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scalers to adopt even more vigorous methods of sealing than those in use at present. A cordon of scaling vessels in échelon, at the right moment, across the Unimack and other channels in the Aleutian Islands could capture or scare most of the seals journeying to the Pribelov Islands, and this without so much as entering Behring Sea.
As I have said, this question of jurisdiction in Behring Sea is altogether a minor question, and even if won by or conceded to the owners of the Rookeries would mean that free hand elsewhere to the "pelagic” sealers which might and would do far more injury to the whole industry than even the worst possibilities of the present indeterminate régime.
What I have insisted on is that, in the interests of all concerned, the question to be decided is industrial rather than political ; the material issue is not what rights have each of the parties in international or conventional law, but rather, what means are necessary to ensure the continued prosperity of the industry. The "pelagic” sealers have undisputed and indisputable right over thousands of miles of ocean. The "shore" sealers have undisputed and indisputable right over the land and the waters adjacent thereto. The mere definition of a line of demarcation between the two, however interesting, does not settle the question of the preservation of the industry. What is necded is that all interested in this “fishery,” whether they take their scals on land or at sea, should come together to determine what dangers or risks are now being run, and how they may be avoided in the future.
Some such settlement is becoming more than ever necessary now, seeing that the question is daily assuming international dimensions. It is no longer a mere family bickering between
. Yankee and Britisher; no longer a mere means of twisting the Bristish Lion's tail for electioneering purposes. Russia, with her important breeding islands, frequented by probably one-half of the seals that travel up the British Columbia coast; Japan, with lesser breeding grounds but an increasing number of sealing vessels; Germany, with her enterprising citizens fitting out sealers ;—these and other nations are entering upon the field.
A sound general view must be taken. The area affected is wide.
Effectively to protect the industry one would have to include all the Pacific Ocean and coasts thereof to the north of, say, latitude 5odeg. The territorial Powers are China, Japan, Russia, the United States, and the British Empire. Germany and other Powers are interested in the usus and fructus of these scas. The one complete remedy is International Agreement resulting in International Administration, with a view to the proper preservation of the fur-seal. We have an admirable and successful precedent in our own North Sea, where, outside of territorial waters, various matters of police, even to the retailing of spirituous liquors, are administered by an internationalexecutive and under laws set up by the mutual co-operation of all the States whose flags are to be found on the vessels engaged in those fisheries.
Such a settlement appeals to the common-sense of all concerned. Sufficient material points and facts in the “natural history” of the case have now been gathered together and placed on record ; sufficient is known on which to basc an international agreement. A conference of the five or six Powers interested could in four weeks, and well before the next fishing season opens in Behring Sea, next July, determine on the outlines of such international administration as should best preserve the rights and interests of all at present engaged in the industry. Indeed, the outlines of such a settlement have already been drafted, and are such as would completely safeguard the permanent interests both of the “ pelagic" and the “shore” sealers. It is a common-sense settlement for the good of all concerned. It will, therefore, commend itself to the people of the United States, of Canada, and of the United Kingdom ; and the Governments of these countries, as well as of Russia, Japan, and Germany will, without doubt, best realise the wishes and the interests of their peoples by securing such a common sense settlement of this troublesome Behring Sea dispute.
A PARISIENNE IN IRELAND.
OING to Ireland? What can you possibly want to
do there?” These are the sort of exclamations with which the plan of visiting the Emerald Isle is received when by any rare chance some traveller is found to entertain it. “ Scotland, if you like; there are lakes there, and kilted Highlanders playing the bagpipes, and memories of Mary Stuart and Walter Scott. But Ireland !-a great potato-field, steeped in continual mists, where Fenians and Moonlighters boycott you on every occasion, unless they knock you on the head at some turn of the road what an extraordinary notion to go and travel in that land of savages !” I hear, in anticipation, the reader exclaiming, “ How like the French to say such things !” And this serves him as the text for learned psychological dissertations upon the light-mindedness of my dear fellow countrymen, their distaste for travel that diverges from the beaten track, their indifference and ignorance in regard to everything that goes on outside their own borders. I do not deny all this. I will only say that British opinion, which ought to be better instructed, does not seem to me to be materially different on this point from that which prevails on the other side of the Channel. In my innocence, I expected to learn from my friends in London those details about Ireland which were not to be learned in Paris. I gained no better information from them. The island ironically called “ sister" seems to be more foreign to them than China, and their predominant feelings appeared to me to be those of profound contempt for the conquered race, of absolute hopelessness as to the possibility of that assimilation which has been sought for these seven hundred years, and, together with these, a firm resolve to give up the game, which was lost from
the beginning, but which national pride compels them to play to the end, however heavy may be the sacrifices entailed.
Finding these answers unsatisfactory, I gave up inquiring of fashionable people and turned to politicians. These, I thought, ought to know a nation whose fate has constantly occupied so many generations of statesmen. I was mistaken. They stunned me with contradictory facts, with obscure statistics, and with social and economic considerations of no practical value ; and in this chaos I was lost, until the day when I thought I saw that the Irish difficulty was a Parliamentary bludgeon whose blows cach party draws upon itself, a two-edged weapon which each in turn snatches from the hands of the other, not without cut fingers. And here I must remark that I purposely make no reference to the recent split which has divided the Irish party. I confine my remarks to the permanent aspect of the question. An important lesson which I learned in my intercourse with British legislators about Ireland was that Home Rulers and Unionists are agreed on one point, which in itself is a good deal for two opposing parties. In the bottom of their hearts-often unacknowledged to themselves--they have all of them a lively contempt for the Celtic race, even those who, either for the sake of party interests or from a sense of justice, make themselves its champions. The reason of this is that the English people are very proud because they are very strong; and their strength justifies this immense pride, so far as pride can ever be justified. Now, the proud are apt to be contemptuous, and it is not possible to judge those fairly whom we despise, for we do not give ourselves the trouble of trying to understand them.
What I have just said is not universally true. There is a class of English people—a numerous class, and by no means one of the least to be respected-in which I observe no trace of this sense of proud superiority and disdainful antipathy : I mean the philanthropists and the humanitarians. But then, it seems to me that these ran into the other extreme. From the fact that the Irish, being conquered, are unhappy, they drew conclusions so unfavourable to the conquerors that I feared they allowed themselves to be led astray by their generosity, which is a feeling that blinds us even more completely than party spirit. I am so presumptuous as to
distrust politicians, and I regret that I distrust philanthropists even
Life is essentially a brutal thing, and if in theory it is easy to organise a new golden age, it is in fact so impracticable that those generous Utopians who make this insoluble problem their study have always seemed to me to be wasting their time and their trouble. Not wishing to squander mine, I very quickly gave up their society and set myself to consult the historians and economists. The impression left on me by these studies was that the drama which for centuries has been enacting at the extreme West of Europe is the most painful, and for that very reason the most enthralling, of those historic mysteries which one cannot examine without experiencing emotions of deep pity and vast astonishment. In short, my curiosity, directed at first only to the picturesque, ended by fixing itself also upon psychological problems, and even upon political questions, though I had been firmly resolved beforehand to keep these out of my way as hateful encumbrances. It was in this temper that I cmbarked at Holyhead, and thus it was that a pleasure-seeker's trip into a country of unknown beauties was turned into a student's journcy among a nation which is but little known, although so much attention is paid to its affairs.
Filled with the laudable desire of learning about Ireland what France does not know, and understanding about it what England misinterprets, my first aim was to cast off all those ready-ırade opinions on the subject which I had read and heard. This was all the casier, because they absolutely contradicted one another. The intention of trusting only to one's own judgment is not so presumptuous as it appears. When we actually behold two intellects of equal rank--two individuals of equal authority at absolute odds upon one point, and supporting their doctrines by facts which destroy cach other--on which side should the disinterested observer who means to be impartial stand ? “Do not believe a word of what the Nationalists and the Home Rulers say, "cry the landlords and the Unionists at one ear. "Don't put any faith in the statements of the Unionists and the landlords, "whisper the Home Rulers and the Nationalists at the other. As I have no reason to suppose that the United Kingdom is solely peopled, like Crete of old, with impostors, I made up my mind to go myself, resolutely, without guide