Page 11, 27th May 1938

27th May 1938
Page 11
Page 11, 27th May 1938 — UNION OF SIX AND TWENTY-SIX Northern M.P.s Denounce Easy Divorce

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UNION OF SIX AND TWENTY-SIX Northern M.P.s Denounce Easy Divorce

The Nationalist Members of Parliament for Northern Ireland (representing constituencies which did not boycott the recent elections) met in Dublin and issued a statement as follows: " We note with pleasure the way in which the recent agreement between the Governments of Eire and Britain have been received by several well-known Unionists, who have expressed their desire for some form of unity between the Governments of the Six and Twenty-six Counties respectively.

" In view of the success which has attended the recent London negotiations, we appeal to all people of goodwill to join in a common effort to secure the union of our country. We observe that the British Government is so troubled about the affairs of Czechoslovakia that she has strongly recommended that the grievances of the German-Bohemia minority should be removed and that they be given full national autonomy in administrative matters. Their disabilities are very similar to those of Northern Irish Nationalists.

" We regret that the British Government has not, so far, made any recommendation to the Northern Government in its penal treatment of the large Nationalist minority, and expressed no disapproval of the policy of sectarianism in which it has been engaged since 1921, despite the specific prohibition in the Government of Ireland Act, 1920.

"Asked to approach ehe British Government in the matter of a reduction of the land annuities, Lord Craigavon has admitted that he has made no move in that direction and does not indicate That he is willing to do so in the future.

He has, however, promised to consider another grievance, viz., to provide residents of the Six Counties with easier means of divorce. We do not think the tenant farmers or workers of the Six Counties, whatever their beliefs, will regard this concession with much favour, and certainly not as an equivalent for paying the high rents so many of them are still obliged to pay."

The ironic final paragraph refers to a movement in Belfast to legalise easy divorceā€”a disgusting proposal in which the decent Protestant Unionists will support the Nationalist protest. There are great forces of decency that soon will throw themselves on the side of Irish union for the moral reason alone, or I greatly underestimate the Northern Protestants. There is, of course, no divorce in that part of Ireland which is under Irish sovereignty. and this fact must tell in unity's favour among the good-living majority of Ulstermen.

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