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Nov 29 1902


The Montreal Herald, Saturday, November 29, 1902

The Unheard of Happens

The suggestion comes from the Earl of Dudley, the new Lord Lieutenant for Ireland, that a sort of round table conference of representatives of the landlords, tenants, and other interested in Ireland should be held to endeavor to arrive at a mutual understanding, and possibly some scheme for the good of Ireland and the increased happiness of her people. This proposition, coupled with the simultaneous declaration of John Redmond that the political situation in Ireland is more hopeful than he had known it for twenty-five years, undoubtedly indicates such prospects of conciliation in Ireland as should cause rejoicing to all who have the best interests of the Empire at heart.

It would be a welcome announcement that the British Government is about to abandon its absurdly un-British policy of consistently declining to recognize Irish opinion as of any value whatever in the conduct of Irish affairs.

Those who heard or read Mr. Redmond's speech in Windsor Hall last winter cannot be recall the fine sarcasm with which he related the reception given to a somewhat similar proposition on his part by the Secretary of State for Ireland.

Mr. Redmond enquired of Mr. George Wyndham if he had any intention of asking the Government to amend the Irish land law.

To this Mr. Wyndham replied that he was at that very time preparing a bill for submission to the House, which dealt with that matter.

Mr. Redmond then asked if he did not require some assistance in so important a work, and "the young gentleman to whom Great Britain has entrusted the destinies of the Irish people" replied with the utmost gravity and seriousness, that he had the help of "a couple of clerks from the London treasury." And upon the Irish leader suggesting that the advice of himself or some of his colleagues in the House who represented Irish constituencies might be of value in drawing up a bill dealing with Irish affairs, Mr. Wyndham retorted with considerable surprise that "such a thing was unheard of."

The venerable London Times still seems to think that the proposal of the new Lord Lieutenant to consult Irishmen in regard to the conduct of Irish affairs is a preposterous idea, but it is to be hoped that reverence for red tape and conventionality will not block the carrying out of so sensible a scheme.

A Foreign Danger

The Marchione murder trial, which has just concluded with the acquittal of the man Lepore, accused of the crime, reveals a condition of things which is scarcely reassuring to a law-respecting citizen. There is little doubt that the verdict was in accordance with the evidence rendered in court. A dozen or so Italians testified that they were in the house and saw the quarrel between Marchione and the other two men, Lepore and Parisi, the latter of whom is now a fugitive from justice. Their versions of what took place up to the point where Marchione ran out of the house, to be found two minutes afterwards, with two fatal knife wounds in his body, tally almost exactly, and yet not one of them would offer any testimony as to who committed the crime. Now this is not the place to express any opinion as to the guilt of the accused. That point was settled in open court, and what evidence was offered against him was purely circumstantial. But I do say that is incredible to the Anglo-Saxon mind that so large a number of persons should have watched the progress of artificial fray in which a bottle and a lamp were thrown by the contestants, and, when one of these was stabbed to death in their very midst, should not be able to tell who did it. There appeared to be a strong impression among the witnesses that the murdered man deserved his fate, and they took no pains to conceal their joy over the acquittal of the man accused. But it is scarcely the Canadian idea of the administration of justice, that punishment should be meted out by means of a knife in the hands of a private individual.

How such tragedies among the foreign element are to be avoided it is difficult to say, if the fellow-countrymen of the guilty parties, through fear or sympathy, will not co-operate with the civil authorities in carrying out the law. One cannot help believing, however, that if any Italians found by the police with dangerous-looking knives on their persons, were sharply dealt with for carrying concealed weapons, one potent feature of the present dangerous situation might be largely eliminated.

An Appeal for English Settlers

Mrs. Burnett-Smith, of Linfields Gardens, Hampstead, writes to the London Times a most sensible letter on the advantages of settlement in Canada which it is to be hoped will have some effect in enlightening the British public. She says:

"We are constantly hearing that we are to have a hard and depressing winter, and that the number of unemployed men is likely to be increased largely. There seem to be great difficulties in the way of our returned Reservists from South Africa obtaining suitable employment, some of the cases reported in the newspapers being to say the least of it, hard. In view of these things, may I be permitted a little space in which to point out the advantages Canada has to offer to able-bodied men willing to work?"

Nearly every ship going out to the St. Lawrence during the summer months has its full complement of emigrants - Italians, Galicians, Russians, all nationalities, indeed, except those who love Canada and would fain to see her vast resources opened up to those of our own blood. These foreign emigrants settles down with varying successes, but in the majority of cases remain alien and do little to weld together the great interests of the Empire. The present acute trouble with the Doukhobors is a sample of the difficulties attendant upon so much foreign settlement of the country. When I was there the Government agents made no secret of their dissatisfaction with the existing state of affairs, and thinking people all over the Dominion passionately regret the apathy of those at home regarding this question, which will seriously affect the failure of the country. One cannot help feeling that if the real nature and possibilities of the country were better understood at home much of this apathy would disappear. The prospects for settlers are briefly these. The Government will be able to give any honest, reliable, well-conditioned man 160 acres of free land, and if he does not know how to set about tilling it their experimental farms exist for the purpose of giving him advice and instruction. If he will send them a sample of the soil of his homestead, they will tell him what seed to sow upon it, what trees and shrubs will flourish, and any other useful information he may require. The money required to start a homestead is no prohibitive; in some of the newly-settled parts there is a sort of co-operative good-fellowship among the settlers who help each other, sharing implements and animals until the early hardships are over. It is only the first year that the pinch is felt; in these rich and fertile regions the first yield of the virgin soil will usually lift a man above immediate a till sordid care. But how to bring together this goodly land and the men who would willingly posses it if they had the wherewithal? "Tis the problem before us."

Even with all the facilities granted by various shipping companies the generous co-operation of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which he done so much to open up the country, it remains an undisputed fact that the sum required to take a man to the new country remains to him quite prohibitive. I cannot help thinking that here the great philanthropic public might find a better investment for a portion of its money than in giving donations for the relief of the unemployed. For that is a bottomless pit wherein is no satisfaction whatsoever. The thing is to find work, and stop the need for relief. Would it not be possible to start a fund for the purpose of aiding such emigration? To such a fund I would only be too happy to contribute a mite as well as to aid in the scheme in any way open to me.

A Mutual Motor

A motor car for the use of tenants is, according to the Figaro, the latest luxury provided in fashionable flats in Paris.

"The common motor," comments the Graphic, "may not be of such much practical utility as a common kitchen, or even a common hall porter, but it will have a fascination of its own for those who like to cut a dash at small expense. There is the danger, no doubt, that some of them, no being accustomed to such means of getting about, may first cut a dash in more senses than one, with results injurious to the security of the streets. Perhaps, however, the landlord will anticipate that risk by refusing to let apartments to anyone not provided with a driver's certificate. In that case his enterprising new departure ought to win him popularity."

Some Misplaced Heads

A mix-up in wax works has resulted in suit being brought by Louis Tussaud, son of the Famous Madame of that name, against the proprietor of another wax works exhibition who bears the appropriate name of Stiff, in which it is charged that the latter exhibited under Tussaud's name models not made by the plaintiff, which were calculated to being the name of Tussaud into disrepute. It was claimed by the plaintiff's counsel that the head of the Archbishop of Canterbury had been put on the body of Charles Peace, and in another instance Napoleon was represented as taking part in the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, the Chancellor of Exchequer, was put upon a dying soldier.


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The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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