To the Editor of the irish Canadian.
DEAR SIR – You have frequently and justly complained, [...]that places of honor and trust have not been apportioned to Catholics according to our numbers and importance in this province; [...] The prime factors which constitute the requirements to enable a person to fill a public responsible position are honesty, integrity and mental culture. It is a fact that one who is qualified for a public office has a better chance of election than one that is incompetent. So far as honesty and integrity go, the young Irish Canadian stands as high as the descendant of any other nationality; and perhaps in cities our young men may stand as high as others in mental culture; but in rural districts, if the difference in training is to be taken as an index, I venture to predict that when the time for preferment comes our young Irish Canadian will be left in the back ground, and simply because he has not qualified himself to come to the front.

[...]Now, suppose a public meeting is called to discuss some subject of some general importance, municipal or legislative, which shall be conducted by the young Scotch and Irish Canadians, it is easy to guess who will be the speakers and leaders, and who will be the listeners and mute followers in the movement. This state of affairs is the more to be regretted, since it is a fact that our Irish Canadians are naturally gifted with intellects far above their neighbours of other nationalities, and need only judicious training to place them at the top of the ladder. But who ever attained mental culture chance, or by strolling around street corners, or standing in a bar-room?

[...]The mental superiority of the Celtic race is attested by the history of every nation on the face of the earth to-day, and there is no reasonable excuse for our people in Canada to allow themselves to be dragged along the rear ranks of society in the near future. I have waited long, in hope that some one better qualified would speak out on this subject, which is now submitted, not in a spirit of criticism, but remedy to some extent – even this winter – and lay the foundation for mental training which shall place us in the position which is justly ours. Yours respectfully,

M. McQuaide.

Tuckersmith, 27th January , 1880.

Source: M. McQuaide, "What Shall Be Our Future?," Irish Canadian, February 11, 1880.

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