4 NOVEMBER 1916, Page 24



Sis„—As a participator in the details of Basque administration and reform, the happy solution of the nearest parallel to the Irish question supplies me with the following remarks. The complete pacification of the peculiar Basque race is due to : (1) the enforce- ment of military service; (2) the fact that four distinct Parlia- ments are allotted to less than a million souls; (3) the principle that every local privilege must be financed by those who enjoy it; (4) the protection and encouragement of every local industry; (5) the traditional exclusion of lawyers from the Basque Parlia- ments and the principle that public services should be unpaid. The recitation of historical, ethnological, and logical grievances during many weeks in the Madrid Cortes was fortunately recognized as fudge. A unique opportunity for meting to Ireland the same justice as has succeeded in Scotland, Cornwall, Wales, &e., is afforded by the Coalition Government and the patent insincerity of its foes. An analogous Coalition solved the Basque problem, and no sane Basque has remained recalcitrant. The necessity for unification of the means of defence against both foreign and parochial tyranny is evident. Local government, as in touch with every Basque peasant, survives completely in the authority of the Communal and provincial institutions financially responsible for their acts. Absolute appeal to the Madrid Cortes is the security and military service is the unifying link. The avoidance of both is the chief end and aim of those who profit by every Irish folly and abuse. Never has the plea of necessity been so justified as by the present wants of Irish regiments and the present treachery of pretended patriots. Prompt justice would for the first time appeal to the most sophisticated intelligence. How to treat the Irish in full equality with the English is a banality applicable in a week. The only genuine obstacles are those interests of party faction which dare not be acknowledged if the abandonment of tergiversation were popularly enforced.—I am, Sir, &c., A. R. S. M.