Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/180

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THE WORLD'S FAMOUS ORATIONS

seems to have, crushed Poland ; but I ask honor- able members whether they desire to see this country imitate the methods by which Poland has been crushed? This force of nationality is a great force in human affairs. The honorable and learned member for Plymouth [Mr. Edward Clarke] spoke on Thursday night with some con- tempt of the feeling of nationality. I do not say that it is always a good thing. It is one of those sentiments which, tho primarily and usu- ally good, because it binds men together by common devotion to a fine idea, may also become a destroying power and the instrument of evil. It works for good or ill, just as you choose to treat it. But it is a force which governments ignore at their peril.

We are accused of putting forward this Bill as a counsel of despair. Sir, I do not support it as a counsel of despair; I do not support it as the only alternative to a long course of coercion, altho I believe such coercion to be the only alternative policy; but I support it because I believe it to be a good thing in itself. I believe that Ireland will be better legislated for in a legislature in Dublin by its own mem- bers, because that legislature will be in sym- pathy with the feelings and will understand the needs of its fellow citizens. We in this Parlia- ment — English and Scotch members — are igno- rant of the wants of the Irish people. We vote at the sound of the division bell, as the party whips tell us. That has certainly been the rule 154

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