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Home Rule protest

11 April 2014

THE CHURCH TIMES April 9th, 1914

THERE was an amazing concourse in Hyde Park on Saturday afternoon of protesters against the coercion of Ulster. How large it was we have no means of estimating, but that it was an enormous throng there can be no doubt at all. And it is equally certain that it was not even mainly composed of dukes nor even of baronets, but was a democratic gathering if ever there was one. For it was confined to no class or rank, but represented every class and rank. We know of one family of which the father, the mother, the daughter, the butler, and the chauffeur all tramped along to the Park with one and the same purpose: to insist that the forces of the Crown shall not be used for the severance of Ulster from the Union, at least until the question has been submitted to the verdict of the country. At every platform these demands were proposed by chosen speakers, among whom Mr Balfour unexpectedly appeared in the new rôle of a Hyde Park orator, and were enthusiastically supported and endorsed by countless thousands in this democratic assembly. Simultaneously, at Ladybank, the Prime Minister was saying that the people shall not be consulted, but that the Home Rule Bill shall be forced through all its stages and receive the Royal assent, whether they like it or no. If this was not mere bluster and it is the Government's intention to make no further concessions than it has already made, then we shall after all drift into civil war, for Ulster will have to be coerced, seeing that it will yield to nothing but superior force.

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