Philip Ollerenshaw
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Businessmen in Northern Ireland and the imperial connection, 1886–1939
in ‘An Irish Empire’?
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This chapter examines the views of that region's businessmen on the British Empire, including their perception of Empire and the role of Empire as an economic unit. In strictly economic terms, businessmen were interested in the Empire as a source of raw materials and as a market for goods and services. The First World War provided a politically opportune occasion for Ulster Unionists, and not least the businessmen among them, publicly to reaffirm their commitment both to the Union and the Empire. The chapter looks at the status of Northern Ireland within the Empire itself. Self-interest suggested that any ideas for the promotion of imperial trade would be given a positive reception in the north-east. Ottawa conference represented imperial economic affairs on the grand scale, and the interests of Northern Ireland were overseen by a delegation headed by Hugh Pollock as Minister of Finance.

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‘An Irish Empire’?

Aspects of Ireland and the British Empire

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