The Akaroa Mail. TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 1914. HOME RULE CRISIS.
The, position in the House of Commons to day' is a unique one, and the less frequent such orisi3es are the better for the Empire For the last;
hundred years tbe Home Rule question has been a source of trouble and unrest. Ireland has seemed so earnestly to desire home government that many English people have considered it best to let her have a trial of the new system. Now that the Imperial Parliameut has a majority in favour of Home Rule, from a section of Ireland herself comes the strongest objection. Ulster is now in arms at tbe proposed change, and as the leader, Sir Edward Carson, intimated la3t week, the Ulstermen are ready to go to any lengths before submitting to Home Rule. The position is an unfortunate one to ueo the mildest expression. The problem of
Ireland has been, and is, a most serious one. Tourists, always reraarli on the terrible poverty in Dublin. Mr A. W. Rutherford, of Canterl ury, whose reminiscences are so interest' ing, was much shocked at the poverlj in Dublin. He said that in JEdio burgh' the g utter children looked pumper and merrier, and that he saw nothing so miserable and forlorn as the beggar children of Dublin. It is the same with many of the countrj distriots. The peasants are underpaid and underfed, and the land problem is a serious one, though conditions are improving. Mr Asquith's pbsitioc is a difficult one. He has pledged his word to the Nationalists that be will bring in Irish Home Rule, and' ht must know that Ulster is determined to resort to arms if the Home Rule
Bill is carried. The suggested referendum is the best way out of the difficulty. The support of the Nationalist Party has been given to Mr Aequith on the understanding that Mr Asquith supports Home Eule, and this, kind of compact is never good for any country. We sincerely believe that in the past Ireland ha 9 not had fair play at all; but it seems doubtful whether Home Rule will solve th:; difficulty. After all, Ireland is next door to England, and no further away than Scotland from the seat of Govern ment. Unfortunately, North arid South portions of Ireland are at variance, and it seems likely that Home Rule will only emphasise the natural differences. Of all wars religious ones are the most bitter, and the trouble is that the present difference is being made a matter of rel'gion Religion should not enter into the question at all, and the diii'rent parties should consider what is best for their country and vote for the course which they think will b best for her. Our Sovereign must ft el the crisis severely, as he will pre' ably have to intervene—a step whic'j the King of England does not like to take ■
unless he. is absolutely oblig -1 to