The Unionist Platform

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

The Unionist Platform is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Evening News (Portsmouth) on 6 july 1886.

The Unionist Platform

The Evening News (Portsmouth) (6 july 1886)

Sir, — As a man holding Liberal opinions upon many of the leading questions of the day, I should like to explain why I and many more are about to vote for the Unionist candidates. The whole controversy may, it appears to me, be summed up in the following six propositions, which I have never heard controverted:—

1. That since the year 1881 the agitation in Ireland has been characterised by a long succession of crimes against life and property.

2. That these murders and maimings have never been heartily denounced by any member of the Irish Parliamentary party.

3. That politicians who could allow such deeds to be done without raising their voices against them cannot be men of high political morality — and are, therefore, however talented, unfit to be trusted with the destinies of a country.

4. That Michael Davitt, whose influence in Ireland is hardly second to that of Parnell, has publicly stated that this shall not be a final settlement.

5. That Ireland ought in justice to have the same privileges as England, Scotland, or Wales, but that there is no reason why she should have more than the three law-abiding sister countries.

6. That a grand scheme of Imperial Federation is nearly ripe, by which every country should manage its own local affairs, leaving Imperial matters to a central Parliament, in which every division of the Empire should be represented. That any exceptional Irish legislation of the nature proposed would hamper this just and symmetrical design, which we owe largely to the genius of that eminent Radical — the late Mr. W.E. Forster.

I trust that by publishing this short statement you may give another proof' of that good feeling which has characterised this political campaign. If differ from men whose opinions we share on many other subjects, it is not from any narrow class or party feeling, but from an honest conviction that an Irish Parliament would not conduce to the strength or prosperity of that Empire which all parties are anxious to uphold.

I remain, Sir, sincerely yours,