Ulster's Stand For Union eBook

Ronald McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Ulster's Stand For Union.
under Carson’s leadership for the next nine years.  To be left under the government of the Imperial Parliament was the alternative to be preferred, and was asserted to be an inalienable right; but, if all their efforts to that end should be defeated, then “a government by ourselves” was the only change that could be tolerated.  Rather than submit to the jurisdiction of a Nationalist legislature and administration, they would themselves set up a Government “in those districts of which they had control.”  It was because, when the first of these alternatives had to be sorrowfully abandoned, the second was offered in the Government of Ireland Act of 1920 that Ulster did not actively oppose the passing of that statute.


[12] Annual Register, 1911, p. 175.



No time was lost in giving practical shape to the policy outlined at Craigavon, and in taking steps to give effect to it.  On the 25th of September a meeting of four hundred delegates representing the Ulster Unionist Council, the County Grand Orange Lodges, and the Unionist Clubs, was held in Belfast, and, after lengthy discussion in private, when the only differences of opinion were as to the most effective methods of proceeding, two resolutions were unanimously adopted and published.  It is noteworthy that, at this early stage in the movement, out of nearly four hundred popularly elected delegates, numbers of whom were men holding responsible positions or engaged in commercial business, not one raised an objection to the policy itself, although its grave possibilities were thoroughly appreciated by all present.  Both Lord Londonderry, who presided, and Sir Edward Carson left no room for doubt in that respect; the developments they might be called upon to face were thoroughly searched and explained, and the fullest opportunity to draw back was offered to any present who might shrink from going on.

The first Resolution registered a “call upon our leaders to take any steps they may consider necessary to resist the establishment of Home Rule in Ireland, solemnly pledging ourselves that under no conditions shall we acknowledge any such Government”; and it gave an assurance that those whom the delegates represented would give the leaders “their unwavering support in any danger they may be called upon to face.”  The second decided that “the time has now come when we consider it our imperative duty to make arrangements for the provisional government of Ulster,” and for that purpose it went on to appoint a Commission of five leading local men, namely, Captain James Craig, M.P., Colonel Sharman Crawford, M.P., the Right Hon. Thomas Sinclair, Colonel R.H.  Wallace, C.B., and Mr. Edward Sclater, Secretary of the Unionist Clubs, whose duties were (a) “to keep Sir Edward Carson in constant and close touch with the feeling

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