FOG OVER IRELAND
[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] Sia,—Mr. Frank Maederrnot has been telling your readers about a "Fog over Ireland." In fairness to your readers and to Northern Ireland there are some points in his article which • cannot be allowed to pass without protest. He refers to the abolition of Proportional Representation in Northern Ireland and suggests that this was done to disfranchise the Roman Catholics. The change to Single member constituencies gives the Roman Catholics exactly the same representation as they , had under P.R., but for some reason best known to themselves they allow the Socialists to hold two scats which they could easily win for themselves. Mr. Macdermot also . makes reference to the deplorable disturbances which recently took place in Belfast.- He did not tell your readers.that the origin of the trouble was an unprovoked and wanton attack at live points from side streets upon an Orange procession, following the route approved of by the police authorities. (It is a . significant fact that of the nine people shot dead seven were Protestants.) As to the Twelfth of July Orange celebrations —why should we not remember past deliverances from bondage and slavery ? The victory at the Battle of the Boyne ensured for the United Kingdom civil and religious liberty and placed upon the Throne a Protestant King.
Quite recently a body of 7,868 loyal subjects of the King residing in the Irish Free State sent an appeal to the Imperial , Government, asking it to replace them under His Majesty's Government in Northern Ireland. In this petition they said that
" We feel that our lives and our property are not secure under the Free State Government. Wo find it almost impossible to exist. Under the Treaty, certain rights woro assured to us for our protec- tion as well as the right of appeal to the Privy Council. These rights have been taken away from Land Act of heacetioonloof3t3heotl:tr. eteitSletattoe Government. Under the Free
our farms has been taken from us.
The Northern Government tried to help them by an exchange and offered facilities to those Nationalists and Sinn Feiners who complain of the ".dreadful " conditions in the North to transfer to the South, but not one of them accepted the offer.
With regard to economics and general trading in Northern Ireland there is evidence of physical betterment on every hand. The Harbour Board returns show that the tonnage last year passing inward and outward through the Port of Belfast exceeded all previous records. During, its existence the Ulster Government has balanced its budget every year and has contributed over £25,000,000 to the Imperial Exchequer.
In Northern Ireland we have maintained our Social Services on the same high level as those in Great Britain.
One-third of the membership of the Police Force in Northern Ireland was offered to the Roman Catholics, but they refused to join, and when the ranks had to be filled from other sources they complained of oppression and unfair treatment. They have now come to recognize the utter futility of their action and are eagerly seeking vacancies.
When the British Empire joined in congratulating His Majesty the King on the completion of twenty-five years of Sovereignty the Nationalist Party in Ulster deemed the occasion appropriate for issuing a manifesto of disloyalty— thus keeping in line with their Republican friends in the South. How can Ulster Loyalists who have always been devoted to the Throne and the British connexion be expected to join hands with such people in the establishment of one Parliament ?
Ulster demands to be left alone to work out her own salva- tion under His Majesty the King in common with the rest of the United Kingdoni.—Yours, &c.,