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-------------AN INTERVIEW…


AN INTERVIEW WITH MR. DAVITT. ) Mr. Davitt was recently waited upon at the Imperial Hotel, Dublin, by a representative of the Press Associa- tion. The warrant for Mr. Davitt's committal to Kil. mainham having been issued, he was in momentary ex- pectation of being remitted to that prison for refusing to give bail. To be of good behaviour to Irish land- lordism," remarked Mr. Davitt, is an impossible thing while that system is allowed to abstract £ ir>,000,00i) annually from this country, and while thousands who contribute to this immoral class-tax are doomed to star- vation in consequence of such exaction. A system that only collects its rents by the bayonets of the soldiery, or cannot defend itself in the political arena except by the imprisonment of its opponents, is fast marching to its doom. In the meantime the Land League has bound landlordism to be of good behaviour towards its former victims, and the spirit of that organisation together with the rapid spread of advanced land reform principles in Great Britain, as in Ireland, will soon com- plete the overthrow of land monopoly in these countries. I expect to see in a few years' time-that i8, after the enfranchisement of the industrial classes—the land recog- nised as national property, the farmer, with State security, enjoying the right to occupy his holding with- out fear of disturbance or interference with his capital in the same, and the unearned increment of the national property appropriated to the benefit of the whole com- munity. No other settlement of the land question will meet the exigencies of impending social upheavals con- sequent upon the spread of popular education, and it should be the duty of present statesmanship to look ahead so an to stem the tide of advancing social revolu- tion by just concessions, rather than resort to the old methods of exa-perating and futile repression. The land has now become a social question, and is no longer an affair between tenant and landlord, but a problem that must be solved by Governments in the interests of the non-agricultura! as well as the agricultural classes. The farmers are now almost within reach of tenant right, and the next step is to secure to the community the unearned increment of the land hitherto confiscated by landlordi-m, but which is as much the property of the community— whose wants and industrial'pursuits alone create it—as are the improvements, which the labour and capital of the farmer create in his holding. Landlordism is the drone in the social hive, and out it must go by hook or by crook." The mixing up of the social with the national question," continued Mr. Davitt, is apt to confuse the English mind for a time as to how Irish dis- content is to be allayed. But an advance towards both is inevitable if leaders and people alike persevere. It would, in my opinion, be the better policy to concentrate all our energies upon the social question, as on no other issue could we possibly command such unanimity among our own people or look for such auxiliary aid from the industrial masses of Great Britain. Local self-govern- ment could be won much more easily through the medium of the land question than on the linei of an independent issue, as is evidenced by the immense progress that has been made in that direction in eonsequince of the La id League movement. The English mind, however, is gradually awakening to the necessary grasp of the Irish problem, and its solution is only a question of time. Things can never revert to the status quo ante Land League. The castle has come to the rescue of Irish landlordism, and both must be fought on the one issue- namely, the peace of Ireland. These two factors of dis- content abolished, it will require very little sagacity on the part of English statesmanship to see the. necessity of doing for Ireland what has contented Canada, and what would enable Irishmen to devote to the national good of our country those energies and the time which are now given to political agitation." "Englishmen," continued Mr. Davitt, may probably wake up before long to the disagreeable knowledge that they are allowing their blasted British Constitution to be destroyed, in vain attempts to bolster up a system in Ireland that has never earned for the power that sustained it against the peace and welfare of the country anything but the hatred and disaffection of our people..As to Parliamentary agitation in Ireland, while my own line of action has been entirely extra-Parliamentary, and will continue so after my release, there is no overlooking the fact that the work of the Parliamentary party is every day be- coming of greater importance particularly to the solu- tion of the self-government question. "Six months hence," observed Mr. Davitt, at the conclusion of the in- terview, 11 things will look brighter and less confused, and the work of carrying forward the banner of The Land for the People,' not only in Ireland but in Great Britain also, will be an easier tusk than it has been np to the pre-ent. I can also predict that the asinine political stupidity, both of Irish landlordism and Dublin Castle, will not improve in the meantime, nor shall I be sur- prised if numbers of other such bad behaviour people as Messrs. Healv. Quinn, and myself will I e sought in that period to be conciliated by Kings Edward, Charlea, James, and Kilmainham."


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-----'-_._'-THE DOCHLE CRIME…


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