Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/318

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passed since then, but never once has Mr. Dalley lost his hold on the sympathies and affections of his admiring countrymen. Whether valiantly defending his ministerial policy on the floor of the Legislature; or lucidly pointing out the path of progress to his fellow-countrymen in public meeting assembled, or in the hushed silence of a crowded court earnestly addressing a jury on some momentous issue; or at a great Catholic festival bearing eloquent testimony to the all-pervading truth and traditional grandeur of the Church of his fathers; or at a national demonstration, now recalling the pristine glories of the historical past, and anon making every one joyous through the instrumentality of his inherited Hibernian humour, Mr. Dalley has ever been an orator with a nation for his audience, and the most interesting figure in the eyes of his countrymen. He enjoys the unique distinction of being the only Australian citizen who has been called to the Privy Council—an honour conferred upon him mainly in recognition of his promptitude in organising and despatching an Australian contingent of soldiers to the seat of war in the Soudan a few years ago. Without expressing any opinion as to the propriety of his policy in this particular, concerning which there has been considerable discussion throughout the colonies, it is unquestionably true that Mr. Dalley's action in despatching a contingent to the Soudan had the effect of bringing Australia very prominently and dramatically before the eyes of the world, and of demonstrating to the older countries that a new nation was beginning to put forth its strength at the antipodes. Mr. Dalley was Acting-Premier of New South Wales at the time, in the absence of the head of the Government, Sir Alexander Stuart. It is related that Sir Alexander was one day last year escorting the Queen