Miss Mary MacSwiney, sister of the late Terence MacSwiney, is daring the immigration officials to eject her from the country, threatening that if such an attempt is made she will go on hunger strike. There is an obvious and sensible retort for such a declaration that has evidently not occurred to the immigration authorities at New York.
It seems ridiculous that people who seek publicity or religions effect by refusing to eat should be forcibly aided by government officials. If such sensationalists must use that way of stirring up popular feeling, let them so through with it, if their moral stamina is equal to the occasion.
Perhaps the authorities fear that the sentimental reaction that most hunger strikes engender among hoi polloi will harm their party were they to let Miss MacSwiney carry out her harmless threat. Unquestionably the public watches with awe and apprehension the lengthening days of the hunger strike, lending the victims a gradually increasing support of maudlin sympathy. Since the days of Pre-war Suffragettes in England, the hunger strike has become the last resort of persons who could not attain their ends by any other method.
If it were generally recognized as the supreme publicity stunt that it is, it might be more easily handled. One can only hope that if the immigration officials find that Miss MacSwiney's presence in this country is undesirable, that she will be ejected before she has a chance to become too hungry.