Ulster's Stand For Union eBook

Ronald McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 329 pages of information about Ulster's Stand For Union.
life or limb in the service of Ulster.  His proposal that a guarantee fund of a million sterling should be started, met with a ready response from the Council, and from the wealthier classes in and about Belfast.  The form of “Indemnity Guarantee” provided for the payment to those entitled to benefit under it of sums not less than they would have been entitled to under the Fatal Accidents Act, the Employers’ Liability Act, and the Workman’s Compensation Act, as the circumstances of the case might be.  The list was headed by Sir Edward Carson, Lord Londonderry, Captain Craig, Sir John Lonsdale, Sir George Clark, and Lord Dunleath, with a subscription of L10,000 each, and their example was followed by Mr. Kerr Smiley, M.P., Mr. R.M.  Liddell, Mr. George Preston, Mr. Henry Musgrave, Mr. C.E.  Allen, and Mr. Frank Workman, who entered their names severally for the same amount.  A quarter of a million sterling was guaranteed in the room before the Council separated; by the end of a week it had grown to L387,000; and before the 1st of January, 1914, the total amount of the Indemnity Guarantee Fund was L1,043,816.

It gave Carson and the other leaders the greatest possible satisfaction that the response to this appeal was so prompt and adequate.  Not only was their anxiety relieved in regard to their responsibility to loyal followers of the rank and file who might become “casualties” in the movement, but they had been given a striking proof that the business community of Belfast did not consider its pocket more sacred than its principles.  Moreover, if there had been doubt on that score in anyone’s mind, it was set at rest by a memorable meeting for business men only held in Belfast on the 3rd of November.  Between three and four thousand leaders of industry and commerce, the majority of whom had never hitherto taken any active share in political affairs, presided over by Mr. G.H.  Ewart, President of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce, gave an enthusiastic reception to Carson, who told them that he had come more to consult them as to the commercial aspects of the great political controversy than to impress his own views on the gathering.  It was said that the men in the hall represented a capital of not less than L145,000,000 sterling,[54] and there can be no doubt that, even if that were an exaggerated estimate, they were not of a class to whom revolution, rebellion, or political upheaval could offer an attractive prospect.  Nevertheless, the meeting passed with complete unanimity a resolution expressing confidence in Carson and approval of everything he had done, including the formation of the Ulster Volunteer Force, and declaring that they would refuse to pay “all taxes which they could control” to an Irish Parliament in Dublin.  This meeting was very satisfactory, for it proved that the “captains of industry” were entirely in accord with the working classes, whose support of the movement had never been in doubt.  It showed that Ulster was solid behind Carson; and the unanimity was emphasised rather than disturbed by a little handful of cranks, calling themselves “Protestant Home Rulers,” who met on the 24th of October at the village of Ballymoney “to protest against the lawless policy of Carsonism.”  The principal stickler for propriety of conduct in public life on this occasion was Sir Roger Casement.

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Ulster's Stand For Union from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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