Reported in the News Letter on November 7, 1938: ‘British’ is best term to use, says Stormont minister

Nostalgia
Nostalgia

“I have come to like the word ‘British’ in preference to English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh,” said Mr J Milne Barbour, Minister of Commerce, when he spoke at the opening of the new hall of Lowquarter Orange Lodge, at Brookmount, near Lisburn, on Saturday afternoon [November 5].

“We all feel that we are part of the United Kingdom to such an extent that to call ourselves ‘Irish’ would almost deprive us of our share of the glorious British citizenship.

“I would like other nations to get the idea that we are happy, satisfied, and British, and do not want any change. We are satisfied and content with our lot and determined to hold on to the citizenship which we enjoy.”

The position they enjoyed as British citizens was so dear to them that they should resist every effort to diminish in any way their privileges.

He also pointed out that partition was not the fault of the North.

“Partition,” he said, “is a misnomer. We are not partitionists. We are where we always were and where we are determined to remain.

“Southern Ireland has partitioned itself from the rest of the United Kingdom, and proceeded to build boundaries between ‘Eire’ and the United Kingdom, putting up customs barriers so high that it was almost impossible for trade to pass.”