Promise of land for soldiers not a bribe
British paper suggests taming Ireland with new ‘plantation’
Dublin, 10 June 1918 - The Press Association has reported with authority that the proposal to link land allocation to enlistment is not an attempt to bribe potential recruits.
Rather, it will place ex-soldiers and ex-sailors on a level with other tenants as eligible under the existing Land Acts, a series of measures introduced since the late 1800s to redistribute land from landlord to tenant. This new focus would also serve to reinvigorate this transfer, which has slowed in recent years.
Picking up on the proposal, one British newspaper, The Morning Post, advocated that if land were to be given to Irish soldiers it should be taken from the Sinn Féiners as penalty for treason.
The Post’s suggestion has drawn a furious response, not least from the Irish Independent which interpreted as involving a new ‘plantation’ of Ireland.
‘The Morning Post proposes a revival of the one of the worst features of the penal laws, but it would be no more successful now than it was in the 18th century’.
[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]