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An amazing exploit

02 May 2014

May 1st 1914

THE bright genius who spoke of the period in which we are living as "this so-called twentieth century" could not have expressed himself with greater felicity. When we read the story of the gun-running in British waters, we rubbed our eyes and asked if this really is the twentieth century, or only one so-called. For one thing, at any rate, this amazing exploit, carried to a successful issue, with faultless precision and without injury, save, perhaps, to the feelings of a few helpless officials, who were compelled to be chagrined spectators of a clever coup, has made it impossible any longer to laugh at the proceedings of the Ulster volunteers. The Government has had a rude awakening, and is at its wits' end to know how to deal with an awkward situation. . . Now it is perfectly obvious that force will be met with force, and, for some inexplicable reason, Mr Redmond is understood to be deprecating recourse to the violent measures which he favoured until now and to which the Nonconformist Conscience on the Radical back benches is urging the Government on. Meanwhile, delay in coming to a decision, either to grant the unconditional exclusion of Ulster from Home Rule or to submitthe question to the electorate, is fraught with daily increasing danger. The Loyalist population of Ulster has been held under restraint with marvellous skill and tact, but this successful import-ation of arms and ammunitionhas materially added to the seriousness of the state of affairs created by the Government's fatuity.

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