of official returns, are included (1) the direct trade between Ireland and all countries outside of Great Britain, (2) the indirect trade of Ireland with those same countries via Great Britain, and (3) the local trade between Ireland and Great Britain. The value of imports in 1904 is put at £55,148,206, and of exports at £46,606,432. But it is pointed out in the report that while the returns as regards farm produce, food stuffs, and raw materials may be considered approximately complete, the information as to manufactured goods—especially of the more valuable grades—is rough and inadequate. It was estimated that the aggregate value of the actual import and export trade in 1904 probably exceeded a total of£105,000,000. The following table gives some details:—
|I. Farm Produce, Food and Drink Stuffs—|
|(a) Live-stock, meat, bacon, fish and dairy produce||£3,028,170||£23,445,122|
|(b) Crops, fruit, meal, flour, &c.||11,859,201||1,721,753|
|(c) Spirits, porter, ale, &c.||919,161||4,222,194|
|(d) Tea, coffee, tobacco, spices, &c.||4,230,478||1,121,267|
|II. Raw Materials—|
|(d) Animal and vegetable products||4,529,002||3,067,398|
|III. Goods, partly manufactured or of simple manufacture||7,996,143||2,576,993|
|IV. Manufactured goods.||17,059,611||9,934,145|
in 1904 an excess of imports amounting to over £8,500,000. But owing to the imperfect state of existing information, it is impossible to say with any certainty what is the real state of the balance of visible trade between Ireland and other countries.
Shipping returns also throw some light upon the commercial condition of Ireland. Old figures are not of much value, but it may be stated that Arthur Dobbs gives the number of ships engaged in the Irish trade in 1721 as 3334 with a tonnage of 158,414. According to the statistics of César Moreau the number of ships belonging to Irish ports in 1788 was 1016 with a tonnage of over 60,000, and in 1826 they had increased, according to the trade and navigation returns, to 1391 with a tonnage of over 90,000. In 1905 the vessels registered at Irish ports numbered 934 with a tonnage of over 259,000. In the same year the vessels entering and clearing in the colonial and foreign trade numbered 1199 with a tonnage of over 1,086,000, and the vessels entering and clearing in the trade between Great Britain and Ireland numbered 41,983with a tonnage of over 9,776,000.
Government, &c.—The executive government of Ireland is vested in a lord-lieutenant, assisted by a privy council and by a chief secretary, who is always a member of the House of Commons and generally of the cabinet. There are a large number of administrative departments and boards, some, like the Board of Trade, discharging the same duties as the similar department in England; others, like the Congested Districts Board, dealing with matters of purely Irish concern.
Parliamentary Representation.—The Redistribution of Seats
Act 1885 entirely altered the parliamentary representation
of Ireland. Twenty-two small boroughs were disenfranchi
The towns of Galway, Limerick and Waterford lost one member
each, while Dublin and Belfast were respectively divided into
four divisions, each returning one member. As a result of these
changes 85 members now represent the counties, 16 the boroughs,
and 2 Dublin University—a total of 103. The total number
of electors (exclusive of Dublin University) in 1906 was 686,661;
113,595 for the boroughs and 573,066 for the counties. Ireland
is represented in the House of Lords by 28 temporal peers
elected for life from among the Irish peers.
Local Government.—Irish local government was entirely remodelled by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, which conferred on Ireland the same system and measure of self-government enjoyed by Great Britain. The administrative and fiscal duties previously exercised by the grand jury in each county were transferred to a county council, new administrative counties being formed for the purposes of the act, in some cases by the alteration of existing boundaries. To the county councils were also assigned the power of assessing and levying the poor rate in rural districts, the management of lunatic asylums, and the administration of certain acts such as the Explosives Act, the Technical Education Act and the Diseases of Animals Act. Subordinate district councils, urban and rural, were also established as in England and Scotland to manage the various local areas within each county. The provisions made for the administration of the Poor Law by the act under consideration are very complicated, but roughly it may be said that it was handed over to these new subordinate local bodies. Six towns—Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, Londonderry and Waterford—were constituted county boroughs governed by separate county councils; and five boroughs—Kilkenny, Sligo, Clonmel, Drogheda and Wexford—retained their former corporations. The act provides facilities for the conversion into urban districts of (1) towns having town commissioners who are not sanitary authorities and (2) non-municipal towns with populations of over 1500 and entitled to petition for town commissioners.
Justice.—The Supreme Court of Judicature is constituted as follows: the court of appeal, which consists of the lord chancellor, the lord chief justice, and the master of the rolls and the chief baron of the exchequer as ex-officio members, and two lords justices of appeal; and the high court of justice which includes (1) the chancery division, composed of the lord chancellor, the master of the rolls and two justices, (2) the king’s bench division composed of the lord chief justice, the chief baron of the exchequer and eight justices, and (3) the land commissions with two judicial commissioners. At the first vacancy the title and rank of chief baron of the exchequer will be abolished and the office reduced to a puisne judgeship. By the County Officers and Courts (Ireland) Act 1877, it was provided that the chairmen of quarter sessions should be called “county court judges and chairmen of quarter sessions” and that their number should be reduced to twenty-one, which was to include the recorders of Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Londonderry and Galway. At the same time the jurisdiction of the county courts was largely extended. There are 66 resident (stipendiary) magistrates, and four police magistrates in Dublin.
Police.—The Royal Irish Constabulary were established in 1822 and consisted at first of 5000 men under an inspector-general for each of the four provinces. In 1836 the entire force was amalgamated under one inspector-general. The force, at present consists of about 10,000 men of all ranks, and costs over £1,300,000 a year. Dublin has a separate metropolitan police force.
Crime.—The following table shows the number of persons committed for trial, convicted and acquitted in Ireland in 1886, 1891, 1900 and 1905:—
against the person, 205 with offences against property with violence, 545 with offences against property without violence, 52 with malicious injury to property, 44 with forgery and offences against the currency, and 146 with other offences. In 1904, 81,775 cases of drunkenness were brought before Irish magistrates as comparedwith 227,403 in England and 43,580 in Scotland.
Poor Law.—The following table gives the numbers in receipt of indoor and outdoor relief (exclusive of persons in institutions for the blind, deaf and dumb, and for idiots and imbeciles) in, the years 1902-1905, together with the total expenditure for relief of the poor:—
|Year.|| Aggregate number relieved
during the year.
| Total Annual |