IRISH IDEAS

By William O'Brien

Page 97

MR. MORLEY'S TASK IN IRELAND

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Morley to look for his Sir Robert Hamiltons? The Irish Tories are incorrigible. The old Presbyterian Liberals of the North, who are longing for place; who were all but as complete pariahs as the Nationalists; who, by-and-by, when the Home Rule Bill is passed, will make invaluable administrators, remain, and will remain, hostile to Home Rule so long as it is not quite certain to be carried. Mr. Morley cannot depend upon the minority to help him with good candidates. Still less can he look to the Nationalist majority. There would be no difficulty in picking out Nationalists competent to administer the Castle departments as uprightly and well as they have upon the whole administered the affairs of the City corporations and Poor-law boards. But a Nationalist will no more enter Dublin Castle until an Irish Government possesses the keys than he will go by choice to reside in a cholera hospital. Even with a Home Rule Chief Secretary at the helm, the place is in quarantine. The Irish public have the same sort of sympathy for Mr. Morley as for a gallant surgeon who embarks in a plague-stricken hulk all alone. The perversity of Nationalists in crying out against existing Castle officials, and declining to supply better ones, is the theme of considerable and amusingly contradictory remark. Our Redmondite friends, whenever they are particularly hard up for any intelligible charge against us, affect to talk of the Irish party as place-hunters; while Mr. Stead inveighs in strong terms against Mr. Sexton for declining to be Chief Secretary, and suspects there is something sinister in the self-denying ordinance observed by the Irish party. The Redmondites, of course, only use the term ' place-hunters ' because it is less ridiculous than ' seceders,' as applied to a party of seventy-one by a party of nine. They are quite well aware that the members of the Irish ...continue reading »

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