The Curse of Expediency

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The Curse of Expediency
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The Curse of Expediency The following timely article appeared the last issue of the Canadian Democrat which is published as a supplement to Butler’s journal. “A certain Mr. Brock has been lecturing recently on that sad and shameful chapter in our history, the expulsion of the Acadians in 1775, the crime and pathos of which event has been so vividly portrayed in Longfellow’s Evangeline. “It is worthy of note that the lecturer took no higher ground on which to justify one of the blackest crimes that ever disgraced civilization than that of mere expediency. The St. John press as might be naturally expected, with one noble exception, justify this iniquity on the same diabolical grounds. “They would not take the oath of allegiance to the British crown: but they forebore to take up arms against the enemies of their country – and this in time of war, was we think, stretching forbearance to its utmost limit. Moreover they had been longer in the country and possessed a prior right to the soil. “The circumstances of this horrible affair was barbarous and revolting to the last degree and have left a stain on the flag that soap and water cannot wash out. “The brutal Lawrence issued the order:” that all their lands, dwellings and cattle of all kinds be forfeited to the crown and they be transported to other lands” With consummate craft and hellish cunning he first succeeded in disarming them, which left them completely at the mercy of their ruthless despoilers. “Had they been plotters and conspirators or if they had had less faith in the ‘good intentions’ of the English toward them think you they would have surrendered their arms so easily? “After the desecration of the church by the soldiers and the promulgation of this nefarious decree by their commander from the steps of the alter they forthwith proceeded to carry it into effect with no more regard for the comfort of feelings of the unfortunate Acadians than if they had been so many hogs being carried to the shambles. “They were bustled unceremoniously on board the transports and in the tumult and confusion. “Wives were torn from their husbands and mothers, too late saw their children left on the shore extending their arms in wildest entreaties. “And to the crowning shame of our age and civilization, men can be found at this day to justify such iniquities on the ground of expediency. “O Expediency! What crimes are committed in thy name? “What a fearful and wondering thing is this loyalty. Among ourselves it is considered the greatest of all virtues and its ample folds are broad enough to cover every crime in its possessor. but with others it is a crime in our eyes, particularly when it interferes with our designs on their persons and property. “But, the climax of justice and barbarity are reached when we come to analyze those reasons which the lecturer and the papers which support him call “ expedient.” “They constituted a large majority of the people and occupied the finest buds in the Provinces which would have been closed to Anglo- Saxon settlers. “Moreover, they would have perpetuated their language, customs and laws to the exclusion of our glorious civilization and the evident discomfiture of our Protestant Ascendancy”. “This is the key to the situation and the highest moral principal that has ever governed the dealings of the strong with the weak amongst all creeds and nations. “From what a different standpoint do these very men judge Kruger and his associates and yet to the calm, the prejudiced mind there were much better reasons to justify the minor disabilities imposed on the Uitlanders on the mere ground of expediency. “Monarchy is but a modification of Despotism as is Republicanism an off-shoot of Monarchy. Only in Socialism can be found true freedom and economic equality for all. “They were in their own country whose complete independence had been recognized by Britain there were no restrictions placed on the liberty of the burghers at the close of the (illegible) except a shadow and undebted suzerainty, which a conscientious government did (illegible) in the treaty of (illegible). “And yet, contrary to all the principles of international law the Chamber in government (illegible) was a purely (illegible) for seizing and (illegible). “The Uitlanders (illegible) grievances. They were allowed to exploit the vast wealth of the Transvaal miners to their hearts’ content- they realized 300 per cent, on their investment and yet they kicked at a 2 percent royalty. They were allowed representation in the Lower House after a two years residence in the country and their taking the oath of allegiance but they wanted to run the whole show, which has superiority of numbers would have enabled them to have done, and that without even going through the formality of renouncing their former allegiance. “Then would you consider it safe to give the control of affairs to men who had done their best to wreck the republic by encouraging foreign invasion? The others stock calumnies of a subsidized and subservient press at the hands of the imperial party are hardly worth taking up as they have been so often denied by neutral parties. But it has been clearly proved that they did not forbid the use of the English language – they would not pay for having it taught it the public schools, as the British government will not for the Irish and Welsh. “They were suspicious of Catholics which was very natural in the descendants of the Huguenots but they never treated them a hundredth part as badly as the British did under the Penal laws in Ireland they only excluded them from office and nothing more. “It is true that Kruger would not permit the mining companies to reduce the wages of the workmen or induce the practical slave system in vogue in the mines of Kimberly and (illegible). “This was the very head and front of his offending against which the descendants of the martyred Irishmen and expatriated Acadian fight to day! Do they like this thing? Well, there is no accounting for tastes.”