^ET. 32] DEVOY'S POLICY 167
and to the civilisation of the present century. It is the direct cause of the expatriation of millions of the Irish race, and of the miserable condition of the Irish peasantry. That as the land of Ireland belongs to the people of Ireland, the abolition of the foreign landlord system and the substitution of one by which the tiller of the soil will be fixed permanently upon it, and holding directly of the State, is the only true solution of the Irish land question, which an Irish Republic can alone effect.'
A month later Devoy and Davitt attended another public meeting in New York, when the former advocated the policy of the new departure in a vigorous speech. He said: ' I claim that by the adoption, of a proper public policy ^tnd a vigorous propaganda the Nationalists can sweep away the men who misrepresent us [the followers of Butt chiefly] and obtain control of the public voice of the country. Every public body in the country, from the little boards of poor-law guardians and land commissioners to the city corporations and members of Parliament, should be controlled by the National [the Fenian] party, and until it is able to control them it will be looked upon by foreigners as a powerless and insignificant faction. . . . Now I believe in Irish independence, but I don't believe it would be worth while to free Ireland if that foreign landlord system were left standing. I am in favour of sweeping away every vestige of the English connection, and this accursed landlord system above all and before all. But while I think it is right to proclaim, this, and that the national party should proclaim that nothing less than this would satisfy it, I know it is a solution that cannot be reached in a day, and therefore I think we should in the meantime accept all measures tending to the