can be while under British control, for purposes of general navigation and overseas intercourse, would soon become of such first rank importance in Continental affairs as to leave men stupified by the thought that for five hundred years they had allowed one sole member of their community the exclusive use and selfish misappropriation of this, the most favored of European islands.
Ireland would be freed, not because she deserved or asked for freedom, not because English rule has been a tyranny, a moral failure, a stupidity and a sin against the light; not because Germany cared for Ireland, but because the withdrawal of Ireland from English control appeared to be a very necessary step in international welfare and one very needful to the progress of German and European expansion .
An Ireland released from the jail in which England had confined her would soon become a populous state of possibly 10,000,000 to 12,000,000 people, a commercial asset of Europe in the Atlantic of the utmost general value, one holding an unique position between the Old and New Worlds, and possibly an intellectual and moral asset of no mean importance. This, and more a sovereign Ireland means to Europe. Above all it means security of transit, equalizing of opportunity, freedom of the seas—an assurance that the great waterways of the ocean should no longer be at the absolute mercy of one member of the European family, and that one the least interested in general European welfare.
The stronger a free Ireland grew the surer would be the guarantee that the role of England "consciously assumed for many years past, to be an absolute and wholly arbitrary judge of war and peace" had gone forever, and that at last the "balance of power" was kept by fair weight and fair measure and not with loaded scales.