28 JUNE 1940, Page 2

Ireland's Opportunity

Opinion is moving in Northern Ireland—as illustrated in the debate in the Belfast Parliament last Monday—towards an attempt to heal the differences between North and South and to concert measures for the common defence of the whole country. In the South, aware of the imminence of the Ger- man danger, the three main parties in Eire have unanimously awed to co-operate in the interest of national defence. But the Eire Government is still technically neutral. There is still a German legation in Dublin. There have been no staff talks between British and Eire military authorities—though the example of Belgium shows that military co-operation cannot bF improvised after invasion in time to avert disaster. But it goes without saying that Mr. de Valera can count upon any help from this country in any form he desires that may be in our power to send. It is abundantly clear that a Nazi invader will make no nice distinctions between an Ireland south of the border and an Ireland north of it. The politicians of the North will do no good service to Britain or to themselves by clinging punctiliously to methods which assume the duality of Ireland. Dr. Little and other Unionist M.P.s are urging that the two Irelands should come together for the duration of the war, and prepare to defend Ireland in its entirety. It is to be hoped that those responsible for the government of Ulster will realise that this critical moment is one for sympathetic and imaginative statesmanship which should be grasped before it is too late. Unfortunately, Ulster Ministers, particularly Lord Craigavon, are not conspicuous for elasticity of mind.