[The Coalition Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, had announced an opportunity for the Irish people to settle “the Irish question” among themselves.]
THE Government has taken the course of leaving it to the Irish to decide among themselves how to settle the question of Home Rule. As it would have been sheer madness to coerce either one body in Ireland or another, and the Government had tried every means of reconciling the antagonists, the proposal of a Convention seems to offer the best hope of a settlement. In South Africa, Australia and elsewhere it has been tried and found successful. In the case of South Africa it seemed, when it was proposed, to offer as little prospect of agreement as it does in the case of Ireland. But the unexpected happened, and the unexpected may quite well happen again. So far the omens are favourable. Mr. Redmond, Mr. William O’Brien, Sir John Lonsdale, and Lord Midleton have accepted the proposal of a Convention. Thus a start in the right direction has been made. When the Convention is actually formed and set going, it will be able to deliberate without any reference to the “predominant partner” in the existing union. That partner will be only too willing to assent to any plan on which all sections of Irish society are agreed. Let them settle among themselves some agreed plan, and Great Britain will ratify it promptly. The relief of getting the Irish question out of the way would be cheaply purchased at the cost of sacrificing long-cherished opinions.
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