Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/362

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people got their drinks only when they went to the market, and at those times they took too much liquor. That was the real beginning of intemperance in Ireland. Intemperance went into Ireland with foreign rule and prohibition. The law of man sent intemperance among the Irish, and you are trying to take it out of them by a higher law than that of man—by the law of God.

Again, when they came to this country with all their home ties broken, with no money in many instances, strangers in uncongenial communities, the desire of the Irish for fraternity, for meeting their kindred and friends when they could, furnished the great opportunity for the liquor seller; his saloon became the accustomed place of meeting. You will find (and I say it as an outsider who has given the subject some consideration) that the saloon-keeper among the Irish people in this country is nearly always an emigrant. There are very few Irish-Americans born in this country who have gone into the liquor trade. The people coming here from Ireland were unskilled. The thousands or tens of thousand industries which enter into the life of a prosperous nation were taken away from Ireland. The ship-building, the mining, the iron works, the carriage-building, the potteries, the mills, and the weaving, all those industries that Ireland had even up to one hundred years ago, were swept away and the manual skill of the people was deliberately stolen from them. They were left with no opportunities whatever of acquiring knowledge other than that which pertained to the servile work of tilling the land, while the land was held by strangers. In Ireland a man with seven sons had seven farm laborers in his house; in Boston, for instance, the same man would have seven sons at useful and perhaps different occupations. That is the reason why many of the men coming from Ireland, notwithstanding they were provident, thrifty and ambitious, were tempted to go into the liquor business as a means of acquiring money rapidly. That is one of the considerations which I think ought to be remembered by your organization as a reason for dealing leniently with men in that traffic. But I believe that of all the classes affected by it, the first to relieve itself from the influence of the saloon is going to be the Irish- American class, because of these two facts: That we are not drunkards; that we come from no degraded or immoral stock; and because we are learning all the manifold industries and means of making an honorable living which are open to us in our American business centers.

Secretary Bayard's novel attempt to settle the fisheries disputes between the United States and England, on the basis of giving the latter country all that she asked and something more, resulted in the appointment of a commission by the two governments. The commissioner selected to