clear—namely, that the “will of the
people” constitutionally expressed in parliamentary
elections has never declared itself in favour of granting
Home Rule to Ireland, lies, first, in the justification
it afforded to the preparations for active resistance
to a measure so enacted; and, secondly, in the influence
it had in procuring for Ulster not merely the sympathy
but the open support of the whole Unionist Party in
Great Britain. Lord Londonderry, one of Ulster’s
most trusted leaders, who afterwards gave the whole
weight of his support to the policy of forcible resistance,
admitted in the House of Lords in 1911, in the debates
on the Parliament Bill, that the verdict of the country,
if appealed to, would have to be accepted. The
leader of the Unionist Party, Mr. Bonar Law, made it
clear in February 1914, as he had more than once stated
before, that the support he and his party were pledging
themselves to give to Ulster in the struggle then
approaching a climax, was entirely due to the fact
that the electorate had never sanctioned the policy
of the Government against which Ulster’s resistance
was threatened. The chance of success in that
resistance “depended,” he said, “upon
the sympathy of the British people, and an election
would undoubtedly make a great difference in that
respect”; he denied that Mr. Asquith had a “right
to pass any form of Home Rule without a mandate from
the people of this country, which he has never received”;
and he categorically announced that “if you get
the decision of the people we shall obey it.”
And if, as then appeared likely, the unconstitutional
conduct of the Government should lead to bloodshed
in Ireland, the responsibility, said Mr. Bonar Law,
would be theirs, “because you preferred to face
civil war rather than face the people."
 Morley’s Life of Gladstone, in, 492.
 Ibid., 493.
 Ibid., 505.
 Annual Register, 1910, p. 240.
 See Letters to Isabel, by Lord Shaw of
Dunfermline, p. 130.
 Parliamentary Debates (5th Series), vol.
I viii, pp. 279-84.
ORGANISATION AND LEADERSHIP
From the day when Gladstone first made Home Rule for
Ireland the leading issue in British politics, the
Loyalists of Ulster—who, as already explained,
included practically all the Protestant population
of the Province both Conservative and Liberal, besides
a small number of Catholics who had no separatist
sympathies—set to work to organise themselves
for effective opposition to the new policy. In
the hour of their dismay over Gladstone’s surrender
Lord Randolph Churchill, hurrying from London to encourage
and inspirit them, told them in the Ulster Hall on
the 22nd of February, 1886, that “the Loyalists
in Ulster should wait and watch—organise
and prepare." They followed his advice. Propaganda
among themselves was indeed unnecessary, for no one
required conversion except those who were known to
be inconvertible. The chief work to be done was
to send speakers to British constituencies; and in
the decade from 1885 to 1895 Ulster speakers, many
of whom were ministers of the different Protestant
Churches, were in request on English and Scottish