Arthur Balfour

Quotations
Congested Districts Board: ‘[…] a careful study should be made of the whole region from north to south with which we have to deal.’ Further: ‘a minute examination into the existing conditions of the inhabitants … their means of livelihood, the quality of the soil, the amount of land (if any) now available for the extension of holdings, the fishing accommodation in existence, the possibility of increasing it, the number of migratory labourers and the character and extent of local industries. / It would be very desirable among the results of this survey to find a place for some account of the egeneral character of the dwellings in which the people live, and the actual items of their annual recfeipts and expenditure.’ (Address to fellow-Board members, 6th Nov. 1891; quoted in The Irish Times [review notice], 16 June 2001.) The inspectors appointed by W. L. Micks, the first sec. of the Board, incleuded Henry Doran; F. G. Townsend and J. E. Butler. Board work resulted in the improvement or construction of 28,267 dwellings; success was measured in terms of increased Post Office savings, reaching £2.25 million in 1912.

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Killing Home Rule? (remarks of Gerald Balfour - predecessor of George Wyndam): ‘I do not for a moment suggest that that implies that the majority of the Irish people have lost their desire for home rule. On the contrary, I have not the slightest doubt that, if they had to vote again on the subject tomorrow, they would again vote for home rule as they voted for it at the last election…. We should be glad enough, no doubt, to kill home rule with kindness if we could, but whatever may be the result of our efforts, our intention is to do our utmost to introduce and pass such measures as will really promote the interests of the material prosperity of Ireland.’ (Speech at National Review Symposium on Unionist Policy for Ireland, reported in The Times, 17 Oct. 1895; rep. in Andrew Gailey, Ireland and the Death of Kindness: The Experience of Constructive Unionism 1890-1905, Cork UP 1987, p.35; quoted in Carol Shloss, ‘Molly’s Resistance to the Union: Marriage and Colonialism in Dublin, 1904’, in Molly Blooms: A Polylogue on “Penelope” and Cultural Studies, ed. Richard Pearce, Wisconsin UP 1994, p.108.)

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