The Akaroa Mail. TUESDAY, MAY 26, 1914. HOME RULE CRISIS.
The disturbance in the House of Commons at the third reading of the] Home Rule Bill is an index of the bit. tar conflict which the passage of the Bill will cause, The Asquith Government has been weak throughout the whole campaign, and given every cause for the other eide to feel that Mr Afquith and bis Cabinet are not keen to see tbe Bill passed, and are only passing it to keep their promise to the Nationalist parky. To reinstate the officers of the Imperial Army who refused to go to Ulster when ordered was a weak step, and to make vague promises to Ulster to keep the opponents of tbe Bill quiet was a weaker one. If Mr Asquith had engaged to pass the Home Rule Bill, he should have done so boldly. As it is be has given ear to the storm of protest without altering his original idea. If he believes in Home Rute, be has not behaved as though be did, and that is how be has given tbe oppon. ents of the Bill such a weapon against himself. To our mind tbe granting of Home Rule to Ireland should be made, as the majority of the country desire it so earnestly. Whether tbe Irish will find it an improvement or not remains to be seen. It is quite likely the change will not be one for the better, but as the majority of the Irish desire it so earnestly, it only seems right to give them Home Rule. We 'hope when .they obtain it they will find it the panacea they expect it to be. In the meantime, the rebellion of Ulster augurs badly for the harmony of the "distressed country." To separate Ulster from the rest of Ireland would be absurd; but before joining in with tbe rest of the country in Home Rule, Ulster is prepared to go to great lengths. - The storm of feeling against tbe change is
incredible, and the Unionist members of the House of Commons are as determined to resist the innovation as the Ulstermen. Whatever viewsi one may hold in the question, the manner of the passage of the Bill is very equivocal, and v. the.fact that Mr Asquith only, promised to'■, pass the Bill to secure Jibe TNationalisfc Party for his has the Unionist members 'an in&ense him.f The scene 7in 7 the 7 House of Commons on Thursday; shows the in> tensity of the feeling, and how determined the Unionist Party is to oppose the passage of the Bill. The appeal of the Speaker to the Leader of the Opposition to restrain the members of his party raises a curious point, and Mr Bonar Law was quite consistent in bis reply that the matter was one that concerned the Speaker. The adjournment of the House was inevitable, and it looks as though Mr Asquith will be forced to announce the terms of the amending Bill, His refusal to do so was peculiar, and gave Mr Bonar Law his opportunity to say j tbat tbe Nationalists would not allow bim to do so. The outcome of the present crisis is hard to see, but it is evident tbat there will be much violence of feeling before Ireland has ber j long deferred Home Rule.