7. 'Killing home rule with kindness' : alternatives 1895-1905 --

The three still outstanding questions relating to Ireland which Redmond had to face were the Land, Education, and Home Rule. The second Home Rule Bill of Gladstone had been rejected by the Lords and Gladstone had retired from public life. He was succeeded by Lord Rosebery, who 'hung up' the question and who was shortly to be replaced by a Unionist administration, under which Gerald Balfour went to the Irish Office with a policy of internal reform which came to be humorously described as "killing Home Rule with kindness." Henceforth it was not to be contended that reforms were to be obtained for Ireland only by agitation and turbulence, for Ireland was comparatively peaceful. It was, moreover, determined that instead of imposing measures for the benefit of Ireland from outside, Irish leaders of opinion should themselves advise as to the best means of advancing local government and land legislation. Some beginnings had already been made in this direction.

"killing Home Rule with kindness"

"killing Home Rule with kindness"

Brillman, M.L.. "Killing home rule with kindness.(British Democracy And Irish Nationalism, 1876-1906)(Book review)." Irish Literary Supplement. Irish Studies Program. 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2015 from HighBeam Research:

The Ashbourne Land Act ‘Killing Home Rule with kindness’

Home Rule nearly took care of Gladstone, too. He introduced the bill in 1886 -- and it split the Liberal party; a block of about fifty M.P.s, headed by Joseph Chamberlain, bolted (Massie, pp. 235-238). For about twenty years, Britain had what amounted to four political parties: Orthodox liberals (committed to social reform and home rule), Conservatives (opposed to social reform and home rule), the Irish delegation (which often split many ways; the most important faction, led by John Redmond, believed in home rule, though many were liberal on other issues), and the Chamberlainites (the "Liberal Unionists," who were liberal on social issues but adamantly opposed to Home Rule). It made Britain nearly ungovernable, except when the Chamberlainites managed to extract liberal concessions from the Conservatives. The Conservatives developed a policy of "killing Home Rule with kindness" (Kee, p. 111), but kindness wasn't really their specialty.

II. Seventeen years of Conservative rule  (1886-1892; 1895-1905) A. Ireland -
What was the background to the Conservative policy of ‘killing Home Rule with kindness’

ed to 'kill Home Rule with kindness'

Parnell moved away from agrarian agitation and directed the league’s mass movement toward home rule, building a party that soon held the balance of power in the House of Commons. Parnell threw his nationalist party’s support to the Liberal Party, led by William Gladstone (1809-1898), which introduced a Home Rule Bill (1886), only to have the Conservative Party and Liberal defectors defeat it. The Conservatives, now in power, attempted to ”kill Home Rule with kindness,” by enacting a series of land acts that bought out landlords and created a peasant proprietorship.

Killing home rule with kindness.(British Democracy And Irish Nationalism, 1876-1906)(Book review)

coined the phrase, ‘killing Home Rule with kindness’.

The strategy underlining these Bills was aptly summed up by the phrase which was commonly coined: “Killing Home Rule with kindness”. Just as the Tories had initially denounced all land reform, so they allowed no chance to slip by to bemoan this equally “weak-kneed policy”.

which came to be humorously described as

Killing home rule with kindness.

The Tory intellectual J. A. Froude once philosophized in Carlylese that what Ireland really needed was half a century of "government that governed": "We have professed to govern, and we have not governed." Probing for that corner of the Victorian mind where caning was revered as proper pedagogy, Salisbury now proposed also a government that governed, though for a more modest twenty-year term: "My alternative policy [to Home Rule] is that parliament should enable the government of England to govern Ireland. Apply that receipt honestly, continuously, and resolutely for twenty years, and at the end of that time you will find that Ireland will be fit to accept any gifts in the way of local government or repeal of coercion laws that you may wish to give her. What she wants is governmentgovernment that she cannot hope to beat down by agitation at Westminster. . . ." The most generous interpretation to put on Salisbury's Irish blueprint is contained in the phrase, "killing Home Rule with kindness." The kindness, as we have seen, was among other things a willingness to convey the great Irish estates to the peasantry at the asking price. The barb in the catch phrase is somewhat hidden, but Salisbury did propose to "kill" Home Rule, with or without the kindness of a land-purchasing scheme, by refusing to countenance any further Irish boisterousness.