Next year's visit will not be primarily for pleasure, however. America is the greater Ireland overseas—there are twice as many people of Irish parentage there as there are in the home country. Irish America wants to greet the national leader; for that is how Mr. de Valera is regarded among the exiles, who never think of him as a party personality.
At this moment demonstration on demonstration in America is massing the exiles round the anti-Partition standard. Vehement resolutions are cabled to Ireland (and to London) day after day. If Ireland remains partitioned next summer, the appearance of the Irish leader on American soil will be the signal for such a mustering of Irish strength as has not been seen since 1921. Irish America will rally in a tremendous phalanx, to bring its moral and material power to the movement for unity.
Those who stand in the way of unity must reckon with this force in America, and with a similar agitation in Australia which, as I learn, is beginning.
If, on the other hand, unity is yielded and achieved between now and Mr. de Valera's American tour, that tour will have a different character. The American Irish legions will rally not to agitate but to rejoice, and the leader's progress will be a great peace mission.