Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/276

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THE WORLD'S FAMOUS ORATIONS

the wisdom of such a policy. They had already endowed the people of Ireland with the command of county government; they had pledged £112,- 000,000 of British credit for the tenants of Ire- land ; and, lastly, their viceroy had been author- ized to declare that Ireland was henceforth to be governed according to Irish ideas. They have started back from that position; but, oh! ladies and gentlemen, give them time. They can not escape from the logic of their own acts, and they will return to that which is the path of justice and wisdom, and also of safety.

When I come to the policy of constructive social reform, I am principally conscious that I must make a reiteration of things which I have been saying up and down the country for the last three or four years. But I can promise you this: that it will always be the same story. We desire to develop our undeveloped estates in this country; to colonize our own country; to give the farmer greater freedom and greater security in the exercise of his business; to secure a home and a career for the laborer, who is now in many cases cut off from the soil. We wish to make the land less of a pleasure-ground for the rich and more of a treasure-house for the nation. Now, why can not Mr. Chamberlain drop his project of taxing corn and cheese and so forth, and come back to his old love of three acres and a cow? This question, including these great problems, can not be neglected, because, after all, the health and stamina of the nation are bound up with the 236

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