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advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different
erned, and sustained by the organized opinion of mankind,' Mr. Lloyd George, 'the next day, addressing the American troops in France said:
“President Wilson lyesterday made it clear what we are fighting
These declarations constitute a complete estoppel upon any protest from England against the recognition of Ireland's independence.
We appeal to the principles upon which the war was fought not merely because they were the terms of the implied contract on which millions offered up their lives and because to repudiate them would be to break faith with these millions; but because these principles are permanent truths' as precious and vital to mankind today as when they were first enunciated and when, during the war, they were so consciously apprehended and valued as to be considered well worth securing at the price of a nation's blood and a nation's treasure.
The bearing of these principles on the peace and progress of humanity lay then and lies now in their universality—that was and is their essence and to refuse to accept this universality is to render them valueless and to make vain all the sacrifices made to establish them. To reject Ireland's claim is to fail in the acid test.
It is surely unnecessary to urge these considerations on the head of the American nation who was the interpreter of these ideals for us all. Ireland then asks no more than this:
-a recognition that to her apply these principles to which the British Premier appealed when he said, speaking of Russia: Supposing you
re-organized Russia, what manner of government would you set up there?
“You must set up a Government which the people want; otherwise it would be an outrage on all the principles for which we fought
in the war.” and of Poland:
“Poland has chosen her own Government by universal suffrage, and it is intolerable that any country from outside should come in and impose upon her a government which she does not want." Even Britain itself cannot fail to understand, nor can she
complain should there manifest itself in other nations the spirit glorified by her own spokesman, Lloyd George, in the appeal
“When he saw an organized and insolent bully trambling on the weak, he felt he was pursuing his ideals in his endeavor to combat that oppression.'
England can point to no title to Ireland except the titles of aggression and usurpation. British authority in Ireland rests and has always rested on force alone. The admission of force as a title of right is a relic of barbarism. It was clearly seen to be such during the war. In an enlightened age the conscience of mankind revolts against it, and it ought now to be impossible.
Every appeal during the recent war had its point peculiarly in this—the rejection of the right of might. Millions were led to fight and die asserting the principle that the people of no nation might be forced by duress of arms under a sovereignty under which they did not desire to live. That principle was accepted as universally applicable, and as the necessary foundation for a lasting peace.
The responsible statesmen of all the Allied and Associated Powers explicitly and definitely proclaimed it. It is the guiding principle on which rests the will of your government and people to participate in the war in defence of liberty. It has actually been applied to bring the freedom which they sought to Poland, to Czecho-Slovakia, Jugo-Slavia, and to a number of other oppressed peoples. How can it be denied to Ireland ?
Every plea of England's statesmen that is not founded on a falsehood has its basis in the doctrine that might is right and the latter can be met and completely answered by the questions in which you, Sir, succinctly embodied the issues of the war:
"Shall the military power of any nation or group of nations be suffered to determine the fortunes of peoples over whom they have no right to rule except the right of force ?
“Shall strong nations be free to wrong weak nations and make them subject to their purpose and interest?
“Shall peoples be ruled and dominated, even in their own internal affairs, by arbitrary and irresponsible force or by their own will and choice?
“Shall there be a common standard of right and privilege for all peoples and nations or shall the strong do as they will and the weak suffer without redress?''
To repudiate the evidence of the ballot, the most civilized method of declaring the national will, and to demand that, as a condition of recognition, the bullet be more effectively used, is
to introduce into international relations an inhuman principle of immorality. Ireland's claim today, measured by all the moral and legal standards the United States has established since its infancy and measured by the moral principles upon which the greatest war in history was fought, is as strong as any additional bloodshed can make it. Further bloodshed would not more decisively prove the national will of the people of Ireland, but a refusal of recognition now would invite it.
Nor in requesting executive recognition at this time, do we ask you, Mr. President, to move far in advance of your people. Both branches of Congress have made manifest their will by recognizing that the case of Ireland was a proper one to be heard at the Peace Conference, and by expressing their sympathy with the Irish people's effort to establish a government of their own choice. We now ask you, in your capacity as spokesman and chief executive of the American people, to take executive notice of this action of Congress "as the Council associated with (you) in the final determination of (America's) international obligations.” Ireland's right to independence has been already admitted, by implication, in the decision to exempt her nationals in the United States from the application of the British-American military service convention of March, 1918. Ireland merely asks that the implied recognition be now made explicit
I have the honor, Mr. President, to avail myself of this opportunity to express the assurance of my profound consideration and esteem.
Caron as Vacéra
President of the Republic of Ireland.
October 27, 1920.