Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 6.djvu/272
THE WORLD'S FAMOUS ORATIONS
quarters of wheat-flour, 3,500,000 quarters of oats and meal. Good God, what a picture! Here is a country paying millions of pounds in taxation to maintain the glory of the Empire to which it is allied, a country exporting millions of beasts and millions of quarters of grain out of the country, and all the time hundreds of thousands of people dying of starvation by the roadside.
Gentlemen, from that day to this the population of our country has gone steadily down from 8,500,000 men to 4,500,000 now. In the reign of Queen Victoria 1,225,000 people died of starvation, 4,000,000 people during that reign were evicted, 4,800,000 people emigrated from the shores of our country, and it is still going on. People who come to this country and pay flying visits to the West of Ireland and see some of the congested districts go away with the idea that Ireland is all a barren mountain or bog. Yes, the congested districts are poor; but the real secret of the position is that the richer parts of Ireland have been made desolate, have been depopulated, and turned into mere cattle ranches.
Fraud, robbery, and murder have characterized the English usurpation of the government of our country. Why, for the last fifty years we have been robbed in the matter of taxes of hundreds of millions. Just in a sentence let me point this out. The accusation is made against England that she is robbing this country by unjust taxation. A tribunal is appointed to consider the question. Appointed by whom? Ap-