30 JANUARY 1942, Page 2

American Troops in Ulster

The arrival in Northern Ireland of some thousands of Anierican divisional troops, complete with equipment, is a welcome sign of the solidarity of Britain and America in the war, and their determination to use their forces jointly in any theatre of action, wherever they can be disposed most advantageously. Their presence will enable us to release British troops hitherto main- tained in Ulster to protect the country against possible invasion and these or equivalent forces will become available for shipment to the fighting zones overseas. But there is a further reason why it is obviously desirable that there should be American forces side by side with the British in Northern Ireland. If Eire should be invaded—and in view of the relative weakness of her own forces that is quite as likely as the invasion of Britain —it would presumably be some satisfaction to her to be able. to seek aid from an army part of which was American. Mr. de Valera's protest that he had not been consulted by either the British or the American Government is merely petulant. Why should he be consulted about the defences of Ulster when he has washed his hands of the -war? President Roosevelt has expressed his amazement at such a protest. Mr. Churchill described the force, already landed as the " vanguard " of an American army which is to take its station in the British Isles, and will be accompanied by fighter and bomber squadrons which will help in the defence of Britain and the bombing of Germany. The Americans are with us on this side of the Atlantic deter- mined to take their share in the European war, in the sphere of operations which President Roosevelt has recognised as an indispensable Allied " fortress " in the war against Hitler.