THE IRISH LAND QUESTION.
[To TER EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR.")
is now generally recognised that the hardships involved in our present system of land tenure are at the bottom of every form of Irish discontent. Consequently, we hope and believe Mr. Gladstone will first deal with the root of the agitation before attempting to quiet its inevitable offshoots ; and to do the thing effectually, let him be thoroughly awake to the com- plete necessity of arranging such a present relief to occupiers as will fairly compensate them for the terrible downfall in prices these last few years. When men cannot live, they will naturally resort to any means whatever which seems to hold out a remedy, no matter how foolish, desperate, or wrong such means may be. The honest Irish tenant cannot exist at present and pay the rents he is legally bound to discharge. Hence all the warfare. Every fair-minded person, after considering the facts, must understand how absurd it would be to propose any scheme, no matter how admirable in other respects, which failed to largely reduce the present annual burdens now break- ing so many backs from causes altogether beyond human control. These remarks seem the more called for, because it was reported Mr. Smith came to Ireland with a Land Bank project in his pocket involving an annual payment for forty years of present rents, less 10 per cent. This means,—" Live horse, and you will