Putting off the Evil Day, September 1966–May 1967

Part of the Contemporary History in Context Series book series (CHIC)


The period covered by this chapter was significant for three separate investigations into the demand for reform in Northern Ireland: a delegation of members of the CDU to the province led by Stanley Orme MP which reported to the Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins; a special survey carried out by The Times; and the establishment of a committee of investigation by the Society of Labour Lawyers. At the same time that these inquiries were underway the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, was privately considering reducing of the powers of the contingent of Ulster MPs at Westminster which, arguably, would have been the first step to major constitutional change since the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Outwardly the Wilson government at first continued to insist that O’Neill should be allowed to carry on with his own policy of amelioration without interference from London. However, by April 1967 an impasse seemed to have been reached with Wilson openly admitting ‘acute concern’ about the functioning of democracy in the province and O’Neill himself privately recording his growing pessimism.


Prime Minister Local Election Labour Government Labour Party Left Wing 
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© Peter Rose 2001

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