MORLEY, John, Chief Secretary for Ireland, and others. 15158



Original Correspondence about the formation of the Commission on the Financial Relations between Great Britain and Ireland (the Childers Commission), comprising: a series of 15 Autograph Letters Signed by John Morley, as Irish Secretary, to Hugh Childers, Chairman of the Commission (and 2 letters to his daughter); together with a further 15 original letters, mostly to Childers, from various correspondents applying for the post of Secretary to the Commission. Morley correspondence about 26 pp. Over 30 letters, all in good condition, vertical folds, legible, and 1 telegram from Morley to Childers. With a draft list of the Commission members, indicating whether they are Irish or English. Mostly from the Irish Office (London) and the Chief Secretary’s Office (Dublin Castle), 1894. John Morley (1838-1923), statesman, Chief Secretary for Ireland (1886, 1892-95, Secretary of State for India (1905-1910,1911). Hugh Childers (1827-1896), statesman, Chancellor of the Exchequer (1882-85) and Home Secretary (1886). His last piece of work was the drafting of a report for the 1894 “Financial Relations Commission” on Irish financial matters, of which he was chairman (generally known as the Childers Commission). This found that, compared to the rest of the United Kingdom, Ireland had been overtaxed on a per capita basis by some £2 or £3 million annually in previous decades. The matter was finally debated in March 1897. In the following decades Irish nationalists frequently quoted the report as proof that some form of fiscal freedom was needed to end imperial over-taxation, which was prolonging Irish poverty. Childers’ 1894 report was still considered influential in 1925 in considering the mutual financial positions between the new Irish Free State and the United Kingdom. Morley’s letters debate the membership of the committee, the place of meeting (”If you won’t come to the Castle, where we have all ready for you, you must find your own quarters), the scope of the commission (”It would be absurd, in my view, to bring Scotch taxations before a Commission which was specially instructed to consider the taxation of Ireland.), the membership of the Committee, Mr. Gladstone’s approval, etc. “It is not at all agreeable to our Irish friends to have Arthur O’Connor on. He is personal ingratissima to them. There are other persons in the same direction. What we need now in the list as you have adjusted it, is one fewer English & one more Irish. I will try if I can get an Irish suggestion, or perhaps still better reduce the size of the Commission to twelve.” (19 February 1894).