The Irish Question as a Problem in British Foreign Policy, by Stephen Hartley

By Stephen Hartley

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0. would be grateful for a leg-up, whatever may be the shortcomings of theW. ', but this appeal also failed, since 'the stupidity of the military authorities in regard to the Irish regiments had suddenly been demonstrated in a form which it was impossible to forgive'. ' Redmond clearly appreciated that his power base in America had been fatally undermined and that it was prudent to avoid giving further opportunity for public attacks on the Home Rule Party. '. 14 The editor of the Irish World, for example, was alleged to be receiving subsidies to print and circulate 20,000 free copies in saloons and seaside resorts.

32 The absence of departmental minutes at this time suggests that the Foreign Office saw little chance of the average Irishman in the United States becoming actively involved in this anti-British movement, but, equally, that there was little hope of overcoming the hostility of the extremist fringe. It was believed that only a major development in the Irish Question itself would produce a change in attitudes, and that this was unlikely since the problem had been shelved until the end of the war.

28 While the embargo movement gathered momentum in the political arena, German-Irish groups simultaneously attempted to prevent the arms trade by sabotaging British shipping. In May 1915, Courtenay Bennet warned Spring-Rice that the manager and several other officials of the Cunard Company's American branch were pro-German. Moreover, the head of Cunard Dock's security police, an Irishman named Mallon, had openly denounced Irish recruits for the British Army as 'd ... d fools to fight for any country that kept them down all their lives'.

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