Discrimination - Quotations
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Quotations on the topic of Discrimination
Some quotes and extracts from speeches, reports, and books, on the subject of discrimination in Northern Ireland.
'A man in Fintona asked him how it was that he had over 50 percent Roman Catholics in his Ministry. He thought that was too funny. He had 109 of a staff, and so far as he knew there were four Roman Catholics. Three of these were civil servants, turned over to him whom he had to take when he began.'
"Another allegation made against the Government and which was untrue, was that, of 31 porters at Stormont, 28 were Roman Catholics. I have investigated the matter, and I find that there are 30 Protestants, and only one Roman Catholic there temporarily."
'There was a great number of Protestants and Orangemen who employed Roman Catholics. He felt he could speak freely on this subject as he had not a Roman Catholic about his own place (Cheers). He appreciated the great difficulty experienced by some of them in procuring suitable Protestant labour, but he would point out that the Roman Catholics were endeavouring to get in everywhere and were out with all their force and might to destroy the power and constitution of Ulster. ... He would appeal to loyalists, therefore, wherever possible to employ good Protestant lads and lassies.'
"When I made that declaration last ‘twelfth’ I did so after careful consideration. What I said was justified. I recommended people not to employ Roman Catholics, who were 99 per cent disloyal."
"The hon. Member for South Fermanagh (Mr. Healy) has raised the question of what is the Government's policy [in relation to the employment of Catholics]. My right hon. Friend (Sir Basil Brooke) spoke [on 12 July 1933 and 19 March 1934] as a Member of His Majesty's Government. He spoke entirely on his own when he made the speech to which the hon. Member refers, but there is not one of my colleagues who does not entirely agree with him, and I would not ask him to withdraw one word he said."
Sir James Craig, Unionist Party, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, 20 March 1934
Reported in: Parliamentary Debates, Northern Ireland House of Commons, Vol. XVI, Cols. 617-618.
"I suppose I am about as high up in the Orange Institution as anybody else. I am very proud indeed to be Grand Master of the loyal County of Down. I have filled that office many years, and I prize that far more than I do being Prime Minister. I have always said I am an Orangeman first and a politician and Member of this Parliament afterwards. ... The Hon. Member must remember that in the South they boasted of a Catholic State. They still boast of Sourthern Ireland being a Catholic State. All I boast is that we are a Protestant Parliament and Protestant State."
"The PRIME MINISTER [Sir James Craig]: The hon. Member says that all our appointments are carried out on a religious basis. I would like to go into this somewhat fully. The appointments made by the Government are made as far as we can possibly manage it of loyal men and women. Why not? And what objection can there possibly be to those who are upholding Ulster as part of the great British Empire and the United Kingdom, seeing that we have not got saturated through the place those who acquiesce in the policy of the hon. Members opposite, of endeavouring to break down the machinery of government given to us by the British people? Surely nothing could be clearer than that. If a man is a Roman Catholic, if he is fitted for the job, provided he is loyal to the core, he has as good a chance of appointment as anybody else; and if a Protestant is not loyal to the core he has no more chance than a similar Roman Catholic.
'At a meeting in Derry to select candidates for the Corporation Mr. H. McLaughlin said that for the past forty-eight years since the foundation of his firm there had been only one Roman Catholic employed - and that was a case of mistaken identity.'
"The Nationalist majority in the county, i.e., Fermanagh, notwithstanding a reduction of 336 in the year, stands at 3,684. We must ultimately reduce and liquidate that majority. This county, I think it can be safely said, is a Unionist county. The atmosphere is Unionist. The Boards and properties are nearly all controlled by Unionists. But there is still this millstone [the Nationalist majority] around our necks."
"When it is remembered that the first Minister [of Home Affairs], Sir Dawson Bates, held that post for 22 years and had such a prejudice against Catholics that he made it clear to his Permanent Secretary that he did not want his most juvenile clerk, or typist, if a Papist, assigned for duty to his Ministry, what could one expect when it came to filling posts in the Judiciary, Clerkships of the Crown and Peace and Crown Solicitors?"
"Northern Ireland is the one part of the United Kingdom which has a written constitution - the Government of Ireland Act, 1920. This Act specifically prohibits the Northern Ireland Parliament from making any laws which endow one religion or discriminate against another. Any such Act could be challenged in the courts and ruled to be inoperative. A similar prohibition applies to executive acts.
"It is frightfully hard to explain to Protestants that if you give Roman Catholics a good job and a good house. they will live like Protestants because they will see neighbours with cars and television sets; they will refuse to have eighteen children. But if a Roman Catholic is jobless, and lives in the most ghastly hovel, he will rear eighteen children on National Assistance. If you treat Roman Catholics with due consider and kindness, they will live like Protestants in spite of the authoritative nature of their Church ... "
"We are satisfied that all these Unionist controlled councils have used and use their power to make appointments in a way which benefited Protestants. In the figures available for October 1968 only thirty per cent of Londonderry Corporations administrative, clerical and technical employees were Catholics. Out of the ten best-paid posts only one was held by a Catholic. In Dungannon Urban District none of the Council’s administrative, clerical and technical employees was a Catholic. In County Fermanagh no senior council posts (and relatively few others) were held by Catholics: this was rationalised by reference to ‘proven loyalty’ as a necessary test for local authority appointments. In that County, among about seventy-five drivers of school buses, at most seven were Catholics. This would appear to be a very clear case of sectarian and political discrimination. Armagh Urban District employed very few Catholics in its salaried posts, but did not appear to discriminate at lower levels. Omagh Urban District showed no clearcut pattern of discrimination, though we have seen what would appear to be undoubted evidence of employment discrimination by Tyrone County Council.
"In the first fifty years of the Northern Ireland state there is considerable evidence of just such a broad pattern of bias. This has been most closely examined in relation to local authorities, and there is overwhelming evidence that some local authorities practised discriminatory employment policy, and allocated the houses under their control in a sectarian fashion and for the electoral advantage of the dominant party. Practices also occurred at the Stormont level which demonstrate a deliberate bias against members of the minority community. There is a body of evidence that emergency powers were operated in a discriminatory fashion, and that both the administration of justice and the use of the police force were subjected to political pressures. Perhaps the clearest instances of all, however, are those relating to public employees and appointments to public bodies. Whether it applied to the employment of dustmen by Fermanagh County Council, to promotion in the civil service or to judicial appointments, there is a consistent and irrefutable pattern of deliberate discrimination against Catholics."
"The unionist government must bear its share of responsibility. It put through the original gerrymander which underpinned so many of the subsequent malpractices, and then, despite repeated protests, did nothing to stop those malpractices continuing. The most serious charge against the Northern Ireland government is not that it was directly responsible for widespread discrimination, but that it allowed discrimination on such a scale over a substantial segment of Northern Ireland."
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