Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Our quarrel is with the Government alone" - Edward Carson, February 1914

With 2012 being the centenary of the Ulster Covenant, I thought that this poster would be of interest to some readers. Edward Carson raised the Ulster Volunteers in January 1913, which became the 36th Ulster Division of the British Army on the outbreak of World War One in August 1914. Earlier that year, on 24th February, Edward Carson felt the need to issue this poster, the message of which seems to be to reassure Catholics and Nationalists of the objectives of the (Protestant and Unionist) Volunteers:

"As rumours have been sedulously circulated to the effect that the Ulster Volunteer Force has been organized with an object hostile to those of our fellow-countrymen in Ulster who differ from us, I desire that it should be made plain on all occasions that the sole object of the ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE is to make it impossible for the Government to compel us to submit to a Home Rule Parliament in Dublin. Our quarrel is with the Government alone, and we desire that the RELIGIOUS and POLITICAL views of our opponents should be everywhere respected. We fight for equal justice for all under the Government of the United Kingdom.


24th February 1914"

You can decide for yourself, and with the benefit of 100 years of hindsight, whether his sentiment was sincere. Regardless, it makes for interesting reading.