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Valuation per head.
£4 0 1
Here, again, the peerless province is third ; here again the province which from the height of its wealth looks down with contempt upon the miserable rest of Ireland, is beaten by Leinster and Munster. And not only is it inferior in valuation per head of the population to Leinster and Munster, but although it has a population exceeding by almost 450,000 the population of Leinster, the latter can boast of a valuation exceeding that of Ulster by £300,000.
The inferiority of Ulster is still more striking if we take the rateable valuation of each province exclusive of the Parliamentary boroughs, which, it might be assumed by some readers, might unfairly lower the valuation per head in Ulster as compared at least with Munster. The following are the figures :
So that, whichever way we look at it, whether we take or not into the calculation the chief cities, with their overcrowded slums and the squalor and wretchedness of their thousands, Ulster comes third as to the valuation per head.
Let us now ascertain the rank which the various counties in Ulster occupy amongst the counties of Ireland with regard to the rateable valuation per head of the population. And here let me remark, that the figures hereunder have been made available for the public in other forms than the Census Report. They were issued as a return presented to the House of Commons about mid-March, and were published in most of the newspapers at the time.
The following table gives the counties of Ireland (exclusive of Parliamentary boroughs) in the order of the rateable valuation per inhabitant, together with the population, the total rateable valuation, and the amount per inhabitant, in 1891 :
* Ulster counties are printed in italics.
Counties (exclusive of
52,647 118,809 114,397 171,401 124,483 111,917 197,753 98,013 78,618 179,136 185,635 219,034
£680,084 426,893 243,665 260,352 728,610 376,723 233,748 236,856 638,689 205,035 407,646 1,004,983
153,289 307,539 295,576 438,465 317,016 274,726 442,290 213,870 136,622 290,393 297,189 314,770
Valuation per head.
£3 18 6
Is it not a case for asking again, Where is wealthy and prosperous Ulster? Where are Down and Antrim, those " counties which rival the most prosperous and wealthy English counties”? Down comes thirteenth amongst the thirty-two counties of Ireland, and Antrim, beaten by Louth and Wexford, and by another Ulster county, Fermanagb, comes seventeenth. Thus, amongst the counties of Ireland placed in order of the valuation per head of the population, the " wealthy province” has only two in the first half, and these two are at the very bottom. How many Englishmen who believe the Unionist twaddle about the prosperity of Ulster could have suspected that ? How many even amongst those who make what they believe to be due allowance for Ulsterian exaggeration would have been prepared to go so far ?
It may not be without interest, perhaps, to compare Belfast and Dublin under the same circumstances :
Valuation per head.
£2 19 1
2 15 1
But the comparison does not do justice to Dublin, because whilst the four boroughs of Belfast have an aggregate acreage of 15,698, the four boroughs of Dublin cover only 5409 acres ; in other words, the most prosperous parts of Dublin, like Rathmines and Rathgar and Pembroke, are excluded from the city limits.
The figures quoted in the preceding pages might be sufficient perhaps to explode the Ulster legend. But as I wish to go to the bottom of the question, I beg leave to give the percentago of ratings over £20 in the various Irish counties. This may be taken as the mean line of wealth, and will enable the reace: to form a more accurate idea of the real conditions of Ulster counties than any amount of general averages could do:
No. of Ratings
No, per 1000
In other words, there is not a single Ulster county where the number of ratings over £20 is equal to five or more for every hundred of the population. There is only one-and that the one which has been called “the Yorkshire of Ireland” where they are four and a fraction, and in ail other counties they are below four. Londonderry, which has certainly done its full share of bragging and boasting, and which is north of the Boyne enough to satisfy any Unionist, has a lesser percentage than Longford, and is practically on the same level as Clare.
And be it remembered that these figures include not only the county, but the mighty city of Derry herself.
But Belfast will redress that state of things no doubt, and will give striking and unanswerable proof of its untold wealth and prosperity by leaving such worthless cities as Dublin and Cork simply nowhere in the competition for the highest percentage of ratings over £20.
The Parliamentary Return to which I have already alluded gives
# Ulster counties are printed in italics. For the population of each county, see previous page. In this computation the boroughs are included, with the exception of Dublin, Cork, and Belfast. VOL. LXIII.
the number of such ratings for the boroughs of Belfast, Dublin, and Cork. They are :
No. of Ratings
No. per 1000 of Boroughs.
the population. Dublin
And it ought not to be forgotten that, while there is very little difference between Dublin as a city and Dublin as a Parliamentary borough, there is a difference of 10,000 acres between Belfast as a city and Belfast as a borough.
No return of income-tax in connection with the population of Parliamentary boroughs has been published for the last dozen years, so that it is very difficult to ascertain the present position of Belfast amongst the various cities of the United Kingdom in that respect. The latest information about income-tax is to be gathered from the Inland Revenue Returns, and from a return presented to the House of Commons on February 16th, 1892, giving the assessment under Schedules A, B, and D for each county of Great Britain, and for each Surveyor's District * in Ireland from 1884 to 1890, and the duty charged under income-tax in 1889–90. We learn from these that the total assessment under these three heads was as follows for the Belfast and Dublin districts in the first and last year with which the return deals : Dublin (North and South
These figures speak for themselves. The duty charged in 1889-90 was for Dublin £163,573, and for Belfast £89,004, or a little more than half the Dublin duty. If we compare the duty charged to the Belfast district to the one charged to the English counties we find the northern capital relapsing into her favourite rank amongst the twenties. In fact, "Belfast here stands twenty-fifth. Twenty English, one Welsh, and two Scotch counties have a higher duty charged ; and in Ireland the Dublin district is charged almost double. Dublin stands thirteenth, being overtopped by nine English, one Welsh, and two Scotch counties. It would be invidious to make any comparison between the Londonderry district and any English district, since Londonderry stands almost at the bottom of the Irish districts. Outside Ulster there are only the Tralee district (Kerry), and the two Connaught districts, Sligo and Galway, which have a lower duty charged than Derry. Derry's duty in 1889–90 was only £24,678, and its assessment under the three schedules for the same year £1,760,855. Waterford, in the worthless south, was charged £30,292, and the assessment was £1,947,40). The duty charged per province was :
* Ireland, for the purposes of income-tax, is divided into fifteen Surveyors' districts, which in a few instances may overlap a little the provincial boundaries. The figures quoted can therefore only be relied on as a pretty correct approximation. I have given to Ulster every district which bears an Ulster name, and have followed the same rule with regard to the other provinces. A reference to the latest detailed incometax returns for Ireland, which were published in 1881, which I have no space to make here, will show that, due allowance being made for ten years' progress, the figures quoted above give an accurate idea of tủe present state of things. In 1881, Belfast was assessed at £2,200,842, to Dublin's assessment of £5,368,753.
The following table gives, as far as can be ascertained from the figures supplied in the return, the assessment per province and per head of the population :
Schedules A, B, D.
£10 9 9
6 18 4
6 2 4
3 11 2
The difference in wealth between Leinster and Ulster is obvious enough. It ought to be sufficiently plain by this time, and after all the figures I have quoted, that Ulster's position in Ireland is not the first, which she so boisterously claims, but really and truly the third.
Whether, taking into consideration her position in the United Kingdom and her position in Ireland, Ulster is entitled on the ground of wealth to insist upon the Parliament of the United Kingdom doing her bidding, is a thing which I leave to the judgment of the reader.
There are two other Ulster legends which go with the progress and wealth legend. Ulster is represented as being overwhelmingly Protestant and overwhelmingly Unionist. A few figures will suffice to dispose of those contentions.
Almost half the population of Ulster is Roman Catholic. Out of a total population of 1,619,814, exactly 744,859, or 46:0 per cent., are Roman Catholic. How a country in which the population is so nearly divided in regard to religion can be called a Protestant country is one of those mysteries of the Unionist mind which I will make no attempt to solve. The Presbyterianism of Ulster, about which so much is heard that one would believe the whole country to be Presbyterian, amounts to very little in the end, since only 26.3 per cent. of the population are Presbyterian, the exact number being 426,245, of whom no less than 94,451 have their abode in Belfast alone. In five out of the nine Ulster counties the Roman Catholics are in a majority -viz., in Cavan, where they form. 80.9 per cent. of the population (by the way, does any reader remember a very serious and threatening speech from Mr. Dane, M.P., in which he warned the 'Empire that