21 SEPTEMBER 1912, Page 11


(To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOS."] SIR,—Mr. Hugh Stutfield's support of Ulster Unionism seems to be based largely on two misapprehensions. He apparently adopts two of the most general fallacies about Ulster : (1) That the people of the rest of Ireland are "the bitter and hereditary opponents of the people of Ulster," and (2) that as regards Ulster the Union has not "availed to blight her prosperity or to arrest her development." As for the former hypothesis, the history of the Volunteer movement in the eighteenth century would alone disprove it, and in 1850 again the leaders of the Ulster farmers joined with the leaders of the South and West in the League of the North and South. Racially, moreover, Ulster is of very much the same breed as the rest of Ireland : she has her fair share of the O's and the Mac's as well as the other provinces. It may be retorted that these are to a large extent Scottish Macs, not Irish Macs ; but, then, the Scottish Gaels were in origin merely an Irish colony in Scotland. There is no lastingly important cleavage between North and South in Ireland except the sectarian division.

As for Mr. Stutfield's second contention, his idea that the Union Las not been a check on Ulster prosperity is a common one, but it is amazing to any one who knows the facts. Here, for example, are the emigration statistics for the four pro- vinces of Ireland for the half-century 1851-1900:—

Province. No. of Emigrants. Ulster ... ... ... 1,884,214

Munster ... ... 1,346,889 Leinster ... 683,209 Connaught ... 616,439 Thus Ulster has suffered more from emigration than any other part of Ireland, and these figures do not show a drain merely from the Catholic parts of Ulster. Episcopalians and Presbyterians have also fled in their thousands from "prosperous" Ulster. Even at the last census the Presby- terian population of Ulster was still diminishing.

Yeople who talk about Ulster's prosperity are thinking about Belfast. But Belfast is prosperous only in comparison with the rest of Ireland. Belfast is only a small town compared, say, with Manchester. In a free Ireland there is no reason to believe that, as the capital of a really flourishing Ulster, it would not have been at least as great and prosperous as [Mr. Lynd's application of the emigration test, to take only one of the disputable points in his letter, is open to criticism. The figures for Ulster need to be considered in regard to the relative population of that province, which is to Munster as 1 to 1. We may further note, apropos of emigra- tion and prosperity, that while the population of Scotland has increased 6 per cent. in- the last decade, and is now slightly larger than that of Ireland, the emigrants of Scotch origin in the last three years have been more numerous than those of Irish origin by nearly 80,000.—En. Spectator.]