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.

Such experiences, as they harden into traditions, sink deep into the consciousness of an Army and breed sentiments that are not easily eradicated.  Soldiers ought, of course, to have no politics; but when it appeared that they might be called upon to open fire on those whom they had always counted “on our side,” in order to subject them forcibly to men who hated the sight of a British flag and were always ready to spit upon it, human nature asserted itself.  And the incident taught the Government something as to the difficulty they would have in enforcing the Home Rule Bill in Ulster.

FOOTNOTES: 

[64] See White Paper (Cd. 7329), No.  II.

[65] See White Paper (Cd. 7329), No.  VI.

[66] See White Paper (Cd. 7329), No.  VII.

[67] White Paper (Cd. 7329), Part II, No.  II.

[68] White Paper (Cd. 7329), Part III.

[69] See Parliamentary Debates, vol. lx, p. 73.

[70] Ibid., p. 426.

[71] Cd. 7329, No.  XVII.

[72] Ibid., Nos.  XVIII, XX.

[73] Ibid., Nos.  XXII, XXIII.

[74] See Parliamentary Debates, vol. lx, p. 246.

[75] Ibid., p. 400.

[76] White Paper (Cd. 7329), No.  XX.

[77] The Nineteenth Century and After, January 1921, art.  “The Army and Ireland,” by Lieut.-Colonel John Ward, C.B., C.M.G., M.P.

[78] Cd. 7318.

[79] Cd. 7329.

[80] Parliamentary Debate, vol. lxi, p. 765.

[81] White Paper (Cd. 7329), No.  XVII.  See ante, p. 180.

[82] White Paper (Cd. 7329), No.  I.

[83] Ibid., No.  XXVII.

CHAPTER XVII

ARMING THE U.V.F.

If the “evil-disposed persons” who so excited the fancy of Colonel Seely were supposed to be Ulster Loyalists, the whole story was an absurdity that did no credit to the Government’s Intelligence in Ireland; and if there ever was any “information,” such as the War Office alleged, it must have come from a source totally ignorant of Ulster psychology.  Raids on Government stores were never part of the Ulster programme.  The excitement of the Curragh Incident passed off without causing any sort of disturbance, and, as we have seen, the troops who were sent North received everywhere in Ulster a loyal welcome.  This was a fine tribute to the discipline and restraint of the people, and was a further proof of their confidence in their leaders.

Those leaders, it happened, were at that very moment taking measures to place arms in the hands of the U.V.F. without robbing Government depots or any one else.  That method was left to their opponents in Ireland at a later date, who adopted it on an extensive scale accompanied by systematic terrorism.  The Ulster plan was quite different.  All the arms they obtained were paid for, and their only crime was that they successfully hoodwinked Mr. Asquith’s colleagues and agents.

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