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cause complications with other nations, leading possibly to war. Even had France a more healthily growing population and a more Aourishing budget, she could not remain for ever on what is practically a war footing in Europe and be also ever ready to take up arms at the ends of the earth. Il faut choisir,' concludes this far-seeing statesman, and there is but little doubt in which direction his choice would be made.
France is, in fact, attempting to accomplish a double policy that would tax the strength of the strongest nation the world has ever seen, and would be scarcely possible for her at the height of her strength and guided by the supreme genius of a Napoleon. She strives to play a leading part on the Continent of Europe and to rival, not only in defence but in offence, the greatest military Power in the world, against whom she has had a standing grudge for more than a quarter of a century. At the same time she desires to become a leading Colonial Power, to exert a supreme influence over far distant continents and vast regions that far surpass her home territories. In doing this she is bound to find herself confronted by the greatest of all Colonial Powers-Great Britain--who, safe in her sea-girt island and possessed of the finest and most powerful navy the world has yet seen, stands unrivalled in this domain. Every great Colonial Power must, of necessity, possess a strong navy, for the sea forms the material link that joins the colonies to the mother country, by which, in time of war as in time of peace, their communications with her must be carried on and their reinforcements sent out. France has a powerful navy, but the one Power she is certain to come into collision with in the path of colonial enterprise possesses a stronger, and, so long as this is so, her colonies--already in no very healthy state commercially, and sacrificed in a military sense to the necessity for maintaining a powerful home army-must be at the mercy of the stronger naval Power which would be able to blockade both her home and foreign ports and cut her sea communication with her distant possessions. Thus France, striving to be first by land and sea, at home and abroad, on the Continent of Europe and on those of Africa and Asia, is in danger of attempting too much and of failing in both her objects. And, as I have endeavoured to show at the commencement of this article, she is not in a position—nor indeed has she been in such a position for many years—to attempt so great a double policy with the least hope of success. To be a great military and European Power may yet be within her powers, although a failing population renders that a matter of ever-increasing difficulty ; to become a great Colonial Power is likewise possible, although the genius of her race does not appear to lie in that direction; to accomplish both objects at one and the same time and under her present circumstances is too great a task even for a nation with so glorious a past.
Vol. XLV-No. 263
It is not for a mere soldier to discuss matters of high politics, but it is evident, even to the least instructed in such matters, that colonial expansion when unaccompanied by a true colonising spirit must be a danger, not an advantage, to a State; and that colonial wars, carried out at immense sacrifices and with inadequate results, act as a willof-the-wisp in attracting France from her direct and obvious path, and serve but to distract her attention from the object to which her eyes instinctively turn.
The Rhine—that well-remembered stream—is her natural destination, not the dark unknown banks of the Niger or the Nile; Berlin her true objective, not Fashoda or any other distant mudbuilt village.
UNIVERSITY EDUCATION FOR IRISH
has seemed to me, for a good while past, extremely probable that if the great body of Englishmen and Scotchmen knew definitely the extent of the claims which Irish Catholics now put forward in the matter of University education there would be less opposition to conceding them. As it is the proverbial error lurks in generalities. * Endowing Romanism,' setting up 'a denominational University for Papists,'handing over the youth of Ireland to the absolute control of Catholic ecclesiastics,' these and other sweeping assertions are really the only information that many Englishmen have, and no wonder they shrink from setting up for us, with public funds, an institution which would be the embodiment of them and the contradiction of their own most cherished principles and sentiments. On the other hand, I have no doubt that there is on the part of Englishmen and Scotchmen a sincere desire to act fairly by us Irishmen, and, although they may not like us or our religion, I believe that they would not willingly wrong us, nor inflict any disability on us on account of our religious convictions.
· Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you' meets with assent in the minds of the masses of the people of every country, and if they do not act upon it in public affairs it is rather through misapprehension of the facts of a particular case than deliberate wrong-doing.
Now, in the matter of University education it is admitted on all hands that it has not the extension amongst Irish Catholics that it ought to have. Making all due allowance for our poverty and our consequent inability to maintain our youth in large numbers at a l'niversity, there can be no question that the 100 Catholic students of Trinity College who are the only members of our Church who receive a University education in any true sense are an altogether insufficient representation of nearly four millions of Catholics; and no man, no matter what his religion or his politics may be, can contemplate such a state of things without regret and apprehension. As compared with Scotland or Belgium, not to talk of England and Germany, such a condition of education as exists in Ireland carries one back a century and exhibits this country to all intents and purposes as having progressed very little beyond the average of things that obtained throughout Europe one hundred years ago.
I am sure that no Englishman desires that such a state of things should continue. He may be as staunch a Protestant as you like, and resist Home Rule to the last, but I do not believe that he would refuse to give the Catholics of Ireland as fully as to his own children the benefits of the highest education that can be had, on the one condition that he is not asked to violate in the concession his own conscientious convictions. Is there, then, in the claims which we now make anything which an English Protestant voter, no matter how undenominational in his principles, is bound to oppose? In setting up a University for Irish Catholics is there an endowment of religion, an application of public funds to denominational purposes, an establishment of the Catholic bishops and clergy in a position of power and authority over education ?
In my humble opinion there is absolutely nothing of these things, and if the question is considered in a businesslike and practical way all these 'shibboleths' will be dropped as entirely inapplicable to it.
Before entering, however, on my reasons for this opinion there is an extrinsic difficulty which I should wish to put on one side. It has been stated that a prejudice has been created against our educational claim by the controversy that is now raging in the Established Church in England around the opinions and practices of the extreme Ritualists. If one asks how this can be no better answer is forthcoming than that the angry feelings that have been aroused against what is called “Romanism' and 'Popery' and such like things in the Anglican Church will carry those who entertain them into a blind and general opposition to everything and everybody to which in any sense these names may be applied. It is really not easy to believe that anything so unjust and so unreasonable is possible. Sir William Harcourt, in a letter to the Times, very early in the dispute, put himself—except as regards phraseology-in what seemed to me an unobjectionable position towards Catholics. Nothing could be more complete than his answer to the charge that he was attacking us. He simply denied it. He attacked Protestants on the ground that, while remaining Protestants, they professed doctrines and followed practices which he alleged were condemned and forbidden by the Protestant Church. He had nothing to say, and said nothing, against the belief or ritual of Catholics for Catholics, but his argument-right or wrong, that is a matter for Protestants—was against the transference to the Protestant Church of things that are characteristic of ours.
It is perfectly plain that we Catholics stand outside this contro
versy, and that it would be absurd and unjust to allow any prejudice arising out of it to affect our educational claims.
But I think I am justified in adding this much : If it is a fact that any considerable section of English Protestants are so prejudiced against us by the agitation which Sir W. Harcourt has so powerfully led, then Irish Catholics, with whom he has worked for years in political association, have a right to ask that he should take effectual steps to bring home to his followers the unreasonableness of dragging us in any shape or form into the dispute.
Having said so much, possibly unnecessarily, on this topic, I now address myself to a statement of the exact nature and extent of our claim in the matter of higher education.
And for this purpose Mr. Morley's speech delivered in the House of Commons in the debate on the Address to the Crown on the 17th of February last year furnishes us with an elaborate and detailed statement of the conditions on which he, and, we presume, Liberals generally, would insist before assenting to the establishment of a University for us in Ireland. As we go through them one after another they will be seen to cover the whole ground and to offer a very practical and fruitful form in which to discuss the various issues that are involved. His conditions were five in number and as follows:
(1) That there is to be no test as to any Chair, excepting, of course, a Theological Chair.'
(2) “That no test shall be imposed upon any student, and nobody who desires to attend lectures or experiments in laboratories or elsewhere shall be shut out because he does not belong to the Roman Catholic religion.'
(3) · That no student on the mere ground of his religious conviction shall be shut out from competing for prizes.'
(4) · That there is to be no endowment of any Theological Chair out of the public funds.'
(5) As to the constitution of the governing body of the University, Mr. Morley does not formulate this condition as distinctly as the others, but the gist of it seems to be that while the members would be all Catholics and the majority of them laymen, these laymen should not be ecclesiastical nominees, but chosen either by the Crown or the University itself.
(1) As to the condition that there should be 'no test as to any Chair except, of course, a Theological Chair,' for myself I do not see any difficulty in accepting it as it stands. I do not set much store, in an institution such as we hope to see established, by personal professions of faith; and I think that every security which we require for the religious faith of our students may be had under the operation of the Tests Act.
At the same time it may be better, instead of simply accepting