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.

If, therefore, he could be of service in helping to avert so great a wrong Sir Edward Carson came to the conclusion that it would be shirking a call of duty were he to decline the leadership that had been offered him.  Realising to the full all that it meant for himself—­inevitable sacrifice of income, of ease, of chances of promotion, a burden of responsibility, a probability of danger—­he gave his consent; and the day he gave it—­the 21st of February, 1910—­should be marked for all time as a red-letter day in the Ulster calendar.

FOOTNOTES: 

[9] Lord Randolph Churchill, by the Right Hon. W.S.  Churchill, vol. ii, p. 62.

[10] The Times, June 16th, 1892.

[11] He expressed this conviction to the author in 1911.

CHAPTER IV

THE PARLIAMENT ACT:  CRAIGAVON

A good many months were to elapse before the Unionist rank and file in Ulster were brought into close personal touch with the new leader of the Irish Unionist Parliamentary Party.  The work to be done in 1910 lay chiefly in London, where the constitutional struggle arising out of the rejection of the “People’s Budget” was raging.  But shortly before the General Election of December a demonstration was held in the Ulster Hall in Belfast, in the hope of opening the eyes of the English and Scottish electors to the danger of Home Rule.  Mr. Walter Long was the principal speaker, and Sir Edward Carson, in supporting the resolution, ended his speech by quoting Lord Randolph Churchill’s famous jingling phrase, “Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right.”

On the 31st of January, 1911, when the elections were over, he went over from London to preside at an important meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council.  The Annual Report of the Standing Committee, in welcoming his succession to Mr. Long in the leadership, spoke of his requiring no introduction to Ulstermen; and it is true that he had occasionally spoken at meetings in Belfast, and that his recent speech in the Ulster Hall had made an excellent impression.  But he was not yet a really familiar figure even in Belfast, while outside the city he was practically unknown, except of course by repute.  That a man of his sagacity would quickly make his weight felt was never in doubt; but few at that time can have anticipated the extent to which a stranger—­with an accent proclaiming an origin south of the Boyne—­was in a short time to captivate the hearts, and become literally the idolised leader, of the Ulster democracy.

For the latter are a people who certainly do not wear their hearts on their sleeves for daws to peck at.  In the eyes of the more volatile southern Celts they seem a “dour” people.  They are naturally reserved, laconic of speech, without “gush,” far from lavish in compliment, slow to commit themselves or to give their confidence without good and proved reason.

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