WHILE thousands of
Orangemen marched throughout Northern Ireland last Friday to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne victory over James II in 1690. not a few were glancing figuratively over their shoulders at the House of Comnions where. only the day before, Mr. Wilson had dropped a strong hint that his L.abour Government intended taking a close look at affairs in Ulster.
Several speakers at Orange ceremonies were quick to challenge Mr. Wilson's intentions, speakers like Capt. L. P. S. Orr, the Orange Order's Imperial Grand Master.
He said; "Wilson has given a warning about Ulster's future. Let me give a warning back.
--Whether it he Wilson or anyone else who interferes with the just prerogative of the Government of Northern Ireland, he does so at his peril. We will reSist any such attempt with the last breath in our body.", Mr. Ben Whitaker, Labour MP for Hampstead, raised the matter by asking the Prime Minister Maly members of the Order of Orange should be able to vote on the Race Relations Bill, which applies in England and Wales only. "whereas we are not allOwed to do anything about the !religious discrimination in Ulster?"
Mr. Wilson said that was a question he had asked himself. "I recall that wherathe Government had a majority of three in this House, we could have been brought down by Northem Irish Members voting on Rachmanism in London, when we as English Members and United Kingdom Members had no opportunity to vote on
Rachmanism in Northern Ireland.
In reply to further questions, Mr. Wilson said: "I do not believe that this matter can be left to depend on the pressures and prejudices to which Capt. O'Neill is subjected. We have duties in this House, both nationally and internationally."
Meanwhile Mr. Gerry Fitt, M.P. for Belfast West, has tabled a Commons motion "deploring the political interference of the Orange Order in the Northern Ireland Parliament."
It cites the "expulsion of Phelim O'Neill from the membership of the Order because he attended a service held in a Catholic Church" as evidence of the Order's attempts to influence Northern Ireland MPs and calls for Capt. O'Neill and his Cabinet to resign their membership of the Order.