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FOOTNOTES:

  1. The story of the conversion of some of the tenants on the Vandeleur estate into a co-operative community in 1831 by Mr. E.T. Craig, a Scotchman who took up the agency of the property, told in the _History of Ralahine_ (London, Trübner & Co., 1893) is worth reading. The experiment, most hopeful as far as it went, was only two years in existence when the landlord gambled away his property at cards in a Dublin club and the Utopia was sold up. But in the co-operative world Mr. Craig, who died as recently as 1894, is revered as the author of the most advanced experiment in the realisation of co-operative ideals. The economic significance of the narrative is obviously not important, and I doubt whether joint ownership of land, except for the purpose of common grazing, is a practical ideal. The ready response, however, of the Irish peasants to Mr. Craig's enthusiasm and the way in which they took up the idea form an interesting study of the Irish character.

  2. The late Canon Bagot had done good service in explaining the value of the new machinery; but unhappily the vital importance of co-operative organisation was not then understood. He formed some joint stock companies with the result that, having no co-operative spirit to offset their commercial inexperience, they all proved, instead of co-operative successes, competitive failures. This fact added to our early difficulties.

  3. It should be noted that this form of association for credit purposes, owing to its peculiar constitution, applies only to a grade of the community whose members all live on about the same scale and that a fairly low one. It is obvious that unlimited liability would lose its efficacy in developing the sense of responsibility if some members of the association were so substantial that its creditors would make them primarily responsible in the event of failure. The fact, however, that the scheme has worked with unvarying success among the poorest of the poor, and the most Irish of the Irish, renders it as good an illustration as can be found of what may be done by sympathetic and intelligent treatment of Irish economic problems. Mr. Henry W. Wolff, the foremost authority on People's Banks in these islands, and Mr. R.A. Yerburgh, M.P., a generous subscriber to the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, have taken great interest in this part of the movement and have rendered much assistance.

  4. Those who wish to go more fully into the details of the co-operative agricultural movement in Ireland should write to the Secretary Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, 22 Lincoln-place, Dublin. The publications of the Society are somewhat voluminous, and the inquirer should intimate any particular branches of the subject in which he is especially interested. Those wishing to keep au courant with the further development of the movement would do well to take in the _Irish Homestead_, post free 6s. 6d. per annum.

  5. The chief donors belong to the class of philanthropists who do not care to advertise their beneficence. I, therefore, respect their wishes and withhold their names.

  6. I recall an occasion when the Vice-President of the I.A.O.S. (a Nationalist in politics and a Jesuit priest), who has been ever ready to lend a hand as volunteer organiser when the prior claims of his religious and educational duties allowed, found himself before an audience which he was informed, when he came to the meeting, consisted mainly of Orangemen. He began his address by referring to the new and somewhat strange environment into which he had drifted. He did not, however, see why this circumstance should lead to any misunderstanding between himself and his audience. He had never been able to understand what a battle fought upon a famous Irish river two centuries ago had got to do with the practical issues of to-day which he had come to discuss. The dispute in question was, after all, between a Scotchman and a Dutchman, and if it had not yet been decided, they might be left to settle it themselves--that is if too great a gulf did not separate them.






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Map of Ireland