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HOME RULE., Issue 7931, 12 June 1889
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,— To read the Tory speeches about the “ loyal minority ” in Ireland, one might conclude that there were no Protestant Home Rulers in that country. I enclose an account of a meeting of “The Protestant Home Rule Association ” of Dublin, which numbers among its members leading clergymen, physicians, and lawyers. If one did not see tho heading one might suppose the speeches were those of Catholic Nationalists. There is now a very small minority of Irish Protestants in the Homo Rule ranks.—l am, etc,, Irish Protestant and Home Ruler. Dunedin, June 10.
We give an abstract of three of the principal speeches:— Mr James bhanks, T.C., moved—“ That the present system of government in Ireland is impotsiblo, and destructive to the material inte rests of ths country, and that in tbo opinion of this meeting on immediate dissolution of Parliament la imperative.” Ho believed that at tho present moment there was a much stronger feeling of disgust and impatience in the minds of tho English and Scotch people than existed at home. That was a itlgma on the Irish people, and it therefore became the duty of every honest Irishman and oveiy Irish organisation to leave nothing undone to condemn tho present Government for their abuses, or to bring about an early change, . , , The resolution asserted that the Government were destructive to the material interests of this country. For some time pisfc Mr Balfour had made public reference to the fact that something in tho shape of a slight improvement in trade in Ireland had come about, and with his usual audacity he had claimed the credit of that result for his “ resolute ” system of government. It was hardly worth while to quarrel with Mr Balfour on questions In which strict accuracy was of Importance. But then there was so much that tho Tories intended to do by way of developing the industries of this country. This was another Tory fraud and deceit—cartloads of promises and no performances. There was only ono remedy for the disorganised material prosperity of Ireland, and it was this: That the gift should bo made to Irishmen of the power to help themselves, to take the initiative, and to employ tho resources o fthe Government In every effort and scheme for its development which might suggest itself to their own experience and intelligence. That was a course of policy which would never be carried cut by a centralised government. It was a course of policy which would certainly never bo carried out by the anti-Irish section, which lived in this country and seemed to imagine taat it had a monopoly of common sonso and commercial capacity. It was a policy which must be carried out by Ireland united, o- not carried out at all . . . Not only from the pditical point of view, but from the commercial, and from tho manufacturing and tho mato.ial point of view, it was their duty, ia tho loudest and mo-t emphatic terms they cur'd employ, to swell with others this chorus of condemnation. The Kev. Bruce Wallace said that, as ono from the Black North, he had groat pleasure in si oonding the resolution. There was only one aim of politics that could bo defended, and that alia was tho doing of justice to every citizen. Now let them test this Government of the present Conservative party—he could not tay which ruled, bat which reds over them—by this principle. Were they making war on unjust privileges, wore they on tho side of truth, were they surrounding tho people with the best possible conditions ? No, they came into power on false pretences. They were promoting strife, hatred, and bitterness; they were aiding bad landlords In exacting unjust rents ; they were outraging tho conscience of nations by subjecting men whose only crime waa self-sacrificing devotion to the cause of the oppressed to the same penalties and humiliations as burglars and wife-beaters; and in addition to this, the stain of innocent b'ood was on their hands, and they had driven a peasantry usually calm and patient into a w.ld frenzy with fatal coßßrquer.c:s. Mr George Ridge (vice-presidentof the Brightsido Liberal Club, Sheffield) remarked that it was rarely he had the opportunity of addressing a meeting of Home Rulers in Ireland without tho presence of a few of Mr Balfour’s police. The Irish cause was now the cause of tho English people, and Lord Compton, writing to him durb g the Barnsley election, raid: "I am giving Ireland a prominent place in this election.” Last October ho (the speaker) happened to be seen at Limerick Junction with Mr H. J. Wilson, M.P., and when he left the train at Ennis the policemen took him to his hotel, and two policemen guarded him all the time he stayed there. Then the Tory party told them that Ireland was governed by the same laws as England. Tho resolution was carried by acclamation.
HOME RULE., Issue 7931, 12 June 1889
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