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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 Ulster people had, therefore, much to encourage them at a time when they were preparing the most significant forward step in the movement, and the most solemn pronouncement of their unfaltering resolution never to submit to the Dublin Parliament—­the signing of the Ulster Covenant.  Their policy of resistance, first propounded at Craigavon, reiterated at Balmoral, endorsed by British sympathisers at Blenheim, and specifically defended in Parliament both by Unionist leaders like Mr. Bonar Law and Mr. Long and by prominent members of the Unionist rank and file like Lord Hugh Cecil, had won the approval and support of great popular constituencies in Lancashire and in Scotland, and had alienated no section of Unionist opinion or of the Unionist Press.  It was in no merely satirical spirit that Carson wrote in August that he was grateful to Mr. Churchill “for having twice within a few weeks done something to focus public opinion on the stern realities of the situation in Ulster."[27] For that was the actual result of the “turgid homily.”  It proved of real service to the Ulster cause by bringing to light the complete solidarity of Unionist opinion in its support.  That meant, in the light of the electoral returns, that certainly more than half the nation sympathised with the measures that were being taken in Ulster, and that Ulster could well afford to smile at the mockery which English Home Rulers deemed a sufficient weapon to demolish the “wooden guns” and the “military play-acting of King Carson’s Army.”

FOOTNOTES: 

[27] See The Times, August 19th, 1912.

CHAPTER IX

THE EVE OF THE COVENANT

There was one Liberal statesman, formerly the favourite lieutenant of Gladstone and the closest political ally of Asquith, who was under no illusion as to the character of the men with whom Asquith was now provoking a conflict.  Speaking in Edinburgh on the 1st of November, 1911, that is, shortly after the Craigavon meeting, Lord Rosebery told his Scottish audience that “he loved Highlanders and he loved Lowlanders, but when he came to the branch of their race which had been grafted on to the Ulster stem he took off his hat with reverence and awe.  They were without exception the toughest, the most dominant, the most irresistible race that existed in the universe."[28]

The kinship of this tough people with the Lowlanders of Scotland, in character as in blood, was never more signally demonstrated than when they decided, in one of the most intense crises of their history, to emulate the example of their Scottish forefathers in binding themselves together by a solemn League and Covenant to resist what they deemed to be a tyrannical encroachment on their liberties and rights.

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