THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: The alternative to Home Rule is the Union, says Carson

From the News Letter, May 11, 1912

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 6:00 am
Sir Edward Carson's statue in front of Stormont. Picture: Jonathan Porter/

Sir Edward Carson was this week a guest at a banquet hosted by the 1900 Club which was held in the Hotel Cecil in London, reported the News Letter on this day in 1912.

Among those who also attended the banquet the most notable were the Duke of Somerset, Lord Londonderry and the Earls of Ancaster, Halsbury and Malmesbury, as well as some 30 MPs and representatives of “the United Liberal Unionist, United Empire, Junior Constitutional and Patriots Clubs”.

Sir Edward told those at the banquet that the question of Home Rule was one that the Unionists of Ulster would not back down on, they simply would not have it.

He said that the people of Ulster were furious with the government for its “filthy bargaining with Nationalists”.

He told the audience that the people had made up their minds and that “no coaxing” by the First Lord of the Admiralty or “any other politician will ever divert the intention of Ulster”.

He continued that he did not care whether or not Government believed that Ulster could be swayed in favour of Home Rule, only be refusing to accept Home Rule, said Carson, could “the gravest disasters” to the country be averted.

He also warned the Government that any threat of coercion would turn Ulster even more against the administration and that they would make Ulster “a hostile part” of the empire.

He denied that Unionists did not have an alternative.

They did, said Carson, and that alternative was the Union.