NORTHERN IRELAND: To End the Agony

"A reasonable deal for reasonable people." Thus William Whitelaw, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, characterized the British government's proposals that were presented last week in an attempt to end the agony of Ulster. That was a reasonable appraisal. As Whitelaw, principal architect of the plan, conceded: "We knew we couldn't please everyone." Yet by being blunt in places and vague in others, the proposals offered almost everyone something. Reason, however, has repeatedly been a casualty in Northern Ireland.

Presented to the House of Commons in the form of a White Paper (a government statement of policy), the proposals assured...

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