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Glossary - U

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U-2 spy plane

Developed in the 1950s, the American U2 flew so high that it could not be shot down by Soviet fighters or by anti-aircraft missiles. Carrying sophisticated listening devices and very powerful cameras, it kept the Americans fully informed about Soviet weapons technology through the late 1950s

Ulster

Traditionally the nine most northerly counties in Ireland, mainly protestant in religion. Since 1920 six of the nine counties - Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone -  have formed Northern Ireland, remaining part of the UK, following the establishment of the independent country of Ireland

Ulster Workers' Council

A loyalist workers' organisation set up in 1974 in Northern Ireland by shipyard union leader Harry Murry. For a time it became the main mobilising force for loyalist opposition to power-sharing arrangements, organising a successful strike in 1974, when Ian Paisley joined the Council. It was less influential thereafter

Unemployment Assistance Board (UAB)

Set up by the 1934 Unemployment Act, as a result of the Royal Commission on Unemployment 1930-32, to implement the household means test. The means test took the wages and assets of all family members were into account before any unemployment assistance was given

Union of South Africa

Dominion of the British Empire, 1910, joining the British colonies - Cape Colony and Natal - with the Boer colonies - Transvaal and the Orange Free State, to try to heal the wounds of the Boer War

United Nations (UN) Security Council

The UN Security Council, among other duties, aims to maintain international peace and security; investigate disputes which might lead to international friction; recommend methods and terms of settlement; determine existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken.

University of the Air

Name of the 1964 Labour Government project that became the Open University. Rather than create more new universities it was decided to use the new technology to create a 'distance' university using a mixture of local centres for tuition and support, and television and radio broadcasts for lectures

upland acreage

Land used in upland or hilly areas for farming. Usually this land is used for sheep and cattle grazing because the terrain is unsuitable for arable cropping. Animals are sometimes sold to market for meat, or otherwise 'sold on' for fattening elsewhere

upland farms

Farms located in a hilly area, often economically vulnerable and reliant on subsidies from the government, or more recently, the EU, to remain viable. Usually dependent on sheep and grazing because the terrain is unsuited to arable cropping