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Britain were to be offered a partnership of about five millions of people of equal character and resources to those of Great Britain themselves, the addition to the strength of the empire would be as five to thirty-one and a half. The population thus to be added would constitute in the new State somewhat less than a seventh of the whole. Equally the deduction of a people of this magnitude from the existing Union would be the deduction of rather less than a seventh.

A change of this description would be a very considerable one. But, apart from what it might lead to, it cannot be described as in itself formidable. With the loss of a seventh, the United Kingdom would be as great a Power as it was in 1870, and in fact a much greater Power, because the remaining six-sevenths are richer and stronger individually than the population of 1870. Their condition in the interval has enormously improved.

Of course, if by any arrangement the splitting of partnership were only to be partial-if we retained Ulster, while permitting to the rest of Ireland more or less complete separation-the deduction from the United Kingdom would be materially less. The disaffected parts of Ireland are not more than three-fifths of the whole, or three millions. In losing the three millions we should only lose onetwelfth of our numbers, or less than the growth of our population every decade.

Looking at the matter historically, we must come to the conclusion that the problem of disaffection in Ireland is mitigated in its intensity by the changes of population which have occurred. Down to about 1845, from the beginning of the century, the people of Ireland were about half those of Great Britain-about a third of the whole population of the United Kingdom. The population of the disaffected parts of Ireland was also nearly three-fourths of the whole of that country, and consequently about a fourth of that of the United Kingdom. The change from such proportions to those of about one-seventh for the proportion of Ireland itself to the United Kingdom, and one-twelfth for the proportion of the disaffected parts of Ireland, requires no comment. Disaffection in Ireland is obviously not what it was in relation to the United Kingdom as a whole.

I have called attention to this point for some years past as necessarily altering our entire conception of the Irish difficulty. It is dealt with in Essays in Finance (first series), in an essay on the Tuxation and Representation of Ireland, which was first published in 1876, and I have introduced the same topic in two essays in the second series of Essays in Finance-viz. an essay on the Utility of Common Statistics, and another on Some General Uses of Statistical Knowledge. I doubt if the full force of this consideration is properly appreciated even yet. Relatively Ireland is still losing ground most rapidly, not so much because Irish

population diminishes, as because that of Great Britain increases. We grow a new people in Great Britain equal to the whole disaffected part of Ireland at the present time every ten years. In a few generations, at this rate, Ireland must become relatively to Great Britain very little more than a somewhat larger Isle of Man or Channel Islands. To let Ireland split partnership would differ in no way in kind, and comparatively little in degree, as far as business is concerned, from letting the Isle of Man remain a separate State.

The second point is even more important. The people of Ireland are not equal in industrial character and resources to those of the United Kingdom. They are very far from being equal. Great Britain, in adding to itself an Ireland, would add a community having only a twentieth part of the income of the United Kingdom; the United Kingdom, in losing an Ireland, would only lose a small percentage of its strength.

It is very difficult, of course, dealing with questions of the aggregate income of different communities; but, practically, we need have little doubt of the proportions stated.

In the assessments to the Income-tax the proportion of Ireland is as 1 to 17—viz. United Kingdom (including Ireland), 629,000,000l. sterling; Ireland, 37,000,000l. sterling. This is more than five per cent., but not very much more. And there is reason to believe that Ireland is more strictly valued than Great Britain, and that it is overvalued.

At any rate, when it comes to be a question of the whole aggregate income of the different communities, there can be little doubt that other sources of income, outside of the Income-tax, are larger relatively in Great Britain than in Ireland. In dealing with the subject lately in Further Notes on the Progress of the Working Classes, I put down the whole income of Great Britain as about 1,200,000,000l., and that of Ireland alone as just over 70,000,000l. But I have a strong feeling that in these figures, which were based very much on what Mr. Dudley Baxter and Mr. Leone Levi had done, I gave too little to Great Britain, if not too much to Ireland.

With regard to Ireland specially, it is easy to see that the income cannot be very large. The chief industry is agriculture, which employs in round figures about sixty per cent. of the population. Out of 1,290,000 males of twenty years and upwards, with specified occupations, according to the census of 1881, no fewer than 757,000 were engaged in agriculture, which is just under sixty per cent. Among the remainder, there were no fewer than 115,000 called 'mechanics or labourers,' among whom, I suspect, would be many partly or largely engaged in agriculture. The proportion of sixty per cent. may, however, be taken. In other words, three millions of people in Ireland depend on agriculture directly-the breadwinners of the family are

engaged in that occupation. And this means that, all told, the average income of these three millions, including those who receive rent, as well as farmers and labourers, is not more than about 131. or 141. per head. The gross produce of the crops of Ireland, according to the latest returns, is about 33,000,000l. only, from five million acres, of which about 10,000,000l. are from cereal crops, 10,000,000l. from potatoes, and the remainder mainly from hay and green crops, which latter, of course, along with a large part of the cereal crops themselves, are not in their final form when thus valued. Making a deduction from the 33,000,000l. on this account, and making an estimate for the value of cattle, sheep, and pigs sold, and for dairy produce, the gross produce of pasture-land being, of course, much less than that of cereal or other crops, it seems impossible to arrive at a larger figure than about forty to forty-five millions as the value of the agricultural produce of Ireland, deducting seed, manures, and expenses of that nature. On this forty to forty-five millions, three millions of people have to live, which gives about 147. per head; or less than 60l. for a family of four persons.

Deducting a total rent of just under 10,000,000l. according to the Income-tax returns, with practically no deduction from the numbers of people on the other side, we should leave about 117. per head only for farmers and labourers and their families. And if we take the rent at a less figure, as I believe we ought to do-say at about eight millions sterling only-we should still make the income of the Irish agricultural classes, farmers and labourers together, only 12l. per head; or under 50l. for a family of four persons. Comparing this with England, it would appear that the tenant-farmers and labourers of Ireland are not so well off as the average of the English agricultural labourers, which implies that very many must be far below that level.

On this basis, also, we may calculate the aggregate income of Ireland. Assuming the income per head of the rest of the people of Ireland to be one-half equal to the income per head of those engaged in agriculture, and the other half fifty per cent. more, we should still arrive at a figure of less than eighty millions only as the total aggregate income of the whole people of Ireland.

In this way, according to estimates of income generally, the proportion of Ireland to the United Kingdom also comes out as one to seventeen, the same as from Income-tax assessments only.

Another test of resources would be the relative capital of Great Britain and Ireland. I have to refer to Irish capital later on, and estimate it at 400,000,000l. or thereabouts. There can be no exact estimates in such matters; but the total capital of the United Kingdom ten years ago I ventured to estimate at not less than 8,500,000,000l., and, calculating on a similar basis now, it cannot be less, I think, than 9,600,000,000l. In other words,

Irish capital is only a twenty-fourth part of that of the United Kingdom. And, whatever doubt there may be about the figures, which are necessarily very wide, and which assume that a nation can be valued as a going business concern, it is at least certain that no emendation would sensibly alter the proportions. An addition to Irish capital and a deduction from English capital that would both be large, would leave the proportions much the same.

It is easy to see, then, how little the gain of an Ireland would add to the resources of Great Britain, or the loss of it would deduct from those resources. The taxable income of Ireland must bear a still smaller proportion to the taxable income of Great Britain than does its gross income or capital to the gross income or capital of Great Britain. The taxable income is the income remaining after allowance for the minimum necessary to maintain a population upon a given standard of living. In this sense, giving the people of Great Britain an average of 12l. per head as the minimum, they have a taxable income of about 800,000,000l. sterling annually.' On the same scale, five millions of people in Ireland would absorb sixty out of, say, seventy-five millions gross income, leaving a taxable income of 15,000,000l. sterling only. . Even allowing that the standard in Ireland is necessarily lower, the taxable income would not be much increased. As a partner with so rich a State as Great Britain, Ireland must therefore be considered strictly as entirely insignificant. It hardly counts one way or the other.

Of course the practical taxable income of Great Britain is not so much as 800,000,000l. The State could not levy 800,000,000l., or anything like that sum, without reducing many classes in the scale of living. There would be a revolution if any such levy were attempted. But, limiting the 800,000,000l. as we may, there would still be a vast amount to compare with the taxable income of Ireland, where the practical taxable income must be very small indeed.

Here again, as with regard to population itself, it is quite true that Ireland is becoming less and less important to Great Britain. At the beginning of the century there was some excuse for an expectation that was never fulfilled-that Ireland would participate in the burdens of the United Kingdom to the extent of twoseventeenths. With a third of the population of the United Kingdom, Ireland, it was calculated, might contribute rather less than oneeighth to joint objects. This was allowing that even then Ireland, man for man, was not half as rich as Great Britain, which seemed an extreme calculation, as both countries were then mainly agricultural, and Ireland had quite a third of the cultivated area. Now there is no question that Ireland's resources in proportion, instead of 1 Thirty-two millions, multiplied by 12, is 384 millions, deducting which from .1,200 millions leaves rather more than 800 millions.

being two to seventeen, are less than one to seventeen. Its numbers. are relatively to Great Britain not half what they were, and the distance between the average incomes per head of the two communities continues very great. The taxable income and capital of Great Britain have increased enormously, and those of Ireland hardly at all.

To put the matter shortly, and in the roundest figures—there can, of course, be no exact figures of income and capital-Ireland in population has sunk from one-third to less than one-seventh; in gross income, from two-seventeenths to less than one-seventeenth; in capital, from a proportion that was material to about one-twenty-fourth only; in taxable resources, from a proportion that was also material, being perhaps about one-tenth, to a proportion that is almost inappreciable -the proportion of only one to fifty. In resources, Ireland has no doubt increased absolutely. The Irish people are much better off individually, partly because there are fewer people than there were fifty years ago, but with much the same resources; but as a community in relation to Great Britain there is an immense decline.

The relative decrease of the disaffected part of Ireland only is quite as remarkable. From being about one-tenth of the United Kingdom in resources, it has become about one-fortieth or less. As regards taxable income, the proportion of the whole of Ireland to the United Kingdom being only about one to fifty, that of the disaffected part of Ireland only must be about one to a hundred!

How small the proportion of Ireland is will also be impressed on us more if we consider for a moment the economic relations of Great Britain with other British dependencies. Compared with Ireland, our interests in India, where we have invested over 200,000,000l., and in Australia, where we have invested over 100,000,000l., are enormous. And our trade with India figures up as 66,000,000l. annually, and with Australia as 55,000,000l. annually, as compared with a trade of about 40,000,000l. with Ireland, imports and exports together. The Indian and Australian trades also give more employment to our shipping in proportion than that of Ireland does. And neither India nor Australia imposes on us any direct charge for government, such as we shall find Ireland does, to constitute a deduction from the profit we derive, as a community, from the connection.

As regards this question of resources, it will be interesting to go. farther and to look at the matter a little more closely. Great Britain and Ireland have been in close partnership for over eighty years. How does the account stand as regards government and people? Has Ireland been a help or the reverse?

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