Irelands Right to Unite When Entering European Union
What interest has an Englishman in Ireland? The answer is that this Englishman proved his interest in Ireland and friendship for her people when, as the youngest member of the British Parliament, he became Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee which opposed the operations of the Black and Tans and demanded peace with Ireland. We succeeded at any rate in bringing the Black and Tan iniquity to an end, but we were only partially successful in winning peace for Ireland, because the Government of the day dismembered Ireland. The original Tory demand was for a nine county Ulster divided from Ireland, which would have subjected a 65% Catholic majority, to the Protestant minority in those counties. The final “partition” of six counties still included predominantly Catholic areas.
The rule which followed has been a disgrace to Britain. What a bitter irony for the British war-time Prime Minister to advocate the “Union of Europe at the Hague and renunciate as his basic principle “freedom from fear of the policeman’s knock” in a period when the “policeman’s knock” is still the only means by which the Tory Party can maintain its rule in Ulster. For the six Counties are the first Police State in Europe : they have always had arrest and imprisonment without trial.
EQUIVALENT OF 18B
Their equivalent of 18B was not confined to war-time: it is their regular method of government in Northern Ireland. The rounding up of Catholics and holding them in prison without trial through the best- years of their young manhood is a commonplace of this system. Freedom from “fear of the policeman’s knock” indeed. We had arrest and imprisonment without trial in England during the war: we have it still in Ulster today.
For long past it has been my practice not to attack anyone who sincerely and strenuously opposes Communism. I shall not do so now, but I suggest that Europe – cannot be united on a basis of humbug, and that every Englishman is put in that position by the Ulster situation, if he advocates freedom from imprisonment without trial in the Europe of the future. For my part I have always stood for the principle of no imprisonment without trial. If a nation so desires, it can always alter the law to suit the facts of a new civilisation. But no nation has the moral right to imprison any subject who has kept the law and can be charged with no breach of the law.
TWO POLICE STATES
If the Government acts in this way it is guilty of a frame-up and a racket from which no one can be safe. Where is freedom if you say to the individual: “What you did yesterday was perfectly legal and according to law, but we are going to imprison you for having done it.” or alternatively: “you have not broken the law, but we fear you may commit some offence in future, so we are going to imprison you to prevent it. Under such formulae of mis-Government no-one is safe from gaol and all freedom is a mockery. That was the war-time system in England and it is the present system in Ulster. Soviet Russia and Ulster share the distinction of having been the only two Police States in Europe to last for some’30 years. The first is run by International Communism, and the second by the British Tory Party.
UNION OF EUROPE
The Ulster disgrace must be brought to an end. Now is the time and opportunity to do it, all Western nations should soon have the chance to enter a wider Union of Europe. Admission to that larger community will bring a guarantee against the persecution of minorities which could not exist within the narrow hatreds of smaller societies. A minority of Protestants, of course, does exist in Northern Ireland. They have used their fear of persecution to secure from British Government the means to persecute an almost equal number of Catholics. Both the fear and excuse will be removed on entry to the Union of Europe. The large community of the future can guarantee freedom from persecution to such minorities. No further reason or excuse exists for the separate life of the Ulster State. Therefore, Union Movement affirms the right of Ireland to unite and then, as a united people, to enter the wider Union of Europe.