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Mr Stanley Weygnan on the…

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Mr Stanley Weygnan on the Irish Crisis. PERSONAL VISIT WHIOH « APPALLED" HIM. Mr Stanley Weyman, of Ruthin, the well-known author, has paid a visit to Ireland to study the question on the spot, and the result of his visit is given iu the following grave letter to the Titnes:- Sir,-Moved by an honest desire to know the truth about Ulster, and in particular to learn whether or not the Province is being used as a pawn in the party game-as some øay-I have vifited during the paat fortnight not only Balfast and London- derry, but many places in Connaught and Leinster. I have returned so deeply impressed by the gravity of the situation, and by the responsibility which lies upon all whose eyes are opened to it, that I beg you to grant ma a small space. It was not by the march of volunteers through the streets, it was not by the glimpses I had of meetings for dritt behind closed doors, nor by what I heard of similar preparations, less advanced on the other side, tnat I was impressed. That which moved me, that which appalkd me was the fierce, stubborn, and I believe unconquerable determination of the Ulster Protestants of the working classes in the shipyards, in the factories, and in the streets that they will under no circumstances come under Roman Catholic rule. The movement is not engineered from above it is inspired, it has its force from below; and it is of a strength and quality that astound one, nay, that seem incredible to one versed only in English politics and our lukewarm preferences. The feeling may be called loyalty and be praised, or it may be called bigotry and be blamed, we may egree that it is deplorable. But it remains, and must remain, the one outstanding fact of the situation with which Mr Arquith has to deal. In the opinion of all with whom I talked the embers of religious strife which blazed eo high in the '41, the 89, and the '98 were dying down a few years ago. It needed but another 20 years of peace to extinguish them. The north was doing well, the farmers of the south and west were taking possession of their lands. Into the midst of this Mr Aequith threw his Bill and religious jealousy, mainly on the alarmed, that is, the Protestant side, flamed up anew, and as fiercely as ever. Believe me, sir, the men it inspires catch no heat from Sir Edward Carson. They are scornfully indifferent to the sayings and doings of Parliament. What- ever happens, even if an election, even if a Referendum goes against them, they will not pass under a Government con- trolled by a Roman Catholic majority. They may be crushed for the time, but I the pressure withdrawn they will some day turn upon us in bitter resentment and alienation. Mr Asquith cannot and the people of England do not understand the temper of these man and the peril it impl;es. 11 What will happen ? I asked a priest in Mayo. "Just civil war," he answered. "What will happsn ? I aeked a clergyman in the eame county. Civil war, I fear," he answered. II Will the north fight pit I aeked a famous professor in Dublin, a man of enlightened Home Rule views. I I They will," he replied. On the other hand, What will happen in the south and west," I asked many on both sides, if the Bill fall through ? 11 Juit a oplat. J tering-not much-nothing to speak of— some scattered trouble, but only it it ue) engineered." ) The truth is the farmers care little for the Bill, but not trusting the ballot go with the stream. In the towns and larger villages alone there is eome keennesi3 for the Bill. And if Mr Asquith puts the Bill on the Statute-book ? It can be enforced, if at all, only at the point of the bayonet. It will bring a sword, and not peace, not good wiH, not union to Ireland. For the Govern- ment is up against," in the common phrase, not volunteers and arma and covenants, but the spirit of a people, a spirit warped by religious intolerance, or strengthened by religious zeal, as you choose to look at it, but which for that I reason cannot be bent and cannot be broken by modern methods. That is the bare truth. Instead let Mr Asquith even at this eleventh hour exclude Ulster for a period determined only by its will and on such terms that the north and south of Ireland may eventually take their places in a scheme of Federal Home Rule. For my part I am not in favour of a Referendum, for as there were things which the despotic power of Kings could not do, so there are things which the despotic power of a majority cannot do. I am, Sir, faithfully yours, STANLEY J WEYMAN.

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