Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/357

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343
IRISH-AUSTRALIAN CHARACTERISTICS.

attended officially on behalf of their respective states. In welcoming to Ireland a large contingent of these colonial visitors, Mr. T. D. Sullivan, M.P., Lord Mayor of Dublin, referred to the many reasons that actuated the Irish race at home in giving the heartiest of greetings to their colonial guests. "We know," he said, "that crowds of our expatriated countrymen have found freedom and happiness in these distant lands. Our exiled people have been kindly and well received in these countries, and I am proud to-night to hear it said that they have given good and honourable services in the lands where they have made their homes. Yes, gentlemen, they form a large portion of the working population of these countries, and have formed no inconsiderable portion of the brain and intellect that have helped to make these countries free and great and prosperous. We have here to-night amongst our visitors Irishmen who have rendered good service in these countries, and who have won distinction there. We are glad to know and to hear from themselves that they do not forget, and that they do not ignore, the little island of their birth. Gentlemen, it befits a man, whatever his nationality, to remember his own country, and to call it by its own name, not to ignore it, not to seem to think that no such geographical entity exists on the face of the earth. You are citizens of the British Empire, subjects of the British Crown, but, I ask you, are you not proud to be self-governing communities? Gentlemen, your connection with the British Empire is a link of love and affection; that is the bond which unites you to the Crown, and to the Empire of which you form a part. The bond is not one of force, not one of compulsion, but it is one of good-will, and the good-will is there because you get fair-play, fair treatment, and freedom to develop the resources of