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HOME RULE., Issue 7911, 20 May 1889
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,—Judging from the tone of the letters signed "Irishman," that appeared in your paper lately, I should take it that he belongs to the party which have been termed the anti-Irish Irishmen, whoso desire is not to advance liberal principles, but to iitveir.nt, hi every way with their limi.V.i •.■••■nnui.i sense, to .-stir up disseii'iii.n r.tr.oii.j their i/o-religionist-;. )-'..i!,, unfortuuately tor those gentlemen, a number of their co-religionists are of a more liberal turn of mind than themselves, and no doubt will treat with utter contempt such epistles as that elaborate efFusion which emanated from the very fertile brain of "Irishman." The question of Home Rulo is not one that can be debated from a religious point of view, when it is considered that we have a Roligious Toleration Act in existence, which is recognised through the British Empire, and has advanced into the most Catholic countries in Europe. The question which must be considered is whether the granting of Home Rule is consistent with our representative institutions; and would Home Rule assist in disintegrating the Empire. All through the long course of history we can traverse, we find that the greater the liberty the subjects enjoy the more patriotic and united they become. There are no men in the world who enjoy liberty more than the Irish. They have at the present time eighty-five members who are pledged to Home Rule. If the voice of the nation is not to be listened to, how can it be said that they are living under a banner of liberty ? The country has been depopulated by a system of tyranny and oppression unprecedented in the annals of any other couutry in the world, till the population has come down from eight and a-half millions to four and a-half, while the population in the United States of Irish and Irish extraction has increased to twentytwo and a-half millions. This is only the result of the fatal policy of British administration. No Liberal Government could ever have carried a measure of Home Rule for Ireland during the last century, had such a thing been attempted. What was the result of Mr Gladstone's appeal to the country on this question? Tory generosity was brought into requisition to fete the ignorant portion _ of the electors. The same was done during the Reform Bill agitation. The landed aristocracy of the British realm were toadying to the weak and unintelligent Tory working man. Notwithstanding what " Irishman " states to be the case, that Mr Parnell is supported principally by the ignorant portion of the Irish constituencies, the absurdity of this preposterous statement must be apparent to any sensible man, unless, indeed, there is no intelligence south of Ulster. Surely four-fifths of the population are not entirely destitute of knowledge. " Irishman" seems to think that because the governing bodies of some of the churches object to Home Rule that it should not be granted—" men who toil not, spin not, neither do they reap." It is very probable that this case is similar to what happened only about a month ago in the North-east Valley Debating Club. Two ministers of religion were there debating against Home Rule, who gained on their side three lay members, but when tho division was taken the result was five against and thirteen for Home Rule. It is an established fact that the AntiHome Rulers have not got a sound argument on their side. If such an inhuman and abominable system of cruelty had been perpetrated in these colonies like what we have heard has been committed upon some of Ireland's noblest bods and purest patriots, the Mother Country would have had an experience ere this similar to that which created that splendid republic which stands triumphant (as a warning to British Statesman) beneath the stars and stripes of America. —I am etc.,
Dunedin, May 20.
HOME RULE., Issue 7911, 20 May 1889
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