Page:Roger Casement - The crime against Ireland and how the war may right it.djvu/22

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To represent the island as a poverty stricken land inhabited by a turbulent and ignorant race whom she has with unrewarded solicitude sought to civilize, uplift and educate has been a staple of England's diplomatic trade since modern diplomacy began. To compel the trade of Ireland to be with herself alone; to cut off all direct communication between Europe and this second of European islands until no channel remained save only through Britain; to enforce the most abject political and economic servitude one people ever imposed upon another; to exploit all Irish resources, lands, ports, people, wealth, even her religion, everything in fine that Ireland held, to the sole profit and advancement of England, and to keep all the books and rigorously refuse an audit of the transaction has been the secret but determined policy of England.

We have read lately something of Mexican peonage; of how a people can be reduced to a lawless slavery, their land expropriated, their bodies enslaved, their labor appropriated, and how the nexus of this fraudulent connection lies in a falsified account. The hacendado holds the peon by a debt bondage. His palace in Mexico city, or on the sisal plains of Yucatan is reared on the stolen labor of a people whose bondage is based on a lie. The hacendado keeps the books and debits the slave with the cost of the lash that scourges him into the fields. Ireland is the English peon, the great peon of the British Empire. The books and the palaces are in London, but the wealth has come from the peons on the Irish Estate. The armies that overthrew Napoleon; the fleets that swept the navies

    to Burghley, Elizabeth's chief Minister, we are told that the "three German Earls" with "their conductor," Mr. Rogers, have arrived. The Viceroy adds, as his successors have done up to the present day: "According to your Lordship's direction they shall travell as litle waye into the cuntrey as I can."