THE MURDER OF A. E. HERBERT.
The murder of A. E. HERBERT, an Irish magistrate, is not the least atrocious of the outrages committed by the men who are engaged in carrying out in Ireland to the fullest extent the doctrines which find favour with certain members of the House of Commons.
It is idle, in the presence of outrages of this kind, to talk about the necessity of releasing the suspects, and of mitigating the severity of the Coercion Acts. The Government have not yet considered the question of the renewal of those Acts, and still less have they had under their notice any proposal for increasing their stringency. But, as a matter of fact, it is not in the power of the ministry to come to a decision on these questions. They must be decided by the Irishmen themselves.
Let the outrages cease, and the Coercion Acts will be allowed to expire and the gaols will be thrown open. Let those outrages be continued, however, and the strongest Government England has ever known would be unable to resist the demand for continued and still more vigorous coercion.
This is the simple truth upon the question. Unhappily such crimes as those which are now being reported almost daily do not give us much reason to hope that the end of the regime of coercion is at hand,