The principle of a poor-law, as described 706 by Mr. Trevelyan in the "Irish Crisis," was simply this— "That rate after rate should be collected for the preservation of life, until the landholders and farmers either enable the people to support themselves by honest industry, or dispose of their property to those who can and will perform this indispensable duty".
He held in his hand a book, called "The Irish Crisis," which he was informed was published and circulated at the expense of Government.
Before the Irish Crisis, the Liberation Society had put forward its "platform," and in that I find these words— "The application to secular uses, after an equitable satisfaction of existing interests, of all national property, now held in trust by the United Church of England and Ireland, the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and concurrently with it the liberation of those Churches from all State control".
Amendment proposed, At the end of the 8th paragraph, to insert the words, "But humbly to represent to Her Majesty that the relations between the owners and occupiers of land in Ireland have not been seriously disturbed in the cases of those owners who have granted to their tenants such abatements of rents as are called for by the state of prices of agricultural and pastoral produce, and that the remedy for the existing Crisis in Irish 798 agrarian affairs is not to be found in increased stringency of criminal procedure, or in the pursuit of such novel, doubtful, and unconstitutional measures as have recently been taken by Her Majesty's Government in Ireland, but in such a reform of the Law and the system of government as will satisfy the needs and secure the confidence of the Irish people".
We are here once more dealing with an Irish Crisis.
However acute our domestic controversies may again become - and they may become very acute - let us remember that in the years between 1900 and 1914, when domestic controversy was certainly as bitter as it has ever been in our political history, in the period of the Lloyd George Budget, the Irish Crisis, the stripping of power from the House of Lords and many other violently-contested domestic questions - throughout all that period, the parties managed to keep foreign policy out of the arena of party controversy.
The fact is that the Irish Crisis is part of a wider crisis in the eurozone, affecting a number of countries that will be unable to sustain long-term membership of the euro.
Given that many great economies have suffered serious difficulties in the past few years, we should recognise that This Irish Crisis is reflective of a global crisis.
The noble Lord, Lord McFall of Alcluith, reminded us of the centrality of the Irish banking situation to the Irish Crisis and how the Irish banks became increasingly reliant on central bank funding.