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100 years ago: Dr Davidson intervenes

26 February 2021

February 25th, 1921.

HOW grave a matter is involved in the whole question of present administration in Ireland is seen in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s motion in the House of Lords on Tuesday. Never has the Irish question been more acute, or racial bitterness more exacerbated. Yet, despite the tradition, good on the whole, which disallows ecclesiastical initiative in political controversy, so prudent a prelate as his Grace of Canterbury [Dr Randall Davidson] has been.moved to a condemnation of the Government in this matter — a condemnation the graver because so temperately expressed. He bluntly nailed as a lie the suggestion that those who criticized the Government were condoning Sinn Fein outrages or shielding or minimizing their wickedness. If it were not a lie, it was the outcome of stupid ignorance. Though the motion was withdrawn, the intervention of the Bishops should be of the greatest value in stirring the consciences of Churchpeople to a realization that things are being done in Ireland that should be impossible under any civilized administration. To punish outrage and murder by blindly inflicting outrage and murder in return is to confess failure in the first duty of government.

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