has only become obsolete during the past few years in so far as trial by jury has become obsolete in Ireland. Jury packing has been reduced to a science. What is meant by that is, the exercise on the part of the English Crown here in Ireland of a practice which in England is unconstitutional and which Englishmen would not tolerate in their country; but it has not only been exercised here in Ireland but pursued to a degree almost incredible. In connection with the manipulation of juries it must first of all be noticed that the Government here has the selection of the Sheriffs, and through them of the Sub-Sheriffs who prepare the jury panels, and who are expected to have full information when required, with regard to the politics, the religion, and the leaning in other ways of all the people whose names appear on these panels. That system of jury-packing is not obsolete. I see a member of this Assembly here present who was placed on his trial before one of these tribunals a few years ago, charged with a political offence against the English Government; and at the Commission that was appointed by that Government to inquire into the Rising of 1916, the Lord Lieutenant of the time Wimbourne giving evidence, stated with regard to our friend here present, "We packed the jury; we failed to obtain a conviction." The Lord Lieutenant and Governor-General of Ireland declared in his testimony before a Royal Commission appointed by the English Government that they packed the jury. That statement will be found in the printed record of the evidence of the Commission. They have gone further than that. Not content with the power of packing juries, they have invented specially for Ireland, an indirect plan for the selection of venues; that means they change the trial at will. It has been so elaborated by the Attorney-General for the time being that trial by jury of political prisoners when such is held I do not know whether they will be held again can be changed to Belfast, Dublin, or Derry, or wherever desired, dependent of course on the jury panel.

But apart from the desire to obtain conviction, there is another purpose, and one worse still. This particular device of changing the venue is one of those employed for the deliberate purpose the steady purpose of English government here for one and a half centuries of inflaming one section of the Irish people against the rest, of feeding and inflaming the sectional feeling in the North-East of Ireland. Some of you, no doubt, are familiar with the views I have tried to impress on people generally with regard to what they call the "Ulster difficulty." The Ulster difficulty is no Irish difficulty. It is a difficulty created originally, and renewed, and deliberately renewed, from time to time whenever occasion arose, by the operations of the English Government here in Ireland; and not merely by the operations of the Castle alone, but by the operations of the English Government working from London. Though we have heard of the school of politics associated with the name of Sir Edward Carson, and that many people believe it represents some sort of popular demo cratic expression of opinion of the people of Ulster, it represents nothing of the kind. Every time that Sir Edward Carson has visited Ulster he has visited it with his programme already prepared in London. Only last week his followers came back from Westminster to the North of Ireland, and the result was, as those who read the Belfast papers can see for themselves, that once more they had come to the conclusion to start a fresh campaign of "No Popery."

The next aspect of the system after jury-packing is the packing of the Bench. With very few exceptions I doubt if there is more than one amongst the existing occupants of the higher Irish Bench, every man who, in my recollection, has been placed on that Bench, has been placed on it, not for his eminence in the legal profession; not for the spirit of justice and equity which could be relied on to inspire his action on the Bench; not for the profundity of his knowledge of the law; but for one reason and one alone the excellence of his services to the British Government. That applies not only to the Judges of the High Court of Justice here in Ireland, but applies also to the County Court Judges all over Ireland. County Court Judgeships are generally a reward for political services, and, where not, they are obtained at the back-door of Dublin Castle through political intrigue. It applies also to that class of magistrates which exist in Ireland alone the Removable Petty Magistrates, who are appointed at the pleasure of the British Government, and of course conduct themselves accordingly. I will now give you a brief example here of how this sort of thing operates. I will take the case of one particular judge who has not been noted for the violence of his political opinions or for the remarkable nature of his political services. He will be regarded as a rather mild type. That Judge, within a very recent time, having had a man before him on a very gross case of the murder of a woman, sentenced that man to twelve months' imprisonment in the second division rather a privileged class! We all speak here as prison experts! Now that same Judge had another person brought before him for the terrible crime known as "Sedition," and he sentenced the "criminal" in that case to two years' penal servitude. A third case that came before him was a conspiracy, apparently against the sacred rights of property. A man committed the crime of destroying seven yards of a landlord's wall, and for that he got seven years' penal servitude, a year for every yard of the wall. How do you explain twelve months' imprisonment for the murder of a woman, two years' imprisonment for sedition, and seven years' penal servitude for destroying a small piece of a landlord's property? The explanation with regard to the first case is that the man who murdered the woman, when brought up for sentence, stated he had been engaged on the Recruiting platform for the British Army. Now we all know that an American citizen who happened to be here after the Easter Week Rising testified before the Congress in America that he had journeyed over part of Dublin in company with Sir John Maxwell, and that Maxwell stated, "There is no crime in this country except sedition." Yet we have 12,000 police, and the expenditure on this police force by the British Government within the last two or three years has been increased 50 per cent. We are under constant espionage. Every one of us here knows that, if we get into a railway carriage, at almost every principal station we can see eyes peering through the window to see if they can identify us. A late representative to this country Mr. Birrell stated and the statement will be found in the evidence given at the Commission of Inquiry after the Easter Rising of 1916 "The whole people of Ireland," he says, "live under the microscope of Dublin Castle."

A further feature of this arrangement is the system known as that of the "Agent-Provocateur" under which people go about manufacturing crime, these being paid agents of the Government. Some of you will remember the case in the American Aerodrome in this country, where, when the invaders were captured, it was found that under the long coats they had assumed for the occasion they were wearing the uniform of the Constabulary. It was not to capture rifles or ammunition they went to the aerodrome, because the R.I.C. are as liberally supplied as the military forces with all the arms and ammunition they require. No, but if they had not been discovered, and the thing had developed properly, we would have as the result of it "Another Sinn Fein Outrage."

I remember, when the Volunteers used to be training on the piece of ground placed at their disposal at Kimmage by Countess Plunkett, noticing there one day a rather clear stream flowing through these grounds, and on inquiring where it came from and where it went, I was told it came from the Dublin Hills. It looks as pleasant as any stream and the name of it is the Poddle. Further on it disappears underground, and as it passes on it travels under Dublin Castle in its course, and finally emerges through a grated gateway into the Liffey. The colour of it where it emerges into the Liffey is very different from that at Kimmage. That Poddle is an allegory of the English Government in Ireland. What I find it difficult to believe about the system is this that a large number of men men in high station as they themselves would consider men, many of whom have had distinguished University careers that men of that class become the managers and directors of the system, and that these same men after their hours of sleep go forth to Dublin Castle, and there steep themselves and soak themselves in the foul sewer of corruption and perjury, and after that come back again in their free time and go into the society of their families, of their wives and children, their friends and acquaintances, and pass as honest and honourable men. Let it not be supposed that this infamous business is carried on in a purely official circle in the Castle and its outposts throughout Ireland, and carried on without the knowledge and recognition of the higher Ministers of State Englishmen or Scotchmen who are sent here from London to preside over what they call their "Government" do not believe that for a moment. Whatever public honour or honesty there is in the individual, on the passage from Holyhead it suffers the consequence of an unpleasant crossing of the sea. We in Ireland do not believe that a man can be a scoundrel in Dublin Castle and an honest man in the Kildare Street Club. It would be as easy to convince us that an egg on our breakfast table is good in one part of it and rotten in other parts.