rrittrg tg tYt (Puha.
TILE IRISH BRANCH OF TIIE NEW ADMINISTRATION.
Dublin, 2d _March 1852.
SIR—The very able writer whose speculations respecting the new Ministry you have given your readers the advantage of perusing in your last publi- cation, has not extended his commentaries to affairs on this side of the Channel. You will, perhaps, therefore excuse me for attempting to add a supplement, de rebus Hibernicis, to his interesting remarks. In his general Views as to the possibilities and probabilities of Lord Derby's Administration I fully concur, and, like him, "truly sick of Whiggery in office, of Peelite torpidity, of Manchester nonsense 2" and I must add, of the truckling of all parties to the buekram "Irish difficulty," I too should be "happy to see Lord Derby get on in a wise and vigorous course." So far as Ireland is con- cerned, I even think this would be possible ; and if I admit that I do not sanguinely trust in its being probable it is rather as the result of a bitter experience of the cross-grained nature of Irish men and things, than from a belief in the existence of any special difficulty at the present moment. On the contrary, I am convinced that just now a peculiarly favourable oppor- tunity for the adoption of a wise and vigorous policy does offer in Ireland, and that the entire change of official men and manners that is possible under the new Administration would render it comparatively easy to invigorate and establish an entirely new system. There are two features in the Irish case which Englishmen very often confound with each other, and which, indeed, have been almost always con- founded by English statesmen in their Irish arrangements. The grievances of Ireland and the grievances of Irishmen are generally mistaken by Saxon politicians and cabinet-makers to be identical ; and yet, paradoxicel as it may seem, they represent distinct and often incompatible ideas. Thus, the , bitter strife of race and creed is the secret grievance of Ireland ; but to coin- pose it would be to inflict upon two distinct and not inconsiderable masses of Irishmen a grievance in their estimation much sorer—a privation of the opportunity for showing: their capabilities for office. The removal, again, of the general ignorance that has so long aggrieved Ireland, by rendering the continuance of civil strife possible, would deeply aggrieve lay and clerical agitators, to whom mental darkness supplies the fitting opportunity for exer- cising the craft whereby they live. Now, I am firmly convinced, that until clear views shall be taken of this distinction, the "Irish difficulty," unreal as it in fact is, will continue to be the obstacle and the opprobrium of British Administrations. Prime Ministers and Home Secretaries and Viceroys will go on thinking they are effecting radical cures of the grievances of Ireland, t while in fact they are only stimulating the fungus growth of the grievances of Irishmen by successive removals of the clamorous aggrieved into offioial hospitals of various kinds. In order to elucidate my meaning, I will uncover, perhaps rudely, the three sores which English politicians of the party variety would generally fix upon as the great irritants of the Irish social constitution, and to which they are in the habit of applying their sedatives or stimulants, as it may suit them to allay or to stimulate the fever. The religious, the education and the land strifes, are those three sores ; and yet I boldly affirm, that all three are in their nature grievances not of Ireland, but of Irishmen. In fact, so far as these three questions involved real grievances of Ireland—and that they did so I freely admit—they have been long since fully and fairly settled. Every man can now profess and practise what religion he chooses, none making him afraid. Every man can now procure excellent education for his children without the sacrifice of a single scruple of conscience. Every man can legally hold and trade in land. And that the majority of the nation really entertain this view I believe to be susceptible of proof. There is no popular agitation against the Established Church in existence. The effort to create an agitation in favour of Romish Ultramontanism has notoriously failed—it is now merely a quarrel, noisy enough, no doubt, be- tween the Telegraph and the Freeman's Journal newspapers, rival candidates for the patronage of the Ultramontane priests. The religious grievance of Irish placehuntem of both colours would not endure a month after the so- lemn and credited declaration of a Minister, that no consideration of the creed of candidates would influence the distribution of patrormge. It will continue a grand item of the Irish difficulty as long as it shall be be- lieved that the recommendation of a parish priest would procure a place in the Police from Lord Normanby, or that of a Protestant rector be equally efficacious with Lord De Grey. Lord Clarendon certainly did not destroy this belief: under his rule, I have known a Roman Catholic gentleman think it prudent, though to his deep humiliation, to fortify himself with a character from his spiritual director when soliciting a purely lay office. Will Lord Derby prescribe for his Irish subordinates an opposite policy ? It would be wise and vigorous not only to do so, but to say so plainly and firmly: And the great sore of the National Education system is precisely similar in Its nature, and requires a like treatment. The people generally ardently de- sire to avail themselves of its benefits ; all reflecting and honest men approve of it : but to oppose it has been a step to the favour of Primate Bereeford and Archbishop-MHale, and to support it has been the proper course wherein to seek a bishopric from aWhig Government. Here, too, it would be vigor- ous and wise to deprive the grievance of its uses by formally declaring the principle to be irreversibly settled, and at once cutting off all hopes of Go- vernment favour either for supporting or opposing it. If Lord Derby will venture to maintain the policy of Mr. Stanley in opposition to that of some of his newer allies, he will but show himself true to the best interests of him- elf and of Ireland.
Nor does the land sore differ from the other two. It is not really a grie- vance of Ireland, but the unhealthy sign of the craving of a ohms of Irish- men for the possessions of their neighbours. It will be holed, not by coer- cive laws nor special commissions, nor by tenant-right or compensation, but by the removal of all restrictions from traffio in laud, and rendering it as marketable as any other article of commerce, and by-firmly discountenancing all charlatan traders in remedies for this grievance. In paltering with this' matter by the issue of the delusive Devon Commission, ffir Robert Peel be- queathed a sad heritage of wo to Ireland. And now for the moral of my tale. As Lard Derby's coup d'itat has overthrown the dynasty of Red-tape in England, why should he not boldly proclaim the end of grievance-mongering in Ireland ? I believe he could ter- minate that fatal system in a day. In Chancellor Blackburne, in Mr. George Hamilton, in Mr. Napier, and in Lord Naas, he has secured for his Adminis- tration the services of Irishmen who by one quality or another possess great and acknowledged influence in Ireland. Two of the number are bound hand and foot ; all are restrained in the grievance trammels I have pointed out which have hitherto served them as ladders to climb by. They would be set free in their own persons, and made free to set upon and with others in useful exertions for the redress of the grievances of Ireland, if only the dis- tinction between those latter and the grievances of Irishmen were dead seen and openly stated by their chief. As for the people at large, such a "wise and vigorous policy " would be to them at once intelligible and accept- able. High and low, they are all equally sick of the religious war, all desire the spread of education, all but a few middlemen see the true nature of the land question. The" Irish difficulty," like other phantoms, will vanish if