« EelmineJätka »
would be found, yet we feel profoundly confident that here in this body the wisdom of the fathers will be vindicated by such a display of patriotism, such an exercise of vigilance, as will insure to this people the rights to which they were born, the rights which some of us who came here from other lands have acquired through the operation of our constitutional system; and by maintaining this constitution intact, you Senators will become the effective instruments ordained by Providence to keep trimmed and shining before the eyes of all men the lamp which will guide their footsteps, to freedom, to justice, and to unending prosperity.
Judge COHALAN. Gentlemen of the committee, we thank you on behalf of those who have come here, and on behalf of those who have had the opportunity of addressing you.
BRIEF OF PROTEST.
(The brief of protest heretofore referred to, filed in opposition to the arguments submitted at the morning session, is as follows:) The FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE,
Senate of the United States. GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE: We beg to present a formal protest to the attempt of representatives of a faction in Ireland, known as the Sinn Fein party, or of kindred organizations favoring this movement in the United States, to have the so-called Irish question thrust into the discussion in the Senate of the peace treaty and the league of nations.
In presenting our brief of protest we do so as American citizens of Irish birth, and not as agents of a foreign government, nor as local political factionists with an ax to grind. We are just plain, hard-working American citizens, engaged in various commercial and professional callings, prompted by a legitimate sentiment for the land of our birth and by a whole-hearted devotion to the land of our adoption.
We are not here, sirs, to argue either for or against the peace treaty and the league of nations, but we are here through your gracious courtesy to declare ourselves opposed to the thrusting of a foreign political issue into the discussion of that great subject.
Our opposition, gentlemen, is based on the following arguments:
I. THE ARGUMENT OF RIGHT.
The league of nations is a proposal to unite the forces of the allies who fought during the late war to preserve the future peace of the world. This faction in Ireland has no right to be considered in the discussion, for they failed to support the allies in that war and failed to do their part in the struggle. We present two simple statements in our argument:
A. They failed to support by sentiment. Their propaganda during the war period was hurtful to the allied cause.
B. They failed to support by deed. They gave and comfort to the foe by creating strife and turmoil at home. The British Government, in order to quiet this faction could not and did not enforce conscription in Ireland. Granted they had a real cause to present at the bar of American judgment, they have no more right to be heard at this time, when they failed to support the allied cause, than the foe has to be heard at this juncture.
II. THE ARGUMENT OF FACT.
It is stated by this element that Ireland has not self-government and is therefore entitled to be heard. We are prepared to testify by actual experience that Ireland has self-government on the following basis :
A. Ireland has the franchise-franchise in local as well as national government.
B. Ireland has representative government. It has representatives of the people, by the people, and for the people.
C. Laws are made by the Parliament in the same manner as for England, Scotland, or Wales—the procedure is the same in each case.
It is further stated by this element that Ireland is suppressed by Britain. We reply:
First. It is not suppressed religiously. Freedom of worship is granted to all, and is enjoyed by all.
Second. It is not suppressed industrially. Ireland possesses some of the largest plants in various industries to be found in the world, for example, shipbuilding, linen, tobacco, rope, collar and shirt, distilling, etc. The lace industry of Ireland is proverbial. Ireland is enjoying prosperity now to a vast degree.
III. THE ARGUMENT OF HISTORY.
The claim is made that Ireland was and should be a nation. This claim is false and the assumption is without historical grounds. Ireland neither during the Druidic nor the Christian periods has been one · whole, undivided nation. The four provinces represent the smallest areas of nationhood. Historically, Ireland has had many kings and rulers at the one time, but never one king or supreme chief. Only under British rule has Ireland ever approached unity in these historic divisions. The present political divisions in Ireland are religious and not racial.
IV. THE ARGUMENT OF PRINCIPLE.
We are opposed, gentlemen, to the Irish question being thrust into American politics for the following reasons :
A. It raises a racial question. American citizenship is built not on foreign nationality but by adoption of the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America. The United States exists not for the foreignizing of America, but Americanizing the foreigner who seeks to live in our land. Whatever arouses racial feeling in America is dangerous to our national consciousness. We are opposed to hyphenated Americanism.
B. It raises a religious question. This is foreign to the principles of American national life. The propaganda of this element is such as to arouse sectarian animosity, denominational bigotry, and injects religious controversy into American politics. We are opposed to the religious hyphenate as well as the racial, whether it be Jewish, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Christian Science, or otherwise. The Irish question at home is a matter largely of re. ligious association, and this is its tendency abroad.
In conclusion, sirs, we feel tht the Irish question should not have official recognition at this time, when in the interests of the democracy of the world there should be fostered a friendly feeling between the two great Englishspeaking democracies of the United States of America and the British Empire.
We desire to thank you in behalf of those who think and feel as we do on this question, not only of Irish birth, but also as direct American citizens, as well as an appreciation of ourselves personally for your courteous treatment and patient hearing. With absolute confidence we leave the matter in your care.
DAVID D. IRVINE,
(The following documents, numbered from 1 to 25, are printed as a part of the hearing by direction of the committee:)
STATEMENT OF REV. JAMES GRATTAN MYTHEN, ASSISTANT MINISTER CHRIST
CHURCH, NORFOLK, VA., AS MADE TO THE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE SATURDAY, AUGUST 30, 1919.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, your committee has served notice that only American citizens shall appear before you in relation to the matters which you are discussing, and it is, therefore, my privilege to appeal to you primarily and, in fact, solely as an American citizen on the question to which you have given a hearing to-day, namely, the freedom of the Irish people in their motherland.
As you note, I am a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and as a follower of the Nazarene my training has taught me to be a pacifist. I could in no other way in conscience follow the Prince of Peace, however, when in holy week the President of the United States in an appeal made to the American people through his address to the Houses of Congress assembled in joint session, promulgated what to me seemed the most forceful Christian utterance since the days of Apostolic inspiration, whatever difficulties had previously been made manifest from the Christian ethical standpoint in regard to war were swept away. As a man, as an American, then Mr. Wilson convinced me as a Christian, it was my absolute and bounden duty to support the great crusade of which he seemed to be the modern Peter the Hermit.
On Easter Day I preached a sermon in favor of the war, and when the young men of my parish enlisted I felt that I, being unattached, economically responsible for no one, that it was unbecoming of me to be content merely to stand in the pulpit and urge other men to give their lives for the principles which I considered worthy of life giving. And so, with countless numbers of young men of the Nation I enlisted voluntarily, although I was exempt from the draft on account of my clerical profession, and also since I was beyond the draft age. I was content to serve in the ranks in the humblest capacity, feeling that the menial tasks which fell to my lot were noble because even in their small way they were aiding in achieving the high purport of the sacred mission to which our country had committed itself.
It was not at Belgium appealed to me so tremendously; I could sympathize with Belgium because I am of Irish extraction; but it was the statements of our President that the crusade which he had inaugurated meant enfranchisement of the world; that all peoples everywhere were to determine for themselves the sovereignty under which they might desire to live. When he specifically told us that it was not against the German people, but against the imperial autocracy of Germany that we were to fight, I understood him as a clear, logical and consequential thinker, and I knew that he did not mean alone the new-born imperialism of Germany, but also the age-long imperialisms of which no student of history could possibly be ignorant, especially the author of "The New Freedom."
From the textbooks of Mr. Wilson I had learned much, and so I gladly followed him in the war in which we were to exemplify by the force of militant argument the principles which he had enunciated.
During my career in the Navy I was charged with helping along the work of morale. I addressed countless numbers of enlisted men; I wish to tell you that on one occasion I preached in St. Johns' Church, Hampton, Va., to a congregation composed almost entirely of men in uniform. I had to say in defense of the President, because he was then being attacked, that he did mean all that he had said, and that imperialism everywhere was to go. I distinctly mentioned Ireland, India, and Egypt in my sermon. A member of the President's wartime Cabinet was an auditor, and he sent for me I mean Dr. Garfield, the Fuel Administrator and he told me that I had echoed the thoughts of the President. I was glad to hear him say that because in my sermon on that day I had said that if the thing that I was preaching were not true, I would gladly be taken out and put up against a wall and shot, because the uniform I was wearing under my priestly vestments would be a disgrace to the world.
Now, gentlemen of this committee, if a treaty of peace, so-called, is ratified by you as the coordinate treaty-making power, and the so-called league of nations receives your sanction, I shall feel, first of all, as an American citizen, secondly as a minister of the gospel, and, thirdly, as an enlisted man in the Navy, that I have been betrayed not only by the executive power who led us to a victorious war and brought us to defeat in peace, but also betrayed by your honorable committee.
However, I do not fear such results. The principles enunciated in the fourteen points are more than Mr. Wilson's theories. He wrote them first in black and white and we read them, but since that time they have been written in red by my comrades, your sons, and your brothers in the fields of France, and though Mr. Wilson may wish to erase the things he wrote, he can not erase
the indorsement of his principles which has been written in blood by the men who fell in Flanders and France.
The Irish issue might well be called the acid test of our international honesty. It is an acid which, if properly neutralized will work well for the common weal, but if left in sullen despair will, without doubt, ally itself with every agency which makes for discontent and through which it may find a voice. Is it the will of this honorable committee to throw the twenty millions of our people into the already too large accumulation in the discard of discontent?
It is not necessary for me to attempt to convince your honorable body that there is no question of religion in the Irish situation as it is. The roster of Irish Protestants who might well be called the Protestant saints of Catholic Ireland answers that question for me; Grattan, Wolfe, Tono, Lord Edward Fizgerald, John Mitchel-grandfather of the late Mayor of New York CityFrancis McKinley, hanged and quartered uncle of the late President of the United States; Robert Emmet, and Parnell. These Protestant leaders of Catholic Ireland need no apologists.
There is a religious question, however, which is international in scope when, for instance, from the interior of India, mercenary Gurkhas are imported to police Ireland. Those Gurkhas made themselves known in France when, stripped to nothing but a gee-string, with oiled bodies, with a knife in either hand and another in their mouths, disdaining the use of modern weapons, they leaped like tigers at the foe. This, gentlemen, is England's contribution from India to Ireland. And from Ireland the equally mercenary Sir Michael O'Dwyer, a man whom all Irishmen repudiate, was sent to rule over the Punjab, and whose rule has been exemplified in these last few months by suppressing particular demonstrations of unarmed Indians by the use of machine guns and bombs from the airplanes, killing thereby in cold blood hundreds of innocent men, women and children.
These are the ways of English imperialism which maufacture religious animosities where none exist in reality. Thus, gentlemen, does England attempt to keep her belligerent subjects from realizing the unity of purpose which they should have in common in the destruction of her perfidious empire. She tries to make the Irish hate the Indians and make the Indians hate the Irish. So has she done in Ireland. She has created a fictitious animosity between Protestant and Catholic which exists only as political propaganda. She claims through Sir Edward Carson that the Protestant religion requires for its preservation the maintenance of British rule in Ireland. As a Protestant, sir, and a clergyman of the Protestant religion, I resent the implication that Protestantism requires the sustenance of British imperialism to maintain itself in Ireland or elsewhere. Were I convinced that this were a fact, that only through the power of British arms could my religion maintain itself in Ireland, then I would repudiate my religion at once. So, it is quite true that in this country we have heard the British propaganda that there is a religious difficulty in Ireland.
I want to say to you, sir, and gentlemen, that as a Protestant Irishman, whose family to-day in Ireland are representatives of the Protestant religion, that we would all gladly have Ireland free under any religious leadership rather than remain, as we are, the only white race still in slavery.
STATEMENT BY FORMER CONGRESSMAN JOSEPH F. O'CONNELL, REPRESENTING A
DELEGATION OF THE BENCH AND BAR OF MASSACHUSETTS BEFORE THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS.
August 30, 1919. MR. CHAIRMAN: I have been authorized on behalf of the delegation of 25 lawyers sent here to-day by the bench and bar of Massachusetts to register our protest against the ratification of the peace treaty now under consideration in its present form, and to say to you that the proposed league of nations is in our judgment un-American, illegal, and contrary to the ideals of the American Republic.
It was my great honor and distinction to sit as a member of Congress for four years in the great Chamber at the other end of the Capitol, and every
time that I have viewed it in person or print my mind has traveled back to its beginning and history.
Sometimes, Senators, I am inclined to believe we forget the history of this very building in which you will assemble in deliberation on this treaty. Can you forget that in 1814 British troops marched from Annapolis on their errand of destruction and captured Washington, at that time an unfortified city! I will not detain you to narrate all the violations of so-called civilized warfare that were committed by the British officers and troops in that campaign, but I do make bold to recall to your attention the infamous conduct and unforgetable incident committed by the British troops in destroying the seat of our Government, because it carries with it the evil omen of what it will do again if it ever secures the chance.
The story of the exploit of Admiral Cockburn should be burned into the memory of this committee and every member of the Senate. Let me refresh your minds on a few of the details. After capturing the city, Cockburn marched with his soldiers into the Capitol building and, assembling them in the House Chamber, addressed them as follows, as we are told by English and American historians:
“We have met to-day in the building dedicated to the liberties of the American people—all in favor of burning this building to the ground, will say · Aye!."
The vote was unanimous, and the orders were given “ Burn it.” And the original home of our Government, the emblem of our liberty and the original house of our Government in this city was destroyed by the ruthless devastating torch of the British soldier,
Let me warn you who are inclined to trust England that the same spirit of contempt for the American Republic still persists in the same quarters that inspired the orders to destroy our Capitol. If England ever secures the power of dominating American ideals, such as is contemplated in the proposed league of nations, is there any of you who can guarantee to the American people that England would again not do the same, if not worse, than Cockburn did in 1814?
This incident of American history is not recalled to you in any spirit of hatred against England, but only from the prudence of my American citizenship that can not still the fear that we will be taking a grave chance in entering into this proposed entangling alliance with monarchical powers, and as a lawyer representing a group of practicing lawyers I counsel and advise against taking any chances with our historical and traditional enemy. A small leak can lead to the destruction of the mightiest dam and your care should be to prevent anything that might lead to a leak of American and republican principles for if the dam that has been built to protect the American people and the principles of liberty ever gives way the best minds of the world must agree that no man can foretell the awful destruction that will follow.
The President may cling to his ideals, but as an American lawyer and on behalf of this delegation of lawyers from New England we deliberately assert that the President has no right to entertain in his official capacity ideals that interfere or modify or control in the slightest degree the accepted and established ideals of American liberty as laid down in our Declaration of Independence and National Constitution. We in this delegation represent the traditions and teachings of James Otis, Samuel and John Adams, and Daniel Webster, and we fervidly and earnestly appeal to you, most of whom are lawyers, in their name not to forget the basic reasons that brought about the establishment of the United States of America as a Republic separate and distinct from all other races and governments.
We urge that if the principles of a republican form of government were sufficient to justify the establishment of the American Republic in 1776 they are just as sound in 1919 to justify the establishment of an Irish republic in Ireland. This Republic was established on the doctrine of majority rule and all authorities agree that over 80 per cent of the Irish people have followed the course of the American Republic and have established for themselves an Irish republic, and hence we respectfully urge, that, having expressed to the Irish people the sympathy of the American people on the efforts of the Irish people to secure independence by a vote of 60 to 1, the consistent and proper thing to do now is to officially recognize Ireland as a republic. You have heard to-day from the lips of eminent Americans who have been in Ireland enough to justify you in acting immediately and stating to the world that you are satisfied that the Irish people have legally established themselves as a republic.