This book was Ireland and Poland. The United Kingdom is composed of four distinct nationalities. Each of these has retained its own distinct character, its own national history, its own patriotism and self-respect. Their affairs, great and small, general or local, are administered by one Parliament in which each is fully represented. A large majority of the Irish people have, however, asked that in addition to some representation in the united Parliament they shall be granted a local Parliament for the management of their own internal affairs. The fact that this demand, which has an important imperial as well as local bearing, has not yet been complied with has constantly been used by the enemies of the Entente Powers to represent as false and hypocritical the claims of those Powers to be regarded as the champions of the rights of small nationalities; and the case of Ireland has been compared with that of Prussian Poland, as though the peoples of these two countries were suffering the same kind of oppression, the same injustice, the same denial of the right of every man to live and prosper in his own land on equal terms with his fellow-citizens in every other part of the realm. The best answer to this charge is to tell plainly, without contention or exaggeration, what the united Parliament has done for Ireland since the beginning of the period of reform nearly fifty years ago.
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