United Irish League

United Irish League 


THE following correspondence has passed between the “Irish Parliament” Branch of the United Irish League and The Socialist Party of Great Britain :—

United Irish League,

“Irish Parliament” Branch,

205, High Holborn, W.C,


Dear Mr……….,

I am told your friend Mr. C. Lehane is a great debater on Socialism. Could you secure him for the ” I.P.” for either the last Friday in February or the first Friday in March to open a debate. A speedy reply will greatly oblige.

Yours fraternally, J. BENTING.



The Socialist Party of Great Britain,

1a Caledonian Road, N.

17th Feb. 1906.

Mr J. Benting,

Sec. United Irish League,

“Irish Parliament” Branch.

Dear Sir,

With reference to your communication dated 21st ult., which has been forwarded to the undersigned at this office, I am directed by the Executive Committee to invite your organization to nominate a representative to meet me in debate. The proposition to be discussed could be:

“That the economic and political freedom of the people can be secured only by the establishment of Socialism, and that any political party, e.g., the United Irish League, not based upon this principle is unworthy of the confidence of the people.”

I will take the affirmative, your champion to take the negative.

Please let me know when you have selected your representative so that the necessary arrangements may be made.

Yours faithfully,


General Secretary.



United Irish League,

“Irish Parliament” Branch.

1/3/06. Mr. C. Lehane,

la, Caledonian Road.


Dear Sir,

With reference to yours of the 17th ult., I regret that we are unable to accept your kind offer of debate. Our programme of fixtures is now full up for the next 6 weeks, and we have had already two debates on Socialism within the past month and have another fixed for next week. On some future occasion the “Irish Parliament” will be glad to meet you. Thanking you for your kind offer. 1 am,

Yours faithfully,


Hon. Sec.



We note that “on some future occasion” the “Irish Parliament” will be glad to meet our Comrade. Now or in the future the S.P.G.B. is prepared to meet the representatives of any other Parties claiming the confidence of the people, but in the present instance, seeing that it was the ‘” I.P.” which first broached the proposed debate, it would have been thought they would have been prepared for an immediate discussion of the question. Perhaps it is that the “I.P.” not feeling sure of its ground has put a champion in training, but seeing that the Chairman of the “I.P.” Branch of the U.I.L. is John O’Connor, Esq.. B.L., M.P., he at any rate ought to be in a position to defend his organisation without deferring the debate to some indefinite “future occasion.” Be that as it may, the S.P.G.B. is at the service of the “Irish Parliament” whenever the latter deems fit to nominate a representative.

The ”Irish Parliament” judging by the contents of the last letter seems to be devoting a good deal of time to discussing Socialism, but, we venture to assert that the “Socialism” hitherto propounded to its members by those who have undertaken to explain it to them is of that nebulous character which has caused so much confusion in the minds of the people here and elsewhere. In Great Britain individuals are frequently to be met with who claim to be Socialists and at the same time Liberals, Socialists and at the same time Conservatives. Socialists and at the same time United Irish Leaguers. It is the mission of the S.P.G.B. to see to it that these anomalies are removed and. by its educational propaganda, to clarify the issue so that Socialists will stand out us a political party distinct from and antagonistic to every other party. If all those who call themselves Socialists were organised in a Socialist Party, Socialism would be a power in the land to-day.

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