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Ronald McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 329 pages of information about Ulster's Stand For Union.

The undoubted importance which this visit of Mr. Churchill to Belfast and its attendant circumstances had in the development of the Ulster Movement is the justification for treating it in what may appear to be disproportionate detail.  From it dates the first clear realisation even by hostile critics in England, and probably by Ministers themselves, that the policy of Ulster as laid down at Craigavon could not be dismissed with a sneer, although it is true that there were many Home Rulers who never openly abandoned the pretence that it could.  Not less important was the effect in Ulster itself.  The Unionist Council had proved itself in earnest; it could, and was prepared to, do more than organise imposing political demonstrations; and so the rank and file gained confidence in leaders who could act as well as make speeches, and who had shown themselves in an emergency to be in thorough accord with popular sentiment; the belief grew that the men who met in the Old Town Hall would know how to handle any crisis that might arise, would not timidly shrink from acting as occasion might require, and were quite able to hold their own with the Government in tactical manoeuvres.  This confidence improved discipline.  The Lodges and the Clubs and the general body of shipyard and other workers had less temptation to take matters into their own hands; they were content to wait for instructions from headquarters now that they could trust their leaders to give the necessary instructions at the proper time.

The net result, therefore, of an expedition which was designed to expose the hollowness and the weakness of the Ulster case was to augment the prestige of the Ulster leaders and the self-confidence of the Ulster people, and to make both leaders and followers understand better than before the strength of the position in which they were entrenched.

FOOTNOTES: 

[14] See ante, p. 38.

[15] The Times, January 18th, 1912.

[16] The Times, January 26th, 1912.

[17] The Standard, January 18th, 1912.

[18] The Saturday Review, January 27th, 1912.

[19] The Times, January 20th, 1912.

[20] See Interview with Mr. F.W.  Warden in The Standard, February 8th, 1912.

[21] See Dublin Correspondent’s telegram in The Times, January 29th, 1912.

CHAPTER VII

“WHAT ANSWER FROM THE NORTH?”

Public curiosity as to the proposals that the coming Home Rule Bill might contain was not set at rest by Mr. Churchill’s oration in Belfast.  The constitution-mongers were hard at work with suggestions.  Attempts were made to conciliate hesitating opinion by representing Irish Home Rule as a step in the direction of a general federal system for the United Kingdom, and by tracing an analogy with the constitutions already

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