4 APRIL 1914, Page 2

Mr. F. E. Smith, after Mr. Asquith's departure, in moving

the rejection of the Consolidated Fund Bill, said that up to the moment of Mr. Churchill's speech at Bradford there had been hopes of a settlement of the Irish question. Then Mr. Churchill uttered the menacing words, " There are evils worse than the shedding of blood," and talked of "putting these grave matters to the proof." On the same day the letter ordering movements of troops was sent to Sir Arthur Paget. Next Sir Arthur Paget came to London, and arrangements were made for the movement of a battle squadron and of ten destroyers. It was inconceivable that General Paget had been mistaken in telling the officers at the Omagh that military operations had been ordered. If the plan had been carried ant, the Ulster Volunteers would almost certainly have resisted. There had been a very narrow escape from civil war.