MR. WILLIAM DOUGLAS, secretary of the Meter Unionist Party, which is affiliated with the Conservative Party, this week denied a CATHOLIC HERALD statement that Catholics are not allowed to be members of the party.
In a comment in our issue of April 6, our Political Correspondent stated that the Party "has always refused to allow Catholics to become members—often to the embarrassment of the Conservative Central Office in London".
Following a letter from a reader, Mr. Frederick A. Hall, of Solihull, Warwickshire querying this remark, we asked Mr. Douglas in Belfast for an official statement.
He said : "Any person is entitled to join the Unionist Party provided he falls in with our line which is to defend the Constitution of Northern Ireland".
Asked if any Catholics were, in fact. members, he added : "There have been some Catholics in the party. I don't know how many. But it is very seldom that they apply."
Asked what would happen if they did apply for membership, Mr. Douglas said : "They would not be refused so long as they are prepared to sign a document upholding the constitutional position of Northern Ireland as an integral part of the U.K. and as long as they are prepared to defend that position.".