MR. CHAMBERLAIN AT BELFAST.
[To IDS EDITOR 07 THZ SPECTATOR:")
Ste,—When in Ireland in the summer of 1886, I thought it prudent to give Belfast a wide berth, owing to the free shooting going on in its streets at that period,—owing, I believe, to the importation of mainly Catholic police, strange to the place, from Sligo and elsewhere.
Having endeavoured to repair the omission by spending the last three days in Belfast, of evil notoriety in respect of disorder in its streets, I desire to bear emphatic testimony to its entire freedom from violence or rowdyism on the remarkable occasion of the ovations to Mr. Chamberlain, of which I have been an eye-witness. I do not believe that so much as a stone has been thrown, or a hand raised (in anger) against his neighbour, by man, woman, or child. I say "in anger," because, as a matter of feet, a stalwart policeman, in the impartial execution of his duty, laid such a muscular hand on my individual shoulder, that, with my strong views on the subject of law and order in Ireland, I instantly desisted from any further attempt to effect an entrance into the Ulster Hall meeting last night, for which I had a platform-ticket.
As an "outsider," I had to conteut myself with listening to the roar of welcome which greeted Mr. Chamberlain on his entrance, and with observing the remarkably creditable de- meanour of the crowd under trying circumstances. Such conduct proved the crowd to be mainly composed of Liberal Unionista, of whom Belfast seems to contain goodly numbers.—I am, Sir, 8ce.,