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Debate on the Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, signed in London on the 6th December 1921: Sessions 14 December 1921 to 10 January 1922

Author: The Deputies of Dáil Eireann

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Electronic edition compiled by Donnchadh Ó Corráin

Funded by University College Cork: Department of History and Computer Centre and
Professor Marianne McDonald via the CURIA Project.

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Proof corrections and structural mark up by John McAleer

Proof corrections and structural mark up by Donnchadh Ó Corráin , Tiarnán Ó Corráin

Extent of text: 323 000 words

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(1997) (2008)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: E900003-001

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    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Iris Dhail Eireann. Tuairisg Oifigiúil. Díosbóireacht ar an gConnradh idir Eire agus Sasana do signigheadh i Lundain ar an 6adh lá de mhí na Nodlag, 1921. in Official Report. Debate on the Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland signed in London on the 6th December 1921Dáil Eireann staff (ed), First edition [424pp] The Talbot Press89 Talbot St, Dublin (1922)

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The whole has been retained.

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Revision 2. Text has been checked, proof-read twice, and parsed using NSGMLS. Corrections are welcome and will be credited to those making them.

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The electronic text represents the published text. Titles, such as those of newspapers are tagged title; such titles are usually in italic but it has not been thought necessary to mark the rendition.

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Quotation marks are rendered q; where quotation marks are used to highlight words these are tagged hi; but the boundary betwen the two is fluid and the markup consequently, to a degree, subjective. Lengthy quotations and citations of significant legal and other documents are embedded as separate texts.

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The editorial practice of the hard-copy editors has been retained. Soft hyphens have not been retained.

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div0=the whole text; div1=individual sessions of parliament.

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Speeches are tagged sp, and speakers are taggedspeaker. Otherwise, names of persons (given names), and places are not tagged. Terms for cultural and social roles are not tagged. Interruptions from the floor of the house, and descriptions of exits, divisions, etc. are tagged stage.

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Created: By the Cabinet Ministers and Deputies of Dáil Eireann Date range: 1921-12-14 to 1922-01-10.

Use of language

Language: [EN] Most of the text is in English apart from some material in Irish, usually introductions to lengthy speeches in English, or technical terms in Irish.
Language: [GA] Short speeches and portions of speeches in Irish. Technical terms e.g. Sinn Féin, Saorstá Éireann and Dáil Éireann. It has not been thought worthwhile to tag these linguistically. The idiosyncratic spelling and use of length-marks in the original has been allowed stand. In parliamentary divisions the members' names are recorded in the Irish form, and there are small variations of spelling. Neither the names themselves nor the variations have been tagged.
Language: [LA] Occasional Latin tags. These are tagged.
Language: [FR] Occasional French clichés. These are tagged.

Revision History


Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: E900003-001

Debate on the Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, signed in London on the 6th December 1921: Sessions 14 December 1921 to 10 January 1922: Author: The Deputies of Dáil Eireann


p.5

DÁIL EIREANN PUBLIC SESSION Wednesday, December 14th, 1921

The meeting of Dáil Eireann to deal with the Peace Treaty began in the Council Chamber, University College, Dublin, on Wednesday, December 14th, 1921. The Speaker (Dr. Eoin Mac Neill National University and Derry) took the Chair at 11.30 a.m., and immediately opened the proceedings by saying:

SPEAKER

In ainm De, glaodhfaimíd an rolla.

The Clerk to the Dáil, Mr. Diarmuid O hEigceartuigh, called the roll, the following Deputies answering:

  1. Mícheál O Coileáin (Co. Ard Mhacha).
  2. Art O Gríobhtha (Co. an Chabháin).
  3. Seán Mac Giolla Ríogh (Co. an Chabháin).
  4. Pól O Geallagáin (Co. an Chabháin).
  5. Seamas O Lionnáin (Co. Cheatharloch agus Co. Chill Choinnigh).
  6. Liam T. Mac Cosgair (Co. Cheatharloch agus Co. Chill Choinnigh).
  7. Gearóid O Súileabháin (Co. Cheatharloch agus Co. Chill Choinnigh).
  8. Eamon Aidhleart (Co. Cheatharloch agus Co. Chill Choinnigh).
  9. Eamon de Valera (Co. an Chláir).
  10. Brian O hUiginn (Co. an Chláir).
  11. Pádraig O Braonáin (Co. an Chláir).
  12. Seán O Lidia (Co. an Chláir).
  13. Seán O hAodha (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  14. Pádraig O Caoimh (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  15. Seán Mac Suibhne (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  16. Seán Mac Heil (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  17. Seán O Maoileoin (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  18. Domhnall O Corcora (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  19. Seán O Nualláin (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  20. Tomás O Fiachra (Co. Chorcaighe Thoir).
  21. Seumas Mac Gearailt (Co. Chorcaighe Thoir).
  22. Dáithí Ceannt (Co. Chorcaighe Thoir).
  23. Eoin Mac Neill (Co. Dhoire).
  24. Seosamh O Dochartaigh (Co. Thír Chonaill).
  25. Seosamh Mac Suibhne (Co. Thír Chonaill).
  26. Peadar S. Mac an Bháird (Co. Thír Chonaill).
  27. Dr. S. Mac Fhionnlaoigh (Co. Thír Chonaill).
  28. P. S. Mac Ualghairg (Co. Thír Chonaill).
  29. S. O Flaithbheartaigb Co. Thír Chonaill).
  30. Proinnsias Laighleis (Co. Atha Cliath).
  31. S. Ghabháin Uí Dhubhthaigh (Co. Atha Cliath).
  32. Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt (Co. Atha Cliath).
  33. Seumas Mac Doirim (Co. Atha Cliath).
  34. Bean an Phiarsaigh (Co. Atha Cliath).
  35. Seumas O Duibhir (Co. Atha Cliath).
  36. Seán O Mathghamhna (Co. Fhearmanach).
  37. Liam O Maoilíosa (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  38. Dr. Brian Cíosóg (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  39. Proinsias O Fathaigh (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  40. Pádraig O Máille (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  41. Seoirse Mac Niocaill (Co. na Gaillimhe)
  42. P. S. O hOgáin (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  43. An t-Oll S. O Faoilleacháin (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  44. Aibhistin de Stac (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  45. Piaras Beaslaí (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  46. Fionán O Loingsigh (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).

  47. p.6

  48. S. O Cruadhlaoich (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  49. Conchubhar O Coileáin (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnigbe Thiar).
  50. Eamon de Róiste (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  51. P. S. O Cathail (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  52. Tomás O Donnchadha (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  53. Art O Concbubhair (Co. Chill Dara agus Co. Chill Mhantáin).
  54. Domhnall O Buachalla (Co. Chill Dara agus Co. Chill Mhantáin).
  55. E. Childers (Co. Chill Dara agus Co. Chill Mhantáin).
  56. Riobard Bartún (Co. Chill Dara agus Co. Chill Mhantáin).
  57. Criostoir O Broin (Co. Chill Dara agus Co. Chill Mhantáin).
  58. Seoirse Pluingceud (Co. Liathdroma agus Co. Roscomáin Thuaidh).
  59. Seumas O Doláin (Co. Liathdroma agus Co. Roscomáin Thuaidh).
  60. Andrias O Láimhín (Co. Liathdroma agus Co. Roscomáin Thuaidh).
  61. Tomás Mac Artúir (Co. Liathdroma agus Co. Roscomáin Thuaidh).
  62. Dr. Pádraig Mac Artáin (Co. Laoighise agus Co. O bhFáilghe).
  63. Caoimhghin O hUiginn (Co. Laoighise agus Co. O bhFáilghe).
  64. Seosamh O Loingsigh (Co. Laoighise agus Co. O bhFáilghe).
  65. Proinsias Buifin (Co. Laoighise agus Co. O bbFáilgbe).
  66. Bean Mhíchíl Uí Cheallacháin (Cathair Luimnighe agus Co. Luimnighe Thoir).
  67. Dr. Riseárd O hAodha (Cathair Luimnighe agus Co. Luimnighe Thoir).
  68. M. P. Colivet (Cathair Luimnighe agus Co. Luimnighe Thoir).
  69. Liam O hAodha (Cathair Luimnighe agus Co. Luimnighe Tboir).
  70. Seosamh Mac Aonghusa (Co. Longphuirt agus Co. na hIar-Mhidhe).
  71. Sean Mac Eoin (Co. Longphuirt agus Co na hIar- Mhidhe).
  72. Lorcán O Roibín (Co. Longphuirt agus Co. na hIar-Mhidhe).
  73. Seán O Ceallaigh (Co. Lughmhaighe agus Co. na Midhe).
  74. Eamon O Dúgáin (Co. Lughmhaighe agus Co. na Midhe).
  75. Peadar O hAodha (Co. Lughmhaighe agus Co. na Midhe).
  76. Seumas O Murchadha (Co. Lughmhaighe agus Co. na Midhe).
  77. Saerbhreathach Mac Cionaith (Co. Lughmhaigh agus Co. na Midhe).
  78. Dr. O Cruadhlaoich (Co. Mhuigheo Thuaidh agus Thiar).
  79. Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhrighde (Co. Mhuigheo Thuaidh agus Thiar).
  80. Tomas O Deirg (Co. Mhuigheo Thuaidh agus Thiar).
  81. P. S. O Ruithleis (Co. Mhuigheo Thuaidh agus Thiar).
  82. Liam Mac Sioghuird (Co. Mhuigbeo Theas agus Co. Roscomáin Theas).
  83. Tomás Maguidhir (Co. Mhuigheo Theas agus Co. Roscomáin Theas).
  84. D. O Ruairc (Co. Mhuigheo Theas agus Co. Roscomáin Theas).
  85. Earnán de Blaghd (Co. Mhuineacháin).
  86. Seán Mac an tSaoi (Co. Mhuineacháin).
  87. Eoin O Dubhthaigh (Co. Mhuineacháin).
  88. Dr. P. O Fearáin (Co. Shligigh agus Co. Mhuigheo Thoir
  89. Alasdair Mac Cába (Co. Shligigh agus Co. Mhuigheo Thoir).
  90. Tomás O Domhnaill (Co. Shligigh agus Co. Mhuigheo Thoir).
  91. Seumas O Daimhín (Co. Shligigh agus Co. Mhuigheo Thoir).
  92. Proinsias Mac Cárthaigh (Co. Shligigh agus Co. Mhuigheo Thoir).
  93. Seosamh Mac Donnchadha (Co. Thiobrad Arann Theas, Thuaidh agus Meadh).
  94. Seumas de Búrca (Co. Thiobrad Arann Theas, Thuaidh agus Meadh).
  95. P. S. O Maoldomhnaigh (Co. Thiobrad Arann Theas, Thuaidh agus Meadh).
  96. P. S. O Broin (Co. Thiobrad Arann Theas, Thuaidh agus Meadh).
  97. Cathal Brugha (Co. Phortláirge agus Co. Thiobrad Arann Thoir).
  98. Dr. V. de Faoite (Co. Phortláirge agus Co. Thiobrad Arann Thoir).
  99. Proinsias O Druacháin (Co. Phortláirge agus Co. Thiobrad Arann Thoir).
  100. Eamon O Deaghaidh (Co. Phortláirge agus Co. Thiobrad Arann Thoir).
  101. Seumas Mac Roibín (Co. Phortláirge agus Co. Thiobrad Arann Thoir).
  102. Dr. Semuas O Riain (Co. Loch Garman).
  103. Seán Etchingham (Co. Loch Garman).
  104. Risteárd Mac Fheorais (Co. Loch Garman).
  105. Seumas O Dubhghaill (Co. Loch Garman).
  106. Seán T. O Ceallaigh (Baile Atha Cliath Meadh).
  107. Philib O Seanacháin (Baile Atha Cliath Meadh).
  108. Bean an Chleirigh (Baile Atha Cliath Meadh).

  109. p.7

  110. Seán Mac Garraidh (Baile Atha Cliath Meadh).
  111. Mícheál Mac Stáin (Baile Atha Cliath Thiar Thuaidh).
  112. Risteárd O Maolchatha (Baile Atha Cliath Thiar Thuaidh).
  113. Seosamh Mag Craith (Baile Atha Cliath Thiar Thuaidh).
  114. Philib Mac Cosgair (Baile Atha Cliath Thiar Thuaidh).
  115. Constans de Markievics (Baile Atha Cliath Theas).
  116. Cathal O Murchadha (Baile Atha Cliath Theas).
  117. Domhnall Mac Cárthaigb (Baile Atha Cliath Theas).
  118. Liam de Róiste (Corcaigh).
  119. Seumas Breathnach (Corcaigh).
  120. Máire nic Shuibbne (Corcaigh).
  121. Domhnall O Ceallacháin (Corcaigh).
  122. Mícheál O hAodha (Ollsgoil Náisiúnta na hEireann).
  123. Dr. Eithne Inglis (Ollsgoil Náisiúnta na hEireann).
  124. An t-Oll W. F. P. Stockley (Ollsgoil Náisiúnta na hEireann).
Prayers having been said by the Rev. Dr. Browne,

PRESIDENT DE VALERA said:

Tá fhios againn go leir ce an fáth go bhfuilimíd anso iniu agus an cheist mhór atá againn le socrú. Níl mo chuid Gaedhilge chó maith agus ba mhaith liom í bheith. Is fearr is feidir liom mo smaointe do nochtadh as Beurla, agus dá bhrí sin is dóich liom gurbh fhearra dhom labhairt as Beurla ar fad. Some of the members do not know Irish, I think, and consequently what I shall say will be in English. The question we have to decide is one which ought to be decided on its merits, and it would be very unfortunate if extraneous matters such as what I might call an accidental division of opinion of the Cabinet, or the causes which gave rise to it, should cut across these considerations. I think, therefore, it would be wise to give a short narrative of the circumstances under which the plenipotentiaries were appointed, and to explain the terms of reference, if I might call them so, or directions given to teem, and to explain them in so far as I can do so, consistent with public interest. If anybody wants a mere detailed explanation, or wants to probe into the difference of opinion more deeply, we can do so at a private session. WE can easily resolve ourselves into a private session and go fully into the matter. Really there is nothing extraordinary in the division of opinion, for this reason, that when the plenipotentiaries would report, it was obvious the Cabinet would have to take a policy. Either the whole Cabinet would have to go over-if the possibility of division was to be eliminated, the whole Cabinet should take responsibility for the negotiations, which was a thing that would not be desirable for other reasons. Even if they did there might be divisions. You could scarcely eliminate differences of opinion. It was necessary then either that the plenipotentiaries should be a whole Cabinet or that there should be other persons than members of the Cabinet. What we did was, we selected three members of the Cabinet with two others and it was obvious if these plenipotentiaries were to be in a position to do the work given to them they should have full powers of negotiation. At the two meetings of the Dáil at which they were appointed I made it quite clear that my own point of view, and the point of view of the Cabinet as a whole - at least I took responsibility for saying it was the view of the Cabinet- was that the plenipotentiaries should have full plenary powers to negotiate, with the understanding, however, that when they reported, the Cabinet would decide its policy, and whatever arrangement they arrived at, it would have to be submitted to the Dáil for ratification. The question of committing the country completely without ratification by the Dáil was of course out of the question. This assembly would not have sent any five men to negotiate a treaty which would bind the nation without some chance of a larger body of representatives of the nation having an opportunity of criticising and reviewing it, and, I would say under the circumstances, of the nation itself reviewing it. Now, that was quite a common sense understanding. They had to have the plenary powers in order to be able to do their work. If there was a definite difference of opinion, it was the plenipotentiaries had the responsibility of making up their own minds and deciding on it. we had ourselves the right of refusing to agree with them, if we thought that was right. It was also obvious that the Cabinet and the plenipotentiaries should keep in the closest possible touch. We did that. We were in agreement up to a certain point. A definite question had then to be decided and we did not agree. I do not know if the Chairman of the Delegation or the plenipotentiaries would have any objection—it would not in any way interfere with public interests—if the Cabinet instructions were given. Is there any objection? I do not think there is.

Mr. ARTHUR GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

No.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

Here is the actual text of the instructions which I wrote with my own hand at the Cabinet meeting on the 7th October:-

¶1] The Plenipotentiaries have full powers as defined in their credentials.

¶2] It is understood before decisions are finally reached on the main question,that a dispatch notifying the intention to make these decisions will be sent to members of the Cabinet in Dublin, and that a reply will be awaited by the Plenipotentiaries before final decision is made.

¶3] It is also understood that the complete text of the draft treaty about to be signed will be similarly submitted to Dublin, and reply awaited.

Now I want you to pay particular attention to that particular paragraph. The instructions proceed:

¶4] In case of a break, the text of the final proposals from our side will be similarly submitted.

¶5] It is understood the Cabinet in Dublin will be kept regularly in- formed of the progress of the negotiations.

That was all done with the exception of paragraph three. It is obvious that a treaty which would be a lasting agreement between two nations, and which may govern the relations of nations for centuries, is a document which, even when you have agreed upon the fundamental principles, should be most care fully examined. My idea was when the plenipotentiaries had arrived at an agreement on the treaty, and had a rough copy of a document which they were prepared to sign, that document, in its full text, would be transmitted, because in the case of a treaty, even verbal, the exact form of words is of tremendous importance. I have only to say with respect to paragraph three that the final text was not submitted. When the previous draft, which considerably differed from the final text, was submitted, that I said I could not sign, and I do not think the other members of the Cabinet, whose views on a vital question we had to determine for ourselves earlier, would sign. With the knowledge that we could not accept that, the plenipotentiaries, acting in accordance with their rights, signed the treaty, and as far as the relations between the Cabinet and the plenipotentiaries are concerned, the only point is that paragraph three was not carried out to the letter. This was most important, and I feel myself, had it been done, we might have got complete agreement between the Cabinet and the plenipotentiaries. I say that in order that everyone may realise that this is a case of a difference of opinion between two bodies, which in a case like this would naturally and did naturally arise, and therefore I am anxious that it should not in any way interfere with the discussion on the treaty which the plenipotentiaries have brought to us. We are to treat it on its merits. Just as you probably will hold different opinions on the merits of it, so we in the Cabinet hold different opinions on it. The main question at issue as far back as the third week in October was decided by us, and, those who were in favour of the decision on the side I am taking were certainly a majority of the Cabinet, though the whole Cabinet was not present at the meeting. I am ready to answer any questions about the conduct of the negotiations that may be in the public interest, and if there are any questions, or any matter which you wish to probe, further that is not in the public interest, I would be glad to answer it in a private session so that you may understand it thoroughly.

Mr. P. O'KEEFFE (Cork):

Chím anso rún ar an gclár ón Dr. de Faoite. Ba mhaith liom fhios a bheith agam an bhfuil se chun an rún san do chur os cóir na Dála iniu What is to be done in


p.9

regard to Dr. White's motion that the session be held in private? I want to know is Dr. White going to move the resolution in connection with the notice of motion on the agenda to-day.

MR. A. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

I wish to say as regards any suggestion that the plenipotentiaries exceeded their instructions, that I, as Chairman of the Delegation, immediately controvert it.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

It will settle nothing if one says one thing and another says the other. What I said, and I think it will be made evident by an examination, if anybody wishes to appoint three or four independently to look into the matter, it will be made evident that paragraph three of the instructions was not exceeded; but paragraph three was not carried out. The Treaty was signed in the small hours of the morning after the text—after certain alterations had been made, and we never saw the alterations. Had I seen it, I would have used any influence I had to try to secure unanimity in the matter, and then if we could not secure unanimity, we knew where we were. The chance was lost by the fact that after certain alterations had been made, instead of sending the final draft to us, and taking time over it, so that matters could be fully considered, it was rushed unfortunately. That is all I have got to say about it.

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

The original terms that were served on each member of the delegation have not been read out. The thing has already taken an unfair aspect and I am against a private session. I have no particular feeling about it. I suggest that a vital matter for the representatives of the nation, and the nation itself, is that the final document which was agreed on by a united Cabinet, should be put side by side with the final document which the Delegation of Plenipotentiaries did not sign as a treaty, but did sign on the understanding that each signatory would recommend it to the Dáil for acceptance.

DR. V. WHITE (WATERFORD):

I formally propose that this meeting of the Dáil, and, if the Dáil approve of it, subsequent meetings also, be held in private. Of course this does not preclude having a session of the Dáil, so approved, public. I do move this resolution as an humble member of the Dáil, because I for one respectfully submit to all concerned that certain points—if I might say so, certain obstructions—require to be cleared away before this all- important, this terrible question, is decided one way or the other. My chief reasons for suggesting to the Dáil a private meeting at first are these. These points must, I respectfully suggest, be cleared up, and secondly, in a private meeting I think it will be generally conceded that members of any assembly where such an important question arises will talk more freely and will ask questions with greater facility. I will not weary the Dáil further, but will formally move that this meeting of the Dáil and, if the Dáil so approves, other meetings, be held in private.

Mr. P. O'KEEFFE (CORK):

I beg to second Dr. White's motion.

Mr. D. CEANNT (CORK):

I move that this session and other sessions be held in public. I am thoroughly dissatisfied with the information we are getting here from time to time. During the last five or six months—during the truce—my constituents at home could tell me that letters have been received from members of the staff that the whole question was settled up two months ago. And yet we are going around the country without knowing a thing about it. What I want to say is to repeat what I have been saying to my constituents for the last five or six years. What I am now about to do and say I am quite prepared to do publicly. I move that this and all other sessions be public.

Mr. J. O'DWYER (CO. DUBLIN):

I think nobody in this Dáil has the slightest reason to fear publicity. There is this to be feared, that we here with this enormous responsibility cast upon us may be slightly over-awed in the first place by the presence of people who have not got the responsibility that we have. Number two, I feel that we are all young men and young women in this very important departure in our national affairs, and it is quite possible that with the best intentions in the world that we will say things which will bear a construction that we do not intend. For that reason more


p.10

than for any other reason, not because I personally fear publicity, but to secure in the first place a full and free discussion and in the second place to secure that afterwards we will not be misunderstood, I support very strongly Dr. White's motion.

MR. R. J. MULCAHY (DUBLIN):

I propose as an amendment that whatever explanations may be required as to the genesis of the present document, and the present situation, be conducted in private session but that the motion for the ratification of the Treaty be brought forward and discussed, and all matters in connection with it dealt with at the public session.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

I second that. It is obviously the reasonable way of dealing with it. This question of finding out how differences of opinion arose is the only question that cannot be probed except in private, whereas the big question is a matter for the whole nation obviously and it should be held in public. The reason for introducing the explanation at the start on my part is that I want to try to get rid of any misunderstanding that might be caused by a division of the Cabinet. There are rumours of various sorts going about and statements being made, such as, for instance, the statement made by one of the members of the delegation just now, which are not really a fact. That can be decided only in a private session satisfactorily. I am very glad to support the motion of the Member for Clontarf.

MR. SEAN MCENTEE (CO. MONAGHAN):

I am sorry that I find I have to differ from the President in this matter. It is quite obvious one of the factors which must determine the position of the Dáil is whether the Dáil is in honour or otherwise bound to ratify the treaty proposed to them. You cannot, no matter how you try to do it, disassociate the question from the question of whether plenipotentiaries have exceeded the powers or instructions given to them. There are some of us to-day who may be called upon later to justify the positions they are taking before the country. Every factor that determines the position ought to be made plain to the public and we ought to be able to say to ourselves, and to say it without fear of contradiction—and there are the public facts to prove it—that we were not bound to ratify the treaty which the delegates proposed to us. For that reason there ought to be no private session of the Dáil except upon one subject—that which relates to our military, financial or other resources. Remember the Treaty is not yet ratified. Anything like that which would give information to the enemy or would be helpful to them in the subversion of Irish liberties should be private; but all other matters—any matter in which every person in this island is fully interested—ought to be decided openly and in public.

MR. SEAN MCGARRY (DUBLIN):

I agree with Mr. McEntee. There are one or two little points that ought to be decided in private session. I wish this session of the Dáil could be held on the Curragh, so that every man, woman and child in Ireland could hear us. We are entitled to tell the public what the difference is, and what difference has been. We have a responsibility to the public that elected us without question.

MR. J. J. WALSH (CORK):

I must say I am in entire agreement with Mr. McEntee. There is nothing which I am entitled to hear at this meeting which every member of the Irish nation has not an equal right to hear.

MR. SEAN ETCHINGHAM (WEXFORD):

I agree with the Member for Monaghan. There are matters that should be dealt with in private, but apart from these, I am anxious that these proceedings should be conducted before the representatives of the world's Press in the manner in which the Irish Parliament should be conducted. The country has been kept in the dark and the people are saying so. The liberty and interests of Ireland are the concern of every man and woman and boy and girl, and they should be as conversant with it as any of us. Let us have all the public discussion we can. The Member for Dublin says he would like to have this meeting at the Curragh, but we could not be heard down there (laughter). It would be just like the remark of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, which we would not hear down here. Let us have a public session ; let us thresh this thing out. We have nothing to fear, any of us. I believe we are all here in the interests of Ireland.


p.11

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

I am not in favour of a private session in so far as anything that the Dáil has a right to know, and in so far as anything that the Irish people, who are our masters, have a right to know. There may be differences of opinion between some of us—differences as to past and future action—that members of the Dáil would be ultimately concerned in before they would make up their minds whether or not there would be a private session or whether or not the terms should be ratified. I must again protest against what I call an unfair action, and I do not call it unfair except from this point of view. If one document had to be read the original document, which was a prior document, should have been read first. I must ask the liberty of reading the original document which was served on each member of the delegation of plenipotentiaries.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

Is that the one with the original credentials?

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER fOR FINANCE):

Yes.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

Was that ever presented? It was given in order to get the British Government to recognise the Irish Republic. Was that document giving the credentials of the accredited representatives from the Irish Government to the British Government presented to, or accepted by, the British delegates? Was that taken by the British delegates or accepted by them?

MR. A. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

We had no instructions to present it.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

I am asking a question.

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

May I ask that I be allowed to speak without interruption?

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

I must protest.

MR. P. O'KEEFFE (CORK):

The House has a right to decide the motion that is before it. The Irish people are our masters and we are the masters of our Cabinet.

THE SPEAKER:

Order; we must have order.

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

I only ask that I be allowed to speak without interruption. I am not going to interrupt any speaker and that is a small right to ask. The original credentials were presented and they read:

In virtue of the authority vested in me by Dáil Eireann, I hereby appoint Arthur Griffith, T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chairman; Michael Collins, T.D., Minister for Finance; Robert C. Barton, T.D., Minister for Economic Affairs; Edmund J. Duggan, T.D.; and George Gavan Duffy, T.D. as envoys plenipotentiaries from the elected Government of the Republic of Ireland to negotiate and conclude on behalf of Ireland, with the representatives of his Britannic Majesty George V. a treaty or treaties of settlement, association and accommodation between Ireland and the community of nations, known as the British Commonwealth. In witness hereof I hereunder subscribe my name as President.

Signed
EAMON DE VALERA
and that was sealed with the official seal of Dáil Eireann and dated the 7th day of October, 1921. Then there were five identical credentials. Now I do not object to the second document being read, but the prior document should have been read first and we have agreed, those of us who differ—those of us who take one stand—to make no statement which would in any way prejudge the issue until this meeting of Dáil Eireann. Publicly and privately we did not prejudge the issue; we even refrained from speaking to members of the Dáil. I have not said a hard word about anybody. I know I have been called a traitor. [Cries of ‘no, no’].

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

By whom?

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

If I am a traitor, let the Irish people decide it or not, and if there are men who act towards me as a traitor I am prepared to meet them anywhere, any time, now as in the past. For that reason I do not want the issue prejudged. I am in favour of a public session here


p.12

now. I understand that members of the Dáil may differ as to the advantage to be gained on one side or the other by a private session. If there is anything, any matter of detail, if, for instance, the differences between plenipotentiaries, and the differences as they arose from time to time, should be discussed first in private, I am of opinion that having discussed it in private, I think we ought then to be able to make it public. I am willing to go so far as that; that is only detail. But on the essentials I am for publicity now and all along. May I just put one point right? It is important that it should be stated because it rather puts us at a disadvantage. I agree with what the President said that the honour of Ireland was not involved in accepting this document. Ireland is fully free to accept or reject. Many a parliament of a country has refused to accept decisions of plenipotentiaries even if these decisions might be considered legally and morally more binding than the present decisions. I can only make plain again that the document is agreed to by the signatories and recommended to the Dáil for acceptance. If the Dáil do not accept it, I as one of the signatories will be relieved of all responsibility for myself, but I am bound to recommend it over my signature and of course we are bound to take action—whatever action was implied by our signing the document. The Dáil is perfectly free to accept or reject, we are only bound to recommend it to the Dáil for acceptance. The Articles of Agreement are put forward on our recommendation. That ought to be quite clear here, and ought to be equally clear to the public of this country, and the other country, the representatives of which have their signatures on the document also.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

The main point is settled. By the admission of the delegates themselves, and it is the only thing we are concerned with here, we did not send them, and it would be ridiculous to think that we could send five men to complete a treaty without the right of ratification by this assembly. That is the only thing that matters. Therefore it is agreed that this Treaty is simply an agreement and that it is not binding until the Dáil ratifies it. That is what we are concerned with. Now as to the differences that have arisen. I did not read out that first document because I was informed that it had not been accepted, in other words it had not been presented. It was given to safeguard the plenipotentiaries going over in case they should be asked by one Government from another:‘Where is your authority to negotiate a Treaty with us?’ I am very glad to know that the Prime Minister has accepted that document from the Irish Republic. Now we all can go back to meetings of the Dáil. At these meetings I made our position perfectly clear, that the plenipotentiaries were to have the fullest freedom possible. It would be ridiculous to send them over if we were all the time to interfere with them from Dublin. There was an understanding that certain things would be done so that we in Dublin would be in a position to help in so far as we could help to come to an agreement or explain disagreements. The most important paragraph in these instructions, and its importance will at once appeal to every reasonable person, was paragraph 3, which laid down that a complete draft of the Treaty should be submitted to Dublin and a reply awaited. That is a document every line of which was going to govern the relations of two countries for perhaps centuries, and it was important that that document should not be hurriedly signed and that there should be a certain delay. In fact one of the reasons I did not want to be a member of the delegation was that the delegation should be provided against hasty action. I do not mean to say that if we had signed finally the document it would have mattered. There would have probably been a division. I would not have referred to it at all but all sorts of misunderstandings have been created in the minds of the people about it. I want to get rid of that as a disturbing factor in your minds when making out the merits, or not, of the agreement; we hold one view, the delegates another.

MR. M. HAYES (NATIONAL UNIVERSITY):

There is a motion before the House, and the motion distinctly provides that the ratification should be moved in public, and therefore it seems to me that members who desire to speak will get ample opportunities for stating their views in public. I think that every member of this House should state his or her views for or against the ratification of this treaty in the most public manner possible. The motion before the House


p.13

provides for that—that a public session shall be held on the motion for ratification. In regard to other matters—our resources, military, financial or otherwise—questions relating to matters of this kind should surely be dealt with in private. I think, therefore, you should begin with a private session, on the understanding as clearly defined by the motion, that when the question of ratification comes up it should be discussed in public.

THE SPEAKER:

I suggest that Dr. White's motion and the motion of the Member for Clontarf Division might be reconciled in this form—that the Dáil go temporarily into private session.

DR. WHITE (WATERFORD):

I am quite agreeable to that suggestion.

MR. CATHAL BRUGHA (MINISTER FOR DEFENCE):

Táim-se na choinnibh sin. Do reir a bhfuil ráite ag sna daoine atá i bhfabhar an tsocruithe níl einní acu le ceilt. I object to a private session.

MR. J. J. O'KELLY (LOUTH):

On a point of order there is one important matter I would like to clear up. The President has stated on the authority of the Minister for Finance that the original document read by the Minister for Finance was presented to and accepted by the British Premier. Now I would like anyone here to have impressed on him the importance of that statement and of that position. I would like to put that question for a final and authoritative answer as to the document referred to having been presented to the Prime Minister and accepted by the Prime Minister as the original credentials of our delegation.

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

I do not wish to create a wrong impression. I did not say accepted, I said presented.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

It is very important on the question being bound. We are dealing with other people who have signed the Treaty. If these people were led to understand that the signing of that Treaty ended the matter, then we have nothing here to do. If any document was presented to them that would give them the impression, and if they accepted that document and wished to interpret into the word conclude that ratification was not necessary, that would be in despite of the fact that we here in appointing plenipotentiaries in two sessions made it clear ratification was necessary.

THE SPEAKER:

We must dispose of the motion.

MR. A. STACK (MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS):

Clear up the point.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

This is a most important matter. In the original credentials, in order to give them the fullest powers, they were empowered—using the technical term—to negotiate and conclude a Treaty. Evidently the Minister for Finance wishes to lay stress on the word conclude.

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

No, sir.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

What is the point then of raising the original credentials, if the word conclude did not mean that when you had signed it was ended. I want to know whether the delegation of the British Government accepted these credentials as the basis.

MR. M. P. COLIVET (LIMERICK):

There is a motion before the House that we go into private session.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

It is most important that we should know where we are in this matter. The honour of this nation, which is dear to us, is at stake; I say it was never intended that the plenipotentiaries—that the five people sent from this nation—should have power to bind this nation by their signatures irrevocably. There is no sense making a point of my original credentials unless it means conclude. The whole bearing of that would have to be considered from a very technical point of view. It is a technical term. Lest there should be any misunderstanding about it I want to know whether the British Government accepted the credentials as the basis on which they accepted you as plenipotentiaries to negotiate a treaty or not.

Dr. MCCARTAN (LEIX AND OFFALY):

I do not think the question arises.


p.14

The delegates had full powers to conclude a Treaty, and that treaty has to be submitted to the Dáil as it has to be submitted to the British Legislature. The Delegates had power to conclude a Treaty. They had plenary powers and it is for us now to accept or reject what they have agreed to. The argument about the word conclude does not arise.

MR. SEAN MCGARRY (DUBLIN):

I think that the question of the right of the Dáil to ratify or reject the agreement has never been questioned.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

It was suggested that I was hiding something from the House.

THE SPEAKER:

The House is really discussing Motion No. 2.

MR. A. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

There will be no wrong impression at all events in the minds of members who have to vote. these credentials were carried from President de Valera. We were instructed if the British Delegates asked for credentials to present them.

MR. A. STACK (MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS):

They were not presented.

MR. A. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

I believe Mr. Lloyd George saw the document. They were not presented or accepted. The point President de VALERA wants to know about is as to whether we considered that we had full power to make a treaty to bind the nation without the Dáil being consulted. Now the British Ministers did not sign the Treaty to bind their nation. They had to go to their Parliament and we to ours for ratification.

MR. LIAM DE ROISTE (CORK):

As one who in previous sessions stood up for the rights of the private members, I think that the motion should be put. I think the members of the Dáil here are masters of the Cabinet as the Irish people are ours. I must ask you as Chairman of this assembly to put the motion.

THE SPEAKER:

I made a suggestion to get the motion into satisfactory form. The motion in Dr. White's name is that the session be held in private. That would mean the whole session. The amendment by the Member for Clontarf Division is unnecessarily long, I think. To my mind it would be sufficient if it said that the Dáil was to go temporarily into private session, because when it does go into private session you cannot limit the points the Dáil may discuss. Therefore I suggest that it would meet the case that the Dáil should go temporarily into private session.

MR. G. GAVAN DUFFY (CO. DUBLIN):

I hope the Speaker's suggestion will not be accepted. The amendment of the Member for Clontarf restricts the public session. I have no objection to that as long as the motion for the ratification of the Treaty will be discussed in public.

THE SPEAKER:

I have not made any suggestion that would limit public discussion. In fact the only point in my mind is to simplify procedure.

MR. D. O'CALLAGHAN (CORK):

Upon this question of a public session may I suggest that we are all vitally concerned in the matter before us and that we will not be found lined up for or against ratification, and that our attitude will not be for the justification of one particular set of men or another, but having before us the unquestioned patriotism of every man and woman in the Dáil, that the only concern of every individual member of the Dáil or Cabinet is the best interests of the country. I think, and I am not very optimistic in that, that the result will not be a barren discussion one way or another, meaning naturally disaster to the country, but will result in a decision which will be satisfactory from the point of view of all concerned here and to the country as a whole.

MR. SEAN ETCHINGHAM (WEXFORD):

We have had the President's statement. Are we going to consider the ratification of the Treaty?

THE SPEAKER:

The Member for Wexford has spoken already.

MR. A. STACK (MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS):

Would I be in order in making a further amendment?


p.15

THE SPEAKER:

Not until the amendment by the Member for Clontarf is disposed of. It is:

That any explanations as regards the genesis of the Proposed Treaty in the present situation be given and discussed in Private session, but that the introduction of the proposed Treaty itself and the discussion thereon take place in public session.

The amendment was put and carried.

MR. A. STACK (MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS):

I move the further amendment:

That the session of An Dáil be held in public until such time as a matter arises which the Dáil considers should be discussed in Private session.

COUNTESS MARKIEVICZ (MINISTER FOR LABOUR)

Seconded.

MR. COSGRAVE (MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT):

May I respectfully draw your attention to No. 8 of the rules of debate by members, which states that the subject under discussion should be kept to, and another rule is that a member is not allowed to speak more than once.

The SPEAKER was proceeding to put the amendment to the House, when,

MR.D. MCCARTHY (DUBLIN):

Do you really think that in order? I do not think it is an amendment at all.

THE SPEAKER:

Oh, yes, it is a valid amendment?

MR. M. P. COLIVET (LIMERICK):

Is not the last amendment a direct negative to the previous amendment?

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

I suggest that some people think if we go into private session that we might not come out in public session at all.

MR. M. HAYES (NATIONAL UNIVERSITY):

We must go into public session on the motion for the ratification of this Treaty.

THE SPEAKER:

The difficulty with regard to the amendment is that it does not regulate any time at which the private session should take place.

MR. CATHAL BRUGHA (MINISTER FOR DEFENCE):

Whenever anyone thinks that we should go into private session let him say so, and let him tell us the reason why we should do so.

MR. S. MILROY (CAVAN AND FERMANAGH):

I think so far as this last amendment is concerned it resembles something like a Jack-in-the-Box as regards when we retire into private and come out into public session.

THE SPEAKER:

Certainly, it would raise a great difficulty in regard to the order of procedure.

MR. J. MCDONAGH (DIRECTOR OF BELFAST BOYCOTT):

The only thing I think that should be definite is that the question of the ratification of the Treaty should be in public session. If it is definitely decided that the question of the ratification has to be in public session I do not think anyone objects to a private session before that—if it is absolutely understood that the ratification of the treaty should be in public.

THE SPEAKER:

I take that to be the unanimous desire of the Dáil.

MR. R. MULCAHY (DUBLIN):

The objection I see to the amendment is that the question of private or public session will cross the tracks of every single question requiring explanation that comes before us.

MR. CATHAL BRUGHA (MINISTER FOR DEFENCE):

Therefore do not go into private session.

THE SPEAKER:

It is the general wish that the motion for ratification should be discussed in public session. In putting the amendment I do not see how I or anyone in my place can regulate the order of procedure.

The SPEAKER put the amendment which was defeated and the previous amendment was put as a substantive motion and passed.


p.16

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

I suggest it is only right to the Press and public that we should give definite times and state the limit of the private session so that they may be facilitated.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

I propose that we take the private session this afternoon and that we go into public session at 11 o'clock in the morning. This means that we continue the meeting this afternoon, and we meet tomorrow for the sole question of ratification.

THE SPEAKER:

I suggest it would save trouble to retire now, if we adjourn until the afternoon session.

PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

I suggest we keep on until 2 o'clock. We probably could dispose of the points of difference in an hour. If not we can meet again at 3.30. I propose we should meet in private session until 2 o'clock and if not finished then we shall resume at 3.30, and that when we meet to-morrow morning at 11 o'clock we shall take the motion on the question of ratification.

This concluded the public sitting.


p.17

DÁIL EIREANN PUBLIC SESSION Monday, December 19th, 1921

THE SPEAKER (DR. EOIN MAC NEILL) took the Chair at 11.25 a.m. The Secretary, MR. Diarmuid O hEigceartuigh, called the roll. The following Members answered their names:

  • Micheál O Coileáin (Co. Ard Mhacha).
  • Art O Gríobhtha (Co. an Chabháin).
  • Seán Mac Giolla Ríogh (Co. an Chabháin).
  • Pól O Geallagáin (Co. an Chabháin).
  • Seumas O Lionnáin (Co. Cheatharloch agus Co. Chill Choinnigh).
  • Liam T. Mac Cosgair (Co. Cheatharloch agus Co. Chill Choinnigh).
  • Gearóid O Súileabháin (Co. Cheatharloch agus Co. Chill Chonnigh).
  • Eamon Aidhleart (Co. Cheatharloch agus Co. Chill Choinnigh).
  • Eamon de Valera (Co. an Chláir).
  • Brian O hUiginn (Co. an Chláir).
  • Pádraig O Braonáin (Co. an Chláir).
  • Seán O Lidia (Co. an Chláir).
  • Seán O hAodha (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  • Pádraig O Caoimh (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  • Seán Mac Suibhne (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  • Seán Mac Heil (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  • Seán O Maoileoin (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  • Domhnall O Corcora (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  • Seán O Nualláin (Co. Chorcaighe Thiar, Theas, agus Meadh).
  • Tomás O Fiachra (Co. Chorcaighe Thoir).
  • Seumas Mac Gearailt (Co. Chorcaighe Thoir).
  • Dáithí Ceannt (Co. Chorcaighe Thoir).
  • Eoin Mac Neill (Co. Dhoire).
  • Seosamh O Dochartaigh (Co. Thír Chonaill).
  • Seosamh Mac Suibhne (Co. Thír Chonaill).
  • Peadar S. Mac an Bháird (Co. Thír Chonaill).
  • Dr. S. Mac Fhionnlaoigh (Co. Thír Chonaill).
  • P. S. Mac Ualghairg (Co. Thír Chonaill).
  • S. O Flaithbheartaigh Co. Thír Chonaill).
  • Proinnsias Laighleis (Co. Atha Cliath).
  • S. Ghabháin Uí Dhubhthaigh (Co. Atha Cliath).
  • Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt (Co. Atha Cliath).
  • Seumas Mac Doirim (Co. Atha Cliath).
  • Bean an Phiarsaigh (Co. Atha Cliath).
  • Seumas O Duibhir (Co. Atha Cliath).
  • Seán O Mathghamhna (Co. Fhearmanach).
  • Liam O Maoilíosa (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  • Dr. Brian Cíosóg (Co. na Gaillimbe).
  • Proinsias O Fathaigh (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  • Pádraig O Máille (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill (Co. na Gaillimhe)
  • P. S. O hOgáin (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  • An t-Oll S. O Faoilleacháin (Co. na Gaillimhe).
  • Aibhistin de Stac (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  • Piaras Beaslaí (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  • Fionán O Loingsigh (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  • S. O Cruadhlaoich (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  • Conchubhar O Coileáin (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  • Eamon de Róiste (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  • P. S. O Cathail (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).
  • Tomás O Donnchadha (Co. Chiarraidhe agus Co. Luimnighe Thiar).

  • p.18

  • Art O Conchubhair (Co. Chill Dara agus Co. Chill Mhantáin).
  • Domhnall O Buachalla (Co. Chill Dara agus Co. Chill Mhantáin).
  • E. Childers (Co. Chill Dara agus Co. Chill Mhantáin).
  • Riobard Bartún (Co. Chill Dara agus Co. Chill Mhantáin).
  • Criostoir O Broin (Co. Chill Dara agus Co. Chill Mhantáin).
  • Seoirse Pluingceud (Co. Liathdroma agus Co. Roscomáin Thuaidh).
  • Seumas O Doláin (Co. Liathdroma agus Co. Roscomáin Thuaidh).
  • Andrias O Láimhín (Co. Liathdroma agus Co. Roscomáin Thuaidh).
  • Tomás Carter (Co. Liathdroma agus Co. Roscomáin Thuaidh).
  • Dr. Pádraig Mac Artáin (Co. Laoighise agus Co. O bhFáilghe).
  • Caoimhghin O hUiginn (Co. Laoighise agus Co. O bhFáilghe).
  • Seosamh O Loingsigh (Co. Laoighise agus Co. O bhFáilghe).
  • Proinsias Bulfin (Co. Laoighise agus Co. O bhFáilghe).
  • Bean Mhíchíl Uí Cheallacháin (Cathair Luimnighe agus Co. Luimnighe Thoir).
  • Dr. Riseárd O hAodha (Cathair Luimnighe agus Co. Luimnighe Thoir).
  • M. P. Colivet (Cathair Luimnighe agus Co. Luimnighe Thoir).
  • Liam O hAodha (Cathair Luimnighe agus Co. Luimnighe Thoir).
  • Seosamh Mac Aonghusa (Co. Longphuirt agus Co. na hIar-Mhidhe).
  • Sean Mac Eoin (Co. Longphuirt agus Co. na hIar-Mhidhe).
  • Lorcán O Roibín (Co. Longphuirt agus Co. na hIar-Mhidhe).
  • Seán O Ceallaigh (Co. Lughmhaighe agus Co. na Midhe).
  • Eamon O Dúgáin (Co. Lughmhaighe agus Co. na Midhe).
  • Peadar O hAodha (Co. Lughmhaighe agus Co. na Midhe).
  • Seumas O Murchadha (Co. Lughmhaighe agus Co. na Midhe).
  • Saerbhreathach Mac Cionaith (Co. Lughmhaighe agus Co. na Midhe).
  • Dr. O Cruadhlaoich (Co. Mhuigheo Thuaidh agus Thiar).
  • Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhrighde (Co. Mhuigheo Thuaidh agus Tbiar).
  • Tomás O Deirg (Co. Mhuigheo Thuaidh agus Thiar).
  • P. S. O Ruithleis (Co. Mhuigheo Thuaidh agus Thiar).
  • Liam Mac Sioghuird (Co. Mhuigheo Theas agus Co. Roscomáin Theas).
  • Tomás Maguidhir (Co. Mhuigheo Theas agus Co. Roscomáin Theas).
  • D. O Ruairc (Co. Mhuigheo Theas agus Co. Roscomáin Theas).
  • Earnán de Blaghd (Co. Mhuineacháin).
  • Seán Mac an tSaoi (Co. Mhuineacháin).
  • Eoin O Dubhthaigh (Co. Mhuineacháin).
  • Dr. P. O Fearáin (Co. Shligigh agus Co. Mhuigheo Thoir).
  • Alasdair Mac Cába (Co. Shligigh agus Co. Mhuigheo Thoir).
  • Tomás O Domhnaill (Co. Shligigh agus Co. Mhuigheo Thoir).
  • Seumas O Daimhín (Co. Shligigh agus Co. Mhuigheo Thoir).
  • Proinsias Mac Cárthaigh (Co. Shligigh agus Co. Mhuigheo Thoir).
  • Seosamh Mac Donnchadha (Co. Thiobrad Arann Theas, Thuaidh agus Meadh).
  • Seumas de Búrca (Co. Thiobrad Arann Theas, Thuaidh agus Meadh).
  • P. S. O Maoldomhnaigh (Co. Thiobrad Arann Theas, Thuaidh agus Meadh).
  • P. S. O Broin (Co. Thiobrad Arann Theas, Thuaidh agus Meadh).
  • Cathal Brugha (Co. Phortláirge agus Co. Thiobrad Arann Thoir).
  • Dr. V. de Faoite (Co. Phortláirge agus Co. Thiobrad Arann Thoir).
  • Proinsias O Druacháin (Co. Phortláirge agus Co. Thiobrad Arann Thoir).
  • Eamon O Deaghaidh (Co. Phortláirge agus Co. Thiobrad Arann Thoir).
  • Seumas Mac Roibín (Co. Phortláirge agus Co. Thiobrad Arann Thoir).
  • Dr. Seumas O Riain (Co. Loch Garman).
  • Seán Etchingham (Co. Loch Garman).
  • Risteárd Mac Fheorais (Co. Loch Garman).
  • Seumas O Dubhghaill (Co. Loch Garman).
  • Seán T. O Ceallaigh (Baile Atha Cliath Meadh).
  • Philib O Seanacháin (Baile Atha Cliath Meadh).
  • Bean an Chleirigh (Baile Atha Cliath Meadh).
  • Seán Mac Garraidh (Baile Atha Cliath Meadh).

  • p.19

  • Mícheál Mac Stáin (Baile Atha Cliath Thiar Thuaidh).
  • Risteárd O Maolchatha (Baile Atha Cliath Thiar Thuaidh).
  • Seosamh Mac Craith (Baile Atha Cliath Thiar Thuaidh).
  • Philib Mac Cosgair (Baile Atha Cliath Thiar Thuaidh).
  • Constans de Markievics (Baile Atha Cliath Theas).
  • Cathal O Murchadha (Baile Atha Cliath Theas).
  • Domhnall Mac Cárthaigh (Baile Atha Cliath Theas).
  • Liam de Róiste (Corcaigh).
  • Seumas Breathnach (Corcaigh).
  • Máire nic Shuibhne (Corcaigh).
  • Domhnall O Ceallacháin (Corcaigh).
  • Mícheál O hAodha (Ollsgoil Náisiúnta na hEireann).
  • Dr. Eithne Inglis (Ollsgoil Náisiúnta na hEireann).
  • An t-Oll W. F. P. Stockley (Ollsgoil Náisiúnta na hEireann)
  • THE SPEAKER:

    The President informs the House that the document presented to the Dáil for a certain purpose at the Private Session is now withdrawn and must be regarded as confidential until he brings his own proposal forward formally.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

    Am I to understand, Sir, that that document we discussed at the Private Session is to be withheld from the Irish people?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    No. But I don't want to have the debate interfered with, the direct debate on the Treaty, by a discussion on a secondary document put forward for a certain purpose in Private Session. That document will be put forward in its proper place.

    MR. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

    I want to know is the document we discussed as an alternative to be withheld from the Irish people, or is it to be published in the Press for the people to see?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I put forward the document for a distinct purpose to see whether we could get a unanimous proposition by this House. That has not been achieved. I am going to put forward the proposal myself definitely to this House as my own proposition which I stand for. That was for a different purpose.

    MR. SEAN MILROY (CAVAN):

    Before that document can be regarded as private, I think the President will have to get the assent of this House. We weren't informed it was merely for private discussion. This is a matter that goes to the root of the whole issue before this House, and I think it a rather curious point to raise now when the Public Session has begun, that we should be informed that it is to be regarded as a confidential document. I, for my part, refuse until this House assents to that proposition.

    THE SPEAKER:

    We cannot have a discussion on this at this point. The only matter that arises is that the President's request as read out by me has been expressed to the House. We must now proceed with the orders of the day.

    MR. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

    A Chinn Chomhairle, I submit I am here to move this. Are my hands to be tied by this document being withheld after we were discussing it for two days?

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ (SOUTH DUBLIN):

    I wish to say that when the document was given to me it was distinctly stated it was confidential, and I have treated it as such.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I have no objection to the document going anywhere, except this, that I wanted this House, if possible, to have a united policy. I was prepared to stand on a certain document. It would cease to be of value unless it was a document that would command practically the unanimous approval of the assembly. It was given to the assembly distinctly on that understanding to get objections to it. I intend proposing what I want to stand on as my own proposition before the Irish people. That was not my proposal definitely; it was a paper put in in order to elicit views. I am ready to put


    p.20

    my proposition in its proper place, both before this assembly and before the Irish nation. I have asked it to be treated as confidential because there are other documents necessary to explain its genesis. Unless you want all the confidential documents of the whole conference proceedings published, then I hold you cannot publish that.

    MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

    I as a public representative cannot consent, if I am in a minority of one, in withholding from the Irish people my knowledge of what the alternative is. We have to deal with this matter in the full light of our own responsibility to our people, and I cannot in my public statement refrain from telling the Irish people what certain alternatives are.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    It is not proposed to withhold either that document or any documents from the Irish people, if this House wishes it, in its proper place, but I hold it is running across the course of the debate to introduce now for the public a document which has been discussed in Private Session. It means that the Private Session might as well not have been held.

    THE SPEAKER:

    I wish the members to understand that this is not a matter of the Chair's ruling that this document is confidential. It is simply a matter of a request made by the President and communicated by me to the Dáil, through the ordinary courtesy of procedure, as the President's desire. I do not make any ruling on it, but any discussion on it is out of order. We most proceed now with the orders of the day.

    MR. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

    It is not a question of courtesy; it is not a question of the rules of procedure; it is a question of the lives and fortunes of the people of Ireland. While I shall so far as I can respect President de Valera's wish, I am not going to hide from the Irish people what the alternative is that is proposed. I move the motion standing in my name—

    That Dáil Eireann approves of the Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, signed in London on December 6th, 1921.

    Nearly three months ago Dáil Eireann appointed plenipotentiaries to go to London to treat with the British Government and to make a bargain with them. We have made a bargain. We have brought it back. We were to go there to reconcile our aspirations with the association of the community of nations known as the British Empire. That task which was given to us was as hard as was ever placed on the shoulders of men. We faced that task; we knew that whatever happened we would have our critics, and we made up our minds to do whatever was right and disregard whatever criticism might occur. We could have shirked the responsibility. We did not seek to act as the plenipotentiaries; other men were asked and other men refused. We went. The responsibility is on our shoulders; we took the responsibility in London and we take the responsibility in Dublin. I signed that Treaty not as the ideal thing, but fully believing, as I believe now, it is a treaty honourable to Ireland, and safeguards the vital interests of Ireland.

    And now by that Treaty I am going to stand, and every man with a scrap of honour who signed it is going to stand. It is for the Irish people—who are our masters [hear, hear] not our servants as some think—it is for the Irish people to say whether it is good enough. I hold that it is, and I hold that the Irish people—that 95 per cent of them believe it to be good enough. We are here, not as the dictators of the Irish People, but as the representatives of the Irish people, and if we misrepresent the Irish people, then the moral authority of Dáil Eireann, the strength behind it, and the fact that Dáil Eireann spoke the voice of the Irish people, is gone, and gone for ever. Now, the President— and I am in a difficult position—does not wish a certain document referred to read. But I must refer to the substance of it. An effort has been made outside to represent that a certain number of men stood uncompromisingly on the rock of the Republic—the Republic, and nothing but the Republic.

    It has been stated also here that the man who made this position, the man who won the war—Michael Collins—compromised Ireland's rights. In the letters that preceded the negotiations not once was a demand made for recognition of the Irish Republic. If it had been made we knew it would have BEEN


    p.21

    refused. We went there to see how to reconcile the two positions, and I hold we have done it. The President does not wish this document to be read. What am I to do? What am I to say? Am I to keep my mouth shut and let the Irish people think about this uncompromising rock?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I will make my position in my speech quite clear.

    MR. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

    What we have to say is this, that the difference in this Cabinet and in this House is between half-recognising the British King and the British Empire, and between marching in, as one of the speakers said, with our heads up. The gentlemen on the other side are prepared to recognise the King of England as head of the British Commonwealth. They are prepared to go half in the Empire and half out. They are prepared to go into the Empire for war and peace and treaties, and to keep out for other matters, and that is what the Irish people have got to know is the difference. Does all this quibble of words—because it is merely a quibble of words—mean that Ireland is asked to throw away this Treaty and go back to war? So far as my power or voice extends, not one young Irishman's life shall be lost on that quibble. We owe responsibility to the Irish people. I feel my responsibility to the Irish people, and the Irish people must know, and know in every detail, the difference that exists between us, and the Irish people must be our judges. When the plenipotentiaries came back they were sought to be put in the dock. Well, if I am going to be tried, I am going to be tried by the people of Ireland [hear, hear]. Now this Treaty has been attacked. It has been examined with a microscope to find its defects, and this little thing and that little thing has been pointed out, and the people are told—one of the gentlemen said it here—that it was less even than the proposals of July. It is the first Treaty between the representatives of the Irish Government and the representatives of the English Government since 1172 signed on equal footing. It is the first Treaty that admits the equality of Ireland. It is a Treaty of equality, and because of that I am standing by it. We have come back from London with that Treaty—Saorstát na hEireann recognised—the Free State of Ireland. We have brought back the flag; we have brought back the evacuation of Ireland after 700 years by British troops and the formation of an Irish army [applause]. We have brought back to Ireland her full rights and powers of fiscal control. We have brought back to Ireland equality with England, equality with all nations which form that Commonwealth, and an equal voice in the direction of foreign affairs in peace and war. Well, we are told that that Treaty is a derogation from our status; that it is a Treaty not to be accepted, that it is a poor thing, and that the Irish people ought to go back and fight for something more, and that something more is what I describe as a quibble of words. Now, I shall have an opportunity later on of replying to the very formidably arranged criticism that is going to be levelled at the Treaty to show its defects. At all events, the Irish people are a people of great common sense. They know that a Treaty that gives them their flag and their Free State and their Army (cheers) is not a sham Treaty, and the sophists and the men of words will not mislead them, I tell you. In connection with the Treaty men said this and said that, and I was requested to get from Mr. Lloyd George a definite statement covering points in the Treaty which some gentlemen misunderstood. This is Mr. Lloyd George's letter:

    10, Downing Street, S.W. 1 12th December, 1921.

    Sir,—

    As doubts may be expressed regarding certain points not specifically mentioned in the Treaty terms, I think it is important that their meaning should be clearly understood.

    The first question relates to the method of appointment of the Representatives of the Crown in Ireland. Article III. of the Agreement lays down that he is to be appointed ‘in like manner as the Governor-General of Canada and in accordance with the Practice observed in the making of such appointment’. This means that the Government of the Irish Free State will be consulted so as to ensure a selection acceptable to the Irish Government before any recommendation is made to his Majesty.


    p.22

    The second question is as to the scope of the Arbitration contemplated in Article V. regarding Ireland's liability for a share of War Pensions and the Public Debt. The procedure contemplated by the Conference was that the British Government should submit its claim, and that the Government of the Irish Free State should submit any counter-claim to which it thought Ireland entitled.

    Upon the case so submitted the Arbitrators would decide after making such further inquiries as they might think necessary; their decision would then be final and binding on both parties. It is, of course, understood that the arbitrator or arbitrators to whom the case is referred shall be men as to whose impartiality both the British Government and the Government of the Irish Free State are satisfied.

    The third question relates to the status of the Irish Free State. The special arrangements agreed between us in Articles VI., VII., VIII. and IX., which are not in the Canadian constitution, in no way affect status. They are necessitated by the proximity and interdependence of the two islands by conditions, that is, which do not exist in the case of Canada.

    They in no way affect the position of the Irish Free State in the Commonwealth or its title to representation, like Canada, in the Assembly of the League of Nations. They were agreed between us for our mutual benefit, and have no bearing of any kind upon the question of status. It is our desire that Ireland shall rank as co-equal with the other nations of the Commonwealth, and we are ready to support her claim to a similar place in the League of Nations as soon as her new Constitution comes into effect.

    The framing of that Constitution will be in the hands of the Irish Government, subject, of course, to the terms of Agreement, and to the pledges given in respect of the minority by the head of the Irish Delegation. The establishment and composition of the Second Chamber is, therefore, in the discretion of the Irish people. There is nothing in the Articles of Agreement to suggest that Ireland is in this respect bound to the Canadian model.

    I may add that we propose to begin withdrawing the Military and Auxiliary Forces of the Crown in Southern Ireland when the Articles of Agreement are ratified.

    I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant,

    D. LLOYD GEORGE.

    Various different methods of attack on this Treaty have been made. One of them was they did not mean to keep it. Well, they have ratified it, and it can come into operation inside a fortnight. We think they do mean to keep it if we keep it. They are pledged now before the world, pledged by their signature, and if they depart from it they will be disgraced and we will be stronger in the world's eyes than we are today. During the last few years a war was waged on the Irish people, and the Irish people defended themselves, and for a portion of that time, when President de Valera was in America, I had at least the responsibility on my shoulders of standing for all that was done in that defence, and I stood for it [applause]. I would stand for it again under similar conditions. Ireland was fighting then against an enemy that was striking at her life, and was denying her liberty, but in any contest that would follow the rejection of this offer Ireland would be fighting with the sympathy of the world against her, and with all the Dominions—all the nations that comprise the British Commonwealth—against her.

    The position would be such that I believe no conscientious Irishman could take the responsibility for a single Irishman's life in that futile war. Now, many criticisms, I know, will be levelled against this Treaty; one in particular, one that is in many instances quite honest, it is the question of the oath. I ask the members to see what the oath is, to read it, not to misunderstand or misrepresent it. It is an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the Free State of Ireland and of faithfulness to King George V. in his capacity as head and in virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain and the other nations comprising the British Commonwealth. That is an oath, I say, that any Irishman could take with honour. He pledges his allegiance to his country and to be faithful to this Treaty, and faithfulness after to the head of the British Commonwealth of Nations. If his country were unjustly used by any of the nations of that Commonwealth, or


    p.23

    its head, then his allegiance is to his own country and his allegiance bids him to resist [hear, hear]. We took an oath to the Irish Republic, but, as President de Valera himself said, he understood that oath to bind him to do the best he could for Ireland. So do we. We have done the best we could for Ireland. If the Irish people say ‘We have got everything else but the name Republic, and we will fight for it’, I would say to them that they are fools, but I will follow in the ranks. I will take no responsibility. But the Irish people will not do that. Now it has become rather a custom for men to speak of what they did, and did not do, in the past. I am not going to speak of that aspect, except one thing. It is this. The prophet I followed throughout my life, the man whose words and teachings I tried to translate into practice in politics, the man whom I revered above all Irish patriots was Thomas Davis. In the hard way of fitting practical affairs into idealism I have made Thomas Davis my guide. I have never departed in my life one inch from the principles of Thomas Davis, and in signing this Treaty and bringing it here and asking Ireland to ratify it I am following Thomas Davis still. Later on, when coming to reply to criticism, I will deal with the other matters. Thomas Davis said:

    Peace with England, alliance with England to some extent, and, under certain circumstances, confederation with England; but an Irish ambition, Irish hopes, strength, virtue, and rewards for the Irish.

    That is what we have brought back, peace with England, alliance with England, confederation with England, an Ireland developing her own life, carving out her own way of existence, and rebuilding the Gaelic civilisation broken down at the battle of Kinsale. I say we have brought you that. I say we have translated Thomas Davis into the practical politics of the day. I ask then this Dáil to pass this resolution, and I ask the people of Ireland, and the Irish people everywhere, to ratify this Treaty, to end this bitter conflict of centuries, to end it for ever, to take away that poison that has been rankling in the two countries and ruining the relationship of good neighbours. Let us stand as free partners, equal with England, and make after 700 years the greatest revolution that has ever been made in the history of the world—a revolution of seeing the two countries standing not apart as enemies, but standing together as equals and as friends. I ask you, therefore, to pass this resolution [applause].

    COMMANDANT SEAN MACKEON (LONGFORD AND WESTMEATH):

    A Chinn Chomhairle I rise to second the motion, as proposed by the Deputy for West Cavan (Arthur Griffith) and Chairman of the Irish Delegation in London. In doing so, I take this course because I know I am doing it in the interests of my country, which I love. To me symbols, recognitions, shadows, have very little meaning. What I want, what the people of Ireland want, is not shadows but substances, and I hold that this Treaty between the two nations gives us not shadows but real substances, and for that reason I am ready to support it. Furthermore, this Treaty gives Ireland the chance for the first time in 700 years to develop her own life in her own way, to develop Ireland for all, every man and woman, without distinction of creed or class or politics. To me this Treaty gives me what I and my comrades fought for; it gives us for the first time in 700 years the evacuation of Britain's armed forces out of Ireland. It also gives me my hope and dream, our own Army, not half-equipped, but fully equipped, to defend our interests. If the Treaty were much worse in words than it is alleged to be, once it gave me these two things, I would take it and say as long as the armed forces of Britain are gone and the armed forces of Ireland remain, we can develop our own nation in our own way. Furthermore, when it gives us this army it simply means that it is a guarantee that England or England's King will be faithful to us. If he is not, if the King is not faithful to us, well, we will have somebody left who will defend our interests and see that they are safeguarded. It may seem rather peculiar that one like me who is regarded as an extremist should take this step. Yes, to the world and to Ireland I say I am an extremist, but it means that I have an extreme love of my country. It was love of my country that made me and every other Irishman take up arms to defend her. It was


    p.24

    love of my country that made me ready, and every other Irishman ready, to die for her if necessary. This Treaty brings the freedom that is necessary, it brings the freedom that we all were ready to die for, that is, that Ireland be allowed to develop her own life in her own way, without any interference from any other Government whether English or otherwise [applause].

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I think it would scarcely be in accordance with Standing Orders of the Dáil if I were to move directly the rejection of this Treaty. I daresay, however, it will be sufficient that I should appeal to this House not to approve of the Treaty. We were elected by the Irish people, and did the Irish people think we were liars when we said that we meant to uphold the Republic, which was ratified by the vote of the people three years ago, and was further ratified—expressly ratified—by the vote of the people at the elections last May? When the proposal for negotiation came from the British Government asking that we should try by negotiation to reconcile Irish national aspirations with the association of nations forming the British Empire, there was no one here as strong as I was to make sure that every human attempt should be made to find whether such reconciliation was possible. I am against this Treaty because it does not reconcile Irish national aspirations with association with the British Government. I am against this Treaty, not because I am a man of war, but a man of peace. I am against this Treaty because it will not end the centuries of conflict between the two nations of Great Britain and Ireland.

    We went out to effect such a reconciliation and we have brought back a thing which will not even reconcile our own people much less reconcile Britain and Ireland.

    If there was to be reconciliation, it is obvious that the party in Ireland which typifies national aspirations for centuries should be satisfied, and the test of every agreement would be the test of whether the people were satisfied or not. A war-weary people will take things which are not in accordance with their aspirations. You may have a snatch election now, and you may get a vote of the people, but I will tell you that Treaty will renew the contest that is going to begin the same history that the Union began, and Lloyd George is going to have the same fruit for his labours as Pitt had. When in Downing Street the proposals to which we could unanimously assent in the Cabinet were practically turned down at the point of the pistol and immediate war was threatened upon our people. It was only then that this document was signed, and that document has been signed by plenipotentiaries, not perhaps individually under duress, but it has been signed, and would only affect this nation as a document signed under duress, and this nation would not respect it.

    I wanted, and the Cabinet wanted, to get a document we could stand by, a document that could enable Irishmen to meet Englishmen and shake hands with them as fellow-citizens of the world. That document makes British authority our masters in Ireland. It was said that they had only an oath to the British King in virtue of common citizenship, but you have an oath to the Irish Constitution, and that Constitution will be a Constitution which will have the King of Great Britain as head of Ireland. You will swear allegiance to that Constitution and to that King; and if the representatives of the Republic should ask the people of Ireland to do that which is inconsistent with the Republic, I say they are subverting the Republic. It would be a surrender which was never heard of in Ireland since the days of Henry II.; and are we in this generation, which has made Irishmen famous through out the world, to sign our names to the most ignoble document that could be signed.

    When I was in prison in solitary confinement our warders told us that we could go from our cells into the hall, which was about fifty feet by forty. We did go out from the cells to the hall, but we did not give our word to the British jailer that he had the right to detain us in prison because we got that privilege. Again on another occasion we were told that we could get out to a garden party, where we could see the flowers and the hills, but we did not for the privilege of going out to garden parties sign a document handing over our souls and bodies to the jailers. Rather than sign a document which would give Britain authority in Ireland they should be ready to go into slavery until the Almighty had blotted out their


    p.25

    tyrants [applause]. If the British government passed a Home Rule Act or something of that kind I would not have said to the Irish people, ‘Do not take it’. I would have said, ‘Very well; this is a case of the jailer leading you from the cell to the hall,’ but by getting that we did not sign away our right to whatever form of government we pleased. It was said that an uncompromising stand for a Republic was not made. The stand made by some of them was to try and reconcile a Republic with an association. There was a document presented to this House to try to get unanimity, to see whether the views which I hold could be reconciled to that party which typified the national aspirations of Ireland for centuries. The document was put there for that purpose, and I defy anybody in this House to say otherwise than that I was trying to bring forward before this assembly a document which would bring real peace between Great Britain and Ireland—a sort of document we would have tried to get and would not have agreed if we did not get. It would be a document that would give real peace to the people of Great Britain and Ireland and not the officials. I know it would not be a politicians' peace. I know the politician in England who would take it would risk his political future, but it would be a peace between peoples, and would be consistent with the Irish people being full masters of everything within their own shores. Criticism of this Treaty is scarcely necessary from this point of view, that it could not be ratified because it would not be legal for this assembly to ratify it, because it would be inconsistent with our position. We were elected here to be the guardians of an independent Irish State—a State that had declared its independence—and this House could no more than the ignominious House that voted away the Colonial Parliament that was in Ireland in 1800 unless we wished to follow the example of that House and vote away the independence of our people. We could not ratify that instrument if it were brought before us for ratification. It is, therefore, to be brought before us not for ratification, because it would be inconsistent, and the very fact that it is inconsistent shows that it could not be reconciled with Irish aspirations, because the aspirations of the Irish people have been crystallised into the form of Government they have at the present time. As far as I was concerned, I am probably the freest man here to express my opinion. Before I was elected President at the Private Session, I said, ‘Remember I do not take, as far as I am concerned, oaths as regards forms of Government. I regard myself here to maintain the independence of Ireland and to do the best for the Irish people’, and it is to do the best for the Irish people that I ask you not to approve but to reject this Treaty.

    You will be asked in the best interests of Ireland, if you pretend to the world that this will lay the foundation of a lasting peace, and you know perfectly well that even if Mr. Griffith and Mr. Collins set up a Provisional Government in Dublin Castle, until the Irish people would have voted upon it the Government would be looked upon as a usurpation equally with Dublin Castle in the past. We know perfectly well there is nobody here who has expressed more strongly dissent from any attacks of any kind upon the delegates that went to London than I did.

    There is no one who knew better than I did how difficult is the task they had to perform. I appealed to the Dáil, telling them the delegates had to do something a mighty army or a mighty navy would not be able to do. I hold that, and I hold that it was in their excessive love for Ireland they have done what they have. I am as anxious as anyone for the material prosperity of Ireland and the Irish people, but I cannot do anything that would make the Irish people hang their heads. I would rather see the same thing over again than that Irishmen should have to hang their heads in shame for having signed and put their hands to a document handing over their authority to a foreign country. The Irish people would not want me to save them materially at the expense of their national honour. I say it is quite within the competence of the Irish people if they wished to enter into an association with other peoples, to enter into the British Empire; it is within their competence if they want to choose the British monarch as their King, but does this assembly think the Irish people have changed so much within the past year or two that they now want to get into the British Empire after seven centuries of fighting? Have they so changed that they now want to


    p.26

    choose the person of the British monarch, whose forces they have been fighting against, and who have been associated with all the barbarities of the past couple of years; have they changed so much that they want to choose the King as their monarch? It is not King George as a monarch they choose: it is Lloyd George, because it is not the personal monarch they are choosing, it is British power and authority as sovereign authority in this country. The sad part of it, as I was saying, is that a grand peace could at this moment be made, and to see the difference. I say, for instance, if approved by the Irish people, and if Mr. Griffith, or whoever might be in his place, thought it wise to ask King George over to open Parliament he would see black flags in the streets of Dublin. Do you think that that would make for harmony between the two peoples? What would the people of Great Britain say when they saw the King accepted by the Irish people greeted in Dublin with black flags? If a Treaty was entered into, if it was a right Treaty, he could have been brought here [No, no]. Yes, he could [cries of ‘No, no’]. Why not? I say if a proper peace had been made you could bring, for instance, the President of France, the King of Spain, or the President of America here, or the head of any other friendly nation here in the name of the Irish State, and the Irish people would extend to them in a very different way a welcome as the head of a friendly nation coming on a friendly visit to their country, and not as a monarch who came to call Ireland his legitimate possession. In one case the Irish people would regard him as a usurper, in the other case it would be the same as a distinguished visitor to their country. Therefore, I am against the Treaty, because it does not do the fundamental thing and bring us peace. The Treaty leaves us a country going through a period of internal strife just as the Act of Union did.

    One of the great misfortunes in Ireland for past centuries has been the fact that our internal problems and our internal domestic questions could not be gone into because of the relationship between Ireland and Great Britain. Just as in America during the last Presidential election, it was not the internal affairs of the country were uppermost; it was other matters. It was the big international question. That was the misfortune for America at the time, and it was the great misfortune for Ireland for 120 years, and if the present Pact is agreed on that will continue. I am against it because it is inconsistent with our position, because if we are to say the Irish people don't mean it, then they should have told us that they didn't mean it.

    Had the Chairman of the delegation said he did not stand for the things they had said they stood for, he would not have been elected. The Irish people can change their minds if they wish to. The Irish people are our masters, and they can do as they like, but only the Irish people can do that, and we should give the people the credit that they meant what they said just as we mean what we say.

    I do not think I should continue any further on this matter. I have spoken generally, and if you wish we can take these documents up, article by article, but they have been discussed in Private Session, and I do not think there is any necessity for doing so. Therefore, I am once more asking you to reject the Treaty for two main reasons, that, as every Teachta knows, it is absolutely inconsistent with our Position; it gives away Irish independence; it brings us into the British Empire; it acknowledges the head of the British Empire, not merely as the head of an association, but as the direct monarch of Ireland, as the source of executive authority in Ireland. The Ministers of Ireland will be His Majesty's Ministers, the Army that Commandant MacKeon spoke of will be His Majesty's Army. [Voices: ‘No’.] You may sneer at words, but I say words mean, and I say in a Treaty words do mean something, else why should they be put down? They have meanings and they have facts, great realities that you cannot close your eyes to. This Treaty means that the Ministers of the Irish Free State will be His Majesty's Ministers [cries of ‘No, no,’] and the Irish Forces will be His Majesty's Forces [‘No, no’.] Well, time will tell, and I hope it won't have a chance, because you will throw this out. If you accept it, time will tell; it cannot be one way in this assembly and another way in the British House of Commons. The Treaty is an agreed document, and there ought


    p.27

    to be pretty fairly common interpretation of it. If there are differences of interpretation we know who will get the best of them.

    I hold, and I don't mind my words being on record, that the chief executive authority in Ireland is the British Monarch—the British authority. It is in virtue of that authority the Irish Ministers will function. It is to the Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Army, who will be the English Monarch, they will swear allegiance, these soldiers of Ireland. It is on these grounds as being inconsistent with our position, and with the whole national tradition for 750 years, that it cannot bring peace. Do you think that because you sign documents like this you can change the current of tradition? You cannot. Some of you are relying on that cannot to sign this Treaty. But don't put a barrier in the way of future generations.

    Parnell was asked to do something like this—to say it was a final settlement. But he said, ‘No man has a right to set’. No man can is a different thing. ‘No man has a right’—take the context and you know the meaning. Parnell said practically, ‘You have no right to ask me, because I have no right to say that any man can set boundaries to the march of a nation’. As far as you can, if you take this you are [cries of ‘No’ and ‘Yes’] presuming to set bounds to the onward march of a nation [applause].

    MR. AUSTIN STACK (MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS):

    It happens to be my privilege to rise immediately after the President to support his motion that this House do not approve of the document which has been presented to them. I shall be very brief; I shall confine myself to what I regard as the chief defects in the document, namely, those which conflict with my idea of Irish Independence. I regard clauses in this agreement as being the governing clauses. These are Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4. In No. 1 England purports to bestow on Ireland, an ancient nation, the same constitutional status as any of the British Dominions, and also to bestow her with a Parliament having certain powers. To look at the second clause, it starts off—‘Subject to provisions hereinafter set out’—and then she tries to limit you to the powers of the Dominion of Canada. What they may mean I cannot say, beyond this, that the Canadian Dominion is set up under a very old Act which considerably limits its powers. No doubt the words ‘law, practice, and constitutional usage’ are here. I cannot define what these may mean. Other speakers who will come before the assembly may be able to explain them. I certainly cannot. To let us assume that this clause gives to this country full Canadian powers, I for one cannot accept from England full Canadian powers, three-quarter Canadian powers, or half Canadian powers. I stand for what is Ireland's right, full independence and nothing short of it. It is easy to understand that countries like Australia, New Zealand and the others can put up with the Powers which are bestowed on them, can put up with acknowledgments to the monarch and rule of Great Britain as head of their State, for have they not all sprung from England? Are they not children of England? Have they not been built up by Great Britain? Have they not been protected by England and lived under England's flag for all time? What other feeling can they have but affection for England, which they always regarded as their motherland? This country, on the other hand, has not been a child of England's, nor never was. England came here as an invader, and for 750 years we have been resisting that conquest. Are we now after those 750 years to bend the knee and acknowledge that we received from England as a concession full, or half, or three-quarter Dominion powers? I say no. Clause 3 of this Treaty gives us a representative of the Crown in Ireland appointed in the same manner as a Governor-General. That Governor-General will act in all respects in the name of the King of England. He will represent the King in the Capital of Ireland and he will open the Parliament which some members of this House seem to be willing to attend. I am sure none of them, indeed, is very anxious to attend it under the circumstances, but if they accept this Treaty they will have to attend Parliament summoned in the name of the King of Great Britain and Ireland. There is no doubt about that whatever. The fourth paragraph sets out the form of oath, and this form of oath may be divided into two parts. In the first part you swear ‘true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State as by law established’. As


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    the President has stated, according to the Constitution which will be sanctioned under that Parliament, it will be summoned by the representative of the King of England and Ireland and will acknowledge that King. I say even that part of the oath is nothing short of swearing allegiance to the head of that Constitution which will be the King. You express it again when you swear, ‘and that I will be faithful to His Majesty King George V., his heirs and successors by law’. That is clear enough, and I have no hesitation whatever in reading the qualifying words. I say these qualifying words in no way alter the text, or form, or effect of this oath, because what you do in that is to explain the reason why you give faith, why you pledge fealty to King George. You say it is in virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain and the meaning of that is that you are British subjects. You are British subjects without a doubt, and I challenge anyone here to stand and prove otherwise than that according to this document. If ever you want to travel abroad, to a country where a Passport is necessary, your passport must be issued from the British Foreign Office and you must be described as a British subject on it [‘No, no’.] All right. If you are mean enough to accept this Treaty, time will tell. You wind up by saying that you further acknowledge that King in virtue of Ireland's adherence to and membership of the group of nations known as the British Commonwealth of Nations, and all that, of course, is really consistent with the whole thing. You will become a member of the British Empire. Now this question of the oath has an extraordinary significance for me, for, so far as I can trace, no member of my family has ever taken an oath of allegiance to England's King. When I say that I do not pretend for a moment that men who happened to be descended from, or to be sons of men who took oaths of allegiance to England's Kings, or men who themselves took oaths of allegiance to England's Kings are any worse for it. There are men in this assembly who have been comrades of mine in various places, who have been fighting the same fight as I have been fighting, the same fight which we have all been fighting, and which I sincerely hope we will be fighting together again ere long. There are men with whom I was associated in this fight whose fathers had worn England's uniform and taken oaths of allegiance, and these men were as good men and took their places as well in the fight for Irish independence as any man I ever met. But what I wish to say is this: I was nurtured in the traditions of Fenianism. My father wore England's uniform as a comrade of Charles Kickham and O'Donovan Rossa when as a '67 man he was sentenced to ten years for being a rebel, but he wore it minus the oath of allegiance. If I, as I hope I will, try to continue to fight for Ireland's liberty, even if this rotten document be accepted, I will fight minus the oath of allegiance and to wipe out the oath of allegiance if I can do it. Now I ask you has any man here the idea in his head, has any man here the hardihood to stand up and say that it was for this our fathers have suffered, that it was for this our comrades have died on the field and in the barrack yard. If you really believe in your hearts that it was vote for it. If you don't believe it in your hearts vote against it. It is for you now to make up your minds. To-day or to-morrow will be, I think, the most fateful days in Irish history. I will conclude by quoting two of Russell Lowell's lines:
    1. Once to every man and nation comes a moment to decide,
      In the strife 'twixt truth and falsehood for the good or evil side.
    2. Applause

    COUNT PLUNKETT (LEITRIM AND NORTH ROSCOMMON):

    A Chinn Chomhairle, I rise to support the President in his motion to reject the resolution put forward by Mr. Arthur Griffith. I have the greatest personal respect and a recognition of the personal honour of those who went to London in the hope, in the expectation, I presume, that they would bring back a settlement that could be agreed to by the Irish people and ratified by them, and that would be satisfactory to the conscience of Irishmen. But I am sorry to say that Mr. Arthur Griffith, while he has kept the word of promise to the ear, has broken it to the cup. I am in favour of the rejection of this Treaty on the ground that it is not reconcilable with the conscience of the Irish people. I am in favour of its rejection because I myself in conscience


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    could not stand by it. It proposes that all the schemes that have been brought up across our track during our fight for liberty should be substituted for the plain intention of the Irish people in inaugurating and carrying to a great point of success the struggle for Irish liberty.

    The scheme put forward by Sir Horace Plunkett and Captain Henry Harrison was scornfully laughed at, because it was common knowledge that these gentlemen could not deliver the goods. Accordingly Captain Harrison dissolved the Dominion League. The schemes put forward at the Convention called by the English Government were rejected with scorn, for no broad-minded Irishman would enter that assembly. It was a manufactured assembly and did not express the views of the Irish people; but to-day by a side-wind you are told that the only thing for you to do is to accept these rejected things.

    You were told that your national liberties will be secured by handing them over to the authority of the British Government. You are told that the vile thing that was rejected, not only by our generation but by past generations of fighting men, that this scheme by which we will be put under the authority of the Imperial Government, swearing an oath of allegiance to the English King, that this is the means by which you will achieve your liberty. If you were to achieve it by this means it would mean by treachery among our own, it would mean that we are to be false either to one oath or the other, and if I take an oath and devote myself to the fight for national liberty I am not going, whatever the threat of war or any other device, to abandon the cause to which I have devoted my life. I am faithful to my oath. I am faithful to the dead. I am faithful to my own boys, one of whom died for Ireland with his back to the wall and the other two who were sentenced to death. And I saw them afterwards wearing what has been described as the livery of England during the beginning of a sentence of ten years, penal servitude. Am I to go back now on the ingenious suggestion that by some unexpected contrivance Ireland is to secure her liberty by giving it away. No, I am no more an enemy of peace than Arthur Griffith. I am no more an enemy of an understanding, an honest, straight understanding, between England and Ireland than any man here, but I will never sacrifice the independence of Ireland simply for the purpose of securing a cessation of warfare. Now look at what has been already accomplished. The men of 1916 went out and fought the whole power of the British Empire. Did they lose? They went down, but they went down as victors. Instead of an irresolute body of people who had handed over their judgment to a little group of politicians, they were a resolute nation backing the little forces of Ireland, so that the power of Ireland was not in the hands of a few hundred men, but in the hands of four-and-a-half millions of people. That is the position which the men of 1916 secured, and that fight has been carried on ever since not merely with the countenance of the Irish people, but with the assistance and backings of the Irish people. To tell me that the men who allowed their houses to be burned over their heads and still did not relinquish their nationality, the men whose children were shot before their eyes and who for the national good had given up all hope of success in this world, were going to sign a document handing over these liberties to the English Government in the hope that England in a fit of generosity will not take the bond as binding. No. As men of honour we must respect our oaths, as men of principle we must stand by the principle of liberty, and as men whose word is as good as their bond we must see that no man takes an oath here with the secret intention of breaking it. We have taken an oath of fidelity to the Republic, and are we going to take a false oath now to King George? Under no conditions will I sacrifice my personal honour in such a manner. I don't believe that the men who foolishly imagine such a thing can be done can resist the corruption that inevitably comes of dishonour.

    MR. JOSEPH MCBRIDE (NORTH AND WEST MAYO):

    I am standing in support of the ratification of the Treaty brought home from London by the plenipotentiaries of Ireland. I support it because I consider it will be for the best interests of this country. I support the ratification because I know the people demand its ratification. I support the ratification of it because I know that the ideals for which I have worked, and for which others who are listening


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    to me worked through many long and weary years, will be quicker attained by ratification of this Treaty than otherwise. I have the honour to know a number of men who suffered and laboured not only in this generation but in other generations, and I know it would be the last thing that they should wish that their labours and their sufferings should be used in order to press an argument in a controversy such as this. Their labours and their sufferings piled high on their country's altar will be as a beacon to the generations that are to come. Unity seems to be a fetish with some people in this assembly. They fear a split. I don't. Probably they have in their minds the foul implications and the degradation of the Parnell split. But cannot we agree to differ? I know nothing about the President except what the public know, but I would be grievously surprised if he carried on any controversy that should arise out of our differences here in any other than in a dignified and courteous manner. Arthur Griffith I know for a good number of years. I know how hard he worked and of his unselfishness. I am aware of his erudition and of his consistent line in the political movement in Ireland, and I know that he would not stoop to anything undignified. Who did you send to London?—a bevy of foolish children without sense of responsibility? Who did you send to London? Men of honesty and of ability, men of affairs, honourable men. You entrusted your honour to them and they did not betray it. They went to London with thorough and complete powers to make a Treaty. They arrived at a Treaty, an honourable Treaty, and that Treaty I am prepared to vote for, because I know in voting for its ratification I am serving the best interests of this country and of my own people.

    The House adjourned at 1 o'clock until 3.30 to enable President de Valera to attend the ceremony of his induction as chancellor of the National University. On resuming after luncheon, THE SPEAKER took the chair at 3.45 p.m.

    MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

    A Chinn Chomhairle, much has been said in Private Session about the action of the plenipotentiaries in signing at all or in signing without first putting their document before the Cabinet. I want to state as clearly as I can, and as briefly as I can—I cannot promise you to be very brief—what the exact position was. It has been fully explained how the Delegation returned from London on that momentous Saturday to meet the Cabinet at home. We came back with a document from the British Delegation which we presented to the Cabinet. Certain things happened at that Cabinet Meeting, and the Delegation, on returning, put before the British Delegation as well as they could their impressions of the decisions—I will not say conclusions—arrived at at that Cabinet Meeting. I do not want unduly to press the word decisions. I want to be fair to everybody. I can only say they were decisions in this way, that we went away with certain impressions in our minds and that we did our best faithfully to transmit these impressions to paper in the memorandum we handed in to the British Delegation. It was well understood at that Cabinet Meeting that Sir James Craig was receiving a reply from the British Premier on Tuesday morning. Some conclusion as between the British Delegation and ourselves had, therefore, to be come to and handed in to the British Delegation on the Monday night. Now, we went away with a document which none of us would sign. It must have been obvious, that being so, that in the meantime a document arose which we thought we could sign. There was no opportunity of referring it to our people at home. Actually on the Monday night we did arrive at conclusions which we thought we could agree to and we had to say ‘Yes’ across the table, and I may say that we said ‘Yes’. It was later on that same day that the document was signed. But I do not now, and I did not then, regard my word as being anything more important, or a bit less important, than my signature on a document. Now, I also want to make this clear. The answer which I gave and that signature which I put on that document would be the same in Dublin or in Berlin, or in New York or in Paris. If we had been in Dublin the difference in distance would have made this difference, that we would have been able to consult not only the members of the Cabinet but many members of the Dáil and many good friends. There has been talk about ‘the atmosphere of London’


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    and there has been talk about ‘slippery slopes’. Such talk is beside the point. I knew the atmosphere of London of old and I knew many other things about it of old. If the members knew so much about ‘slippery slopes’ before we went there why did they not speak then? The slopes were surely slippery, but it is easy to be wise afterwards. I submit that such observations are entirely beside the point. And if my signature has been given in error, I stand by it whether it has or not, and I am not going to take refuge behind any kind of subterfuge. I stand up over that signature and I give the same decision at this moment in this assembly [applause]. It has also been suggested that the Delegation broke down before the first bit of English bluff. I would remind the Deputy who used that expression that England put up quite a good bluff for the last five years here and I did not break down before that bluff [applause, and a voice, ‘That is the stuff’]. And does anybody think that the respect I compelled from them in a few years was in any way lowered during two months of negotiations? That also is beside the point. The results of our labour are before the Dáil. Reject or accept. The President has suggested that a greater result could have been obtained by more skillful handling. Perhaps so. But there again the fault is not the delegation's; it rests with the Dáil. It is not afterwards the Dáil should have found out our limitations. Surely the Dáil knew it when they selected us, and our abilities could not have been expected to increase because we were chosen as plenipotentiaries by the Dáil. The delegates have been blamed for various things. It is scarcely too much to say that they have been blamed for not returning with recognition of the Irish Republic. They are blamed, at any rate, for not having done much better. A Deputy when speaking the other day with reference to Canada suggested that what may apply with safety to Canada would not at all apply to Ireland because of the difference in distance from Great Britain. It seemed to me that he did not regard the delegation as being wholly without responsibility for the geographical propinquity of Ireland to Great Britain. It is further suggested that by the result of their labours the delegation made a resumption of hostilities certain. That again rests with the Dáil; they should have chosen a better delegation, and it was before we went to London that should have been done, not when we returned.

    Now, Sir, before I come to the Treaty itself, I must say a word on another vexed question—the question as to whether the terms of reference meant any departure from the absolutely rigid line of the isolated Irish Republic. Let me read to you in full (at the risk of wearying you) the two final communications which passed between Mr. Lloyd George and President de Valera.

    From Lloyd George to de Valera. It is a telegram. In that way the word 'President' was not an omission on my part.Gairloch Sept. 29th, 1921

    His Majesty's Government have given close and earnest consideration to the correspondence which has passed between us since their invitation to you to send delegates to a conference at Inverness. In spite of their sincere desire for peace, and in spite of the more conciliatory tone of your last communication, they cannot enter a conference upon the basis of this correspondence. Notwithstanding your personal assurance to the contrary, which they much appreciate, it might be argued in future that the acceptance of a conference on this basis had involved them in a recognition which no British Government can accord. On this point they must guard themselves against any possible doubt. There is no purpose to be served by any further interchange of explanatory and argumentative communications upon this subject. The position taken up by His Majesty's Government is fundamental to the existence of the British Empire and they cannot alter it. My colleagues and I remain, however, keenly anxious to make in cooperation with your delegates another determined effort to explore every possibility of settlement by personal discussion. The proposals which we have already made have been taken by the whole world as proof that our endeavours for reconciliation and settlement are no empty form, and we feel that conference, not correspondence, is the most practicable and hopeful way to an understanding such as we ardently desire to achieve. We, therefore, send you herewith a fresh invitation to a conference


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    in London on October 11th where we can meet your delegates as spokesmen of the people whom you represent with a view to ascertaining how the association of Ireland with the community of nations known as the British Empire may best be reconciled with Irish National aspirations.

    From de Valera to Lloyd George. 30th Sept., 1921.

    We have received your letter of invitation to a Conference in London on October 11th, with a view to ascertaining how the association of Ireland with the community of Nations known as the British Empire may best be reconciled with Irish National aspirations.

    Our respective positions have been stated and are understood, and we agree that conference, not correspondence, is the most practicable and hopeful way to an understanding. We accept the invitation, and our delegates will meet you in London on the date mentioned, to explore every possibility of settlement by personal discussion.

    This question of association was bandied around as far back as August 10th and went on until the final communication. The communication of September 29th from Lloyd George made it clear that they were going into a conference not on the recognition of the Irish Republic, and I say if we all stood on the recognition of the Irish Republic as a prelude to any conference we could very easily have said so, and there would be no conference. What I want to make clear is that it was the acceptance of the invitation that formed the compromise. I was sent there to form that adaptation, to bear the brunt of it. Now as one of the signatories of the document I naturally recommend its acceptance. I do not recommend it for more than it is. Equally I do not recommend it for less than it is. In my opinion it gives us freedom, not the ultimate freedom that all nations desire and develop to, but the freedom to achieve it [applause].

    A Deputy has stated that the delegation should introduce this Treaty not, he describes, as bagmen for England, but with an apology for its introduction. I cannot imagine anything more mean, anything more despicable, anything more unmanly than this dishonouring of one's signature. Rightly or wrongly when you make a bargain you cannot alter it, you cannot go back and get sorry for it and say ‘I ought to have made a better bargain’. Business cannot be done on those bases. I must make reference to the signing of the Treaty. This Treaty was not signed under personal intimidation. If personal intimidation had been attempted no member of the delegation would have signed it.

    At a fateful moment I was called upon to make a decision, and if I were called upon at the present moment for a decision on the same question my decision would be the same. Let there be no mistake and no misunderstanding about that.

    I have used the word ‘intimidation’. The whole attitude of Britain towards Ireland in the past was an attitude of intimidation, and we, as negotiators, were not in the position of conquerors dictating terms of peace to a vanquished foe. We had not beaten the enemy out of our country by force of arms.

    To return to the Treaty, hardly anyone, even those who support it, really understands it, and it is necessary to explain it, and the immense powers and liberties it secures. This is my justification for having signed it, and for recommending it to the nation. Should the Dáil reject it, I am, as I said, no longer responsible. But I am responsible for making the nation fully understand what it gains by accepting it, and what is involved in its rejection. So long as I have made that clear I am perfectly happy and satisfied. Now we must look facts in the face. For our continued national and spiritual existence two things are necessary—security and freedom. If the Treaty gives us these or helps us to get at these, then I maintain that it satisfies our national aspirations. The history of this nation has not been, as is so often said, the history of a military struggle of 750 years; it has been much more a history of peaceful penetration of 750 years. It has not been a struggle for the ideal of freedom for 750 years symbolised in the name Republic. It has been a story of slow, steady, economic encroach by England. It has been a struggle on our part to prevent that, a struggle against exploitation, a struggle against the cancer that was eating up our lives, and it was only after discovering that, that it was economic penetration, that we discovered that


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    political freedom was necessary in order that that should be stopped. Our aspirations, by whatever term they may be symbolised, had one thing in front all the time, that was to rid the country of the enemy strength. Now it was not by any form of communication except through their military strength that the English held this country. That is simply a plain fact which, I think, nobody will deny. It wasn't by any forms of government, it wasn't by their judiciary or anything of that kind. These people could not operate except for the military strength that was always there. Now, starting from that, I maintain that the disappearance of that military strength gives us the chief proof that our national liberties are established. And as to what has been said about guarantees of the withdrawal of that military strength, no guarantees, I say, can alter the fact of their withdrawal. because we are a weaker nation, and we shall be a weaker nation for a long time to come. But certain things do give us a certain guarantee. We are defined as having the constitutional status of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. If the English do not withdraw the military strength, our association with those places do give us, to some extent, a guarantee that they must withdraw them. I know that it would be finer to stand alone, but if it is necessary to our security, if it is necessary to the development of our own life, and if we find we cannot stand alone, what can we do but enter into some association? Now I have prepared part of this which I am going to read very carefully. I have said that I am not a constitutional lawyer. I am going to give a constitutional opinion in what I am going to read, and I will back that constitutional opinion against the opinion of any Deputy, lawyer or otherwise, in this Dáil.

    [Reading]: The status as defined is the same constitutional status in the ‘community of nations known as the British Empire’, as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. And here let me say that in my judgment it is not a definition of any status that would secure us that status, it is the power to hold and to make secure and to increase what we have gained. The fact of Canadian and South African independence is something real and solid, and will grow in reality and force as time goes on. Judged by that touchstone, the relations between Ireland and Britain will have a certainty of freedom and equality which cannot be interfered with. England dare not interfere with Canada. Any attempt to interfere with us would be even more difficult in consequence of the reference to the ‘constitutional status’ of Canada and South Africa.

    They are, in effect, introduced as guarantors of our freedom, which makes us stronger than if we stood alone.

    In obtaining the ‘constitutional status’ of Canada, our association with England is based not on the present technical legal position of Canada. It is an old Act, the Canadian Act, and the advances in freedom from it have been considerable. That is the reply to one Deputy who spoke to-day of the real position, the complete freedom equality with Canada has given us. I refer now not to the legal technical status, but to the status they have come to, the status which enables Canada to send an Ambassador to Washington, the status which enables Canada to sign the Treaty of Versailles equally with Great Britain, the status which prevents Great Britain from entering into any foreign alliance without the consent of Canada, the status that gives Canada the right to be consulted before she may go into any war. It is not the definition of that status that will give it to us; it is our power to take it and to keep it, and that is where I differ from the others. I believe in our power to take it and to keep it. I believe in our future civilisation. As I have said already, as a plain Irishman, I believe in my own interpretation against the interpretation of any Englishman. Lloyd George and Churchill have been quoted here against us. I say the quotation of those people is what marks the slave mind. There are people in this assembly who will take their words before they will take my words. That is the slave mind.

    The only departure from the Canadian status is the retaining by England of the defences of four harbours, and the holding of some other facilities to be used possibly in time of war. But if England wished to re-invade us she could do so with or without these facilities. And with the ‘constitutional status’ of Canada we are assured that these facilities could never be used by England for our re-invasion.


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    If there was no association, if we stood alone, the occupation of the ports might probably be a danger to us. Associated in a free partnership with these other nations it is not a danger, for their association is a guarantee that it won't be used as a jumping-off ground against us. And that same person tells me that we haven't Dominion status because of the occupation of these ports, but that South Africa had even when Simonstown was occupied. I cannot accept that argument. I am not an apologist for this Treaty. We have got rid of the word Empire. For the first time in an official document the former Empire is styled ‘The Community of Nations known as the British Empire’. Common citizenship has been mentioned. Common citizenship is the substitution for the subjection of Ireland. It is an admission by them that they no longer can dominate Ireland. As I have said, the English penetration has not merely been a military penetration. At the present moment the economic penetration goes on. I need only give you a few instances. Every day our Banks become incorporated or allied to British interests, every day our Steamship Companies go into English hands, every day some other business concern in this city is taken over by an English concern and becomes a little oasis of English customs and manners. Nobody notices, but that is the thing that has destroyed our Gaelic civilisation. That is a thing that we are able to stop, not perhaps if we lose the opportunity of stopping it now. That is one of the things that I consider is important, and to the nation's life perhaps more important than the military penetration. And this gives us the opportunity of stopping it. Indeed when we think of the thing from that economic point of view it would be easy to go on with the physical struggle in comparison with it.

    Do we think at all of what it means to look forward to the directing of the organisation of the nation? Is it one of the things we are prepared to undertake? If we came back with the recognition of the Irish Republic we would need to start somewhere. Are we simply going to go on keeping ourselves in slavery and subjection, for ever keeping on an impossible fight? Are we never going to stand on our own feet? Now I had an argument based on a comparison of the Treaty with the second document, and part of the argument was to read the clauses of the second document. In deference to what the President has said I shall not at this stage make use of that argument. I don't want to take anything that would look like an unfair advantage. I am not standing for this thing to get advantage over anybody, and whatever else the President will say about me, I think he will admit that.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I never said anything but the highest.

    MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

    Now I have explained something as to what the Treaty is. I also want to explain to you as one of the signatories what I consider rejection of it means. It has been said that the alternative document does not mean war. Perhaps it does, perhaps it does not. That is not the first part of the argument. I say that rejection of the Treaty is a declaration of war until you have beaten the British Empire, apart from any alternative document. Rejection of the Treaty means your national policy is war. If you do this, if you go on that as a national policy, I for one am satisfied. But I want you to go on it as a national policy and understand what it means. I, as an individual, do not now, no more than ever, shirk war. The Treaty was signed by me, not because they held up the alternative of immediate war. I signed it because I would not be one of those to commit the Irish people to war without the Irish people committing themselves to war. If my constituents send me to represent them in war, I will do my best to represent them in war. Now I was not going to refer to anything that had been said by the speakers of the Coalition side to-day. I do want to say this in regard to the President's remark about Pitt, a remark, it will be admitted, which was not very flattering to us. Well, now, what happened at the time of the Union? Grattan's Parliament was thrown away without reference to the people and against their wishes. Is the Parliament which this Treaty offers us to be similarly treated? Is it to be thrown away without reference to the people and against their wishes?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    What Parliament?


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    A VOICE: The Free State

    MISS MACSWINEY (CORK CITY):

    Which Parliament?

    MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

    I would like you to keep on interrupting, because I was looking at a point here. I am disappointed that I was not interrupted more. In our Private Sessions we have been treated to harangues about principle. Not one Deputy has stated a clear, steadfast, abiding principle on which we can stand. Deputies have talked of principle. At different times I have known different Deputies to hold different principles. How can I say, how can anyone say, that these Deputies may not change their principles again? How can anyone say that anybody—a Deputy or a supporter—who has fought against the Irish Nation on principle may not fight against it again on principle; I am not impeaching anybody, but I do want to talk straight. I am the representative of an Irish stock; I am the representative equally with any other member of the same stock of people who have suffered through the terror in the past . Our grandfathers have suffered from war, and our fathers or some of our ancestors have died of famine. I don't want a lecture from anybody as to what my principles are to be now. I am just a representative of plain Irish stock whose principles have been burned into them, and we don't want any assurance to the people of this country that we are going to betray them. We are one of themselves. I can state for you a principle which everybody will understand, the principle of ‘government by the consent of the governed’. These words have been used by nearly every Deputy at some time or another. Are the Deputies going to be afraid of these words now, supposing the formula happens to go against them?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    No, no.

    MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

    I have heard deputies remark that their constituents are in favour of this treaty. The deputies have got their powers from their constituents and they are responsible to their constituents. I have stated the principle which is the only firm principle in the whole thing. Now I have gone into more or less a general survey of the Treaty, apart from one section of it, the section dealing with North-East Ulster. Again I am as anxious to face facts in that case as I am in any other case. We have stated we would not coerce the North-East. We have stated it officially in our correspondence. I stated it publicly in Armagh and nobody has found fault with it. What did we mean? Did we mean we were going to coerce them or we were not going to coerce them? What was the use of talking big phrases about not agreeing to the partition of our country. Surely we recognise that the North-East corner does exist, and surely our intention was that we should take such steps as would sooner or later lead to mutual understanding. The Treaty has made an effort to deal with it, and has made an effort, in my opinion, to deal with it on lines that will lead very rapidly to goodwill, and the entry of the North-East under the Irish Parliament [applause]. I don't say it is an ideal arrangement, but if our policy is, as has been stated, a policy of non coercion, then let somebody else get a better way out of it. Now, summing up and nobody can say that I haven't talked plainly I say that this Treaty gives us, not recognition of the Irish Republic, but it gives us more recognition on the part of Great Britain and the associated States than we have got from any other nation. Again I want to speak plainly. America did not recognise the Irish Republic. As things in London were coming to a close I received cablegrams from America. I understand that my name is pretty well known in America, and what I am going to say will make me unpopular there for the rest of my life but I am not going to say any thing or hide anything for the sake of American popularity. I received a cablegram from San Francisco, saying, ‘Stand fast, we will send you a million dollars a month’. Well, my reply to that is, ‘Send us half-a-million and send us a thousand men fully equipped’. I received another cablegram from a branch of the American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic and they said to me, ‘Don't weaken now, stand with de Valera’. Well, let that branch come over and stand with us both [applause]. The question before me was were we going to go on with this fight, without referring it to the Irish people, for the sake of propaganda in America? I was not going to take that responsibility. And as this may be the last opportunity


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    I shall ever have of speaking publicly to the Dáil, I want to say that there was never an Irishman placed in such a position as I was by reason of these negotiations. I had got a certain name, whether I deserved it or not. [Voices: ‘You did, well’], and I knew when I was going over there that I was being placed in a position that I could not reconcile, and that I could not in the public mind be reconciled with what they thought I stood for, no matter what we brought back,—and if we brought back the recognition of the Republic—but I knew that the English would make a greater effort if I were there than they would if I were not there, and I didn't care if my popularity was sacrificed or not. I should have been unfair to my own country if I did not go there. Members of the Dáil well remember that I protested against being selected. I want to say another thing. It will be remembered that a certain incident occurred in the South of Ireland, an incident which led to the excommunication of the whole population of that district. At the time I took responsibility for that in our private councils. I take responsibility for it now publicly. I only want to say that I stand for every action as an individual member of the Cabinet, which I suppose I shall be no longer; I stand for every action,no matter how it looked publicly, and I shall always like the men to remember me like that. In coming to the decision I did I tried to weigh what my own responsibility was. Deputies have spoken about whether dead men would approve of it, and they have spoken of whether children yet unborn will approve of it, but few of them have spoken as to whether the living approve of it. In my own small way I tried to have before my mind what the whole lot of them would think of it. And the proper way for us to look at it is in that way. There is no man here who has more regard for the dead men than I have [hear, hear]. I don't think it is fair to be quoting them against us. I think the decision ought to be a clear decision on the documents as they are before us—on the Treaty as it is before us. On that we shall be judged, as to whether we have done the right thing in our own conscience or not. Don't let us put the responsibility, the individual responsibility, upon anybody else. Let us take that responsibility ourselves and let us in God's name abide by the decision [applause].

    MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS (KILDARE AND WICKLOW):

    I think everybody will agree that we have listened to a most able and eloquent speech. I most heartily agree to it, though I am in profound disagreement with the conclusions of the speaker. He has said many things which I admire and respect, he has said others that I profoundly regret. All of us agree, I think, that we have listened to a manly, eloquent, and worthy speech from the Minister for Finance [hear, hear].

    I wish to recall this assembly to the immediate subject before us, one side of which was hardly touched upon, indeed if it was touched upon at all, by the Minister for Finance, the question whether Dáil Eireann, the national assembly of the people of Ireland, having declared its independence, shall approve of and ratify a Treaty relinquishing deliberately and abandoning that independence. I must say for my own part that I missed in the speeches both of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Finance some note, however distant, of regret for the effect in significance of the step they were taking, and had taken, in London, that is, they were asking this assembly, Dáil Eireann, to vote its own extinction in history, which they more perhaps than anybody else had done so much to make honourable and noble. There is one thing more I would like to say, because I think the two speeches delivered by the leading members of the delegation have left it still obscure. I hardly know, indeed, what impression is left upon the minds of the delegates as a result of their speeches. It is the question of what the delegation was entitled to do and set out to do when it went to London as compared with what it has done. The Minister for Finance spoke of an isolated Republic and said quite rightly that there was no question when the delegation went to London of an isolated Republic standing alone without tie or association with any other association in the world. No such question was before Dáil Eireann or the nation. The sole question before the nation, Dáil Eireann, and the delegation was how is it possible to effect an association with the British Commonwealth which would be honourable to the Irish nation? And it ought


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    to be known and understood, for certainly the speech of the Minister for Foreign Affairs was misleading, in my opinion, on the point. It ought to be understood that that object was held before the delegation to the last, except that last terrible hour, and that the counter proposals put up to the British Government did, on the face of them, and in their text, preserve the independence of Ireland while arranging to associate it with the British Commonwealth. Until the last moment that proposal was before the British Government. That should be understood by Dáil Eireann, and I hope other members of the delegation will confirm what I have said.

    There was no question in the action of the delegation in London of acting on some subconscious or unadmitted resolve to betray the Republic and to commit Ireland to an association which would forfeit her independence, none to my knowledge, at any rate, and I was secretary to the delegation. The proposals on our side were honourable proposals. They stated in explicit terms that they demanded the preservation of the independence of our country, to exclude the King of England and British authority wholly from our country, and only when that was done, and Ireland was absolutely free in Irish affairs, to enter an association on free and honourable terms with Britain.

    That, alas! was lost in the last hour of the time the delegation spent in London and the result was the Treaty. The Minister for Finance has spoken generally of that Treaty as placing Ireland in the position of Canada, giving her Canadian status-‘equality of status with Great Britain’ was the phrase used by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and I think, too, by the Minister for Finance. The Minister for Foreign Affairs used the phrase, ‘a final settlement’. ‘A settlement that is not final’, was the phrase used by the Minister for Finance. There was that broad and fundamental distinction between them. At any rate the settlement is commended to you as placing Ireland in a position virtually as free as Canada, although technically making her subject to the control of the British Crown and of the British Parliament. Apart altogether from the question as to whether this assembly shall, or even can, surrender its own independence and declare itself subject to the British Crown and Parliament, does the Treaty before you carry out what the Minister for Finance represented that it does carry out? It does not. It should be understood clearly by Dáil Eireann—by all here—that this Treaty does not give you what is called Dominion status. The Minister for Finance passed lightly over this clause concerning the occupation of our ports. He did less than justice to the subject. You have read, all of you, no doubt carefully, Clauses 6 and 7 of the Treaty. What is the actual effect of those clauses, and how do they affect the status of Ireland if this Treaty were to be passed? It is not merely a question of occupying ports. Clause No. 6 in effect declares that the people of Ireland inhabiting the island called Ireland have no responsibility for defending that island from foreign attack. Foreign attack can come only over the sea. This clause declares that Ireland is unfit, or rather for we all know the real reason—too dangerous a neighbour to be entrusted with her own coastal defence. And, therefore, in that clause is the most humiliating condition that can be inflicted on any nation claiming to be free, namely, that it is not to be allowed to provide defence against attack by a foreign enemy. There is, it is true, a little proviso saying that the matter will be reconsidered in five years, but there is no guarantee whatever that anything will result from that reconsideration, and the most the reconsideration will amount to is that she is to be allowed to take over a share in her own coastal defence. Clause No. 7 declares that permanently and for ever some of our most important ports are to be occupied by British Forces. Here there is no question of Dominion status, no question of constitutional usage—these qualifying words that are used in the second clause of the Treaty. For ever that occupation is to continue, and in time of war, says sub-section B., or strained relations with a foreign Power, such harbour and other facilities as the British Government may require for the purpose of such defence as aforesaid. In other words, when she pleases to announce that there are strained relations with a foreign Power, or when England is actually in war with a foreign Power, any use whatever can be made of this island whether for naval or military purposes. I need not say that no such conditions or limitations attach to any


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    dominion, least of all Canada. Canada is absolutely free to defend her own coast, to raise her own naval forces and military forces, and, as the Minister for Finance truly pointed out, Canada has a real and genuine share in the decision of those great questions of foreign policy, and on peace and war upon which the destiny of a nation depends. Ireland under this Treaty will have none. What is the use of talking of equality, what is the use of talking of a share in foreign policy, what is the use of talking of responsibility for making treaties and alliances with foreign nations which may involve a country in war? Nothing is to be gained from a share in taking part on decisions of that immense magnitude unless the country which has that share has the power, if it pleases, to say ‘I will not be a party to that Treaty, I will not be a party to that war’. If she has not that power she has no power. She may discuss and discuss and no one will listen to her. And let me point out to this assembly the very vital significance of that in the case of Ireland. You speak of Canada, the conferring on Ireland of Canada's status. Imagine that Ireland is on a par with Canada in regard to these powers. What is Canada? Half a continent. The closest part is nearly 3,000 miles from Britain, and the furthest part 7,000 miles, a great, immense nation, absolutely unconquerable by England, and, what is even more important, attached to England by ties of blood which produces such relations between them that there is no desire on England's part to conquer—two great factors, the distance which renders Canada unconquerable and the blood tie. Canada has a real share in these great questions unquestionably. What is the position of Ireland? After 750 years of war, lying close up against the shores of her great neighbour, what guarantee has she, what equal voice can she have in the decisions of these questions, with England actually occupying her shores, committing her inevitably, legally, constitutionally and in every other way to all her foreign policies and to all her wars? That governing condition England has, that Ireland under this Treaty would have no real power to free action, independent action. Where English interests are concerned they will govern and limit every condition and clause in that Treaty now before you. It is useless to point to the words in Clause 2—‘constitutional usage’. Supposing that these words either in these military or naval matters, or in any other matter, are going to be construed as conferring on Ireland the same power as is held by Canada, how can they be so construed if a question arises as to the construction of a clause? Under the Canadian Constitution Canada has always the power to say, ‘Very well, we differ about its construction. I shall put my own interpretation upon it and I shall give up my relation with you altogether’. That is the strength of Canada's position. The blood tie with Canada which naturally produces loyalty and sentimental affection to England cannot reasonably, cannot possibly, cannot humanly be expected from the Irish nation after its 750 years. Now read your Treaty in the light of those conditions. I suppose few people have any doubt as to what legally the Treaty means. The Minister for Finance talked lightly, it seemed to me, of the construction they would put on this Treaty, how they would read it in their own way. The Treaty is a Treaty; it will bind Ireland, and the Minister for Finance is bound to show that the Treaty which he and his colleagues have brought back from London places Ireland in a position which she can honourably accept as it stands at this moment, and can honourably carry out with England, without afterthoughts, without any insincere reservations as to what is possible, what is not possible, as to the meaning of oaths and matters like that; he is bound to show that the Treaty as it lies before you establishes a settlement of this ancient question. Now under what title will Ireland hold her position under this Treaty? You are all told that this is a Treaty. It was not signed as a Treaty. It has since been called a Treaty. I don't lay stress on that distinction of words, but what I do lay stress on is this, that the constitution of Ireland and the relation of Ireland to England are going to depend, so far as Ireland is concerned, on the Act of a British Parliament. Nobody knew yet what form that Act is going to take, and it is one of the surprising features of these negotiations that no undertaking or guarantee has been obtained before the Treaty was signed as to exactly how it was going to be carried out by the British Government; but that it must

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    depend upon the Act of the British Parliament is certain. Canada's Constitution depends upon the Act of 1867, and unquestionably Ireland's position will depend upon it too. What does this assembly think of that? Do you, or do you not, think that the freedom and liberties of Ireland are inherent in the people of Ireland, derived from the people, and can only be surrendered by the people, or do you think your liberties, your right to freedom, are derived from the act and will of the British Government.

    MR. HOGAN (GALWAY):

    On a point of order, is a Deputy entitled to deliberately misquote one of the documents in front of us? Here is the letter read by Mr. Griffith: ‘The framing of that Constitution will be in the hands of the Irish Government’.

    MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS (KILDARE AND WICKLOW):

    The Deputy who has just spoken has made a very interesting interruption. He quotes from a letter of Mr. Lloyd George, and with all respect to the Minister for Finance, who objected very strongly to our quoting from Mr. Lloyd George, the Deputy behind him is in agreement with him.

    MR. HOGAN (GALWAY):

    If there is to be quoting it should be actual quoting.

    MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS (KILDARE AND WICKLOW):

    ‘The framing of that Constitution will be in the hands of the Irish Government, subject (of course) to the terms of this agreement’ [applause]. Now I do seriously wish to warn the members of the Dáil if they are going to take this tremendous and momentous step of ratifying this Treaty, not to do it under any foolish and idle illusions as to the meaning of what they are doing. Does the Deputy really suggest that Ireland is going to have freedom to form any Constitution she pleases—‘subject to the terms of this agreement’ and every limitation, and there are a hundred of them, that are in this Constitution of Canada under the British Act of 1867, all the fundamental limitations as to the authority of the Crown, and the authority of the British Government will inevitably appear in the Irish Constitution if it is framed under the terms of this Treaty. What will appear? The first thing that will appear will be that the legislature of Ireland will be no longer Dáil Eireann, the body I am addressing; it will consist of King and Commons and Senate of Ireland. The King will be part of the legislature of this island, and the King will have powers there. If not the King himself, there would be the King's representative in Ireland, the Governor-General, or whatever he may be. The King, representing the British Government, or the Governor- General, will have power to give or refuse assent to Irish legislation. Now I know very well—no one better than I do—I may just say in passing, I, like all lovers of freedom, have watched and followed the development of freedom in British Dominions, and Canada with intense interest. No one knows better than I do that power is virtually obsolete in Canada. Do you suppose that power is going to be obsolete in Ireland? How can it be?

    A DEPUTY:

    40,000 bayonets.

    MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS (KILDARE AND WICKLOW):

    If Ireland's destiny is to be irrevocably linked with England in this Treaty, if the association with her is that of a bond slave, as it is, under these Clauses 6 and 7, do you suppose that that supremacy of England is going to be an idle phrase in the case of Ireland? Do you? Don't you see every act and deed of the Irish Parliament is going to be jealously watched from over the water, and that every act of legislation done by Ireland will be read in the light of that inflexible condition that Ireland is virtually a protectorate of England, for under this Treaty she is nothing more. ‘Under the Constitution of Canada, the Executive Government and authority of, and over, Canada, is hereby declared to continue, and be vested in the Queen’; that is to say now, the King. That clause, or something corresponding to it, will appear in the Constitution of Ireland without question. And here again what does the King mean? The functions of the King as an individual are very small indeed. What the King means is the British Government, and let there be no mistake, under the terms of this Treaty the British Government is going to be supreme in Ireland [cries


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    of ‘No!’]. It is useless again to refer to Canada. Canada is 3,000 miles away.

    A DEPUTY:

    We cannot help that.

    MR. ERSKINE CHILDERS (KILDARE AND WICKLOW):

    I know we cannot help it, but there was one way of helping it. That was to have stood by the proposals that were made in London by the Irish Delegation to the British Government, until the last moment. That was the way to avoid it, and to declare, as they declared, that authority in Ireland—legislative, executive, and judicial—shall be derived solely from the people of Ireland [applause]. That was a way out of it, and I hope and believe it remains a way out of it still [hear, hear]. Establish that principle that authority in Ireland belongs solely to the Irish people, then make your association, and the rights of Ireland are safe. Pass that Treaty admitting the King to Ireland, or rather retaining him he is in Ireland now, retain him while recognising him, recognise the British Government in Ireland, and your rights and independence are lost for ever. It should be remembered, too, that the King's representative in Ireland, the Governor-General, will be there definitely as the centre of British Government in Ireland. I do not know if it is realised what the full significance the proximity of Ireland to England means. But you cannot have it both ways. It is useless for the Minister for Finance to say certain things are necessary because Ireland is nearer England, and at the same time to say that Ireland would get all the powers of Canada which is 3,000 miles away. These two proposals are contradictory. The Governor-General in Ireland will be close to Downing Street. He can communicate by telephone to Downing Street. He will be in close and intimate touch with British Ministers. Irish Ministers will be the King's Ministers; the Irish Provisional Government that under this Treaty is going to be set up, within a month would be the King's Provisional Government. Every executive Act in Ireland, every administrative function in Ireland, would be performed—you cannot get away from it—in the name of the King. And the King and the Government behind the King would be barely 200 miles away, and capable of exercising immediate control over what is done in Ireland. And if anyone were to raise in any particular matter the status of Canada in connection with the Government of Ireland, what would he be told? Canadian status? Why, the King's Government is not only here in the person of the Governor- General, exercising it on his behalf, but the King and the King's Forces are in actual occupation of Ireland. It is useless for you to pretend that the King's authority and British authority are not operative in Ireland, when it is actually occupied by British Forces and you are forbidden to have Irish defensive naval forces of your own. Follow on that point a little. The Treaty promises Ireland to have an army, and a letter of Mr. Lloyd George's says the British Army is to evacuate Ireland if this Treaty is passed, within a short time. But do you suppose under this Treaty, your Irish Army is going to be an independent army? Do you really suppose if British troops are evacuated from the country in a short period, there is anything to prevent them returning under full legal power? Constitutional usage would have nothing to do with the matter. It has in Canada. The British Government would never dare to land a British regiment in Canada without the consent of the Canadian Government. Do you suppose that would be so in Ireland? [A Voice: ‘Why not?’] I will tell you why not. Under Clauses 6 and 7 you abandon altogether and hand over to the British Government responsibility for the defence of Ireland. There is something about a local military defence force. If you place under a foreign Power responsibility for the defence of the coasts of Ireland, inevitably and naturally you place responsibility for the defence of the whole island on that foreign Government. How can you separate the coastal defences of an island from its internal defences? Are you to have two authorities? One saying what garrisons are to be here, and the other saying what garrisons are to be there along the coast, and how they are to be co-ordinated with some central armed military body. Those matters can only be settled by one authority—Army and Navy matters both—and that one authority will be obviously, and on the very terms of the Treaty, the British authority. Then you will find the letter of the law, the legal conditions, stepping in. What will be the Irish Army? It


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    will he His Majesty's Army, and, whether or not, or whatever character the Irish flag takes, His Majesty's flag will fly in Ireland. Every commission held by every officer in the Army of the Irish Free State will be signed either by His Majesty, or by his deputy in Ireland. How are you going to prevent more troops coming in? I do not know if it is really supposed that under this Treaty the evacuation of troops now means that there is no power to re-occupy Ireland in the future? How could you prevent it? Your ports and coasts belong to the British Government. Of course they can land what troops they like to reinforce their ports and coasts and of course it should be evident that the whole defence of the island would necessarily and inevitably be under one authority. There should be no illusions about this. That dependence upon England taints and weakens every clause of the Treaty before you so far as it is possible to read it. In its most hopeful aspect, and I do not wish to read it otherwise, it is an instrument placing Ireland in the position of a Dominion of the British Crown. I do not wish to be unfair about the Treaty. Clearly and on the face of it, it gives Ireland powers never offered her before, and, in certain respects, important powers. But about the fundamental nature of the Treaty, there should be no doubt in anybody's mind who has to vote on it. It places Ireland definitely and irrevocably under British authority and under the British Crown. Now, I know there are various ways adopted by various members regarding an instrument like that, and I am quite sure in the mind of the Minister for Finance there is a genuine open feeling, which he has expressed, of making the most of a Treaty which, in his view, though I was not quite clear as to his exact view on the subject, represents the very utmost that Ireland could dream of obtaining at this moment of history. But I beg him, and I beg all others who are inclined to agree with him, to reflect upon the significance of the step they are taking, and the question whether the view that this Treaty would be a step to something better, could be reasonably entertained. Apart altogether from the right or wrong of the subject, is the question of principle; the question of principle, I hold, rises above all others. This is a backward step. Parnell once said that no man has the right to set a boundary to the onward march of a nation. Parnell was right. Parnell spoke in a moment when Ireland was still in a subordinate position in the British Empire. Since that time Ireland has taken a step from which she can never withdraw by declaring her independence. This Treaty is a step backward, and I, for my part, would be inclined to say he would be a bold man who would dare set a boundary to the backward march of a nation which, of its own free will, has deliberately relinquished its own independence [applause]. I do not believe there is any need. I profoundly regret this Treaty was signed. I profoundly regret it was signed and that the alternative proposals of the Irish Delegation were not adhered to. There should be no question now of any hopeless dilemma in which the nation is placed. There should be no question now that it is possible to associate Ireland with the British Commonwealth on terms honourable to Ireland. I am glad to know that the specific proposals prepared by the President will at a future time have your consideration. It will be disastrous, I think, if now this assembly were to declare that there is no chance of making peace with England. There is a chance. There was a chance; there is a chance. And it rests with England to understand that Ireland is genuinely anxious to hold out the hand of friendship if only that hand can be grasped on terms that will leave Ireland standing as a free nation and England honourably recognising that freedom, not treating Ireland with suspicion and distrust, occupying her ports, refusing her powers of defence, and so on. England has but to say frankly, ‘You desire to be free, we recognise you must be’, in order to enter into a friendship that shall be truly lasting with us. That, I hope, can still be done. But in any case, in the last resort, every one of us here, when we have done with considering the Treaty before you, and when we have considered the other question of an accommodation with England on honourable terms, beyond and above all these questions there lies the paramount and overmastering consideration of all:Are we, by our own act, to abandon our independence? I hold that is impossible.

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    I hold this assembly neither will nor can do that. No such act was ever performed before, so far as I know, in the history of the world or since the world became a body of democratic nations. Certainly no such act was ever taken before in the history of Ireland, and I, for my part, believe you here will inflexibly refuse to take that step (applause).

    MR. KEVIN O'HIGGINS (ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT:

    I rise in support of the motion that the Treaty of Peace with Britain, signed by our plenipotentiaries in London and now before us, be approved by An Dáil. I would like, before entering upon argumentative or controversial matter, to say to those with whom I find myself at variance on this matter at issue, and to the great hearted man who leads them, how bitterly I feel this separation. It has been the purest pleasure of my life to work in comradeship with them. It has been my proudest privilege. I do not anticipate that I shall ever experience a keener pang than I felt when I realised their judgment and conscience dictated a course which mine could not endorse. If in Private Session I have been over-vehement in pleading a case, I think the President will be the first to understand and make allowances. I pay willing tribute to the sincerity and to the lofty idealism of those who hold different views from ours on this issue. Now I wish at the outset to make it clear that, in my opinion, this discussion should not centre round the question whether or not our plenipotentiaries should have signed these proposals. They are within their rights in signing; no one, I think, questions that. We could have given terms of reference to the plenipotentiaries; we gave none. We selected five men from An Dáil—men of sound judgment, conspicuous ability; men whose worth had been tested in four strenuous years. They were men capable of sizing up the situation. They were men who knew our strength and men who knew where and how we were not strong. They were men who knew the present situation and knew the future prospects, and we sent these men to London, trusting them, and they have brought back a document which they believe represents the utmost that can be got for the country, short of the resumption of war against fearful odds—a war which could be only one more test of endurance on the part of a people who have endured so gallantly—a war in which there could be no question of military victory. They have brought back a document which they believe embodies all that could be got for the country short of such a war. They signed, and they would have been false to their trust did they fall short of their responsibility for signing, and they are here to answer you and the country for signing. I have said they were entitled to sign. They did so on their individual responsibility. They were nominated, it is true, by the Cabinet, but they were appointed by An Dáil, and their responsibility was through An Dáil to the Irish people. Their mission was to negotiate a treaty of peace with Great Britain which on their individual responsibility they could recommend. Now this cannot be too much emphasised. They could not produce this final document here for discussion and consideration otherwise than over their signatures, and backed by their recommendation. At the last moment there were terms put up, not for bargain, but as the price of the signatures. There were big improvements on the final document—improvements affecting Trade, Defence, and North-East Ulster—and they were not put up to be brought back for consideration. The plenipotentiaries turned the matter over in their minds and they decided they ought to sign. They decided they would be cowards if they did not sign [applause]. They signed, and this document is theirs and not yours. It is perfectly open to you to reject it. It was perfectly free to the Cabinet to refuse to endorse it as Government policy. They did so. The President and two Ministers recommend its rejection. You are as free to reject this document; the English Government, if it so decided, was also free. Anything the English Government has done since, such as releasing prisoners, was done with full knowledge of the fact that the Parliament of each Nation had yet to declare its will, and without the endorsement of both Parliaments this instrument was null and void. It is not true, as has been stated by some newspapers, that there would be any


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    element of dishonour in a refusal on your part to ratify these terms. The fateful decision lies with you, and with due appreciation of the gravity of the issue we should endeavour to keep this discussion on lines that are severely relevant. It is not, as I have intimated, a question as to whether the proposals should or should not have been signed. It is not a question as to whether you and I, similarly situated, would have signed them. It is not a question of our keen desire for better terms. It is a question of whether you will accept or reject the proposals which the five men whom you selected to negotiate have brought back for ratification. For God's sake, let us not waste time in irrelevancies respecting our keen desire for better terms. We would all desire better terms, and what we have to decide is whether we are going to take our chance of securing them if we reject these. Deputy Childers, to my mind, took a lot of unnecessary time and trouble in explaining how much nicer it would be to get better terms than these. He did not tell us, as an authority on military and naval matters, how we are going to break the British Army and Navy, and get these better terms [applause]. A sovereign, independent Republic was our claim and our fighting ground, and I think we will all admit that men who decided to fight would be fools to fight for less than the fullness of their rights. But the fact that we were willing to negotiate implied that we had something to give away. If we had not, we should have stood sheer on unconditional evacuation, adding, perhaps, that when this had taken place, we would be willing to consider proposals for treaties on trade, or on defence. We did not do so. We selected five men to negotiate a treaty and there was a clear implication, I contend, that whatever, in view of all the circumstances, these men would recommend, would receive most careful consideration here. As I have said, we could have given terms of reference; we gave none. The men we selected were well qualified to judge our position and prospects. We would do well to scrutinise carefully the document they have produced, not so much in relation to the inscriptions on our battle standards, but rather in relation to our prospects of achieving more. As the negotiations developed and the rocks began to appear, our team was advised by the Cabinet to work to wards an objective which would give to Ireland the status of an external associate of the Commonwealth of Nations known as the British Empire. This phrase external associate has caused some trouble. In explanation of this phrase someone used the simile of the limpet and the rock. Ireland would be outside and attached, not inside and absorbed. We were prepared to enter as a free and equal partner into treaties on such matters of common concern as trade and defence. On the question of the Crown, the Cabinet, as its last card, was prepared to recommend to the Dáil a recognition of the King of England as the head of the group of States to which the Irish Free State would be attached, and as the outward and visible sign of that recognition, to vote a yearly sum to his civil list. These recommendations were made to the plenipotentiaries many weeks before negotiations reached a crisis. On the Saturday prior to the signing of the proposals the plenipotentiaries were home with the draft Treaty from the British representatives, which, besides other objectionable features, rejected the external associate idea, brought Ireland definitely within the British Empire, pledging the members of her Parliament—

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Are Cabinet matters to be discussed here in Public Session?

    MR. KEVIN O'HIGGINS (ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT):

    I think so; I think the Irish people are entitled to hear the genesis of the present situation [applause].

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I hold Cabinet matters are matters for Private Sessions of the Dáil. I do not care what the Irish people are at liberty to get of communications and documents; but as responsible head of the Government, I protest against Cabinet matters being made public.

    MR. KEVIN O'HIGGINS (ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT):

    I think the President, and the dissenting minority, if I might put it that way—the two Ministers who stand


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    with him for rejection of the Treaty—should be prepared to let it go to the Irish nation that they must take their stand not between those terms and a sovereign Irish Republic but on the very much narrower ground as between what they were to recommend to the Dáil and these terms [applause].

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I am quite ready that should be done. I protest still on principle against a member of a responsible Government speaking in public in reference to the negotiations.

    MR. J. N. DOLAN (LEITRIM AND NORTH ROSCOMMON):

    We are deciding the fate of the nation and everything should be told.

    MR. D. CEANNT (EAST CORK):

    From what Mr. O'Higgins is after suggesting—that he will go through all the private documents from the Cabinet—is every member in the assembly entitled to produce every letter he received from London about this business?

    MR. KEVIN O'HIGGINS (ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT):

    Is Document No. 2 Cabinet matter?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    As regards Document No. 2, I requested the House that it would be considered confidential, seeing the circumstances under which it was given to the House, until I brought forward a proposal that I was to put before the House. No responsible member of any Government would stand for one moment in my position after matters of this kind had been made public.

    MR. LORCAN ROBBINS (LONGFORD AND WESTMEATH):

    How are we to debate if we have not the articles brought out?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    If all the articles are to be produced, let them; but any references on parts are not fair.

    MR. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

    Is there any objection to producing a document that has been discussed in Secret Session for three days: are the Irish people not to be allowed to see that document?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    It was a proposal on my own initiative for the distinct purpose of trying at the last moment to remedy what I considered a serious mistake for the nation.

    MR. FINIAN LYNCH (KERRY AND WEST LIMERICK):

    How does the President stand by that, seeing it was discussed for three days?

    THE SPEAKER:

    That is not in order.

    MR. SEAN T. O'KELLY (MID-DUBLIN):

    Were not certain documents submitted with the request that they be considered as confidential? Is not our President to be allowed at least equal courtesy?

    MR. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

    We submitted no documents. The members wished to see some documents; that is not the same thing. This is a document submitted by the President as the alternative to us. That is the document submitted from one side to the other, and the Irish people ought to see it [hear, hear].

    MISS MACSWINEY (CORK CITY):

    I say the question about the reading of documents which are relevant to the Treaty was decided in Private Session, because the Delegates said you could not possibly offer an amendment—that it was the Treaty or nothing. I think all the plain honest members realised it could not be offered in connection with the Treaty. The Treaty ought to be decided on its merits and its merits alone.

    MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

    With regard to the documents affecting the Delegation, which were handed in by the Irish and English Delegations, the Irish Delegation must be understood to be perfectly clear on this thing. We entered into an arrangement with the other side that neither side would publish anything without agreement with the other side. If we make that agreement we have no objection to publish; we are only refraining


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    from publishing because we have given our word.

    THE SPEAKER:

    The question is whether the proceedings of the Cabinet could be discussed here. The proceedings of the Cabinet could be only discussed with the consent of the Cabinet; that's plain. With regard to the other document. That question was brought before me earlier, and I ruled I cannot declare a discussion on that document out of order. It depends on the members' sense of propriety. They were requested by the President to regard the document as confidential. It is not a question of order; it is purely and simply the President's request.

    MR. LORCAN ROBBINS (LONGFORD AND WESTMEATH):

    I understand the Dáil is the master of the House and it is master of the Cabinet. Am I not in order in producing a motion that the document be brought in? It is a funny debating society, this.

    MR. CATHAL BRUGHA (MINISTER FOR DEFENCE):

    It is not a debating society.

    MR. KEVIN O'HIGGINS (ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT):

    I would have wished to examine the difference between the Treaty and the proposals a united Cabinet would have proposed. I would have asked to what extent it affected the lives and fortunes of the plain people of Ireland, whose fate is in our hands. I would have asked you to consider the prospects the rejection of this Treaty opens up and come to a decision with a view to your tremendous responsibility. I do not wish to be forced into a stronger advocacy of the Treaty than I feel. I will not call it, as Mr. Devlin called the Home Rule Act of 1914, a Magna Charta of liberty. I do not hail it, as the late Mr. Redmond hailed it, as a full, complete, and final settlement of Ireland's claim. I will not say, as Mr. Dillon said, that it would be treacherous and dishonourable to look for more. I do say it represents such a broad measure of liberty for the Irish people and it acknowledges such a large proportion of its rights, you are not entitled to reject it without being able to show them you have a reasonable prospect of achieving more [hear, hear]. ‘The man who is against peace’ said the English Premier in presenting his ultimatum, ‘must bear now and for ever the responsibility for terrible and immediate war’. And the men there knew our resources and the resources of the enemy, and they held in their own hearts and consciences that we were not entitled to plunge the plain people of Ireland into a terrible and immediate war for the difference between the terms of the Treaty and what they knew a united Cabinet would recommend to the Dáil. Ireland, England, and the world must know the circumstances under which this Treaty is presented for your ratification. Neither honour nor principle can demand rejection of such a measure in face of the alternative so unequivocally stated by the English Prime Minister. Neither honour nor principle can make you plunge your people into war again. What remains between this Treaty and the fullness of your rights? It gives to Ireland complete control over her internal affairs. It removes all English control or interference within the shores of Ireland. Ireland is liable to no taxation from England, and has the fullest fiscal freedom. She has the right to maintain an army and defend her coasts. When England is at war, Ireland need not send one man nor contribute a penny. I wish to emphasise that. This morning the President said the army of the Irish Free State would be the army of His Majesty. Can His Majesty send one battalion or company of the Army of the Irish Free State from Cork into the adjoining county? If he acts in Ireland, he acts on the advice of his Irish Ministers [applause]. Yes, if we go into the Empire we go in, not sliding in, attempting to throw dust in our people's eyes, but we go in with our heads up. It is true that by the provisions of the Treaty, Ireland is included in the system known as the British Empire, and the most objectionable aspect of the Treaty is that the threat of force has been used to influence Ireland to a decision to enter this miniature league of nations. It has been called a league of free nations. I admit in practice it is so; but it is unwise and unstatesmanlike to attempt to bind any such league by any ties


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    other than pure voluntary ties. I believe the evolution of this group must be towards a condition, not merely of individual freedom but also of equality of status. I quite admit in the case of Ireland the tie is not voluntary, and in the case of Ireland the status is not equal. Herein lie the defects of the Treaty. But face the facts that they are defects which the English representatives insisted upon with threats of war, terrible and immediate. Let us face also the facts that they are not defects which press so grievously on our citizens that we are entitled to invite war because of them. I trust that when we come to cast our votes for or against the ratification of this Treaty, each member will do so with full advertence to the consequences for the nation. I trust each member will vote as if with him or her lay the sole responsibility for this grave choice. I would impress on members that they sit and act here to-day as the representatives of all our people and not merely as the representatives of a particular political party within the nation [hear, hear]. I acknowledge as great a responsibility to the 6,000 people who voted against me in 1918 as to the 13,000 who voted for me [hear, hear]. The lives and properties of the former are as much at stake on the vote I give as the lives and properties of the latter. I cannot simply regard myself as the nominee of a particular political party when an issue so grave as this is at stake. To ratify this Treaty, it has been said, would constitute an abandonment of principle, and it has been said that to ratify the Treaty would be a betrayal to those who died for Irish independence in the past. I said in Private Session, and I say here again now, principle is immortal. If the principle of Ireland's nationhood could be vitally affected by the action of a representative body of Irishmen at any time, it has died many deaths. The chieftains of the Irish clans swore allegiance to Henry VIII. The members of Grattan's Parliament were pledged in allegiance to the King of England. From 1800 to 1918 we have been sending Irishmen to Westminster, pledged in like allegiance. And yet when men, realising there was always a mandate for revolution because the people's will could not be interpreted as it should be—when men went out fighting for a Republic—no one ever suggested that they acted dishonourably because of the allegiance given to Henry VIII. by the chieftains, or of the allegiance given to his successors by those Irishmen who sat in Irish and English Parliaments. There has been too much talk of what the dead men would do if they were here and had our responsibility. There are men here, many of them, who carried their lives in their hands for Ireland during the last four or five years, men who but for a fortunate accident might well be dead; they are here to speak for themselves. When I hear it quoted ‘What would so and so do if he were here?’ I think of the men who risked daily for the last three or four years and who will vote for the Treaty. The men who died for Irish independence never intended that the country should be sentenced to destruction in a hopeless war, if all its rights were not conceded. The men who died, died for the welfare of the Irish people, and when I see men like the Minister for Finance, the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant- General—

    MR. R. MULCAHY (CHIEF OF STAFF):

    Let them talk for themselves.

    MR. KEVIN O'HIGGINS (ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT):

    Some of them have talked for themselves, and in support of the Treaty. I realise if these men had lost their lives in the war there would be people getting up and saying, ‘If they were here they would not support the Treaty.’ Now I come to King Charles' head—the Oath of Allegiance. Some call it an oath of allegiance. I do not know what it is. I can only speak of it in a negative way. It is not an oath of allegiance. There is a difference between faith and allegiance. Your first allegiance is to the Constitution of the Irish Free State and you swear faith to the King of England. Now faith is a thing that can exist between equals; there is if I might coin a word, mutuality, reciprocity. It is contingent and conditional, and I hold if you had sworn allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State anything that follows on that is not absolute but conditional on your Constitution being respected, and conditional on the terms of the Treaty


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    being adhered to. In the second clause of the Treaty you have two words of which Deputy Childers took very little stock—he waved it aside: ‘The position of the Irish Free State in relation to the Imperial Parliament and Government and otherwise shall be that of the Dominion of Canada and the law, practice and constitutional usage governing the relationship of the Crown or the representatives of the Crown, and of the Imperial Parliament to the Dominion of Canada shall govern their relationship to the Irish Free State.’ . Now, those two words ‘practice’ and ‘usage’ mean much more than Mr. Childers was prepared to attribute to them. They neutralise and nullify ‘law’. They were put in with that purpose. The English representatives offered to embody in the Treaty anything to ensure that the power of the Crown in Ireland would be exercised no more than in Canada—in other words, that there would be no power of the Crown in Ireland. Mr. Childers says who is to be the judge, who is to decide, where is your court? Everyone knows we will be represented in the League of Nations. That's the Court. For another thing, I take it we ourselves will decide. If we consider our rights are infringed, then we stand solely on our allegiance to the Constitution of the Free State, and nothing else [hear, hear]. I have said we have responsibilities. We have responsibilities to all the nation and not merely to a particular political party within the nation. If I felt that by resuming war we had even an outside chance of securing the fullness of our rights, that consideration would scarcely deter me, but I am not prepared to sacrifice them for the sake of handing on a tradition to posterity. I take it that we are the posterity of the generation that preceded us, but they do not seem to have worried much about handing on a separatist tradition intact to us—we had to go back to '67 to dig it up. We may rest assured that if this political experiment fails, and if the shoe pinches, posterity will take its own measures of alleviation and will do so in circumstances infinitely more favourable than those which prevailed when this generation grappled with the task. It is possible to be over solicitous about posterity. If we were to tell the man in the street that we proposed to sacrifice him in order to hand on a tradition to posterity he would probably complain that he was being forced to carry an undue burden because he had the misfortune to be alive to-day instead of to-morrow, and ask plaintively what had posterity ever done for him. I do not wish to be flippant about what has been a sacred ideal to us, a thing for which we have fought and worked and prayed for years, to which we have given liberally the best service of body and mind and soul, an ideal sanctified by the best blood of our countrymen and ennobled by the sacrifices of a gallant people; but I do ask for a frank admission that in face of tremendous odds we have gone as near the attainment of that ideal as is possible in the existing circumstances. I do ask for a frank and fearless recognition of political realities. I do ask for an endorsement of the view of our plenipotentiaries that embodied in this Treaty you have a measure of liberty that may honourably be accepted in the name of our people, not indeed a complete recognition of what we have held, and still hold, to be their right, but at least a political experiment to the working of which we are prepared to bring goodwill and good faith. I think it unwise and unstatesmanlike that England's representatives have thought fit to insist under threat of war on certain clauses of that Treaty. I do the English people the justice of believing that they would gladly have endorsed a more generous measure. I hardly hope that within the terms of this Treaty there lies the fulfilment of Ireland's destiny, but I do hope and believe that with the disappearance of old passions and distrusts, fostered by centuries of persecution and desperate resistance, what remains may be won by agreement and by peaceful political evolution. In that spirit I stand for the ratification of this Treaty—in that spirit I ask you to endorse it. I ask you to say that these five men whom you sent to London, and pitted against the keenest diplomats of Europe, have acquitted themselves as well and as worthily as our army did against the shock troops of the British Empire—both they and our army have fallen somewhat short of the ideal for which they strove against fearful odds. But I ask you to say that in this Treaty they have attained

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    something that can be honourably accepted. The welfare and happiness of the men and women and the little children of this nation must, after all, take precedence of political creeds and theories. I submit that we have attained a measure which secures that happiness and welfare, and on that basis and because of the alternative and all it means for these our people, I ask your acceptance of and your allegiance to the Constitution of Saorstát na hEireann [applause].

    MR. SEAN MACSWINEY (WEST, SOUTH, AND MID- CORK):

    I cannot say that any of the arguments advanced by any of the delegates or their supporters would change me. I think, on the whole, that their arguments are the arguments of despair. Mr. Arthur Griffith said that, in his opinion, this was a final settlement and a satisfactory settlement, the Minister for Finance says it is not a final settlement, and Deputy Kevin O'Higgins says he hopes for better terms. Mr. Arthur Griffith said the Treaty would be accepted by 95 per cent. of the people. I do not know exactly what percentage of the population of Ireland I represent, but I have my instructions in my pocket to vote against the Treaty. I do not refer to the military men in my constituency; I refer to the civil population. I hold against the Chairman of the Delegation that any one man won the war. The war is not won yet. This is only a period of truce. That is what we had always impressed on us in the South so as not to let ourselves get soft, and I hope we have not done so. He also said if we are going to go into the Empire, let us go in with our heads up. We cannot, and we never intended to go into it at all. I think the contention that has been made by speaker after speaker in favour of the Treaty that we are endeavouring to put the delegates in the dock, is wrong. I hold when the delegates came back we were entitled to know what led up to the signing, and not have it hurled at our heads like a bomb—and, I hope, like a dud. The Chairman of the Delegation says the Treaty was signed on an equal footing, equal speaking to equal. The Minister for Finance says there was no threat used to make them sign it. Deputy Kevin O'Higgins says they were threatened with immediate and terrible war and that the man who would refuse to sign the Treaty would go down to posterity as being the man who brought immediate and terrible war on the country. Other members of the delegation have not spoken yet. If they were threatened in private they will let us know. Deputy O'Higgins seems to have some inside information on the matter. I note all the Deputies speaking are vastly concerned with the civil population. I wonder if they have all their mandates from the civil population to accept? I doubt it. All I know is that the men who sent me up here instructed me to vote against it. They expressed the opinion that such advice or instruction was not necessary, but in case I might go wrong, they issued the instructions. The peculiar thing about this Treaty, and the move that's being made to ratify it, is, I don't quite know how to term it. But I will say one peculiar point about it is that seconding of the motion of acceptance by Commandant MacKeon. Commandant MacKeon is a brave soldier, whose bravery was acknowledged by the enemy as well as by his own [hear, hear]. None braver. And I hold when he was asked to second the motion, it was taking an unfair advantage of the rest of us [cries of ‘No’]. The Press of the country, as we know, is against us; it always has been. The Minister for Finance accepted responsibility for some of us being excommunicated. The last ban has not been lifted yet, but it does not worry us. Are the members serious about unanimity? We know people would stand solidly. behind us again. I can always speak for my own in the South. Probably the men saying ‘No, no’ could never speak for their constituents. I am sorry Commandant MacKeon seconded. I can answer for the Army of Munster. I am not a Divisional Commandant, but I can answer for the Army of Munster, and I have been empowered to answer for them [cries of ‘You cannot’].

    MR. P. BRENNAN (CLARE):

    You cannot.

    MR. SEAN MACSWINEY (WEST, SOUTH, AND MID-CORK):

    If I cannot,


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    I will probably be directed in the morning by officers in a position to direct me. I am sorry to see Commandant MacKeon putting himself in the position in which I have got the assurance that we of the South do not stand with him. I do know if we go back to hostilities that he will be there as he was before. I am just using that point because I believe unfair tactics were brought to force the ratification through. It was unfair to him and everyone else in the Army to put him in that position. I do not know that I have got much more to say in the matter. I have sworn an oath to the Republic, and for that reason I could not vote for the Treaty. In my opinion any man who has sworn an oath cannot accept the Treaty. The people who want the Treaty can vote for the ratification, but that will never defeat the Republican idea [applause].

    MR. R. C. BARTON (KILDARE AND WICKLOW):

    I am going to make plain to you the circumstances under which I find myself in honour bound to recommend the acceptance of the Treaty. In making that statement I have one object only in view, and that is to enable you to become intimately acquainted with the circumstances leading up to the signing of the Treaty and the responsibility forced on me had I refused to sign. I do not seek to shield myself from the charge of having broken my oath of allegiance to the Republic—my signature is proof of that fact [hear, hear]. That oath was, and still is to me, the most sacred bond on earth. I broke my oath because I judged that violation to be the lesser of alternative outrages forced upon me, and between which I was compelled to choose. On Sunday, December 4th, the Conference had precipitately and definitely broken down. An intermediary effected contact next day, and on Monday at 3 p.m., Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, and myself met the English representatives. In the struggle that ensued Arthur Griffith sought repeatedly to have the decision between war and peace on the terms of the Treaty referred back to this assembly. This proposal Mr. Lloyd George directly negatived. He claimed that we were plenipotentiaries and that we must either accept or reject. Speaking for himself and his colleagues, the English Prime Minister with all the solemnity and the power of conviction that he alone, of all men I met, can impart by word and gesture—the vehicles by which the mind of one man oppresses and impresses the mind of another—declared that the signature and recommendation of every member of our delegation was necessary or war would follow immediately. He gave us until 10 o'clock to make up our minds, and it was then about 8.30. We returned to our house to decide upon our answer. The issue before us was whether we should stand behind our proposals for external association, face war and maintain the Republic, or whether we should accept inclusion in the British Empire and take peace.

    Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, and Eamonn Duggan were for acceptance and peace; Gavan Duffy and myself were for refusal—war or no war. An answer that was not unanimous committed you to immediate war, and the responsibility for that was to rest directly upon those two delegates who refused to sign. For myself, I preferred war. I told my colleagues so, but for the nation, without consultation, I dared not accept that responsibility. The alternative which I sought to avoid seemed to me a lesser outrage than the violation of what is my faith. So that I myself, and of my own choice, must commit my nation to immediate war, without you, Mr. President, or the Members of the Dáil, or the nation having an opportunity to examine the terms upon which war could be avoided. I signed, and now I have fulfilled my undertaking I recommend to you the Treaty I signed in London [applause].

    MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

    I move the adjournment until to-morrow morning at 11 o'clock if the President is agreeable.

    MISS MACSWINEY (CORK CITY):

    Before the adjournment is put to the House, may I ask the Minister for Publicity whether the Press understand they are here by the courtesy of both sides to act impartially, and whether it is clearly understood that this is a very serious matter which has to go forth impartially to the nation, and whether it is part of the compact of the Press that they should report the speeches on


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    one side in full and take all the arguments out of the President's speech, leaving nothing but plain conclusions, and whether he will interview the Press on this matter and see that they will report impartially, or whether, in the event of such a promise not being given by the Press, we shall ask this House to request the Press to withdraw. This is a very serious matter for our people. We would like to hold this meeting where the whole people of Ireland could hear it, but since that is not possible, we are at the mercy of the Press. I do think the Press ought to act honourably in this. I think it is well to bring this matter before the Minister for Publicity, in order that the Press give a guarantee, or we shall ask them to withdraw.

    MR. DESMOND FITZGERALD (MINISTER FOR PUBLICITY):

    I do not think the last speaker understands the circumstances of bringing out early editions. The last speech to appear was the President's, of which a resume was given. I have seen the chief reporters of the chief Dublin Press and they, to my knowledge, issued instructions to the reporters to report both sides fully. I am quite satisfied that when you come to see the later editions of the evening press you will see the President's speech absolutely verbatim. We have an arrangement which guarantees that as far as the Press which reaches most of the Irish people is concerned, the reports will be quite fair.

    COUNTESS MARKIEVICZ (SOUTH DUBLIN):

    With regard to the Press, could we not arrange to hold a Session to-morrow in the Mansion House where our friends would get a chance of hearing the arguments on both sides?

    MR. SEAN MCENTEE (MONAGHAN):

    With regard to the Director of Publicity's statement, I would like to refer him to the Evening Herald 5.30 Edition. The account there is absolutely disconnected, and it conveys an altogether wrong impression of the effect of the speech on the House. Further on I look at the speech of the Minister for Home Affairs, who seconded the rejection. Again the speech is very badly reported. Look, then, at the speech of Count Plunkett: it is altogether omitted. I quite understand that the gentlemen of the Press labour under great difficulties in the House, but in a paper issued at 5.30 there is no reason why the report of a speech delivered before 1 o'clock has not appeared.

    THE SPEAKER:

    We cannot have a general discussion on these things.

    MR. J. J. WALSH (CORK CITY):

    It may be taken by the Press and public that we are in favour of a partial presentation of reports. I would certainly appeal to the Press, and I would inform them that as far as I am concerned—and, I suppose, everybody else who intends voting for the Treaty—that we desire every point essential to the information of the Irish people should be included in the reports.

    PROFESSOR STOCKLEY (NATIONAL UNIVERSITY):

    I beg to second the motion for adjournment.

    MR. SEAN MCGARRY (MID-DUBLIN):

    There has been a suggestion made by one of the Deputies from Cork that there was a compact between one side and the Press [cries of ‘No—sit down’]. I will not sit down. There was a suggestion of a compact [cries of ‘No, no’].

    MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE):

    I think the Deputy from Clontarf misunderstands what the Deputy from Cork said. The Deputy from Cork was quite clear, but was going on an earlier edition. The late edition of the Telegraph has the speeches up to a certain point. They are given in full. Mine is not and I have no grievance [laughter].

    MR. CATHAL BRUGHA (MINISTER FOR DEFENCE):

    The Government is still in office, and as one member of it I will certainly use my influence to prevent the Press from being present to- morrow if the speeches are not fairly in to-morrow's papers [hear, hear]. With regard to the suggestion of the Dáil meeting in the Mansion House, the original decision of the Cabinet was that a public meeting would be held at the Mansion House, but owing to the Aonach being held there—a fact which we overlooked—we had to


    p.51

    change that decision and come here. The Aonach is over now and I understand the exhibits are removed. Consequently, with the kind permission of the Lord Mayor, there is no reason why we should not have a meeting at the Mansion House to-morrow [hear, hear].

    ALDERMAN W. T. COSGRAVE (MINISTER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT):

    If a decision on the matter were already given at the Secret Session, are we to be like a Board of Guardians, passing a resolution one day, and rescinding it the next day? [laughter].

    THE SPEAKER:

    There is a motion for adjournment.

    MR. CATHAL BRUGHA (MINISTER FOR DEFENCE):

    I move that the Dáil meet at the Mansion House to-morrow at 11 o'clock.

    MR. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

    Is that a motion?

    COUNTESS MARKIEVICZ (SOUTH DUBLIN):

    I second it.

    MR. GRIFFITH (MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS):

    Before that is put, I may mention that President de Valera said to me that at a Public Session you will have partisans on both sides. The task of keeping order will be impossible and the selection of people to be allowed to the meeting will be impossible. Only a thousand can get in, and as the secretaries know, you will have all kinds of blame that this person was there, and that person was not. Every person who is not allowed in will say it is on account of the political issue. You will be speaking to a public meeting, not to a Session of Dáil Eireann.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I agree absolutely with Mr. Griffith in the matter [applause].

    BRUGHA (MINISTER FOR DEFENCE):

    In deference to the President, I would be willing to have a meeting here, but seeing what has been already said with regard to the obvious partiality of the Press, it is quite clear that we should go to a place that will hold the biggest number of the Irish people, so that they will hear the whole case. They won't hear our case if the statement in regard to the speeches published to-day is correct. The Irish people should know the whole case. Unfortunately up to now there are two sides; please God in the finish there will be only one. I presume the other side do not fear publicity [ ‘No, no’]. Then why not have the meeting there? Of course if the President insists—

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I do not want to insist, but the reasons given are cogent. It would be unwise on short notice like that to have a meeting in the Round Room. Such a course as is suggested would be a corrective to the partiality of the Press. It is simply as a corrective. If we cannot get fair play from the Press we must have to think of it. I would certainly not be glad to be forced to that sort of thing at this stage.

    THE SPEAKER:

    I declare the motion for the adjournment of the House until to-morrow morning carried.

    The House rose.


    p.53

    DÁIL EIREANN PUBLIC SESSION Tuesday, December 20th, 1921

    The DEPUTY-SPEAKER (MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS) took the Chair at 11.35 a.m. and said:

    MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS

    The business for to-day is the continuation of the discussion on the motion put before the Dáil by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Delegation to London. The first speaker is Teachta Seán Etchingham.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Just a moment, before you proceed with the discussion. This is the first time that I saw this document [(the Agenda for the day)]. Now according to this I am to move my motion again and President de Valera is going to move something else. I want to know why I was not consulted about this new procedure?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Yes, I gave notice that when the vote for ratification—I hope that word will not be misunderstood. We have said from the start that there could be no question of ratification of this Treaty. It is altogether ultra vires in the sense of making it a legal instrument. We can pass approval or disapproval. I again say when the vote is taken on this resolution of approval and decided, that I shall move No 2. This is simply to be the order of the day—to provide for the possibility of a vote being taken to-day, so that my motion would be in order.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Am I to understand that the first vote has to be taken on approval or disapproval of the Treaty?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Yes.

    MR. SEAN ETCHINGHAM:

    I was one of those who at the first Public Session, and during the Private Session, tried to have all our business transacted in public. I thought that some of those who were opposed to us in this matter conveyed the idea that we wanted to have it in private, that we were afraid to face the Irish people. Well now that is not so. I know, and we have not very many politicians on our side or in this assembly, that everything that has been done has been in the interest of Ireland. But the most tragic thing of all was not that the Delegates did not return to Dublin, but that they published that Treaty, and that the Minister for Foreign Affairs gave an interview and said to us and to the people of Ireland, ‘The end of the seven-and-a-half centuries of fight is over and Irish liberty is won’. Our people have been stampeded. Our people, while they may know something about it to-day, knew that the entire Cabinet sent the Plenipotentiaries back on that particular Saturday, and they felt that they signed with the will of the entire Cabinet: that is what had been conveyed to the country. Now I wanted everything in this matter, every document presented to the Irish people—they will be in time. I wanted all our discussions out in public, before as many people as can attend, for I knew that we had no Press. I told you here in Private Session, and I reiterate it here, that we have not even the mosquito Press, we have not a Scissors and Paste; we have not A Spark.I have discovered that we have one provincial paper, The Connachtman. That is the position we are in, and we are not afraid to face the public, and we are not afraid to have every document published. The Delegates have given their word of honour to the English Government that they won't publish these documents unless the English Government agree, and we have to hold to that word in the interests of the honour of our country. So we are told. But I say here we want everything in the open; we want the Irish people to


    p.54

    know everything that happened, and the Irish people will, and then they can judge. We heard swan songs yesterday evening, songs I never thought I would have heard in the Parliament of the Irish Republic. The Assistant Minister for Local Government said things yesterday. No speech delivered on our side could bear the same strength to carry out our purpose, and that is the rejection of this Treaty: this Treaty of terror; this Treaty that will ensure the perpetual subjection of our people. He even said—I was sorry to hear him say so—that young men in the streets of this city would be sorry they would be born in the time when the war was waged. I don't believe that is so. I was in this city during all the time of the terror, and I never heard a young man or a boy express terror. I don't believe it is so. I did feel assured that the future of Ireland was safe because the young men had the idea, the boys had the idea, the children had the idea. I have heard young men here express different sentiments, but I do hope it is only a temporary obsession. I believe that England will never again get a grip on this country, because this Treaty will be rejected. Now I will come to some points in this Treaty. I heard yesterday from my old friend, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, that he was a disciple of Thomas Davis, a disciple of Thomas Davis who had brought Young Ireland through the papers he had edited to what he held, and to what, thank God, a great number held, the idea of separatism, complete separatism, from the British Empire. He may not have intended it to, but, thank God, it had that result. I have heard him state, and I think I heard the Assistant Minister for Local Government state, and during the Private Session I heard another Member state—I think it was he gave them the idea—that they would march into the Empire with their heads up—‘March into the Empire with their heads up’. They are brave men who say so, in the Parliament of the Irish Republic. Even though we see on the walls ‘Up the Republic’ obliterated, I say they are brave men to say so here, and I admire brave men, even though I believe them to be wrong. Into the Empire with their heads up! Rather into it with their hands up. Yes, they might hold up their heads, but they are holding up their hands, for this is a Treaty of surrender of the principles they are here to uphold. I have heard gentlemen speak of the dead—let the dead rest. I can well understand that, for the boy Kevin Barry marched to the gallows with his head up, but his hands were pinioned to his side, and other men faced the firing parties, and other men faced the hangman with their heads up but their hands pinioned to their sides. Now we are told by suggestion, and we will be told openly before this closes, that these men faced the firing parties, and walked to the gallows, having fought bravely as soldiers for Colonial Home Rule. My God! I say this is defaming the memory of the dead. I will always hold an admiration for Commandant MacKeon, but it will be an admiration as a soldier, not as a politician. There is a great difference between the two. I was sorry, very sorry to hear the statement he made yesterday, and he too when, as the Minister for Home Affairs says, time will tell the result of this, will be sorry for this. As the brave soldier, the Blacksmith of Ballinalee, Ireland will remember him, not as the politician who seconded that motion to ratify this Treaty. No, I say here that the men who fought and had the Fenian tradition, the men who are in their graves, it is unfair to their memory, a defamation of their memory, ever to say that they died for Colonial Home Rule, that they died to have us to march with our heads up into the British Empire. I have heard from all sides many arguments about this oath, and I have heard that this Treaty is one that should be ratified, but truly, men, every one of you that have spirit, you must remember this statement made by the Minister of Economics (Riobárd Bartún). That statement will be recorded in history as one of the most momentous ever made. It was a human address—[hear, hear]—but it told a terrible tale. I have called this a Treaty of Terror. Somewhere yesterday, I think, the Minister of Finance referred to a Coalition, but what it conveyed to me was, and I would like to have that cleared up before the Session closes, was there a coalition of pressure, of terror, between the three members of the Delegation who were in favour of signing and the members of the British Cabinet who urged them to sign? Was there a coalition between these three members and the British Government to compel Riobárd Bartún and Gavan

    p.55

    Duffy to put their names to that? I would be sorry to be told there was, even though the claim is to be put forward that it was in the interest of Ireland. But that is a tragic story, the story of black Monday night, the 5th and 6th December; we were immovable on the Saturday, and our course was undermined on the Tuesday. You know what happened. There are more particulars—and we know them, you Members of the Dáil know them, and the people of Ireland must know them—of the story of that black Monday night. I admire the Minister of Finance. He has told us, and it is true of not alone him, but of the greater number of us, that he went over to get things, not words; he went over as a plain man to get things, and he knew little or nothing, and didn't want to know, of legal phraseology. That is a manly statement, and what I would expect from him. But Treaties—what are they? The words of a Treaty are translated by international lawyers, and a lawyer of repute has said that that agreement that is now presented to us is couched in the very same language that Lloyd George mesmerised Wilson, the President of the American Republic, with. If he mesmerised Wilson, with all the power of the American Government behind him—the power of the United States—ah, I cannot wonder that he mesmerised our people when he shook the papers in their faces. Perhaps there was some powder on the paper [laughter]. He certainly threw dust in their eyes. He doped them, and the result was their signatures. And he not alone did that, but listen to the words of Riobárd Bartún: ‘That they should undertake to go back and recommend it’. To me this is a sad, one of the saddest things I have ever met in my life, for I fear that I never will again get the chance of seeing my country in the position she was in on the 3rd of December. No, some of the young people may if you do your duty, if you act as men, if you are true to the Irish Republican Oath. I know how some of you young men have got the idea that you are doing the right thing. You interrupted the President when he was speaking yesterday to you of a welcome to the King of England, but for God's sake get that idea out of your heads that you are going to do this thing. If you are going to vote for this treaty, go right into the British Empire, go in with your heads up, do not have a mental reservation about the terms of that oath, do not have any illusions about having a Republic inside of the terms of that Treaty; do not have the idea that in one year, or two years, or five years, or ten years you are going to have your country free, for if the iron of the truce has entered your souls, after six months of it, and you are not prepared to fight, you will not do so after one year, two years, or ten years, when you have Colonial or Free State fat in your bodies. No; let us be true and let us be straight. I am, as I told you here in Private Session, a Republican by conviction. I am, as I said, a Separatist. I never was, and never could be, what some men openly have avowed here they are, a compromising opportunist. When I took the first oath in the present Parliament I took it without mental reservation and I mean to keep it. I am now asked to forswear myself. And for what? To give my country, my dismembered country Colonial or Dominion status. In short, what is it to be?—an Irish Dominion or Free State if you like—a bow window in the western gable of the British Empire. I will never agree to it, and I say it has been proved here, and let it be disproved by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, that this Treaty was a Treaty forced upon them, a Treaty of terror; and he comes back here, and, I hope in God, in his concluding speech that he will do something better than in his opening speech; for as an old friend, and as one who has had the greatest respect, and still holds the greatest respect for him, no matter what happens, I was sorry to hear that statement. I thought of the fine virile voice in which he spoke to his opponents, and I was saddened at heart. But there is one thing I will ask him to explain as a disciple of Davis. Davis says a treaty to be binding must be voluntary. Was it voluntary upon the part of Riobárd Bartún? We have not yet heard anything from Gavan Duffy. England never made a treaty which she did not break. He knows that I have read that in his writings in the United Irishman and elsewhere. He knows all that, England has never made a treaty she did not break. I wished to God that Arthur Griffith had remembered what Terence MacSwiney has written about the final effort. He has quoted Terry MacSwiney, and he has told the people of Ireland to endure, and his words will go down to history:

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    ‘It is not they who can do the most injury but those who can endure the most who will win’. ‘Tell them nothing matters if they don't give in, nothing, nothing. The last moment, that is the important time to grip. Then what is the good of being alive if we give in’. That was the philosophy of Terence MacSwiney's life, and he proved it in Brixton. Now we are told it is an impossible fight, and we are told we must give in. I hold we cannot in honour give in, and I repeat what I said the other day: there is a dual honour involved in this, the honour of our country and our own personal honour. Any of you who have taken the oath of allegiance to the Irish Republic, I hold that before you do this thing you should be, as a good number here are, prepared to die. Your country's honour demands it. We have heard a lot about this oath, that it is a simple thing that anybody could take, that it only means to be faithful to King George of England, and that it means nothing at all. We have read in the Press quotations from Webster's Dictionary with regard to the Plenipotentiaries, and I went to the trouble of looking up Webster. I heard some legal gentleman in this assembly discussing this thing the other evening; I have been used to them, listening to them at Petty Sessions and other sessions and courts, and I know how they twist words, and I know what they mean by them—good men, some of them, but very few [laughter]. Now the word faithful—according to Webster, and he is a classic in this question of settling the fate of a nation—means ‘
    1. firm adherence to the truth and to the duties of religion;
    2. firmly adhering to duty, true fidelity, loyalty, true to allegiance;
    3. constant in the performance of duties or services, exact in attending to commands;
    4. perseverance to compacts, treaties, contracts, vows or other engagements, true to one's word;
    5. true, exact conformity to the letter and spirit, faithful performance of contracts;
    6. conformity to the truth;
    7. constant, not fickle, as a friend
    ’. Now we have the Scripture brought in even in Webster—‘True, Timothy, second chapter, eleventh verse’—and what to all of us is far more important to remember: Be thou faithful to death and I will give thee the crown of life’’

    —Revelation, chapter 2.

    Ah, if you go into this thing, take this oath without any mental reservation and go in, as the Minister for Foreign Affairs told you, and as the Assistant Minister of Local Government and one of the Deputies for Tyrone told you, with your heads up. I have seen dogs whipped, and I know where their tails are. Go in, anyhow, with your heads up; go in and for the first time in the history of this country be part and parcel of the British Empire. You know it perfectly well. I noticed yesterday when the one man able to deal with this, who tried to deal with it—Erskine Childers—got up to speak, there was a whole procession left the hall. There were young men leaving the hall who even had hardly looked at this Treaty and are going to vote for it. It was a grand demonstration of indifference. Oh, the agony of heart that anyone must feel, after the glorious fight that was put up, that men would do such a thing as that and would not listen to the one man who is equal to it here in this assembly. I have never heard it really touched by any man that wants to have it pushed down the throats of the Irish Nation. I even heard a Member of this assembly actually trying to pass a joke about that statement of Riobárd Bartún. That is terrible. Do we realise what we are doing? Ah, I am afraid we do not—some of us—

    MR. COLLINS:

    I am afraid ye don't.

    MR. ETCHINGHAM:

    We may be honest in this matter. We may say it is the very best thing for this country, but let us not have any illusions about it, let us remember that we are going into the British Empire and putting our people in it. Every child born in this country, if this thing is ratified, will be a citizen of the British Empire. Can any of you deny that? Can any of you who left the House and did not listen to Mr. Erskine Childers, try to deny that? The children will be born into allegiance to the King of England; that is implied by birth in any of his Dominions. And this is to be a Dominion, this old Irish Nation. The Minister of Home Affairs challenged you to contradict him that you cannot leave this part of the British Empire in future without a passport from the British Foreign Office. There are none to contradict it. My God! then what is the use of having this camouflaged Free State? They gave us a name, but my good friend, Commandant MacKeon, is looking for substance. Has he even that? No, he


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    has not. Another of the men here in this assembly of my colleagues and comrades has been told he can vote for this thing. I know some of them would rather tear the tongues from themselves and cut their hands off than support and sign this. But they are told they can vote to recommend it and then retire. I admire the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Finance. When they put their pens to this they undertook to come here and recommend it, and, I am sure, administer it. We can understand that. It is a manly attitude, but I say the most contemptible, the meanest creature that ever trod a sod of Ireland is the man who votes for this, but says that he would not swear or that be would not sign it. There are men here who said that they could do that. I hope I will live, and that I will have the opportunity and the strength afterwards to tell them what I think of them. There are members here of the G.A.A. Some few years ago—two years ago—they expelled from the Gaelic Athletic Association Civil Servants who had taken the oath of allegiance, men who had helped very much to build it up, men with large families and a great number of dependents. But they went out, they were driven out, and I agree with it, because I held then I had done something in the past to have the Gaelic Athletic Association in conformity with the Fenian tradition. Now I ask the men of the G.A.A., of which I am a member, if they vote for this thing, to go into it with their heads up, and if the athletic games are held in Croke Park let Lord Lascelles, who is to be called the Duke of Dublin, throw in the hurling ball. Let us go in with our heads up, but this I say to you finally, if you do vote for this thing, that posterity—the Assistant Minister of Local Government says he does not mind posterity—will denounce you, for if you do it it will be a renunciation of your principles, of your allegiance to the Irish Republic. Nay, it is more, it is the burial service over the grave of the Irish Nation, and there is to be no firing party [applause].

    MR. FINIAN LYNCH:

    A Chinn Chomhairle is a lucht na Dála, tá fhios agaibh go leir cá seasuighim-se ar an gceist seo. Dubhart libh cheana fein sa tsiosón príomháideach go bhfuilim-se go dian ar thaobh an Chonnartha so. A Chinn Chomhairle, before I pass on to say the few things that I have to say about the Treaty itself, I would like to refer to a few things in Deputy Etchingham's sermon. With regard to publicity, he seems to suggest that those who are for the Treaty are afraid of publicity. Every document that this Dáil wanted, a committee was appointed to provide them with, and we more than once expressed our wish that every document should be published to the Irish people, including Document No. 2. Deputy Etchingham is trying to tell this House and trying to tell the people of Ireland that Lloyd George, shaking a paper in front of the face of Michael Collins was able to put the wind up Michael Collins. Let the people of Ireland judge whether it is so easy to put the wind up Michael Collins. That kind of eyewash is not going to go down with me or with any man who has soldiered with Collins, or with any person in Ireland who knows what he has done. As regards the statement that we will have to get a passport from the British Government to travel out of Ireland after this, what have you got to do now? Have you not to get a passport signed by them now, or else you have got to go to Michael Collins to get you out of the country [hear, hear]. Now we have had a great deal of emotion here and a great deal of emotional speeches about the dead. I say for myself that the bones of the dead have been rattled indecently in the face of this assembly. Now I am alive, and I took my chance of being killed as well as any white man in this assembly, and I challenge any man to deny that. Now I am here to interpret myself, and I stand for this Treaty; if I were dead, and if I were to be interpreted, I should ask to be interpreted by the men who soldiered with me, and by the men who worked with me in the National movement. It has almost become the custom here in this debate for every man getting up to throw bouquets at his own head. It started, as far as I well remember, with a tale of boy heroism from Belfast, and it permeated south through Louth, Kildare, and Tipperary. I am not going to throw any bouquets at my own head, and I want no one else to throw bouquets at my head. I did my share as I could , and I don't want anyone to thank me for it. I would ask to be interpreted by comrades who have stood with me, men like Gearoid


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    O'Sullivan, Piaras Beaslai, or Austin Stack, with whom I campaigned a good deal. Now I stand for this Treaty on four grounds, and the one I mention last is the one that will mean the most to me. I stand for it because it gives us an army, because it gives us evacuation, because it gives us control over the finances of the country, and lastly, and greatest of all to me, because it gives us control over our education. I believe the gallant soldiers of this assembly stand for it because of the army and because of the evacuation it gives. They have a far greater right to speak on that line than I have, although I too can claim to be a soldier. I stand for it because of the fact that it gives us control of education. Somebody interjected here yesterday, and I did not like the interjection, ‘What about the Councils' Bill?’ Now I knew Pádraic Mac Piarais, as every man who worked in the Gaelic movement—in the Gaelic revival—knew him, and, as regards that interjection about the Councils' Bill, all I can say is that the only reason that Pádraic Pearse stood for the Councils' Bill was because it gave some control over education, and he was an educationist. Now this Treaty gives us far more control over education than the Councils' Bill, and I think the people of Ireland would be well advised to consider before they sling it back. I, like many others, started in the National movement by going into the Gaelic League; now if the object of the Gaelic League, as I understood it, was not to get control over Irish education, then I don't know what we were doing in the Gaelic League. There was a hardy annual at the Ard- Fheis, resolutions condemning Starkie and the Board of Education. This gives control over your education, and you can get rid of the Gaelic League's hardy annual before the Ard-Fheis, which will save a lot of us at least a great deal of boredom. One argument that has been made against this Treaty by the other side, or at least dope that has been served across, is that this thing was signed under duress. It is an insult to the men who signed to say so, and it is an insult to your intelligence to try to make you believe it, and the people of Ireland are not going to believe it. The man who does a thing which he has no right to do, whether it be under duress or otherwise, is a coward. I knew office boys here in Dublin—out of offices of the Dáil—who with a pistol to their heads refused to give any information about their offices or the people in the offices—[hear, hear]—and Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith would be less courageous than these young boys—boys in their teens—if they did such a thing. I say it is an insult to your intelligence to ask you to believe it, and it is an insult to the men who signed it. A point has been made by Sean MacSwiney. I am sure he can speak for his constituents. I can speak for mine just as well as Sean MacSwiney can speak for his; I know what the people want; I know that I can speak for my own people—for the people of South Kerry, where I was bred and born.

    A Voice from the body of the Hall:

    No.

    MR. LYNCH:

    With one exception. Yes, a minority of one against, an Englishwoman. Well, if I am interrupted from the body of the Hall, I will reply. I say that that person should be removed from the Hall, a person who interferes with a speaker in this assembly, and I ask the chair to protect me. I have said that we are not afraid of publicity, because we are not afraid to show the Irish people that it is not a difference between this Treaty and the Republic. It is as between this Treaty and a compromise which is less than the Republic. I hold, anyhow, as one plain man that it is a choice of compromises, and I will have the compromise that delivers some goods and not the compromise that takes you back to war—takes the Irish people back to war. I will swallow the compromise that gives something. I will have none of the compromise that drives this country again into a welter of blood. I, too, am no constitutional lawyer. There has been a suggestion that the Provisional Government or Transitional Government—presumably the Government that is provided for under this Treaty—if set up by this assembly would be a usurpation. I would like to know then where constitutional Government begins. If a Government set up by the majority of the representatives of the people of a country is a usurpation, then what in the name of God is constitutional Government? Somebody has said, ‘Time will tell’. Yes, I say time will tell, and I have my right to interpret what time will tell just as much as the person who made the


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    remark. I say that time will tell, if this Treaty is rejected, that we through desperate gallantry—that is throwing bouquets at ourselves—brought about a certain situation, but that we had not enough common sense to see who had that situation when we had brought it about. That is what time will tell, according as I see it. I have very little more to say—I am speaking longer than I intended, as a matter of fact. But mind you when you are casting your votes what you are doing. Mind you that you are going to bring the people back to war, and make no mistake about it; and when a situation like this will come after more blood, and when you come up here to discuss the terms of surrender and to appoint plenipotentiaries—if you go back on what is now signed—there is no country or no Government in the world that would receive any man you send over, because they can always say: ‘You sent them before and you threw them over when they went back; well, keep them at home’.

    MRS. O'CALLAGHAN:

    A Chinn Chomhairle is a lucht na Dála, ba mhaith liom labhairt ar an gceist seo, ach ós rud e ná fuil an Ghaedhilg ag na Teachtaí go leir ní mór dom labhairt as Bearla. A Chinn Chomhairle, I rise to support the President's motion for the rejection of these Articles of Agreement, and, lest anybody should afterwards question my right to stand here and criticise and condemn this Treaty, I want it to be understood here and now that I have the clearest right in the world. I paid a big price for that Treaty and for my right to stand here. The last Deputy talked about indecent rattling of the bones of the dead in this assembly. Since I came up to Dublin for this Session I have been told, with a view to changing my vote, I suppose, that my husband was never a Republican. I challenge any Deputy in this Dáil to deny my husband's devotion to the Republic, a devotion he sealed with his blood. I would ask the gentlemen who say he was never a Republican, but who say they are Republicans, and intend to vote for this Treaty, to leave my husband's name out of the matter. I have been told, too, that I have a duty to my constituents. They, I am told, would vote for this Treaty, and I ought to consider their wishes. Well, my political views have always been known in Limerick, and the people of Limerick who elected me Deputy of this Dáil two months after my husband's murder, and because of that murder, know that I will stand by my convictions and by my oath to the Irish Republic. There is a third point I want to clear up. When it was found that the women Deputies of An Dáil were not open to canvass, the matter was dismissed with the remark: ‘Oh, naturally, these women are very bitter’. Well, now, I protest against that. No woman in this Dáil is going to give her vote merely because she is warped by a deep personal loss. The women of Ireland so far have not appeared much on the political stage. That does not mean that they have no deep convictions about Ireland's status and freedom. It was the mother of the Pearses who made them what they were. The sister of Terence MacSwiney influenced her brother, and is now carrying on his life's work. Deputy Mrs. Clarke, the widow of Tom Clarke, was bred in the Fenian household of her uncle, John Daly of Limerick. The women of An Dáil are women of character, and they will vote for principle, not for expediency. For myself, since girlhood I have been a Separatist. I wanted, and I want, an independent Ireland, an Ireland independent of the British Empire, and I can assure you that my life in Limerick during 1920, culminating in the murder of my husband last March—my life and that event have not converted me to Dominion status within the British Empire. I would like to say here that it hurts me to have to vote against the Minister for Foreign Affairs. He was a friend of my husband. Every night in my home, as in most Irish homes, prayers went up for him, and for the President, and for all who were standing by the country. I have the greatest admiration for him, but this is not a matter of devotion to a leader, or devotion to a party, it is a matter of principle, and you may sneer at principle, some of you. It is a matter of principle, a matter of conscience, a matter of right and wrong. From a study of the private documents, and from what happened at the last Dáil meetings in August and September, I have no hesitation in admitting that the delegates who went to London had full powers to negotiate and conclude a Treaty, but—and I am only a plain person, a person of plain intelligence—I understood they


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    were to submit the final draft to the Cabinet and the President before signing. That was not done, and we know why it was not done. The Minister for Economics explained that last night. The delegates were—I don't like to use the word—but still the delegates were bluffed by the threat of war into signing that Treaty. Well, it cannot be helped; they did their best. But I do resent some of the delegates and their supporters in this House trying to use the same bluff on us here to get us to vote for that. I cannot see what war has to do with it. You will say that is a woman's argument, but we know on whom the war comes hardest, and I repeat I don't see what war has to do with it. If we had not a soldier or a gun in the Irish Republican Army I would vote against that Treaty, and I will tell you why. I read and studied by myself the Terms of the Treaty when it was published and boomed in the Press on the Wednesday, and, I admit, and who could blame me, with a mind sharpened by sorrow, I came here for the last five days, and I listened to arguments which left my attitude unchanged. I am, as I said, a Separatist, and my objections to the Treaty are fundamental. This Treaty, which we are told gives us the substance of freedom, to my mind puts Ireland definitely on a Dominion status within the British Empire. Now what have all these hundreds of years of struggle been for? What has it been about? What has been the agony and the sorrow for? Why was my husband murdered? Why am I a widow? Was it that I should come here and give my vote for a Treaty that puts Ireland within the British Empire? Was it that I should take an oath to be a faithful citizen of the British Empire? I tell you if you approve of this Treaty the Republic of Ireland, which I swore a solemn oath to uphold and honour, will sink in the world's eyes to less than Dominion status within the Empire. Now as to this question of the oath—I am afraid it was I raised the question of the nature of the oath in Article 4 of the Treaty. When I asked the question as to the nature of the oath, every legal man in this assembly, and many who were not legal or logical, tried to explain it. I still fail to see how in swearing an oath of allegiance to the Free State I can avoid King George. To my mind—and, as I said before, I am only a plain person—in swearing to the Constitution of the Irish Free State I cannot avoid him. He is in the Constitution. Anybody can have another try to convince me yet—I am open as long as I am alive. May I say here, too, that if I had found the terms of the Treaty satisfactory and consistent with National honour, the joy in the British Press would have made me suspicious. There has been much talk about the splendid gesture of England in settling this centuries' quarrel with Ireland. If the settlement were all that the papers maintained it is, it would be an admirable thing, and it would help to raise British credit throughout the world, but this Treaty will not make for peace, because it does not recognise the sovereign independent status of Ireland, and, to my mind, it is a mean thing to try to patch up the wrongs of the Empire by a pretended gift of freedom to us. It is more than mean; it is a crime, for it leaves England's hands free to deal with places like Egypt and India, and in the name, I suppose, of our common citizenship. Those who know me and my sorrow, if I may refer to that again, know what little bitterness I feel against the actual murderers of my husband. I can claim that they walked the streets of Limerick after he was shot, and I never asked, as I might have done, to have him avenged by Irish Republican Army bullets. But I do feel bitter now that the thing he and I cared about and worked for, the thing I lost my happiness for, should be voted away by young men, the young soldiers in whom we had such hope. He lies in Limerick in the Republican Plot, and though you Deputies of An Dáil bring Ireland within the Empire, there are points of it which your suffrages cannot touch. Where he lies is Republican ground, and I defy you to violate it. In this I speak for the other women who are careful for the honour of their dead. We are making history here to-day, and our decision will have a far-reaching effect. If there is any Deputy here who has not yet made up his mind, I would ask him for God's sake, before he does, to think well and stand for principle and against the Treaty.

    MR. P. HOGAN:

    A Chinn Chomhairle, I rise to support this motion, that Dáil Eireann approves of this Treaty, and, before coming to the Treaty itself, I want to repeat here again a point which I think could never be repeated


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    often enough. The time-honoured authentic demand of Ireland is for independence, and in comparison with that the form of the independence, the form in which that independence should clothe itself was no more than a secondary consideration. I think that without exception—I don't know whether I should say that, but I will say that that definition of Ireland's historic time-honoured demand is a fair definition. And it is in the light of that definition that this Treaty must be examined. For many hundred years Ireland has been struggling for existence, spiritual and material; for many hundred years the iron has entered her soul, and during those long years of struggle Ireland's statesmen had at no time shown an inclination to be meticulous about the form, and Ireland had never perhaps less inclination than at this moment. There are men and women in the Dáil who are Republicans first, last, and all the time; there are men and women in the Dáil who bear great names, who consider themselves, and rightly consider themselves, the heirs to a great tradition, and they consider that tradition binds them to vote for nothing less, and no other form of government but the Republic. But I have only this to say: I am a private Member here, and I am in the same position as a great many other private Members here and those people whom I have just spoken of cannot complain of us if we take up the attitude that the only tradition we can recognise is the tradition of the rank and file of our constituents, and that is no mean tradition no matter what county we come from. I have this further to say, and it is just to add a word to what was said by the Minister of Finance: there is one tradition or one principle—whatever you like to call it— absolutely certain; there is one principle that has no conditions or no limitations, it is the principle on which the Republic rests and that is the principle of ‘government by the consent of the governed’ [hear, hear]. And I say that any Deputy here who votes in favour of this Treaty, knowing that his or her constituents—I am speaking to anyone who is in that frame of mind—are against that Treaty, is doing wrong. That may be a bitter thing, but it is democracy. There is an attempt made to meet that claim, that principle, by the argument, which I do not agree with, that the Irish people at the present moment are war-weary and unnerved, anxious for peace; in other words, that we must save them from themselves. That is a false argument, a specious argument, it is false in a double sense. If the Irish people were war-weary, and if they wanted peace, they are entitled to have it. That is the principle. I heard a lot of passionate talk about principles. I don't want to be cynical, but it is forced home on me, that all the passion is reserved for the principles that suit the argument for the moment. I say it does not lie in the mouth of any Deputy—I don't care who he or she is—here to make excuses for the Irish people at this stage. The people who stood up to the terror of the last two years, the people who all the time kept honour before interest, are not going to be false now. And that consideration applies straight and direct to any Deputy here who is voting against his constituents. Now Deputy Etchingham stated that there is no meaner, no more despicable man than the man who was going to vote for this Treaty feeling that he ought to vote against. There is, and that is the man—and I know no-body will misunderstand—who is going to vote against this Treaty, but hopes it will be ratified. Now I come to the Treaty itself, and I am not going to make any apologies for it. I don't like to take up the position—as a Deputy here who happens to be a lawyer and who makes very little pretension to any knowledge—of expounding constitutional law on this question, but whether I am a lawyer or not, it is my duty to myself, and it is the duty of every Deputy here, as far as his ability enables him, to clear up those points on which we are going to take a most momentous vote. In what I am going to say now I will only justify myself by saying that I have done my best to discover what exactly is the meaning of the provisions of the Treaty, and that I don't propose at this great moment to make any debating points on one side or the other. Now in this Treaty Clause 2 states that in fact the relation of the Crown with Ireland—of King George V. with Ireland—shall be the relation of King George V. with Canada, ‘subject’— now mark this well—‘to the provisions hereinafter set out’. What is the relation of George V. to Canada? He is not the King of Canada, and consequently he is not the King of Ireland. That is constitutional law which I don't

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    know can be challenged by anybody. He is not the direct Monarch of Ireland, as the President stated yesterday. The King of England exercises certain rights in Canada as King of England. And now I will come in a moment to the question of whether he exercises certain rights in Ireland as King of Ireland. He certainly exercises rights in Canada as King of England. He exercises them not by virtue of statute or by anything else, but by virtue of something which is behind all statute law, and which is summed up in the oath of allegiance which the Canadians take. The oath of allegiance which the Members of the Canadian Legislative Assembly take is a very simple oath—it is the same in South Africa—‘I
    [gap: blank to be filled/extent: 2/3 words]
    do solemnly swear to bear true faith and allegiance to King George V., his heirs and successors’. It is by what is summed up in that oath that King George V. exercises his rights in Canada. That is what is behind it, and that sums up all the constitutional usage and all the constitutional theory that George V. has in Canada. Now, coming to Ireland, I come back to remind you that the Canadian position, as far as we are concerned, is modified by the words ‘subject to the provisions hereinafter set out’. The provisions hereinafter set out, as far as the Irish Free State is concerned, are in the oath. Now this is the oath: ‘I
    [gap: blank to be filled/extent: 2/3 words]
    do solemnly swear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State’. And the point is made here that the true faith and allegiance to the Irish Free State implies true faith and allegiance to the King—not the King of Ireland, remember, because he is not King of Ireland by law, by that Treaty or by anything else, but King George V. I may be wrong. It is not a very important point, but I never yet heard of an oath of allegiance, meant to be an oath of allegiance to a King, that did not expressly mention that King. I think that is good principle of interpretation of constitutional law. Further you have the second clause of the oath: ‘And that I will be faithful to his Majesty King George V., his heirs and successors by law, in virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain and her adherence to, and membership of, the group of nations forming the British Commonwealth of nations’. Now there is another principle of constitutional law which we must apply to that. It is this—that where a king or monarch is mentioned in the oath the full relations between him and the person who is taking the oath must be fully defined around his name and cannot be added to or subtracted from in any other part of the document. That is a well-settled principle of constitutional law, and I say that by this it is perfectly clear and perfectly plain that the only relation which we have—you may quarrel with it if you like—with King George V. is this, to be faithful to him as head of the British Community of Nations. There are Deputies here in this House who won't agree with that. That is a matter for themselves, and it is a matter for every one. That is what I want to get cleared. I don't know whether after Mr. Etchingham we should have any further definition of faithfulness, but in any case faithfulness in law by any Constitution implies equality, and so far as the relationship between Ireland and Great Britain is regulated by that oath, Ireland is an equal under the letter of that Treaty with England, and if England is a Sovereign State so is Ireland under the letter of that Treaty; I believe that to be good constitutional law. Now Mr. Erskine Childers pointed out, quite rightly, that constitutional law is not the same definite thing as statutory law. There are questions of opinions, questions of difference arising out of that, and you have authorities on both sides of the question. That can be carried perhaps too far, but up to a certain point it is correct. But my point is this, that under that Treaty you may get reactionary lawyers who, to keep up their briefs, will argue one way, while others, who have no such object in view, will argue the other way; but I say the weight of constitutional law is on the side of that interpretation. I say this, which is more, that that Constitution contains legal sanctions which give Ireland a sovereign status, if we have only the nerve to grasp it. I believe that firmly about that Treaty. That is the constitutional position as I see it. Another thing, you cannot discuss this question of constitutional status; you are constantly mixing it up with the question of the powers you have under the Treaty. I heard in one and the same breath criticism of Ireland's status and these other matters I have also mentioned brought in. Nobody knows better than some of the men who used

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    these arguments that the one thing has nothing to do with the other. France could arrange by Treaty to give England control of every port she has if she so wished it, and it would not take one iota from her Constitution. I also heard the words for ever and permanent bandied about by Mr. Childers, by the President, and by the other people who were expounding constitutional law in connection with the Treaty. The words for ever and permanent are words that should not be used in connection with the Treaty. The Treaty is a bargain between two Sovereign States, and our delegates in making that Treaty made the first Treaty that was ever made by Ireland with England and went further to get recognition of Ireland's sovereign status than all that has been done in all our history. Now that is all I have got to say about status. I say again under the letter of that document we have legal sanctions for sovereign status if we have the pluck and nerve to go and take it up. I ask are we going to throw that away, and for what? Now I might be wrong. I am not infallible, but it is the duty of every Deputy who is going to vote against the Treaty to convince himself honestly that I am wrong. Now with regard to the powers you have under the Treaty, we found Mr. Childers talking yesterday that you have not got such and such under the Treaty, and then that even if you had you would not get it. You cannot do business and you cannot clear up anything on these slippery lines. I don't mean slippery in any dishonest way, but confused thinking of that sort. Let us first of all consider what the letter of that Treaty gives us. It gives us complete financial control, it gives us as much financial independence as England has, as France has, and a lot more than Germany has. Education was mentioned, and somebody said it gave us more powers for education than the Councils' Bill. It does; it gives us complete, untrammelled control over education, as much as England has, and as much as France has. I want to know if anybody will deny that, and I do not want to have any confusion about it. It gives us the right to raise an Army, and I could furnish a series of arguments in this respect, but I do not think it necessary to do so. It gives us after five years the right to provide for our own coastal defence. [Cries of ‘No’ and ‘Yes’]. Now I want to clear up this point:

    Until an arrangement has been made between the British and Irish Governments whereby the Irish Free State undertakes her own coastal defence, the defence by sea of Great Britain and Ireland shall be undertaken by his Majesty's Imperial Forces, but this shall not prevent the construction or maintenance by the Government of the Irish Free State of such vessels as are necessary for the protection of the Revenue or the Fisheries.

    The foregoing provisions of this Article shall be reviewed at a conference of Representatives of the British and Irish Governments to be held at the expiration of five years from the date hereof with a view to the undertaking by Ireland of a share in her own coastal defence.

    I was wrong [applause]. I want to be perfectly honest with you. I said that after five years Ireland will have the right to have her own coastal defence. It turns out to be a share.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    She won't have that either.

    MR. HOGAN:

    I will make a present now to anyone here of that point. We have the right under this Treaty to have ambassadors in every country in the world—a legal right; Canada has the right and we have it. We have the right under this document to sign any Treaty we like, and to refuse to sign any Treaty we like. We have the right to see, before we are directly or indirectly, or in the slightest way committed to anything that may lead to war, that we be fully consulted, and that our consent be given. That is the letter of that Treaty. In fact Mr. Erskine Childers described the Canadian powers as ‘virtual independence’. We have virtual independence under the letter of that Treaty. We have it on the admission of Mr. Childers—

    MR. CHILDERS:

    Not on my admission.

    MR. HOGAN:

    Under the letter of that Treaty, if we have Canadian status we have virtual independence. We have more, we have a far wider status than Canada, because, as far as our sovereignty is concerned, we are a long step in front of the most forward and powerful nation in the British Commonwealth


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    of Nations. I believe that to be strictly true. We have powers for everything. These are the powers which we have under that Treaty. Now we will come to the question of whether we can get these powers or whether proximity or the possession of three or four harbours is going to prevent us. I heard the proximity argument used also and used in the most extraordinarily confused sense. The proximity argument apparently applies to this Treaty, but to nothing else. If the delegates brought back a Treaty on the lines of the recognition by England of an isolated independent Republic the proximity argument would be there, and there in full. I am not going into the question now as to whether the possession or the occupation by a few marines under the guns of our Army of a few ports of Ireland as a military proposition makes a terrible difference. I will leave that to Commandant MacKeon and Mr. Childers. I won't go into it. What I want to know is: is our position that we are getting from England under a signed document all these powers and that we have not the pluck to come forward and take them? That is where you land yourself with that argument; that is the position. Now there is just one other point. We heard a lot about a final settlement. It honestly seems to me that we are taking ourselves too seriously in that matter. If every Member of this Dáil—and we are not unanimous, I am sorry to say—got together and unanimously agreed to come to some settlement, England being ready to consent to anything which would be a final settlement, they would not succeed. If we got an isolated Republic to-morrow morning our political developments, our development amongst the nations is only beginning. That, I think, is clear, and the question for us now is this: the Minister for Finance said, and rightly said, that for 700 years we are fighting, but we are up against a cancer in our midst; we are up against peaceful penetration; we are up against the fact that our population is draining away from this country and her resources are dying; that the invader is with us, and are we never going to start for ourselves? Are we always going to take up the attitude of seeking something that is a little in front of us while the world always moves on. I say that is the real point. Now finally we sent over our Plenipotentiaries, and I think everyone will agree with this, to do the most difficult task that any Plenipotentiaries in history were ever set to do. I say they have brought you back peace with honour. I say they have done their duty and that our time comes now [applause].

    MR. SEAN T. O'CEALLAIGH:

    A Chinn Chomhairle is a lucht na Dála, nílim-se chun mórán a rá, agus an meid atá agam le rá b'fhearr liom go mór e go leir a rá as Gaedhilg. B'fhearr le n-a lán againn e is dócha. Ach ós ceist tháchtach e agus ná tuigeann mórán des na Teachtaí an Ghaedhilg caithfead labhairt as Bearla. B'fhearr liom dá labhartaí níos mó Gaedhilge anso agus is ceart dom an míniú so. a thabhairt anso. A Chinn Chomhairle, there is no need to rehearse for you the articles of the so-called Treaty. Every Member knows them by heart, and all are agreed that what makes the Treaty so objectionable—to those who find it objectionable—is that it brings us into the British Empire, whether with our heads up or our hands down. We are to become West British by consent after 700 years. That and the loss of part of our territory, which I will touch upon afterwards, is my principal objection to the ratification of this Treaty. The first two clauses of the Treaty stereotype us as British subjects. Whatever material advantages we might gain from accepting this, the price paid is too high. If this is not true, can the supporters of this Treaty tell us why offers of Dominion status were so scoffed at by all of us on former occasions. A Dominion status is honourable in the case of Canada and Australia. Canada is free because she wills to be united to England, and Canada and Australia and New Zealand are in the great majority peopled by Britons. Ireland as a Dominion is not free because she does not will to be united to England or to the British Commonwealth, if you like, except, of course, for those who are marching into the British Empire with their beads up. And, moreover, Ireland is not peopled by Britain. Ireland is the old historic Celtic nation that for so many centuries had struggled for her existence and her national ideals next door to the race described by Jefferson in the graphic phrase ‘bloody pirates’. We have survived until to-day, and by heavens,


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    in spite of this Treaty, we will survive. Even if it is ratified, before one year is out the Irish people will of themselves burst up this Treaty. They will turn their backs upon the men who have foisted it upon them and repudiate a document so radically opposed to all they thought worth living and dying for. Let me earnestly appeal to all assembled here to reject this Treaty unanimously. It cannot be worked in Ireland. All our traditions are against it. The Irish people will grow sick at the thought of common citizenship with their old, cruel and insidious enemy. With what feelings of despair will they see installed a Governor-General acting in the name of the King of England and representing British authority in Ireland for the first time with the consent of their elected representatives. I cannot bear to live to see such a man as Arthur Griffith, who has been an inspiration to us all, or even younger men who have won fame the wide world over for a heroism that is peculiar to Ireland, men such as Michael Collins, Dick Mulcahy, Seán MacKeon, and many, many of their associates—I cannot bear to see these men acting as Ministers and Generals in the name of his Majesty King George V. in Ireland supported by time-servers, surrounded by shoneens, West Britons, and all the shallow toadies and place-hunters that Ireland produces in as much abundance as any other country. For it is not making much of a prophecy to say that the loyal true-hearted, genuine Irishman will not rally round them. the Irish Ireland in which they grew up, for which they fought so valiantly will soon know them no more. We should all throw back at England this instrument of our subversion. We should all stand shoulder to shoulder in this act as we did in the fight. There should be no two sides on this vital question. So far I have dwelt upon the practical aspect of the case, but on a day like this a man must affirm his principles. Clause 4 of this Treaty lays down the form of oath that must be sworn by each individual Member of the Parliament of the Irish Free State. That oath I cannot give a willing vote in favour of. I am not a British citizen or subject, and I could not, without injury to my own self-respect, willingly subscribe to an oath or declaration of fidelity to which I did not agree. In justification of my refusal to subscribe to the oath, I claim that it is a contradiction of the Constitution of the Sinn Fein Organisation to which we are all supposed to belong. It is a violation of our Manifesto.

    MR. KEVIN O'HIGGINS:

    On a point of order, is this assembly concerned with whether the Deputy who is speaking will or will not be a candidate for the Parliament of the Free State?

    MR. CATHAL BRUGHA:

    That is not a point of order.

    MR. S. T. O'CEALLAIGH:

    I believe that it is a violation of the Sinn Fein Constitution, and also a contradiction of the Manifesto issued by the Sinn Fein Executive to the electorate before the General Election of December, 1918, and to me a distinct violation of our Declaration of Independence made at the first meeting of the Dáil in January, 1919. The documents I have here leave no doubt about that. I know that it will be claimed by other speakers that this oath is not an oath of allegiance to the King of England. For me, whether you describe it as an oath of allegiance or fidelity, or my word of honour, or even the vaguest undertaking, it is all the same, because the important thing is not so much the form of expression or declaration but the system of government which they are meant to typify. Government by Governor-General! Dominion status for Ireland! England imagines that she puts her finger in the eye of the Irish by attenuating an objectionable expression. She must laugh to think that while we pay with words she gets adopted the system of Government she ever wished to impose upon us. Let me remind you that we have not got Irish unity in return for this oath. The two great principles for which so many have died, and for which they would still gladly die—no partition of Ireland and no subjugation of Ireland by any foreign power—have gone by the board in this Treaty, and some good men are thinking of voting for it. Of all the things I have heard President de Valera say, I have never been in more thorough agreement with him than when he said in his speech last August, ‘Whatever may come of these negotiations, however we may come out of them, after our appalling history, one thing we cannot be excused for, and


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    shall not be excused for, is to be fooled by England’. This brings me to my contention that there is no new situation in Ireland. England has fooled us to believe there is. To my mind, the difference between the form of government that will be set up in Ireland if we decide to ratify this Treaty is only a difference in degree, but does not differ in kind from the various forms of government adumbrated in Home Rule Bills put before the country at intervals in the last century. All the arguments that are used by supporters of the motion for ratification of this Treaty are arguments that have been used, and justly used, by supporters of the policy of the late Parliamentary Party. The late Mr. John Redmond and his followers maintained that their Home Rule Bill was but an instalment of freedom and could, after acceptance, be improved. I see no difference in principle between what that party stood for and what we are asked by supporters of this Treaty to sign in the name of Ireland to-day. All I see in this offer is that the temptation is greater. The temptation, the bait offered by England, is not great enough; and nothing she offers short of independence would justify us asking our men to die and our people to make the sacrifices they have made, particularly in the recent past. Look down the long, the glorious, history of our struggle; read the lives of any of our great patriots; select any period you wish in the last three hundred years, and you can easily find in each century occasions upon which Ireland was asked to face such a crisis as the present. We have had put to us over and over again the same choice. It has always been as it is to-day the choice of self- sacrifice and death—extermination if England wills versus compromise, the imagined safe course and accommodation. What are we going to stand for to-day? May I earnestly beg and appeal of you to throw your minds back a few years and think of the choice that was given to our nation at the outbreak of the European war; think of the choice that was given to us when the threat of Conscription by a foreign Power was held up to us. I ask a number of my friends here to think of the choice that was made by beloved comrades of ours on the Easter Morning of 1916. They had exactly the same choice to make on that occasion that we are asked to make now. They chose the hard path, but they chose the honoured path. They and you and I who stood with them were hailed as fools, but the history of the last few years has shown that not alone were those men the most sincere patriots—which, of course,nobody in this assembly ever doubted—but that they were, and, this is what I want to emphasise, the wisest politicians of their time [applause].

    THE SPEAKER:

    Before we adjourn. Sean T. O'Ceallaigh has moved this motion: ‘That on re-assembling after the luncheon interval, the Dáil will go into Private Session for half-an-hour to hear the reply of the Minister of Defence to a statement made in regard to military affairs’.

    MR. O'CEALLAIGH:

    There were statements made at the Private Session which the Minister of Defence wishes to reply to. He has reported to me that he has the official reports now to put before the House, and if the House agrees to go into Private Session immediately after they return from luncheon, he would be very glad to have an opportunity of placing them before them.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    I thought I heard the Minister of Defence asking for publicity. Now there is a request for a Private Session. We want everything fully known in public. We are now asked to go into Private Session again after being in Private Session for four days, and during which the Minister of Defence did reply on more than one occasion. Now I want to know whether the public are going to be fooled or not to be fooled?

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    I was going to rise on a point of order to second the motion.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Everything has been fully discussed privately, and nothing has been stated here by any Member that requires a private reply.

    MR. CEANNT:

    I rise to support the motion. I see a great necessity for having a Private Session. I don't see why the English garrison in Ireland should be made aware of our preparations for the future. I think the Minister of Defence knows his business, and I think it would be a betrayal of the people of Ireland if we were to tell


    p.67

    England what amount of ammunition or stuff we have.

    MR. R. MULCAHY:

    I would like to support the motion. If the Minister of Defence wants to give the answers in private, there is not the slightest difficulty I see from the point of view of routine. I am sure there is no Member of this House who cannot listen to anything that can be said on either side at a private meeting.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I would like to say this, that I think it is most unworthy of certain Members of the house who know so well the whole circumstances to suggest we want secrecy. I think something else besides the Treaty has come from Downing Street.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    I don't know what the President means by something else. [Cries of ‘Withdraw’].

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    It means simply this: I think it most unworthy, considering all the circumstances, and the knowledge that the Minister for Foreign Affairs has of the matters that are under discussion, that a suggestion should be made that we want to keep anything from the public.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    I want to know if these are private military matters that were discussed for three days. If the Minister of Defence wants to make a statement on anything that has been said in Public Session, there is no reason why he should not do so in public.

    MR. CATHAL BRUGHA (MINISTER OF DEFENCE):

    It should be quite obvious to everybody who knows the business end of a gun that there are things which may be necessary to be known by this House in regard to military affairs that might do serious injury to us, if when this Treaty is turned down, war be started against us, should they now be disclosed to the enemy. There were certain statements made late on Saturday evening to which I could only make a general reply. Those statements obviously were intended to frighten nervous people here in the Dáil, if there are such. Apparently the people in favour of this Treaty think there are such.It remains to be seen whether there are. In any case, I could not see the heads of the various sections into which I have the Department of Defence divided to enable me to refute the statements which really impugned the industry, the efficiency, or honesty of these heads of these sections. I have seen them since, and what I purpose doing is making a short statement myself and reading a short statement from them with regard to the charges—because they were charges—made late on Saturday night. It is for that reason I want a Private Session. It will not take me more than ten or fifteen minutes to say what I have to say.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    That proposal is different from what I understood it. I understood the Minister of Defence wanted to go into Private Session to reply to anything that was said in Public Session. Do I take it that when the Minister of Defence makes this statement, he does not mean to suppress criticism of that in Private Session from other members?

    MR. BRUGHA:

    Certainly. It will not require more than half-an-hour.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    I agree.

    MR. NICHOLLS:

    I would like to know if there would be any chance of this assembly meeting punctually. I think every man and woman here have made up their minds by this. I don't see the object of debating outside before coming in here.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    In regard to this question of punctuality, everybody here knows that I am in my place every morning. I suggest that we ought to appoint somebody who would do duty as Sergeant-at-Arms and get the Members in. If we don't start punctually, it shows we don't mean business.

    PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:

    I suggest that the chair be taken at the hour fixed.

    The House then adjourned.


    p.68

    On resuming after the Private Session,

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    A Chinn Chomhairle, before the regular work of the Session begins, I would like to withdraw a remark I made at the end of the last Session. As you all know, I have not a hot temper, that it does not as a rule betray me, but the remark which I made is open to a construction certainly I did not want anybody to put upon it. It is serious on account of the fact that I put a certain document before the House at the Secret Session. I put it in for the purpose of eliciting the views of the Members and seeing the general feeling with respect to it. Reference to that document appeared in the public Press, and I felt that the Minister for Foreign Affairs was taking a tactical advantage of it to create an impression in the public mind that we had something to conceal. It put me in mind of one occasion in Downing Street when I remember I met with similar tactics. It was simply the reminiscence of that that made me suggest that he had brought something else besides the Treaty from Downing Street. I thought that an effort to make it appear that I was trying to conceal something from the public was unworthy of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I am afraid my reply was still more unworthy and I apologise and withdraw it [applause].

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    I am quite satisfied with what President de Valera has said. It is quite worthy of him [applause].

    MR. MICHAEL COLLINS:

    As we are on a matter like that, it might be well if another Deputy would withdraw the remark he made with regard to the coalition between Downing Street and the Delegation [hear, hear].

    THE SPEAKER:

    I have received a telegram signed ‘Ginnel’ and addressed to the President. [Reading] ‘I vote against ratification. Ginnell’.

    MR. SEAN MILROY:

    A Chinn Chomhairle, I believe every Member of the assembly knows upon what side I stand. If they have any doubts as to what is the reason or reasons why I take that stand, there will be no doubt left in their minds when I sit down. This assembly is the sovereign assembly of the Irish Nation, the sovereign representative assembly, and if it is not a representative assembly it has no purpose whatever [hear, hear]. Being a representative assembly, we are here endeavouring to give expression to the will of the people. If we resist the will of the people we are false to the trust imposed in us [hear, hear]. The will of the people to-day is that this Treaty shall go through, that this Treaty shall be ratified [hear, hear]. I am going to take off the gloves in this fight. There are men who to-day are resisting the will of the Irish people. Can they deny it? [Several Voices: ‘Yes!’] You deny that? [‘Yes!’] Very well, then, if you gain the majority in this assembly, are you prepared to put before the people of Ireland the issue where the people will decide? [‘Yes!’]. Very well, the people will decide. President de Valera in the course, not only of the Private Session, but of the Public Session, declared that he believed the Irish people would ratify this Treaty if it were put to them.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Yes, at this moment, but not after a campaign when it would be explained to them.

    MR. MILROY:

    Who would sit in judgment upon the Irish people?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Themselves.

    MR. MILROY:

    Is it the majority of the Cabinet of Dáil Eireann? Where has vanished that principle of self- determination of the Irish people? [hear, hear]. What has become of the principle upon which we fought the whole of the bye- elections since 1908, since 1916, which is the principle that all just government rests upon the consent of the governed? [hear, hear]. Very well, then, before you can vindicate your assertion that you are not resisting the will of the people, you will have to take a decision of the people upon this grave issue with which the nation is confronted [hear, hear]. That is not all with which I am concerned. What I am concerned with is, in this decision upon this question affecting not only this generation but many generations—probably the whole future of our nation in this question—that it shall not be decided over the heads of the Irish people. I tell you if you attempt to do


    p.69

    that, if you attempt it in your idea of the autocratic superiority of the Irish nation, when you have taken your decision the fury of the Irish nation will sweep you aside just as it swept aside the Irish Parliamentary Party [applause]. The only member of the Cabinet who is opposed to this Treaty that I can really understand is the Minister of Defence. He does not like this Treaty because he does not like peace. Peace does not agree with his temperament. I thoroughly believe that if the Delegation had brought back a Sovereign Independent Republic, he would have dreamed then of sending an expeditionary force to conquer the Isle of Man. Though my friend the Minister of Defence may be a potential Napoleon, that is no reason why there should be a gamble with the greatest and most sacred interests of the Irish people. We are not going to make the Irish nation a pedestal for any man to elevate himself upon to gratify his own peculiar proclivities. [Voices:‘Oh! Oh!’] I mean nothing offensive, nothing whatever. As I said before, I am going to take the gloves off in this fight, and say what I have to say, and what I think the Irish nation thinks. It is not matters of courtesy nor the paying of compliments should concern us now. It is a question of what is the truth about this matter, what are the facts about this Treaty which is before us, whether it is something that Ireland can honourably and honestly take, or something that meets with the extraordinary contempt of Mr. Erskine Childers. Mr. Erskine Childers should surely be an authority on the question, because a few years ago, in his very interesting book, The Framework Of Home Rule, he said something to this effect, that no sane person could seriously consider the idea of an Irish Republic. That was in 1911. Is the man, who in 1911 had that view about Ireland—is that the man to get up here and sit in judgment on the men who have been working for the last twenty-five or thirty years for this thing he has spoken about? I have no objection to the enthusiasm of converts, but what I do object to is that they should endeavour to excommunicate those who were working for the old national cause in the days when they were doing something which had a very reverse effect. A little modesty, a little reticence in these matters would be more becoming than the sweeping condemnation of which Mr. Erskine Childers has delivered himself. Now I stand wholeheartedly for the ratification of the Treaty. I do that without misgiving, without doubt or equivocation. I believe that this Treaty is one which brings to Ireland peace with honour [hear, hear]. I believe it is one that gives Ireland real power, real authority, and real freedom. [Voices: ‘No!’ and a Voice: ‘Not real freedom!’] I believe that it is one that gives Ireland real power, real authority and real freedom. [Voices: ‘No! No!’] I believe it is one that gives Ireland real freedom [No! No!]. I am going to attempt to establish what I have to say. I believe it is one that shatters for ever the alien domination that has blasted and wasted generations of our people. I believe it is one that terminates definitely the havoc, the agony, the waste and desolation of seven disastrous centuries. Now I was really astonished yesterday listening to the President's impassioned words. That President de Valera is a man who can without the aid of argument or logic deeply move an audience was quite obvious yesterday. With wild, impassioned tornado of denunciation he stalked across the prostrate remains of the Treaty [applause]. But it was not a display of statesmanship, it was not a display of logic, or argument. It was more like some wild fury which had run amok. I want to refer to something that is not quite so jocular. I have no intention of introducing into this assembly anything in the nature of merriment—none whatever. I have something to say which is the very reverse of that. It is a curious procedure we were treated to at the beginning of yesterday's proceedings. I refer to the much disputed document. I am not going to disclose it yet. It is a dead secret we have locked up in our bosoms, wrapped in mystery. The thing I want to get at is this—the purpose to which that document was directed, and I was amazed to think that President de Valera would have resorted to such tactics. [Voices: ‘Oh!’] I am in possession; let me say what I have to say. I am not saying anything offensive. Let me say what I have to say.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    You can speak later on.

    MR. MILROY:

    When the first Session of this Dáil met, President de


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    Valera intimated to us that he was going to formulate alternative proposals. I asked him if he would give them to us. He said he would. We discussed these for three days; we finished the Private Session without any intimation from him that it was to be regarded as a confidential document. When the Public Session commenced, the first word of the President's was that it must be considered a confidential document, and must not be referred to. At the same time he was bringing forward another set of alternative proposals. What are we to deduct from that save this, that he kept us talking for three days about a set of alternative proposals which went to the very root of the issue that is now before this assembly; that we came to discuss—

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Would I be in order? I think—

    MR. MILROY:

    I beg your pardon—

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I think, at least, these statements should be substantiated. It is quite a wrong construction to put on this. Everybody in this House knows it is a wrong construction.

    MR. MILROY:

    I do not know what construction Members of the House put on it. I only know the construction, the obvious construction, that comes home to my mind, and I am expressing that. If, when I have finished, it can be shown it does not bear that construction, I am quite prepared to let the matter pass and apologise if the circumstances warrant apology. I want to say how it appears to me, and how it appears to many others. When the Public Session began, we were not allowed to discuss the second document, but were promised that a second set of alternative proposals would be brought along. What object could that have save to make Members withhold their support of the Treaty in the expectation that something better would follow when the next set of alternative proposals was brought along? I may be wrong, but that is how it strikes me. Now, the value of this particular document, the only value for my purpose, is this, that the only reason that I regret it was not available for this discussion is this, that it does put before this assembly of the Irish people, it does disclose what is the issue which is agitating this Dáil at the present time. That issue is not the Treaty versus the Irish Republic.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    It is.

    MR. MILROY:

    It is not the Treaty versus the Irish Republic. The issue that we are faced with here in this Dáil is the issue of the difference between the Treaty and Document No. 2.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA AND OTHERS:

    No! No!

    MR. MILROY:

    It is the issue, and no amount—I do not want to use an offensive word, I will use the word manoeuvring—and I say no amount of manoeuvring is going to obscure this Dáil or confuse the minds of the Irish Nation. The issue which this Dáil has to decide is between two forms of association with the British Empire [hear, hear]. Deputy Etchingham this morning said that this Treaty had the effect of putting a bow window in the western gable of the British Empire. Now I think it must have been Document No. 2 he was thinking about, because a bow window is very like external association [applause]. Another thing I want to say is this, and I wish all Ireland could hear me saying it, and I wish Mr. Ginnell could have heard me saying it before he sent that telegram. This is what I want to say. Mr. de Valera [A Voice: ‘President’]President de Valera, I beg his pardon; President de Valera said that the difference between the two documents was only a shadow.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I will speak of that document when the time comes.

    MR. MILROY:

    The difference between the two documents is only a shadow.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Why would Britain go to war then?

    MR. MILROY:

    I am not quoting the words of any Englishman, I am quoting the words of President de Valera himself, that the difference between these two documents is only a shadow. Are we going to send


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    the young men and young women of Ireland to the shambles for a shadow? Send them in a great and glorious cause and they will respond, they will die gladly, but send them to their death for that shadow! Will President de Valera, will the Minister of War, will the Minister of Home Affairs take the responsibility before humanity, before all history, for sending the young men and young women of Ireland to their death for a shadow?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    It is not for a shadow.

    MR. MILROY:

    It is time we realised where we are drifting to. I heard to-day passionate speeches. I heard to-day speeches that did not make people smile. I heard from Mrs. O'Callaghan to-day one of the most pathetic stories I ever listened to. It is not a thing to smile at, but a thing that cut to the heart of anyone listening to it. We don't want these tragedies multiplied a thousandfold in Ireland if we can help it [hear, hear]. I am not going to appeal to anything but your real and clear conception of what Ireland's national interests are. President de Valera said that in this Treaty we were presuming to set boundaries to the march of the Irish Nation. So far from that being true, we are smashing down the barriers that obstruct the march of the Irish Nation. He said that if this Treaty were passed the subsequent history that followed would be the same as that which followed the Act of Union. Whether you accept or reject our definition of this Treaty you cannot question the fact that it does give the Irish Nation great, tremendous, national powers. That is the difference between the Act of Union and this Treaty. The Act of Union took away from the Irish people their right, such as they had, to direct, mould and control their own land. This Treaty brings back to Ireland these powers [hear, hear]. There are other things that the President said I can only attribute to the impulse of the moment. He described the Treaty which, as I have said, brings back these powers to Ireland as the most unparalleled surrender in history. I think he must have been thinking of the surrender of these things on the part of the British Government [hear, hear]. He spoke of this as the most ignoble document that Irishmen could put their hands to. I can only put that down to some wave of eccentricity or distraction of mind when he was carried away with the flood of his own fury. I don't think that it can be denied, as I have already said, that this Treaty gives Ireland great and comprehensive powers, that it gives to Ireland these powers to direct and mould its own destiny of the future life of the nation. It eliminates from Ireland the British Army and gives to the Irish people the power of creating an army of their own to defend their country. Various definitions of the powers that this Treaty gives to Ireland have been given. I will quote another—Professor O'Rahilly of Cork. He says: ‘We have all the really important powers required for our normal, political, social and economic life. We have unfettered freedom in forming our political constitution, in social legislation, in education, in developing our national resources, in fostering our agriculture and industries, in framing our tariff policy, in regulating our taxes, our currency laws, our finances, in appointing consular agents abroad, in concluding commercial treaties with other countries’. I want to know if that is not the substance of real national power and national authority, what is it? Is this result going to produce the effects on Ireland's future the same as the Act of Union which President de Valera predicted? If these things are not going to produce a healthy state of life in the Irish Nation, then in God's name will President de Valera tell us what will?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I will. Go on.

    MR. MILROY:

    What I have to say is that this is the most stupendous achievement that Ireland has gained for centuries. I will tell you another thing. This Treaty, as I have already said, provides for the evacuation of Ireland by the British Army. If war breaks out again on the rejection of this Treaty, that war will be fought to keep the British Army from evacuating the country. Is that a policy, again I ask, that recommends itself? Would it recommend itself to a lunatic? Would anybody but a lunatic turn aside a policy that should recommend itself to a sovereign assembly of the Irish Nation, to the men and women of Ireland who have the future destinies in their


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    hands? I say if it is, then it is a policy that if they put it to the country they will bring about a great disillusionment to those who are in love with that policy. We have been told to disregard the horrors of war, that it is the women who suffer most in these things. That is a truth I for one will never question. We have listened to a deep and passionate story, and it is easy to know that it is the women who suffer most. Do they think we are callous about these things that they should fling it in our faces because we try to save the nation from what we think is disaster, that it is sufficient to close our mouths to say that it is the women who suffer most? It is the women that suffer most, and if war breaks out again, and we have a repetition of the raids and burnings and horrors of the last couple of years, will not the women who suffer most, will they not be somewhat bewildered when these things overshadow the land when they recollect that ratification of the Treaty might have averted all this? Will they not think it curious and inexplicable that though this Treaty provided a means by which the British Army would have voluntarily left Ireland, that those who held Ireland's fate in their hands decided upon a policy which had the effect of keeping that army here in order that the brave fighting young men of Ireland might earn an undying renown in a vain effort to eject them? Is this patriotism or folly? Is this statesmanship or criminality? Is this sanity or imbecility? [hear, hear]. Yes, it is the women of Ireland who will suffer most if the war breaks out in order that Ireland may attain President de Valera's shadow.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    Shame!

    MR. MILROY:

    I am speaking what are facts. It is a shame. The whole nation will cry shame upon men and women and the policy that sent the nation to its doom for such a thing as that described by President de Valera as a shadow. We are told another thing, that we dishonour the memory of the dead when we speak in support of this Treaty, that we have forgotten the memory of the dead. It is not because we have forgotten, but because we remember the dead who died for Ireland that we stand where we do to-day [hear, hear]. It is because we want to ensure their sacrifices shall not have been in vain [hear, hear]. Now I come to the question of the oath of allegiance. We have had great denunciation of this oath of allegiance. I wonder would Members of the Dáil like to have the alternative oath of allegiance? How would the Members of Dáil like to have this form of oath:

    I [gap: blank to be filled/extent: 2/3 words] do swear to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of Ireland and to the Treaty of Association of Ireland with the British Commonwealth of Nations and to recognise the King of Great Britain as Head of the Associated States.

    Now, I suggest, would that be more acceptable than the other? [Voices: ‘Yes!’ ‘No! No!’] I am surprised that it would not, because it is the difference between the oath of the Treaty and that oath is the issue before the Dáil to-day [applause]. There, the cat is out of the bag now [hear, hear].

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I think this is most prejudicial. I think it is a shame that in a case like this that a matter should be dragged in which is not relevant to this issue.

    MR. MILLROY:

    Not relevant? It is the whole issue.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I say it is most unfair treatment. It is not in the document—these secret documents which have been withheld from the public as a whole. If all the documents are published, I am quite ready and content. Let them all be published by all means. I say it is an attempt to prejudice not this body, because you cannot prejudice it. You all know all the facts, but to prejudice the public [hear, hear].

    MR. MILROY:

    Is this a point of order or a speech?

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    It is right that the Irish people should know that is the difference between us. I stand here and demand that the Irish people shall know the truth [hear, hear].

    MR. MILROY:

    I trust that what I have said will not unduly disturb the tranquillity of this assembly. I am here. I represent at least twice as much of Ireland as a good many Members of Dáil Eireann. I represent two


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    constituencies, one in Northern Ireland, and one in what is called Southern Ireland. I have a great responsibility in this matter.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    So have we all.

    MR. MILROY:

    I, for my part, am not going to forget that I have to study the dispositions of those who sent me here, and the interests of those people and the interests of the Irish Nation are higher to me, greater to me, than the susceptibilities of any man or any body of men. We are fighting for the life and security of the Irish Nation. I told you when I began I was going to take the gloves off, and I don't mean to be prevented from fighting this battle to the end, because it is not convenient to some people that the whole truth about this matter should be told.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    That is not so.

    A DEPUTY:

    You are down and out.

    MR. MILROY:

    A gentleman has said—he did not think I overheard him—that I am damning myself. I don't care what the personal consequences to me are.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    It is not suggested by anybody.

    MR. MILROY:

    I don't care what the personal consequences are to me as a result of the attitude I am taking up and the vote I will give. I am thinking of the Irish Nation and the Irish Nation only. Now many people are susceptible about this particular oath in the Treaty, and if I adopted a procedure which one Member here seems to have assumed a monopoly of, and challenged this assembly to have it put to a show of hands of those Members who have already taken an oath of allegiance to England, I think there would be very few on the side of those who are standing for the Treaty. I am not going to put that challenge, but I do think we ought to realise what is the truth about this oath. This oath is distorted and mispresented. It has been clearly defined and explained by Deputy Hogan to-day, and I venture to think that even Mr. Childers will not be able to shatter one iota of his arguments. I want to say a word about Ulster. I have some responsibility, or at least some work in connection with the question of Ulster. Of late I am keenly interested in this matter. My two constituencies are both Ulster constituencies. I understand also that one of the Members for Monaghan is preparing, or has prepared, a fierce onslaught on this Treaty in connection with the question of Ulster. But I do think that his thunderbolt should have been reserved for the head of the President, because President de Valera stated that we would not coerce Ulster. He committed us to the task of finding some way out and making some arrangement without sending the troops of the Irish Republic to overawe the people in the six counties [hear, hear]. I think many of those who criticised the delegates must have been under the impression that when they left Dublin to go to London they set out as miracle workers. Did they expect—did the Deputy for Monaghan expect—that when they went to London they would be able to soften or destroy the asperities of centuries? Did they expect that they had more power there than Lloyd George and his Coalition Government? Did they expect that the five men who went there would be able to bring back an arrangement that was at variance with the declaration of President de Valera that we were not going to coerce Ulster? The fact is that the provisions of the Treaty are not Partition provisions, but they ensure eventual unity in Ireland. But, as a matter of fact, whether there were Partition provisions or not, the economic position and the effects on the six counties, area is this, that sooner or later isolation from the rest of Ireland would have so much weight on the economic state of these six counties as to compel them to renew their association with the rest of Ireland. That trend of economic fact will be stimulated by the provisions of this Treaty, and the man who asserts that Partition is perpetuated in that Treaty is a man who has not read or understands what are the provisions in the Treaty. Now I want to know before I sit down what is the alternative? I will not take as an answer another document. If another document were able to save this situation which will be created as a result of this possible rejection of this Treaty, if another document was sufficient for that purpose, we could pack this House


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    with documents, but another document will not save the situation. We have had the Treaty before us. We have had the President putting forward what were termed counter-proposals and presented to us and discussed by the supporters of President de Valera as if they were documents on the same plane and had the same value, as if the British Government had agreed to both and we could take whichever we liked. The difference is this, and the difference is vital, the Treaty is signed and ready for delivery, the other is only mere speculation—what is likely to be a wholly impossible contingency. What is the answer— what is the alternative? Reject this Treaty whether there is war or not. I do not raise the idea of war as a bogey to frighten the men and women of Ireland. They will not be intimidated by the spectre of impending war, but if war can be averted, is there a citizen of this State, is there a man or woman with any sense of their responsibility who will not endeavour to avert it if it can be honourably done? That is all we stand by—this Treaty. Reject this Treaty, you bring confusion and chaos throughout the whole of Ireland, and the sign to the bigots in Ulster to start with renewed vigour pogroms on the helpless minority [hear, hear]. Are you going to take the responsibility for that?

    DR. MACCARTAN:

    They can take care of themselves. You have sold the North in making this Treaty.

    MR. MILROY:

    That is an allegation the Deputy who made it will have an opportunity of proving, when he rises to speak, and I think he will have great difficulty in proving it. We have sold it. What have we sold? Do you suggest that any of the delegates who went over there were bribed?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Oh, no.

    MR. MILROY:

    What is the meaning of that word sold? Is that the opinion of one set of Irishmen of another in this very grave crisis in the Nation's destiny? I think the Deputy who says that may not have much respect for me. I think he has less for himself or he would not have resorted to such a word.

    DR. MACCARTAN:

    I substitute the word betrayal.

    MR. MILROY:

    I do not think it would be becoming of me to take any further notice of his opinion. If the Deputy holds a doubt about me I am quite satisfied. I am taking the stand in this matter which my conscience dictates, and which I think the nation requires to-day. I believe by this Treaty Ireland's freedom can be won. Ratify this Treaty, and I believe you have Ireland in control of all that is vital in the nation's life; reject it and you may shatter any chance that Ireland may have for generations. Ratify this Treaty and the British Army vanishes from Ireland. Reject it and you will have the dread of this militarism stalking again through Ireland carrying disaster and woe in its march. Ratify this Treaty and you give to the people of Ireland control over their own affairs and you strike impotent the hands of those who have blasted and wasted Ireland's life for generations. I do not know what this assembly is going to do. I believe each man and woman will consider carefully the vital issues involved before them; they will act in accordance with what they believe to be the real interests of Ireland. In speaking as I have—I have simply one particular view point of this Treaty—I have tried to present what, in my judgment, are sound and staple reasons for holding that view, hoping it may influence some of those who have not finally made up their minds—whether they have or not I do not know. Whatever be the result, at any rate I am quite satisfied I have done what I conceive to be my duty, and I trust others will do theirs likewise.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I want to refer to a statement about manoeuvring. It certainly would be an infamous manoeuvre—no other epithet could be applied to it than infamous—if I tried to get anybody here to reject the Treaty in the belief that some other document which was forthcoming was able to be used as a substitute. It was on that account, amongst others, I presented in the Private Session in advance a document which I could not bring in here as an amendment to the motion. No such amendment could be received. I wanted to have that document in your hands. You have had it put there for the purpose which you know. Every one of you know there is no skeleton here. It will be brought out to the Irish people in its proper place. All I can tell you is that


    p.75

    in the form in which it will come, it will be exactly the same in substance, slightly changed in the form from the document you have had before you.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    We have been speaking from the beginning with our hands tied by President de Valera's request. Is that document in its entirety going to be given to the public Press?

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    I want to ask on a point of order, is it in order that reference should be constantly made to a document which is not put in and which is not before the House? Is it in order that this discussion has been brought forward, and this document is alluded to? I want an answer to that.

    THE SPEAKER:

    References are not contrary to order. I ruled that already.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Every one of us here is under a handicap.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    We do not admit it.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    We have been here under a handicap. We got certain instructions from the Cabinet, which we used and acted upon. Now an attempt is made to represent we were to stand upon the unchangeable and uncompromising rock of the Irish Republic.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    No such attempt is made.

    MR. GRIFfITH:

    We want that brought forward.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    In order that the public might know, as the House perfectly well knows, the delegates went over to London for the purpose of trying to get reconciliation between Irish National aspirations and the Association known as the Community of Nations, known as the Commonwealth of Nations of the British Empire; and the fact that this Treaty does not reconcile them is the reason it is opposed by, I hope, the majority of the Dáil. The other document is one that the Delegation would have accepted had they been able to put it through in London.

    DR. MACCARTAN:

    As one who stands uncompromisingly for an Irish Republic, I am not for document No. 2.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    We got on the 25th November certain instructions from the Cabinet which are being withheld now.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I deny that.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Will you allow them to be published?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    The whole documents, every particle of correspondence between the Cabinet and the Delegation, and every particle of correspondence in London and with the Delegation can be made public.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    I quite agree with the President, the sooner the better. It is perfectly fair—that is all right.

    ALDERMAN J. MACDONAGH:

    Mr. Milroy, in the beginning of his speech, said he was going to take off the gloves. Nobody objected to him for that, I am sure, but what the great majority of the House objects to his having done is hitting below the belt. The question at issue before the House is not document No. 2, but the question of Dominion Home Rule versus an Irish Republic [‘Question’].

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Produce Document No. 2. Let the Irish people see that document.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I will produce it when this question, which is the only one before the House, the question of ratification or non-ratification, is finished.

    THE SPEAKER:

    We must have order.

    ALDERMAN MACDONAGH:

    I am afraid that those who are going to ratify the Treaty are losing their tempers, and from what I gather they must know the Treaty is going to be rejected. I heard one of the Members state that if it were a question of the Treaty versus an Irish Republic he would vote for an Irish Republic. The question at issue is the Treaty versus an Irish Republic. [‘No! No!’]


    p.76

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    There is no document No. 2 before the House.

    ALDERMAN MACDONAGH:

    Deputy Milroy spoke of Mr. Erskine Childers as a recent convert to Republicanism because he wrote a book in 1911. Well, I had the pleasure of listening to Mr. Milroy in Liverpool and Manchester and many English towns, and throughout Ireland, and be said before the Irish Republic would go down practically every man, woman and child would die. Does he stand for that now?

    MR. MILROY:

    I never made such a statement in my life.

    ALDERMAN MACDONAGH:

    I am afraid he must have forgotten. And we have a more recent convert to Dominion Home Rule, the Chairman of the Delegation. This is what he wrote in June, 1917—at least it was in the leading article in Nationality, headed by Arthur Griffith, and is what he stands for. This is one part of the text beginning a paragraph. It reads:

    The Home Rule Act, 1914, Exposed’ by Mr. Wm. Martin Murphy, is a clear and trenchant exposure of that fraud upon a people. Mr. Murphy would settle the Irish question in the same way as the Canadian, South African, and Australian questions were settled. This assumes that the element of nationality and the status of nationhood do not enter into the Irish question. Australia, for instance, possessed no rights except those it derived from England. England founded it, England fostered it, and England possessed the undoubted right to rule it. Ireland does not derive from England.

    He said that in 1917.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    I say it now again.

    ALDERMAN MACDONAGH:

    reading

    ‘She is not a colony; she has never been a colony. She can claim no colonial right such as Australia, Canada, and South Africa assert. If she be not a nation, then she has no more title to independence of English government than Kent or Middlesex, or Lancashire or Yorkshire. If there be English politicians who really believe that they can settle the Irish question on colonial or semi-colonial lines they live in a fool's paradise.’

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    I stand over every word of that statement. This is a Treaty between two sovereign nations.

    ALDERMAN MACDONAGH:

    ‘The first step to a permanent Irish settlement is the recognition of the Irish Nation’ [cheers]. I am glad the ratifiers are at last coming around to our point of view. Well, at any rate, we are out in the open now, and those who are for this Treaty have definitely said they were out to go into the British Empire. I do not think that Irish Independence and Irish Nationality can run alongside going into the British Empire. Terence MacSwiney said our country was full of examples of abandonment of principles by public men who got into public life to defend these principles. I think that the men who spoke about a Republic in 1917, and who were responsible for the war that has happened since, that these men should not now run away from the Irish Republic. Mr. O'Higgins, the Deputy for Leix, yesterday spoke about his duty to the 6,000 people who voted against him. Well, I submit he owes also his duty to the 13,000 people who voted for him. He went up there as an Irish Republican—he did not go there as a Dominion Home Ruler. I venture to think that if he went there as a Dominion Home Ruler he would not now be a Member of this House [hear, hear]. There are other groups: the real coalition, those who say this is absolute freedom, and those who say it is an instalment of freedom. Well, those who say it is absolute freedom are proud of going into the British Empire with their heads up.

    A DEPUTY:

    The Community of Nations.

    ALDERMAN MACDONAGH:

    Others say with their hands up. Whether it is with their hands or their heads up, they should know what the British Empire has stood for in the history of the world. The British Empire has stood for every rotten thing in the history of the world. The history of the world has shown practically wherever the British Empire is, there


    p.77

    you have cruelty, you have oppression of every description. By the treaty Ireland will take part of England's public debt as well as England's oppression of every subject nationality under her sway [‘No! No!’]. We are told it is a great Treaty, but we have had very little elucidation from those in favour of the Treaty as to what is good or what is bad about it. We heard a lot about the oath of allegiance and the oath of faithfulness. One Deputy from Galway said that faithfulness meant equality. Well, I think that faithfulness does not certainly go so far, for in the Catholic Church when you make an act of Faith in God you do not claim equality with God.

    MR. MILROY:

    John Bull is not Almighty God.

    ALDERMAN MACDONAGH:

    You have a body of men saying allegiance is greater than faithfulness, but by the treaty oath you acknowledge the Crown and go into the Empire. I do not think Mr. Griffith has made any of his points. Ulster is definitely partitioned from the rest of Ireland [‘No! No!’] There are a good many Irishmen and a good many Republicans in Ulster, and you are giving them up to their inveterate enemies.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    What about document No. 2?

    ALDERMAN MACDONAGH:

    I heard Mr. Griffith say a good deal in South Longford about what partition meant for Ireland. I also heard Mr. Milroy on the same subject. Instead of being on the Republican platform they ought to have been with Mr. Joseph Devlin in that respect. Another point in the Treaty, in addition, is you will have to afford to his Majesty's Imperial Forces ‘in time of peace such harbour and other facilities as are indicated in the annex hereto, or such other facilities as may from time to time be agreed between the British Government and the Government of the Irish Free State, and in time of war or of strained relations with a foreign Power, such harbour and other facilities as the British Government may require for the purpose of such defence as aforesaid’. What does that mean but that every time England goes to war, or is threatened with war, she may take over all the resources of this country. Are you prepared to stand that? If you are not, then you must keep an army of 40,000 men in the country that you are after hearing such a lot about in the past few days. If you are going to have an army of 40,000 men you will have to pay for them. Compared with the number of big material advantages there are drawbacks, because if you have a standing army of 40,000 men you are going to pay at least twelve millions a year for that army. With regard to this Treaty, there is one thing not made clear, that is, that the country was said to be stampeded into the acceptance of this Treaty. Before President de Valera received the particulars of this Treaty, it appeared in the London evening papers. I do not think that was a fair proceeding on the part of the Publicity Department or whoever was responsible for it. We are told we are going to lose the ear of the world if we turn down this Treaty. Certainly the ear of the world is here now, and we hope it will listen to the turning down of the Treaty, because it will hear one thing, that is, that this small nation which has stood for principle for the last four or five years, and has won the admiration of the whole world—it will realise that this small nation still stands for principle and not for expediency. We are told we should be practical men. In the common view John Redmond was a practical man and Patrick Pearse was a visionary. We all know now who was the practical man and who was the visionary. A good many precedents in Irish history can be remembered in connection with this. There are some who are going to vote for this Treaty who say they will never take the oath of allegiance. That reminds me of the sixty-three men who would not vote for the Union but gave up their seats and let other people vote for the Union.

    MR. MACCARTHY:

    On a point of order, can a Deputy refer to remarks used in a Private Session?

    ALDERMAN MACDONAGH:

    I am not referring to anything said at the Private Session. Sixty- three men would not vote against the Union but gave up their seats so that others might vote for the Union. If the men are honest who vote for the Treaty the very least they can do is to take the oath of allegiance which is the natural result of that Treaty.


    p.78

    I will not insist on the matter any longer. I will give you one quotation from Pádraig Pearse who asked Joseph Devlin one thing. He asked him this: ‘Will you be loyal to the English Crown under the new Parliament in Dublin? I do not think you will. Reflect on it’. I want to ask those who vote for the Treaty whether they are going to be loyal to the English Crown or whether they are not. That is a question those who will vote for the Treaty will want to answer.

    MR. SEAMUS O'DWYER:

    Were it not for the duty which I feel of having to convey to the public as well as the Members of this Dáil precisely what I propose to do and very shortly why I propose to do it, I would not trouble the House or Dáil at all. I have nothing new to add to the debates we have been attending here for the past six days. No new light has been shed on this problem during all that time. I personally was bothered the moment I saw this document about one thing in it; that one thing was the oath. The oath in this document, the oath of the Irish Republic, had been before you for a long time before we saw the document. I want to be perfectly honest with the House and with the Minister for Defence. I am one of those who realised at the very first Session I attended at this Dáil, that realised at that Session for the first time that an isolated Republic was not achievable by us now. I listened carefully, I discussed carefully with Members of the Dáil this question. I took my final lesson from the President himself. The President told us that he understood his oath to mean to be the oath to the Irish people. I have searched that out, and I have satisfied myself absolutely that this is an oath I can take, that it is an oath I will keep. I have satisfied myself further that nothing which we say, nothing we can do, will alter one iota the fact that the destiny of the Irish people is to be free, and that they will realise that destiny, and I want to say right now I am going to vote for the Treaty and support the Delegation in their efforts to carry it, because I believe it leads direct in a straight line to the realisation of absolute freedom, of Irish independence. I have listened here. I tried to listen carefully to the statements made here, and I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that the Government of this country which the Minister of Defence warned us last night is still in existence, has treated me as a Member of this Dáil, not me personally, but I feel keenly that the ordinary private Members of this Dáil are not treated by the Government of the country as they ought to be. I think that particularly in reference to this document but I am not going to raise the question. I feel particularly with reference to this document that although the question was long considered, nothing has been said by the leaders. My feeling is that this DáiI was done a distinct injustice not by the preparation of the document, but by its withdrawal. Now as to the Treaty itself, I am going to vote for this Treaty because I believe it is leading straight to the ultimate realisation of freedom, which is in the heart of every Irishman. I am going to vote for it because it contains the real substance of freedom. We have got under this Treaty a status in the League of Nations. Ireland will take her place in the League of Nations, and it depends on our energy, it depends on our ability, on our courage, what sort of place in that League of Nations we are going to take. Ireland will take her place in an impartial League of Nations—a Community of Nations, a Commonwealth of Nations known as the British Empire. She is taking that place. I had made up my own mind before coming here subject to what I might hear here. I made up my mind to say something about what that means. Later on Ireland is going in not with Great Britain wholly, but entering into a community of nations which is comprised—95 per cent of them—that proportion, of course, is wrong; at all events five or six of them are young nations, not old empires brought up and living on the greed of Empire, but that commonwealth will be composed of nations now young, vigorous nations rapidly becoming populous, rapidly becoming wealthy, rapidly becoming important in every single department of the world's affairs, and these nations have demonstrated that where their national interests are concerned nothing counts for them but their right to develop. You ask Lord Milner; he will tell you they are developing into full free nations in the world of free nations. It gives us a thing which we hope sincerely that this country will produce the men able to deal with. It gives us the power to get


    p.79

    at the cancer that is eating into the heart and soul of the Irish nation. We do not realise here in this Dáil the horrible cancer that eats into the body politic of Ireland. The Minister of Finance told us yesterday of the little oases of the British Empire that are being established all over the country. I know; I am a trader, a very humble trader too. I know it more significantly than a number of people seem to realise. When a foreign firm comes to Dublin you can see the people who come in with them. I think this Dáil does not realise that at this moment the economic structure of Ireland is in the hands of the enemies of Ireland, and that we under this Treaty have got it in our power, if we have the brains, and the ability, and the energy to use it, to put these people where they will be safest, and that is outside Ireland. We know that England officially has captured, or almost captured, the entire coastal marine in this country. I wonder do we know what it is for? Now the capture of this coastal marine is for nothing else but this, that the produce of Ireland should be brought direct to England in English bottoms and transferred to other English bottoms to go across the world and to wipe out here the slightest chance—if they can do it—of our developing the trade in Irish bottoms, to wipe out not alone our coastal trade, but to grip the sources of supply and capture Irish manufactures. I don't want the Dáil to imagine that I feel myself competent to deal with this question, but I am in agreement with the Minister of Finance that if we have got enough courage and ability to grasp this instrument it will be a mighty weapon in our hands yet. We have got under this Treaty the power of control absolutely from the beginning of the education of our people. This is an enormous power if properly used. We know what an enormous influence the English system of education has been both in the primary and secondary schools; aye, and in the university schools too. We have the power under this Treaty to bring back the Gaelic tradition and plant it in the hearts of our young people. They will, under a very different set of circumstances, be quick at gathering together the strands of that civilisation. The national spirit was never so strong as it is now. The people have seen the marvellous work of the last five years, and they know the men that did that work are no unreal heroes. That power, too, is of enormous value. The army is a guarantee to us that the constitutional usage contemplated under that Treaty shall be constitutional usage as interpreted by us and not as interpreted by the British Government. I know a great deal has been made of the fact that Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand are anything from 3,000 to 9,000 miles away, but there is a thing here which is of more value than that, and that is that we are a composite nation with a national tradition, and we know how to get that national tradition interpreted in our own institutions, and that it depends on ourselves, as Deputy Hogan said, if we have the courage and the energy to take what is offered to us. Now I am not going to delay the Dáil any longer. What I have said very largely is a duty I owe to my constituents. I want to let them know what stand I take, and I want them to tell me if they disagree with it. I know distinguished citizens in the district which I have the honour to represent who are against the ratification of this Treaty. They are people whom I respect very deeply, not a mere personal respect at all, but a respect that is due to them for the work they have done. I know too that the majority of the people of Co. Dublin are as good Irish people as there are in the length and breadth of Ireland. I know that the National tradition and the will to be free is as strong in the constituency I represent as it is in any part of Ireland, and I know that they have made up their minds in an overwhelming majority that this Treaty does not mean the absolute fulfilment of their national ideal, but that it may be the means to help them to realise all their national ideals. For that reason I have no hesitation at all in lending what little aid I can to the Dáil and to the country to get this Treaty ratified [applause].

    DR. MACCARTAN:

    It appears to me, since the opening of the Session, there has been a deliberate attempt to shirk responsibility for the way we find ourselves to-day. The people elected us to direct the destinies of Ireland at this period and we elected a Cabinet. I submit it was their duty in all conditions, in all circumstances, to lead us, the rank and file, in the best possible way. I submit that they have failed


    p.80

    one and all—the Minister of Defence and others. They are divided; we are, therefore, divided. I submit it is a mock division. They all went into full Imperialism—British Imperialism. They were afraid to call it the British Empire, they called it a Commonwealth of Nations. Most of the people know what Empire and Imperialism mean to the people of Ireland. When we sent representatives to London to see how Irish National aspirations could be associated with the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Minister of Defence went into it with the others, and I submit the whole Cabinet were equally responsible for the position in which we find ourselves to-day. The Republic of Ireland has been betrayed, if not sold; they know well it was not betrayed in London; it was betrayed here in Dublin at the last Session when the pistol of Unity was held at the head of every Member of the Dáil. Some of them said they were not doctrinaire Republicans; if they are not doctrinaire Republicans, they must be either Monarchists or Bolshevists. They can choose which they wish to be. If we do swear faith and allegiance to the King of England, there is no King of Ireland to be faithful to. As a Republican I would be in opposition if the Ministry were to choose an O'Neill from Tyrone or an O'Donnell from Spain and make him King. I submit kings are out of date. I am opposed to any King, either English or Irish, as I am opposed to Imperialism in Egypt, in Korea, or in San Domingo. When we went out for association, when we sent delegates to see how Ireland could be associated with the British Empire we did it with our eyes open. See how we can assist in oppressing the people of Egypt and the people of India, and other weak peoples oppressed at the present day by the British Empire. At the present moment there is a quibble, and nothing but a quibble, between the two elements in the Cabinet, and if they had the decency they would have resigned before they brought us into this position. An attempt has been made to place the responsibility on the Delegation that went to London. I submit that every member of the Cabinet is equally responsible for the Treaty that they signed in London. [‘No! No!’] When I am through you can answer me. What are the objectionable features of the Treaty? That the Republic was betrayed. It was betrayed when it was publicly stated we were not doctrinaire Republicans. Another objectionable feature is Partition. Partition was agreed to when it was said we were willing to give Ulster the same powers, or more powers, than she had under the act of 1920. when that was said Ulster was betrayed. The Nationalists of Ulster were betrayed before the delegates ever went to London, and the Cabinet, one and all, are responsible. What are the other objectionable features in it? The two Gibraltars in the South of Ireland and the two in the North. I submit that these positions were given away when it was stated publicly we were willing to give England guarantees regarding the security of England and the British Empire, that we were willing to enter into a Monroe Doctrine for the British Isles. I am hitting from the shoulder I believe the rank and file have kept silent too long [hear, hear]. Something has been said about the men who died. I knew many of them. One I knew intimately, and I knew what he died for. I knew what I stood for; I knew what he suffered imprisonment for, and I knew that he was the noblest of them all—Tom Clarke [applause]. I know, and I am sure his wife will bear me out, he did not die for this Treaty, nor did he die for document No. 2, nor for any association, external or internal, with the British Empire. We are afraid, it seems to me, to face the situation as it is. We prefer to nurse our wounded pride rather than as statesmen to face the situation that really exists, the situation that confronts us to-day. Some of us feel bitter about it. the Republic of which President de Valera was President is dead [‘No! No!’] You can contradict me when you rise to speak. I submit it is dead, and that the men who signed the document opposite Englishmen wrote its epitaph in London. It is dead naturally because it depended on the unity of the Irish people. It depended on the unity of the Cabinet. It depended on the unity of this Dáil. Are we united to-day as a Cabinet, united as a Dáil? United? Can you go forth after the decision is taken and say the people of Ireland are united? Can you even say the Irish Republican Army is united? You may say it is. I have my doubts. I think any thinking man has his doubts. What will many of them

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    say? They will say ‘What is good enough for Mick Collins is good enough for me’. Personally I have more respect for Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith than for the quibblers here. Internationally the Republic is dead. We were looking for recognition of the Republic in foreign countries. Michael Collins said we were not recognised in the United States. That is true. The United States thought we were in the same position as they were before the Treaty was signed and they were not immediately recognised when they sent delegates to France seeking recognition by the statesmen of France; they were confronted by the fears that England would not give the United States all that the Continental Congress originally asked, and France was afraid to extend recognition. In like manner, I submit, the Government of the United States were equally afraid we would make the compromise we have at the present time. I submit you would not have recognition for some time. They did not recognise the South American Republics, even though it was in the interests of the United States, until the question was debated year after year in the Congress of the United States. That is what has taken place. You cannot go to the Secretary of State of any foreign Government and ask him to recognise the Republic of Ireland, because I submit it is dead. It would take five years' fighting at the very least on the part of the Irish Republican Army, with all their gallantry, to get back to the position we were in two or three months ago. Therefore, I submit, as a political factor the Republic is dead. In fact internationally you can all see that the example of the members of the I.R.A. is being followed, and even their policy adopted in India and Egypt. Recently Egypt rejected proposals which were regarded as compromising. I accept responsibility with the men who signed the Treaty in London because I did not protest. I accept it with the whole Cabinet because I remained silent. I take my share of the responsibility. We were an inspiration to the patriots of India and the patriots of Egypt. To-day we give heart to the compromisers in India and Egypt as well as the compromisers in Ireland. I say, therefore, the Republic of Ireland is dead. That is the issue. We had a bird in the hand and a bird in the bush. Let those of you who can conscientiously do as Robert Barton has done boldly—be false to your oath. Let you vote for a bird in the hand. I tell you that the bird in the bush that we have seen is not worth going after, thorny though the bush may be. I feel myself in the position of a man landed on an island without any means of escape, who was asked to vote if he will remain or vote if he would leave it. You have no means of leaving, there is no escape from the Treaty that has been signed, because, as I said, you have not a united people, you have not a united Dáil—I question if you have a united Army. Internationally the Republic is no longer a factor in politics. Personally I see no way out. I submit it was the duty of the Cabinet to submit to us a policy, even though they were in a difficult position. They have failed; they have failed miserably, and instead they nurse their wounded pride. They hope to save their faces by putting the issue to the country, suggesting that there was a constitutional way out, some of them, that there was a constitutional way of saving their faces before the public and the world—a constitutional way of getting away from the oath of allegiance to the Republic, but there is no constitutional way of getting back to the position we were in two months ago. If there is, I for one cannot see it. I have been anxious to see it, anxious to get somebody who sees it to put it before me. So far I have met no one to put it before me. I see nothing for us then. I see no glimmer of hope. We are presented with a fait accompli and asked to endorse it. I as a Republican will not endorse it, but I will not vote for chaos. Then I will not vote against it. To vote for it I would be violating my oath which I took to the Republic, that I took to the Irish Republican Brotherhood. I never intend violating these oaths. I took these oaths seriously and I mean to keep them as far as I can. I believe just the same rejection means war. I believe every man who votes for it should be prepared for war. But you are going into war under different conditions to what we had when we had a united Cabinet, a united Dáil, and a united people. England's blunders, gigantic blunders, may again save us, it is not any statesmanship we have seen here.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    On a point of order, before we proceed further. I


    p.82

    don't wish to take any grave exception to what the last speaker has said, but I think it would be advisable on the part of speakers not to use the word quibble where President de Valera is concerned.

    THE SPEAKER:

    It is not a point of order.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    I will appeal, then, to the Members.

    THE SPEAKER:

    If you have no point of order you must sit down.

    MR. SEAN HAYES:

    Both at the Private Session and the public Session I listened to many eloquent addresses on this grave matter before the House. I do not feel myself competent to go into details of the merits or demerits of this Treaty, but it did occur to me that we are getting much of what the Irish people had been looking for. We get control of our own finances; we get control of education, which I regard as a most essential thing we should have; we secure that the British forces evacuate this country, and we have the right to raise and maintain our own Army. These provisions lead me to the opinion that I should vote for that Treaty because I see no alternative but war. And I do not think for a moment that the British Government would hesitate to make war on this country if we reject that Treaty. It is well known in Ireland, and outside Ireland, that the Irish Army fought with great bravery. It is also well known that our civil population gave all the support that they could have given to that Army and we fought with the moral authority and moral support of the world behind us, not that I attach great importance to that moral support. When we were looking for recognition of our Republic, that moral support was not sufficient to get it for us. That is the test that I apply to it. If we are to look at the question before us, and apply the logic of pure justice, I should vote against that Treaty, but I recognise, and we must all recognise, that the world is not yet ruled by the logic of pure justice. I have instead to apply the logic of common sense to what I believe the Irish people want at the present time. When we agreed to a truce with the British Government, we created in the minds of the people an idea that we were going to make a bargain with the British Government, and we cannot get away from it. I believe, and in this matter I speak particularly for the district which I represent, that is the constituency of West Cork; I speak for these people, perhaps about 17,000, and I am prepared to say that the majority of these people would accept this Treaty, and, whatever I may think personally of it, I feel that it is my duty to give expression to their views, so far as I can [hear, hear] because I hold that if I were to do otherwise, I would be acting against the principle of government by the consent of the governed. That is a principle which we have always held before us, and I feel it is my duty to act upon it now, and I think that in casting my vote for the acceptance of the Treaty I am expressing the people's will as I know it. Now, the dead have been referred to, and I do not want to refer to them further than to say that I agree with those speakers who say that we owe a duty to the dead, but I maintain that if we owe a duty to the dead we also owe a duty to the living, and I, for one, cannot see how I could cast a vote that would expose the Irish people to the risk of war. If anybody tells us, or tells me, that the British Government will not make war upon this country again, then that is a matter I can consider. I think the Irish people should be told what the alternatives are in this matter. If we go to war, if we expose the people of the country to the risk of war, then the Irish people should be told we reject this Treaty because we want a Republic. Let the issue be clear and definite, and then we know where we stand. I will say nothing further than to throw out a suggestion. I do not know what it is worth. It may not be well received, but, seeing that there is this division of opinion in the Cabinet as well as in the Dáil, I throw out the suggestion that if this great issue was placed before the people in, say, two constituencies in Ireland, and have the views of the people there upon it, and if you agree to accept their decision, it might save us a lot of trouble. I suggest the two constituencies of East Clare and South Cork [applause].

    A DEPUTY:

    A way out.

    MR. COLIVET:

    Could the House get any idea of when a vote will be taken?


    p.83

    I do not think we want to sit here listening to speeches. I think we should have some idea of when a vote will be taken.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Those who wish to speak further should give in a list of their names.

    MR. SEAN T. O'CEALLAIGH:

    I have a list of twenty speakers already.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    It should not be past Thursday.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I think so. I think we should have it by all means on Thursday.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I suggest we should agree on the adjournment; on the time when the closure will be.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    There should be no closure on a matter like this.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Excuse me, I was only making the suggestion that if we cannot agree to a closure at about mid-day on Thursday, then we should, if necessary, adjourn over Christmas. The point is that if we are to have twenty, thirty or fifty Members speaking they are entitled to speak; then I was simply making the suggestion to facilitate the Dáil. That is why I said that if we cannot fix one o'clock on Thursday, or one o'clock on Friday, let us agree to have an adjournment for a definite period.

    ALDERMAN DE ROISTE:

    In the meantime the Cabinet will continue to rule the country [applause].

    PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:

    I second the motion.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    I think since the matter concerns the country so vitally, and since the Members who will speak here, and who will vote here, will stand before posterity for the part they take, that it would not be right that a single one, if they so desire, should not record his opinion.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    There is no such suggestion. To-morrow evening to adjourn until after Christmas would be the wisest plan.

    The House adjourned until eleven o'clock next morning.


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    DÁIL EIREANN PUBLIC SESSION Wednesday, December 21st, 1921

    THE SPEAKER (DR. EOIN MACNEILL) took the chair at 11.5 a.m. and called on Mr. Gavan Duffy.

    MR. GAVAN DUFFY:

    A Chinn Chomhairle, I rise to stand over my signature to the Treaty and to recommend it to you in pursuance of the pledge I gave. But in giving that pledge I did not pledge myself to conceal from you nor from the people of Ireland the circumstances under which that pledge was extorted from me. Let me make it clear that I am not here to make any apology for the action I took, believing then that it was right, and believing now it was right, but I am here to give the Irish people the explanation to which they are entitled, and I think it is necessary that the circumstances should be driven home and impressed upon the minds of the Irish people, even at the risk of reiterating a good deal that Deputy Barton has said, for two main reasons, one in order that the historic record of this transaction might be clear beyond all possible doubt, and two in order to impress upon you the solemn warning that it gives us. I wish it to be understood that I speak absolutely for myself, without desiring to commit any other member of the Delegation. I am going to recommend this Treaty to you very reluctantly, but very sincerely, because I see no alternative. I have no sympathy with those who acclaim this partial composition as if it was payment in full, with compound interest; nor have I any sympathy with those who would treat this agreement as if it were utterly valueless. Indeed at the risk of being accused of having a slave mind, I cannot help enjoying such a statement as that which I find in the Morning Post—the best friend that Ireland ever had in England—of yesterday. It begins its leading article: ‘Like humble suppliants on the doorstep waiting for an answer to their plea for charity, the Government and people of this once proud and powerful country are now hanging expectant on the discussions of an illegal assembly, self-styled Dáil Eireann, to know whether or not that body will graciously condescend to accept their submission’. I think it is difficult for any of us to look at this matter perfectly fairly, because when you feel jubilant your feelings are apt to run away with you. I tried to look at it fairly, and it must be realised that the Irish people have an achievement to their credit in this respect at least, that this Treaty gives them what they have not had for hundreds of years; it gives them power, it puts power of control, power of Government, military power in the hands of our people and our Government. And the answer to those who assert that that power will be filched from us by dishonest Englishmen across the water, is that that will depend upon us, that we shall be in a far better position to resist aggression and to maintain and increase that power than ever we were before. The vital defect of this Treaty is that it inflicts a grievous wound upon the dignity of this nation by thrusting the King of England upon us, thrusting an alien King upon us, with his alien Governor, and I do not want to minimise for a moment the evil of that portion of the Treaty, On the other hand, I do not like to hear people whose word has weight overstating their case and asking you to believe such things as that the Irish Army will be governed by his Majesty's officers, a statement that seems to me to be just as true as if you were to say that the Irish Flag will be the Union Jack, or that because the Canadian "bucks" bear on


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    their face Georgis Rex, Defender of the Faith that therefore we shall have coins of the same description. The argument upon which such suggestions as that are founded is an argument which would justify the assumption that the Union Jack will be the flag of this country, and it is not fair to attack the Treaty on such grounds as that. It will be the duty of those who frame the Constitution to frame it in accordance with the wishes of the Irish people so far as the Treaty allows them; it will be their duty, therefore, to relegate the King of England to the exterior darkness as far as they can, and they can to a very considerable extent. It has not been sufficiently affirmed that the Constitution is left to us subject to the Treaty. I admit that his Majesty is not written all over the Treaty. The first clause deals with our status in the community of nations known as the British Empire, the second with our relations with Great Britain. All our internal affairs so far as the Constitution is concerned are left to our fashioning and any Government worthy of the name will be able to place that foreign King at a very considerable distance from the Irish people. Now I am trying to be fair about the matter. That does not take away the objection to the Treaty. You are still left with the fact that his Majesty's Minister will be here; you are still left with the fact that the Irish people are to pledge themselves to a gentleman who necessarily symbolises in himself the just anger and the just resentment of this people for 750 years. Therefore it was that when this Treaty was first presented to me as a proposal for peace with power on the one hand, but national dignity the purchase price on the other, I rejected it, for I could not forget that we in London had done our best in our counter proposals to maintain Irish independence in connection with the association that we were offering. I could not forget that this nation has won the admiration of the world by putting up the noblest and most heroic national fight of all history and that it is unconquered still (applause). I did not forget these things, and yet I signed. I will tell you why. On the 4th of December a sub-conference was held between the two sides at which Lloyd George broke with us on the Empire and broke definitely, subject to confirmation by his Cabinet the next morning. It might have been, or it might not have been, bluff. At all events contact was renewed and the next day a further sub-conference was held, attended by Messrs. Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and Robert Barton, and, after four-and-a-half hours of discussion, our delegates returned to us to inform us that four times they had all but broken and that the fate of Ireland must be decided that night. Lloyd George had issued to them an ultimatum to this effect: ‘It must now be peace or war. My messenger goes to-night to Belfast. I have here two answers, one enclosing the Treaty, the other declaring a rupture, and, if it be a rupture, you shall have immediate war, and the only way to avert that immediate war is to bring me the undertaking to sign of every one of the plenipotentiaries, with a further undertaking to recommend the Treaty to Dáil Eireann and to bring me that by 10 o'clock. Take your choice’. I shall not forget the anguish of that night, torn as one was between conflicting duties. Again, this ultimatum might have been bluff, but every one of those who had heard the British Prime Minister believed beyond all reasonable doubt that this time he was not play-acting, and that he meant what he said. It is, I think, worth while recording that the semi-official organ of Mr. Lloyd George—the Daily Chronicle confirmed that attitude. The next day it stated quite openly in the most shameless manner:— ‘Before the delegates separated for dinner the Prime Minister made his final appeal. He made it clear that the draft before them was the last concession which any British Government could make. The issue now was the grim choice between acceptance and immediate war’

    I wonder do you realise the monstrous iniquity. An ingenious attempt has been made on behalf of the British Government to refute what Deputy Barton told you the other day in what is called a semi- official denial issued through the Free Association. I make no apology for reading it, for the matter is of importance. They say:—

    The statement by Mr. Robert Barton, one of the Irish Peace Treaty signatories, that the agreement


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    was signed under duress, and that Mr. Lloyd George threatened war in the event of a refusal occasioned no undue surprise in authoritative quarters in London to-day. It was pointed out that the Irish Envoys, who, it must be remembered, were Plenipotentiaries, had negotiated during the preceding weeks with full knowledge of the alternative in the event of a final rejection of the terms.

    ‘They accepted the proposals under duress of circumstances or duress of their own minds and not because of any eleventh hour declaration on the part of the Prime Minister’, declared an authority this (Tuesday) evening. ‘In so far as it was well known that the alternative to acceptance was war, there is an element of truth in the statement’.

    The complaint is not that the alternative to signing a Treaty was war; the complaint is that the alternative to our signing that particular Treaty was immediate war; that we who were sent to London as the apostles of peace—the qualified apostles of peace—were suddenly to be transformed into the unqualified arbiters of war; that we had to make this choice within three hours and to make it without any reference to our Cabinet, to our Parliament or to our people. And that monstrous iniquity was perpetrated by the man who had invited us under his roof in order, moryah, to make a friendly settlement. So that the position was this, that if we, every one of us, did not sign and undertake to recommend, fresh hordes of savages would be let loose upon this country to trample and torture and terrify it, and whether the Cabinet, Dáil Eireann, or the people of Ireland willed war or not, the iron heel would come down upon their heads with all the force which a last desperate effort at terrorism could impart to it. This is the complaint. We found ourselves faced with these alternatives, either to save the national dignity by unyielding principle, or to save the lives of the people by yielding to force majeure, and that is why I stand where I do. We lost the Republic of Ireland in order to save the people of Ireland. I do not wish to sit down without emphasising the warning that one cannot but take away from that transaction. We cannot look without apprehension to the true designs of these people in the working out of the Treaty, for we cannot have confidence in men who make the bludgeon the implement of their goodwill. If they had been statesmen they would have recognised and proclaimed that the tie of blood which truly unites the British Dominions to England is no tie between Ireland and England no more than between the Englishman and the Boer, the Englishman and the Egyptian, the Englishman and the Indian, or the Englishman and the French Canadian. They would have realised that the tie of blood is a bond of steel and that such a bond can stand any strain. The truth is they were afraid; they knew well how much to give, but they were afraid to make full atonement and sought to justify themselves by professing to believe that they did make full atonement. If they had kept their King out of Ireland an honest settlement would have been easy. Instead of that they have chosen to give us once more grave reasons to doubt them by showing us over again that for all their canticles of peace and goodwill and atonement the British Bible is still the cover for a British gun. That is what they call statesmanship across the water; that is the state craft before which the world bows low; that is the state craft which throughout the history of the British Empire has spread mistrust, enmity and war. There is another statesman, and he was heard at Manchester a week ago, when one of the greatest English statesmen, Lord Grey, proclaimed that no peace with Ireland was any use unless it was a peace made upon equal terms. I subscribe to that, and it is well for the British people to know that they can have peace, solid peace, lasting peace with this country on the day that peace is made between our Government and theirs on equal terms, and not before. I do not love this Treaty now any more than I loved it when I signed it, but I do not think that that is an adequate answer, that it is an adequate motive for rejection to point out that some of us signed the Treaty under duress, nor to say that this Treaty will not lead to permanent peace. It is necessary before you reject the Treaty to go further than that and to produce to the people of Ireland a rational alternative [hear, hear]. My heart is with those who are against the


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    Treaty, but my reason is against them, because I can see no rational alternative. You may reject the Treaty and gamble, for it is a gamble, upon what will happen next. You may have a plebiscite in this country, which no serious man can wish to have, because after what you have seen here it is obvious that it will rend the country from one end to the other, and leave memories of bitterness and acrimony that will last a generation. You may gamble on the prospects of a renewal of that horrible war, which I for one have only seen from afar, but which I know those who have so nobly withstood do not wish to see begun again without a clear prospect of getting further than they are to- day. We are told that this is a surrender of principle. If that be so, we must be asked to believe that every one of those who have gone before us in previous fights, and who in the end have had to lay down their arms or surrender in order to avert a greater evil to the people, have likewise been guilty of a breach of principle. I do not think an argument of that kind will get you much further. No! The solid principle, the solid basis upon which every honest man ought to make up his mind on this issue, may be summed up in the principle that we all claimed when it was first enunciated by the President, the principle of government by the consent of the governed. I say that no serious person here, whatever his feelings, knowing as he must what the people of this country think of the matter, will be doing his duty if, under these circumstances, he refuses to ratify the Treaty. Ratify it with the most dignified protest you can, ratify because you cannot do otherwise, but ratify it in the interests of the people you must.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    I ask leave to make a personal explanation regarding a very serious allegation that has been made by this paper, the Freeman's Journal, this morning in respect to a statement I am supposed to have made last night. The Freeman's Journal says: ‘Mr. J. J. Walsh said, arising out of a speech made by the last member, he felt bound to remark that all those speakers addressing Mr. de Valera should not use the word President in future’.

    MR. STACK:

    Just like the Freeman.

    MR. COLLINS:

    It is in all the papers. Somebody must be responsible for it.

    MR. STACK:

    The Freeman never said President yet to him.

    MR. NICHOLLS:

    It is in the Independent as well.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    Now, sir, every member of this House knows very well that at the conclusion of Deputy MacCartan's speech last night, I rose and expressed regret at the very general use of the word quibble in respect of the conduct of the deliberations and of the negotiations by our President. I did so because of the very great regard for the honour and integrity and ability of the President and his great patriotism and sacrifice for his country. Not only would I not use this remark, but I certainly would take the greatest possible exception to anyone using it, and I think that is the case with every member of this House. I suppose I can ask the Press generally in the name of the President and of the House to make suitable correction and apology for this great error.

    THE SPEAKER:

    Deputy Walsh's statement is absolutely correct, and the report, which I have also seen in the Press this morning, is a very grave and serious error, and the correction of that error is due, I won't say to this assembly, I won't say to the President, but it is due to the Irish people who have placed us here.

    PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:

    The remarks of the last speaker have added to the impression we had, and which I felt deeply, and I think everybody felt it deeply, after the speech of Mr. Barton, and I won't say entirely, because I should not like to subscribe, perhaps, to everything that the Minister of Finance said, but I felt impressed strongly after his speech. I am not here to speak in a sentimental fashion, and suggest that we all agree here, but I do maintain that after these speeches, and notwithstanding all these distressing circumstances of this debate—notwithstanding the wretched outlook in many ways—I maintain that these speeches show an extreme unity of sentiment and an extraordinary determination of this assembly as representing what we may call indeed,


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    without any lack of hope, but in a very real sense, our unhappy people. And to whom is this unhappiness due? Before I came here I got a telegram asking me to vote for this Treaty and against this insensate hatred of England. I maintain that those who would vote against this Treaty are perhaps less filled with that hatred than those determined to vote for this Treaty. I do not ask anyone to give up what they think is right because of that, but I can assuredly appeal to anyone's heart here or in the world who has a spark of generosity, if the treatment meted out to Ireland in this last disgraceful act of England is not a fitting climax and one of the worst examples of the abominable treatment of this country by England. How could anyone not have shame in their hearts? I perhaps have more responsibility because of those whom I belong to than anyone else. I say if there was an Englishman present in this chamber, he must feel covered with a sense of shame after hearing these declarations. Now the Minister for Foreign Affairs—the Chairman of the Delegation—said rightly that he did not want pity from other people. Surely the answer to what has been said to me that you must not be full of insensate hatred of England—surely the answer is what has been suggested in the speech you have just heard. I was going to say that if it had not been for some words in the end that is the speech I would like to have. Surely it was more than true without any sentimentality that there was an opportunity for a peaceable feeling and a right feeling between these countries. It is not true to say that there are no principles and nothing to govern man except abominable self-interest. There are many people here and in Britain anxious that there should be a basis of agreement between these countries, but, as you have heard, it is not with the fair and honest intention of bringing about such a peace that the late action of the British Government was taken with regard to Ireland. Now I am told you must not expect too much when you are beaten. What was the word sent to our people? That they were beaten? No, but that they were to come and discuss this matter with England, and to come to a decision with them. You have here now an example of the generosity of England. There was no question whatever of saying ‘You are a beaten people and will have to take whatever we like’ but it appears that that was in the document, and the action taken with regard to us. Mr. Duffy has also reminded us that in that Treaty there are several provisions or restrictions or modifications put in. Put in by whom? They are put in by the people who, as I think, we learned to say from the writings of the Minister of Foreign Affairs—who taught us how to look on these actions of the English Government, and taught us not to be deceived by the words that were put in by the people who used to keep the Home Rule Bill before them like a carrot dangling before the nose of a donkey. They were put in by the people who got up the Convention and pretended to us that it was a declaration to the Irish people in order to increase the sympathy of America with England and take away sympathy from Ireland. They were put in by the people who got up the German Plot and by the people who published a circular lately that they were going to arm enemies against us, while they were smiling in the face of these men on whom they have put this terrible responsibility, and these men, when they put in those restrictions in the name of common sense and in the name of self-protection, must be suspected, not because we have got any insensate hate of England, but acting like prudent men on the evidence they have given us. Not even Mr. Gavan Duffy has said—in fact he has said the contrary—that the claim made—and I would like to say it with regard to my present intentions on this Treaty—that the claim made that representatives of the people are incidentally to lose their own identity as it were—their own responsibility—and be no longer independent men because their constituents think something else—is, I think, a claim that cannot be made, and I never heard it being so absolutely made to any assembly as this on behalf of any people. The constituents may have succeeded in expressing a certain point of view in sending representatives here, but once sent here—as the great Irishman who has been once alluded to here, Edmund Burke, said—surely they must be respected as independent men, nor would they for an instant take up the position that a man must find out from day to day what the majority thought about him. Surely the case of

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    1914 must remain in our minds, where the people were wrong, and if I may say so, papers like Nationality were right, and they told the people ‘we will not give in to them in what is an hallucination’. It seems to me that the arguments used for the Treaty are largely these two, that there were very excellent and honourable men sent there to carry out certain ideas at least and that we should follow them implicitly. I think that is a mistake in the same way as I should not follow implicitly the constituents if I thought they made a mistake. While perhaps I know less personally than most people here about the men who carried out these negotiations, I should like to subscribe to everything that has been said about their admirable actions. The second argument used so strongly is that they have got a great deal by the Treaty. Now Mr. Gavan Duffy has reminded us how far this Treaty has taken us. Education. That has appealed to us. Why not? Then, above all, it provides the possibility of protecting ourselves. That has appealed to us. And then, above all, the carrying on of this country according to the wishes of the people of this country has appealed to us. And when you look at these in the Treaty and hear what has been said by those who support the Treaty, well, I feel carried away, not only in heart, as Mr. Duffy says, but to a large extent, also in my head. But it seems to me to be the old story. You might have got rid of the English Army out of this country in the time of Queen Elizabeth by giving in to everything she wanted. You might have got rid of them in the time of Owen Roe by falling in with all the claims made by the English. You might have got rid of them at any time by giving way to the tyrants. I cannot help feeling that that is not an argument to use, because of course you could have got rid of the Army at any time by agreeing to the conditions. Well, frankly, I don't think it is possible for a person to subscribe to that oath. I don't wonder that men, young men and brave men, put it aside and say, ‘I don't care anything about it’ but, believe me, that is a dangerous thing to do, not only for yourself, but also for your country. Let us be frank about this matter, and don't let us be saying we have got something if we have not got it. I will say this, that I don't think that we wasted our time at the Secret Sessions or at the Private Sessions, for I got more clearly into my mind that to say that you allied yourself with another people is not the same as to say that you swear allegiance to another people. I don't think that in any circumstances whatsoever would the French of 1870 have felt that they could exist as an independent nation if they had said, ‘I swear to be faithful to the Federation as such of a commonwealth consisting of France, Germany, and some other States’. Now there was in the South of Germany not long ago a Federation of States, and these States were independent States. Austria was one, Bavaria was one, and Saxony was one. These States were independent States, and I think you might say, if not in actual words, that they had to acknowledge the Emperor of Austria as he then was, as the head of the South German Federation, but it never occurred to anyone in Bavaria that he had to swear allegiance or fidelity to the Emperor of Austria as the person who was to play the part of the Governor of Bavaria. I have got quite clearly into my mind that if I am asked to recognise the head of an association of nations like the League of Nations, I am not doing the same thing as if I took an oath of allegiance. The two things seem to me different, and I would say on the other side in answer to the bitterness of Dr. MacCartan's speech that I don't wonder he has Republican feelings when he spoke so. But I cannot agree—I cannot call myself a Republican in that sense. I never was when called on to speak publicly, for two reasons. For one thing, I felt the sword was hanging over my head, as it might be now, and, secondly, I felt that if the Irish chose to have a King, Emperor or Republic, it was not my business, nor did I feel any particular interest in a Republic as such, and, to quote Burke again, it seems to me that a Republic could be just as capable of cruelty as the most absolute Monarchy. I certainly feel strongly that the dilemma in which Ireland is placed by this Treaty is the climax to the treatment of a weak nation by the strong and the bully. May I read a letter from Mrs. Terence MacSwiney:
    WIESBADEN 9th December, 1921

    A Chara Dhil

    I have read everything from all nationalities except our own regarding present affairs, and I have no hesitation in saying that from


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    the purely practical point of view it would be the greatest possible political mistake we have ever made (greater even than 1783) if we agreed to the present terms; it would probably also be the greatest triumph that the enemy has ever had.

    I should not have thought myself important enough to have written to you anything at all if I did not represent one who is greater than any of us. I am absolutely certain that Terry would have said what I am saying, and would have refused.

    If you think well of it, will you send a message from me in the above terms to the Dáil? Da gcuirfinn fein e ní bhfaghadh siad e.

    I cannot believe it will be taken. Le súil go mbeidh sgeal níos fearr againn sara fada.

    Is mise do chara

    MUIRGHEAL, BEAN MHIC SHUIBHNE

    Mr. M. COLLINS:

    Out of the greatest respect for the dead we have refrained from reading letters from the relatives of the dead. We have too much respect for the dead.

    PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:

    May I say that I asked permission from the Speaker to read that letter?

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    We have not read letters from the women whose sons have been shot, whose husbands have been killed, supporting us.

    PROFESSOR WHELEHAN:

    I am sure that this Dáil has listened with the greatest interest to the speech of Professor Stockley. He told us at the opening of that speech that an appeal to passion had little to do with the present crisis, and he was right. But I submit that the major portion of his speech was, as he himself admitted, not an appeal to the head or to the reason, but to the heart. Like him, all of us Irishmen have our hearts, and wherever our hearts may be in a crisis like this when the country is faced with, I submit, the greatest trial that has ever confronted it, appeals to passion and sentiment are altogether out of place. There is no use in going back on what was or what has been. We have to deal now with what is. I submit that the business of this House is to deal with the situation which confronts it, and I submit that the people who are most competent to interpret the situation which confronts it are the people whom the Dáil sent to London, not as Republican doctrinaires but to negotiate association with Britain in one form or another. These men have come here and have told you the situation as they say it seemed to them, some of them not liking the Treaty. The two speeches that weighed most with me are the expression of the sincere convictions of Mr. Gavan Duffy and Mr. Barton, and they left no doubt as to what the situation is. It is this Treaty or the plunging of the Irish nation into war. Professor Stockley say he does not consider himself bound by the opinion of his constituents. He represents a university. Well, if that is the political principle on which he stands, it is not the political principle, nor any principle on which I stand, or will ever stand, and if there are any people in this House who are standing for principle, I submit to them that since they agreed, and they did agree with the only terms of reference these delegates were given going to London—when they agreed they were not Republican doctrinaires, then I submit they have given away the Republic, and they have got to deliver the nation from the great dilemma in which it has been placed. We cannot shirk responsibility—we cannot get rid of our responsibility after allowing these men to give our Republic away. I am in the position of one whose speech has been literally delivered by Dr. MacCartan. It is written here, but it is no use to me. But, in a crisis like this, I will submit that while I agree with what Dr. MacCartan has said, there is one point in which I totally disagree with him. He says he is a Republican doctrinaire, and as such that he will not vote for the Treaty. He says that the alternative to this Treaty is chaos, and that he will not vote to place the country in a state of chaos. I submit to him as a man of principle and conscience, that he is bound to vote to deliver the country from chaos. Professor Stockley does not consider the rights of the people he represents in the present circumstances. Don't let me do him an injustice—that is what I understood. I should not wish to do any man an injustice, and I hope I am not misrepresenting. He does not consider that he is bound to represent the views of the people in the present circumstances. I submit, sir, that we are bound to represent the


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    views of the people in the new state of circumstances which has come about by our own free choice in assenting to the terms of reference—the only terms which these men got in going to London.

    PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:

    Would you like me to say anything?

    PROFESSOR WHELEHAN:

    With pleasure.

    PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:

    What I meant to say is, I don't think you can change about your own personal responsibility by casting it on the constituents. May I read something which I have been handed?

    SEVERAL DEPUTIES:

    Order, order.

    PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:

    It is entirely against myself.

    PROFESSOR WHELEHAN:

    I have no objection to anything Professor Stockley reads, as I do believe he is an honest man. I believe every member in this House is honest, and I believe they will do what they feel themselves conscientiously bound to do. I have no objection to him reading anything. I submit, sir, that a new series of circumstances have brought about a new situation. The situation now is not a Republic versus Association with Great Britain, but the question is, shall this Treaty be approved of, or shall we commit the country to war? I accept the interpretation of the Treaty or the impression given us by the delegates in supporting the approval of the Treaty —and why? In the first place, Britain has pledged whatever honour remains to her before the world to evacuate the country. That, sir, we have been fighting for, and I submit that you have been successful in attaining it, and the Crown Forces, in the words of a distinguished Irishman, are to scuttle out of Ireland. This Treaty gives us full fiscal autonomy. It gives us control of the purse; it gives us control of trade and commerce and industries. This Treaty gives us an equal voice with other countries in the League of Nations. By this Treaty the Irish people have the right to frame their own Constitution, and under this Treaty an army under complete Irish control is given us to defend our Constitution and to uphold, and, I submit, to defend, our rights. But some will say, ‘For this you would give away the soul of the nation’. Now, sir, the soul of the nation has not been given away at the point of thousands of British bayonets, and with these gone out of the country, and with the guarantee that the soul of the nation shall be right, I submit we are not likely to lose it now, for by this Treaty we have complete control of our education, and education, not oaths of allegiance of one form of freedom or another, is the great factor in conserving the soul of any nation.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    What are the bases of it?

    A DEPUTY:

    Your own language.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Hear, hear. Education based on dishonour.

    PROFESSOR WHELEHAN:

    Education based on dishonour, the President says. I have great respect for the President's opinion, and I had hoped not once to have to allude further to what I hold to be the terms of reference given to these men.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    To take an oath you don't mean to keep is dishonourable.

    PROFESSOR WHELEHAN:

    I am not going to keep to the question of the oath.

    MR. STACK:

    To break an oath that you have taken is dishonourable.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Are our speakers to be continually interrupted from the other side of the table? We don't interrupt them. Are we to be interrupted?

    PROFESSOR WHELEHAN:

    I have been challenged about this oath. I will submit the interpretation given to the oath by a distinguished Member of the House. The oath was approved, and we were bound in conscience to do whatever we conceived best for the interest of the Irish people in whatever circumstances might arise. The interpretation was given in response to what has come to be the famous challenge of a very respected Member of this Dáil, and there was no dissent, as well as I can remember, with the interpretation of the oath. I stand by that. Each one is bound


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    to do—and I have no doubt about the Members of this House, that each Member will do—what he feels bound by his conscience to do in the present circumstances. I certainly shall do that. I did hope not to have to emphasise that question at all, but perhaps it is just as well that I have had to do so. Now, for this question of principle that we hear so much talk about—the question of giving away the Republic. I have submitted, sir, that the Republic was given away when we assented—and I blamed myself for it then—when we assented that we were not Republican doctrinaires. That was the beginning of compromise, and it has come now to a question of one degree of compromise or another. That is where we landed. Now, sir, I have to cut out several things because of Dr. MacCartan. I have not heard one argument against evacuation or against the fact that fiscal autonomy is given; not one argument against the fact that education is under our control; not one argument advanced in this House against the fact that we have complete control of trade and industry; and I submit that the appeals against this Treaty have been appeals to the heart and not to the reason or to the judgment. I submit that, and often I found that my heart was touched by several personal appeals here, and that I had to urge my judgment to do what was correct. This Treaty then gives us evacuation, control of the purse, of trade, industry and education, and an army which I say shall secure the nation's right to free development, and I hold, sir, that this nation's right to free development is not determined by that Treaty, but, like other nations, it shall continue to develop, aye, even against that Treaty, until, as Canada has the right—it has the right—the right which it holds at this moment, to declare itself free. The ex-Leader of the British Commons says that in the process of time Canada has got the right to declare itself independent of the British, and I hold that our rights under that Treaty are not less, at any rate, than the rights of Canada, but rather more. We have all these things, and no one can guarantee that a war will bring us any of these things. Can the people who urge the rejection of this Treaty guarantee that war will bring us one of these things? They cannot. What are the facts? I submit that the facts in the case and the realities of the situation have been submitted to this House, not by Ministers on either side, but by individual Members of the Dáil. If we assent, as we all should assent, that government at any time must be by the consent of the governed, then I submit we are bound to stand for the Treaty. It is a grand thing, a noble thing, a heroic thing in a crisis to stand by every principle, but, sir, I submit that it is not for principle our Cabinet had been standing, but rather between one degree of compromise and another. It is a grand thing and a heroic thing in a crisis to realise what we can lawfully call upon our countrymen to do, and in face of great difficulties ask them to do it. It is a grand thing to stand by principle. We have not stood by it.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    We deny that.

    PROFESSOR WHELEHAN:

    I submit that in the circumstances, and on the verge of chaos to which this country is being plunged, men realising their duty will find themselves urged, at any rate, if not to fight for the Treaty, to vote that the country be delivered from chaos.

    MR. DAVID CEANNT:

    I don't know whether I can address you as a Republican, because I have been listening for the last few days to so many quickchange artists, that I cannot be sure whether it is in Canada or in Ireland I am standing, but I want to make sure of my position. This I am sure of, that I am here as a Republican representative of the people of East Cork, who sent me by their free will and choice as the representative of the Republic that was established by the people of Ireland by their own free will and choice, and here I will remain until the people of Cork by their free will and choice vote that they don't want me any longer. I have listened to some silly arguments put forward why we should sign this Treaty. The chief argument seems to be what Commandant So and So did. I submit a good deal of the time of this House has been wasted by such nonsense. I suggest that we could easily have put all these arguments into pamphlet form, but I would not like to be the person who would undertake it. I heard a very peculiar speech a few evenings ago from the Deputy from


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    Waterford, Dr. White. He told us solemnly that before England would give up Ireland she would give up India and Egypt, and she would lose her last man, and spend her last cartridge before she would evacuate Ireland, while at the same time we are led to believe that this precious document we have in our hands is going to do so. Now, sir, I have listened to many Members speaking of representatives here—some of them sneeringly, too, but I assure you some of them were not sneering at it when we asked the public to subscribe to Republican Bonds—some were not smiling at it when we were fighting for it. I am carrying you back because I want the people of the country to know what we have been doing for the last couple of years. I will carry you back to the election of 1918. We went before the country then on the declaration that we were out to establish the Republic that had been proclaimed by Patrick Pearse and his associates in 1916. He proclaimed a Republic and appointed his Ministers. We went before the country, and I went before my constituents in East Cork. It was not the constituency I was selected for. I was first approached by a deputation from North-East Cork, and they forced upon me that I should be their candidate, and, after great persuasion, I gave my consent on these conditions. I told them I would on one condition, that is, if I was wanted in any other constituency that there was a chance of putting up a sporting fight I would go there, but that I would have in my place at least a soldier. I went down to East Cork and went before the people of East Cork and told them what my views were, that I was a Republican, and I said: ‘Now is your time; if you are not satisfied with me, get another’. I went before them in 1918. The majority of the members here present were in jail—some of them at least. I was not exactly on the run, but they wanted me. I put my views before these people, and I told them what I was doing for them, and they agreed, at least, that I was only proclaiming my principles, and I came into this House at the first session. I was sent here in 1919, when one of the delegates who went to London, Eamon O'Duggan, read out the following Declaration of Independence before the Dáil:

    Whereas the Irish people is by right a free people: And Whereas for seven hundred years the Irish people has never ceased to repudiate and has repeatedly protested in arms against foreign usurpation: And Whereas English rule in this country is, and always has been, based upon fore and fraud and maintained by military occupation against the declared will of the people: And Whereas the Irish Republic was proclaimed in Dublin on Easter Monday, 1916, by the Irish Republican Army acting on behalf of the Irish people: And Whereas the Irish people is resolved to secure and maintain its complete independence in order to promote the common weal, to re- establish justice, to provide for future defence, to insure peace at home and goodwill with all nations, and to constitute a national polity based upon the people's will with equal right and equal opportunity for every citizen: And Whereas at the threshold of a new era in history the Irish electorate has in the General Election of December, 1918, seized the first occasion to declare by an overwhelming majority its firm allegiance to the Irish Republic now. Therefore, we, the elected representatives of the ancient Irish people in National Parliament assembled, do, in the name of the Irish Nation, ratify the establishment of the Irish Republic and pledge ourselves and our people to make this declaration effective by every means at our command. We ordain that the elected representatives of the Irish people alone have power to make laws binding on the people of Ireland, and that the Irish Parliament is the only Parliament to which that people will give its allegiance We solemnly declare foreign government in Ireland to be an invasion of our national right which we will never tolerate, and we demand the evacuation of our country by the British Garrison: We claim for our national independence the recognition and support of every free nation of the world, and we proclaim that


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    independence to be a condition precedent to international peace hereafter: In the name of the Irish people we humbly commit our destiny to Almighty God, who gave our fathers the courage and determination to persevere through long centuries of a ruthless tyranny, and strong in the justice of the cause which they have handed down to us, we ask His divine blessing on this, the last stage of the struggle we have pledged ourselves to carry through to Freedom.

    Following that Mr. Barton read a message to the nations. Following that, sir, at a meeting held in the summer of that year the oath of allegiance was handed to every Member. A discussion had taken place on it. There were some objections, but the majority, if not every member, signed that oath. Then we framed our Constitution, and, following that, we went before the electors. In this present year, last May, we put the issues clearly before them—that we were a Republican Government, and we asked them were they going to stand by us, and the result is what we see here to-day. At a meeting in the Mansion House there were thousands of people and the Press of the world before us, and each and every member read the declaration and signed it, and some may have signed it on the blind side, but I did not. We promised to be true to the Constitution and to the Republic. I wonder was it all for the benefit of the cinema companies? I saw a formidable number of cinema operators there. They have the records yet, I am sure. A few days after that by the free will and vote of every member we elected as our President President de Valera as legal successor to Patrick Pearse, the first President of the Republic, and now, sir, after four months we, who elected him freely, are told that we must turn him down and relegate him to the scrap heap and make room for some English Lord who will come over, not as President of the Republic, but as Governor-General from England. Now, sir, I wonder will the mover of this resolution before the House consider what it cost this country to bring the Republic into being; consider what it has cost the country to place the Dáil and every Member from the President down in the proud position we occupy of being able to make laws for the people who sent us here, and for the country which we love and respect. Does he know what the people had to witness through all these times? They had to witness the best blood of the country poured out so that the Republic might exist; their country devastated; their towns and villages destroyed. There are hundreds of widows and orphans mourning for the loss of their fathers and husbands. There are thousands of parents mourning the loss of their beloved sons. Look at the persecution and tyranny, and yet we are told here that after all these sacrifices we are going to give up the Republic. I say no, and I know what the result will be. This Treaty, this so-called Treaty is dead already, and it only awaits a decent burial because it is not worthy of anything else. Coming to the Treaty itself, so much has been said of the Treaty and the clauses of it, that I need not trouble dealing with it, but I want to make my ground sure. This country is already groaning under severe taxation, and I have not been told what approximately is the amount we are going to pay; whether it is going to be a yearly contribution. If so, and if it is going to be decided by arbitration, who are to be the judges? I know that England is going to trick us again if we are not going to take care of ourselves. We are standing on the brink of a precipice, and if we do not take care we will plunge our country into it. The mover of the resolution told us that this is going to be a final peace. Another distinguished man, whom everybody will remember was no friend of Ireland, Lord Birkenhead, declared in the House of Lords that on the ratification of this Treaty by both Houses of Parliament in Westminster and Dublin, he will consult the Southern Unionists. I wish to say I am sorry that we have not some of the Southern Unionists in this assembly. I say, sir, that every clause of the Treaty wants revision, and not alone does it want revision, but complete obliteration. Mention was made of shadows. Yes, sir, there will be shadows haunting the men of this assembly who will try to filch away the nation's rights. Even shadows of their own selves will be haunting them. I have done my duty to my country for forty years. I make no boast of it. Perhaps I was wearing the prison uniform before some of these men were born, but while I often had to

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    surrender, I never lowered the flag. The mover of the resolution said that with this Treaty he has brought back a flag—I suppose the tricolour. Yes, but with an addition, with the Union Jack in the corner to show the base betrayal. I have done my duty. I will remain in this assembly, and to this assembly only give allegiance, and no matter what pretended Government will be in power here, until this assembly is dissolved by the people of Ireland I will give my best services honestly and faithfully, and I will give my vote to reject this miserable Treaty.

    MR. E. J. DUGGAN:

    I think it is right at the outset that I should state the circumstances under which I signed the Treaty. I was not in Downing Street at this fateful conference you have heard so much about. I was not threatened by Lloyd George. He did not shake papers in my face. I signed the Treaty in the quiet seclusion of 22, Hans Place. I signed it deliberately with the fullest consciousness of my responsibilities to you who sent me there, to the country, to the movement, and to the dead. I stand over my signature. No argument or criticism that has been directed against the Treaty has affected my views as to the attitude that I then took up. I recommend the Treaty to you for your acceptance, and in doing that I am acting in accordance with the wishes of the people who elected me and sent me here. It has been suggested that those who were in Downing Street were bluffed; that they were intimidated; that Michael Collins was threatened and cowed by Lloyd George shaking a piece of paper in his face. Well, Lloyd George for two years tried very much more effective means of cowing Michael Collins than that and he did not succeed. It has also been suggested that two months' residence in London demoralised us to such an extent that we forgot our duty to the people who sent us to London, and it has been suggested, and actually stated, that it was as a result of some influence or pressure of some kind or other that was brought to bear on us there that we signed the Treaty. Now, there was one dominating fact in my mind at the time that I signed it, and it was this, that Britain militarily is stronger than we are. Now, I did not need to go to London to find that out. I knew it before I went to London as well as I knew it in London or know it now. I have known it as long as I have been old enough to know anything. I suppose everybody admits that that is a fact, and we are not giving away any military secret when we state that. Now, before I proceed to deal with this vexed question of who compromised and who stood on the rocks, I should like to say that I shall not indulge in personalities of any kind. I shall confine myself entirely to facts. There is no monopoly of patriotism on either side of this House. There are men on both sides here who have faced death together. There are men who have walked together in times of stress and storm, and there are men who have trusted their lives to each other in times of danger. It should be quite easy for us to discuss this momentous issue in a manner consistent with our own dignity and the honour of our country. That I shall endeavour to do. What were we sent to London for? Does anyone here seriously suggest that the Dáil appointed five plenipotentiaries with their staffs and all the rest of it to go to London to ask the British Government to recognise the Irish Republic. Did it, or did it not?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Act in association.

    MR. DUGGAN:

    We either went to London to ask for recognition of the Irish Republic or we went to compromise. There is no other alternative.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    There is.

    MR. DUGGAN:

    I know what is in the President's mind—external association. External association if it means anything means this, that you go to England and you say, ‘If you recognise the Republic, we will enter into some kind of alliance with you’

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Hear, hear.

    MR. DUGGAN:

    That brings me back to what I said. You sent us to ask recognition of the Irish Republic or you did not—you did either one or the other. Now the President, when he gets up and makes one of his impassioned and eloquent speeches, creates a kind of smoke-screen of words, so that


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    it is almost impossible to see out of it into the world of fact. Now, I am going to try to get to the facts. Who was responsible for the compromise? The whole Cabinet and the whole Dáil and the plenipotentiaries. We were all in the one boat. There is no use blinking the facts any longer. You, the Members of the House, have seen the Cabinet minutes. You have seen the alternative oath. You have seen certain documents which I cannot refer to in public. You have seen document No. 2. Now, there is nothing like documents. You know who compromised, and so do I, and so do the public.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    May I interrupt for one moment? If I am in the same boat—let us say I am—with our friends on the other side, has it anything to do with the question of whether this is a Treaty this nation ought to accept or not? That is the question.

    MR. DUGGAN:

    I am coming to that. We have been more or less put in the dock as compromisers, and we are entitled to defend ourselves. Now, another charge that was made against us was this—that we disobeyed our instructions by not coming back from Downing Street on that Sunday night and submitting the draft Treaty to the Cabinet before signing it. Now, that is unfair. The Cabinet knew, and we knew, because we had got a week's notice, that we would have to give a yes or no answer on a certain day. We came to a Cabinet meeting on a Saturday. We spent a whole day at it; in fact it was scarcely finished when we had to rush away to catch the boat back. We put up the proposals that the Cabinet said we should put up. They were turned down, and had been, two or three times previously. We told the Cabinet they would be turned down, but we carried out their instructions. Negotiations were re-opened, and finally on that last Monday night we in London got two hours to give a yes or no answer. Now, you cannot get from London to Dublin and back in two hours. We were plenipotentiaries, we were responsible to you and to the country, not to the Cabinet. If we had given the answer No that night, and if this country was now in the throes of war, it would be no answer for us to come back to the country and say, ‘We had to do it because the Cabinet told us to come back and do it’. We could not avoid our responsibility that night, and the responsibility which was ours that night is yours now. We have had to come back and answer to you and you will have to answer to the country. We are all equally responsible. There is another point which I don't think anyone mentioned. If we did not sign that Treaty, it would never have come before you for discussion, because negotiations had ended, and there was no more about it. Some people think that when we signed the Treaty we were allocating to ourselves the right to force it down the throats of the Irish people. We did nothing of the kind. Our signature is subject to your ratification, and it is for you to say whether you will ratify it. Our signature has bound you to nothing. Now some people in their criticisms of the Treaty speak as if we had brought home a bag full of sample treaties and that they could choose whichever one they liked. I dislike the Treaty as much as any man or woman here, but that is not the point. The point is you can either take it or refuse it and take the consequences, and I have my own ideas of what the consequences are. Now, what does the Treaty give you? You have been told all the nice things it does not give you. The Treaty gives you your country. The Treaty rids your country of the enemies of your country. You get rid of the Army, you get rid of the whole machinery of Government, you get control of your own money, you make your own Constitution, and you have complete and absolute control of everything within the four seas of Ireland. About the flag? Who is to tell us what flag we shall have? Ourselves. No one else has the right. Who has the right to say what our Ministers are to be called? Ourselves. No one else has the right. Surely we are not going to become slaves when we are free?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    That is just it.

    MR. DUGGAN:

    Who is to say what oath our Army is to take? Ourselves. The Minister of Defence has told us a lot about the discipline of the Army, but I greatly fear if the Minister of Defence asks the Army to take the oath of allegiance to the King he is going


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    to put the discipline of the Army to a very severe test. Just one point—my friend Mr. Kent referred to the Governor-General. Under the terms of the document the Governor-General can only be appointed in consultation with the Irish Ministry. There is a lot of talk about the oath. I know the people are sick of lawyers, interpretations of the oath. What I suggest is that any plain ordinary man of average intelligence reading the oath can see there is only one oath of allegiance and that is to the Free State, and the only other thing in the oath is that you pledge yourself you will be faithful to the bond you are entering into, and that you recognise the King as bead of the Commonwealth you are in.

    MR. STACK:

    Quote the words.

    MR. DUGGAN:

    Now, another thing I have heard, and it surprises me to hear it from people, notwithstanding the extraordinary things we have been able to do under the leadership of the very men who have been saying these things, notwithstanding the wonderful things we have been able to do with the enemy in our country, and in control of the resources of our country and the finances of Government, they seem to suggest that when you get rid of these things and have absolute control of your own country, that we are all going to become demoralised slaves. I say under the terms of that Treaty that if the Irish people cannot achieve their freedom it is the fault of the Irish people and not of the Treaty. I have more faith in Ireland than the people who put forward the other point of view. Now another thing that has been said—and it is a hard thing is, it has been suggested that those who are in favour of the ratification of the Treaty are in some way or another betraying the dead who died for Ireland. Now, I am not going to mention the names of any of the heroic dead who died for Ireland. I do not think this is a fit place to call down their names, but I will say this, that before I put my name to that document I went back in my mind over the last six years. I went back to Richmond Barracks and to Kilmainham. I went back to that morning in Mountjoy when I saw the hangman who was to hang our young lads there. I went back in my mind to the conversations that I had with some of those with whom I had the honour to be associated, whom I knew intimately and well, and amongst these were some of the bravest and ablest soldiers Ireland has ever produced. I say that I shall interpret for myself what their views were and would be if they were here to-day, and that no other man or woman has the right to interpret them for me. Let no man or woman say that I would betray those whom I knew and love and revere. As we are talking about the dead, let us look at that from another angle. Why did England under this Treaty agree to clear out of our country and hand it over to us? Was it because of the efforts of the plenipotentiaries in London? Who was it that won that for Ireland, and that Treaty represents the fruits of the sacrifices of those who have died for Ireland.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    No, it does not.

    MR. DUGGAN:

    It may not give you everything we would like, or they would like, but it represents the fruits of their sacrifices. Let us think seriously before we take it up and throw it back in the faces of the dead, and say it is not good enough for us. Now, we have had a lot of talk about principles. Every man and every woman here is perfectly entitled to go out and fight and die for his own or her own principles, but no man or woman here, or combination of Deputies in this assembly is entitled to sentencee the Irish nation to death.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    Hear, hear.

    MR. DUGGAN:

    As far as I am concerned, my principles will not force me to deprive the people of the measure of freedom that Treaty gives them. Neither will they compel me to force the young men of Ireland out to fight—for what? Not to drive the British Army out of Ireland, but to force it to stay in Ireland. Let us keep to the facts. As I said before, the responsibility that rested upon us that night in London has now devolved upon you. It is a personal responsibility. We are not here to vote for the President on the one side, or Mr. Griffith or Mr. Michael Collins on the other. We have to vote in the interests of Ireland. Each man here has the same responsibility as the President has. If each man and each woman honestly and conscientiously faces the issue and gives


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    his or her vote according to their consciences, I am quite satisfied with the result, whatever it may be. I signed the Treaty, I stand over my signature, and I recommend it to you for acceptance [applause].

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    While we are waiting for another speaker, as this matter has been drawn in so much at the Private Session on the question of the alternative—I protested several times, but of course it is no use—it is useful as a red herring. The specific question that is here before us is the question as to whether we should or should not ratify the Treaty. It does not matter what I said, I am but one person here. The terms of the Treaty are in cold print, and it is that we are discussing. With reference to this oath, it is printed in the morning papers as the alternative oath to the oath that was there. That oath was a verbal suggestion by me when we were criticising not this oath, but another oath that had come up on another occasion. I said that oath as an oath to the King of England as the head of the Commonwealth was inconsistent with our position. I verbally tried to use something that you could take. The word Constitution occurred in both these oaths. In one there was not a vestige of British authority left in Ireland, and in the other case, this oath of the Treaty is the oath in which the British King must be recognised as head of the Irish State. There is a tremendous difference, although the same words are used in both.

    MR. P. J. RUTTLEDGE:

    I as a private Member of this House have refrained during the grave moments of discussion from identifying myself with one side or another in Private Session or Public Session up to the moment. I had two main reasons for sustaining myself in that attitude, and they were these: The first was that in a grave issue such as this no Member could take a definite stand on one side or the other until he had heard every tittle or iota which would help to clear his mind and decide the stand he would take. And the other was lest I might contribute one tittle or iota to widen the gulf that I could see was gradually opening up in this House. Now, before I cast my vote I feel that the duty devolves on me, a duty I owe to the people I represent, to express here publicly and plainly my position. I take my stand against that Treaty. I take it not on sentiment as I am not a sentimentalist, but I take it on principle. I will always stand on principle to my own conscience. I do not suggest, far be it from me, that the men on the other side or that there is anyone who would deviate from principle according to his conscience, but I have satisfied my own conscience clearly, definitely and positively that the principle that I must follow, and that I have always consistently followed, is the Irish Republic. I challenge anyone to say that in the document that is put before the House that there is not an inconsistency and that there is not a compromise. Now I regret to say that in this Dáil two attitudes are being taken by what I will for the moment call the other side. First they have said that it means freedom and independence, and again it is stated that it contains reservations. If it was stated in this House that it was a step to freedom I would be with them in that belief, but to try to convince me as a private Member of this House that this is either freedom or independence, great as is the respect I have for those with whom I have worked in the past, I say I do not admit it. Now, in the few words I desire to contribute to this debate, I will not adopt the attitude which I regret was adopted last evening by a respected Member of this House. The attitude he had taken up was this—that it was apparent that perhaps arguments might not convince the House, but personal attacks might. There was the cold argument, but to me it appeared an illogical argument—unfortunately I am a legal man. Cold argument was put up and that based on facts, and the facts stand and they have not yet been turned down, and that was the argument of Mr. Erskine Childers. If anyone seeks to turn that argument down, let them do it, not by personal attacks, but let them meet the facts by argument. Now, one of the things that strikes me in this Treaty before the House—as I heard it described last evening in some degree—in an analysis with the Act of Union—I say comparing it with the Act of Union, there is one ingredient, one characteristic in this Act that was in the Act of Union, and that is that it was obtained by force. I do not wish to say or to quote anything but on the facts that have been set out in this


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    House. We have Deputy Barton's explanation, and what can I or any man deduce from it but that there was force, the threat of a terrible and immediate war. For 120 years we have been discussing and criticising that the act of Union was obtained by fraud and corruption. This was not obtained by fraud and corruption, but it is absolutely conclusive on the evidence that it was obtained by force. I must pay a tribute to the honest speech of Mr. O'Higgins, the Assistant Minister of the Local Government Board, on the other side. He faces the facts. The facts were, he said, that it was a measure of liberty, and he said that the Ministers of this country would be his Majesty's Ministers. That is the way to face the facts and have no quibbling about them. I like the man who faces what is before him in that light rather than the man who tries to treat us as a lot of schoolboys, because we are not. He told the House honestly that the Ministers of the new Government of the Irish Free State were his Majesty's Ministers. About that there is no argument, and I am glad to hear it stated from the other side, as I am, unfortunately, obliged to call them. There has been a lot of reference to the oath. To my mind the oath presents very little difficulty for anyone to argue upon. It has been dealt with at length by Deputy Hogan. I will deal with it in this way. First you have an oath to the Constitution of the Irish Free State, and that Constitution is formed in the four boundaries of that Treaty, and the oath to the Constitution of the Irish Free State is within the boundaries of that document. It has been stated in this House that you can call the Constitution what you like and that you can draft the Constitution any way you like. Can you? Is there a veil or fog tried to be thrust over our eyes? Do you think, or does any man think, that you can call this new Constitution the Irish Republic? You cannot call it an Irish Republic, and that is what we are longing for and looking for. I challenge you to do it within the four boundaries of that document, and it must be within the boundaries of that document. I say that your oath to the Constitution of the Irish Free State is an oath to Great Britain. The next argument I put forward is as regards the second part of the oath—‘And that I will be faithful to his Majesty King George V., his heirs and successors’. Now in that there is a quibble. I do not say that these quibbles are not sincere. I am prepared to stand before any court or constitutional lawyers that try to make out there is a difference between faithfulness and fidelity as against allegiance which occur. Those lawyers who try to make out the difference between faithfulness and allegiance should go back for a moment to the Brehon laws, and they will find what fealty means there. In Roman law it will be found that fealty was the thing that a slave had to give to his master. I am open to meet any constitutional or would-be constitutional lawyer in this country on that point, that fealty was exacted on the manumission of a slave by his master. Where is there now the difference? At what time did fealty change? When did the transformation take place? I am not aware of it. I think, and I challenge anyone to prove to the contrary, that fealty was not the position under which a slave was faithful under the Roman law, which is the foundation of the British law. That is the way I account for the oath. I look at it like this from a thoroughly conscientious point of view, and no matter how it is argued, nothing will convince me that I should put my conscience under my own heel in order to grasp some transient, ephemeral interest. The facts are there. I do not take up a sentimental attitude, and for that reason I agree with those on the other side who object to dragging in here the bones of the dead. Many of the men who are dead would have taken their stand, some one side, and some probably on the other. There is no good in an argument based on such a thing. It is only the merest chance that the Minister of Finance, the President, or other prominent Members are not dead, and then, too, I suppose if they were dead it would be asked would they have done such a thing. I think that argument is not an effective one. It is begging the question. It is one of these arguments given to the House based sometimes on sentiment and sometimes on reason—that the major premises were one thing, and the minor premises another thing—that leads to no conclusion. There is no use in following them up and pursuing them because you cannot get to anything definite. Another point made by Deputy Hogan was that he said France could give away

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    parts of her territory and not take away from her Constitution.

    MR. HOGAN:

    On a point of order, I did not.

    Mr. RUTTLEDGE:

    Well, I put down the exact words at the time.

    Mr. HOGAN:

    What I did say was that in a Treaty with England she could give her control of certain ports without taking one iota from her status.

    MR. RUTTLEDGE:

    There was another matter in the debate. We have heard arguments that there was no real difference between the two documents. We had it spread in circulation in the Press that there was no difference between the two documents. Well, Deputy Duggan has admitted that one meant a Republic and the other did not. I hope there will be no more of this quibbling. I do not see why there should be such a terrible effort to obscure the issue.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Mr. Duggan is not here and he made no such statement as that.

    MR. RUTTLEDGE:

    I do not want to take advantage of any Deputy. I take it that Deputy Duggan in his statement put it forward that external association meant recognition of the Republic. I am speaking subject to contradiction. This is a grave matter. I will not try to take advantage of any man. Everyone here is able to answer for himself, but Mr. Duggan is not in the room. There is a lot of talk about sovereign status—I refer to constitutional lawyers or would-be constitutional lawyers. I am not trying to drag legal matters into this if I could avoid them, but they have been dragged in, and that is why I am trying to remove any misapprehensions in the mind of the Dáil. They talk about sovereign status, and they try to make out they could prove it, but at any rate did not prove it—that Canada was independent practically, and that she had sovereign status. Very well. Let us take Canada for a moment. Now Canada has appointed by the British Crown a Governor-General, and Canada's Constitution is embodied in an Act of the British Imperial Parliament. There is no getting away from that fact. No one here will try to argue away the character of that status. According to statements made in support of the Treaty we are to be put on the same basis as Canada. The Governor-General of Canada is appointed by the British Crown in accordance with an act of the Imperial Parliament. Where, I ask, does the question of equality come in there? No more than it comes in in the question of master and slave, of fealty and faithfulness. It was not made clear to the House on the first days what we were doing or what we were accepting. We had full freedom and independence subject to nobody we were told, but now it has been cleared up in discussion, and we know that we go into the British Empire as British subjects and that the Army of this country is the Army of Great Britain and that our Ministers are his Majesty's Ministers. If these facts were stated at first it might have saved a lot of useless argument. It is better to face the facts as we have them than to try to get away with something we cannot prove. There are two forms of authority, and I will state them, and no constitutional lawyer, or would-be constitutional lawyer, would differ with me in this. There is an authority that comes down and an authority that goes up. One comes from the King down, and the other goes from the people up. Now, I challenge contradiction on that—that there are those two forms of authority, one that goes from the King down, and the other that goes from the people up. If you try to establish that you are a Sovereign State you must derive your authority from the people up. But under this thing, call it a Treaty or Articles of Agreement, it comes from the King and through the Governor-General down. If I were arguing on document No. 2 that would be made plain. It does not permit of one moment's argument that authority comes from the King down and from the people up. That is admitted by every constitutional authority. Here we are standing on the authority that comes from the King down. I would have much preferred to see that everyone faced the facts as they were before him, and that there was no drawing of red herrings across any discussion. I know well that every Member of this House realises to the full the responsibility on his shoulders, and that it is no time for a quibble one way or another. Now I always understood—a misconception, unfortunately, on my part—that Treaties were always


    p.102

    concluded after war, but apparently this was a Treaty concluded on the opening of war, a really intensified, terrible, and immediate war. For that reason this Treaty has no precedent. I do not know of any, I am sure. Some Members of this House may be better informed, but I have not come across any such case. That makes this Treaty very different from anything that I have come across. What the country wants is peace with honour. I have judged the people of this country very badly if they would take any peace, a peace with dishonour. Now I am not making any reflection on anybody. What can I go on but the evidence of Mr. Barton, when he clearly explained that his signature was put to that document by force. Is it to be suggested that a Treaty got by force is honourable? If it was honourable the element of force—the threat of war—could not have been in it. We heard a good deal in the discussion here about the people we represent. I am conscious of the responsibility that rests on me as a Member of this House in representing a western constituency. I am prepared to go to the people and tell them, ‘You elected me on the declaration I made to you that I was a Republican and nothing else’, and I will say to them that my honour is at stake, and that my own conscience will not allow me to do this thing. No matter bow I struggle with my conscience, it would not let me do that—to deviate from the straight uncompromising path of an Irish Republican. If the people desire to withdraw the confidence they gave me, they may do so, and my good wishes with them, but whatever influence that any section of the people may have, I do not think they would exert it against any person who tries to justify his action on the grounds of conscience. Peace with honour to me means peace between two equals, and if it is peace between equals there cannot be an element of force. We should face facts, and the facts are these. My contention is that you may compromise on unessentials, but on essentials you cannot compromise. On the matter of this Treaty you were asked to compromise on what is essential. I cannot construe it as anything else but essential, and I stand over principles, uncompromising principles, against compromise and expediency.

    Adjourned to 3.30). On resuming after the adjournment, the SPEAKER took the chair at 3.45.

    Mr. M. COLLINS:

    There have been references made to inaccurate reporting in the Press, and for the facility of the Press I suggest that any Members rising to speak should come up to the table, because the Press cannot hear them. I have been at the back of the hall and you cannot be heard from these corners. It is only fair to the Press and fair to the assembly that that should be done.

    THE SPEAKER:

    I already intended to do that—to ask each Deputy as he spoke to come up to the end of the table.

    ALDERMAN W. T. COSGRAVE:

    We have been listening for some days to various and varying opinions—legal opinions, I should say—from both sides of the House as to what this means or what that means. And latterly these opinions have been centering around the relative distinctions as between faithfulness and allegiance, and we have learned to-day that faithfulness is from a slave to a master, and that allegiance is only from a subject to a king. That is not the interpretation the man in the street puts upon it, and that is not my interpretation. A Doctor of Divinity in explaining this matter to me in connection with the oath points out that one can be faithful to an equal. And it is in that sense that I interpret this oath, and I believe I gave expression in the Cabinet to the opinion that this oath could be interpreted whatever way you looked at it. If you were sufficiently prejudiced on the one side to say that it was an oath of allegiance, you were entitled to do so, and if that be the interpretation of those who are against ratification of the Treaty, I make them a present of it. My interpretation of it is that in this commonwealth or association each of the members is equal; and if that be wrong, I think we will find ourselves in the company of some distinguished constitutional lawyers. Now practically every possible phase of this Treaty has been discussed, and there is very little for those who are taking part in this debate now to deal with except statements or interpretations of this instrument that have been made before. I concern myself with one or two of these. We were told that we of Dáil Eireann ‘having declared its independence should approve of and ratify


    p.103

    a Treaty deliberately relinquishing and abandoning it’. That is the Press quotation of a man who has been looked upon, I believe, by those who have been against ratification as one of the ablest exponents of the reason why it should not be ratified. We have declared our independence. If x be absolute independence and y be independence, we are told that we are abandoning what is the relative value of x and y to one another. X, in my opinion, would equal y if you put minus £42,000,000 per annum and 60,000 English troops and a foreign judiciary, or, what was worse, a venal local one with venal professions, and people who are aping English customs and practices, with raids and seizures on public and private buildings, the opening of private correspondence, and so on. That is, in my opinion, the real difference between x and y [applause]. We are told that we are abandoning a declaration of independence. Well, everybody who has taken part in this struggle knows what it meant, and knows what it involved, and what it cost the people of this country. It means the arresting of every national development and improvement in this country. It means that the English Parliament has got the power that it has of 60,000 troops behind it to put its authority into practice. We have resisted it magnificently, and some of the best of those who resisted it are in this House for the ratification of the Treaty. Criticism has been made of the statement that was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, that this was a final settlement, and it was contrasted with the statement that was made by the Minister of Finance, who is reported or criticised to have said ‘a settlement that is not final’. Now, what are the words of the Minister of Finance, because he at least cannot be charged with any unfairness in connection with this debate; or anything in connection with these proceedings [hear, hear]. And here let me say that he is reported to have said that ‘in my judgment it is not a definition of any status that would secure us that status; it is the power to hold and to make secure and to increase what we have gained’[applause]. Does any man who is against ratification take exception to that statement? Is he entitled in honour to make that statement? He is, and, in my opinion, the people who are for that Treaty are entitled to carry out to the letter every syllable that is in that document. I listened with great patience to some very long speeches this afternoon, but you have set the example yourselves. Now, I think we have examined that declaration of independence that was given to us, and I think that even those who have made that statement cannot challenge those who are voting for the ratification of the Treaty as having abandoned any vital issue in connection with that declaration. We were told that we did not make it plain at the elections that we stood for Dominion Home Rule. Was it made plain to the people that we were standing for association, either external or internal. Did anybody stand up before any audience in Ireland and say: ‘I am standing for association with the Commonwealth of Nations, and to associate with it the national aspirations of the Irish people’. I think that it is only right that the people should understand what the position is. Now just before the adjournment I heard a very able speech—I regret that I was not in for the whole of it—and exception was taken to the position of the King and the position of the Governor-General under this instrument. The Canadian law was, I believe, quoted. Well, I have a document here before me which states: ‘The status of Canada in law is that it is a subordinate dependent of Britain holding her self-governing rights under a British act of Parliament which can legally be repealed or amended without Canada's consent’ ‘

    hear, hear

    ’. That is the law. This is the fact, and it is written immediately underneath it: ‘Canada is by the full admission of British statesmen equal in status to Great Britain and as free as Great Britain’. Do you say ‘hear, hear to that?’ [applause]. In Mr. Bonar Law's words, she has complete control over her own destiny. Now I hope I am not contravening any of our own regulations when I am reading from this document, but I think there is nothing in it which would leave me open to exception. ‘In law the British Parliament can make laws for Canada with or without Canada's consent, and in law British acts in Canada over-ride Canadian acts where there is any conflict between them’. That is the law, and immediately underneath it is written: ‘In fact Canada alone can legislate for

    p.104

    Canada’. ‘Veto on legislation. In law the British Government, through the Governor-General of Canada, and in the name of the Crown, can veto Canadian bills. In fact’, is written underneath it, ‘it cannot. Canada's Constitution. In law it can only be altered by the British Parliament’, and underneath is written: ‘In fact this is a pure technicality. Canada, and Canada alone, can alter her Constitution’. ‘No. 5.—The Crown in Canada. In law the Crown is the supreme authority in Canada. In fact the Crown has no authority in Canada. It signifies sentiment only. In law there is an Oath of Allegiance to the Crown in Canada. In fact the Canadian owns obedience to his own Constitution only’. Now that is the dope that the delegation had to make up the medicine that they have given to us. I think they did rather well. ‘The Governor-General of Canada in law is the nominee of the British Cabinet only. In fact he is the joint nominee of the Canadian and the British Cabinets’.

    A MEMBER:

    Who wrote this?

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    I stated that the authority was a remarkably good one. I am quoting from a document that I believe will not be—

    MR. CHILDERS:

    Whose is it?

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    It is tabled by ‘E. C. November 29th, 1921’[applause]. Mr. Childers, I understand. Now I hope we have made that point clear.

    MR. CHILDERS:

    I thought the Deputy was going to proceed, but he is not. Might I ask him to hand me the document for a moment. I daresay all present here will recognise that what be read out is precisely what I said in my own speech the other night, pointing out that Ireland could not possibly be in the same position as Canada. That memorandum began thus: ‘Ireland has been offered the position of a dominion, subject, however, to conditions in connection with defence and tariffs which are inconsistent with dominion rights. Ireland is not a British colony, but an ancient and distinct nation with an inherent right to independence. Nevertheless, supposing an offer of full and complete status was made, what would be the effect upon Ireland? Take Canada, for example. Canada has a legal position and a constitutional position, two wholly different things’.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    On a point of order.

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    Leave him alone. He is making it as clear as mud.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I want to make the House appear like an assembly of legislators before the public. I don't want men jumping up every minute when their statements are challenged.

    THE SPEAKER:

    What is the point of order?

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    The point of order is this: the Deputy for Wicklow has already spoken in this. Some of my statements are challenged, and if he rises to reply, I have equally the right of reply. For goodness' sake let us conduct this discussion properly. The interruptions are all from the other side.

    THE SPEAKER:

    I might be allowed to do my best to conduct this discussion properly. I understand that the Deputy who was speaking gave way to Mr. Childers to explain the document, and it is for that Deputy if he likes to object.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Statements have been made about me and what I said, and I have not replied to them. I want to know is Mr. Childers allowed to discuss his own document which he handed to us, when he has already spoken, and if we are to be gagged from replying to Mr. Childers' associates?

    THE SPEAKER:

    Am I right in taking it that the Deputy who was speaking has given way to Mr. Childers to speak concerning the document that was quoted?

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    To tell you the honest truth, I wanted a moment or two. I don't know whether if we are going to discuss all those documents and read them all at such length we will ever get to the business. I believe I was right to extract from documents any relevant matters affecting this question I was dealing with. It is for you


    p.105

    to say whether the Deputy is in order or not.

    THE SPEAKER:

    The Deputy was not in order in interrupting your speech unless you gave way to him.

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    I will give way to him.

    MR. CHILDERS:

    It is a matter of universal fairness in all the assemblies of the world that when a part of a document is read that the writer can demand that the whole of it be read. I have six lines more: ‘Take the legal position and the constitutional position—the Law and the Fact—in turn, remembering that in Ireland, lying close to English shores, there would be nothing to prevent legal controls being enforced, and the Law made the Fact’.

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    I was not paying very much attention to the deputy when he was speaking, but I am concerned with one or two words in the paragraph of this instrument which refers to what is called ‘The practice of Constitutional Usage’. I am banking upon that, and I think I am entitled to do that. He complains that the Minister of Finance passed lightly over the clause concerning the ports, that he did less than justice to the subject. I believe there are something like ten or twelve lines from the Minister of Finance dealing with this matter, and he certainly, in my opinion, did justice to it. But I go on and I find that the Deputy said further that the clause in question said that Ireland was unfit to be entrusted with her own coastal defence. ‘In that clause was the most humiliating condition that could be inflicted on any nation claiming to be free’. Now I didn't read into that clause that Ireland was unfitted to be entrusted with her own coastal defence. I believe in another place the Deputy for Wicklow stated that the coastal defence was to be settled permanently—for ever and ever.

    MR. CHILDERS:

    I said occupation of ports under Clause 7.

    Alderman COSGRAVE:

    I cannot find exactly the words, and I wish you had interrupted me a little longer. ‘Clause 7 said’, Mr. Childers declared, ‘that permanently and for ever some of the most important ports were to be occupied by British troops’. Now I am not going to read this particular instrument, but Clause No. 7 says: ‘the Government of the Irish Free State shall afford to his Majesty's Imperial forces (a) such harbour and other facilities, etc’. and neither the words ‘for ever’nor ‘permanently’is in either part of that document. Now we are dealing fairly with one another, and we had better have the truth out. That statement is certainly not in accordance with the facts, and the Deputy for Wicklow is an honest man and he is reported here as having said that ‘permanently’ and ‘for ever’were included in that clause. They are not. I will tell you the particular instrument that they were possibly included in—the Act of Union, and this instrument wipes that out ‘permanently’ and ‘for ever’ [applause]. Now this Treaty has been criticised, belittled, and, I believe, slandered to an extent that certainly surprised me. It represents work that has been done in five years; greater than was accomplished by Emmet, O'Connell, Mitchell, Davis, Smith O'Brien, and Parnell, down even to Mr. Redmond with a united country behind him. In five years it has accomplished more than the best of those people hoped for. References have been made to Grattan's Parliament at the Private Session and the public Session. What was Grattan's Parliament? Did these people who spoke of Grattan's Parliament think that it was an injustice to this country to be deprived of it, and did the honourable and gallant—and I believe he has some claim to the title of rev.—Deputy from Wexford think it when he was addressing this Congress here yesterday. I recollect when I was very young in the Sinn Fein movement he was in it. I believe our Ambassador from Paris was in it too, but I think that the basis of the Sinn Fein movement at that time was the restoration of that Parliament of the King, Lords and Commons of Ireland. The gallant Deputy at that time was evidently a Royal Republican [applause]. A Republican from his boyhood I believe he told us he was. He must have omitted this particular period when he was a member of the Sinn Fein movement.

    MR. ETCHINGHAM:

    I wish you had to come to confession to me [laughter].


    p.106

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    Now the Deputy from Wicklow made a statement with which I am in entire agreement, that the freedom and the liberties of the people of Ireland could only be given away by the people of Ireland. We represent the people here—at least we think we do—and the people certainly have got a right to be heard on this question. Is there any fear of putting it up to them? [‘No’]. They have the right to get it put before them. [‘Yes’]. And they have the right to decide it? [‘Certainly’]. I think they have. Are you going to object to their having a decision on it? [‘No, no’]. And you will abide by it? [‘Certainly’]. Now, if we get that far, I think there is a great chance of healing up the difference between us. For over two-and-a-half years this Cabinet has worked loyally and well together and I certainly can pay a tribute to every member of it. I have known them to work night and day in the interests of the nation, men who thought no trouble too great to take at any time, and I should say that the two men who typified the best type of Irishmen I have ever known are the President and the Minister of Finance [applause]. I recollect four or five years ago the President spending six, seven and eight hours a day at meetings bringing people together and getting them to see common ground upon which they would work together: and would it not be a lamentable thing that, having come to this crisis, that we should now separate. I think the nation is deserving of the support of every one of its sons and daughters and that there should be no division with the people or with one another. Let us do what we can to let the people have their way. Now great exception was taken to a name—the name of the King and the Governor-General. Well, they are here now. The courts are functioning in their names.

    MR. STACK:

    What courts?

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    Their courts. They are functioning. They may not be doing much business, but they are there for a very long time.

    MR. STACK:

    Whose courts?

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    Their courts. There is not much terror in the name, even when it is backed up by armaments and equipment and motor lorries and tanks; and we are told to be terribly in dread of this new man who is to come as Governor-General. Now, I ask any man who votes for the ratification of the Treaty, does he really care a damn about the Governor-General? I don't believe that he does. We are told by the Deputy from Wicklow that we cannot prevent them landing troops if this instrument is ratified. I wonder could we prevent them now.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Well, we tried it a few times.

    THE PRESIDENT:

    An agreement is an agreement, and this agreement is before the world and has attracted universal attention.

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    The President is surprised. He would like to get up and say a few words. The Minister of Finance lays special stress upon the fact that what was felt more deeply than anything else by this country was the peaceful penetration of the enemy. It is typified in every walk of life in the country. The best colleges play the foreign games. The President can bear me out in that [applause]. At the race meetings one sees the Union Jack. I believe the Minister for Home Affairs can bear me out in that. I don't know what the Minister of Defence does in his idle moments. I cannot get him to bear me out in anything. All I knew him to be interested in was in shooting, and even in the rifle-clubs that were established before the Volunteers the Union Jack floated over them. So that we have evidence that the peaceful penetration of the enemy was right in every fibre of our national life. Now, sir, if there is one thing more than another which this movement has done it is that it has captured the imagination and support of Southern Unionists as they have been known. I believe that there is no such thing as a Southern Unionist at all, and if there is any he is only fit for the Museum. This instrument gives us an opportunity of capturing the Northern Unionists and that is a proposition worthy of our best consideration; and with a generous invitation to cultivate and recognise our national identity, and to help us in putting this country in its


    p.107

    proper place, I believe that we would effect a united country in a way that was never done before. They are great citizens of this nation even though they differ from us, and it must be said whatever the Delegation has done no one here has suggested any better method of dealing with them than that laid down here. Criticised it may have been, held up to public odium, but no alternative was suggested, and, as far as that was concerned, even their critics must, to use an Americanism, ‘hand it to the Delegation’. One question that has not been put at all is this: If you could have a choice for a Republic with twenty-six counties, would you have it or a Dominion for the whole of Ireland? If such a choice were put up my money would be on the Dominion, not per se on the Dominion, but because it would effect that unification that ought to be effected in Ireland, to make the North realise that they are noble citizens of the country and to make them realise that they should devote their energies to what it should be. I would like to know from the little Deputy from Monaghan what he has got. He certainly has neither one nor the other. I don't believe that he has even got Document No. 2. Now, sir, one simple incident that may not be known to the Members of this House—Members of Dáil Eireann, I should say—Pro- British firms who have never been in sympathy with the National movement, who have always opposed it, and who dismissed men who took part in the Rising of 1916, and men who have been imprisoned since then, have within the last few weeks sent for every man knocked off their list by reason of they being connected with the movement since 1916. That shows the change that has taken place in the minds of those conducting business in Ireland, that they must bow before the will of the people, and that the will of the people has come to stay. I notice on the hoardings outside occasionally some criticism of the Irish Free State. I believe we are responsible for the name ourselves, but now that the English Government has agreed to give it to us we don't like it. Saorstát na hEireann, a title and term honoured in July, now is a term of reproach. It is an extraordinary thing—what Mr. Dooley would call ‘a reversal of public form’. Now I was rather struck by the speech of the Minister for Finance, and I would personally hand it to him for his speech in this assembly. It was a remarkable contribution to the subject we are discussing. two words he mentioned were of vital importance, ‘security’ and ‘freedom’. Those who are criticising the ports being left for a period of five years in the bands of the British should realise that, after all, there must be some defence of them. We have not yet come to that period in which we could say, ‘Let there be a submarine’, and that it would come forth at once. While we are getting fitted up we must have something, and I consider that clause a reasonable inclusion in the instrument, in my opinion. We have been told that there was a 750 years' war. I am neither a young nor an old man, and if my recollection is quite correct the war has only gone on for five years during the last forty years, and then during the whole of that period it was not in operation. There was what you could call ‘a suspension of hostilities’ now and then, and, if my recollection is correct, we were criticised for bringing about war at all five years ago by some people. Now, sir, if the alternative to that document means war, there are one or two things that we ought to keep before us. One is that well-equipped armies may not win a war. That is one for John Bull. And one for ourselves is that the economic situation is not such in this country at this moment that would justify us in taking the risk of precipitating war. The Minister for Economies or his substitute Minister had not during the Private Session or up to this referred to the economic situation in bringing about war. Here in the capital of Ireland there are something like 20,000 families living in single-room tenement dwellings, and are these the people you are going to ask to fight for you? It is not fair, I submit. To my mind, when I first saw this instrument, it appeared that there were potentialities in it undreamt of in this country up to this time. If as a result of the successful working and administration of this act that that gradual improvement that has been outlined in a semi-prophetic fashion by the Minister of Finance was brought about and the ideals this country struggled for generations should come to pass, it might possibly be within the bounds of certainty that a reconciliation would be effected between the new world and the old; that these two great countries

    p.108

    would be able to keep the peace not only of themselves but the world, working for the best interests of Humanity, assisted by the civilisation and culture of this country, improved by people who have never had an opportunity in their lives of developing their own nation in their own way and effecting world improvements in problems that have never been solved and that are not even in the way of being solved. Some American jingoes, or whatever they are, very much fear that that sort of thing will come to pass. It may even be possible from the influence that would be exercised by the Irish Free State to effect improvements in these down-trodden nationalities such as Egypt and India.

    MESSRS. COLLINS AND GRIFFITH:

    Hear, hear.

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    And any matter in their state would be a matter of security to the Irish Free State. Now, I think it is right that the point that was made by the Minister of Finance should be emphasised, and that is that if they did not agree to sign this Treaty this is not the instrument that would be put before you. When they went back to London on that fateful Saturday, four remarkable improvements took place in the document that they brought back. The first is absolute and entire control over the taxation of commodities coming into the country. Personally I don't believe that there will be much taxation on these things, but, at any rate, you have got the right—the right was admitted. The second item was in connection with the oath. Well, I suppose everyone has his own conscience, but some people say they are more conscientious than others. As an ordinary common or garden man—may I accept that interpretation of it?—I have not got the constitutional lawyer's mind, the solicitor's mind, or even the mind of an idealist, but an ordinary business man's mind, and I see nothing objectionable in it, absolutely. And all the oratory I have heard on the other side has not convinced me that it is objectionable. I believe I heard the President on one occasion state if you are prepared to make a bargain, why would you not be prepared to be faithful to it.

    THE PRESIDENT:

    Hear, hear.

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    Very well, then. Is this a bargain or is it not? It is a bargain.

    THE PRESIDENT:

    It is not.

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    Very well, then, the objection is not to the oath at all but to the bargain. I am fair at making bargains myself. I believe on one occasion, Mr. President, when you said to me that you were sure Lloyd George was a tricky man, I said to you, ‘I suppose if he were not you would be very honest with him’.

    THE PRESIDENT:

    I don't remember the conversation, I must say.

    ALDERMAN COSGRAVE:

    I suppose it is right to say that you would not try to get the better of him. I think that is about all I have to say. I believe, sir, the loss of the President to the Free State should this instrument be approved would be a terrible loss. I believe the loss of the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Finance would be equally irreparable. I know the Minister for Defence. My own conviction is that except for war he is not worth a damn for anything else, but that he is a great man for war I bear witness to, because even when the spark of life was practically gone out of him he was as full of fight as when be was going into it. Whether I have made a ease for signing the Treaty or not, I think that Dáil Eireann is in better humour now than when I started, and I now formally approve, recommend, and support the Treaty.

    MISS M. MACSWINEY:

    It has been said by many Deputies when they rose to speak that they would try to keep the House as short a time as possible. I, too, shall do that, but I am sorry that I cannot promise that it will be very short, for I rise to speak with the deepest and fullest sense of my responsibility, not only to those who sent me here, but to the whole Irish nation which now is to make a decision fateful—far more fateful than was the decision made in 1800, for with all the allusions made to Grattan's parliament, one thing has not been said: that is that it wasn't the Parliament of the people. It was a Parliament representing, or supposed to be representing, only one-fifth of the people of Ireland, and


    p.109

    even then by means of undemocratic elections. It did not faithfully represent even 20 per cent of the Irish people. But this Parliament represents in a very real sense the Irish nation, and it was sent here to represent to the world their demand for a free and unfettered government of their own, the ideal of self-determination, of which we had heard so much in recent years. Many Deputies have got up in their places and spoken here—Ministers and ordinary Deputies—as if we, who stand for what the Irish people want in their heart of hearts, want to choke the voice of the Irish people. That is an absolutely wrong and wicked statement, and in their heart of hearts they know it. We have no reason to fear the people, for we are true to the ideal which they sent us here to represent. On the 24th of last May the re-elections took place for this assembly, and whatever the Members chosen in December, 1918, may have to say for themselves, the new Members were chosen because the people who sent them here believed that on no account whatever could they he brought to compromise. I say that to the young soldiers and others who stand here since last May as I do; they were elected, as I was elected, because the people who sent them here believed that they would never compromise. Dr. MacCartan—and I am sorry that he is not here to listen to what I have to say, but it is the custom at the other side of the House, as soon as a speaker stands up against ratification of the Treaty, the young men walk out with their heads up, like their going into the British Empire. There is talk of your duty to your constituents. The most reasoned, the most excellent statement on the good and bad points of this Treaty presented to you was given by Mr. Erskine Childers, and the young Deputies who of themselves cannot possibly know the pros and cons did their duty to their constituents by walking out and not listening. Their minds were already made up. Is that your duty to your constituents? I maintain it is not. Deputies here have alluded to the will of the people with dramatic force. I stand here for the will of the people, and the will of the people of Ireland is for their freedom, which this so-called Treaty does not give them. The will of the people was expressed in December, 1918. The will of the people was expressed in the manifesto which sent every one of you here. And I ask any one of you voting for this Treaty what chance would you have if on the 24th of last May you came out for Dominion Home Rule. If Sir Horace Plunkett stood against Mr. Kevin O'Higgins last May, what chance would he have? None whatever. There is the will of the people, and well you know it. Here in this assembly, if it could be possible for you, would you representatives of the people do what the wicked, unscrupulous people in the Parliament of 1800 did, and sell the rights of the people as you alone can do? That does not mean to say you have taken money for them, but sell them for the mess of pottage in that so-called Treaty. Control of your money: you say you have control of your purse, control of your army, control of your finance, your education, and the evacuation of the army out of Ireland. Mr. Churchill, whom we all know is the enfant terrible of the British Government because he is always giving away what they mean but don't choose to say, has declared that the grant of fiscal autonomy did not matter, because Great Britain held Irish prosperity in the hollow of her hand. You are getting an army, you say. Mr. Churchill assures the English people as to the right given to Ireland to raise a defence force, that he was certain the force which was raised by Ireland would not be beyond the power of the British Empire to control. On the contrary, and make no mistake about it, if you sign that Treaty Mr. Churchill is right. You talk about evacuation of our territory by the British forces as soon as the Treaty is ratified. I have not got anybody to tell me whether this is a Treaty or whether it is articles of agreement. You call it a Treaty. Not a single official of the British Government has called it a Treaty anyhow, but let that pass. We will call it a Treaty anyway. Mr. Lloyd George has said in his letter to Mr. Arthur Griffith: ‘We propose to begin by withdrawing the military and auxiliary forces of the Crown in Southern Ireland when the articles of agreement are ratified’. Therefore they will be kept in Northern Ireland if Britain so wills. And take that statement ‘when the articles of agreement are ratified’in connection with Article 18 of the Treaty: ‘This instrument shall be submitted forthwith by his Majesty's

    p.110

    Government for the approval of Parliament’—not ratification you will notice—‘and by the Irish signatories to a meeting summoned for the purpose of the Members elected to sit in the House of Commons of Southern Ireland, and, if approved, shall be ratified by the necessary legislation’. Therefore this assembly is not, as has been already pointed out, competent to deal with the matter at all. We are not the Members elected to sit in the Parliament of Southern Ireland. We are the Members elected to sit in the assembly of the Irish Republic.

    MR. MILROY:

    Under a British act of Parliament.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    Yes, under a British act of Parliament, for until our Government was functioning we had no machinery to act otherwise. The Deputy who has spoken knows perfectly well, as well as every intelligent man listening to me knows, that if we had refused to use that act of Parliament against the enemy himself, what would have happened was that all the Southern Unionists, gombeen men and other good-for-nothing, soulless, characterless men would have gone up for that Southern Irish Parliament and legalised partition. Moreover, in this assembly there sits at least one Member who holds a seat for Northern Ireland and has no seat in Southern Ireland at all, and, therefore, this assembly is not legally entitled, even by that instrument, to approve or disapprove of this agreement. But, allowing that we approve of it. If approved, it will be ratified by the necessary legislation, and Lloyd George says the Army will go out when it is ratified. Now, watch Lloyd George. He will take some watching. He is known in every Chancellory in Europe as the most unscrupulous trickster that has ever occupied an honourable office. As far as we in Ireland are concerned, the office which he holds never has been an honourable office, but in his own country it is supposed to be so. And never has a more unscrupulous scoundrel sat in the seats of the mighty than Lloyd George. There is no Government in Europe that trusts his word. Will you do it? It has been said here, moreover, that the people would rush at this, that the people would ratify it. That I deny. The people might have last Thursday morning, because the people had not read or studied it. I know myself of several instances where people seeing the names of those signatories to that document threw up their hats in the air and cried, ‘Hurrah, peace at last’, without ever knowing that there was an oath to the English King in it. In trying to make some amusing points—some flippant points against one of the Members of this assembly—the last speaker mentioned Sinn Fein, that they were members of Sinn Fein once together, and all Sinn Fein stood for then was the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland. That is perfectly true of many Members here—I for one say it has never been true of me, or anyone belonging to me. We absolutely refused to join Sinn Fein until Sinn Fein became Republican. It is absolutely true to say that that Treaty as it is given to you was the be-all and the end-all of Sinn Fein's existence up to 1918. It is the darling and the pet of Mr. Arthur Griffith's life. He has talked to us; he has shown how the Irish Party were fooled by Lloyd George or Lloyd George's predecessors. He has talked about 1782 and getting back to it. Some of us in 1917 had some trouble to make him use the word Republic. He did not believe in a Republic. He is the one man of the five delegates who has shown that he does not believe in a Republic. Now that is to him an honest document Sinn Fein up to 1918 was not Republican, and in 1917 some of us were wondering very strongly whether we ought or ought not adopt another organisation altogether which would be definitely Republican, but we preferred to make that one that was in existence, and all the common members of which became definitely Republican after 1916 the organisation, if the founder and advocate of it would stand for complete independence. We wanted to get done with 1782ism, and we will not go back to it. And it is absolutely true to say that many men here who are now honest Republicans in spite of the sneers, joined Sinn Fein and were good members of Sinn Fein, while half-measures were possible. Half-measures are no longer possible, because on the 21st of January, 1919, this assembly, elected by the will of the sovereign people of Ireland, declared by the will of the people the Republican form of Government as the best for Ireland, and cast off for ever their allegiance to any foreigner.


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    The people of Ireland will stand by that and refuse to take it up again. One eloquent speaker on the side of Dominion Home Rule talked about the Army, the evacuation, and the financial control, which Mr. Churchill tells you he holds in the hollow of his band, and which even if it were a reality you are not entitled to sell your own souls and the souls of the people for. He came at last to education. He, too, is not here, but those of you who heard him qualifying our chances of education under this so-called Treaty can hear me. I doubt if there is anyone in this assembly more entitled to give views on educational matters than I am. I have been engaged in education for a very long time, and I tell you that whereas the education under the English Government in this country was bad and recognised as bad, we were able to fight against it, but the education under the Irish Free State, when we teach that that is wrong—and I shall never teach anything else—we shall be teaching rebellion to the established government of the country. If this country should be so false to itself as to adopt the so-called Treaty, I have already told some of the Ministers on the other side of the House that I will be their first rebel under their so-called Free State, that they will have the pleasure or the pain, as it pleases them, of imprisoning me as one of their first and most deliberate and irreconcilable rebels. Up to this we have never been rebels. You can only rebel against a lawfully- constituted authority. The authority of England in this country of ours has never been lawful and has never been recognised by the Irish people. But I recognise, as the Minister for Foreign Affairs told me the other day, that the will of the people is sovereign. I recognise perfectly well, if the people, if the majority of the people in this country, set up this Free State Government, that it will be the Government of the country, and I will be a rebel, a deliberate rebel, for the first time in my life. Though I have been a teacher all my life, and longed and prayed for the day when the Irish Government would take over the education of this country, I tell them here and now I would never teach in a school under their control—that I would still take a school and teach that the adoption of that treaty, if it should be adopted by this Dáil and by the people of the country, is the greatest act of treachery in history. That I shall teach to every child that I have control of, and I shall teach the Republican doctrine in any school I teach in, and if I have only two pupils instead of 200, it does not matter; I shall keep their souls clean at any rate. I shall be a rebel to their Government, and I shall be a rebel to their education, for it will be false, utterly false education. What will you teach the children in these schools? [‘Irish’] Irish! Yes, but not Irish alone. To teach through the medium of Irish you must teach the history of their country. And the greatest trouble of education in this country is that we were never allowed to teach until recent years Irish history at all, and then it was not Irish history, but the history of England in Ireland. You must teach history, you must teach the names of the great ones of the past, you must teach the history of Grattan's Parliament and the people that gave it away. Then you will come to the history of Dáil Eireann, the history of the Parliament set up in 1919 by the will of the people, the history of a movement that made our country great throughout the world, the history of a movement that brought on us the admiration of the world, the history of those who commanded the admiration of the world for qualities of soldiers and statesmen that six years before no one would have believed them capable of. You will have to teach them that the eyes of the world were turned on our country wondering and uplifted because in this day of materialism a little nation, a gallant little people, fought against a mighty foe and refused to acknowledge itself conquered. You will have to teach them that when the eyes of the world were on that little gallant nation, when the hearts of free people everywhere were beating high in expectation that at last government by the people for the people should be really understood, that the mighty foe that had crushed us so mercilessly when it was powerful, that mighty foe, with its arms and its legions, yet unable to conquer us, was forced by the public opinion of the world to come to terms. You know perfectly well that if England wanted to conquer us, if she wanted to exterminate us, she would be able to turn armies in on us and do it. We know that we cannot, a little people like us, stand up against the mighty legions of England. We

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    were not standing up alone and England did not have to fight us alone; she had to fight the aroused conscience and the public opinion of the whole civilised world. England, faced with trouble all over her Empire, faced with financial difficulties, faced with the fact, and it will be a fact still, and mark it, you pressmen of England, who are so unfair to the justice of our cause, mark it well. England was faced with Irish agitation in every corner of the world against her, and that agitation she thinks she will kill by that instrument. I tell her she will not. Wherever her power is over the world, there we shall be uprooting it; wherever she is looking for a friendly alliance, there shall we Irish rebels be, regardless of this Free State, to destroy her chance of friendship. She thinks that she will settle America and put America in her pocket as soon as she has passed this Free State. She will not, for the same unconquered and unconquerable Irish Republicans who stood by Tone and Emmet and Mitchel and the men of 1916 will still go abroad to America and to Europe and undermine the friendship of England. Therefore, make no mistake about it, England, you are not buying Ireland's friendship with that document, you are killing it irrevocably. The President has told you that that document does not make for peace. It does not. Go back to 1914 and remember how the then leader of the Irish race, as he was called, tried to stampede this country into the war for the freedom of small nations. England's difficulty, we were always taught, was Ireland's opportunity. Mr. Redmond said England's difficulty now was Ireland's opportunity to be generous. If Mr. Redmond, at that moment, the greatest moment of his life, as it could have been, had turned around to England and said not one man, not one penny will you get for this war until we are free, Mr. Redmond could have got and could conscientiously have accepted this so-called Treaty. If Mr. Redmond, in 1914, had stood out, he could have got that, and then there would be no dishonour to the Irish Nation to accept it. But the 21st January, 1919, bars such a bargain for ever. The country was stampeded into approval of the war. I was in England when the war broke out. I could not tell you the anguish of soul I experienced when I came home and walked down the streets of Dublin and of Cork and saw the friends of my lifetime sporting the Union Jack. We are all British now, but even then we were not British by the act of our own people. Even then we had not declared common citizenship, with fidelity to the King of England. A small minority of the people of Ireland realised that they had to strike, and strike at once, that if they waited for the war to be over England would have her countless legions turned against us. They decided on rising; that rising was largely rendered futile by the acts of people at the last moment who tried to stop it. Yet the battle was fought, and Easter Week, 1916, stands out in the annals of the world. What will your new Free State educationists teach about that? It was a minority that fought in 1916; it is always a minority that saves the soul of a nation in its hour of need. But the leaders in that fight—Tom Clarke, Padraig Pearse, Sean MacDermott—whom we had all loved, they dared greatly. They did lose that battle. As one of them said—Tom Clarke or Padraig Pearse—‘we have lost this battle, but we have saved the nation's soul’[applause]. And in two short years from that the nation's soul expressed itself, once and for all, in the form of the Irish Republican Government which they had proclaimed. You cannot get back from history like that. That Government is there; you cannot vote it away. The people can. Yes, but they will not. I believe in the people. I believe in their sincerity. You will get votes for that. I doubt though that you will get as many as you think, for the heart of the common people is true, as it has always been. The men with the stake in the country—we know the phrase so well—will vote for that, perhaps, but don't count on it too much. The men with the stake in the countryknow that the worst thing that can happen the country now is a split, and that split is inevitable if the people who stand on principle only declare that they cannot give in. You, who stand for expediency, you who stand for the fleshpots, for finance, for an army, you can give in. We cannot. One man or one army cannot stand up against mighty legions, but not all the armies of all the peoples in the world, or all the Empires in the world, can conquer the spirit of one true man. That one man will prevail, but with that one man many will stand. It is not one man or a hundred

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    men, or one thousand men that will reject that Treaty as selling away their nation's rights. The men with the stake in the country know well that it was not love of us, love of justice, or an acknowledgment of her iniquity that brought England to the pass of asking for negotiations. The men with the stake in the country know that England made the negotiations because she dare not any longer face the opinion of the world. The men with the stake in the country know perfectly well that as long as we Republicans stand out and say this is not peace, and it will not make peace, there will be no peace, and the men with the stake in the country will know perfectly well that unity alone can defeat this awful breach now. The Minister for Local Government has spoken of unity, of all coming together. I appealed with all the force that I knew for unity a few nights ago. I am not going to make that appeal again. I have appealed in public to this Dáil. I have appealed in private to the individual members not to commit this fearful crime of disrupting our nation again. I say unity can only be had while we stand firmly on principle and on nothing else. There have been unfair remarks passed across this House; there have been political tactics used here which have made me ashamed of Members of this House. I thought that these tactics had passed with the bad old days of the Mollies and the O'Brienites. I am sorry to see them brought up again. An unfair use has been made of the President's name in this matter; an unfair use has been made of a so-called document No. 2. The President asked that that document might be kept out of this discussion for one reason, and for one reason only. Everyone of those who have thrown insinuations across the House knows the President's personal honour as well as I do, as well as the country does. There was a document suggested with the hope of getting unity, realising that unity of the Dáil would mean a united people. But it was said by every one of the Delegation, or rather by the principal speakers of the Delegation— those who stand whole- heartedly for this child of theirs—that no amendment to this Treaty was possible, that it was the Treaty, and nothing but the Treaty, or war. It was said that the President was trying to draw a red herring across the track of the discussion, and the President took what, to my mind, was the only straight and honourable course. He withdrew the document entirely and let the Delegation have their way—no amendment, the Treaty on its merits or the rejection of it—which was an honourable action. It has been tried to be proved here to be a dishonourable one, but dishonour lies with those who suggest it. This document, you have been told, is a charter of freedom. It could only be a charter of freedom if you smash every clause of it, and on this point I find that the Delegation are far more divided than the Dáil at present. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Arthur Griffith, advocates that Treaty whole-heartedly and honestly. It embodies what he stood for all his life. We thought that in the last two years he had given up that doctrine and stood for Republicanism, and I maintain here that if he had not done so he would not have been elected to sit for the Republic against his old constitutional doctrine. He has reverted to his original allegiance. That document contains all that the constitutional Sinn Feiner stood for up to 1916. The majority of the constitutional Sinn Feiners after the Easter Rising in 1916 became whole-hearted Republicans, and that document does not represent their present convictions. We thought that when Mr. Arthur Griffith took an oath to the Republic he meant it. He says ‘No’ and others, I know, think with him. They state they took their oath to do the best for Ireland, but that is not the best for Ireland, and, in spite of their ablest speakers, not one of them has tried to prove it is. The only one that has spoken honestly in favour of that is Mr. Griffith himself.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    I protest against such a statement, that the only one who has spoken honestly is one man. It is an implication of dishonesty against every other Member—

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    I will let the public decide.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    It is for the Speaker to decide whether such an expression should be used.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    If I have used a word which is unworthy of this Dáil I withdraw it,


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    but Mr. Arthur Griffith—take it this way—is the only one of the Delegation who has supported that Treaty whole-heartedly. The Minister of Finance, Michael Collins—his name alone will make that thing acceptable to many people in this country, as he made it acceptable to many of the young men of this Dáil—‘What is good enough for Michael Collins is good enough for me ’ [applause]. If Mick Collins went to hell in the morning, would you follow him there? [Cries of ‘Yes’ and ‘No’]. Well, of course I frankly acknowledge I have absolutely no answer to the Deputies who declare that they would transfer their allegiance from God to the devil at Michael Collins' behest. But he, at all events, has been honest about this document, and he has said it is not the be-all and the end-all of his existence, but that it is a step towards the Republic. He believes that. I know he believes it. I know other young men who vote with him here believe it; I am not impugning their honesty; I am impugning two things: first, their intelligence, and secondly, their knowledge of history. How any Irishman can stand up and say that if you accept that thing from Mr. Lloyd George he is going to stick to it, and will tell you you are men of intelligence. Go and read the pages of the history of your country, and then you will go back to consider the Treaty sadder and wiser men. Mr. Barton has made a statement about this, and his attitude to it, which has moved our admiration, but the sentence in his statement which stands out is this: ‘The Irish Republic, to which I swore allegiance and which is my faith’. Mr. Gavan Duffy has agreed with Mr. Barton as to the signing of the Treaty and the duress under which it was signed. He has given weak support to it, but he has acknowledged it is a very pitiful instrument indeed, but that it is better than war. That is the most he can say for it. Mr. Duggan—well, I need not remind you what he said. He only spoke a few hours ago, and all that I can say is that his arguments were distinctly unconvincing. I have not heard from any of the spokesmen of those who stand for the Treaty one single argument which you could point out before the world as worthy of this country and what it has stood for for the last three years—not one. You might have had that long ago if you would have taken it. There are two points in this Treaty with which I would like to deal particularly—the oath and the Governor-General. The oath has been flippantly spoken of here—very flippantly spoken of indeed. It evidently does not bind the mind and conscience of those who are going to vote for the ratification of this Treaty. Some of them, I know, are excusing themselves in this way: ‘I will vote for the Treaty, but I will never take the oath’. That I call cowardice. Why do you bind your constituents as far as it is in your power to bind them, if you are not willing to stand by what you do. If you vote for that Treaty, then you have no excuse not to take the oath, and the only manly stand you have is to refuse to ratify or approve of that instrument. But many of those who are voting for it, vote for it meaning to evade every article in it, if they take the oath. They spent hours both in Private Session and in public Session discussing when is an oath not an oath. I am ashamed—I stand and say it here before the public representatives in the persons of the Press—of that doctrine, that a country like ours that has stood on a noble and spiritual ideal for the last three years should so degrade itself by the arguments that have been heard about the oath. You cannot at the same time be faithful and unfaithful. You say you take first and foremost an oath to the Constitution of the Irish Free State. Do you realise that it is an Irish Free State ‘as by law established’, and that that law is to be made in England? You make up your Constitution, but the act of Parliament ratifying your Constitution has to be passed in London. It is made in Dublin, but it can be unmade in London, every line of it that interferes with the King's authority. Do not fool yourself if you are going to walk into this thing that you are going in with your heads up, as you say. For God's sake, and for Ireland's sake, don't fool yourself beforehand. If you draw up a Constitution which will ignore the King, the English Parliament, which has to ratify your Constitution, will carefully put a clause safeguarding themselves. Do not be fools, anyhow. The one thing that was quoted about the President yesterday was this: ‘We may be beaten by England, but there is no excuse for us now being fooled by England’. There is no excuse for the Delegation trying to fool us or the

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    people of Ireland, and fooled we would be, and they would be, if you take the Constitution of the Irish Free State ‘as by law established’, and try to ram down our throats any such absurd nonsense as that you can leave the King out of the Constitution and fool the young people of this country into believing you. Be honest with them, you who are forcing their votes or coaxing their votes, or persuading their votes, be honest with them. They will not be able to ignore the King in the Irish Free State ‘as by law established’. We are all to be British citizens with a British passport, with the seal of the Foreign Office for anyone going out of the country. Deputy Hogan told us yesterday we are entitled to foreign ambassadors. If be has read the Treaty he must know that we are not entitled to foreign ambassadors. Perhaps he will say we are entitled to everything Canada has. Two years ago I think, Canada was told she was entitled to a foreign representative. Canada wanted it, particularly in Washington, because Canada and the United States lie side by side, and Canada's interests are not England's interests, and she got permission because she took it [hear, hear]. That is quite right. I am in perfect agreement with everything you have said about constitutional usage and the law and the fact, and that is why I resent those young men who have not thought deeply about these things, who have not gone into constitutional questions and have not, perhaps, read history as deeply as some of us, walking out of the room whenever an argument is being advanced against this so-called Treaty. The young soldiers who are voting for it blindly, when it was being explained what the Treaty was to be in law and in fact were in the corridor cliquing somewhere outside, but not doing their duty to their constituents. Constitutional usage in Canada is established by Canadian constitutional usage, and if you believe constitutional usage in the Irish Free State will be the same, what will Lloyd George say to you? He will say constitutional usage means the usage of your Constitution, not Canada's. You will be guided by law and fact, and fact alone brings you sixty miles from England, whereas Canada is 3,000 to 7,000 miles away. Again I ask of you for God's sake, and for Ireland's sake, don't fool yourself. If you vote wrong, vote wrong knowing that you will be voting wrong, and don't allow others to fool you either [hear, hear]. Canada got permission to have a foreign representative. Would Deputy Hogan tell me why she has not yet got that foreign representative?

    DEPUTY HOGAN:

    I don't know.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    I will tell you, and I will tell you not from my intimate knowledge of Canadian law, not from my intimate knowledge of Canadian constitutional practice, not from any personal acquaintance of Lloyd George or Chamberlain or Churchill, but from my knowledge of English history, English practice, English fact and English trickery as applied to our own country. She has not got it for the very same reason that Washington did not yet recognise the Irish Republic, because of English intrigue at Washington. Don't make any mistake about it. What is the use of Canada being told in the Colonial Conference that she may have a foreign representative if she doesn't get one? ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ [applause]. But Canada's representation is still in the bush and likely to remain there.

    A DEPUTY:

    And so will document No. 2.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    And Irish freedom will never be further away in that more intricate bush than the day you adopt that instrument. Again, take the representative of the Crown in Ireland. We were told the representative of the Crown would not, by the gracious kindness of Lloyd George, be called a Governor-General unless we liked the name. What does it matter what he is called, or whether you have a Viceroy, a Governor-General, or a representative of the Crown pure and simple? What on earth does it matter what he is called as long as he is head of a thing to which we cannot agree? What will that representative of the Crown mean? It has been said and contradicted that it will mean his Majesty's Army, his Majesty's Ministers. It may be that the Irish people will avoid the name ‘his Majesty's Ministers’ in exactly the same way as they will avoid the name ‘Governor-General’, but they will be the thing And you young men of the Irish Republican


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    Army, where are you to be? What will you do with the Republic? What will you do with the I.R.A. that you are so proud of? With the I.R.A. whose reputation has gone abroad through the world? There will be an end of your I.R.A. in this Treaty. How do you think the people will take that? Whatever you call his Majesty's Army, every officer that gets a commission in that Army will have the official seal of his Majesty's representative on his commission. Every stamp will be a Free State stamp if you like, but the ensign of the Governor-General or the representative of the Crown will be there as well. You will get that out of your Constitution if you can I have no doubt, but again ‘wait and see’—‘wait and see’. Leaving official documents out of the question, let us come to the social side, the social structure we were told we would have power to build up. Some of you will realise what a hard and terrible fight it has been for our people to destroy the evils of shoneenism in this country. Here under this instrument you will have shoneenism rampant. All the worst elements of our country will gather around that Governor-General's residence.

    A DEPUTY:

    He is welcome to them.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    I love my people, every single one of them; I love the country, and I have faith in the people, but I am under no delusions about any of us. We are not a race of archangels, and you allow that Governor-General's residence, with drawing-rooms, levees, and honours and invitations to be scattered broadcast to your wives and your sisters and your daughters, and mothers even, with all the baits that will be held out to them to come in for the first time by consent of the Irish people in the social atmosphere of the Governor-General's residence. Remember that there will be functions there which will be partly social and partly political, which will be Governmental functions. The Ministers of the Government of the Irish Free State—I will omit for the sake of argument the offensive words ‘his Majesty's Ministers’—will be obliged to attend the Governor-General's functions and he will attend theirs. Wherever the Governor-General is, or the representative of the Crown in Ireland is, there you will have the Union Jack and ‘God Save the King’ and you will have the Union Jack and ‘God Save the King’ for the first time with the consent of the people of Ireland. You may say to me, some of you, that there will be, perhaps, a self-denying ordinance clause which will prevent the Ministers of the Irish Government, or any person belonging to the Irish Government, entering the portals of the Governor-General's house. You cannot. You will have to have him there as representative of the King with certain functions to perform. You cannot exclude him. You cannot stay away from him. You will have to get his signature to documents. You will have to get his signature to every law that is passed by the Irish Free State Government, and if the Minister for Foreign Affairs stands up and contradicts that, if he says we can make a Constitution which will take care that the Governor-General does not have to sign any such document, again I say, ‘wait and see’, wait until your Constitution has come through Westminster, wait till the English Government, by means of this instrument of theirs, signed by the Irish Delegation—they have demoralised the people of this country as they had already demoralised some of the men in this assembly by their specious arguments. Your Constitution must be ‘as by law established’. Wait and see whether it will get you out of the English representative's domicile in Dublin. You may tell me that the patronage—abominable word—think of the word patronage being used to an Irish Republican Assembly—‘his Majesty's patronage’ will be under the control of the Irish Government. I have no doubt, none whatever, but that any Minister of the Irish Free State, any one of those advocating support of this Treaty in the present Dáil, would refuse a title from his Majesty's Government, but wait a little while until the first fervour of the Irish Free State is worn out, wait a little while until a stage is reached when the demoralisation has eaten into the soul of the people of this country, and the next Parliament won't be so very self-denying with regard to honours and patronage. And remember what you are doing to the young girls growing up into this so-called Irish Free State. Many young girls of my own personal acquaintance, not very many, because very many of that type, I am sorry to


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    say, have not been on our side; but some few, at all events, who had what we know as an entre into vice-regal circles have been cut off from many social functions that their age entitled them to, that their position entitled them to, because they could not consistently with Republican principles go to a dance at the vice- regal lodge, or go to a dance in any place where the English military influence was uppermost. But in the Irish Free State these brave young girls who stood up against temptation can walk in unchecked. Under the Constitution of the Irish Free State you have no right to call any girl a shoneen because she walks into a dance at the vice-regal lodge. You men may sneer, some of you, at these points. Believe me they are no matters to sneer about. Those of you who are thinking men, and who are out to do the best for Ireland, know perfectly well what a hard fight we have had against that sort of thing. This you say will be sentiment, but for the first time in the history of this country you have Irish sentiment and Irish demoralisation and Irish Government all on the one side. Do you realise what that means? The papers have told us that a royal residence in the Irish Free State will be an admirable thing in Ireland; it will conduce to loyalty among the people of Ireland. It may and it may not, but if it does not it will not be the fault of the Irish Free State ‘by law established’, if it gets established, but it will he because we Republicans will keep up the very same plan of black flags and boycotts that we kept up until they place us where we are to-day, or rather not where we are to-day, but where we were on the 4th of December last. And, mind, when we put up black flags in the streets of Dublin, either for the Governor-General or the representative of the Crown or Viceroy, or whatever you like to call him, or the King himself, his Majesty's representative will send word to the Prime Minister of the Irish Free state and make a complaint and get us arrested. And who is going to arrest us? I have already told Michael Collins that I will be the first rebel he will have to arrest. And mind, we Republicans are going to carry on this fight with the gloves off, if this thing is passed. The Minister for Local Government said—and he hoped he was going to get a majority in this matter—that he hoped the minority was going to abide by the will of the Irish people. If I am in a minority, I am one of those who will advocate that this matter shall be put to the Irish people, and it is not those who stand with me on this that dread the judgment of the Irish people. Make no mistake about it. Last Thursday morning the Irish people would have taken that, but not after the debate that has gone on in this House. The Irish people would have taken that on the cry, ‘What is good enough for Michael Collins is good enough for me’. Last Thursday morning I thought, like the country thought, that this document, which we consider a dishonour to our country and to our cause, was backed by a united Cabinet, and on last Thursday, too, some of us irreconcilables asked ourselves what choice had we, a handful, against the name of de Valera, but not one of us said, ‘What is good enough for de Valera is good enough for us’. Not one of us said, ‘What is good enough for Michael Collins is good enough for us’, and there has been no belauding of personalities on our side of the House. We stand on principle, and if the President and a united Cabinet stood for that instrument, we should still stand against it [applause]. Personally I must say that I was grieved to the heart when I thought a united Cabinet stood on that. I want to allude to that, but before passing to it I want to say one word more about that oath. It is no use for you to look at your watches. Go out if you like, but this is probably the last time that I shall ever speak before you in public, in an assembly like this; certainly and most emphatically the last time until the Irish Republican Government comes back again with the full consent of the people, and I care not, and apologise not, if I take more of your time than you are willing to give. Those who want to hear the Treaty will stay and listen: those who are afraid of the Treaty can go out. One thing more I want to say about that oath. I have said that I am ashamed of the arguments that have been brought about it. I am ashamed of the efforts that are being made on the other side of this assembly to show the people of this Dáil how they can drive, not one coach-and-four through it, but a coach-and-four through every line of it. That, I maintain, is not consistent with the honour of our people; it is not consistent with the attitude we have adopted towards

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    the world and on which we have got the sympathy of the world. What use, you will tell me, is sympathy? It is this use, that it is the sympathy of the world and the judgment and conscience of the world that brought England to her knees in these negotiations. She has the military. I know that, but she cannot win this battle, for if she exterminates the men, the women will take their places, and, if she exterminates the women, the children are rising fast; and if she exterminates the men, women and children of this generation, the blades of grass, dyed with their blood, will rise, like the dragon's teeth of old, into armed men and the fight will begin in the next generation. But I am concerned for the honour of my country before the world, and I tell the world that it is not the true voice of Ireland that has spoken so flippantly about oaths and their breaking. It is not the true voice of the people of Ireland that has spoken to you. Have no doubt about it whatever. This fight of ours has been essentially a spiritual fight; it has been a fight of right against wrong, a fight of a small people struggling for a spiritual ideal against a mighty rapacious and material Empire, and, as the things of the spirit have always prevailed, they prevail now. Up to last December we had won the admiration of the world for our honour, and I tell the world that the honour of Ireland is still unsullied, and that Ireland will show it, and will show that Ireland means fidelity to the Republic and not the driving of a coach-and-four through the oath which she will never consent to allow her Ministers to take. This is a spiritual fight of ours, but though we are idealists standing for a spiritual principle, we are practical idealists, and it is your idealist that is the real practical man, not your opportunist; and watch the opportunists in every generation and you will see nothing but broken hopes behind them. It is those who stand for the spiritual and the ideal that stand true and unflinching, and it is those who will win—not those who can inflict most but those who can endure most will conquer. The war of 1914 has left the world in a very different position from what the world was in before. It was thrown yesterday at Mr. Childers that he wrote a book in 1911 showing that he did not believe in the Irish Republic. I stand here, and nobody will tell me that I am not an Irish Republican, but I can truthfully say, and I challenge any Member in this assembly to say otherwise, that in 1911 I did not believe that I would see an Irish Republic established in my generation. The war brought many changes; the war brought forth idealists and the self-determination of small nationalities. Their right to express their freedom in their own way was bandied about from one Government to another, and every Government in the world has been false to it but our own. Still, all the peoples of the world have not been false to it. The peoples of the world, including a growing number of the people of England, are true to that ideal; they want peace, and they know that peace can never be established except on the basis of truth and justice to all alike. Therefore our fight to-day has a chance of victory. You have told us it is between the acceptance of that document and war. If it were, with every sense of deep responsibility, I say then let us take war. I am not speaking as a young, ardent enthusiast. I am speaking as a woman who has thought and studied much, who realises, as only a woman can, the evils of war and the sufferings of war. Deputy Milroy yesterday in a speech to which I shall not allude, for it made me ashamed to think the public was listening to it, acknowledged that the women are the greatest sufferers of the war. I would ask him, if it were a democratic proposition, to let the women of Ireland judge this, and I have no doubt what the issue would be.

    MR. MILROY:

    I will answer that question if the Deputy wishes an answer to it.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    Yes, I don't mind, if the Speaker thinks it is in order.

    MR. MILROY:

    I take it the question is: ‘Am I prepared to let the women of Ireland judge whether this Treaty should be ratified or not?’ Yes, and accept their decision too.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    I am glad, but as I prefaced my statement by the words ‘if it were a democratic proposition’, I suppose that the answer, as well as the question, will be considered rhetorical.

    MR. MILROY:

    You are not prepared to take the decision?


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    MISS MACSWINEY:

    I am prepared. I would take a plebiscite of the women of Ireland gladly, and I know what the answer would be.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    So would we.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    This matter has been put to us as the Treaty or war. I say now if it were war, I would take it gladly and gleefully, not flippantly, but gladly, because I realise that there are evils worse than war, and no physical victory can compensate for a spiritual surrender. But I deny that the alternative is war, as I deny that the alternative would have been war on the night of the 5th of last December. I will come to that presently, but this I say: You show the people of England that we are prepared to make peace with them on honourable terms, giving them even guarantees that they are not in justice entitled to, giving them even the money to which they are not in justice entitled in exactly the same spirit that I would give a robber a reward for giving me back my purse and part of its contents—show the people of England that we want peace, if we can get an honourable peace, and I have no doubt they will not vote £250,000,000, which Lloyd George says is the price of exterminating Ireland. I don't deny that there is a danger that England will go to war. I do deny that there is a danger that she will be allowed to exterminate the people of Ireland, for the conscience of the world is awake, and I would like to quote one sentence to you from a man whose name I am not going to mention: ‘ The rulers of the World dare not look on indifferent while new tortures are being prepared for our people, or they will see the pillars of their own Government shaken and the world involved in unimaginable anarchy’. That is the answer to the threat. The rulers of the world dare not allow Ireland to be exterminated. If they do, Ireland must choose extermination before dishonour, and Ireland will choose. I have no dread whatever of the verdict of the Irish people. I come to one more thing. That is the insult to the people of Ireland by the Deputies who have taken it for granted that the Irish people are going to jump at their own dishonour. With a definite Republican Manifesto in your pockets, How dare you say your constituents have changed until you have gone and asked them? I come now to a very important point—for me one of the most important points that has to be dealt with here. I raised it in the Private Session, and, judging by the speeches I have heard in the public Session, I may as well have talked to the wall: that is the negotiations themselves. I am sorry that Mr. Michael Collins, Minister for Finance, and Dr. MacCartan have chosen to abstain at this particular moment, because I must use their names, and I dislike using any man's name in his absence. Negotiations, we are told, meant surrender. As one of those who has taken throughout this whole conflict, throughout the whole of our stand since 1919, and much further back, an absolutely uncompromising and irreconcilable stand, if you like to so call it, I deny that absolutely. People here present who want to compromise have told me that if I did not see that compromise was intended I must have been either a fool or wilfully blind. I do not think I am a fool. I know I was not wilfully blind, and, being utterly and entirely uncompromising in my fidelity and allegiance to the Republic, I stand here before Ireland to-day to tell the truth about these negotiations as a Member of the Dáil that sent the Delegation. The public know perfectly well how Mr. Arthur Griffith, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, has told us again and again in years past of the paper wall which England built around Ireland. On the outside of that paper wall England wrote what she wanted the rest of the world to believe about Ireland, and on the inside of the paper wall she wrote what she wanted Ireland to believe about the world. It is largely due to the strong and determined and honourable efforts of Mr. Griffith himself that the people of Ireland did not believe the fairy-tales written on the inside; but the world outside did, and only this great fight of ours and all the publicity which attended every single thing about it, and the publicity that went abroad throughout the world—because of certain incidents in that fight, the world began to see something of the truth for which Ireland stood. But the world did not see it all and English propaganda was powerful still. Enough was seen to get the conscience of the world up against England, and then England tried to tell the world these people are only a


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    handful, a murder gang, a handful of extremists, Sinn Fein is split in two, the moderate party wants this, the extremist party wants something else, and so the world was still questioning. Lloyd George sent out negotiators in different forms, clerical and lay, since, I believe, last December. I was not here then. I think they began with Archbishop Clune, but I am not sure, because I was in America and I did not know what was going on very clearly, being dependent on the pro-English American Press. Time after time negotiators came—Lord Derby came as Mr. Edwards—another and another came—and they all tried to trap our President or the members of the Cabinet into declaring that Ireland would take something less than the Republic. And I say here and now that the members of the Cabinet, one and all, have to be judged on their public declarations and not on the private meetings of the Cabinet. If between themselves they bandied words and tried to find agreement by common consent that is their affair, and they were perfectly justified in doing so. I ask any sane man here does he believe that Lloyd George, Churchill, Chamberlain, Worthington Evans, Hamar Greenwood, Gordon Hewatt, and I don't know how many more of them—do you honestly and truthfully believe that these men sit down in Cabinet and come to unanimous decisions without good, long, straight arguments first? What the English Cabinet is to be judged by is the public expression of the Cabinet in the person of one of its Ministers. I defy any single man here or anywhere throughout Ireland to take any Cabinet statement, any Ministerial statement of the Republican Government from January 21st, 1919, to December 6th, 1921, until that document was issued, which was subversive of the Republican doctrine that the country stood for. Now, let us have no nonsense about this, let us have no unworthy insinuations thrown across the floor of this assembly. Take these public men, every one of them, and judge them by their public statements up to the 4th of last December, and I maintain that the first public statement issued by any Cabinet Minister which was subversive of the Republican doctrine was that so-called Treaty signed on the morning of 6th December. I don't care if the Cabinet were fighting like cats among themselves. What I do care is what they said to us, and what they said to the world. That is what matters; that is what will go down to history, make no mistake about it. Lloyd George and Lord Birkenhead as cooing doves outside must have had many and many a scrap inside the Cabinet before they came out with a united consent to that document. What was the use of entering negotiations? The use of entering negotiations, I say here as an ardent and uncompromising Republican, was to show the world that we were a reasonable people, as well as a people clamouring for right; that we realised that our propinquity to England was the source of many justifiable fears on England's part. England knew, and the world knew, that no nation in the world has reason to hate another as we have to hate England, and she had good reason to fear that hate. We wanted to show her in these negotiations that we were willing to forgive, aye and forget. We were willing, and I say it here, even I, and all those women who have suffered from English tyranny say it too, we were willing to forgive and forget. I maintain that the attitude of Ireland, the magnanimity of Ireland, the generosity of Ireland in that act of willingness to forgive and forget would have won us the last ounce of sympathy of the world, away from England. That was the value of the negotiations, to show the world, as we could have shown them, what we were willing to do, as I hope we will show them yet; to show the English people what their Government was going to war for for they were going to war, too—and going to drag the English people and the English taxpayer and the English workman and labourer into war, on what? On a desire to subjugate an old, a free people, to their own individual freedom. That was the value of the negotiations. Now I am going to deal with the charge that the Delegation were turned down by the Cabinet and by the Dáil. Again I must say I am sorry that I had not a united opposition to listen to me. The public is listening, and if the Press can even bring itself to be fair about this matter, it will be well for the public. The Press is not yet fair in spite of our protests; the American Press represented here is not fair in America, and I have had a cable this morning from America protesting against even the Hearst papers as being utterly unfair.

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    I will say to the Irish people without the Press, if I cannot say it through the Press, the truth about these negotiations. It came to be decided that we were to send a delegation to Lloyd George. We sent it. That delegation claims that they went as plenipotentiaries, that they went without terms of reference, that they went with full power to sign any document which they thought would be acceptable and to bring it back. Let me go back to the day the delegation was appointed. On the 14th of last September there was a meeting of An Dáil. Much talk had been going around that there was compromise coming. From the 21st August to 14th September I kept my eyes and my ears open to see if compromise was intended. I spoke to the President and I gave him my opinion. I spoke to various Members and I gave and elicited opinions. On the 11th September, I think it was, or on the Sunday before the Minister of Finance spoke in Armagh. On the Monday morning I read his speech, and on the Monday evening, in writing to a friend and colleague of his, I wrote this sentence: ‘I do not care for your friend Mick's speech, for the Republic is not mentioned in it from beginning to end’. That friend of his must have shown him that letter, because on the following Wednesday, September 14th, when the Dáil met—it is not my fault that I say this without Michael Collins' presence, it is his fault—Michael Collins passed me in the Oak Room of the Mansion House, and in response to my ‘Dia's Muire dhuit’, be said: ‘I hear you think I am a compromiser. Well, I am not, then; and I tell you that’. I declare here solemnly that I was glad his name was on the Delegation, and from that day,September 14th, in spite of his speech in Armagh, in spite of anything I heard to the contrary, when Michael Collins said to me, ‘I hear you think I am a compromiser. Well, I am not, then; and I tell you that’. I never doubted Michael Collins until I saw his signature to that document, nor did I think it necessary to write to London to him to ask him to stand firm. On that 14th September I felt bound to rise in my place and say that there had been a good deal of talk of compromise, and that I wanted to announce my position. I knew there were compromisers in the Dáil, and I called on those who believed in compromise to stand up then and there, or for ever more hold their peace. Not one stood up. Deputy Hogan in a superior voice the other day—

    DEPUTY HOGAN:

    On a point of order, I don't want to allow Miss MacSwiney to proceed under a misunderstanding. I did stand up; I did not mention this before. I stood up and said I approved of the conference and reserved my right to say what I had to say until the delegates came back.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    I am glad that Deputy Hogan agrees with me. That was my attitude. I approved of the conference with all my heart and mind and strength because I believed it was the last plank of English propaganda and that we had broken it. Now to come back from that. One Member, who has since, like Deputy Hogan, supported ratification of this document, declared that even if he had nothing left but the island of Arran, he would dig himself in and hold it for the Republic. In view of the still undoubted strength of the British Fleet, I would say the island of Arran was the worst spot to choose. The last speaker who stood up was Mr. Kevin O'Higgins, and he also, in a slightly superior voice, which he has maintained throughout this debate, suggested to me, and those who spoke also, that the discussion was a little too previous, that we had all sworn an oath to the Republic, and that when the Delegation came back from London with something less than the Republic it would be time enough to talk. He has talked since, not effectively, for there has not been an effective argument made on what I call, without fear of opposition, the material side of this House. He has talked flippantly of posterity, and I do not like to see a young man of Deputy O'Higgins, intelligence and his youth talk flippantly of posterity. Rather would I like to hear him stand and say, as was said about Tone on another fight of liberty: ‘Bliss was it not with Tone to be alive, but to be young was very heaven’. I consider it was bliss to be alive up to the 6th of this month. I do not yet agree with Dr. MacCartan that the Republic is dead. It cannot die. But I should like to be as young as Deputy O'Higgins is now, to carry on the fight for posterity. It is sad to find young men in this assembly speaking against all that is noble, all that is great, all that is magnanimous in the people of our


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    nation; speaking against the one and only stand for principle that has won for our people the admiration of the world. No compromiser spoke or said that he was a compromiser on last September 14th. Then the Delegation went over, and let me tell you another thing about that Delegation and its value to us. Do you realise what it means to the world for us that a man called the head of a murder gang should sit at the same table with Lloyd George as a representative of the Irish people? If he had not signed his name to that document, the mere fact that he sat there—the so-called chief of the murder gang—was inestimably effective for us. Do you think it was no victory for us that the English Government were obliged to allow Sean MacKeon and others to walk out of jail, even though some of them were under sentence of death, to sit in this assembly? You cannot get over the immense value to Ireland in the eyes of the world of these two facts, plain, bold facts—and I am dealing with nothing else—that those men were allowed out of prison. Commandant Sean MacKeon seconded that abominable document, I am sorry to say. I know that he would fight to the death for the Republic of Ireland still, but he does not realise what he is giving away. I am glad that he is here alive to-day to fight for the Republic again, but if he were my brother, I would rather he were with Kevin Barry. The Delegation went to London, and their going to London was magnificent propaganda for us. The Minister of Publicity went with them. He also is absent. Would any member of the Cabinet, or any Member of this Dáil, tell me what took the Minister of Publicity to London? What was he doing there? Nothing. He deserves the reprimand of the Cabinet and the Dáil for allowing every single thing we gained in propaganda to be given away by the English Press. From the day he went to London be never counteracted by any word that we could see the efforts of the English Press to misrepresent us. He had a duty to the Republican Members of this assembly whatever his own views were. Non-publication was promised on both sides, but the very first morning after the first conference the English Press had information—inside information—and our Delegates protested, and it stopped in a few days. But when the English Press began again, and when suggestions were made that the Delegation had given up the Republic for Dominion Home Rule, I maintain that the Delegation and the Minister of Publicity were grossly wanting in their duty to An Dáil not to put a stop to it. Lloyd George may have said to them as Mr. Griffith said to me: ‘We cannot help the Press’. I maintain it was their business to help the Press. What in the name of heavens had we a Minister of Publicity in London for? Much will be made of the fact that they kept their promise of secrecy and that the English did not. My answer to that is this, they should have gone to Lloyd George and they should have said to him: ‘Now look here, no ráimeis, if you please’. They might have shaken the Daily Express in his face and said: ‘It is no use for you, sir, to tell us that you are not responsible for the Press. You have as much power to stop the Press now as you had to stop it during the war, and if you allow that propaganda against us to go on, we break our promise here and now and we will put out propaganda’. If our Minister of Publicity and our Delegates know what they were about, and were in earnest about it, they should have done that. I maintain there was gross negligence, as far as the Press was concerned, in this matter. I wrote to Mr. Arthur Griffith late in the negotiations, and I tell you honestly now the reason I did not write and pester him with letters, as I pestered the poor President, was that I trusted them all too much. I did write one letter to him, and only one letter. I pointed out the iniquity of the things that they were allowing the English papers to say with impunity. I pointed out to him that the Daily Express in particular gave what is tantamount to the very things that are given in that document: the oath of allegiance, the partition of Ulster, and the control of our purse, and I said to him: ‘It is not fair to us that that should go on, and you know that if by any chance you came back with such a compromise, the only result would be a split in the country’. He knew then, as he knows now, that those of us who stand for principle cannot yield to expediency; that we, at least, will not sell our national rights for a mess of imperial pottage. And my conscience is perfectly clear about these negotiations. They were valuable, valuable beyond all computation up to the 4th of December.

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    Mr. Griffith wrote back to me that they should have the entire confidence of the people if they were to be successful, and that he was quite confident that he would not bring back anything which the Irish people would not accept.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Hear, hear.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    Mr. Griffith has brought back something that he thinks the Irish people will accept. They will not, and, if a majority of them do, Mr. Griffith will find what I warned him of is true: a split in the country with half, or nearly half, of the country rebels to his Government. Mr. Griffith knew that we, Republicans, could not stand for that. So much, so far. I would like to ask another question, to which I hope some Minister will reply before this Session closes. Did we not have in London a representative of the Irish Republican Government, a man who knows London well, and who for the last three years has been closely associated with the Republican Government as its representative? Was he consulted in this matter at all? I wrote to him also about this matter of the Press, for I know that he realises the value of the Press and the terrible crime against Ireland which it was to allow the Press of the world to get away with the idea that we meant compromise. He wrote me back that he believed it was a fatal mistake to let the Press get away with this English story, and that he had told the members of the Delegation so. Our representative in Paris has told us already in his speech that he left Paris and came home to protest, and that he also protested in London en route. So they did not sin without knowledge, and I maintain it was a crime to our cause to allow all that unfair propaganda to be used against us. Another thing I would like to know is this: in those fatal two hours, from 8.30 to 10.30—allowing that from 10.30 to 2.30 a.m. they were in the fatal atmosphere of Downing Street with terrible or immediate war hanging over their heads, and I realise the responsibility that lay on them about the signing of that document—did they consult the representative of our Government in London? He knew London better than any of us; he knew Lloyd George as well, if not better, than any of them, and he knew the mind of the English people better than any of them. Did they consult him as to whether Lloyd George was bluffing or not? I think his opinion would have been worth taking in the matter. Did they consult anybody they were entitled to consult? They were absolutely entitled to consult the representative of the Irish Republican Government in London, just as much as in any conference in a foreign country the Ambassador of England would be consulted. I maintain that our cause was not lost when we sent negotiators to London. Our cause was not lost, and is not lost yet [hear, hear]. Our cause was injured by the mismanagement of the Press in London; by the carelessness, the inexcusable carelessness of the Minister of Publicity. What on earth he was there for I cannot see. And lost by the fact that the Delegation completely ignored the feeling which they knew existed amongst the out-and-out Republicans in this assembly. That feeling was perfectly, strongly and plainly expressed before one of them went to London. You are told they got no terms of reference. I maintain they did, and those terms of reference are three. There is first the last published statement made by this Dáil; there is secondly the credentials given to them by the President; and there is thirdly their instructions. If those were not credentials, if those were not terms of reference, I do not know what are terms of reference. It is absurd to say that terms of reference should be given and accepted by both Governments. You know that was impossible. In our case you know there was a mental reservation that the Republic is what we meant and that we would take nothing but the Republic. The President expresses that in his final telegram to Lloyd George, quoted by the Minister of Finance. Our last word to these delegates was this: ‘In this final note we deem it our duty to reaffirm that our position is, and can only be, what we have been fighting for throughout the correspondence. Our nation has firmly declared its independence and recognises itself as a Sovereign State and it is only as the representatives of that State and its chosen guardians that we have any authority or powers to act on behalf of our people’. They went there as the elected representatives of the Republican Government, and it was only as the elected representatives of the Republican Government that they had


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    the authority of Dáil Eireann or the people to negotiate at all. As regards the second document, the credentials given them for presentation to Lloyd George, no such credentials were asked for and they were not asked to present them, because both sides knew there were mental reservations. Both sides thought they would like to get talking in the hope of seeing each how far the other would go. The credentials stand for history, the credentials stand for posterity, and posterity will not be flippant about them. They were sent and appointed by the President in virtue of the authority vested in him by Dáil Eireann as Envoys Plenipotentiary of the elected Government of the Republic of Ireland. There is Credential No. 2; there is Term of Reference No. 2. None of those men with those documents can say they went there without terms of reference. And without that last document given them by An Dáil I, for one, would have protested throughout the country while the negotiations were going on, instead of holding my tongue in deference to my trust in their absolute Republicanism. The next term of reference lies in the instructions given to them by the Government, and the kernel of this lies in Paragraph 3. Paragraph 2 gives them powers, full powers, as defined in their credentials, and their credentials were ‘Envoys Plenipotentiary of the elected Government of the Republic of Ireland’. The Envoys had full powers as defined in their credentials: ‘It is understood, however, that before decisions are finally reached on the main question that a dispatch notifying the intention of making these decisions will be sent to the members of the Cabinet in Dublin, and that a reply will be awaited by the Plenipotentiaries before a final decision is made’. And Paragraph 3, the kernel of these instructions: ‘It is also understood that a complete text of the draft Treaty about to be signed will be similarly submitted to Dublin and the reply awaited’. The Delegates told us they did not get time. You cannot go from London to Dublin and back between the hours of 8.30 and 10 o'clock, I agree. They should therefore have kept to the instructions given to them by their own Cabinet, not to the threats of Lloyd George. And think of Lloyd George's excuse. People of Ireland, think of Lloyd George's excuse. He had promised to give an answer to Sir James Craig by Tuesday, and that is actually told us seriously by the members of our delegation. They maintain that they told that in the Cabinet the preceding Saturday. They did, and they got their answer from the Cabinet: ‘Go back and break’. They did not break. They took it on themselves to sign. I do not agree with one of them, not even with those who signed under duress, who signed and are still honourable men; I do not agree with one of them that they should have signed that document, no matter what the consequences. Sir James Craig should have an answer; we waited for 750 years, and Sir James Craig could not wait for forty-eight hours. Of all the idiotic excuses given for a deliberate betrayal of their instructions, a disobedience of their instructions, I never heard anything so idiotic in my life. The threat of immediate war is not idiotic; there they were bluffed. They know now, if they did not know it then, that they were bluffed. Again, I ask, why did they not consult the man who should have been consulted and who knew England, as to whether it was bluff or not? Bluff or not, they should have obeyed the instructions they got on Saturday, to break rather than come back with a signed document. Let it be that that document is signed at the point of the cannon's mouth, as Deputy O'Higgins said; with free knowledge and consent, as the Minister for Foreign Affairs said; with duress as other delegates have said; let it be that it was signed at that fatal hour on Tuesday morning. Again I maintain that the delegates had no right to allow that document to be published. Again I maintain that they had no right to allow that to be sent to the world, and if Lloyd George insisted that it should go to Sir James Craig, they could have said to Lloyd George: ‘Very well, we have signed rather than risk immediate war; but if you publish that document with our signatures till we have time to refer to our Parliament, then we will tell the world that we do not recommend that document’. If they had said that to Lloyd George the position would be saved for Ireland. Lloyd George knew there were people in this country who would not accept that right off. He believed that he knew that the majority of the people would agree to accept it and that he would get the willing and selfish people on whom he could wreak his will, and that the Government of the Irish

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    Free State could be safely left to deal with the minority of rebels. That is what our delegates have got by allowing that document to be published to the world and allowing the world and Ireland to say: ‘What is good enough for Mick Collins is good enough for me’. Oh, people of An Dáil, people of Ireland, do not allow yourselves to be tricked in this the last, the greatest moment of this wonderful struggle of ours. Dr. MacCartan pitifully said last night the Republic was dead and the signatures were the epitaph. Again I am sorry Dr. MacCartan is not here to listen to my opinion of his speech. A doctrinaire Republican he calls himself. I too am a doctrinaire Republican for Ireland. I am as uncompromising a Republican as Dr. MacCartan, but I should not make the pitiful speech he made last night. The Republic dead! No, not a thousand such documents could kill it. The Republic dead, and he stands there as a doctrinaire Republican and caoines over it. It is not dead while there is a woman or child in Ireland. It is not dead if every man in Ireland turned his back on it. The Republic dead! What is that but a cowardly speech, the gospel of despair of this country of ours which had won the admiration of the world. I tell the world as I tell Dr. MacCartan, it can be dead if he likes, but we are alive and we shall show it. And Dr. MacCartan says he will not vote for the Treaty as a Republican, and he will not vote against it because it means chaos. Again I say it does not mean chaos, but if it does not, it is due, and will be due, to the Republican Party of this country. All that our delegates and their supporters could do to create chaos they have done, and they have done it knowing that it would create chaos, for every one of them was told it would mean a split. It was not only in my letter to Arthur Griffith that I said this would mean a split. I said, as you will all remember, on the 14th September in the Session of An Dáil, this means a split; it means that we are back again where we were in 1914 to begin the fight all over again. We are back, but we are back with a difference, for if this goes through we are back with the dishonour of having once established the Republican Government in this country and turned our back on it. Oh, it is true what Mr. Childers said, as ‘no man can put bounds to the onward march of a nation’, so no one can put bounds to the backward march of a nation once that nation lets go of the spiritual ideal which has kept it alive through seven centuries of torture with brief intervals of repose. No one can put bounds, and surely you will agree with me the English nation and the English Government will not try to put bounds to the backward march of that nation, and it will be a backward march for a long time, I am afraid, if this is now accepted by the people of Ireland; not quite so backward as perhaps Lloyd George counts on, for the Army is at heart Republican, and the Army is still the Irish Republican Army, and it will be that until the people of Ireland set up a Government which is not the Irish Republican Government. The Irish Republican Army stands true and disciplined not to the Irish Dominion Free State, but to the Irish Republican Government. I have kept you a long time. I make no apology for it, nor will you seek one. You may be tired, so am I. Let me tell you this. As you have faced, some of you, the enemy's fire, as you have faced the torture of his jails, as you have faced his sentences of death, you must face this act of yours in its every detail, and this is what the young men of this Dáil—and I tell their constituents so—many of them have not done. They have not listened to the arguments against this Treaty they are voting for. They came in with their minds closed as in a vice. Some of them have told us so; some of them have said they are going to vote for this Treaty, and nothing we say can change their minds. All I can say is God help them, because the man who will not change his mind for a reasonable argument proves one thing only, that he has no mind to change. Not one proof can be adduced for this Treaty which is logical, which is worthy of the Irish people who sent you here. Every argument against it is consistent with the promises we gave to our constituents. We have no right to presume that they have changed. There are men in this assembly who are voting against this Treaty who have the approval of their constituents expressed. There are men in this assembly who are voting against this Treaty who have the disapproval of their constituents expressed. The answer for these latter to their constituents would be—and it would be my answer if my constituents dared

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    to suggest to me the unworthy course that, having taken an oath to be faithful to the Republic which they established, I am going to be false to it—my answer would be: ‘You knew what I stood for when I came here. I have not changed, and, if you have, you can tell me so the next time I come to you’. There are men in this assembly who are voting for the Treaty and they have the approval of their constituents expressed; there are men in this assembly who are voting for the Treaty and they have the disapproval of their constituents expressed and they cannot say to them: ‘You sent me here for a specific purpose, and I am going to be true to that purpose’. Their constituents are calling on them to be true to the purpose for which they were sent here. What answer will they give to their constituents when they go back, and what answer will they give to posterity? Once more I beg and implore of you to think deeply before you sign this Treaty. It is an act of dishonour to our nation. Those who have spoken for it, I know, do not mean dishonour. One of them, and one of them alone, has declared he means to keep it. Others have shown us various measures for driving a coach-and-four through it. That, I maintain, is not an honourable stand. Long ago in Ireland's history, in the time of Fionn MacCumhail, they had truth in their hearts, strength in their arms, and what they said, that they would do. We said a Republic. In God's name let us mean it. Do not sign your name to that Treaty meaning to break it, and think that you can get the better of that wizard trickster in Downing Street. You are braver than he is. You are more honourable than he is. You can beat him in the field by the same tactics that you beat him with before; you can beat him in the opinion of the world, but do not be such fools as to think that you can beat him in trickery. You are not made like that, thank God, nor is any Irishman; none of us can beat Lloyd George in trickery, in meanness, in scoundrelism, for I maintain, great man as he is to-day, he is the most unprincipled scoundrel in history [applause]. Do not be led away by that unprincipled trickster. He has tried over and over again in this fight of ours to put us in the wrong with the world. he has tried over and again to fool us before the world, and we have stood on the rock of principle and we have refused to be fooled. Now the very men that taught us, that taught many and many a one among us anyhow, how easily Irish politicians are fooled by Lloyd George, have been fooled themselves and have come back to fool the country like ourselves. They don't mean to fool us. One man means to keep the Treaty; four have shown us how to break it. I ask you do you think that trickster in Downing Street is less clever than you are, that he will not take care to drive a coach-and-four through your Constitution, if you are going to drive a coach-and-four through his Articles of Agreement. You cannot beat the English in trickery. Don't think it. For the last two days, for the last week, since this Dáil opened, I have wondered as I listened to the speeches of those in favour of the Agreement or Treaty—call it what you will, I will make you a present of the word Treaty, though his Majesty doesn't—have they already learned one lesson from England, the art of self-deception? There is nothing in which the Englishman excels more than in the art of self-deception. It looks as if the Irish Free Staters have already learned that lesson. I have finished; I have said, not all I could say, for I could take these articles one by one and give you many more details against them. I have said all that is necessary to say for the honour of myself and for what I stand for, and for the honour of the Republican Members of this Dáil. I do not speak for those who spoke last night of a dead Republic and sobbed a pitiful caoine over it. I speak for the living Republic, the Republic that cannot die. That document will never kill it, never. The Irish Republic was proclaimed and established by the men of Easter Week, 1916. The Irish Republican Government was established in January, 1919, and it has functioned since under such conditions that no country ever worked under before. That Republican Government is not now going to be fooled and destroyed by the Wizard of Wales. We beat him before and we shall beat him again, and I pray with all my heart and soul that a majority of the Members of this assembly will throw out that Treaty and that the minority will stand shoulder to shoulder with us in the fight to regain the position we held on the 4th of this month. I pray that once more; I pray that we will stand together, and the

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    country will stand behind us. I have no doubt of that. I know the women of Ireland, and I know what they will say to the men that want to surrender, and therefore I beg of you to take the decision to throw out that Treaty. Register your votes against it, and do not commit the one unforgivable crime that has ever been committed by the representatives of the people of Ireland [applause].

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I am afraid we will have to sit to-morrow night. We wish to try to have the debate ended before Christmas.

    MR. COLIVET:

    Is it necessary for every Member here to make a speech? I think it is not if the Whips on both sides would collect the names of those who really do wish to speak and arrange them. Since the division list will be published, and the people made aware of our attitude, it is not necessary for all to speak. If every Member speaks we will be here for a fortnight. When all who announce to the Whips their desire to speak have spoken, the closure could be moved.

    MR. ARTHUR GRIFFITH:

    I feel that every Member will not speak for three hours. The whole business was held up this evening by one Member who spoke for two hours and forty minutes. Any person in this assembly can express what he wishes to express in from ten to fifteen minutes.

    The Dáil adjourned till 11 a.m. next day.


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    DÁIL EIREANN PUBLIC SESSION Thursday, December 22nd, 1921

    THE SPEAKER took the Chair at 11.5 a.m.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    At the outset of the proceedings I would like to again draw the attention of this House to the fact that one grave misrepresentation of my remarks on the evening before last did not get that correction which I demanded and which you supported yesterday as fur as the English and, I understand, the other foreign Press is concerned. I would like the Pressmen here to remember that I regard this as a most serious misrepresentation, and any failure on the part of any newspaper, no matter where, will be made accountable by me [hear, hear].

    PROFESSOR M. HAYES (NATIONAL UNIVERSITY):

    Ní fheadar an ceart domhsa labhairt anso indiu, mar fear óg iseadh me agus ní bhfuair me bás fós. Do reir mar a dubhradh linn ine is mór an locht ar fhearaibh óga bheith beo. Is ceart dúinn ar ndícheall do dheanamh chun an cheist seo do shocrú do reir mar a chítear dúinn e, agus do reir mar is dóigh linn is ceart e a shocrú. Ni thógfad ró-fhada chun an cheist seo do phle agus do thabhairt amach go soileir.

    A Chinn Chomhairle, I wish to say here that in going to vote for this Treaty I rise under the shadow of an indictment made here yesterday according to which the young men who have made speeches on this side of the Dáil have a number of very serious defects, and since I suppose I am one of the youngest of these men the defects may be all the greater in my case. We were told that the young men who spoke for this Treaty are dishonest, unintelligent, ignorant of Irish history, negligent of their duties to their constituents, knowing nothing of living constitutions or constitutional law, and finally, unable to think. Now it is a serious thing to have to make a speech when you reflect that you have been indicted in that way. We sent over plenipotentiaries to negotiate on this to negotiate a Treaty or treaties of association with the British Commonwealth of Nations. They have brought back a Treaty and the President has told us that in signing it they were within their rights. On their last visit to London they did their best to interpret not the view of the Cabinet, but the divergent views of the Cabinet at home in so far as these divergent views could be brought together in any agreed document. Now the position surely is this, that this country had fought but did not win out; that is to say we had not driven out the enemy. Now our plenipotentiaries, who were chosen for their judgment and their courage, having weighed up all the contingencies, approved of the Treaty, and not one of us can run away from the responsibility of deciding whether he is for or against that Treaty. A lady in this assembly has given us a very noble guide, a very noble sentiment to guide us when we are making up our minds. The member for St. Patrick's Division (Madam Markievicz) told us in Private Session that in voting for or against the Treaty we should decide according to the conscience and judgment that God has given us. The problem is there and it would be cowardly to shirk it; and according to the judgment and conscience God has given me I have made up my mind [hear, hear]. In judging this Treaty I take two standards, first the question of our honour, and the second question is whether under this


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    Treaty we have the substance of freedom. Our representatives, the representatives of the historic Irish nation, negotiated in London for two months with the representatives of England and with the eyes of the world upon them. Now I submit, in spite of any legal quibbles, that fact in itself went a long way towards recognising the status of the independent national entity which we call the Irish Nation [hear, hear]. Further, a Treaty was reached between them and published before the world, and that Treaty in itself gives us an international status. I will not imitate the member for Wexford by quoting, Webster's Dictionary on the word Treaty. The meaning is fairly well known. I may be ignorant of Irish history, but I submit that since English domination became effective in Ireland, that is to say since Kinsale and the flight of the Earls, the Irish Nation has never got as much recognition as a nation in the eyes of the world as it got while these negotiations were going on, and as it gets by this Treaty [hear, hear]. We were told plainly and distinctly by our ambassadors in foreign parts that no nation in the world recognises an Irish Republic, and more recognition has been given to Ireland by England than has been given by any other nation in the world; and if we have the courage to grasp that and act in the light of that achievement we will be doing right [hear, hear]. The agreement is embodied in the Treaty and therefore it seems to me that our national status is vindicated; and further, the Constitution of the new state is to be drawn up by the Irish Government, and I trust that Government and I trust the Irish people to see that it will be drawn up properly. In this connection much has been made of the words ‘subject to the Provisions of the Treaty’. But why did we go to make a Treaty at all if we object to the words Provisions of a Treaty; occurring in it. The provisions of this Treaty make no restrictions on the Irish Constitution. The Irish Constitution will derive, not from this Treaty, not from any Act of the British Parliament, but from the Irish people. As far as I can see in it it makes no mention of any country but Ireland. Why should it? This Treaty defines our relations with the British Commonwealth of Nations. It is not a concession, not a Home Rule Bill, but an international instrument, not granting us rights but acknowledging rights that have long been questioned and are now admitted in face of the world by England. Now so far I think the Treaty recognises our National status, and the Minister of Finance speaking in Armagh in September, and then I suppose representing a united Cabinet, stated we were out for the substance of freedom. I submit that in this Treaty we have the substance of freedom if we have the courage to take it; and when we are asked ‘Is this what has been fought for?’ I say that if the words of the Treaty give you the right to say that England must get out of Ireland then that is what was fought for [hear, hear]. Now, my friend, Deputy Etchingham, told us there was only one man in this assembly who can interpret the Treaty. That gentleman was Mr. Childers. I don't know whether that is an example of the slave mind or not, but anyhow I will quote you Mr. Childers on the Treaty. Speaking about Article 2. which defines our relations with the Imperial Parliament, he told us that if the Dominion of Canada wished to defy the law by constitutional usage, Canada and the other nations have acquired virtual independence, they are virtually independent nations, exercising full executive and legislative rights. Now if a nation exercising full legislative and executive rights is not free I don't know what freedom is. We have been given numbers of arguments. I may summarise them in this way: —first, the substance of freedom cannot he found in the words of the Treaty. Well then the definitions that we had of the powers of Canada are wrong. Secondly, these powers—the substance of freedom—are in the Treaty, but you cannot get them because you are too near England. I am one of the young men who did not go out with my head up when Mr. Childers was speaking. I listened to him very carefully and the idea I got—it may be a misunderstanding—but the impression left upon me was this, that he was indicting the historic Irish Nation for having chosen this island for its habitation instead of some island in the Pacific. But we cannot help that. It is a defect in our world position. It is nothing short, to my mind, of absurdity, nothing short of expressing a complete distrust of the Irish people, to argue that you cannot get the things you want through

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    the Treaty because you are too near England. It is our business to see that we get them. A further argument was put like this:—This Treaty does contain the substance of freedom; you will get all the provisions of the Treaty carried out, but then, when you have all that—I quote my old friend Mr. Etchingham again—when you get this independence, when the Irish people get this independence, and the control over their own affairs they will decay and lose their national ideals. Now I agree with Deputy Miss MacSwiney. When speaking yesterday she said the heart of the Irish people is sound. I do not believe in the argument that when they get freedom and get control they will become simply and solely materialists. Some Deputy stated that under a Free State there would be more rebels than ever. You cannot have it both ways. The position of the Irish Free State in regard to England's wars was defined thus: ‘That in the ease of war the States of the British Commonwealth will take such concerted action founded on consultation as the several governments may determine’. That means that a majority of votes will not carry them all into war; each and every one must decide on a question of war for itself. This is governed by a pact made in 1917. The interpretation of that, if I mistake not, is the interpretation of Mr. Childers himself. We were told that if we were dragged into England's foreign wars we would be bound by every treaty she makes. In the Treaty of Versailles there is an express stipulation that none of its provisions would bind any nation of the British Commonwealth unless signed by the representatives of that nation. At the Washington Conference South Africa and the other nations of the British Commonwealth vindicated their right to representation on an equal footing with France, Italy and Great Britain; and if that is not the status of nationhood then I don't know what is. Another argument that was used yesterday evening was in reference to the fact that this Treaty gives us absolute and complete control of our own trade with the right of putting up tariffs if we please, against England. We were told this was no use because, forsooth, Mr. Churchill says that England has got an economic grip on Ireland. She has got an economic grip on Ireland and it is precisely to lessen that economic grip and increase the strength of Ireland, relative to the strength of Britain, that those for this Treaty are anxious for the Treaty to be passed. Now I have great temerity in touching upon one other subject. Perhaps I am ignorant of it, but at any rate I have been in touch with it all my life. This Treaty gives Irish men and women in Ireland absolute and complete control of Education. The Minister for Finance, in his speech on the Treaty said that British domination in Ireland is effected by an economic cancer that eats into the very heart of our nation. Besides that economic cancer there is another cancer even more important eating into the very heart and vitals of the Irish nation, and the spiritual penetration, the sway of English manners and customs, of the English tongue, English ideas and English ideals in Ireland is the most dangerous thing to the undying spirit of any nation, and I say that with control of education in an Irish State that rot could be stopped. The President yesterday with another Deputy was speaking on this subject interjected that it would be education with dishonour. I wonder is it because so few of us are native speakers of this English language that we throw our words about in such a fashion?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I say fundamentally, based upon this Treaty, it is dishonourable.

    PROFESSOR M. HAYES:

    I submit that it is not dishonourable. It passes to our hands, and education in an Ireland where there would be no interference whatever from England would certainly be Irish Education. There is no use in denying that it certainly would be Irish education; and at the moment practically every child in Ireland is being educated in the most deplorable way you can imagine, under an English system guided by English ideas, and interpreted in an English way; and the Government of the Irish Republic, in the Educational Department of which I have worked and done my best is utterly powerless to do anything—even under a truce—to do anything to stop it. I speak exactly and precisely of what I know. Anything that has been done for the last few months has been based on the supposition that we were going to get control of Education; and if we have to go back to fighting


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    again, back to war or chaos, or go back to any form of agitation, then our power in education is practically nil. Whereas this Treaty certainly gives us power to direct all the spiritual activities of our people in the right way, and a propos of this I will quote a statement the President, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Defence and the President of the Ard-Fheis made at a meeting of the Keating Branch of the Gaelic League, that they would take an Ireland with the Irish language and having no freedom rather than a free Ireland without the Irish language [hear, hear]. I understand exactly what they meant. They meant, I am sure, not only the Irish language, but Irish ideals. I am sure I am right.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Yes and you are killing them with this.

    PROFESSOR M. HAYES:

    Under this Treaty you can get the Irish language and get Irish ideals with freedom; and it seems to me the only argument against that is, that when the Irish people get control of Irish education themselves they won't be able to manage it. That seems to me to be the fundamental argument against. We are told we cannot teach Irish history. We certainly can. We were asked how would we teach the history of 1916 under a Free State. We would teach it as it ought to be taught and as it cannot be taught now. Now I believe that we are going to agree to a cutting down of these speeches. I hope we are, but I have done my best to explain to you on what ground I have come to a decision. We have fought against English domination and within the four corners of that Treaty English domination in Ireland can be got rid of. We were asked yesterday evening to consider the horrors we were going to inflict on the young girls of Ireland by establishing a representative of the King in Ireland. I do not know really, for personally I never came into contact anywhere with people who had been to the Viceregal Court in Ireland. But I do know this Treaty will remove from Ireland a more immoral influence on the young girls of Ireland, that is, the English Garrison [applause]. I have done my best with my own poor intelligence to form an honest opinion of this Treaty and I have given it to you. Further, I have not formed my opinion on the Treaty because I think the alternative is war. I formed my opinion independently, but no alternative has been offered here. Further, I believe that my view represents the views of my constituents, and I would be quite prepared to go before my constituents to give my views as I have stated them, and even go before the women graduates of the National University whom I represent and give them any opinion, and I am sure they would stand by it. I have come to this opinion honestly, and whatever the decision of this House will be, one way or the other, I shall abide by it. I will not run away from it one way or the other. The decision I have come to honestly is to vote for this Treaty. I have come to it and I am neither ashamed nor afraid of it [applause].

    MR. SEAN O'CEALLAIGH:

    A Chinn Chomhairle, agus a lucht na Dála, is truagh liom sinn a bheith deighilte mar atáimíd fós, agus is mó de thruagh liom oiread so easaontais do bheith eadrainn toisc gan ár dteanga dhúchais ar leithligh do bheith ar siubhal againn anso. Dá mb'í ár dteanga dhúchais a bheadh ar siubhal againn is lú beann a bheadh againn ar na daoine iasachta atá ag faire orainn is ar na páipeirí nuachta atá go nimhneach 'nár gcoinnibh. Tá súil agam nuair a bheidh deire le cúrsaí an chóthionóil seo go gcuimhneochaidh lucht na Dála ar an rud is dual dóibh uile agus go mbainfid feidhm arís as teangain ár dtíre; agus na daoine nách feidir leo san a dheanamh, no nách mian leo san a dheanamh go dtuigfe siad feasta nach áit oiriúnach dóibh Dáil Eireann. Before I proceed to examine in my own inexpert way the proposals of this pact, I should like through you, Mr. Speaker, to express my sense of gratitude to Deputy Erskine Childers, for his lucid and informing analysis of that scheme, and I want to say if every one in this Dáil approached the discussion in the same spirit as he has done, the people of Ireland would be in a better position to form a just judgment of the proposals before us; and I would also like to record my high appreciation of the superb address we heard last evening from Deputy Miss MacSwiney [hear, hear]. To my mind that address not only vindicates the far-flung movement for women's rights, but places Miss MacSwiney


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    in the highest ranks of the greatest orators of our race. I was ashamed to hear the reference made to it from the bench opposite. My acknowledgments are due also to the Minister of Finance—I am sorry he is not here to hear me—not for any light thrown by him either in Private Session or in public on the financial clauses of the pact, but because in his admirable and characteristic address he thought fit to refer in seeming resentment to some words used by me, when in Private Session I addressed an earnest appeal to the contending parties in this struggle to close up their ranks in God's name. I suppose I may compliment the Minister of Finance on the efficiency of his Intelligence Department, for unless I have the Nelsonian eye so much referred to in the course of that Private Session—and surely a speaker may sometimes have the Nelsonian eye—I did not have the privilege of numbering Mr. Collins among my auditors when I made my appeal for unity to the Dáil. My reference to ‘slippery slopes’ was not accurately conveyed to the Minister of Finance. What happened, as you will remember, was this: I pointed out that the action of our Delegates in signing the proposed Treaty in London under duress and giving it to the world was a departure from the spirit of the understanding reached at the Dáil itself on the day they were appointed [‘No! No!’] and further a departure, however unavoidable, from the instructions given to them by the President and his Cabinet [‘No! No!’]. I have no desire to labour the point. I am content to place my conviction on record. The result of the visit to London was that the whole Cabinet had drifted from the high plane it previously held to a slippery slope, and I appealed to the contending parties to turn their gaze towards heaven once more and, hand in hand, to assist each other towards the exalted plane to which our cause had been brought by untold sacrifice of precious life and blood and treasure. Is it too late to repeat the appeal on the threshold of the approaching season of peace and good will on earth? The Minister of Finance in that connection asked why was it that we who talked of slippery slopes did not sound the warning earlier? No one should know better than the Minister of Finance that from the very beginning and again and again I warned the Cabinet; that I resisted strenuously the proposals to send delegates, and I warned the Cabinet, every member of it, to guard particularly in every step they took and every line they wrote against the danger of giving the British Premier the opportunity or the gratification of dividing our people. I think I am giving away no secrets in saying I took up that position from the outset. I opposed strenuously the proposal to send a Delegation to London. I opposed it until it became only too obvious that the insidious counsel of Cope of the Castle had permeated our whole body politic, and until subsequently I felt oppressed by the sheer weight of the tinsel of our own militarism—Commandants for Inverness, Commandants for Gairloch, Commandants for London, swaggering up and down the country in the company of the enemies of our country; leading the people to believe there was an enduring peace when there was no peace, telling them with great show of authority that we had already been offered ‘the substance of the Republic’—and let those responsible take the responsibility—so behaving generally that the average man could only conclude the whole surrender was dictated by military necessity. It would have been better, I often felt, not to have dragged the soldier's trade down to the lowest sordid level of the politician's. Now I am not going to labour that point. I think those who run may read. Now I come to King Charles's Head—to quote a previous speaker—the much discussed Oath of Allegiance involved in the opening Clause, and crystallised in Clause 4 which reads: ‘I, J. J. Walsh’—if I may take the liberty of using the name of my honourable friend in illustration—‘do solemnly swear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State, as by law established, and that I will be faithful to His Majesty King George V., his heirs and successors by law, in virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain, and her adherence to and membership of the group of nations forming the British Commonwealth of Nations.’ ‘This’, said Mr Griffith, in introducing his motion, ‘is an oath of allegiance to the Free State of Ireland and faithfulness to King George V. in his capacity as head, and in virtue of the Common

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    Citizenship of Ireland Britain and the other nations comprising the British Commonwealth. That is an oath which, I say any Irishman may take with honour’.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    On a point of order, as you mentioned my name I would like to know which Oath you are reading.

    MR. O'CEALLAIGH:

    I have read the Oath in the Pact, and only I felt I had the permission of my distinguished and honourable old friend I would not take such a liberty with his name.

    A DEPUTY:

    Give us the other one.

    MR. O'CEALLAIGH:

    I only used my friend's name in illustration, and I read the interpretation of the Oath given by the Chairman of the Delegation. Now I differ radically from the Chairman of the Delegation in regard to this Oath. I am opposed to it because to pledge unborn generations of our people ‘to be faithful to King George, his heirs and successors’ as it does, is to do violence to the most elementary principles of democracy, and to be democratic surely—not to declare for hereditary rule—should be a prime aim of our newborn native Government. I tell everyone here to-day you must take note of democracy, genuine democracy, in the new Ireland growing up around us. I am opposed to the Oath because, instead of ensuring the distinct citizenship for which we have ever clamoured, still clamour and shall continue to clamour, and to fight for, if necessary, this Oath professes to make a virtue of ‘common citizenship with Great Britain’ involving common responsibilities, and intensifying the accursed union against which we have never ceased to protest and which we shall never cease to detest and to loathe. I am opposed to the restoration of this alien declaration of fidelity because I am reminded by the presence of a friend in the audience—only the other day some of the men who here signed the proposed agreement helped to render civil servants who took a similar oath of allegiance under duress, ineligible as teachers in the Dublin Trade Schools, while for the same reason other civil servants were driven out of the Gaelic Athletic Association which, to my personal knowledge, they had done much to build up and restore to popularity. I am far from desiring ‘to indecently rattle the bones of the dead’, but I say here now that the rattling of the bones of the dead was rendered inevitable by those who put Commandant MacKeon in the false position of seconding this motion.

    MR. MACKEON:

    Who did so? I wish to say that I seconded the motion of my own free will and according to my own free reason [applause].

    MR. O'CEALLAIGH:

    Well, I accept the correction with pleasure. I am opposed to the Oath no matter what is said about it. I am opposed to this declaration of fidelity to an alien King because it is an outrage on the memory of our martyred comrades, and in the circumstances in which we find ourselves here today, I say this is an open insult to the heroic relatives they have left behind. I am opposed to it because its inclusion in this proposed agreement, in flagrant disregard of the published correspondence between our President and the British Premier and the Pope, is an unauthorised departure from the spirit of the instructions given our Delegates at the meeting of Dáil Eireann which appointed them. I am opposed to it finally because to support it or even condone it would be tantamount to perjuring myself and would contribute, in my humble opinion, towards perjuring the sixty or more colleagues to whom, by your authority, I have administered the Oath of Allegiance to the Saorstát.

    MR. M. STAINES:

    The oath a man takes is a question for his own conscience and I certainly will not be dictated to by anybody as to what oath I will take.

    MR. O'CEALLAIGH:

    Mr. Speaker. I want to say to you, or such of you as were members of the original Dáil, in unanimously electing me as your Chairman during the long absence of my friend, Mr. Sean T. O'Kelly, imposed upon me the obligation of administering to every one of my colleagues this Oath of true faith and allegiance to the Saorstát. Now this is the Oath I administered to them: ‘I
    [gap: blank to be filled/extent: 2/3 words]
    do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I do not yield a voluntary support


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    to any pretended Government or authority within Ireland’ ‘

    interruptions

    ’.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I would appeal to Deputies not to be interrupting. Do not copy the tactics of the other side.

    MR. O'CEALLAIGH

    reading:

    ‘I
    [gap: blank to be filled/extent: 2/3 words]
    do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I do not and shall not yield a voluntary support to any pretended Government authority or power within Ireland hostile and inimical thereto, and I do further swear (or affirm) that to the best of my knowledge and ability I will support and defend the Irish Republic and the Government of the Irish Republic, which is Dáil Eireann, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So help me God’

    Now with all due respect to the President, with all due respect to the Chairman of the Delegation, with all due respect to the experts in the Hall, and to the Professors of Ethics who equivocate in the Press, I interpreted that Oath of Allegiance—both in taking it and in administering it to scores of my colleagues—as a solemn vow consecrating my whole future life to the service of the Republic, and I would not have administered it if I thought my colleagues did not interpret it in a similar spirit. Solemnly on the Testament, with this tongue and by this hand, I administered that Oath to our immortal comrade, Terence MacSwiney. Am I now to pollute hand and tongue by subscribing to an alien allegiance? Am I so soon to forget the outstanding martyr of the human race, who, to restore us our freedom, suffered his young life to ebb away gasp by gasp, for twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, aye, seventy-four weary, dreary days of unending agony—to the eternal disgrace of England and the undying honour of the race he has exalted for ever—and whose last articulate gasp was a request that he be buried in the uniform of a soldier of the Irish Republic? Have you forgotten it already? I apologise to Deputy Miss MacSwiney, Deputy Seán MacSwiney, and the others who mourn with them here, for recalling those days of anguish, but it is an anguish, thank God, that has eventuated in pride and in national glory. That uniform in which our colleague was buried is, to me at least, a sacred thing nothing less than the habit of a martyr, with a truer title to be so regarded than the purple or scarlet of Bishop or Cardinal the habit of Francis or of Dominic. You soldiers of the Republic who are here robed in that garb, never let the heritage entrusted to your honour by a martyr be sullied by being dragged into the sordid arena of politics, and never forget the martyr's counsel that ‘victory will be not with those who can inflect most, but with those who can endure most’. Before I heard Deputy Barton's story of Lloyd George's big stick, corroborated by Mr. Gavan Duffy, I had been wondering what wizard's wand, what druidic draught so confounded our trusted Delegates in London, that they could have been oblivious even for one moment of the position in which this ignoble settlement to which they had put their hands would place us—the renunciation it would imply of the Republic constitutionally proclaimed three years ago in the face of Ireland and the world by the gallant soldier who, as we were informed yesterday, fought on in 1916 even after his last drop of blood seemed to have been shed, and survived in the providence of God to baffle the bloodhounds of Britain—Cathal Brugha. No one here holds Doctor MacCartan in higher personal esteem than I do, but I deplored his speech last evening in which he said the Republic to which he had sworn allegiance was dead. As a past Chairman of this assembly I tell you, Mr. Speaker, that hence forward no one must he allowed to say with impunity in the Parliament of the Republic that the Republic is dead. The Republic, whose birth certificate was written with steel in the immortal blood of martyrs in l916, was constitutionally proclaimed in 1919, and is now six years in existence almost as long as Grattan's Parliament. It is not dead—or even slumbering: it is alive and functioning, and will continue to function in spite of the wiles of the wizard from Wales and the partition Parliament of Southern Ireland in which it is proposed to have it merged. I was disappointed, too, when I heard the President say he devoted himself, in the interests of unity, to pulling down the walls of the Republic.


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    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I said ‘isolated Republic’.

    MR. O'CEALLAIGH:

    On reflection I interpreted the President's words to mean that the wise architect, soldier and statesman, seeing the breast-works of the rising national edifice grow somewhat irregular, pulled them down here and there to preserve the symmetry of the structure, enable the halting to keep pace with the eager and the earnest, and thus lead the whole people steadily to the consummation of our highest hopes.It has been said that the only alternative to approval of this Treaty is war. Not necessarily. The rejection of the Treaty may bring war, but to my mind it would bring us back to the position we occupied before the Delegation went to London, and in that case it would be a war on a united Ireland. If the pact be approved I am equally afraid it may be war because the young men of Ireland will not have the pact, and in that case it may be war on a divided Ireland.To my mind—and being a man of peace I have considered it as carefully and as anxiously as anyone—we are less likely to have war by disapproving the pact than by approving it. And if England will make war on us then, because we refuse to perjure ourselves or betray our heroic dead, let the responsibility be hers and hers alone. For my own part, war or no war, having taken an Oath of Allegiance twice over to the Republic, and administered it, in the face of heaven and by your command, to scores of my colleagues, no consideration on earth will induce me voluntarily to declare allegiance or lip fidelity to the King of a country whose instruments of Government have oppressed and traduced our people for seven centuries and a half. Before passing finally from the Oath let me say that several clauses of the Treaty conflict with it. Clauses 17 and 18 will suffice in illustration: ‘By way of provisional arrangement for the administration of Southern Ireland during the interval which must elapse between the date hereof and the constitution of a Parliament and Government of the Irish Free State in accordance therewith’, says clause 17, ‘steps shall be taken forthwith for summoning a meeting of members of Parliament elected for constituencies in Southern Ireland since the passing of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, and for constituting a Provisional Government; and the British Government shall take the steps necessary to transfer to such Provisional Government the powers and machinery requisite for the discharge of its duties provided every member of such Provisional Government shall have signified his or her acceptance of this instrument. But this arrangement shall not continue in force beyond the expiration of twelve months from the date hereof’. And Clause 18 provides that ‘This instrument shall be submitted forthwith by his Majesty's Government for the approval of Parliament and by the Irish signatories to a meeting summoned for the purpose of the members elected to sit in the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and, if approved, shall be ratified by the necessary legislation’. I am afraid it is but too obvious our Delegates did not keep our Oath of Allegiance clearly before them while discussing these clauses in London. I say that unwittingly—

    MR. MICHAEL COLLINS:

    The Delegates are prepared to answer that before any tribunal in Ireland or in any part of the world—at least, some of us are [applause].

    MR. O'CEALLAIGH:

    I am a Minister of this House and I hope my conduct has not been unworthy. What a nice culmination for Dáil Eireann to abdicate in favour of a provincial, provisional, partition assembly which was laughed to scorn when called into being in Dublin some months ago. But, of course, the chairman of the Delegation says he has brought us back a Treaty of Equality, and the flag and freedom, and I forget how much else; and accordingly he asks the Dáil to pass his resolution and he requests the people of Ireland and the Irish people everywhere to ratify his Treaty. I am sorry to see, Mr. Speaker, that we are not sufficiently jealous about the prerogatives of this Dáil. We were irregularly summoned here, in the first instance, to discuss the ratification of the Treaty in Public Session. Later, in Private Session, we found it was ultra vires. We next assembled in Public Session to find the Treaty on retreat from ratification to approval. I insist, Mr. Speaker, the whole discussion is irregular.


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    MR. SEAN MILROY:

    What about Document No. 2?

    MR O CEALLAIGH

    I have not referred to that document. The man who is concerned with it, when this whole business is over, will be respected throughout Ireland and throughout the world, and I leave to him the elucidation of the document referred to. I submit further, Mr. Speaker, that I have kept within the rules of debate, and applied myself to the question before the House. Asking the Irish people to ratify the Treaty seems to me like challenging an election and we are tired of the clamour in the newspapers in this connection. I have as much respect as anyone for the rights of the people. What are they, and what are ours? My own case is typical, and it is this. In November, 1918, I was invited to contest the doubtful constituency of Louth in the Republican interest. I declined—as I did other invitations—urging those who waited on me to select a local representative. Finally I yielded to a combination of influences and entered the contest. From the day I entered the constituency until I left it six weeks later—and I speak in the hearing of comrades who, sleeplessly and selflessly helped me to win it—I never once lowered the Republican standard or shirked the Republican issue. In due course Dáil Eireann was convened and the Republic constitutionally proclaimed. The newly elected members swore allegiance to the Republic and, one after the other, the Public Boards of the country declared similar allegiance. Departments of Government were set up, and the Republic functioned to the satisfaction and with the co-operation of the nation. Early this year there was a general election. Again I was asked to contest the constituency, and again I urged that local men be nominated. I was elected unopposed. The new Dáil was convened in due course, and the Oath of Allegiance to the Republic renewed. Herein is my mandate, and I say, if, in response to the clamour of the newspapers, I got a thousand resolutions and fifty thousand telegrams from every public body within my constituency, I would still interpret my Republican mandate by voting against this Treaty of surrender. I was pained to hear it stated that the people of my native Iveragh favoured this pact. I take the liberty to doubt it. Equally do I take the liberty to doubt the statement that,in the event of a renewal of hostilities, the people of East Kerry could not be relied on to sustain the army of the Republic. The people of Kerry, if I know them, will remain true to the Republic. Whether they do or not, I am glad, and I am very proud that in this matter I see eye to eye with Austin Stack. We did not hear so much about the rights of the people in the old days when, heedless of an unheeding world, the Chairman of the Delegation ploughed the lonely furrow and was not less sound than he is to-day. I respected and trusted Arthur Griffith ploughing the lonely furrow; I have lost confidence in Arthur Griffith, the plenipotentiary. Now though I do not wish to make undue claims on the time of the House, I cannot help expressing my regret that we got no information on the financial clauses of the Treaty. ‘The Irish Free State’,says clause 5, ‘shall assume liability for the service of the Public Debt of the United Kingdom as existing at the date hereof, and towards the payment of war pensions as existing at that date, in such proportion as may be fair and equitable,having regard to any just claims on the part of Ireland by way of set-off or counter-claim, the amount of such sums being determined in default of agreement by the arbitration of one or more independent persons being citizens of the British Empire’. This does not look rosy. I take it the public debt had been incurred very largely through the cost of war, the outlay on warships and on the appliances and the appurtenances of war. Ireland, hitherto, has paid more than her share towards procuring all these engines and instruments of war. Do they all now remain the property of England, to be used for our destruction when it suits her, and must Ireland saddle herself with a load of taxation to meet their cost? And where within the Empire is the expert arbitrator to be found who will be proof against a ducal coronet? Of course we get some compensations—the world is regulated by compensations—for clause 6 provides—‘Until an arrangement has been made between the British and Irish Governments whereby the Irish Free State undertakes her


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    own coastal the defence by sea of Great Britain and Ireland shall be undertaken by His Majesty's Imperial Forces, but this shall not prevent the construction or maintenance by the Government of the Irish Free State of such vessels as are necessary for the protection of the Revenue or the Fisheries.’ All the comment I am going to offer on this nucleus of a fleet is, that the destruction of the Fisheries on our South-West coast, with the connivance of the British Government, is a crime against humanity. Clause 10 also calls for a words of comment: ‘The Government of the Free State’, it lays down, ‘agrees to pay fair compensation on terms not less favourable than those accorded in the Act of 1920 to judges, officials, members of police forces and other public servants who are discharged by it, or who retire in consequence of the change of Government affected in pursuance thereof’. The Act of 1920, which we have hitherto avoided as an unclean thing, seems to regulate everything. I have been wondering whether compensation is to be given to the judges who were held to have judicially murdered our soldiers, and whether our surviving soldiers are to go entirely uncompensated; whether also the full benefit of the 1920 Act is to be given to the bigots in the Government offices who, these days, are having their salaries specially increased in anticipation of enhanced compensation. We next come to the question of evacuation. To my mind England's world- position, her need for troops in the East, in Egypt and in India, explains her eagerness for the evacuation of Ireland. But, with her accustomed hypocrisy, she would have the world interpret her own military exigencies as an act of magnanimity towards us. What does the Treaty ensure her? According to clause 7:

    The Government of the Irish Free State shall afford to His Majesty's Imperial Forces:—

    1. In time of peace such harbour and other facilities as are indicated in the annex hereto or such other facilities as may from time to time be agreed between the British Government and the Government of the Irish Free State, and
    2. In time of war or of strained relations with a Foreign Power such harbour and other facilities as the British Government may require for the purposes of such defence as aforesaid—

    regardless of whether the Irish Free State so willed or not. I was discussing what Mr. Griffith calls a Treaty of Equality. I call it, with the President, a Treaty of surrender. Let us see what are the specific facilities indicated in the annex:

    1. Dockyard and Port at Berehaven. Admiralty property and rights to be retained as at the date hereof. Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties.
    2. Queenstown. Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties. Certain mooring buoys to be retained for the use of His Majesty's ships.
    3. Belfast Lough. Harbour defences to remain in charge of British care and maintenance parties.
    4. Lough Swilly. Harbour Defences to remain in charge British care and maintenance parties.
    5. Aviation. Facilities in the neighbourhood of the above ports for coastal defence by air.

    And yet this is called a Treaty of Equality. I repeat it is a Treaty of surrender and subjection. A midland or frontier Deputy no doubt consoled us yesterday with the assurance that the British warships in our ports would be under the range of the guns of Commandant MacKeon. The frontier estimate of the futility of the naval gun must have fairly bewildered Deputy Erskine Childers.

    MR. O'KEEFFE:

    I protested against an Englishman being employed as a servant of this Dáil.

    MR. O'CEALLAIGH:

    Last evening, also, Deputy Miss MacSwiney in her moving address referred to Mr. Arthur Griffith's old-time theory that England placed a wall of paper around Ireland on the outside of which she wrote what she wished the world to believe about Ireland, and on the inside of which she wrote—well it really does not much matter. This Treaty would perpetuate the wall of paper for the annex provides for a convention to give effect to the following conditions:

    (a) That submarine cables shall not


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    be landed, or wireless stations for communication with places outside Ireland be established except by agreement with the British Government, that the existing cable landing rights and wireless concessions shall not be withdrawn except by agreement with the British Government, and that the British Government shall be entitled to land additional submarine cables or establish additional wireless stations for communication with places outside Ireland.

    And yet we are told this is a Treaty of Equality. A Treaty of Equality! Of course it has to be admitted that the annex in the next clause gives us the privilege ‘that light-houses, buoys, beacons, and any navigational marks or navigational aids shall be maintained by the Government of the Irish Free State as at the date hereof, and shall not be removed or added to except by an agreement with the British Government’.

    In short, England, by this Treaty of Equality, retains her Pale as a nursery of discord in the North, four Gibraltars round our coast, as a challenge to the United States, and associated with them four Air Stations, which, to anyone who can see beyond his nose, will be the real bases for the war operations of the future, and a standing invitation to every enemy at war with England to lay our land in ruins. This, then, I say finally, is not a Treaty of Equality. It is a Treaty of surrender, subjection, servitude, slavery, and as such, I appeal to you not to be content with its retreat from ratification to approval, but to drive it from approval to rejection and from rejection to the oblivion from which it should never have emerged [applause].

    THE SPEAKER:

    I would ask the members not to make interruptions. One effect of the interruptions is to lengthen the speeches with the inevitable result of taking up more of your time.

    PADRAIC O MAILLE:

    Is maith liomsa labhairt ag an nDáil seo, agus mo ghuth do thabhairt ar son an Chonnartha so, agus se an fáth atáim a dheanamh san mar, sa chead áit, tá fhios agam im' chroidhe agus im' aigne gurb e an rud is fearr e ar son na tíre agus muintir na hEireann. Táim a dheanamh san mar tá fhios agam go dteastuíonn ó mhuintir na Gaillimhe go ndeanfaí san. Bheadh náire orm dul thar n-ais dá ndeanfainn rud 'na aghaidh sin. Dheanfainn tubaist mhuintir na hEireann agus mhuintir na Gaillimhe. Tá mar oblagáid ar dhuine a thír a chosaint. Rinneas san chó maith is d'fheadas. Sa dara aít, seasóidh me agus labharfaidh me ar son an Chonnartha so mar níl a mhalairt le fáil, ach caismirt ar fuaid na tíre agus cogadh agus scrios ar na daoine. Tá daoine ag caint anso mar gheall ar ean agus dhá ean. Ní leir dom ca bhfuil an dá ean. Neosaidh me sceal beag díbh. Chuaidh roint daoine amach ag fiach, agus dubhairt fear leo go raibh scata mór giorfhiaithe le fáil. Ach ní bhfuaireadar tar eis an lae ach triopall deas raithinighe. Sibhse atá ag leanúint ghiorfhia anois, beidir ná beadh ann ach triopall deas raithinighe. Tá daoine anso do rinne mórán tróda le dhá bhliain anuas. Ach ce gur throideadar go calma agus go glic níor fheadadar an rud do bhí uatha do dheanamh. Ní raibh leigheas air sin. Anois nuair atá an namhaid ag imeacht uaidh fein tá daoine anso agus teastuíonn uatha a thuille cogaidh agus a thuille troda do chur ar bun chun go mbeadh caoi ag na fir óga ar bhás d'fháil ar son na hEireann. Is breá agus is uasal an rud e bás d'fháil ar son na hEireann. Sin ceann des na hargóintí do chualamair uatha so atá i gcoinnibh an Chonnartha. Ta daoine anso gur mian leo sa chogadh nua so bás d'fháil ar son na hEireann. Tá cead ag gach uile Theachta san do dheanamh ach níl cead aca daoine eile do chur amach. Sin e an deifríocht atá eadrainn do reir mo bharúla-sa. Bhí deifríocht den tsórt ceadna idir an dá Aodh ag Cionn tSáile. Bhí Aodh Ruadh O Domhnaill ar aon taobh amháin agus e go díreach ach go rótheasuidhe. Bhí Aodh O Neill ar an dtaobh eile agus e go ceillidhe staidearach, ciallmhar. Do glacadh le tuairim Aodh Ruaidh Uí Dhomhnaill agus do mhill se an tír. Sin e atá sibhse do dheanamh inniu; sin e mo bharúil. Teachta ó Cho. Lughmhuighe, dubhairt se go mba mhaith leis da mba ná labharfaí aon Bhearla agus móimead nú dhó 'na dhiaidh sin dubhairt se ná raibh einne ach Erskine Childers agus Máire Nic Shiubhne a thuig an sceal so.


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    Dá mba coiníoll e na feadfadh ach Gaedhilgeoirí bheith anso ní bheadh seans ag Erskine Childers na ag Maire Nic Shuibhne bheith anso, mar nuair a labhras i nGaedhilg ag an nDáil seo tráth níor thuig einne den bheirt seo focal dá ndubhairt me. Ní dóigh liom gur cóir do dhaoine bheith ag rá nár cheart dos na Teachtaí a n-ainm do chur leis an gConnradh. Ní deas an rud bheith ag rá go ndeárnadar so is súd. Dá mbeimís go leir ag labhairt na Gaedhilge anso ní bheimís trí cheile fe mar atáimíd. Níor chaill m'athair ná einne dem' shinnsear an Ghaedhilg. Ní dheárnadar súd ná ní dheárnas-sa troid ar son Shasana, ach nuair a bhí troid le deanamh ar son na hEireann níor loirgeas Connradh ná níor ritheas ón gcath. Anois a cháirde tá a lán daoine sa Dáil seo na tuigeann an Ghaedhilg agus dá bhrí sin caithfe me labhairt i dteanga an tSasanaigh, agus tá súil agam go nglacfa sibh liom go reidh mar ní cainteóir Bearla me. Níor cuireadh anso me chun Bearla do labhairt. Do cuireadh anso me chun toil mhuintir na Gaillimhe do dheanamh agus táim á dheanamh san. Tá cheist mhór os cóir na tíre, agus aon Teachta ata ar aigne guth do thabhairt i gcoinnibh an Chonnartha so agus fhios aige go bhfuil an mhuintir do chur anso e i bhfábhar an Chonnartha—ba cheart do eirghe as an nDáil agus an sceal do chur os cóir na ndaoine, ach ní ceart do troid do chur ar bun ar son daoine eile agus beidir gan beith sa troid e fein.

    Now, my friends, I don't wish to detain you very long. There are a few things wish to say in reference to this Treaty. I am supporting the Treaty for what is good in it, and I believe there is a good deal of good in it. The speaker who has just sat down, my friend the Deputy for Louth, Mr. J. J. O'Kelly, spent forty minutes of his speech in denunciation of the Treaty. But he has not uttered one word as to what will be the alternative if that Treaty is rejected. There is a policy of destruction on one side and a policy of construction on the other side. I support this Treaty because I feel in my heart and soul that the supporting of that Treaty is the best thing for Ireland. I support it on other grounds. I support it because I know that it is what the people of Galway who sent me here want. I live in Galway. I go among the people every day and I know their feelings on the question, and I would not be true to the people of Galway if I held opinions on this matter contrary to theirs, and if I were to stand up here and give a vote on such a vital issue as this which threatens the very lives of the people of Ireland and the people of Galway. You are told that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Well I agree with that, and I have looked around and I can't see two birds, or even one bird itself, in the bush. There is no bird in the bush. Our respected President stated that he would prefer the Irish language without freedom than freedom without the Irish language. I say that under this Treaty you have the one last chance of saving the Irish language. As Seán O'Kelly, the Deputy for Louth, and President of the Gaelic League, well knows, we are in the last ditch in the fight for the Irish language; and as I said to you in Irish about the Battle of Kinsale, the historic Irish nation was shattered at the Battle of Kinsale, and I say that if you defeat this Treaty by your votes here, you will be blotting out for ever the historic Irish nation. It is you who are putting bounds to the march of the nation, because if you defeat this Treaty there will be no nation left to march forward or backward. To me, personally, it is not a question of Arthur Griffith or Mícheál O Coileáin on one side, and President de Valera and Cathal Brugha on the other side. I put Ireland first, last, and all the time. An incident happened here over four years ago down at the Mansion House. There was a Convention held, a Convention of Sinn Fein, and there were two names before the meeting—the names of our President, Eamonn de Valera, and Arthur Griffith. A delegate came to me on the outside, and he asked me what I was going to do and I told him. ‘Well’, I said, ‘I am a life-long friend of Arthur Griffith, but I am voting to-day for Eamonn de Valera because I believe he is the man Ireland wants.’ I did not cast that vote against my old friend—he did not know of it until now—I did not cast that vote because Arthur Griffith put Ireland before himself, and he won for himself that which has won him the admiration and respect of every man and woman in the whole gathering.I say here that those on the other side, those who are opposing the Treaty, that


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    they are playing to the gallery. And I don't mean that in any offensive sense. They have no gallery outside in Ireland,but they are acting here to see what will history say of them. We are not afraid to go before the bar of history, because when history gives its verdict, I have no doubt on which side the verdict will be. It will be on the side of those who are acting as Hugh O'Neill acted at Kinsale, and not on the side of those who took Hugh O'Donnell's side. Now I would appeal to every one of you to consider this matter carefully and well, and that you will give your vote as you think in the best interests of Ireland. It was sneered at here, the saying: ‘That what is good enough for Mick Collins is good enough for me’. Well, what is good enough for Michael Collins is good enough for me because I believe it is the best for Ireland [applause].

    MRS. T. CLARKE:

    I rise to support the motion of the President to reject this Treaty. It is to me the simple question of right and wrong. To my mind it is a surrender of all our national ideals. I came to the first meeting of this Session with this feeling strong upon me, and I have listened carefully to all the arguments in favour of the Treaty. But the only thing I can say of them is maybe there is something in them; I can't see it. Arthur Griffith said he had brought back peace with England, and freedom to Ireland. I can only say it is not the kind of freedom I have looked forward to, and, if this Treaty is ratified the result will be a divided people; the same old division will go on, those who will enter the British Empire and those who will not, and so England's old game of divide and conquer goes on. God, the tragedy of it! I was deeply moved by the statement of the Minister for Economies on Monday. Listening to him I realised more clearly than ever before the very grave decision put up to our plenipotentiaries. My sympathy went out to them. I only wish other members of the Delegation had taken the same course, having signed the document, bring it home and let An Dáil reject or ratify it on its merits. We were told by one Deputy on Monday, with a stupendous bellow, that this Treaty was a stupendous achievement. Well, if he means as a measure of Home Rule, I will agree it is. It is the biggest Home Rule Bill we have ever been offered, and it gives us a novelty in the way of a new kind of official representing His Majesty King George V., name yet to be decided. If England is powerful enough to impose on us Home Rule, Dominion or any other kind, let her do so, but in God's name do not accept or approve it—no more than you would any other Coercion Act. I heard big, strong, military men say here they would vote for this Treaty, which necessarily means taking an Oath of Allegiance, and I tell those men there is not power enough to force me, nor eloquence enough to influence me in the whole British Empire into taking that Oath, though I am only a frail scrap of humanity. I took an Oath to the Irish Republic, solemnly, reverently, meaning every word. I shall never go back from that. Like Deputy Duggan, I too can go back to 1916. Between 1 and 2 o'clock on the morning of May 3rd I, a prisoner in Dublin Castle, was roused from my rest on the floor, and taken under armed escort to Kilmainham Jail to see my husband for the last time. I saw him, not alone, but surrounded by British soldiers. He informed me he was to be shot at dawn. Was he in despair like the man who spoke of him on Tuesday? Not he. His head was up; his eyes flashing; his years seemed to have slipped from him; victory was in every line of him. ‘Tell the Irish people’, he said, ‘that I and my comrades believe we have saved the soul of Ireland. We believe she will never lie down again until she has gained absolute freedom’. And, though sorrow was in my heart, I gloried in him, and I have gloried in the men who have carried on the fight since; every one of them. I believe that even if they take a wrong turn now they will be brave enough to turn back when they discover it. I have sorrow in my heart now, but I don't despair; I never shall. I still believe in them.

    MR. R. MULCAHY:

    Dubhradh anso ar maidin go mbeidir na raibh an gnó a bhí a dheanamh anso i gceart. Deirimse, pe ceart nú mí-cheart atá ann ná fuil leigheas air. One of the Deputies here this morning said he wondered whether the proceedings were regular or not, and I say whether regular or not there is no help for it. The Deputy complains that


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    when he made a proposition asking some way would be found by which the members for the Treaty and those against it would be brought together to find a way out he got no support. Others have endeavoured to work along these lines, but my recollection is, that when I made a suggestion from the body of this House to those who were responsible people—masters of the House—that a small liaison group would be setup to link the members on both sides, in order to examine our broken ground and see whether some joint plan of co-operation could not be agreed to; and in the second place, if that could not be agreed to, to hold the reins of the situation for the House so that that split could not occur, there was no response. Another proposition was made that the rank and file of the House would meet together and would, of themselves, discuss the situation and weigh the alternatives on both sides; and there was no support for that proposition, and there was opposition for both of them. My recollection was that it was not from Deputy O'Kelly, that it was not from him that either of those propositions was getting any support. What we are looking for is not arguments but alternatives. None of us want this Treaty. None of us want the Crown. None of us want the representative of the Crown. None of us want our harbours occupied by enemy forces; and none of us want what is said to be partition; and we want no arguments against any of these things. But we want an alternative. We want the road open to us to show how we can avoid this Treaty. The only alternative put before us is the alternative put forward by the President, and I want to say that that alternative has not been treated fairly on the side who are for the Treaty. I have to admit that, and on the President's side it has not been treated fairly. If this alternative—if it does get us a way out of those things that are so essentially horrible to us, all the passion of the President, and all the passion that could be gathered on the presidential side should be put towards pointing out to us what roads lead to the alternative, and to what objective they lead. The unfairness on the other side is, that these roads have not been pointed out to us in a way that, considering the momentous circumstances of our position, they should have been. I, personally, see no alternative to the acceptance of this Treaty. I see no solid spot of ground upon which the Irish people can put its political feet but upon that Treaty. We are told that the alternative to the acceptance of the Treaty is war. I don't know whether it is or not. I say that you either have political chaos in the country without war, or political chaos with war. Personally, I would rather go into political chaos with war, than to go into political chaos in Ireland at the present time without war. As I say, none of us want the Crown. I don't want to meet the English King until I have been able to have a couple of days in the fresh air away from the bogies that have been put about me in this assembly. I can realise the difficulties of those who can put their finger upon the line and letter of the document which says that, in Ireland, all power of the Executive and otherwise comes from the King, and will, under the circumstances that will be created by the acceptance of that Treaty, come from the King. I can understand the difficulties of that person. But the feeling of my mind, and the instinct of my bones was, that the power of the Executive Government to control and discharge the resources of this county lies in the people. The 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, as far as we can hear, have brought us constitutional usage and practice, and I take it that the arrangement has been that when people took away their power from their princes, in order to leave their princes down lightly, they said: ‘This is constitutional usage’. And if these centuries have provided us with constitutional usage and practice, and if the constitutional outlook of the King in Ireland at the present moment is to be that Executive power and control come from him, I think it won't be very long, under whatever arrangement is setup in Ireland—Treaty or otherwise—until the Irish people show, both for the benefit of themselves and perhaps for the benefit of others, that sovereign rights in this county lie in the people, and that the sovereign rights in every other country do and will be the same. With my understanding leading me in that I can see no other road to go but the road of this Treaty, with the appreciation that this Treaty distinctly states that it does secure to Ireland the control in Ireland with full executive and administrative powers, and the Executive

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    in Ireland responsible to that control. I am not afraid of the influence of the King, or the influence of the King exerted through some supposedly corrupt court of his representative here. I am not afraid of that power interfering with the power of the Irish people; because,if we have control, it is full control over legislation, over order, over peace, over the whole internal life and resources of the country, and if we have executive responsibility to that Parliament I don't see the way or in what way pernicious to the Irish people, the King or his representative could interfere with them. As to our ports, we are not in a position of force, either military or otherwise, to drive the enemy from our ports. We have not—those to whom the responsibility has been for doing such things—we have not been able to drive the enemy from anything but from a fairly good-sized police barracks. We have not that power; and with regard to the ports, I doubt if anybody in this assembly at the present moment—visualising the necessity for coastal and external defence—who, visualising the financial aspect of these things, would be able to point to the mark we are aiming at as regards the necessity for defence and the financial aspect of it. When we have established a police force that will do the internal work of the county, and when we have established such small internal defence force as is necessary, we shall probably—both intellectually and from the ordinary, common understanding—we will becoming to a point of intelligence at which we can decide what our external defences should be like. With regard to partition,I don't look upon the clause with regard to Ulster in this Treaty as prejudicing the Ulster position in any way. I see no solution of the Ulster difficulty or of the Six County difficulty at the present moment. On the other hand the Treaty leaves the Irish people that they will be in absolute possession of their country's resources, and, in my opinion, with full executive power and control over them; and—if in order to bring the Irish people to the goal that they have always aimed at, and that we have always aimed at with them—if we were given on one side this Treaty, and I on the other such military power that we might reasonably equate with the enemy's power, and left to decide by which of these two instruments we would bring Ireland definitely to a status of equality with our old enemy, and if the responsibility of deciding between these two instruments were placed in the hands of any one particular person here, I think there would be very great searchings of heart and mind and conscience before taking the alternative of the two instruments—the instrument of war on one side, and on the other the instrument of this particular Treaty of the Irish people battling upon their own powers, upon their own resources, to bring the nation in power and equality with the enemy. We have before us to-day in Europe the spectacle of France and Germany striving for supremacy over each other with military force, and we see the internal unhappiness, the waste of human life, sorrow, misery, and the degradation it all involved. The fact that these two countries had elected to struggle for supremacy with one another, involved, not only these two countries, but disturbed the peace of the whole world, by the weapon of war we see what it has brought these two countries to—not only these two countries, but the peace of the whole world was disturbed—and we now stand at a time when we have it in our power to take our choice. Shall we grow to equality of status with our old enemy by taking complete control of our own internal resources? And, if at the present moment there are disabilities with regard to ourselves in this particular Treaty, whether we shall endeavour to outgrow these by taking our own resources, or rather by taking the chances of war—not with anything like adequate military forces, but with very small forces, sufficient to make our country resist force for years, but certainly not able to win even a war of internal liberation? That is one outstanding aspect of the situation at the present time. Are we going to choose in the next onward march of this nation the weapons which will give us dead in our country the Crompton-Smiths of England and the Potters of Ireland; or, are we going to take our own resources and grow to manhood, in friendliness and with some chance of avoiding that polarisation of mind and polarisation in antagonisms with the English people that are have been forced into at the present time? The alternative of the President—and

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    the President can correct me if I am wrong—the alternative is, whether we reject this Treaty, or whether we do it or not, that he will put before the English people a statement of Ireland's claim that he feels the English people will admit to be reasonable. I don't know if that is a fair statement of the President's claim.

    THE PRESIDENT:

    I put forward that alternative as the objective we were looking for in a real peace between the two countries. This will not bring a real peace, and that is why I am against it.

    MR. MULCAHY:

    If we, by taking a line of action that will keep us out of conflict and out of antagonism with the main mass of the English people—because, by living our own lives in our own country, and developing our own resources there does not seem to me any chance of our entering in direct antagonisms with the mass of the English people—and if, by adopting a weapon which will allow us to be on terms of friendship with the main mass of the English people, and by joint help, spoiling the efforts of English politicians to keep Ireland in a state of subjection to England—if we, by choosing this weapon, cannot do that, how can we do it by choosing a weapon which will put the responsibility upon us of killing, in self-defence, the Crompton-Smiths of England? As I say, these proceedings are not helpful. They are not finding us a way out. I can't suggest a way out: and therefore I don't want to say anything beyond what I have said. There is the position. To some extent the honour of these people who have stood for Ireland and who have sworn their Oath of Allegiance, sworn to put all their service, all their strength of mind at the cause of the Republic—that is, at the cause of the Irish people—their honour is being impugned because they stoop to accept such a Treaty as this. Well there are men gloriously dead to-day whose honour didn't go unimpugned at certain periods of their lives and there are men living not ingloriously to- day whose honour was also impugned; and if at this particular moment the honour of any one of us who endeavoured with whatever intellect and whatever understanding the Lord has given us—endeavoured to do our best for our people—well, we can only hope that we shall have the same constancy in dishonour as those men of whom I speak while they were labouring under such a stigma. Remarks have been made by Deputies who were in disagreement with us with regard to this Treaty, which would lead us to imagine that they were going to erect spears outside the door of this new Irish Parliament if it ever comes into existence, and that they are going to make for those who pass into this Parliament a Caudine Forks. I doubt that. I know that the hand of no man who has worked in this assembly as we all have worked together, and who has felt in any way the comradeship of that work—I doubt if the hand of any man who has been useful here—I doubt if he will put his hand to such a spear as would make of any other section of this House, under such an Act of Parliament, a Caudine Forks. If there is, I would refer any man who thinks like it to the advice of the General who told his sons to leave his prisoners pass through with honour; otherwise the results that would accrue would not be to the advantage either of those who would take such action, or ourselves, or the Irish people. I do feel that we have suffered a defeat at the present moment—but I do feel that the hour of defeat in any way is not the hour for quarrelling as to how it might have been avoided. We have suffered a defeat. But even in that defeat we have got for the Irish people, at any rate,powers that I believe—if this Dáil passes away, if every bit of organisation that is in the country as its result at the present moment passed away with it—I believe that the Irish people would rise upon their resources, if left untrammelled and unfettered in their hands, to the full height of their aspirations and to the full vigour which has been so long lying undeveloped in our people; and with the responsibility of peace, the responsibility of taking their own materials and living their own lives and delving for their own materials of subsistence, they would find in that work all those high influences which in our war have developed—the character and manliness and their valuable characteristics that our period of warfare has developed in the country.

    MR. SEAN MOYLAN:

    I am not very anxious to speak on this question which


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    is before the House. The question, to my mind, is approval or disapproval of this Treaty, and I have been here more than week listening to speeches on various subjects, from Relativity to Revelations, and I don't think that the Irish Republican Government have got much further with the work of the Irish Republic during this week. It has been said here that there are two sides in the House, and the Minister of Finance has referred to the Coalition. Well, I think that there are three sides now, and I'm the third. I don't belong to the Coalition. I am a Republican. I don't flatter myself that, even though I am the third side, that I am the hypotenuse; but as far as the fighting men of the South are concerned, I think that I am. I was trying to keep to what I believe was the point. I have been asked the reasons for my views on the question. My reasons are well known. But I have been asked several times outside this House to give the reason for my opinions. Well I have reasons, and the only reason why I decline to give these reasons is because I am of a peaceful disposition and I dislike argument. It has been said here during the week that the members of the Delegation are in the dock. That is not so. These men went to London with a formidable task before them. They did the best they could for Ireland. They brought us a document signed for our approval. They recommend that document to us. That is a manly attitude and requires no justification before this House or before the country. In giving you my views—and I will try to be very brief—I will ask you to accept them as I have accepted the work of the Delegation, as the views of men who wish to do the best they can for Ireland. I start with the assumption that every member of this Dáil has sufficient intelligence to know when a Treaty is not a Treaty, when an oath is not an oath. To my mind it can't be said with truth that Britain has entered this pact with perfect good faith. My idea is that it is the old question of England's practised politicians throwing dust in the eyes of our too trustful representatives. Our watchword has been the extermination of British power in Ireland. It was the gospel preached by the Minister of Finance. How long is the heresy—since when has he then shed sentiment? This Treaty is a sham. Take the wrapping from it and what do you find? A weapon fashioned, not to exterminate, but to consolidate British interests in Ireland. Apply one simple test. As we stand here to-day in Dublin we have driven the British garrison into the sea out of what was once the inviolable Pale. We rule the land by the force of our own laws, our own judicature, our own executive. We're independent—we are a Republic. Approve of this Treaty, and you re-establish and re-entrench the forces and traditions of the Pale behind the new frontier—the frontier of Northern Ireland. And you abandon your own people in the North in the same loathsome way, for it is—if they believe what they say, that we are a murder gang—it is a loathsome way that they have abandoned their people in the South. The Minister of Finance has said that the departure of the British is a proof, the chief proof needed,that we have recovered our freedom, and that we have satisfied our national aspirations. He also said that the terms of peace secured this result. The Minister for Foreign Affairs said that the plenipotentiaries brought back the evacuation of Ireland by the British troops. That is what the ambassadors have committed themselves to. The enemy forces depart from the North Wall and Dún Laoghaire, but they disembark on the Lagan and the Foyle. By virtue of the option given to the Northern Parliament it is left open to the British Crown to keep up its army establishment, to supply with funds its supporters; and at the moment England has turned the corner economically to re-establish itself over Ireland. There is the old Irish proverb—beware of dranntán madra nú gáire Sacsanach—the snarling of a dog or the smile of an Englishman. Beware of the Greeks even when they come with gifts. We are having a Christmas gift of freedom. This is the time when children get dolls and wooden horses. Has it struck any of those who are going to vote for this Treaty that this gift of freedom is a wooden horse ready at any moment to vomit forth armed forces of the tyrant? We are told that the Treaty gives us immense powers internally and externally, and we are told if we reject the Treaty that we are challenging the British Empire to war—mortal combat. We have a Republic, and because

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    we are seeking to retain it and maintain it, we are told that we are challenging the British Empire to mortal combat. Before I give any further reason—the reason I have said I am a third party—one of the principal reasons—there are men here voting for the Treaty who have been talking about the army just as if the army was what the British called it, a murder gang. The army, as an army even, is as well entitled to its opinions as any member of An Dáil, and the scandalous way the army has been talked about here in this assembly is a thing I would not put up with anyway. I have tried to appeal to you, not from sentiment, and I have not threatened you with war. In taking up that stand in the Dáil, in appealing to common sense, I have followed my chief, Deputy Mulcahy—I was awfully pleased with the way he handled the situation. Some of you here have been talking about going into the Empire with heads up, and Deputy Etchingham spoke of marching into the Empire with hands up; and now what I say is this: ‘Hands off the Republic’, and am I to be told this is a declaration of war on England? No English statesman will take it so. It is a definition of our rights, and Lloyd George if he wants war will have to declare war. If he is giving us freedom he can do so without declaring war. All we ask of Lloyd George is to allow us to carry on. There is just one point more. It is this. As I said we have been fighting for the extermination of the British interests in Ireland. We are told we have it. I don't believe we have it. If there is a war of extermination waged on us, that war will also exterminate British interests in Ireland; because if they want a war of extermination on us, I may not see it finished, but by God, no loyalist in North Cork will see its finish, and it is about time somebody told Lloyd George that. The terms of reference must be interpreted in their broadest, and not in their narrowest, sense. For our Republic we are offered
    1. an Oath of Allegiance;
    2. a Governor-General;
    3. a new Pale;
    4. an army entrenched on our flank;
    5. independence, internal independence;
    6. the Treaty to preserve and consolidate British interests in our midst.

    The House adjourned at 1.30 p.m., to 3.30 p.m. On resuming, the chair was taken by THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (MR. BRIAN O'HIGGlNS) at 3.40.

    MR. P. O'KEEFFE:

    I have just purchased a copy of New Ireland, and I find that the editor of that paper asked for a Press ticket in order that he might report at this Dáil meeting. He was told that the minor Press representatives could not get tickets. Now I, as a representative of the people, protest against that. I say that the editor of that paper and the Minister of Foreign Affairs are the people that made this movement.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    I wish also to protest against the exclusion of the representative of one of these papers or any of them. We have a great many people here who have not the permission of the Dáil to come here, and surely we can admit the Press, at all events when we decided that they be admitted.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    The enemy Press got special facilities to the exclusion of our own.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    I move that we admit the representative of New Ireland or any other paper that desires to come here.

    MR. O'KEEFFE:

    With a suitable apology.

    MR. DESMOND FITZGERALD (DIRECTOR OF PUBLICITY):

    When this meeting was first called, it was to have been held in the Oak Room. For that reason I announced that only a few representatives of the major Press could come in. When we came here first we had only room for representatives of the Press that had to get out spot news. Since then we have allowed others in, but at present there are so many members bringing in personal friends that the major Press are being excluded, and in these circumstances there is no room for anyone else. If it is agreed that there shall be no one here but the Press the minor Press could come, but with friends of the members coming in there is no room for anyone else.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    There is no resolution to admit friends of members. I


    p.147

    have brought no friends, and as one member I protest against the friends of other people being here. Every tittle of information given the meeting ought to be reported, and our first duty is to see that the medium through which the reports are circulated is introduced.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    It was understood when the meeting started that none but the members were to be here, and the Press, and members of the Standing Committee of Sinn Fein; but we found for the last three or four days that members of the Dáil had relatives and friends in. For the first time to day I have signed asking for two people who applied to me to come in. Since the thing has been broken—not on our side—

    A DEPUTY:

    Not on ours.

    MR. A. GRlFFITH:

    Well I don't know. The agreement made by the President with me was that the Press and members of the Standing Committee of Sinn Fein alone should be here, and we found for the last three days that other people were here, and I therefore signed to-day an order for three people. But the Press must take preference, and the exclusion of the editor of New Ireland or any paper in support of us is indefensible.

    PRESlDENT DE VALERA:

    We are not in any way responsible for any such exclusion. The Director of Publicity, if anything, I think will be found to be a supporter of the other side. So it cannot be said that we—

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    I should like to say this, that I myself am perfectly in agreement that as many members of the Press should come in as possible, but I also think that while there is room and our young people belonging to both sides want to come in, I don't see why they should be excluded, or that, when they get in, they should be turned out. I have been told that a wounded soldier of ours was turned out by Mr. Fitzgerald yesterday, in the middle of Miss MacSwiney's speech: I don't know if that is true—Mr. Fitzgerald can answer—but I myself would be glad to see the Irish people here without asking which side they belong to—without asking to whom they belong. I would like to see the members in their turn bringing their friends in. I am glad to hear Mr.Griffith has done so, and I hope the members of the rank and file of the Dáil, they have friends in Dublin, will get facilities for them to come in.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    On a point of order I suggest that the Deputy for South Tipperary be heard.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    You will take the motion before the House: ‘That the members of the Press excluded be admitted’.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    It has not been seconded.

    THE PRESIDENT:

    I second it.

    MR. DESMOND FITZGERALD:

    I thoroughly agree with that, but I want the thing understood—

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    Have you put the motion in writing?

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    It is, in effect, that the members of the Press excluded be admitted.

    The motion was put and agreed to.

    MR. P. J. MOLONEY TIPPERARY:

    It is with some diffidence I arise to address the members of this assembly. Permit me, all you members of the Deputation, to address to you a tribute of my good faith in the great efforts you made to bring back to An Dáil of the Irish people a settlement of this very difficult, insoluble problem. I, as well as all the other members of this Dáil, am asked to approve of your work. I cannot do it. I don't want to inflict upon you my views. They are the views of a great many members of this House. Permit me though to say that I will not willingly consent to go back into the British Empire. I will not, willingly or otherwise, vote myself into the British Empire, but I say ‘Damn the Treaty whatever about the consequences’. There is my position. It is the position of a great many men like me, men of average intelligence, men of average faith and principle, decent Irishmen who love Ireland and who are prepared to make sacrifices for Ireland


    p.148

    every time, and through no fault of mine, and no fault of any of yours here, they are put in the position—we have been manoeuvred into a position where we have to choose between two hells. I refuse to choose between two hells. I ask here now publicly our leaders, or some leader, to point out to me some path by which a man such as I am—not pretending to be an orator or a statesman, but an ordinary man—can leave these two hells behind him with the vestige of my honour. I will not vote for the Treaty. I am waiting for guidance, and waiting for the path. That is all I have to say.

    DR. EOIN MACNEILL:

    A Chinn Chomhairle, speaking to you before in private I brought on myself a certain amount of obloquy by describing myself as an opportunist. Now, as that has apparently given gratification to some who take a different view of what is before us from the view that I take, perhaps it is as well that I ought to explain. As an opportunist I mean that I claim the freedom to do the best for Ireland in the circumstances that may arise. You heard these words before—all of you. You heard them, not once, but I think twenty times. You heard them enforced with every variety of argument and of emphasis. You heard them brought before you in this form, that, holding a high responsibility—the highest responsibility that at the present day could be put upon an Irishman—if a man were not free in all the circumstances to do the best he could for Ireland he would not hold the responsibility. Now that is my standpoint, and from those who differ from it we have heard the challenge to speak or be silent. These challenges were due, not now, but at the commencement of these negotiations, and, to my mind, the great majority of the speeches that have been made here against the resolution for the approval of the Treaty should have been made then, and not now. The situation was quite clearly defined—there is no mistake about it—and what is good for one man is good for another man, and everyone charged with responsibility in these negotiations had the same freedom to do the best they could in the circumstances for Ireland; and I think it is now admitted that in the circumstances they did the best that, to their knowledge, in their judgment, in their power, they could have done. Now, sir, there is no escape. I am not going to use any rhetoric. I am not going to use any claptrap. I am not going to force any argument. I am not going to take any advantages. I am not going to make any debating society points, and if I do I shan't object to being interrupted.I would speak to you—but I shall not speak to you—or at all events endeavour to do it in language as lofty as any of the eloquence that you have heard, if not, perhaps, quite as lengthy. I could go further. It would be very simple for me; it would cost me nothing at all; I could do it as easily as any man here, or any woman in this assembly—I could say this: ‘We will have the Republic, the whole Republic, and nothing but the Republic—and to hell with England’. There is nothing to prevent me saying that. It will cost me nothing—

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    Say it then.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    And mean it.

    DR. MACNEILL:

    But it is perfectly plain to us that the difficulties that arise in the minds of the great majority of those who find difficulties in this—and that is the great majority of those present—arise over two questions, that is to say, over two oaths. One of these oaths was quoted for us in full by the Deputy for Louth as the Oath we have taken as members of Dáil Eireann, and the other oath is the Oath that is proposed to be taken by future members of an Irish assembly under the Treaty that is before us. Now, I take the second of the two oaths first. It was dealt with by, I think, the Deputy for Mayo, Mr. Rutledge, yesterday. I was glad to notice that Deputy Rutledge did not pretend, as various others in speaking here to-day did, during the course of this discussion, they pretended—I should not use the word pretended, it must be a mistake on their part—they have not read the words, or, if they read them, they do not understand them. Deputy Rutledge did not pretend that in the proposed Oath there is a declaration of allegiance to the King of England. There is in it no such declaration—

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Irish Constitution.


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    DR. MACNEILL:

    I will come to that point. There is no such declaration. It is my right to challenge all the members of this assembly, and it is compulsory on all the members of this assembly to answer any challenge of a member speaking from his place. I would challenge every member of this assembly to-day to say that the proposed Oath contains a declaration of allegiance to the King of England. Well, the Deputy for Mayo went on to the second part of it, and I must say he found himself there in an evident difficulty, because the only conclusion he could come to was, that fidelity meant slavery, and that the only person who could be faithful to another person was a slave. I suppose if the other person was faithful to that person he would be a slave too. Now, I am not going to deal with any suggested other oath—any suggested alternative that has been before you. I will suggest an alternative myself that will be a way out in case another oath has got to be proposed, and that is this: ‘I swear to be externally associated’. Now that is Oath No. 1. There is no allegiance in it except to the Irish State. We heard a very complete and a very thorough explanation from the point of view of constitutional law given to us by Deputy Childers with regard to the construction of the Treaty, and with regard to the explanation he has given to us I will say only this, that if that Treaty be ratified the explanation which Deputy Childers has placed upon it—in case there is going to be further trouble about the interpretation of it—the explanations Deputy Childers has put before you are the explanations which will be insisted on against Ireland from the other side. The Minister for Local Government read a certain number of contrasts between what was so according to law or according to constitution, and what was so according to facts. Now the facts are these—and even if anyone should dispute them I say it is the standpoint of an Irishman not to dispute them but to insist upon them—the facts are these, that the component parts of the community of nations which is described in one part of the Treaty as the British Commonwealth of Nations—the status of these different component parts is this, that they are with regard to each other on a position of complete equality, and also with regard to each of them to itself—each of them is a sovereign state in its own domain; and if it fell upon me, supposing this Treaty to be ratified in future, to declare the terms, to declare the manner in which these provisions ought be and must be interpreted and applied, I should say beforehand—taking the standpoint of an Irishman, and not regarding myself as an Attorney-General for the British Government—I should claim on the facts, and not on some antiquated theory, for Ireland's equality of status with all the other members of that community and for the right of complete national sovereignty in our domain; and I would hold that every provision, every article, every term, every word of that Treaty should be understood subject to these principles; and I believe that in placing that construction upon the Treaty we should have the support—if not of Imperialists in Great Britain—we should certainly have the support of South Africa, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, for it is to their selfish interest that that construction, and that construction only, should be placed upon these terms; and I would bear in mind that the status of Canada has been declared in what now amounts to a constitutional definition—the status of Canada has been declared to include the right of secession. But we will be told: ‘What is the use of the right of secession to Ireland? It is only sixty miles from Great Britain, and Canada is three thousand miles away’. That is a perfectly good and valid argument, but it applies not only to that status, but to any superior status that we could acquire under a Treaty; and it would apply with equal force to an independent Irish Republic. Now, sir, I have not used, and I am not going to use as a reason for voting for approval of this Treaty—I am not going to use the argument of terrible war, and the reason I am not going to use it is because it is an argument, if I may modestly say so—I want to make no boast about it—it is an argument that does not appeal to me at all, and I don't think it is an argument that appeals, at all events, to the new spirit of the people of Ireland. An argument that appeals to fear is a bad argument and a dangerous argument, because if one appeals to fear one gives, so to speak, encouragement to fear, and I make no


    p.150

    appeal here to fear at all. An appeal has been made in different terms from both sides. We have had painted for us a terrible picture of the future of Ireland under these proposed new arrangements. We are going to have His Majesty's Ministers all over the place, and His Majesty's Officers all over the army. Well, it is not for me to defend anything that any other member has said. I am not here as a supporter of individuals, but if Deputy Kevin O'Higgins thinks that the future Ministers of Ireland are going to be His Majesty's Ministers, my belief is that Deputy Kevin O'Higgins will have to be His Majesty's combined Minister of everything, though I am perfectly certain that no man elected ever more—in the future—by the people of Ireland to ministerial office will be described as ‘His Majesty's Ministers’. We will have a Governor-General, and a Gold Stick in Waiting, and I don't know what else. An appalling picture! We will be overawed by these people, perfumed, in uniform, and dressed up in their court dress, and the rest of us will be all rubbing our foreheads in the dust before them, as flunkeys. A terrible picture indeed! Well, this personage who is alluded to in the terms of the Treaty—he is not named the Governor-General. ‘What is in a name?’ has been said to me. Well if the Deputy insists on it I will call him the Grand Panjandrum. We will suppose this important functionary to be here in Ireland. We have a second appalling picture placed before us that he will set himself up somewhere or other and will hold Drawing Rooms, and Levees, and Garden Parties, and give Balls and Dances. And our poor girls! Their nationality will evaporate because they go to these functions. Now it is difficult to believe that all this is seriously proposed to us for our belief. There is a question of the Constitution. The Constitution will have to be drafted by some Irish authority—by some elected Irish authority—but Mr. Lloyd George has written a letter and it appears that a letter from Mr. Lloyd George is now sufficient to make us all fall down on our knees. He says in his letter that our future Constitution will have to be drafted in accordance with the terms which he has forced upon us under that Treaty. Sir, that Treaty deals with proposed international relations between Ireland and the other component parts of the British Empire, but when an Irish Constitution is fashioned and framed, there will be no mention in it of any other country but Ireland. If any person—be he a constitutional lawyer or be what he may—comes forward and insists that some other country but Ireland will be mentioned in that Irish Constitution, well we know what will happen. Moreover, I venture to predict—I am not a constitution maker or monger, but I venture to predict that the first article of the Irish Constitution when it is drafted, and by whomsoever it is drafted, will contain a provision to this effect: ‘That the sovereignty of Ireland derived from the people of Ireland holds authority over all persons and over all things in Ireland’. It won't hold that authority in fact because it is impossible for us, as a matter of fact, immediately to bring under the authority of Ireland all things in Ireland. That, as things stand at present, is an impossibility. We all know it, but the Irish Constitution will claim as a right for Ireland complete authority—sovereignty based on the will of the Irish people and on nothing else—over all persons and over all things in Ireland. And then what will happen us? We will be reduced to our proper place by a Dominion Act—another terrible prospect! Dominion Home Rule is dead. There is no such thing now in existence. I am glad we are unanimous about one point. Well they will pass a Dominion Act. It is quite within their competence as they interpret their competence—I mean the Imperial Parliament as they call it, it is really the Parliament of Great Britain—it is quite within their competence to pass an Act annexing Ireland to the Republic of Guatemala. They have full power to do it, and if they do it we will have, I suppose, Deputy Childers coming before us and explaining that, in future, we are children of Guatemala. Let them pass their Dominion Act. We don't care a fig for their Dominion Act. It is not so very long since they passed another Act that I will remind you about. In the year 1917 we had in Ireland the largest British Army that ever occupied Ireland. I believe it is true that at that time there were 204,000 soldiers on the pay-roll of the British

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    Army in Ireland alone; and it may interest those who are concerned in foreign affairs to know that at that time when Great Britain sent the S.O.S. out to America—when her back was to the wall defending Belgium—she was holding down Ireland with the largest army she ever had in Ireland, and she was asking America to come over quick and help her to defeat the terrible Huns; and then in the middle of all that she passed an Act for us—an Act making it compulsory for every young man in Ireland to go out and help her to beat the Huns. Well she had her 204,000 men holding down Ireland, and you remember all of you the circumstances of that time. We had not then an Irish Republican Government. No. We had an Irish Parliamentary Party. We had not then more than the nucleus of an Irish Republican Army. They had the country overrun by their soldiers and their so-called police. Their police were not withdrawn into the blockhouses at that time or travelling around in cages. They were walking armed along the roads, uninterfered with—cocks of the walk, ruling the country—and in the middle of all that they passed an Act of Parliament with their 200,000 bayonets, and no Republican Army of any organised kind to resist them, to compel the young men of Ireland to fight the battle of Belgium. And what happened that Act? It is still on the Statute Book. Mr. Lloyd George discovered a German plot and he went to Edinburgh to announce his discovery, and in his speech in Edinburgh he called on the Irish people to go—he did not say it, some of the others said it for him—to go before he would take them by the neck—to do what? To set free the small Catholic Nationalities that were groaning under the oppression of Austria. Well he passed his Act. How many men did he get by it? How far did he succeed in enforcing it against the sort of Ireland he had at that time, not united, not organised, not armed, with practically no power of resistance—practically no power, except, I might say, faith and prayer—and he failed to put this act in force. And if he passed a Dominion Act now, conferring Dominion status on us, we will have no conferred status; we will confer our status on ourselves and his Dominion Act will remain as much a dead letter as his Conscription Act remained. The reason why I ask you to ratify this Agreement is not because we are afraid, but because we are not afraid. It is not because we are too weak to refuse it, but because we are strong enough to accept it. Now I began with the one Oath. I will finish with the other. I will not give you my explanation of it. I will give you the President's explanation of it. The President, when he declared here for it, declared he was free, and must be free, to do what was best in his judgment for Ireland in the circumstances. He was then bound by the Oath that was read for us by the member for Louth this morning—

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Let the circumstances as a whole be explained. It has been referred to a number of times and I think it is only fair that I should explain. In Private Session, the day before I was to be elected President, I informed the Dáil because I knew, in the circumstances, that if there were to be negotiations, we would have to consider association of some sort, and Document No. 2, which you will see in its proper time, might be interpreted as a departure from the isolated Republic; and having that in mind, and having in mind possible criticisms, I told the Dáil that before they elected me they should understand that if I took office as head of the State I would regard my Oath solely in the light that it was an oath taken by me to the Irish nation to do the best I could for the Irish nation,and that I would not be fettered if I were to be in that position.

    DR. MACNEILL:

    I have not a word to add—not an i to dot nor a t to cross—to what the President has said there now, but it has been put up to member after member of this assembly that he is bound by the word and the letter of his oath, and that his oath precludes him from using his judgment to do his best for the country in these circumstances. I say that a person who takes an oath to any formula—to any formula whatsoever—and places that formula, no matter what it may be, above what the President has said—what is best according to his conscience and judgment for Ireland—that person may be true to his oath, but he is not true to Ireland. I will go further and say that his truth to Ireland is binding upon him


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    more than any oath—any political oath that he has taken or possibly can take, and that if he takes a political oath and that political oath is explained to him to tie his hands or otherwise in a case in which he is called upon to act upon his responsibilities in a most critical state of affairs, if he believes that by setting that oath aside, and by acting in freedom from that oath he could do better for his country—then he is bound to break that oath. He is bound to break that oath. Otherwise there is a higher law for us than the law of conscience.

    MR. DAITHI CEANNT:

    The Law of God.

    COUNT PLUNKETT:

    An oath of fidelity to our own country.

    DR. MACNEILL:

    Yes, any formula you take. All these things are taken under reserve.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    What about the marriage oath?

    DR. MACNEILL:

    Well now, a Chinn Chomhairle, when I was in your position I said that some of these interruptions led to speeches being longer instead of shorter, and if I were at this stage to proceed to discuss the marriage oath—well there is no more to be said.

    MR. SEAN MACENTEE:

    Just to add a touch of symmetry to this discussion let me say, too, that like the Deputy for Derry I also am an opportunist, but, Sir, here is a difference between us. I am an opportunist, that is, one who would suit his tactics to his opportunities. I am an opportunist who would use his opportunities to serve and not to subvert his principles. I am one of those who would use this opportunity to take care that those who come after them should have an opportunity to do in their day what we have tried to do. It is a very true thing to say—as I am going to say—that this is not a question of oaths. I know morally that England can no more bind us with oaths than she can bind us with chains. But, Sir, England is not seeking to bind us with the oath which everyone here takes with a fixed idea in his mind of driving a couch and four through it at the first opportunity. England is taking good care to bind us to her now with something more than a mere form of words. I have not concerned myself at all in this discussion with the question of allegiance. The attitude I have adopted throughout is not what our relations to England might be now. I have adopted throughout this attitude, that if those who were supposed to be the chiefs of our army and represent the soldiers in it—if those who were supposed to represent them come to this Dáil and said, as military men, ‘We are faced with defeat and have now to negotiate and accept a Treaty of surrender’, I should have bowed my head and bided my time for another day to bring me another opportunity. But, Sir, I would have taken good care that in surrendering now I would, at least, leave to those who came after me a chance, another day to use and do what we have failed to do in ours. I am opposed to this Treaty because it gives away our allegiance and perpetuates partition. By that very fact that it perpetuates our slavery; by the fact that it perpetuates partition it must fail utterly to do what it is ostensibly intended to do—reconcile the aspirations of the Irish people to association with the British Empire. When did the achievement of our nation's unification cease to be one of our national aspirations? Was it when Tone and MacCracken, Emmet and Russell died for Irish Union? Was it when Davis, a Cork man, and Mitchell, a Newry man, worked for Irish union? Was it when Pearse and Connolly died for Irish union? Was it when Mr. Griffith and Mr. Milroy stood in Tyrone and Fermanagh six months ago for Irish union—for the historic unity of our country—for this which has been the greatest of all our Irish aspirations, this which brought to the services of our country the man who first pointed the road to the Republic, this which brought to the services of our country the service and the life of Tone. For that historic principle of the Irish nation we are offered, it is true, a price. Never was a nation asked to forsake its principles but it was offered a price. The Scotch got Calvinism and a commercial union with England. The bishops of the Union period got a promise—as we are getting a promise—of Catholic Emancipation, and we in our day are offered, in the words of the Assistant Minister for Local Government,


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    this and this, and this and this, meaning fiscal autonomy for four- fifths of the Irish people—surely an unsound and uneconomic proposition—a tiny army that is for ever to be infested with foes, and a navy of cockle-shells; and this is not for symbols or shadows, but for six or more than the equivalent of six of the fairest counties in Ireland, and the only and last chance we have of securing our freedom. The Chairman of the Delegation, in concluding his speech moving the motion before the Dáil, said Thomas Davis was the man whose words and teaching he had tried to translate into the practice of Irish politics. He had made Davis his guide and had never departed one inch from his principles. Will the Chairman of the Delegation find me one passage in Davis by which he can justify the partition of our country? Mind you, I do not mean one passage advocating decentralising within the national polity, nor one passage advocating a confederation of united and equal States within the Irish nation, but one passage which, on the plain and simple interpretation of it, taken with and in its context, would justify this proposal to dismember our country. Find me that in Davis, find me it in Mitchell, find me it in Tone, find me it in the written testament of any man who ever stood firmly for Irish liberty. You will not find it there. Far otherwise, you will find every man of them, from the saintly bishop who first strove to unite the native forces against the Norman invader down to those who died in 1916, every man who ever sought to achieve Irish Independence seeking first to secure Irish Unity. In this matter and upon this principle at least,and I trust he will believe I am not saying it offensively, the Minister for Foreign Affairs is forsaking Davis and the principles of Davis, and in forsaking them he is forsaking his own. In saying that, I do not wish to make any vulgar insinuation against the honour of the men who are recommending this Treaty—their past record is proof against that—but is it not remarkable that not one has asked our approval for it upon grounds of principle, though they are all men of principle! All men of principle, they are asking you to vote for this measure upon grounds of expediency. It was upon grounds of expediency that the Catholic Bishops supported the Act of Union. It was upon grounds of expediency—and I ask the Irish people to remember this—it was upon grounds of expediency that Parnell was overthrown. It was on grounds of expediency—though there are some people here who tell me that because the majority of the people ask us to do something that is expedient that on principle we ought to support them—it was on grounds of expediency that Redmond and the Irish people through him supported England in the late war. It is upon grounds of expediency that we are asked to approve of this Treaty and recommend it to the Irish people for acceptance. Ah! I tell you that history is full of notable cases and great careers that were wrecked upon the shifting sands of expediency. There are many men in this Dáil who, by their valour and devotion, have won an honoured and glorious place in their country's history. Some of them have declared that upon the merest grounds of expediency they are going to vote for this Treaty. In Private Session I took the opportunity to set before you one single instance in my life when I was driven to act on grounds of expediency against my principles, and I told you there has scarcely been a moment of my life when that single instance has not risen up to confuse me and fill me with shame. Let those who have won fame and honour now in a glorious fight for principle—let them hesitate before they do anything that will make them bend their heads in shame—

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Hear, hear.

    MR. MACENTEE:

    These things are not symbols and shadows for which we contend. These things upon which you propose to turn your back are not symbols and shadows—they are your very life and soul. Forsake them now, and everything that is good and true in you is dead. You may not believe me, but I would ask you to take the view that outside people take of your attitude in this Dáil. Every single one of you who are going to vote for this Treaty, would you not be insulted if I were to say to your face that you are forsaking the principles and example of Pearse and Connolly and those who made the Republic and brought back the soul to a nation? Is here one of you who would


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    not be insulted? And yet there is a motion set down for this assembly which may perhaps take the contrary view of things than was held by those who died. Do the young men of Ireland—the Collinses, the Mulcahys, and the MacKeons—wish once and for all to give decent and final interment to the Ireland for which Pearse died? These are not dead phrases for which they spoke, and these are not mummy phrases for which we stand. They are the life and soul of this nation. Do you wish to regard them as mummies? Ah! I hear some talk about an oath and men not seeing the difference between the two things—that in one there lies the enshrouded mummy of a free Ireland, and in the other they mean the preservation, inviolate against opposition or compromise, of the living principles for which Tone and Connolly stood.

    A DEPUTY:

    Where is it?

    MR. MACENTEE:

    It is in this, Sir, that the Constitution of the Irish nation should depend upon the will of the Irish people. Apparently in this assembly we have become so many slaves already that we are not able to distinguish between the free will of the Irish people and the wish of an English King. You who are going to vote for the Treaty upon grounds of expediency, whether it be to get the English soldiers out of Ireland; whether it be in order that Ireland may be allowed to develop her own life in her own way without interference from any government, English or otherwise as the gallant soldier who seconded the resolution said; or whether, as the Minister of Finance said, because this document gives you, not freedom, but freedom to achieve it—

    MR. COLLINS:

    Hear, hear.

    MR. MACENTEE:

    You who are going to vote for it on these grounds think well of it; examine every word of it; weigh every clause of it, and see that it does what you say it will do before parting with your principles and staining your honour in support of it.

    MR. COLLINS:

    I am the exponent of my principles.

    MR. MACENTEE:

    For me I will put but one clause of this document before you, and it is the clause which the Deputy for Tyrone and Fermanagh, Mr. Milroy, in one of his rhetorical thunder-storms, glossed over. He began his speech by saying he would take his gloves off. When he came to it he had not only his gloves but his velvet slippers off and he strayed very quietly past it. I refer you to the last clause in Article 12 of this agreement:—‘Provided that if such an address is so presented, a Commission consisting of three persons, one to be appointed by the Government of the Irish Free State, one to be appointed by the Government of Northern Ireland, and one, who shall be chairman, to be appointed by the British Government, shall determine, in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants, so far as may be compatible with economic and geographic conditions, the boundaries between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland, and for the purposes of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, and of this instrument, the boundary of Northern Ireland shall be such as may be determined by such Commission’.

    I am sorry Mr. Milroy was not silent when he came to this clause in the Treaty, but he walked past it singing a little song of salvation. Referring to the Provisions of this Treaty he said, and these are his own words, that they were not partition provisions, but were provisions which would ensure the essential unity of Ireland, but whether partition or not, the economic advantages and the facts connected with the six counties were such that, sooner or later, they would be compelled to resume association with the rest of Ireland. I traverse that in its entirety. First of all, within a month six counties or more than six counties as it may ultimately turn out to be, have a right to vote themselves out from under the operation of your Treaty, and you are making no provision whatsoever to bring them in. Don't tell me that is not partition. But, Sir, I will come to a higher authority than Mr. Milroy, and that is the man who has the power and authority to make us violate our vows in order to accept his document, and with all due respect to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for


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    Finance, but following the excellent example set by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, I will quote that gentleman's words. Mr. Lloyd George, speaking on a motion in the English House of Commons approving of the address to the Throne said: ‘We were of opinion, and were not alone in that opinion, because their are friends of Ulster who take the same view, that it is desirable if Ulster is to remain a separate unit, that there should be an adjustment of boundaries . . . we propose that Ulster should have a re-adjustment of boundaries which would take into account the existence of a homogeneous population, and considering all these circumstances we think it is in the interests of Ulster that she should have people within her who should work with her and help her’. There you have the real purpose of that clause—not to bring the six Counties into Ireland, but to enable them to remain out of Ireland.

    MR. MILROY:

    I desire to ask this Deputy if he is prepared to coerce all these counties to come in?

    MR. MACENTEE:

    I am not responsible for policy in this Dáil. If I were, I might be prepared to lay a programme before you, but until I am sitting with a Government of the Republic it is not open to any man to ask me what I would do in such a case. There you have, first of all, the real purpose of this clause, which is to ensure that Ulster—secessionist Ulster—should remain a separate unit; and this is to be done by transferring from the jurisdiction of the Government of Northern Ireland certain people and certain districts which that Government cannot govern; and by giving instead to Northern Ireland, certain other districts—unionist districts of Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal, so that not only under this Treaty are we going to partition Ireland, not only are we going to partition Ulster, but we are going to partition even the counties of Ulster, and then I am told that these are not partition provisions. The Deputy for Tyrone and Fermanagh says ‘Quite so’, but I tell him that Mr. Lloyd George has given me the real purpose of these provisions.

    MR. E. BLYTHE:

    Trust him.

    MR. MACENTEE:

    No, I don't trust him, but I never saw such guileless trust in any English statesman as those who are standing for this Treaty are giving him. I take the interpretation of the man who drafted this instrument, and this, remember you, was not the Treaty, and not the draft of your Cabinet. The original draft was the draft of the English Cabinet.

    DR. MACCARTAN:

    That is no fault of our Cabinet.

    MR. MACENTEE:

    I have nothing to do with that. I am thinking of the fate of my country, not of the fortunes of politicians. I say I take the interpretation of the man who drafted the instruments; and I have good grounds for taking it because he is the man who forced these instruments upon the Delegation, and has forced them to come back here and attempt to force it upon the members of this assembly and even upon the people of our country; and I say that the man who has had power to do all that, has the power and will have the power to force his interpretation of his own instrument. But what is going to be the effect of this provision? I am told it is not a partition provision. First of all, its effect is to remove from Northern Ireland the strongest force that makes for the unification of Ireland. It is going to remove from Northern Ireland the strongest force that makes for the unification of Ireland. It is going to remove from under the jurisdiction of the Northern Government that strong Nationalist minority which every day tries to bring Northern Ireland into the Irish Republic. They, I might almost say, are to be driven forth from their native Ulster and instead their places are to be taken by certain sections of the population of Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal; and that is being done in order that Carsonia shall secure a homogeneous population which is necessary for her, in order to develop as England intends, and as the Orange politicians intend it should develop into a second state and a second people usurping Irish soil. Mr. Milroy stated that the economic advantages of the case in connection with the six counties were such that, sooner or later, they would be compelled to resume association with the rest of Ireland. Does


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    Mr. Milroy—whom I remember very well as a very agile rainbow chaser and shadow hunter—does he tell me that material or economic facts are the determining factors in nationality? Would he have said that when we were asking the people of Ireland to risk their economical welfare on the question of nationality three years ago? Ah! he would not, and if I had said that to him he would have regarded it as insulting. I say there is more in nationality and history than mere materialism, and I say because there are more than these things in history and nationality, this Treaty is the most dangerous and diabolical onslaught that has ever been made upon the unity of our nation, because, Sir, by the very effort in it we are going to be destructive of our own nationality—

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    You are.

    MR. MACENTEE:

    No, Sir, you are.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I was first of course.

    MR. MACENTEE:

    Exactly. I am not following you.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    You never did.

    MR. MACENTEE:

    However, I say this, that the provisions of this Treaty mean this: that in the North of Ireland certain people differing from us somewhat in tradition, and differing in religion, which are very vital elements in nationality, are going to be driven, in order to maintain their separate identity, to demarcate themselves from us, while we, in order to preserve ourselves against the encroachment of English culture, are going to be driven to demarcate ourselves so far as ever we can from them. I heard something about the control of education. Will any of the Deputies who stand for it tell me what control they are going to exercise over the education of the Republican minority in the North of Ireland? They will be driven in their schools to hold up the English tradition and ideal. We will be driven in our schools to hold up the Gaelic tradition and ideal. They will be driven to make English, as it is, the sole vehicle of common speech and communication in their territory, while we will be striving to make Gaelic the sole vehicle of common speech in our territory. And yet you tell me that, considering these factors, this is not a partition provision. Ah! Sir, it was a very subtle and ironic master-stroke of English policy to so fashion these instruments that, by trying to save ourselves under them, we should encompass our own destruction. But, Sir, to return again to Mr. Milroy's economic conditions, which he thinks are everything in history, and which I tell him are comparatively nothing, because if they were, Sir, we would not have an Irish nation here today; I say that one of the immediate effects of these instruments is to put Ulster in an economic position to defy you. What will be the first consequence of it? Immediately there will be a revival of Irish Trade which will have its secondary effect in Ulster in the revival of the shipbuilding and linen industries, and remember these are the staple industries of Belfast. We have been able to exercise comparatively great pressure upon Belfast, simply from the fact that the linen and shipbuilding industries were in such a state of absolute stagnation. It will be quite a different matter when 90 per cent. of Belfast trade is flourishing again and she is in a position to lose her distributing trade with the rest of Ireland; and that is the reason I say that the immediate effect of the passage of this instrument will be to put Belfast in an economic position to defy you.You will say: ‘What of the heavy taxation under this Act?’ What, indeed? Show me anything in the bond that will compel England to tax Northern Ireland more heavily than the Free State will be taxed. Show me anything in the Treaty or in the Government of Ireland Act. You cannot show me anything there, and I saw as England has found it profitable to subsidise the Ameer of Afghanistan, she will find it much more profitable to subsidise Northern Ireland to remain out and weaken the Free State: and that is my answer to those who say the economic factors are going to bring about a united Ireland under this document. I have heard men get up here and say time after time that they will vote for this Treaty because it meant the evacuation of the English forces out of Ireland, until one gallant member got up and said that, as a matter of fact, it meant the evacuation


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    of the British forces out of Southern Ireland in order to get their winter quarters in the North. Until then I had almost thought that there was no soldier of intelligence in this House. I tell you this Treaty makes evacuation a mockery. Already the English Press are declaring that Northern Ireland must be afforded every military protection she requires or that England can give her. The North will be flooded with soldiers evacuated out of Southern Ireland. Read Lloyd George's letter if you don't believe me. They will be reinforced by hundreds of thousands of Orange irregulars concentrated and held in one spot, as Napoleon used to concentrate his forces, to launch them at the tiny units of your tiny army and smash them. You who profess to be soldiers and who recommend this Treaty upon soldierly grounds, tell me, with Ulster, as it will be under this Treaty, an armed camp, and with your chief ports held by the enemy and your supplies of equipment and munitions so controlled, where is the military advantage you are going to get if you accept the Treaty? I have heard some say that they will vote for this Treaty because it is not a final settlement. I might be disposed to commend them for those statements if only for the reinforcement that their words give to the President's attitude in this matter, for he has frankly declared he is voting against it because it is not a final settlement, and because it will not give peace. But, Sir, I am voting against it because I believe it will be a final settlement, and it is the terrible finality of the settlement that appals me. Under it I believe firmly that we are giving away our last chance of securing an independent Ireland. Mark my words, under this Treaty Ulster will become England's fortress in Ireland—a fortress as impregnable as Gibraltar, and a fortress that shall dominate and control Ireland even as Gibraltar controls the Mediterranean. I have heard much from those who will vote for it because it is not a final settlement. I have heard much of our gradual growth to freedom under this instrument—how we will encroach a little here and crawl a little there until we attain the full measure of our liberties. I tell you that so long as Ulster is in the position you are going to place her in under this instrument you will not budge one inch. That is why she is placed there, and it is because she is placed in that position that Lloyd George, on his own admission, has given you this Treaty at all. Speaking of the conference and of the issue of the conference—the Treaty—he says: ‘It could not have been done if you had not faced Ireland with the accomplished rights of Ulster’—rights of the invader and usurper within historic territory of the Nation. I tell you what England propose to do. She has robbed you of your territory to settle it upon her new Cromwellians and is asking you now to give her the title deeds. That is what this document means. The Deputy for Derry some days ago spoke of an element not being represented in this Dáil. I too will speak of them. Yet it occurs to me that not I, but the Minister for Foreign Affairs, or the Minister for Finance, or the Deputy for Tyrone, who is so strenuous and vociferous for the treaty—that not I, but one of these should be their spokesman here. I ask these Deputies if, when they were standing for their respective constituencies, they had put forward this Article 12 of this Treaty as their policy, would they have got one hundred votes of all the votes that returned them?

    MR. COLLINS:

    Certainly.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    You got fifty- six votes.

    Mn. MACENTEE:

    I may have. That was no fault of mine.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Not mine surely.

    MR. MACENTEE:

    I admit the people judged me well, but I tell you they judged you worse if they did. Yes, I got one hundred votes because on the official whip and the official instructions sent out to the voters of Tyrone and Fermanagh Mr. Griffith was placed first and got his huge plurality. Mr. Milroy was placed third, and I fifth. Because the people stood for the Irish Republic and wished to carry out the mandate of the Irish Republic they voted for any man, not upon his merits, but as they were told to do. I say all those who are sitting for Ulster constituencies, and all of those who vote for the acceptance of this Treaty that they will be guilty of a double betrayal


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    —the betrayal of not only our own rights but of the pledge to the Ulster people—a people who, under conditions that those who have not endured them can have no conception of, have stood for us and have suffered for us in the hope that in our day of triumph we should not forget them. These days have not been our days of triumph. Some Deputy has said they are our days of defeat, but whether they are our days of triumph or defeat let us all remember our own suffering people and make them our day of honour. The Deputy for Galway and a number of other Deputies have said: ‘What is the alternative to our acceptance of this Treaty?’ Apparently if the people who are recommending this Treaty can have their way there will be no alternative to it except ‘terrible and immediate war’. But, Sir, whether that is really the alternative or not—and I don't believe it is the alternative—but whether it he the alternative or not, all the responsibility for that alternative rests, not upon us, but upon those who, in violation of their election pledges and in defiance of their orders, signed that Treaty. The Minister for Finance, referring again to the problem of secessionist Ulster, more or less washed his hands of the whole matter when he said: ‘Well, after all, what are we to do with these people?’ Well I am not responsible for policy, but of all the things I may have done, this one thing I would not do: I would not let them go. I would not traffic in my nation's independence without, at least, securing my nation's unity. I would not hand over my country as a protectorate to another country without, at least, securing the right to protect my countrymen. I would not do as this Treaty does—I would at least take care not to do as this Treaty does—remove every chance and every opportunity, and make it for ever impossible for those who come after me to secure it. I would not do one of these things and because I would not do them I will not vote for this Treaty.

    ALD. LIAM DE ROISTE:

    A Chinn Chomhairle agus a lucht na Dála, seasuighim os bhúr gcóir chun mo ghuth d'árdú agus chun e chur leo so tá tareis labhairt ar son an Chonnartha so. Agus is mian liom leis a mhíniú cad na thaobh go bhfuilim á dheanamh. Duine iseadh mise a cheapann gur feidir cúrsaí na Náisiún do shocrú go síochánta. Agus dá leanadh Náisiúin an domhain an Chríostuíocht adeirid atá aca do socrófaí cúrsaí na Náisiún agus a ndeifríochtaí go síochánta. Ach ní mar sin a dintear; agus is baolach nách mar sin a deanfar. Is le lámh láidir is comhacht a fuair Sasana an chead ghreim sa tír seo; agus an fhaid a theidheann mo thuiscint-se i stair na hEireann, thuigeas riamh go mbeadh saoirse againn nuair imeodh arm Shasana as an dtír; agus ní feidir liom einne adeir liom nách fíor e sin a thuiscint. Fe mar thuigim-se an sceal sin e an teagasc a gheibhmíd ó gach duine a thuig stair na hEireann. Táim ar aon aigne le Sceilg sa meid seo, gurbh fhearr liom gur i dteanga na hEireann amháin a labharfaí anso. Táimíd ag caint i dtaobh focal is abairtí anso le breis is seachtain. Dá mba Gaedhilg a bheadh á labhairt againn ní bheadh aon cheist eadrainn i dtaobh brí na bhfocal fe mar atá sa Bhearla.

    One of the first things I want to say is this: I protest most solemnly against anybody saying that I, for one, in supporting this Treaty, am making a spiritual surrender [hear, hear]. If the Deputy for Louth had to-day read the Oath of Allegiance to the Irish Republic which I took it would be thoroughly understood by those who understand the language of the country that I am in no sense violating that oath in what I am favouring to-day; rather am I confirming it. I took an oath to Saorstát na hEireann, not to your Dominion, Republic, or form of Home Rule; and by the oath to Saorstát no hEireann I stand now. Yes, there are some now laughing at the oath. I mean to keep the oath and not to break it.

    MR. SEAN ETCHINGHAM:

    What about the oath to the first Parliament?

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    I must ask the Deputies to refrain from interrupting.

    ALD. DE ROISTE:

    I have risen to support the motion of approval for recommending the acceptance of the Articles of Agreement of the proposed Treaty of accommodation between Ireland and Britain to this assembly and to the people of Ireland. However others may regard the matter, I


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    view this assembly as the assembly of a Sovereign Nation. I have been surprised to find Deputies in this assembly doubting the sovereignty of the Irish nation.It is true the assembly is an anomalous one, due to the circumstances of the revolutionary period through which we have passed and may still be passing; in this assembly we have only one party, the Republican party. If it were a normal assembly you would have representatives of every party in the Irish nation. Now, though the assembly is here, not by law established as in any normal country, it is here in fact; and it is the fact I recognise and not the law established to the letter. I would submit for the consideration of everybody that if we stood on what has been termed—but which I do not admit—the uncompromising rock of principle, we would not he here at all. It was by virtue of a British Act in 1918 that we stood for election [hear, hear]. It is by virtue of British Constitutional Law and practice that we got into the assembly then, and I presume it was by the Act called the Partition Act which began: ‘Enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal’, or whatever you call it [laughter] that we got elected here, and that we are here in this assembly. The very constituencies were changed from 1918 to ]921 by virtue of the Partition Act passed in the British Parliament. If we were to accept the letter of the law we would not be here at all [hear, hear]. What we accepted was a fact and the will of the Irish people. We are here because every one of us, acting according to common sense, not in accordance with declarations or what is written in a British Act, availed of the opportunity to mould in form all British Acts to the benefit of the Irish people [hear, hear]. In that sense everyone here, no matter what declarations are made, is an opportunist. We are all here, no matter what theoretical distinctions are now made to divide us in dialectical discussions, by virtue of the operation of English constitutional and legal enactments in Ireland. Common sense tells us there was neither compromise nor sacrifice of national principles in utilising English legal machinery for our own purpose, as we utilise it for local government, for postal services, for monetary values and other purposes. If I may say so, the most uncompromising person here will pay twopence for the photograph of his Majesty King George to put it on a letter. I hope when the Postmaster-General begins his functions the photograph of his Majesty will be cheaper—if it is here at all [laughter]. The law and the phrases and the forms and terms of the Acts of Parliament mean nothing as far as this country is concerned, when they are forms and terms of the British Parliament. The fact means another.If I wanted to make debating points I could say like others we were all compromisers in 1918, we were all compromisers in 1920, we are all compromisers now, and not alone compromisers but opportunists; for we all availed of the opportunities given us under English legal forms to create this assembly itself. I have no desire to make debating points. It matters not now what the phrasing and the form of words of the Partition Act of 1920 were. I fancy it was called the ‘Better Government of Ireland Act’, and began with the usual fiction: ‘Enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal’, and so on. Such was the wording that established Dáil Eireann as it now exists. The Wizard from Wales threw the dust in our eyes, but, faith! we cleared the air and the fog is in his. I accept the fact, not the words. Ireland accepts the fact now, and recognises this as the assembly of a Sovereign Nation, if it were only by the intense interest that is evidently displayed in our proceedings. The world accepts the fact, by the same test; and the English Government I hold accepted the fact when it received our plenipotentiaries as representing an established authority in this land. It accepts the fact in the Articles of Agreement. They are only Articles of Agreement till approved by the Parliaments of both countries. They have been approved by the British Parliament. They await approval by us. If and when approved they become a Treaty; and a Treaty is a bargain or an agreement between equals, not a concession or a favour bestowed or conferred by a superior upon an inferior. The status of Ireland as co- equal with Britain, or any other nation, is recognised now even by Britain itself. That,

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    to my view, is the fact, whatever the phrasing. I do not mind what Lloyd George says, whether he recognises it or not. The status of Ireland is recognised, and is there anyone here to say to me that that is not a big victory for the Irish nation in this day? Whether the bargain is a good or a bad one is another matter; and on that point, without any heated controversies or violent disputations, we can all have our honest differences. In the assemblies across the water, I believe there were differences too over the interpretation of the forms of the proposals. I cannot say if they were honest or not there. I know the differences here are quite honest. Some there were violent enough in declaring this was a bad bargain for England, was a surrender to Ireland in fact, a scuttling, a disruption of the Empire, a breaking up of its heart, a betrayal—and it was even declared over there the form of oath in the proposed Treaty was not an Oath of Allegiance at all; and others there declared the proposed Treaty was quite the opposite. There are those in this assembly who maintain quite the same thing; and as in their assembly, so in ours, there are those who maintain that instead of England scuttling out of Ireland, she is getting a firmer grip on the country. Now, taking the view that I do—that this is an agreement between two sovereign peoples, I look upon it simply as a bargain. We are not concerned with the question whether the bargain is a good or a bad one for England. Our question is, is it a good or a had one for Ireland, for the sovereign people of Ireland? I came to this assembly thinking we were to discuss those proposals in that light: just as the Deputies of the French Chamber, the Swiss Chamber or the Italian Chamber or any other assembly might discuss proposals for a Treaty between one sovereign nation and another.I did not think that anyone here would raise a doubt as to Ireland's sovereignty; seeing that, in fact, as I viewed it, the English themselves had admitted it. No dust of phrases was blinding me. I accepted the facts and, as I thought, the victory. The fog of words has grown so thick here it is difficult at times to see clearly. I came to criticise, to scrutinise, to examine and weigh the proposals and find the balance. Not withstanding the whirl of words I have done so, and on the balance of judgment I favour approval of the proposals. I am convinced in my own conscience that it is a good bargain for Ireland. I favour the Treaty. I do so as a Republican, which term in my conception simply means a democratic form of Government, a form in which the will of the people can be best expressed. I have a very great sympathy with the views that were expressed by Deputy Dr. MacCartan, though my conclusions are entirely different to his. I am convinced that the acceptance of this instrument presented to us by our plenipotentiaries will enable the Irish people to work out in peaceful development their own conception of state organisation; while its non-acceptance would throw us back into a struggle that would hamper every development of our national life. We have heard a great deal of discussion about kings. In my view, as a humble student of history, the day of kings and kaisers is almost ended and will soon be as obsolete as the theory of their divine right to rule; and the day of the rule of the sovereign people has begun, whatever the form in which it will take expression. Even some of the English people themselves seem moving towards republicanism. It can take no form in this land if we are plunged again into the welter of war or violent partisan politics, as I, at least, am convinced we shall be if this Treaty be not accepted. Rejection means giving the trick to the man none of us trust—Lloyd George; for I do not trust the English Government—yet. Mistrust of English rulers is bred in our bones from the reading of the history of our land. I would not trust them if our plenipotentiaries brought back from London a paper recognition of the Irish Republic. I think I would fear their intrigues more. We can only begin to think them sincere when, in accordance with this Treaty, made in the face of the world, their armed forces are withdrawn from this land, and their armed aggression on the rights and liberties of the Irish people ceases [hear, hear]. I also support the motion because I am sincerely convinced that the acceptance of this Treaty by the people of Ireland makes possible, in the natural development of world affairs with its ever changing relations between states and nations and peoples, the accomplishment of an ideal I have had ever before me since I was capable of forming ideals—that of the untrammelled

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    sovereign independence of a united Irish nation. Common sense tells me, however, that its realisations will not be quite what I desire, for an ideal realised is never quite as we visualise it. Principles and ideals, in the abstract, if based on eternal things are immutable. Principles regarding the relations of states and peoples and forms of government are not immutable. What is history itself in one aspect but the record of the changes in the relations of states and nations, in the powers of government, in national, political and social organisation? Some changes have been violent,sudden: others have been the outcome of peaceful endeavour over a long period. As the conflict of the past few years in Ireland has rendered possible the making of this Treaty with Britain, so its acceptance now may enable Ireland in peaceful endeavour to develop a new world conception of the relations of peoples and states. As I view affairs, the imperialistic conception with military domination and economic exploitation is dying, if dying hard. The acceptance of this Treaty, in my view, is its death-blow in Ireland. National and political policies should not be raised to the dignity of immutable principles in a world that is ever-changing; a world of beings swayed by passions and prejudices, by sentiments, and by illusions begot of ignorance; beings that are not gods, not angels. Our acceptance of this Treaty, or of any Treaty, whether such Treaty be above our personal ideals or fall below them, cannot bind the future—notwithstanding the legal fiction so often inserted in such documents that they are binding for ever. Had we before us a Treaty that would satisfy the personal ideals of all still we could not say that there would be peace for ever between the Irish nation and that other nation with whom we make a Treaty. We can only take the one that is before us as a certainty that its acceptance can lead to present peace, and a peace that is no way dishonourable, under present circumstances, to the Irish people. Every Deputy here has a double duty at the present juncture: the one to express, as far as he is capable of expressing it, the mind, the intentions, the will of the people he represents, the other to express if he so desires, his own personal principles, ideas, feelings, opinions. I have no hesitation in saying that, so far as I have been able to test it, the will of the majority of the people I represent is overwhelmingly in favour of the Treaty. Only yesterday certain gentlemen of my constituency who are able to gauge public opinion there, came to me to know what all the discussion in the Dáil was about when the overwhelming mass were in favour of acceptance of the Treaty [hear, hear]. True I have been warned of possible speedy exit into the ‘infinite azure sphere’ if I favour the Treaty but I have also been warned that ‘bás gan sagart’ awaits me if I record a vote against it! For myself, I have common sense enough to know that no Treaty in any form of words drawn up by other than myself would satisfy all my ideals or conform to the principles I, as an individual, hold: and I doubt if I myself could give adequate expression in words to my thoughts of what the status of our nation should be; what its constitutional forms, what its political and social organisation, what its attitude towards other states and peoples should be. Language is the prerogative of man alone, but I have long since formed the conclusion that no words, or phrases, or forms of expression can adequately convey the thoughts and ideas, the ideals and aspirations that surge through the mind and soul of a living human being. If my personal ideals and personal ideas of national principles conflict with what is the manifest welfare of the people, I should feel it my duty, on the still higher and greater principles of Christianity, to subordinate my own conceptions to those higher, universal principles; I should feel it my duty to sacrifice myself by what is, perhaps, the greatest sacrifice of all, the suppression of my own personal conceptions and theories for the welfare of the people [applause]. And instead of that being dishonourable, I venture to assert it is in complete accord with the highest ideas of honour and duty, national or individual [hear, hear]. ‘Peace on earth to men of good-will’ is a higher principle and a nobler conception than the pagan attitude of war and strife and conflict and revenge. And it is partly because I am convinced that the acceptance of this Treaty should bring peace to the sorely tried people of this country, to the poor, the lowly, the humble, the timid, making possible the peace of God in many a home in Ireland this Christmastide, that I favour its acceptance. We have prayed for peace; the

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    nation with one voice has called to God for peace; in many churches and in many a home the people have lifted up their voices to Heaven for peace; and, as I conceive it in my soul, God has heard the prayer. With the Bishop of Killaloe I feel ‘This is God's gift’ to the people. Here is an instrument of peace that the people of Ireland can honourably accept, with trust in God to guard the future destiny of the nation as they trusted in Him in the darkest days of the Terror to ordain such an opportunity as this for peace. The struggle of Ireland for centuries has been a struggle against armed aggression and what followed in the train of armed aggression—economic exploitation and mental servitude. The moral basis of Ireland's fight at any time, as during the past few years, has been that it was defence of the nation's life against armed aggression. When this aggression ceases, as by the acceptance of this Treaty it ceases, there seems to me at least no present moral basis for an armed conflict. If aggression be again resorted to by the rulers of England, Ireland can again stand on the impregnable moral basis of defence of her life. That the people of Ireland should sanction an armed conflict against aggression, at any favourable opportunity, no matter how unequal the contest, there never was a doubt. But that the people of Ireland now sanction a conflict in preference to acceptance of an instrument that makes them masters in their own land, whatever the form and phrasing of that instrument be, is a matter of grave doubt. Speaking for myself, though I would accept the responsibility of advising war against English armed aggression, I cannot, in conscience, accept the responsibility of advising war as the alternative to the operation of this instrument. I am perfectly willing to let the people whom I represent themselves decide in any ordinary, peaceful, legitimate way in which the people can express their opinion freely, and am perfectly willing to pledge myself to say not one word more in public than what I say here to influence their free decision [hear, hear]. I am not a politician nor a partisan, and I never had an ambition to stand upon political hustings or even to enter public life. It was with extreme reluctance and under much pressure I accepted nomination at the 1918 election, and only because it was shown to me to be a duty—a most painful and distasteful duty as I felt it—to accept. At that election our hopes were high—as the hopes of the plain people of all nations were high—that a new world order based, not on force, but on moral right, would ensue from the conference at Versailles, and the establishment of the League of Nations. We believed as all the world believed, that American principles would become reality and not remain merely fine expressions of ideal things, and that Ireland then, as a sovereign nation, would enter into a world community of nations. Not alone our hopes, but the hopes of the world were blighted at Versailles. But mark, even the solemn compacts entered into there by the representatives of great and mighty powers have had to go down before the solid facts of world forces that not even statesmen nor politicians nor wizards nor theorists can control. It is a fiction in the light of world history, even of the past few years, that any pact between states has binding force for ever. We turned to America in the hope that recognition of the Republic might come, as we turned to other countries. The plain people of America and the plain people of the world sympathised with us in our struggle for life; and I am convinced that a very great factor in forcing the English Government to agree to this Treaty with us was the moral opinion of the world which, though indefinite, is a powerful factor. But the Governments moved not, and there is a limit even to the force of the moral opinion of the world. Rightly or wrongly I believe we have got in this Treaty the limit to which the moral opinion of the world will go on Ireland's behalf; and I have no faith that the rulers of the great states will move in our regard to the detriment of what they conceive to be their own interests. They met again at Washington the other day, and a new pact has been entered into which, as I understand, ensures the supremacy of Britain on the seas for a further period. It is a pact for ten years; it may be broken or changed before then, such is the mutability of the relations between states: but we have got to take facts as we find them. We had the moral opinion of the world with us in a struggle against armed aggression. We cannot expect the moral opinion of the world with us if, by our own act, by the rejection of this Treaty we retain the armed forces of aggression in our land. How can we honestly

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    complain to the world in future of atrocities of English armed forces in Ireland if it is by our own act we keep those forces here? And what I sincerely feel is that no declarations, no words, no assertions on our part can explain to the world, any more than to our own people, why any Irishman, republican or non-republican, should vote to retain the armed forces of English aggression in Ireland [hear, hear]. England has changed its policy. Whether it has changed in heart or not is another matter. We have got to face the fact of that change of policy at least. The election of this year in Ireland was a war election and, as would happen in any other country, the people gave their confidence to those who, in their opinion, were fighting for the nation's existence and meeting the Terrorist policy in the only way in which it could be met. That election and the national policy connected with it smashed the proposals of the British Government contained in the Partition Act. As far as political policies went Mr. Lloyd George's Government was beaten. A change became inevitable for England. The British Prime Minister began exploring avenues for peace. By the skill, as we all believed, of our united Dáil Cabinet this avenue for peace was blocked and that avenue was blocked, until at last an avenue was found that was then at least not considered dishonourable by any—the avenue of a Conference. The Truce was proclaimed, its very terms, as many thought, being a recognition of our national status as co-equal with England. We considered there was recognition of our national status. In other words, what the English termed a gang of murderers was now an army. I suppose no agreement ever entered into between two nations ever fully satisfied one nation or the other. It is not in human nature that it should. There are sections in England that are not satisfied with the proposed Treaty which is before this Dáil. The England of the Morning Post—the England of Imperial aggression and expansion and of military domination, the only England we have hitherto known—is not satisfied with it. It sees in this Treaty a cry of surrender to Ireland, to rebels and gunmen. It sees in it a cry of surrender to Michael Collins! And Lord Carson is not satisfied with it. Equally, there are men and women in Ireland, and far be it from me to compare them to any section of Englishmen or women, for they are thoroughly honest, thoroughly sincere, thoroughly honourable, who consider the Treaty a surrender on Ireland's part. My friends, I am sure, will give me credit for the same sincerity and the same honesty of desire for the welfare of our common country when I say I do not agree with that view. I consider the Treaty a victory for Ireland, a vindication of our policy, a policy advocated by some of us during the past twenty years; and, more particularly, I look on it as a victory for the heroic army of Ireland. It is not a dictated peace—

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    It is a dictated peace.

    ALD. LIAM DE ROISTE:

    Even a dictated peace with its motto of Vae victis is not always satisfactory to the victors, as the dictated peace at the end of the European war proved. It is a negotiated peace, and in my view, in the balance of likes and dislikes of its terms, it is a victory for Ireland, a victory made possible by the world of the past three years [hear, hear]. The Treaty is a recognition of Ireland as a national entity. The fiction of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is no more. The Kingdom of Great Britain remains. Saorstát na hEireann emerges as a new state in the world confederation of nations. The right of Ireland to national freedom is recognised. The assertion of recognition of that right has been the basic principle of Ireland's armed struggles with England during the centuries. A Government is to be set up in this country by the will of the Irish people alone, by the will of the plain people of Ireland, not by the will of English Ministers nor of select classes; a Government that must draw its power from, and be responsible to, the plain people of this country. An achievement this that never was in Ireland since the Norman Barons got a grip on the land—for even Grattan's Parliament was the Parliament of a class and not the Parliament of the plain people. This Treaty gives the Irish people complete power over their own economic life and over their social organisation. It gives us at last complete and absolute control over education, and those who have control over education have absolute control of the future destinies of the nation in their hands. The ‘Happy little English child’ of the schoolbooks disappears on


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    the approval of this Treaty; and the sturdy child of the Gaodhal takes his rightful place in the schools and colleges and universities of the land [applause]. I am convinced that acceptance of the Treaty and development in peace will save the language of the nation; and one of my first thoughts when I read its clauses was ‘Sábhálfar an Ghaoluinn anois’—The language will be safe now. With the argument that instead of developing a virile civilisation in this country we will all become shoneens, I have no sympathy. The language, as we have proclaimed from ten thousand platforms during the last twenty years,is the soul of the nation [hear, hear]. And with the saving of the language I have no fear, no fear whatever, for the soul of the nation. Even here and now we can get away from the obscurity and confusion of the English tongue: away with your Dominion and your colony and your Free State terms: let us re-baptise our nation—not a baiste úrláir now—as Saorstát na hEireann. You can get immediate, full, complete, undisturbed control of the educational systems of the land by acceptance of this Treaty; with that control you can save the language; with the language and all it connotes you can save the soul and mind and intellect of the nation—and your ‘most important fortress and strongest frontier’ will be rendered so impregnable that not all the shock troops of England or of all the Empires can break it down. This Treaty gives us our own flag—

    MR. G. GAVAN DUFFY:

    Which flag?

    ALD. LIAM DE ROISTE:

    The Irish flag. Take for a moment that the English troops—the English armed forces—are out of this country, and I put on a tricolour on Dublin Castle, I will dare anyone to take it down [laughter]. Now we have got the flag. What we have been told here is this: that if Arthur Griffith puts it up in Dublin Castle there are people here who would go and take it down.

    MR. R. MULCAHY:

    We will take the Castle down [laughter].

    ALD. LIAM DE ROISTE:

    It might be no harm to do away with the Castle altogether. However, this Treaty gives us our flag and our men to defend it against English aggression, should English rulers again seek to change their policy. Approve this Treaty and the opportunity is given us for building up Irish civilization in the way that we have dreamt of. Reject, and we are thrown back into a welter of which no man can see the end, and where no building up can be possible. Even if the dictation of peace terms should be the end of the welter, so much of our best blood would have gone that the salving of our civilization may be well nigh impossible. We can save it now, if we grasp the opportunity. I understand that references of some deputies on the question of form of oath in the Treaty were evoked by a remark of mine in Private Session. My attitude is quite simple I regard my word of honour as binding as an oath when that word is solemnly given. If the intention behind an oath is immutable I cannot understand how any man in honour during life can break any oath of allegiance once taken. The form in the Treaty I have examined by the light of my own conscience and intellect and, lest I should err even in ignorance, I have consulted authorities on moral science and theology. And in conscience I am satisfied that the form of oath in the Treaty is not an oath of allegiance to an English monarch but is an oath of allegiance to Saorstát na hEireann. That oath in my view admits no right of an English King to be ruler of Ireland or head of the Irish State. Even if it did, the theory of the divine right of rulers to rule the people is discarded by all, even by the people of England themselves. I personally object to the mention of King George V., his heirs and successors, in the terms of any oath that may be presented to me, even though it be not allegiance I am asked to pledge myself to, but recognition of a symbol of headship of a League of Nations. But after the most earnest and scrupulous consideration I am satisfied in my own mind that that is a personal prejudice due to the fact that the Kings of England have stood as symbols of tyranny in this country, and that it is not a national or immutable principle; and my personal prejudices, whatever they may be, are nothing compared with the welfare of the Irish nation. If I were an English subject and an oath of allegiance to a King were presented to me I should refuse to take it, as I should refuse to swear personal allegiance to any rulers, but I should not feel justified on account


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    of that prejudice to plunge a country into chaos because of my personal prejudices to such an oath. Everyone here, I feel sure, will act according to the light of his own conscience. As a justifiable oath I am prepared to swear I am acting in accord with mine. Now, whatever meanings we may place on words, the very fact that we here are discussing this Treaty in this Dáil as in the sovereign assembly of a nation is recognition of our own national status. And the English recognise the fact too, recognise that the Irish people have a right to set up a sovereign assembly with an executive government responsible only to the will of the Irish people. To me the acts are more than the words, and whatever construction they or we place upon the words, the acts, as I view them, are a recognition of our national status. Let me once more, as I did in Private Session, appeal to the Cabinet of Dáil Eireann, no matter what the issue of this debate as a united body to take up the rule of government in this country for the present, till the constitutional will of the Irish people is expressed in a constitutional way; to maintain order, to preserve discipline. There is a danger of fratricidal strife, or at least of bewildering confusion, on an issue which honestly many of us cannot understand. The united Cabinet will have the support of the whole country in any efforts to maintain order, to prevent confusion. We have passed through a revolutionary period as other countries at different times have passed through such periods; and the lesson of all forces me to this appeal to our Cabinet as a united body for the maintenance of order, the preservation of peace among ourselves, the rule of law. I favour a referendum to the people. They are faced with changed circumstances, changed policies, with alternatives that were not before them previously. Let the people decide, and let our Cabinet evolve the mode of procedure so that the people can decide freely and conscientiously. Our words and our votes can only express our own personal views and recommendations now. The people have a right to express theirs in a constitutional way, and it should be for our Cabinet to give them the opportunity of expressing their views in such a way. Yesterday I heard from a director of one of the Irish railways that troop trains and transports were ready to take the British armed forces from Ireland. In justice to the people who sent me here and in sympathy with the sore hearts that their operations during the Terrorist policy have left in Ireland, I cannot vote to keep the British armed forces in Ireland one day longer, or one hour longer, than the changed policy of England requires; one day longer or one hour longer than the people of Ireland wish them to stay. I appeal to you not to let our decision be one that would keep these forces one day longer in our land. Finally, as far as I can view politics I have said already I am not a politician—the acceptance of these proposals is beating Mr. Lloyd George at his own tricks. The rejection of the proposals is giving him the trick. I favour the acceptance of these proposals on the ground of the welfare of the Irish people, which to me at all events is supreme. I favour them also on the ground that, as I think, they are quite in accordance with what we have been fighting for, aiming at, and talking about, and I favour them on the ground that they are a natural development of what has taken place in this country during recent years. On the grounds of common sense I favour the acceptance of the proposals [applause].

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    I would like to know the policy for the week-end—whether we will go through the Christmas or adjourn. I understand there are a great many people like myself who desire to speak and we all may speak for a pretty long time [laughter]. I am not going to give any guarantee that I am not going to speak for half a day [laughter]. I do not see much possibility of getting through before the end of January. It is better before we adjourn for tea to come to some decision. I know on this side of the House there are at least fifteen or twenty people anxious to speak. There is no prospect of these people speaking tonight, and they will insist on speaking. It was proposed on our side that a definite limit of time should be allowed to each side, and when that terminated, no matter how many people spoke, there would be an end to the discussion. In the absence of an agreement will we take the only alternative? I desire, and a great many others desire, that this should be stated before the adjournment—whether there should be a time


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    limit or whether we should adjourn until after Christmas.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    It has been suggested that an agreement could not be reached on our side. I may say I have not heard anything about the matter. Of course everyone who wants to speak has a perfect right to speak. Personally I think that on a question like this we ought, having it discussed for a number of days, to be able to make up our minds on it. I am sorry we did not have the Sessions over-night; it might have shortened the addresses, perhaps. I think we should definitely sit through the night and take on the debate again in the morning. If the other side would agree, I propose we end this debate to-morrow.

    MR. ARTHUR. GRIFFITH:

    The President asked me a couple of days ago about winding this thing up and agreed. Since then certain things have happened. A lady who spoke for three hours stood up against any closure. She had a perfect right of course, but if the people on the other side are going to speak for three hours, and insist on doing so, I am not going to have any closure. We offered them choice of time or a time limit for the speeches, but there was no agreement. Therefore, we are going on. We may adjourn for Christmas, but we will have no closure.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I was not approached in regard to any agreement.I am sure anything suggested to this side would have been referred to me, at any rate, but I was not approached.

    MR. D. CEANNT:

    I would suggest that these members who have speeches written and have made arrangements, send them to the Press. It would be just as well to send them to the Press as make them [laughter].

    MR. JOSEPH MACGRATH:

    I had a talk with the chief whip on the other side and I suggested we were prepared to put a time limit on each speaker. If that did not suit, I suggested splitting up the Session to one-and-a-half hours in the morning and the same in the evening, and we could put up twelve or thirteen speakers or ten speakers. They could do the same. I could have gotten speakers in one-and-a-half hours this morning. We understood the President was consulted. If he was not it was not our fault.

    MR. SEAN T. O'KELLY:

    I tried to arrange the practical suggestion made, but I found such a diversity of opinion among the people I spoke to that it was impossible to arrange it amicably. Later on I made a suggestion with a view to having another arrangement. There are a number of people who said to me they would speak if they got a chance, but they are quite prepared to waive the right to speak. I could see my way with the consent of these people to reduce the number of speakers to eight or nine at the utmost, and these people would further agree to have a time limit put upon them. If the other side would agree to that I think we could get through the business by the lunch adjournment to-morrow, by going on for a few hours to-night, and from 11 to 2 to-morrow.

    MR. ARTHUR GRIFFITH:

    That is closure.

    MR. SEAN T. O'KELLY:

    The other side claim that—

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    I suggest that the whips find out definitely, the speakers who do not wish to speak and we may be able to come to some arrangement.

    MR. JOSEPH MACGRATH:

    There are twenty-one anxious to speak on ourside.

    MISS MACSWINEY:

    May I appeal to the House generally against the sneers of Mr. Arthur Griffith at my speech. I consider the fact that what I went through for seventy-four days at Brixton gives me a right to speak for the honour of my nation now [applause].

    MR. ARTHUR GRIFFITH:

    I have not sneered at Miss MacSwiney's speech. I have stated the fact that Miss MacSwiney said she was against closure and that she made a long speech. I maintain we are entitled not to have any of our speakers closured.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    I always held there should be no closure. Anyone who desires to speak has a right to do so—has a right to the patience of the Irish people and the members of the


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    Dáil. I think any closure, or any suggestion that a person speaks too long, is most unfair and undignified. We have not protested against the length of any speech. I would be very glad indeed if they put forward such a person as Miss McSwiney who gave such an eloquent and well-reasoned speech. It will go down as a splendid oration on the fate of the nation, and her advice at this great crisis should not be disregarded.

    PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:

    Is not the conclusion obvious that, if the speaking is to go on, it cannot be finished by going on to-night and to-morrow, and you must adjourn.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I suggest we come to a decision on this. I am prepared to stay here to continue these debates throughout the Christmas until we finish them. We can go on all night; we can go on to the time when Mr. Lloyd George is supposed to have doped us. Late nights and all nights are nothing to me. We can go on all night through Christmas, like last Christmas, and let us come to a decision [hear, hear]. However, instead of doing that, I would move the adjournment of the House to some date after Christmas.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Go ahead.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    I beg to second the motion of the Minister of Finance to adjourn to some day after Christmas. My reason for doing so is that the Minister for Finance went to London to face Lloyd George, worn out and weary—

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I was never worn out or weary.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    Perhaps he is a man who can do without sleep or rest, but he admitted to being somewhat befogged—

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I did not.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    There are many of us who are not able to sit up night after night: we might be more befogged than he ever was. For the sake of our own intellects, we could not carry on Night Sessions. It would be very tiring.

    MR. D. MACCARTHY:

    The Minister of Finance has time after time said if he was befogged it was by constitutional lawyers—

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Alleged constitutional lawyers [laughter].

    MR. D. MACCARTHY:

    I do not see why seconding the motion should be availed of to insult the Minister of Finance.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    If the Minister of Finance objects to my statement and feels insulted, I apologise.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    Suggest some date for the adjournment.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I would say Tuesday week, January 3rd.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    I agree to that. I second the motion.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I think a decision like this ought not to be left pending. We ought to be able to make up our minds. I think we ought to go on for another day at least and try if we cannot, in the ordinary way, finish, and have this motion coming on to-morrow night if it has to. I hope if we go on to-night and start again in the morning we may not have people so anxious to speak. We should not leave this question hanging over; we ought to be able to make up our minds on the matter.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    Is the Minister of Finance willing to move that we continue until to-morrow evening?

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    It is obvious that we are not going to finish the debate to-morrow. Now, I am not going to say anything about the length of speeches. I am anxious, for reasons historical and otherwise, that the remarks of every member of the Dáil should go on record. It is quite clear we cannot finish the debate on those lines to-morrow or before Christmas, and it would be more convenient for the country members and for the country—and I see very great national advantages in it—to adjourn over the Christmas. It is obvious, that to facilitate the country members, and for the country


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    generally, it would be better to adjourn this evening than to-morrow evening. As far as I am concerned we can go through the Christmas; I am used to this.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    It has been proposed by the Minister of Finance, and seconded by the Minister of Labour that the House adjourn to January 3rd. Is there any amendment?

    MR. SEAN MACENTEE:

    I would move as an amendment that the House adjourns for tea and that the debate be continued through to-night and to-morrow and so on until we finish, and that there be no adjournment over Christmas. Instead of seeing any national advantage I see a grave national danger in adjourning. Whatever our decision is going to be let us take it here and now and not have the people's Christmas clouded over with uncertainty. I don't see why we should put our personal conveniences before the best interests of the nation.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    We do not.

    MR. SEAN MACENTEE:

    The longer we stay here, and the longer we adjourn for, the greater the danger; and the people outside will misunderstand the controversy we are carrying on here; whereas if we make a decision they may be inclined to follow the majority—

    MR. LORCAN ROBBINS:

    We are sent here to express the opinions of our constituents, and we are going to express them, even if this lasted to March, Mr. MacEntee.

    MR. SEAN MACENTEE:

    All remarks ought to be addressed to the chair. It is not with the idea of closuring any discussion or any deputies, that I have spoken.

    MR. FRANK FAHY:

    I beg to second the amendment of Deputy MacEntee. Everyone who wants to speak, of course, ought to he allowed. We should stay on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, if necessary.

    The amendment was put to the House for the purpose of having a show of hands taken.

    MR. GAVAN DUFFY:

    The issue is not clear. Are we to continue night and day?

    MR. SEAN MACENTEE:

    I do not mean you to sit up all night and go on again the next day. You could sit here until two or three in the morning or something like that.

    MR. GAVAN DUFFY:

    I suggest the amendment is not in order. The motion was not in writing.

    MR. D. MACCARTHY:

    The constitutional lawyer again [laughter].

    Motion and amendment were put in writing. The amendment read: ‘That this House continue to sit until 1 a.m. Friday, and that the House resume at 10 a.m. and sit until 1 a.m. the following day, with suitable adjournments, and that this order be followed each day until the question be decided’.

    MR. SEAN MILROY:

    That means that we may go right through Christmas Day?

    A DEPUTY:

    Yes.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    We will now take a vote on the amendment.

    Voting was being taken for and against the amendment when,

    MR. SEAN MILROY:

    I have a very important point to raise. The President, the Minister of Finance, myself, and two other members of this assembly represent, each of us, two constituencies, and we are not going to assert that either of these constituencies should be disfranchised in the course of these proceedings. When I attended the first meeting of this assembly I was asked to sign my name for each constituency for which I was elected. Every time the roll has been called my name has been called twice. That procedure has, I think, made it clear that each constituency shall have representation in the divisions of the assembly [hear, hear].

    MR. D. CEANNT:

    That is not adopted in any country in the world. Those members who have two constituencies


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    should have allowed some other person to take one at least.

    MR. SEAN T. O'KELLY:

    When I was Speaker that question was put to me, whether the members sitting for more than one constituency could vote more than once, and I said no. I was asked on a subsequent occasion and I decided—and others whom I consulted concurred—that it would be unfair that any member, no matter how many constituencies he represented, should have more than one vote.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    I am advised by the Speaker that that ruling is correct and he also has two constituencies. I rule that only one vote can be given by such members.

    MR. P. J. HOGAN:

    If the Dáil allows a man to sit for two constituencies—

    MR. SEAN MILROY:

    I submit that the chair cannot decide this matter. We will have to have a greater authority than the member for Dublin, or the Speaker, to decide this.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    I believe this matter was decided at the very beginning of the Dáil, and it is absolutely frivolous to be bringing it forward at this moment.

    MR. P. J. HOGAN:

    The Dáil has no particular procedure in this matter. The Dáil allowed a Deputy to sit for two constituencies. That is not unusual and not a unique proceeding. The Dáil allowed a man to sit for two constituencies, and, having done that—and that is the only thing that can rule on this particular point—are they now going to disfranchise one constituency, having no particular procedure on the point? The only procedure that can be applied is that they allowed the man to sit for the two constituencies. That is, I hold, a precedent.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    This matter has been already decided in the Dáil and from the chair and has not been questioned.

    MR. SEAN MILROY:

    It is questioned now; it has never been decided yet.

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    As it was not questioned then, I must rule now but each man can only vote once.

    MR. SEAN MILROY:

    Let us have the minute referring to, and the date of, that decision. We are not going to be brow-beaten in this matter. It is too grave to be decided by any casual recollection of any member of the House [cries of ‘Chair’]. I am speaking with perfect respect to the Chair. I want it made clear that in regard to the constituencies I represent, the right of either constituency shall not be bartered away by any member of the House who happens to hold different views from mine. This is not to be decided in this fashion. If there was such a decision the minute regarding it should be produced.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I could make a very good case for and against this business that would bear examination by the foremost constitutional lawyers. Make no mistake about it. I did submit this division could have gone on without this question having been raised at all. We all know why it is raised. Well my own personal view is this: we are not going to decide the fate of the Irish nation on two votes from me and two votes from somebody else on our side, and two votes from somebody else on the other side. We are not going to decide the fate of the Irish nation on any kind of sharp practice as that [applause]. I am going to be as fair on that matter as on any other matter. In regard to this business I can make a good case.If you saw the constitutional case for it you would be surprised, and if I saw the constitutional case against it I would be surprised [laughter]. For the present we are going on with the motion without making another vexed question.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Suppose it is decided to adjourn, there is a very serious matter to be considered. That is in regard to the Cabinet carrying on the work. If we are to work as a Cabinet we will have to come to a certain agreement about certain things [voices: ‘And why not?’]. That is the only thing I want to make certain.

    MR. M. P. COLIVET:

    I think the House will insist on the Cabinet carrying on the work of the country.

    MR. D. O'ROURKE:

    And sit according to the terms of the amendment [loud laughter].


    p.170

    The voting on the amendment was as follows: FOR

    1. Seumas O Lonnáin
    2. Eamon Aidhleart
    3. Eamon de Valera
    4. Brian O hUigín
    5. Seán Mac Suibhne
    6. Domhnall O Corcora
    7. Seumas Mac Gearailt
    8. Dáithí Ceannt
    9. Seosamh O Dochartaigh
    10. Bean an Phiarsaigh
    11. Seán O Mathghamhna
    12. Liam O Maoilíosa
    13. Dr. Brian de Cíosóg
    14. Próinsias O Fathaigh
    15. Aibhistín de Stac
    16. Conchubhar O Coileáin
    17. Tomás O Donnchú
    18. Art O Conchubhair
    19. E. Childers
    20. Riobárd Bartún
    21. Seoirse Pluingceud
    22. Bean Mhíchíl Uí Cheallacháin
    23. M. P. Colivet
    24. Seán O Ceallaigh
    25. Saorbhreathach Mac Cionaith
    26. Dr. O Cruadhlaoich
    27. Tomás O Deirg
    28. P. S. O Ruithleis
    29. Seán Mac an tSaoi
    30. Dr. P. O Fearáin
    31. Seosamh Mac Donnchadha
    32. P. S. O Maoldomhnaigh
    33. P. S. O Broin
    34. Cathal Brugha
    35. Eamon O Deaghaidh
    36. Seumas Mac Roibín
    37. Dr. Seumas O Riain
    38. Seán Etchingham
    39. Seumas O Dubhghaill
    40. Seán T. O Ceallaigh
    41. Bean an Chleirigh
    42. Máire Nic Shuibhne
    43. Dr. Eithne Inglis
    44. An t-Oll. W. F. P. Stockley

    AGAINST.

    1. Mícheál O Coileáin
    2. Art O Gríobhtha
    3. Seán Mac Giolla Ríogh
    4. Pól O Geallagáin
    5. Liam T. Mac Cosgair
    6. Gearóid O Súileabháin
    7. Pádraig O Braonáin
    8. Seán O Lidia
    9. Seán O hAodha
    10. Pádraig O Caoimh
    11. Seán Mac Heil
    12. Seán O Maoláin
    13. Seán O Nualláin
    14. Tomás O Fiadhchara
    15. Eoin Mac Neill
    16. Seosamh Mac Suibhne
    17. Peadar S. Mac an Bháird
    18. Dr. S. Mac Fhionnlaoigh
    19. P. S. Mac Ualghairg
    20. S. O Flaithbheartaigh
    21. Próinsias Laighleis
    22. S. Ghabháin Uí Dhubhthaigh
    23. Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt
    24. Seumas Mac Doirim
    25. Seumas O Duibhir
    26. Pádraic O Máille
    27. Seoirse Mac Niocaill
    28. P. S. O hOgáin
    29. An t-Oll. S. O Faoilleacháin
    30. Piaras Beaslaí
    31. Fionán O Loingsigh
    32. S. O Cruadhlaoich
    33. Eamon de Róiste
    34. P. S. O Cathail
    35. Domhnall O Buachalla
    36. Criostóir O Broin
    37. Seumas O Dóláin
    38. Aindriú O Láimhín
    39. Tomás Mac Artúir
    40. Dr. Pádraig Mac Artáin
    41. Caoimhghín O hUigín
    42. Seosamh O Loingsigh
    43. Próinsias Bulfin
    44. Dr. Risteárd O hAodha
    45. Liam O hAodha
    46. Seosamh Mac Aonghusa
    47. Seán Mac Eoin
    48. Lorcán O Roibín
    49. Eamon O Dúgáin
    50. Peadar O hAodha
    51. Seumas O Murchadha
    52. Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhrighde
    53. Liam Mac Sioghuird
    54. Domhnall O Ruairc
    55. Earnán de Blaghd
    56. Eoin O Dubhthaigh
    57. Alasdair Mac Cába
    58. Tomás O Domhnaill
    59. Seumas O Daimhín
    60. Próinsias Mac Cárthaigh
    61. Seumas de Búrca
    62. Dr. V. de Faoite
    63. Próinsias O Druacháin
    64. Risteárd Mac Fheorais
    65. Pilib O Seanacháin
    66. Seán Mac Gadhra
    67. Mícheál Mac Stáin
    68. Risteárd O Maolchatha
    69. Seosamh Mac Craith
    70. Pilib Mac Cosgair

    71. p.171

    72. Constans de Markievicz
    73. Cathal O Murchadha
    74. Domhnall Mac Cárthaigh
    75. Liam de Róiste
    76. Seumas Breathnach
    77. Domhnall O Ceallacháin
    78. Mícheál O hAodha

    THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:

    For the amendment 44, against 77. The amendment is lost. I now put the motion of the Minister of Finance that the House adjourn until Tuesday, January 3rd, at 11 a.m.

    The motion was declared carried.

    MR. M. HAYES:

    Is there going to be a rest? Any speeches for Christmas?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    There is one thing which will be necessary. There must be a common agreement that there will be no speech-making in the interval. [Hear, hear].

    The House adjourned until January 3rd, 1922.


    p.173

    DÁIL EIREANN PUBLIC SESSION

    At the resumption of The Dáil debate on Tuesday, the 3rd January, 1922, DR. EOIN MACNEILL, SPEAKER, took the chair at 11.20 a.m.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR

    MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE:

    I am going to try to set a good example at this renewed Session of An Dáil by being very brief in what I have got to say. I shall not attempt any fire-works in my speech, because if I were to pose as a bellicose individual I am afraid I should be very much as a damp squib. All my activity and all my work has been more or less of a civil nature. I know nothing about the military side of our movement except what I have been able to judge by the results that were achieved. And I must say that both at the Public and Private Session I was very much struck by the statements of the soldier Deputies on both sides. I shall direct myself solely towards the civil points of view. I must say that the Treaty has suffered from its advocates both within this assembly and without it. I have been listening to the debates for several days and I have been unable to discover whether the Treaty is a Treaty by consent, or whether it is a Treaty signed under duress. To my mind it would make a big difference to this assembly if we knew definitely which was which—whether this assembly is being asked to go into the British Empire with its head up or whether it is being forced into the British Empire. I say, too, that it has suffered from its advocates outside, because the people who, during the recess, have been howling at us and telling us where our duty lay, were, for the most part, people who never did a solid hour's work for the country, and were anxious to drop down on the right side.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Some of them were in ambushes with me.

    MR. O'CONNOR:

    There are some very good people in the country supporting the Treaty and there are some of the very worst, and the people on the opposite side know it too. It seems to me that we are very much like a spectrum as we went along during the last two weeks. You know what a spectrum is like. When it is split up into various fragments you see the different sorts of colours. Well, I think Lloyd George has shown a spectrum here. The colours have veered from extreme purple to extreme red, and those who wore the purple mantle now arrived at the Royal Courts and were anxious to settle down there. Some professed Republicans on the other side said: ‘We will rest a little while at the Royal Court and furbish up our arms so as to be in a better position to advance’. And those on the other side, extreme revolutionists, say: ‘If we linger at all there is danger that we may be contaminated by Royalty, and there is danger that we may not be able to advance at all’. If I could feel in my heart and mind that the Republicans were only digging themselves in—

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    We never dug ourselves in.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    —that they were only going to use this business as a stepping stone or post from which to advance, I might be able to step along with them. But I am afraid it is not a matter like that—that it is a step backward and not forward. I hold and agree with Connolly when he said that it is not the extent of the step at all that matters, it is the direction of the step—


    p.174

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    That's the stuff. Hear, Hear. Good for Connolly [cheers].

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    Yes, you can applaud that because you think it suits your policy or is your policy. Yes, wrap as much of that soft solder in as you possibly can because the result will prove that it is a step backward. It is a step off the solid rock. You are in the swamp, and you will be swamped.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I was often in a swamp and I did not get many to pull me out.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    I would like to give you a long stick to pull you out, because I am sorry you are in it, and going into it. Now it seems to me that this Free State is going to be a very good and sweet thing for a class of people in this country who have never been conspicuous for their love of country. The head of the Delegation when in London wrote a certain letter, promising certain things to the Southern Unionists. I would like to know exactly what these promises were.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    Fair play.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    Because Lloyd George stated that the Free State would be able to hammer out its own Constitution, subject to guarantees given to Southern Unionists. I would like to know what do these guarantees mean. I would like to know what it does mean. Is it fair play? Because I can assure the head of the Delegation that if it means more than fair play, if it means giving these people place and power, and giving them a controlling influence in Irish affairs, and giving them more than their heads or individuality entitle them to, the Irish people won't stand for that. These people have been here as our previous enemies. These people have stood in our way every time we tried to make a little advance, and it would be a poor thing now for the Free State—if it was established—if these people are to be put upon the necks of the Irish people. The people won't have them there.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Hear, hear.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    No one suggested what the Deputy is alleging.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    Why make promises? Why not be honest with them? Why throw out a bit of grain to attract those fellows in? Why not say: ‘You will get the same treatment as the people of the rest of the country’? We know where our duty lies. We knew it before we heard a word from those Southern Unionists, and we will know it long after they are heard of no more. And we will do our duty too, without any directions from those new come-rounds, those new Free Staters. But anyone who accepts the Free State will be a Southern Unionist, because you will all accept the King. So far as I can make out it is only an exchange from one Unionist to another. The old Union was a Union of force and this is a Union of consent. You take the boot off the foot and put it on the other. I was amused here last week listening to threats—to threats of war. Did the men who were trying to make us believe so, really believe that bluff themselves? If they did it would not be bluff. I have here a little clipping from a newspaper of the 28th November in which Lord Birkenhead, one of the plenipotentiaries, made a rather interesting statement in which he said: ‘If the only method of securing peace in Ireland was by force of arms, it would be a task from which neither this nor any British Government would shrink, but the question was this, when it was attained at great expense of treasure and blood, how much nearer were they to a genuine and contented Ireland? Therefore he expressed his earnest hope that their efforts and exertions might not’—

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    It was I asked that question of Lord Birkenhead in Downing Street.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    Was the Birkenhead of Downing Street so different from the Birkenhead of the public platform? Why did he not show the cloven foot in Downing Street as well as on the public platform, and not be trying to deceive the world by pretending he was giving a genuine peace to the Irish, when he was giving them a peace thrust down their necks with a bayonet? Why could he not be honest with us as we would be with him?

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Would you? [Laughter].


    p.175

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    I would, I can assure you I would. I have no desire to be at variance with England or with the English people. Any English people I met were rather nice decent people, but the English people in their political institutions are rather a different proposition. But it is the English people in their political institutions that I am thinking of. I would like to have a genuine and proper peace between the Irish and the English people, so that we would be free to go along and work out our own life in our own tinpot way, and have no fighting or arguing with them.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    The English people are more loyal than their King.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    It seems to me that some of the Irish people are more loyal than the English people—otherwise where does the common citizenship come in? Since when did Munster become as loyal as Yorkshire or Suffolk? And the fealty to King George in virtue of the common citizenship—where did the common citizenship come in between Cork and Yorkshire?

    MR. SEAN MILROY:

    Where do your constituents come in?

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    Where do my constituents come in? I will answer that question. My constituents gave me a definite mandate in 1918, and they renewed the mandate last May. And my mandate was that to the best of my ability I should support the Republican Government in this country. I have not changed. I told them they could change. Perhaps they have changed, but I will not change. I told them a couple of months ago when I spoke to them publicly that I would not change; that they could change if they chose. I will vote against this Treaty because the acceptance of it would mean the death knell of this Dáil and Republic. They are perfectly entitled to change. But there is a new element being introduced into Irish affairs which is not a good augury to the gentlemen of the Treasury Bench opposite. If at any moment people in a certain locality find themselves out of sympathy with one of their Treasury actions—and suppose they got a snow-ball resolution going, and suppose they got a venal Press to support it, will you obey the snow-ball resolution? Will they do what their honour and judgement dictated to them not to do? I say that the heart and mind of the people is not changed. I say that the heart and mind of the people is not reflected by the resolutions from the Farmers' Union and people of that ilk—who never did an honest day's or honest hour's work.

    A DEPUTY:

    They did; they supported us in the fight.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    I have been rather surprised at some of the names I have seen presiding at some of the meetings.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    If you saw some of the houses I saw—the farmers' houses burned down all over the place—as I have seen lately.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    The men I am referring to are not farmers at all. I wish to the Lord they were; but they are masquerading as farmers. It is just like this Treaty masquerading as a Treaty. It would be comic only it is likely to be tragic. It was a masked ball—a masquerade. The pity of it all is there was a little grain shook over the poor people. Lloyd George had set a trap very nicely and they walked in, and he pulled the stick and got you all in. Not alone did he get you within the crib, but he got some of us too [laughter]. When I say this, I say it of our genuine Republicans.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Where are they?

    A DEPUTY:

    Here.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    Instead of uniting their strength to lift off the crib and get free again, they started to try and persuade themselves that, instead of being within the crib, they have, genuinely, the grandest freedom that could be possibly enjoyed, because they are going to be very well fed under it. Now I have nothing further to say except that I hope that none of the Deputies in this assembly will be swayed or misled by any of those extravagant resolutions that have been passed during the last fortnight. Every one of us was sent here with a definite mandate. If the


    p.176

    people didn't mean the mandate—I say it with all sincerity and fairness to the people—the people should never have given us the mandate. I believe that the people mean us to work out for them an independent sovereign state. Under this Treaty we have not got an independent sovereign state. We have got three-quarters of a state. We have got a state with its principal ports controlled, with a jumping-off ground next door to us, from which an army can be jumped in at any moment; and, in a word, we have not got the essential thing for which a struggle for the last 750 years has been going on. It has been contended that it was necessary to accept this thing at the last hour, and the last minute of the last hour, of the 5th December. I say it was not necessary. The struggle that had lasted so long, the discussion that lasted a couple of months, could have lasted a couple of days or hours longer; and I think that this assembly would be dishonouring itself, and it would not be fair to itself, if, at the bidding of Lloyd George or any of his minions, it votes to surrender the sovereign independence of the Irish people.

    MR. PIARAS BEASLAI:

    A Chinn Chomhairle agus a lucht na Dála, ós rud e go bhfuil a lán daoine eile chun cainte, agus ná fuil a lán aimsire le spáráil againn, ce gur mhaith liom labhairt as Gaedhilg is gá liom labhairt as Bearla ar fad, ach deanfad mo dhícheall chun gan einní do rá a chuirfeadh gangaid im' chaint. I will do my best to avoid introducing any element of bitterness or personality into this debate. I am sorry the debate has gone to a considerable extent on the lines it has gone. This is a debate of vital concern to the Irish nation. I don't think it right to endeavour to make points against a man's reasoned statement on a matter of vital national importance. I had hoped to hear from the opponents of the Treaty something that showed a sense of realities, something of a vision, something of sympathy for the poor, prostrate Irish nation, the great reality of the situation, beside which we 120 odd members with our formulas and politics pale into insignificance. I had hoped for some sign that they had considered alternative policies of peace, or of war, that they had constructive ideas to put forward, based on a robust faith in the Irish nation. No such note has been struck by the opponents or critics of the Treaty. I have heard much talk of what are called principles, but are really political formulas. Although the Irish notion in its struggle for 750 years, to which the Minister of Agriculture referred, fought for the one national principle, it adopted a dozen different political formulas at different times. Members have entertained us with accounts of their consciences and the political formulas which they call their principles, as if those were more important than the solid reality of the Irish nation. I have heard much high-pitched rhetoric and emotional appeals and references to brave men who did what we all, I hope, were ready to do—and some of us came very near doing—died for Ireland. As a contrast to this we have had elaborate expositions of the marvellous value of words and phrases and formulas, constituting the difference between internal and external association. In all this flood of dialectics I have not been able to find what I anxiously looked for—one hint of a suggestion of an alternative policy, one sign of constructive statesmanship. None of the opponents of the Treaty have even given an indication that they have even considered what we are to do next if this Treaty is rejected. Some say airily that they do not believe that the rejection of the Treaty will mean war anyway, as though that were a question to be gambled on. But I have listened in vain for the slightest suggestion or hint as to how they think war is to be avoided, how the impossible situation of an indefinite truce with no objective can be maintained. Or how either we or the other side could keep our armed forces for an indefinite period with their hands behind their backs and governmental activities held up thereby. I cannot understand how people entrusted with the fate of the nation can be so much obsessed by formulas and so blind to realities. The opponents of the Treaty are not even united in their formulas. With some the formula is isolation, with some external association. Meanwhile the lives and fortunes of the Irish people are being gambled with in the name of formulas. After all, the Irish people who have stood to us so loyally and suffered with us have some rights. One would think, to listen to some of the speeches, that we were


    p.177

    solemnly asked to choose between an independent Republic and an associated Free State. What we are asked is, to choose between this Treaty on the one hand, and, on the other hand, bloodshed, political and social chaos and the frustration of all our hopes of national regeneration. The plain blunt man in the street, fighting man or civilian, sees that point more clearly than the formulists of Dáil Eireann. He sees in this Treaty the solid fact—our country cleared of the English armed forces, and the land in complete control of our own people to do what we like with [hear, hear]. We can make our own Constitution, control our own finances, have our own schools and colleges, our own courts, our own flag, our own coinage and stamps, our own police, aye, and last but not least, our own army, not in flying columns, but in possession of the strong places of Ireland and the fortresses of Ireland, with artillery, aeroplanes and all the resources of modern warfare. Why, for what else have we been fighting but that? For what else has been the national struggle in all generations but for that? The biggest guarantee of England's good faith in this matter is the evacuation from Ireland of her army. The problem all along for 750 years has been just this—the occupation of our country by the armed forces of England. All our evils, all our grievances were derived from this. The peaceful penetration of our Gaelic civilization, the gradual demoralisation and denationalisation of our people were ultimately due to the prestige derived by England from its superior force and its military. The reason why we found it necessary to send out our young men half armed, half equipped, to attack the enemy was not because we hoped to drive him from the country by force of arms—we were not such fools—but simply to break down that prestige which the enemy derived from his unquestioned superior force. That was the true motive of the war, and now that the British forces are preparing to evacuate our country without being beaten, some people want to fight again and retain them here. They want to keep the Black-and-Tans here. They want to keep 2,000 Irishmen in British prisons—a number of them in the shadow of death. They want the colleges and schools to continue manufacturing West Britons and our language to die out and the thousand signs of British dominance which we see on every side of us—to have all these retained, rather than to agree to a certain formula. The trouble is that many of us, many Irishmen bred in this hateful atmosphere of foreign occupation and foreign ascendancy, eternally struggling against it, have never visualised freedom. They have not realised what it means to our unfortunate country to breathe an invigorating atmosphere of national freedom and security, backed by our own force. They have not dreamed of the great work of national reconstruction, of healing the wounds, of substituting healthy national food for poison. They have been accustomed to think of a subdued, slavish and demoralised nation held in control by foreign force, and requiring the efforts of a few stalwarts like themselves to keep it right nationally; and they think that an Ireland from which the British forces are gone will be just the same. They lack faith in the nation. They seem to imagine that some shadowy representative of King George without a vestige of real power or authority, or a soldier to back him up, will be a great deal more formidable to the country than the 50,000 British troops and the 13,000 R.I.C. who are here at present. I tell you when the British have evacuated our country the Free State will be just what we make it; and we can make it a great and glorious land, the home of a fine Gaelic culture, of a highly developed agricultural system that will rival Denmark; with industries developed perhaps as some people advocate, on co-operative, non-capitalistic lines; of brave and beautiful ideas worked into practice. When I hear your dry formulists wrangling over words and phrases, and enlightening the world as to their political formula which they call principles, I find myself thinking on a line from Pádraig Colum's play, The Land: ‘the nation, the nation—do you ever think of the poor Irish nation which is trying to be born?’ I have accused the opponents of the Treaty of a lack of the sense of realities. I have accused them of a lack of faith in the nation. But the worst of all defects I have now to accuse them of is a lack of vision, a pitiable lack of vision. They don't realise what this means to the nation.

    p.178

    They are more concerned with their dry political formulas than with the living nation. For a barren victory of formulas they are prepared not merely to plunge the nation into chaos and bloodshed—for that is only a temporary evil—but to check the one great opportunity God has granted us for the work of national reconstruction. The President said the truth when he said that the men who brought us back this Treaty from an unbeaten enemy acted as they did from intense love for Ireland [hear, hear]. There are still some people who say they love Ireland. But to them it seems to be a name an abstraction, a formula. To me, Ireland is the Irish people. Not the pure souled Republicans alone, but the plain men and women that live in the cities and on the hillsides of all Ireland, including North-East Ulster. Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins have the national vision to sense that people. They see and know the country as it is—the old women by the fireside, the young men working in the fields and the girls in the shops, the Orange working-man of Sandy Row and the Molly Maguire of South Armagh, the men on city tram cars, all types and classes, good, bad or indifferent; and they stand for them all. Remember those people are Ireland. Ireland is not a formula but a fact. You cannot love Ireland without loving the whole Irish people, without sympathetically considering the state of a people reared in slavery, a nation that never got a fair chance in the world. [Hear, hear]. People are trading in the names of dead men in an indecent fashion—saying they would vote against this Treaty. Well, I won't presume to say how anybody would have voted, but I will say this that my dearest friend Seen MacDiarmuda, loved Ireland just as Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith love Ireland—with a love the formulists can never understand. Like Griffith and Michael Collins—it seems out of tune to call Mick Collins the Minister of Finance [laughter]—he knew the plain people well, all types, sailors, fishermen, farmers, labourers, shopkeepers, cattle dealers, as well as university professors and international law experts [laughter]. I think I knew his mind well, and it was just such a mind as Collins's and Griffith's. And I will not presume to say—I can only have my opinion—as to how the issue would have presented itself to him. A nation is not an arid abstraction. It is a living thing of flesh and blood made up of men and women; and the tragedy of the Irish nation has not been unsatisfactory formulas, but that she has been held in subjection by the military occupation of a foreign nation. Think of the evacuation of Ireland by foreign troops. Why, it seems like a fairy vision. All the old Gaelic poets sang of the going of the foreign hosts out of Ireland as an unreal dream of far off happiness. They did not sing of a Republic. They sang of a Gaelic monarch as symbol of association between the three kingdoms. ‘Ní iarrfad ach trí Ríoghachta le Móirín Ní Chuilionáin’. To see Seán Buidhe clear out of Ireland, and the country handed over to us, that is the prospect offered to you—and you object to the formula under which he goes out. So long as he goes out, what does the formula matter? When a proud unbeaten enemy surrenders, cannot we at least grant him the honours of war? Historically, the doctrinaire Republicans have not a leg to stand on. The Irish people did not fight for a Republic. They fought for Ireland for the Irish. They fought to have the British forces out of control of Ireland. As John Mitchell said: ‘I do not care a fig for Republicanism in the abstract’. A great many members have been entertaining us with accounts of their consciences and the principles they stood for and their national record. I can only answer for myself. From boyhood I have been a worker in the Gaelic League, Sinn Fein, the Volunteers and other organisations. I was one of the men who founded the Irish Volunteers, and I have served in the army ever since. I have taken oaths to the army and the Dáil and I have always been perfectly clear on the point, just as clear and emphatic as the President himself has been. I can even quote his words—that in taking the oath I was pledging my allegiance to the Irish nation, to the people of Ireland whom I have always loved and served, to do my best for them. Like the President I was no ‘Republican doctrinaire’. I only wanted to get the British out of Ireland, and the country in our hands. But my thoughts went further than that. I hoped to see a Gaelic Ireland, the home of strong and happy men and women in

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    which a thousand splendid things could be done. The dreams of Davis, of William Rooney, of Pearse—men who saw Ireland with a prophetic vision and imagination—could be realised in a Gaelic State unchecked by foreign influence. But the formulists have no vision, no imagination, as they have no sense of realities. The reality of the situation is our bruised and bleeding country in a state of economic ruin; our people trained in slavery under the shadow of British force with all the demoralisation it implies. As the Minister of Finance has said: ‘Is Ireland ever to get a chance?’ ‘The nation, do you ever think of the poor Irish nation that is trying to be born?’ I appeal to you—give it a chance. Who knows what the child will be when it grows up outside the shadow of British force. The Minister of Education told us recently that it would take twenty years to get Irish taught in every school in Ireland——

    MR. J. J. O'KELLY:

    I said ten years. I ought not be misquoted.

    MR. P. BEASLAI:

    Twenty years that is in this report of your speech. No matter, say ten years. I tell you if you reject this Treaty it will not take ten years or twenty years or forty years, for you will never see the day when it will happen. But if the British Army clears out you will have a real Irish national education in twelve months, and you can have all Ireland Irish-speaking in two generations. Pádraic Pearse advised the Irish people to accept the Irish Councils Bill because he considered it gave the Irish people control over education. But the finest education of all will be the bringing up of our boys and girls outside the shadow of the British armed forces. We can have our national theatres and municipal theatres, music halls and picture halls redolent of a national atmosphere in place of the demoralising institutions now influencing the people's outlook. We can have a development under state protection of that system of co-operative agricultural development that has already done so much good. We can have our fisheries organised on a national basis so that the poor fishermen of Ireland, in most cases the chief representatives of our historic Gaelic Ireland, will be able to compete on fair terms with the wealthy, state aided foreigner. We can have our marshes and waste lands turned into plantations and our hillsides covered with trees. We can have our national sports and pastimes developed under the aegis of the state. We can have industries built up, not on the sweating system, but in accordance with our Democratic Programme of the 21st January, 1919, on lines which will assure the worker of a fair share of the fruits of his labour. We can make our land the home of the fine arts which will rival the great big and the great small nations of the world. All this we can do. And the poor Irish nation that is trying to be born, that never got a chance before, is to be denied this chance because of a question of formulas. I appeal to those opponents of the Treaty who have done great and good work for Ireland in the past, are they going to be responsible for crushing this frail and beautiful thing in the chrysalis? I am afraid that as a Dáil we are a body of small people, dry formulists and politicians, and without imagination. We cannot rise to a great occasion in a manner worthy of us. We have not the vision. We have not the imagination. I have accused the opponents of the Treaty of a lack of faith in the nation, of a lack of a sense of realities and of a lack of vision and imagination. I have now to accuse them of a further lack of sense of their own representative capacity and responsibility to the nation. There is one thing that a great many of us seem to forget: that whatever authority our present government possesses rests solely on the support of the people of Ireland. If you act contrary to the will of the majority of the nation, then you have lost their moral support and your effective authority is gone. The President talked of a Provisional Government being a usurpation. Well if this Dáil acts contrary to the will of the majority of the Irish nation its continuance in office is the greatest usurpation of all. There were talks of threats of war. Well, England has no need to threaten war. She knows that if you reject this Treaty then the power and authority of Dáil Eireann, whatever it be in theory, is gone in practice, for we will not have the big bulk of the people behind us. It was that popular support that gave Dáil Eireann its


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    strength in the past, and even though you do not like the Treaty you must face realities. There is no conceivable alternative to the acceptance of the Treaty but division, faction and chaos. When we have a divided, chaotic Ireland, England has no need to make war on us. She can just leave things as they are, and she can dissolve Dáil Eireann any time she likes by simply dissolving the British Parliament. If she does that you will have to fight a general election or go under. And do you think you can win if you go against the national will? The point of view of the non-ratifiers is so unreal, such a resolute attempt not to face realities, that I find it difficult to understand it. We, the members of Dáil Eireann, must realise that the nation was not made for Dáil Eireann, but Dáil Eireann was made for the nation. I will go further and remind the Republican doctrinaires that if there was an Irish Republic in the past three years it consisted, not in an abstraction or a legal formula, but in the people of Ireland. The state is the people organised in a coherent form, and no matter whether you call it a Republic or a Free State, my allegiance is to the people of Ireland and to the state which represents the national will. If we do not represent the national will we are a usurpation, and your airy edifice of a Republic crashes to the ground. I implore you to consider this point—that if you reject this Treaty the people of Ireland, the poor nation that is trying to be born, will never get a chance of considering it. If you reject the Treaty, even by a majority of one, the British are no longer bound by it; and your country with whose future you are gambling so unfairly, so recklessly, in the name of political formulas which you call your principles, will not be able to say yes or no to it. But the country will let you know what it thinks of you, and what is left of our Gaelic nation in future generations will curse your failure to rise to a great opportunity. There is no need to talk of the danger of war. Perhaps even war would be better than division, and if this Treaty is rejected you will have a helpless, prostrate country. Nothing more effectively illustrates the unreality of our theoretic dialectics, our discussions of principles and oaths, than a consideration of the actual position of Ireland—Truce or War. The Minister for Home Affairs stated that if this Treaty were signed the Irish Free Stater who went abroad would get his passport from the British Foreign Office and be described in his passport as a British subject. Deputy MacCartan says this is not so, that the Canadian is not required to do this; but even if it were so, let me remind you of this—a great many Irish men and women have left Ireland for America during the past few years. Some of them went with passports from the Minister for Home Affairs, but all of them went, had to go, with British passports in which they were described as British subjects.

    A DEPUTY:

    Not all.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Some of them were smuggled out.

    A DEPUTY:

    By the Minister of Finance.

    MR. P. BEASLAI:

    A little fact like this is a douche of cold water on the idealists and on the unrealities of the formulists [laughter]. Some of those who oppose the Treaty have claimed to be idealists and take a superior pose against those who speak of plain realities. I say it is those who vote for the Treaty that are the true idealists. They have the vision and the imagination to sense the nation that is trying to be born—the poor, crushed, struggling people who never got a fair chance, the men and women of all Ireland, the Orangemen of Portadown, the fishermen of Aran, the worker of the slum and the labourer in the fields, that nation whose fate lies in your hands and whom you are dooming to another and, I fear, a final disappointment if you reject the Treaty. Save that poor nation, give it a chance to be born, have the courage to throw away the formulas which you call principles. Seize this chance to realise the visions of Thomas Davis, of Rooney and Pearse, of a free, happy and glorious Gaelic state. Do not have it said of your work what was said of the doctors who performed an operation—‘The operation was a complete success, but the patient died’.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    A Chinn Chomhairle agus a lucht na Dála, táim im' sheasamh go láidir agus go fíor anso


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    iniu i gcúis Phoblacht na hEireann d'eirigh i Seachtain na Cásga, cúig bliana ó shoin. I rise to-day to oppose with all the force of my will, with all the force of my whole existence, this so called Treaty—this Home Rule Bill covered over with the sugar of a Treaty. My reasons against it are two-fold. First, I stand true to my principles as a Republican, and to my principles as one pledged to the teeth for freedom for Ireland. I stand on that first and foremost. I stand, too, on the common sense of the Treaty itself, which, I say, does not mean what it professes to mean, and can be read in two ways. I would like first to take the Treaty, to draw your attention to clauses 17 and 18 and to ask the delegates what limiting power England and the English Parliament will have on the Constitution which they are prepared to draft. I would also like to ask them what they mean by number 17: ‘Steps shall be taken forthwith for summoning a meeting of Members of Parliament elected for Constituencies in Southern Ireland since the passing of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920’. What do they mean by that? Is that a meeting of the Southern Parliament, or is it a sort of Committee which is to be formed, or what does it stand for? It is not An Dáil; it is not called a meeting of the Southern Parliament. It is called a meeting of members of Parliament elected for constituencies in Southern Ireland. What power has England to set up such elected representatives as a Government? She has power under the last Bill, I believe, to set up Crown Colony Government, but I doubt whether she has power to set up this as a Government for Ireland. That is a thing I would like to ask the Plenipotentiaries if they have thought about it. Then I see in that letter that Mr. Griffith quoted with regard to the setting up of this Constitution for Ireland—discussing the Second Chamber, Lloyd George says—: ‘The establishment and composition of the Second Chamber is therefore in the discretion of the Irish people. There is nothing in the Articles of Agreement to suggest that Ireland is, in this respect, bound to the Canadian model’. Well, Mr. Griffith published the letter which he wrote to the Southern Unionists. It was dealt with to-day by Mr. Art O'Connor. This is the letter: ‘Sir, I write to inform you that at a meeting I had with representatives of Southern Unionists I agreed that a scheme should be devised to give them their full share of representation in the First Chamber of the Irish Parliament, and that as to the Upper Chamber we will consult them on its constitution and undertake that their interests will be duly represented’. Now I want to know by what authority the Chairman of the Delegation said this? And I want to know also what it means. Does it mean that the Chairman of the Delegation wishes to alter the form of representation of this country by some syndicalist representation, or representation by classes, or by trades unions, or by public bodies, or something else? Mr. Griffith, surely, does not mean that they would merely get their proper representation or the representation they are entitled to. It must mean something special. Now why are these men to be given something special? And what do the Southern Unionists stand for? You will all allow they stand for two things. First and foremost as the people who, in Southern Ireland, have been the English garrison against Ireland and the rights of Ireland. But in Ireland they stand for something bigger still and worse, something more malignant; for that class of capitalists who have been more crushing, cruel and grinding on the people of the nation than any class of capitalists of whom I ever read in any other country, while the people were dying on the roadsides. They are the people who have combined together against the workers of Ireland, who have used the English soldiers, the English police, and every institution in the country to ruin the farmer, and more especially the small farmer, and to send the people of Ireland to drift in the emigrant ships and to die of horrible disease or to sink to the bottom of the Atlantic. And these anti-Irish Irishmen are to be given some select way of entering this House, some select privileges—privileges that they have earned by their cruelty to the Irish people and to the working classes of Ireland, and not only that, but they are to be consulted as to how the Upper House is to be constituted. As a Republican who means that the Republic means Government by the consent of the people [hear, hear]. I object to any

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    Government of that sort whereby a privileged number of classes established here by British rule are to be given a say—to this small minority of traitors and oppressors—in the form of an Upper Chamber as against all, I might say, modern ideas of common sense, of the people who wish to build up a prosperous, contented nation. But looking as I do for the prosperity of the many, for the happiness and content of the workers, for what I stand, James Connolly's ideal of a Workers' Republic——

    A DEPUTY:

    Soviet Republic.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    ——co-operative commonwealth, these men who have opposed everything are to be elected and upheld by our plenipotentiaries; and I suppose they are to be the Free State, or the Cheap State Army, or whatever selection these men are, to be set up to uphold English interests in Ireland, to uphold the capitalists' interests in Ireland, to block every ideal that the nation may wish to formulate; to block the teaching of Irish, to block the education of the poorer classes; to block, in fact, every bit of progress that every man and woman in Ireland to-day amongst working people desire to see put into force. That is one of the biggest blots on this Treaty; this deliberate attempt to set up a privileged class in this, what they call a Free State, that is not free. I would like the people here who represent the workers to take that into consideration—to say to themselves what can the working people expect in an Ireland that is being run by men who, at the time of the Treaty, are willing to guarantee this sort of privilege to a class that every thinking man and woman in Ireland despises. Now, there are one or two things that I would like an answer to. It strikes me that our opponents in speaking have been extraordinarily vague. We had Mr. Hogan, Deputy for Galway, before the recess talking a great deal about the King, and he was rather laughing and sneering at the idea of the King being head of a Free State. In fact his ideas about the King amounted to merely one thing—an individual's ideas of a modern king. What he lost sight of is this: that the King to-day in England—when you mention the King you mean the British Cabinet. Allegiance to the King like that does not even get you the freedom that is implied—a dual monarchy. The King to-day is a figurehead, a thing that presides at banquets, waves a flag, and reads his speeches some one else makes for him; which mean absolutely nothing but words put into his mouth by his Cabinet. Also the same vagueness comes into the question of the oath. As a Republican I naturally object to the King, because the King really stands in politics for his Prime Minister, the court of which he also is the head and centre, the pivot around which he turns—well it is not one of the things that tends to elevate and improve the country. It tends to develop all sorts of corruption, all sorts of luxury and all sorts of immorality. The court centre in any country has never, in the history of the world, for more than a very short period proved anything, through the centuries, but a centre from which vice and wrong ideals emanated. Now, with regard to the oath,I say to anyone—go truthfully and take this oath, take it. If they take it under duress there may be some excuse for them, but let them remember that nobody here took their Republican Oath under duress. They took it knowing that it might mean death, and they took it meaning that. And when they took that oath to the Irish Republic they meant, I hope, every honest man and every woman—I know the women—they took it meaning to keep it to death. Now what I have against that oath is that it is a dishonourable oath. It is not a straight oath. It is an oath that can be twisted in every imaginable form. You have heard the last speaker explain to you that this oath meant nothing; that it was a thing you could walk through and trample on; that in fact, the Irish nation could publicly pledge themselves to the King of England, and that you, the Irish people, could consider yourselves at the same time free, and not bound by it. Now, I have here some opinions, English opinions, as to what the oath is; but mind you, when you swear that oath the English people believe you mean it. Lloyd George, in the House of Commons on the 14th December said: ‘The main operation of this scheme is the raising of Ireland to the status of a Dominion of the British Empire with a common citizenship, and by virtue of that membership in the Empire, and of that common citizenship,


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    owing allegiance to the King—

    Mr. R. MacNeill: Owning allegiance.

    and swearing allegiance to the King’. For the moment I will confine myself to the statement that there has been complete acceptance of allegiance to the British Crown and acceptance of membership in the Empire, and acceptance of common citizenship; that she Ireland has accepted allegiance to the Crown and partnership in the same Empire. Mr. Winston Churchill in the House of Commons on the 15th December, 1921, said: ‘In our view they promise allegiance to the Crown and membership of the Empire.

    Hon. Members: No, no.

    That is our view. The oath comprises acceptance of the British Constitution, which is, by Articles 1 and 2 of the Constitution, exactly assimilated to the Constitution of our Dominions. This oath is far more precise and searching than the ordinary oath which is taken elsewhere.

    Hon. Members: No, no.

    It mentions specifically membership of the Empire, common citizenship, and faithfulness to the Crown, whereas only one of these matters is dealt with in the Dominion Oath.’ Now here is a curious thing. Sir W. Davidson asked why should they not take the Canadian Oath, and the answer by Mr. Churchill is this:

    The oath they are asked to take is more carefully and precisely drawn than the existing oath, and it was chosen because it was more acceptable to the people whose allegiance we are seeking, and whose incorporation in the British Empire we are certainly desirous of securing. Sir L. Worthington Evans: What does as by law established mean? It means that presently—next Session—we shall be asked in this House to establish a Constitution for the Irish Free State, and part of the terms of the settlement will be that the members who go to serve in that Free State Parliament will have to swear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution as passed by this House of Commons. How is it possible to say that within the terms of that oath they can set up a Republic and still maintain their oath?

    Now here is one important extract I want to read to you on this point:

    Sir L. Worthington Evans: ‘Then it was suggested by the hon. member for Burton that this oath contained no allegiance to the Throne, but merely fidelity to the King. I have not time to go into the history of the oaths which have from time to time been taken in this Parliament, but I did have time while the hon. member was speaking to look up Anson on Constitutional Law, and I extracted this: ‘There were at one time three oaths. There was the Oath of Allegiance’—and this is how Anson defines it—‘it was a declaration of fidelity to the reigning sovereign’. That is precisely what this is, a declaration of fidelity to the reigning sovereign . . . But Anson's description of the Oath of Allegiance is that it was a declaration of fidelity to the throne, so that in this oath as included in the Treaty we have got this: we have got the Oath of Allegiance in the declaration of fidelity, ‘I will be faithful to His Majesty King George V., his heirs and successors by law’. And we have got something in addition—a declaration of fidelity to the Constitution of the Irish Free State as by law established: and in further addition, we have the declaration of fidelity to the Empire itself’.

    Now, personally, I being an honourable woman, would sooner die than give a declaration of fidelity to King George or the British Empire. I saw a picture the other day of India, Ireland and Egypt fighting England, and Ireland crawling out with her hands up. Do you like that? I don't. Now, if we pledge ourselves to this oath we pledge our allegiance to this thing, whether you call it Empire or Commonwealth of Nations, that is treading down the people of Egypt and of India. And in Ireland this Treaty, as they call it, mar dheadh, that is to be ratified by a Home Rule Bill, binds us to stand by and enter no protest while England crushes Egypt and India. And mind you, England wants peace in Ireland to bring her troops over to India and Egypt. She wants the Republican Army to be turned into a Free State Army, and mind, the army is centred in the King or the representative of the King. He is the head of the army. The army is to hold itself faithful to the Commonwealth of Nations while the Commonwealth sends its Black-and-Tans to India. Of course you may want to send the Black-and-Tans out of this country. Now mind you, there are people in Ireland who were not afraid to face them before, and I believe would not be afraid to face them again. You are here labouring under a mistake if

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    you believe that England, for the first time in her life, is treating you honourably. Now I believe, and we are against the Treaty believing, that England is being more dishonourable and acting in a cleverer way than she ever did before, because I believe we never sent cleverer men over than we sent this time, yet they have been tricked. Now you all know me, you know that my people came over here in Henry VIII.'s time, and by that bad black drop of English blood in me I know the English—that's the truth. I say it is because of that black drop in me that I know the English personally better perhaps than the people who went over on the delegation. [Laughter].

    A DEPUTY:

    Why didn't you go over?

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    Why didn't you send me? I tell you, don't trust the English with gifts in their hands. That's not original, someone said it before of the Greeks—but it is true. The English come to you to-day offering you great gifts; I tell you this, those gifts are not genuine. I tell you, you will come out of this a defeated nation. No one ever got the benefits of the promises the English made them. It seems absurd to talk to the Irish people about trusting the English, but you know how the O'Neills and the O'Donnells went over and always came back with the promises and guarantees that their lands would be left them and that their religion would not be touched. What is England's record? It was self aggrandisement and Empire. You will notice how does she work—by a change of names. They subjugated Wales by giving them a Prince of Wales, and now they want to subjugate Ireland by a Free State Parliament and a Governor General at the head of it. I could tell you something about Governor-Generals and people of that sort. You can't have a Governor-General without the Union Jack, and a suite, and general household and other sort of official running in a large way. The interests of England are the interests of the capitalistic class. Your Governor-General is the centre for your Southern Unionists, for whom Mr. Griffith has been so obliging. He is the centre from which the anti-Irish ideals will go through Ireland, and English ideals will come: love of luxury, love of wealth, love of competition, trample on your neighbours to get to the top, immorality and divorce laws of the English nation. All these things you will find centred in this Governor-General. I heard there was a suggestion—there was a brother of the King's or the Queen's suggested as Governor-General, and I heard also that this Lascelles was going to be Governor. I also heard that there is a suggestion that Princess Mary's wedding is to be broken off, and that the Princess Mary is to be married to Michael Collins who will be appointed first Governor of our Saorstát na hEirennn. All these are mere nonsense. You will find that the English people, the rank and file of the common people will all take it that we are entering their Empire and that we are going to help them. All the people who are in favour of it here claim it to be a step towards Irish freedom, claim it to be nothing but allegiance to the Free State. Now what will the world think of it? What the world thinks of it is this: Ireland has long been held up to the scorn of the world through the British Press. According to that Press Ireland is a nation that lay down, that never protested. The people in other countries have scorned us. So Ireland can bear to be scorned again, even if she takes the oath that pledges her support to the Commonwealth of Nations. But I say, what do Irishmen think in their own hearts? Can any Irishman take that oath honourably and then go back and prepare to fight for an Irish Republic or even to work for the Republic? It is like a person going to get married plotting a divorce. I would make a Treaty with England once Ireland was free, and I would stand with President de Valera in this, that if Ireland were a free Republic I would welcome the King of England over here on a visit. But while Ireland is not free I remain a rebel unconverted and unconvertible. There is no word strong enough for it. I am pledged as a rebel, an unconvertible rebel, because I am pledged to the one thing—a free and independent Republic. Now we have been sneered at for being Republicans by even men who fought for the Republic. We have been told that we didn't know what we meant. Now I know what I mean—a state run by the Irish people for the people. That means


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    a Government that looks after the rights of the people before the rights of property. And I don't wish under the Saorstát to anticipate that the directors of this and the capitalists' interests are to be at the head of it. My idea is the Workers' Republic for which Connolly died. And I say that that is one of the things that England wishes to prevent. She would sooner give us Home Rule than a democratic Republic. It is the capitalists' interests in England and Ireland that are pushing this Treaty to block the march of the working people in England and Ireland. Now, we were offered a Treaty in the first place because England was in a tight place. She wanted her troops for more dirty work elsewhere. Because Dáil Eireann was too democratic, because her Law courts were too just, because the will of the people was being done, and justice was being done, and the well being of the people was considered, the whole people were behind us. You talk very glibly about England evacuating the country. Has anybody questioned that? How long did it take her to evacuate Egypt? What guarantee have we that England will do more than begin to evacuate Ireland directly the Treaty has been ratified? She will begin to evacuate, I have no doubt; she will send a certain number of troops to her other war fronts. Now there is one Deputy—not more than one, I hope—who charged that we rattled the bones of the dead. I must protest about the phrase of rattling the bones of our dead. Now I would like to ask where would Ireland stand without the noble dead? I would like to ask can any of you remember, as I can, the first time you read Robert Emmet's speech from the dock? Yes, it is all very well for those who now talk Dominion Home Rule to try to be scornful of the phrases—voices of men from the grave, who call on us to die for the cause they died for. I don't think it is fair to say what dead men might say if they had been here to-day. What I do think fair is to read the messages they left behind them, and to mould our lives with them. James Connolly said, the last time I heard him speak—he spoke to me and to others—a few phrases that very much sum up the situation to-day. It was just before Easter Week in 1916. We had heard the news that certain people had called off the Rising. One man wishing to excuse them, to exonerate them, said: ‘So and so does not care to take the responsibility of letting people go to their death when there is so little chance of victory’. ‘Oh’, said Connolly, ‘there is only one sort of responsibility I am afraid of and that is preventing the men and women of Ireland fighting and dying for Ireland if they are so minded’. That was almost the last word that was said to me by a man who died for Ireland, a man who was my Commandant, and I have always thought of that since, and I have always felt that was a message which I had to deliver to the people of Ireland. We hear a great deal of the renewal of warfare. I am of quite a pacific mind. I don't like to kill. I don't like death, but I am not afraid to die and, not being afraid to die myself, I don't see why I should say that I should take it for granted that the Irish people were not as ready to die now in this year 1922, any more than they were afraid in the past. I fear dishonour; I don't fear destiny and I feel at all events that death is preferable to dishonour, and sooner than see the people of Ireland take that oath meaning to build up your Republic on a lie, I would sooner say to the people of Ireland: ‘Stand by me and fight to the death’. I think that a real Treaty between a free Ireland and a free England—with Ireland standing as a free sovereign state—I believe it would be possible to get that now; but even if it were impossible, I myself would stand for what is noblest and what is truest. That is the thing that to me I can grasp in my nature. I have seen the stars, and I am not going to follow a flickering will-o'-the-wisp, and I am not going to follow any person juggling with constitutions and introducing petty tricky ways into this Republican movement which we built up—you and not I—because I have been in jail. It has been built up and are we now going back to this tricky Parliamentarianism, because I tell you this document is nothing else. Pierce Beasley gave us to understand that this is the beginning of something great and that Ireland is struggling to be born. I say that the new Ireland was born in Easter Week, 1916, that Ireland is not struggling to be born. I say that the Irish language has begun to grow, that we are pushing it in the

    p.186

    schools, and I don't see that giving up our rights, that going into the British Empire is going to help. In any case the thing is not what you might call a practical thing. It won't help our commerce, but it is not that; we are idealists believing in and loving Ireland, and I believe that Ireland held by the Black-and-Tans did more for Ireland than Ireland held by Parliamentarianism—the road that meant commercial success for those who took it and, meaning other things, meant prestige for those who took it. But there is the other stony road that leads to ultimate freedom and the regeneration of Ireland; the road that so many of our heroes walked and I, for one will stand on the road with Terence MacSwiney and Kevin Barry and the men of Easter Week. I know the brave soldiers of Ireland will stand there, and I stand humbly behind them, men who have given themselves for Ireland, and I will devote to it the same amount that is left to me of energy and life; and I stand here to-day to make the last protest, for we only speak but once, and to ask you read most carefully, not to take everything for granted, and to realise above all that you strive for one thing, your allegiance to the men who have fought and died. But look at the results. Look at what we gain. We gained more in those few years of fighting than we gained by parliamentary agitation since the days of O'Connell. O'Connell said that Ireland's freedom was not worth a drop of blood. Now I say that Ireland's freedom is worth blood, and worth my blood, and I will willingly give it for it, and I appeal to the men of the Dáil to stand true. They ought to stand true and remember what God has put into your hearts and not to be led astray by phantasmagoria. Stand true to Ireland, stand true to your oaths, and put a little trust in God.

    MR. J. WALSH:

    Before I proceed to speak I think it would be well that the Dáil should consider the advisability of adjourning for lunch. I intend to speak for perhaps an hour—I may speak for two hours. It is entirely a matter for myself at the moment. But if you desire I should begin now, very well.

    The House signified its wish that Mr. Walsh should go on.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    A Chinn Chomhairle, agus a cháirde, is gá dhom focal nó dhó do rá in ár dteangain dhúchais fein. Sílim gur cheart dúinn an díospóireacht so do dheanamh go bre reidh agus gan aon duine do chur einní i leith aon duine eile anois ná as so amach. I have been, perhaps, noted in the past for a certain amount of bluntness and directness which has made me unpopular with a great majority of the Dáil [cries of No! no!"]. Well, I certainly have interpreted that feeling in my own mind, and I am now glad to hear that it is not the feeling of my co-members. But I must confess that there were certain principles on which we were all in agreement, and these principles, if I correctly understand them, have been pretty sharply turned down by the members of the Dáil in opposition here to-day. I have since my advent into the political arena understood that we were here to express the voice of the people; that we were here to typify the consent of the governed, that we were here to speak for the majority of the people. Now, my friends, I have, unlike other people, made it my business to visit my constituency in the interval since the adjournment over Christmas. The City of Cork has played a not unimportant part in the events of the last four or five years; and though I have not counted heads, nor taken a vote of the people, I will honestly as a plain, honest man, say that I feel that nine out of every ten people in Cork City are in favour of the ratification of this Treaty. I have met prominent public men in my constituency and they assure me that they themselves have not met one single human being in Cork City opposed to the Treaty. Now I am stating what is an honest, straight fact. Some of you assume that if you voted, or if you should vote for this Treaty, you are violating your own conscience. I don't know that you have any right to intrude your conscience on the question of the lives and the liberties of your people. Your people have not asked you to take this oath, but they have asked you to ratify the Treaty. And be very clear on these two points. You need not necessarily take the oath if you don't want to; but you are certainly bound in conscience, and more strictly bound than by any oath the British Government can impose, to follow and execute the will of


    p.187

    the people, the will that you swear you can't carry out, when you were elected by the strongest oath you could take. We hear a lot about unity. The majority of the Boards of the country have made it clear that, regardless of unity, this Treaty must be ratified. [Opposition cries of No!] I will venture to say that 95 per cent. of the people of this country who have had an opportunity of expressing themselves have definitely asserted that it is their view that the Treaty meets with their requirements for the time being. [Opposition cries of "No!"] Yes [laughter]. It is not the Southern Unionists who have asked you to support the Treaty. The Comhairlí Ceanntair are not Southern Unionists, the Sinn Fein Clubs are not Southern Unionists, the County Councils of the country are not Southern Unionists. The whole nation and all the public bodies of this country are not Southern Unionists; but they are as good Republicans, and you know it. They see an opportunity of expressing themselves on matters which mean the life and death of the nation.

    A DEPUTY:

    Take the 1916 Rising for example.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    Now we hear a lot about unity. The Cork City electorate in the Municipal Elections of 1920 only voted 50 per cent. for the Republican candidates—slightly over 50 per cent.— twenty-eight or twenty-nine candidates. If we were to ask the people of Cork to vote for or against the Treaty we would have 90 per cent. voting for it. That is a unity that this country, neither for a Republic nor at any other stage of its history, ever enjoyed. I have met a number of men who have said that this Dáil has spent too much time discussing oaths. I have met one man who reminded me of a certain imperishable phrase which the predecessor of the present ex- Kaiser used with regard to the lawyers in his country. Frederick the Great, on his visit to France, was asked how many lawyers he had in Germany, and he said: ‘One, and when I go back I will hang that one’[laughter]. Now, there are a great many pro-Germans in Ireland to-day. The Irish people are thoroughly fed up with this ju-jitsu exposition and things of that nature. I may tell you that I have a very elastic mind on oaths. I do not say that oaths are not a very forceful issue with me as between me and my country. If, for instance, a British soldier during the last half-dozen years offered me a rifle on condition that I would take this oath, I would take it. I assure you I would keep on taking it for a month if I could get a rifle and ammunition by taking this oath. The taking of a meaningless and harmless oath would not prevent me. Now, I hold my own individual view on that, and I don't ask other people to hold that view. A similar question arose at the G. A. A., a few years ago, and I expressed a similar view. War knows no principles, and you who have lived through the last half-dozen years will not deny the truth of that statement. There are certain points troubling very seriously genuine friends of this Treaty—points which I desire to deal with here to-day; but before I introduce that matter, I would like to say in fairness to myself, and in fairness to my constituents, that there is one thing in the Treaty that I dislike and that is the retention of our ports. Now, nobody has told me how we are to rid ourselves of that. The British Army and Navy alone dominate the situation. There are certain points which, undoubtedly, are troubling genuine friends of this Treaty. One of them may be summed up in this. They say now that when Ireland regains some material prosperity, when she gets on her feet, when the people get rich, that they will lose the grádh for independence. Now I heard the very same arguments when I was very young. I heard it said—I happened to be a country boy—there are a great many country boys here and the country boy differs very materially from the city boy—and I remember when a youngster going to school being told by my companions that the Land Legislation which was then being passed would mean the downfall of the national ideal, and that the extension of the Local Government powers would do the same. Now it was not the country boys said that, but the London Times. Now, I ask you, did any of the farmers of Ireland prove the truth of that? Were they not the back-bone of the fight through which we have gone—notwithstanding that they have enjoyed a prosperity which they didn't anticipate? Indeed, the well-to-do farmers were the great backers of our fight. You may as


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    well say that it is essential to reduce one's body to poverty to save one's soul. I never heard any theologian advancing that argument, and I don't suppose I would be an enthusiastic backer of it, nor do I suppose that those who are opposed to me would follow it [laughter]. It is not necessary to pauperise the body to save the soul, nor to pauperise the body of this country to save the soul of this country. Others of those opposed to the Treaty say that when the old feud would terminate our country would be drawn closer to England. I say that instead of being drawn closer that we will be drawn further away from England by virtue of being drawn closer to the universe. If this Treaty is adopted this country, instead of being cut off, will be opened up through its trade routes, its consuls and ambassadors, and through its various means of communication through the whole world. So much for that point. I have heard quite a lot of play with the unfortunate or, perhaps, slip phrase used by the Deputy from Offaly some time ago. He said that this nation is going into the Empire with its hands up. Well, I ask you, are we out of the Empire under our Republic? [Cries of Yes!]. To begin with, my friends, you talk of a Republic for all Ireland. Your Cabinet has told you by virtue of the fact that you exclude North-East Ulster that you only recognise the Republic for three-quarters of Ireland. Now let us keep to facts. You say that you are marching into the British Empire with your hands up—you say that we who are favouring the Treaty are doing so. Let us consider the position we are in to-day. We have in this country been forced, under an ideal Republic, to utilise the Postal and Telegraph service of the British Government. We have been forced in order to get claims endorsed to go into their law courts, to carry their soldiers, police and sailors on our railroads. We have come here under a British Act of Parliament, and we meet here to-day with the consent of the British Government. That is the position, and you call yourself a Free Republic. You have an ideal, and an ideal only and anything provided in this Act does not rob you of that ideal; and I say to you that you who oppose this Treaty are inconsistent in this, because we propose to remove the inconsistency which I have mentioned and make it consistent. It has been mentioned here to-day, and I certainly felt very keenly when making up my mind with regard to the outlook of the people in India and Egypt. We feel that because they have travelled a hard road with us that it would be unfair to abandon them without just cause. Now, have we abandoned them? Take your memory back to August last. How much fighting had you in Egypt and India in those days? And how much to-day? It is not disaster but success, and it is the success of the Irish Free State which has made the position in India and Egypt which you find to-day. We have not heard a great lot about Ulster since the opening of the proceedings. I wonder if any of you Deputies ever thought it possible, under any set of circumstances as long as the British Empire existed, to establish a Republic for Ireland? [Opposition cries of Yes]. Well, I am sorry that in my highest flights of imagination I can't come up to your level. Now, assume that you hadn't, and the affirmative was lacking in that emphaticness which I expected—at any rate I assume that the most you people had in your minds at any time was a Republic for three fourths of Ireland. [Cries of No, no!]. Now that was what you had in reality asked, and you have endorsed it by the fact that you have thrown North-East Ulster overboard. Now, I assume there are individuals here who don't agree. I am honest enough to admit that. But the one thing that you had to face is, the alternative for a Republic for three-fourths of Ireland was the unity of all Ireland, and you could never get that unity you insisted on. A Republic would definitely alienate the North-East Ulster corner and divide our unfortunate country into two separate and distinct areas and into two races for all time. That's the programme you have brought forward. I hold that Ulster is the very important clause of the Treaty which we consider, and to this our opponents have not, in any single instance, given any consideration. They have taken it for granted that our plenipotentiaries were jockeyed by the Prime Minister into that position. I believe the situation was otherwise. Had I believed that this Treaty would leave Ireland a permanently divided

    p.189

    nation I would vote against it. Now, some of you took sufficient interest in the Boer War. Those who were rebels in those days took sufficient interest in the fate of the Boer Republics. At their surrender they specified four conditions:
    1. Foreign relations;
    2. to accept a Protectorate of Great Britain;
    3. to surrender the ports and territory of the South African Republics, and
    4. to conclude a defensive alliance with Great Britain.
    England refused to accept these rather humiliating conditions made on the part of the Boers; and insisted on unconditional surrender. At the same time she gave a verbal guarantee that, provided the Boers didn't resume the fight, their nation would not be destroyed. Now, the Boer soldiers were in as good a position to resume the fight as we are, and they could continue the fight and bring about a state of hari kari, and submit to the inevitable. To save the nation they accepted Britain's conditions. And what do you find to-day? You find the hitherto divided states sealed up into a solid Boer bloc in South Africa, one solid force in a position to re-assume the Republican ideal at any time they like. What did the Germans do when pressed by the Allies in the late war? Did the Germans say to the Allies: ‘Because of the principles which we have to abandon by your occupation of any part of our territory, and by your limitations on our finances, we refuse to come to any terms with you. We will continue to resist your army through every part of Germany, even if it means the destruction of every man and woman and house in Germany?’ No, they did not. They said:‘The thing, the programme for us, is to save as much as we can of our territory, and on that territory we are to rebuild and make the fatherland’. And what happened? In the brief interval of three years Germany has brought about no less than seven modifications of the Treaty of Versailles. That is what we ask you to do. It has been mentioned here that our Parliament is to some extent like Grattan's Parliament, and it was suggested as a very good thing that this Grattan's Parliament was discontinued or abolished. Now, if Grattan's parliament with all its limitations had continued in operation, would our country have gone through the famine period? Would our country have suffered the humiliations of '48 or '67, or would it have needed them? Or would our country have been lying helplessly in its grave a few years ago when we took up the cudgels? No, it would have saved the population, saved its industries, conserved its manhood, and when the time came during the Crimean War, or the Boer War, or any other of the shaky positions in which the British Empire found itself, the Irish nation could have regained its liberty. That is what Grattan's parliament would have done, and that is what this Treaty now provides and will do for the Irish nation. Instead of that you propose that it should simply commit suicide—wipe itself out and remain helpless for all time. You say: ‘Why should we follow in the role of a Dominion?’ There is no reason if we could help it, but we can't help it. Is there any alternative? Will any member of this Dáil guarantee to me that those Dominions at which some people have laughed so heartily during the last fortnight—will anybody guarantee that they will still be Dominions or that they won't be Republics within twelve years, and will anyone say to me that Francis Feehily in Australia, or Laurier in Canada, are going to be definitely deferred or dispelled by anything that you can enlighten us on to-day? And if they can become Republics in our lifetime, what about us? I don't blame the Cabinet for breaking away from the Republican position. Our country and England had to face a definite situation, and this situation which is brought about by the Treaty is purely the resultant of opposing forces. The feelings of the Irish people are responsible for that departure, because the Irish people would not resume war, nor consent to the resumption of war by anybody standing on the bed-rock of the Republic. The opposing opinions here, though in no way proportionate to the feeling of the country, are, in my opinion, based on a frank and perfect honesty. We find ourselves as a body of men at the cross-roads. We see the objective at the distance. One party determines to go right through to that objective though a mighty and impassable gulf intervenes. They say it does not matter, even though it does mean hampering, so that it is a short road.

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    The other people say:‘let us take the long road; it is the surer.’ Similarly, if we proceed on the assumption that we are military tacticians—I don't claim to be a military tactician—I have done very little fighting in my life, but as an ordinary civilian I will put it this way to the military tacticians. We found ourselves in 1914 with a dozen strong entrenchments separating us from complete victory. In the interval we have brought down eleven of these impediments, and we find that by rushing the twelfth and last one that it means our annihilation, our defeat and demoralisation, and instead of those of us who are voting for the Treaty—instead of submitting ourselves to that demoralisation, we are entrenching here; we wait for reinforcements and we wait for supplies, and at an opportune moment we march on. I was once in America on a holiday. It cost me three pounds to get over and three pounds to get back. At any rate I have seen the Continent of America. I found myself on one occasion on the southern bank of the Niagara. Now I wanted to get across, there was a bridge a little distance up, a Yankee who came along offered to enlighten me on the best way to get there. ‘What's the best way to get across?’ I asked. ‘Well’," said he, ‘if you mean the shortest, the most direct way, jump in and swim’. That is what the opponents of this Treaty proposed to the people of Ireland.

    Adjourned at 1.30.

    On resumption the SPEAKER took the Chair at 3.30 p.m.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I crave just a couple of minutes to make a personal explanation. When the Deputy for a Division of Dublin was speaking to-day I was not present. She made reference to my name and to the name of a lady belonging to a foreign nation that I cannot allow to pass without making this reference to. Some time in our history as a nation a girl went through Ireland and was not insulted by the people of Ireland. I do not come from the class that the Deputy for the Dublin Division comes from; I come from the plain people of Ireland. The lady whose name was mentioned is, I understand, betrothed to some man. I know nothing of her personally, I know nothing of her in any way whatever, but the statement may cause her pain, and may cause pain to the lady who is betrothed to me [hear, hear]. I just stand in that plain way, and I will not allow without challenge any Deputy in the assembly of my nation to insult any lady either of this nation or of any other nation [applause].

    MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS:

    A Chinn Chomhairle, tá beagán agamsa le rá agus ní bhead ach cúpla nóimeat á rá. As I have no doubt the other Deputies are as speech weary as I am, you will be glad to hear that what I have to say will be said in a few moments. I am not going to dictate to the Deputies on the duty they owe to their constituents or any thing else like that. I am not going to charge any man with betrayal, or impugn any man's honour, because I look upon every Deputy of Dáil Eireann as my comrade, and no word or act of mine, either here or outside, will, I trust, break that bond of comradeship [hear, hear]. I am against the Treaty on principle, and on principle alone. I have heard it stated that we should vote as our constituents wish us to vote because they are our masters. I agree that they are the masters of our political thought but they are not and can not be the captains of our souls. Is it seriously put up as an argument that if, say, 90 per cent. of our constituents at any time during the past two or three years were to have told us that the interests of Ireland could best be served by our going across to the British House of Commons, we should have gone there?

    A DEPUTY:

    They did not do that.

    MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS:

    If tomorrow or next week our constituents were to order us, with a view to securing Ireland's material interests, to become Freemasons, are we to immediately begin to save up the price of a trowel and apron? [Laughter]. I have as great a respect and as a deep a regard for my constituents as any Deputy in this assembly. I admit they have a perfect right to deride me, to repudiate any action of mine, and to kick me out at the first opportunity;


    p.191

    but I deny absolutely that they have any right to direct or command my conscience. I have a few resolutions here in my pocket—just four from the whole County of Clare—and I know how some of these resolutions have been passed.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Unanimously.

    MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS:

    I know this also: in my opposition to the Treaty I know that I am not misrepresenting those who have the best influence in the constituency.

    MR. PATRICK BRENNAN:

    You are.

    MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS:

    I am not. I have made it my business to find out and I know what I am saying.

    MR. P. BRENNAN:

    So do we.

    MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS:

    Interruptions will not make me say one word more than this on that particular point: I went down to Clare on Christmas Eve fully satisfied in my mind that in opposing this Treaty I was doing what was right. A week later I came back from Clare doubly satisfied I was doing right [hear, hear]. I am against this on principle alone. I suppose that is a sentimental reason, a hopelessly ignorant reason, a reason of the heart but not of the head, the reason of a man without vision. Principle has been sneered at in every generation by those who have abandoned principle, and earnestly I ask the Deputies here not to sneer at those who stand for principle in these days, because the history of these days has yet to be written.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I am for the Treaty on principle alone.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    Hear, hear.

    MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS:

    When I speak of principle and conscience I must necessarily speak of the oath embodied in the Treaty. In my sentimental, hopelessly ignorant attitude towards it, I must be guided, not by lawyers or Doctors of Divinity, or the Press, or by my constituents, but by my own conscience. My conscience tells me the oath embodied in the Treaty signed in London is an oath of loyalty to the English King; an admission that the King of England is King, also, of Ireland, that I am a British subject, that my children are British subjects, and such an admission I never intend to make so long as I have control of my will and reason, no matter what material advantage it may be supposed to gain for Ireland. I am not going to assert that the dead would do this or that. I have too much reverence and too much love for the dead to make such an assertion, or to drag them into this debate at all, But I will say one word about the men of Easter Week, living and dead. It has been suggested it would be no more dishonourable for us to take this oath and go into the British Empire than it was for the men of Easter Week to surrender. When we laid down our arms in O'Connell Street on the Saturday evening of Easter Week, we did so under duress, but we surrendered only our arms and the military position we had taken up; we did not surrender the Irish Republic, nor the historic Irish nation. We did not swear to be loyal subjects to the English King, nor acknowledge him as King of Ireland. That was war on a grand scale, in the Mount Street Bridge area, in Stephen's Green, at the South Dublin Union in the General Post Office, and other places during Easter Week. But when these positions were surrendered the Irish nation was not asked by the leaders of the rising to swear loyalty to King George, his heirs and successors; so it is an insult to the men and women of Easter Week to compare their honourable surrender with the surrender proposed to us now. I should like to pay a tribute to one Deputy in particular who has spoken here, Deputy Robert Barton. He admitted he was weak in London, and broke his oath to the Republic——

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    Did we? Answer me that question. Did we break our oaths to the Republic? [Cries of Order, order!].

    MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS:

    I am paying a tribute to Deputy Robert Barton.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    Aye.


    p.192

    MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS:

    When the threats of terrible and immediate war were held over his head——

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    We did not give damn for terrible and immediate war.

    MR. BRIAN O'HIGGINS:

    If Mr. Barton was weak in London he has been strong here [laughter and cheers]. He has revealed the strength of a true man [laughter]. And his statement will be the most thought-compelling page in the history of these proceedings [hear, hear, and renewed laughter]. I cannot claim to have done anything worth talking about for Ireland, but during twenty years I have tried in a minor, fifth-rate way to convey to the common people of Ireland—my own people—the message of the brave men and women of our race who have stood for right against wrong. I shall continue to do so as long as God gives me strength to do it, whether this Treaty be ratified or not. I have taken only one oath in all my life, and I cannot now take another that, rightly or wrongly—it may be wrongly—I believe would make me a perjurer. I won't surrender the one ideal and dream of my life—an independent Irish Ireland, and so I mean to vote against the Treaty. [Applause].

    MR. ERNEST BLYTHE:

    A Chinn Chomhairle agus a cháirde, ní choimeadfad a bhfad sibh. An chuid is mó atá le rá agam tá sé ráite ag na Teachtaí cheana. Ach is dócha nách díobháil dom labhairt chun a innsint cé an fáth go bhfuil mo thuairimí fé mar atáid. I would like to agree with the last speaker that it would be much more seemly if there was no attempt to bring in in any way into these discussions, which are rendered sometimes exasperating, the names of those who made the supreme sacrifice for the freedom of Ireland. And I would like particularly to say that I hate the phrase which has been used here—that of rattling the bones of the dead. In this matter that is before us I recognise only one principle. That principle is an obligation in making my choice here to choose that which, in my judgment, will be best for the Irish nation both in the immediate future and ultimately. I believe that I must exercise my judgment freely in that matter. I believe that in making my choice I am not fettered by the oath I took as a member of this Dáil. I believe that if I hold myself back from doing what I believe would be best for the Irish nation because it conflicted with the terms of that oath, it would be doing wrong, because I took that oath as President de Valera took it—as an oath to do my best for the freedom of the Irish nation. That was the purpose that I bound myself to by that oath, and I would be false alike to the oath and the purpose of the oath if I held to the mere terms of it against my judgment of what was best for the Irish nation at the present time. Republicanism is with me not a national principle but a political preference. I am against monarchy, because I believe monarchies in the world as it is to-day are effete and out of date. I believe the Irish people, when they voted for a Republican majority in this Dáil, and when they declared themselves for an Irish Republic, were not thinking of constitutional privileges very much, but were thinking of the complete freedom of Ireland [hear, hear]. I think that is the ideal for which the Irish people have declared. I think that, like myself, they have a preference for the Republican form of Government, because I do not see how anybody could, at the present day, prefer any other form of Government; but I believe the main thing that was in their minds was the securing of the complete independence of Ireland. As far as I am concerned I wanted the Irish Republic, as I believe the people of Ireland did, in order that Ireland might be free. With me the Republic was a means to an end and not an end in itself.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Hear, hear.

    MR. ERNEST BLYTHE:

    I believe in one sense the Republican form of Government which has been set up was a machine for the securing of Irish freedom [hear, hear]. And I believe there is no more harm, if the interests of the nation demand it, in scrapping that machine than there is in scrapping any other machine which may be devised for securing the freedom of the country. I do not hold myself fettered in making my choice either by the oath which I took as a member of the Dáil, or by the


    p.193

    fact that a Republic was declared, or that a Republican form of Government was set up in this country. In point of fact, I believe that the choice before us is not a choice between this Treaty and an Irish Republic, as it is understood by the majority of the Irish people. In actual fact, I think that the choice that has been before the Dáil, not only in this present Session, but since the negotiations began, has been a choice between—at any rate, the thing that has been before the Dáil since the negotiations began has been practically, and certainly—or the majority of the members, the matter of external association. I am sure a good number of the members of the Dáil stand for nothing but the real Irish Republic—an isolated Republic. I think, undoubtedly, when the process of battering down the wall of the isolated Republic was begun, that by a majority of the Dáil the isolated, or as I would call it, the real, Irish Republic was abandoned as being immediately unattainable. For me there is very little difference between external association and what we get in this Treaty. I realise very well how far short this Treaty falls of the ultimate ideals of the Irish people, and what its defects are. I stand for a Gaelic State. I realise the difficulties that are before us in arriving at a Gaelic State. I know how far Anglicisation has gone in this country. I know the close relationship there must be between this country and England in any circumstances on account of Trade and Commercial interests. I know our difficulties in arriving at a Gaelic State will be great enough without any close, friendly and intimate political relationships with England. It seems to me we will have practically the same amount of close friendly and intimate political relationship with England under a scheme of external association as we would have under this Treaty. It seems to me that, while under external association we may retain the form of a Republican Government, if not the name of a Republic, we would have under it abandoned as much of the political control of the destinies of the Irish nation as under the Treaty. In fact, people who are willing to agree to external association and refuse to accept the Treaty seem to me to be the people who have swallowed the camel and are straining at the gnat. We have before us the alternatives of ratification and rejection. What would follow rejection is, I think, to a considerable extent, a matter of speculation. We would have chaotic conditions, certainly. If a bitter split on the Parnellite lines showed signs of developing, I do not think we would have war. The British would prefer a split; it would be better for them. If there were no split, or a split did not develop sufficiently, we might have war. As this is largely a choice of alternatives, more time might have been given to those who favour rejection of the Treaty to framing some idea of what would follow rejection. As to what would follow ratification that largely depends on the idea—on your interpretation of the Treaty. I do not believe ratification would be followed by anything like the split, or could be followed by anything like the split that would follow rejection. I am not competent to expound the Treaty, or to interpret it from any sort of a legal point of view. The Treaty has not been really sufficiently expounded. Mr. Childers gave a very long and, as far as it went, a very fair interpretation of the Treaty. We were blamed for not listening to him with more avid attention. It seems to me that one of the reasons why he did not hold us was that practically all of what he said was common ground; he explained what the law was in Canada, and then, though with a good deal less emphasis, said that was practically cancelled by the phrase ‘practice and constitutional usage’. And the main part of his argument was not of a constitutional nature at all, and not the sort of argument in which he could claim to have any sort of particular authority. He was arguing that the British would not keep to their terms of this Treaty, but of some other Treaty that might be signed.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Hear, hear.

    MR. ERNEST BLYTHE:

    That was really his argument, and I don't think it deserved—although it was very good [laughter and applause]. Although not a lawyer at all there is a phrase in this first clause which has not been mentioned by any of the lawyers who have spoken, and it seems to me to be of considerable importance. It is in the second last line and reads: ‘A


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    Parliament having power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Ireland, and an Executive responsible to that Parliament’. Now an Executive responsible to the Parliament is more than, I think, in theory at any rate, they have in England. It seems to me if we take that phrase in conjunction with the rest of the Treaty it does away completely with the idea that the representative of the Crown could take any action whatever except on the advice of the Ministry of the Free State. I do not say he could not refuse formal assent to a Bill or anything of that sort, but it seems to me to put the representative of the Crown in the same position here, in regard to the Government, as the King of England occupies in England with regard to the British Cabinet. It seems to me that there is some ambiguity as to whether or not this oath is obligatory at all. It certainly, to my mind, is not made obligatory by Clause 4, but it may be made obligatory by Clause 2. Clause 4 only specifies the form of oath to be taken, and it quite differs from the clauses you see in the Canadian and other constitutions, where it says that every member of the House of Representatives, and the Senate and so forth, before taking a seat, shall take oath in the following form, and the form is then given. That has been departed from here. It may be held Clause 2 makes the oath obligatory, but Clause 2 seems to me only to relate to the position of the Irish Free State—‘Subject to the provisions hereinafter set out the position of the Irish Free State in relation to the Imperial Parliament and Government, and otherwise, shall be that of the Dominion of Canada, and the law, practice, and constitutional usage governing the relationship of the Crown or the representative of the Crown and of the Imperial Parliament to the Dominion of Canada, shall govern their relationship to the Irish Free State’. That clause certainly states the relationship of the Crown to the Free State shall be that of Canada, but it does not state that the Constitution of the Irish Free State shall be the same as the Constitution of Canada, and it has been specifically stated it need not be the same. It is straining that clause to say that it specifies that a certain particular clause in the Canadian Constitution shall also be in the Irish Constitution, or that the clause puts on a member of Parliament a certain duty. Whether or not the oath is obligatory is certainly a matter that could be disputed. In regard to the oath there has been a lot of argument—and there have been some arguments, I think, not worthy of this assembly. There was one Deputy from the West who made a long oration about the manacles of slaves. That Deputy must have known that faithfulness was not the same as fealty. He is a lawyer and if he found the word ‘vehicle ’in a document he would not proceed to argue it was a gig or a rickshaw. There has been a good deal said about the clauses in this Treaty in regard to NorthEast Ulster. I think we abandoned the possibility of getting an absolutely united Ireland—that is, getting it immediately—when the President's letter of the 1Oth August was sent. In it he stated he would not use coercion, and said we were agreeable to outside arbitration. I did not like this, but I think in the situation that had developed nothing better could have been got, and I am the only member of the Dáil who comes of the people who are going to exclude themselves, or may exclude themselves, from the Free State. I know them. I have always believed that by suitable propaganda these people amongst whom the roots of nationality still exist, although you might say the stem and foliage have been sapped away—these people could eventually be brought to the side of the Irish nation, as they were a hundred years ago [applause]. I also believe that they might be coerced, and I would stand for it that we have the right to coerce them, if we thought fit, and if we have the power to do so. But you can not coerce them and comfort them at the one time. As we pledged ourselves not to coerce them, it is as well that they should not have a threat of coercion over them all the time. I have no doubt under this business and under these arrangements, and the necessity they will feel for material reasons for union, combined with propaganda, these terms will lead in a comparatively short time to the union of that part of the country with the rest of Ireland. References have been made to the circumstances under which this Treaty was signed, and the fact that it was signed under

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    a threat of war. I say these circumstances and that threat of war are necessary to make the Treaty acceptable to me, because, as I said, even external association is a good way short of our full right. I believe even if a better Treaty than this had been forthcoming, the plenipotentiaries would not have been entitled to sign it until it was clear that the alternative was war. A reference has been made to Mr. Barton. I do not want to be offensive at all, but it is as well that I should say what I have to say. I believe that the plenipotentiaries should have realised all along that a break might, and probably would, mean immediate war and the plenipotentiaries should have made up their minds as to the exact point to which they would go rather than face immediate war. And I think if any plenipotentiary was put in a hole by the short time for making up their minds that was given on that last night by Mr. Lloyd George, that plenipotentiary was in a difficulty only because of his own negligence in making up his mind as to the distance to which it would be right for him to go, and the place at which he was prepared to choose war.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Hear, hear.

    MR. ERNEST BLYTHE:

    Again I say I do not want to be offensive, but it was either that or the plenipotentiary was so impressionable as to make him by temperament unfitted to bear the responsibility of a plenipotentiary. That is really how the matter stands, and I think the circumstances under which this Treaty was signed, except in so far as all the plenipotentiaries were convinced that the alternative was war, and no more was to he got, have no bearing on it at all [applause].

    MR. FRANK FAHY:

    A Chinn Chomhairle agus a lucht an Dála ba mhaith liom labhairt as Gaedhilg toisc gurb í an Ghaedhilg teanga oifigiúil na Dála, ach tá a lán anso ná tuigfeadh me agus tá beirt anso ná tuigfeadh me go h-áirithe agus ba mhaith liom dá dtuigfidís sin me. Through many weary days of speech-making I have listened with patience, sometimes with pain, to many arguments about this Treaty. It grieved my very soul to hear some Deputies question the rights and authority of certain of our colleagues to sit and vote in this assembly. Let us recognise that we all have the same status here, and all are actuated by the one great motive, our country's good, but that we may reasonably come to widely different conclusions. We cannot get back to the position in which we stood on December 5th, 1921. The signing of the Treaty has completely altered the circumstances at home and abroad. Pity it is that these Articles of Agreement bear the signatures of our plenipotentiaries. Had this instrument been submitted unsigned to Dáil Eireann I feel convinced it would have been rejected by an overwhelming majority. The signing of it does not make it more acceptable, but we must base our arguments and our decision on a fait accompli. Let me not be misunderstood. I do not wish for a moment to impugn the honour or integrity of our plenipotentiaries. I feel that if I had been placed in their unenviable position in London I would have signed the Treaty. Having signed, I would, conscious of having done my best, bow to the decision of this assembly as to whether the Treaty were acceptable or not. That, I take it, is the position in which our plenipotentiaries find themselves to-day. Two problems have long confronted the Irish people—North-East Ulster and the British occupation. Did the Treaty offer a satisfactory solution of either problem with a probability of settling the second in a reasonable time, I think it should and would be accepted. The Treaty, however, does not conclusively settle either problem. It will not make for peace, domestic or international. The terms violate our territorial integrity; they make us British subjects and impose on us a Governor-General whose social circle will militate against the restoration of the Gaelic State which we must all endeavour to re-establish, if we are not to become West Britons. Is not the declaration of the Republic also fait accompli, or have we been playing at Republicanism? Were we not in earnest when we sent ambassadors to claim the recognition of the world for the Republic?

    MR. FINIAN LYNCH:

    With British passports and under the British flag. [Cries of No interruptions].


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    FRANK FAHY:

    We are told that we have secured the flag. What flag? Would there not be serious opposition to the adoption of the tricolour as the flag of the Irish Free State? I much fear so. How is such opposition to be overcome, and if not overcome, whither does it lead? Will such opposition, suppressed or unpunished make for stability and that peace we all so earnestly desire? In many debatable and vague clauses of the Treaty, especially the clauses relating to allegiance, financial adjustment, and North-East boundaries, lie the fruitful seeds of misunderstanding and strife. There is no use in disguising the fact that this Treaty, if accepted, will he ratified because the alternative is the dread arbitrament of war. I have been down among my constituents chiefly in South Galway. The Comhairle Ceanntair of that Division at a recent meeting, at which I was present, voted unanimously in favour of ratification. But the delegates stated, one and all, that this Treaty does not meet the nation's demand and that they so voted because they believed the alternative to be a war of extermination. 'Tis hard to blame the war-weary people for clamouring for peace. But it should be put clearly on record that such votes are given under duress. Can a Treaty based on fear, naked and unashamed, be a sound basis for friendship between the two peoples? It is my opinion that lasting peace and friendship between the two peoples was feasible as we stood on December 5th. Whether such peace is practicable now is, at least, questionable. The bond of brotherhood is broken; the comradeship and unity that stood the severest test and won the admiration of the world have been sundered through the machinations of the cleverest of the British statesmen, Lloyd George. Can this national solidarity be restored and restored without delay? Can Dáil Eireann again command the unswerving loyalty of the people and their undivided support, moral and material? We are told that Dáil Eireann can no longer hope for this. The people have been stampeded. A venal Press that never stood for freedom and now with one voice advocates ratification has, by suppressio veri and suggestio falsi prejudiced the issue and biased public opinion [hear, hear]. I attended a meeting of the East Galway Comhairle Ceanntair at which the voting was 18 to 8 in favour of ratification. The report in the metropolitan Press the next day would give one to understand that there was a unanimous decision in favour of the Treaty. Such sharp practice gives one furiously to think. The Chairman of the Delegation and the Minister for Finance made a strong case for ratification. This Treaty undoubtedly confers wide powers on the Irish people, far greater powers than were ever even demanded by our former representatives in the British House of Commons. But some of us believed that the time had gone by for seeking concessions. Under the terms of this Treaty we can undoubtedly develop the material resources of the country. But nations, like individuals, may fill their purses by emptying their souls. What is the nation? It is of yesterday, to-day and to-morrow. How the generations of our martyred dead would act at this juncture it is vain to argue. Few in this assembly were as intimately acquainted as I was with those who fell in Easter Week, '16. Of one, and only one, of those heroic men could I confidently assert that he would oppose ratification. I need scarcely state that I refer to Tom Clarke. Can we of to-day, bowing to force majeure, accept this Treaty without dishonour in view of our oaths and of the Republic declared before the world? Those Deputies who have spoken in support of the Treaty maintain that this is not a final settlement. Some of them advocate its adoption on the ground that it contains the seeds of future development, that it will broaden slowly down from precedent to precedent until we reach the goal of unfettered freedom. Their attitude is comprehensible and their sincerity unquestioned. I might suggest to them that this road under other guides may also lead rapidly to the sacrifice of principles to the Imperial ideal, to smug prosperity, and obese content. Other Deputies would use the powers obtained as an immediate lever to secure full independence. Honour cannot stand rooted in dishonour, and I maintain that such action is dishonourable even in dealing with England. Faith unfaithful to England's King cannot make us falsely true to Republicanism. Let at least our word be our


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    bond. If we pledge our word, let us keep it in the letter and in the spirit. Honesty in politics and in international relations will eventually prove the better policy. We must, then, consider this Treaty on its merits, and as affected by existing circumstances. The great majority of the people are in favour of acceptance, lest worse befall. The views of our constituents should certainly have great weight with us, for they are our masters, they are the ultimate judges. There are, however, other circumstances to be considered. Had a vote been possible prior to the Rising of 1916, does any Deputy imagine that we would have received the sanction of l0 per cent. of our people? Yet the people now admit that our action was justified. Then again should a demand inspired by terror be hearkened to as the real voice of the people? It may be argued that in obtaining this Treaty we have done sufficient for our day, that our action does not bind coming generations. But then, can the path to freedom be thus conveniently arranged by stages? Those best qualified to judge hold that the economic situation makes it impossible for us to carry on the war for a year or two longer, even with a united front and the moral support of the people. This may be truly called a defeatist argument, but then the acceptance of this Treaty is an admission that once again we have been worsted in the game, that material might has vanquished moral right, that the weak must bow to the strong. We are not called on to decide between the Treaty and Document No. 2. Incidentally, it should be borne in mind that Document No. 2 was submitted to us in confidence, for the specific purpose of achieving unity of action. This document contained no oath of any description.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    The Cabinet Minutes do.

    MR. E. J. DUGGAN:

    It is not signed by the British representatives.

    MR. FRANK FAHY:

    Document No. 2 contains no oath whatever.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    But the Minutes of the Cabinet do.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    There were no Minutes; they were never kept or signed.

    MR. FRANK FAHY:

    The many insinuations made to the contrary would awaken doubts as to the virtues of the Treaty that has to be supported by such methods, neither should a good Treaty need to be supported by revelations of verbal statements made at Cabinet meetings, especially when these revelations are made by one who was not a member of the Cabinet——

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    Mr. Erskine Childers.

    MR. FRANK FAHY:

    Especially when these revelations were made by one who was not a member of the Cabinet, but was admitted to certain meetings as an act of grace. Such points, however cleverly put, are not relevant to the issue. We are concerned with the release of our country from a dilemma, not with liberating a cat from a bag.

    MR. KEVIN O'HIGGINS:

    On a point of order. Reference has been made to a person being admitted to certain meetings as an act of grace. I would like the President to say whether that is a correct description of the reasons for my attendance at certain Cabinet meetings.

    THE SPEAKER:

    It is not a point of order. That matter may arise afterwards as a personal explanation.

    MR. FRANK FAHY:

    We are, as I said, concerned with liberating our country from a dilemma, and not liberating a eat from a bag. The immense labour of the latter performance may give us some idea of the task before us. As the eloquent Deputy for Tyrone was speaking a few days ago I recalled the words of the Latin poet ‘parturient montes et nascetur ridiculus mus’. I thought that, at least, a caterwauling litter would have come forth. The liberated cat must have been a tabby, such a chorus of welcome came from the supporters of the Welsh Wizard. The photograph of the gallant liberator adorned the pages of the English illustrated papers, and I scanned with


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    disappointment the New Year's List of Honours. Let us eschew such special pleadings and such party tactics reminiscent of other days, and decide the question safely on its merits. Let no Deputy be influenced by any outside associations, no matter how sacred such associations might be in other circumstances. Guided by the light of conscience, the best interests of our country and the honour of our nation, let us, in God's name, lay aside personalities and do our duty fearlessly. [Applause].

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    What about the Welsh Wizard?

    MR. F. FAHY:

    I have been asked what about the Welsh Wizard. I may say what I like about any English politician without offence to any member of the Dáil.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    Mr. Frank Fahy has described me and others as followers of the Welsh Wizard, and he has just sat down saying ‘lay aside personalities’.

    MR. F. FAHY:

    I never said anyone here was a follower of the Welsh Wizard.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    You described us as followers of the Welsh Wizard, and you won't get out of it.

    MR. E. J. DUGGAN:

    What do you mean, Mr. Fahy?

    MR. SEAN MILROY:

    We heard what you said, Mr. Fahy.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    Yes, we heard all you said. Stand by your words.

    MR. K. O'HIGGINS:

    I desire to make a personal explanation in connection with a remark in Mr. Fahy's speech; the reference could only be to me. He spoke of a person who attempted to make disclosures of some thing that took place at Cabinet meetings. That was more objectionable because the person was admitted to Cabinet meetings only as an act of grace. I did not think it would be necessary for me to explain why and how I came to attend Cabinet meetings, but as the question has been raised I will now explain. At the first meeting of the Dáil following the last election the President announced that he would have to have an inner Cabinet; that the large Ministry that was formerly admitted could not deal with matters of policy and the matters of these negotiations; and that therefore he would have to have an inner Cabinet of seven. I was seated behind him, and he turned to me and said: ‘I want you to attend Cabinet meetings and express your views on a position of absolute equality with the rest of us. If, in the unlikely event of a division, you, perhaps, had better not vote, but with the rest of us express your views quite freely’. How does Mr. Fahy consider that as an act of grace? I never asked the President why he made that arrangement, and did not want to know, but I want to ask now is it fair to say that I was admitted to the Cabinet meetings as an act of grace, when I attended on the instructions of the President? [Hear, hear].

    MR. GEORGE NICOLLS:

    A Chinn Comhairle agus a lucht na Dála, I suppose I am in the unenviable position of being the last lawyer that will speak in this assembly [laughter], but if I am I will not give you much law, constitutional or otherwise. I have often heard it said that the last leg of mutton is the sweetest. Well, I hope this will be something sweeter than what you have got before [laughter]. I am not going to go into constitutional law, but I may say that I have been down with my constituents, and they have been talking a lot about constitutional law since the Dáil met. One of my constituents was speaking to me, and he used these words to me: ‘We are bewildered and moidered with high faluting talk about constitutional law. This constitutional law plus Magna Charta to whose rights as British Citizens we were lately entitled, did not stop the Crown forces from burning Cork and performing other acts into which we need not enter now, but which were certainly against constitutional law and Magna Charta. But we do feel certain of one thing; that is, if we once get the British forces out of Ireland, it will require more than constitutional law to get them back’. [Hear, hear]. I can tell you, speaking for one of the largest constituencies in


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    Ireland, that is how the people feel, and for that reason I made a solemn promise that I would talk no constitutional law when I came here. But I will talk common sense, and in trying to talk common sense I will try to be as brief as I can. I won't quote any law or any constitutional lawyer, but I will certainly say this: I am amazed at the tactics that have been adopted here by the opponents of the Treaty who say: ‘Don't trust Lloyd George’, ‘Don't trust England or any English statesman’, and, mind you, I greatly sympathise with them, but when they want to overwhelm and crush us, they get up and read long quotations from speeches of Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, Worthington Evans, and others I know nothing about. That strikes me as rather peculiar. I say here as a lawyer that the slave mind seems very apparent there, where these men are quoted, and their words apparently, regarded as binding on us, and that we cannot go behind what they have said. I will certainly say this—I say I would back the opinion of the Minister of Finance on constitutional law against any Deputy who has spoken here, although one Deputy was held up as apparently the only man who knew anything about constitutional law. I would stake the opinion of the Minister of Finance before any tribunal, either national or international. We are told that the English when they give us this Treaty will humbug us, and that we won't be a match for them when it comes to framing a Constitution. In my opinion the Treaty has brought us a complete surrender, or a practically complete surrender, from England. Everything she said she would not give she has given. The Constitution that will be framed under the Treaty will be framed by Irishmen in Ireland, and the men who are able to meet Lloyd George, Worthington Evans and the other English delegates over there, and beat them at their own game, when it comes to framing a Constitution here I guarantee they will be able to beat them at their own game again [hear, hear]. There was one point that was inclined to carry weight with me when I heard the Treaty discussed. Great capital was made out of the fact that four coastal towns would be reserved as naval bases. That is done in a clause of the Treaty. I would like to know if the clause was not there what would be done. I have to face my constituents again, although some people may never have to face theirs [laughter]. I want to know one bit of information, and part of it can be given by the Minister of Finance, and portion by the Minister of Defence. The question I would like to ask is: If we are to take over immediately all our own coastal defences, I would like to know from the Minister of Defence whether and how we are to raise the fortifications that will be necessary to defend the coast; and what batteries, dreadnoughts, submarines, etc., will be necessary. When I have got that information from the Minister of Defence I would like to ask the Minister of Finance where the money is going to come from that is going to provide them and carry on the work of the rest of the country [laughter and applause]. This Treaty does not give us completely what we want, but it brings us very near to what we want. I think that when division has come— and there is no good in saying it has not come—when the Cabinet is divided and the country is divided without any possibility of its being united in toto—where you have 95 per cent. of the people wanting the Treaty—it is our duty and our highest principle to accept the Treaty and work it. In a short time, by working that Treaty, not only would 95 per cent. of the people be satisfied, but 100 per cent.—the whole people of Ireland [applause].

    MR. DONAL O'CALLAGHAN:

    A Chinn Chomhairle agus a lucht na Dála, is beag atá le rá agamsa. Leanfad dea-shompla na ndaoine nár fhan abhfad ag labhairt iniu. Táimse, agus tá furmhór na Dála, agus furmhór na ndaoine tuirseach de bheith ag eisteacht agus ag leigheamh óráidí lucht na Dála. Nílimse chun óráid do dheanamh. Is beag atá le rá agamsa ar fad. Like most members of the Dáil I am thoroughly wearied of those speeches and appeals made on the question of the ratification or approval of the Treaty, and I think so are the people of the country. For my part I shall follow the example set to-day by, I think, most of the speakers, by being very brief. I am not going to appeal


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    to any member of the Dáil, or to seek to influence the views of any member of the Dáil. I am concerned only with the views of and the vote of one member of the Dáil, and that is myself. I rather resent, myself, the series of lectures and appeals to which this House has been treated by all, or both, sides in this matter. I take the view that every member of the Dáil has sufficient brains and sufficient intelligence and a sufficient conception of his responsibility from every point of view to decide for himself or herself what the course of action to be taken is. There are just two things I want to make clear, and I shall finish—my position for myself, and my position with regard to the people I represent here. I may say, while I have deplored and do deplore the keen difference of opinion— the disruption—which has taken place in our assembly, which was wont to be so harmonious, I deplore perhaps still more the spirit in which it has been done. I deplore the fact that we, the members of the Dáil, could not differ —even on a question of the importance of the present one—without introducing bitterness or ill-feeling, and without charges or suggestions, either in public or in private. For my part, I take the view, and I should be very sorry if I took any other, that every member of this Dáil is actuated solely by a desire to do the best thing in the interests of Ireland, and the best thing in conformity with his or her adherence to the ideal of absolute Irish independence. I think it is perfectly clear that on no side of this question is there a monopoly of patriotism, a monopoly of common sense. Why we cannot here take different views without levelling charges at one another is beyond me, and is one of the things I regret, at least as much if not more, than the difference itself. To-day, while a member was speaking, I heard an interruption from a member of the House near him. The Deputy was speaking against the Treaty, and the member said: ‘The country will fix you, too’. Now I say what my constituents will do to me is not a matter of indifference to me, but it is not a consideration which can influence me in my action in this matter. For my part, I am voting against the Treaty. I can not, in conscience, do anything else. Now with regard to the result of that, and with regard to the people whom I represent, I have had for some time the honour to represent the people of Cork in more than one capacity. I represent them as the Lord Mayor of Cork, and as the Chairman of their County Council, and I represent them here. The people of Cork did not elect me to any of these positions because of any ability of mine, real or supposed, or because of any statesmanship of mine, or because of any political ability. They elected me simply and solely because I believe in absolute freedom for Ireland, and because my views on that question were well known and established. If the people of Cork have since changed their minds—indeed I maintain the people of Ireland have not changed their minds—but if they have decided, as is absolutely of course within their right, that a halt may be made on the way, and that rather than hold out for the full measure of Irish freedom, entailing as it probably would still further war and suffering, I have no means of gathering that fact. I have no means, I repeat, in the first instance, nor am I, no matter how my colleagues here may differ with me, going to accept it, even if it were so available the people of Cork have the right to decide that, and I here and now suggest, and I regret it has not been suggested earlier, that the people of the country ought to be given a deciding voice in this question. My position is probably, in this matter, the position of many other members of the Dáil. I have no desire to record a vote if the people who sent me here desire it to be otherwise; but if a vote be taken, and if no other means be provided the electorate, I certainly, as an individual, cannot cast my vote in any but one way. Then the electorate can only repudiate my action and recall me or replace me. I, naturally, will be perfectly content to abide by their decision, but that is my position. That is the position I state to you and to the members of the House, and through you to my constituents. With regard to my personal position, I regret the members of this House in favour of the Treaty have not confined themselves to supporting the Treaty. I regret an effort has been made pretty generally to establish the fact that this House as a whole had agreed to accept something less than freedom. Now, a Chinn

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    Chomhairle,, it is of no importance, perhaps, to members of the House, but it certainly is to me and to the people, or in my opinion to my constituents. I want to make it clear here publicly at this Dáil that my views today—and in this respect let me be absolutely fair to the members of this House who favour the Treaty—are the same as when returned to this House. I do not mean to suggest that the views of members who differ with me on this question are not the same. I personally believe that they are in the main, if not entirely. At all events my views are the same now as then, and nothing, a Chinn Chomhairle, transpired at any meeting of this Dáil which justifies any other assertion. It will be in the recollection of this House when, in the course of the correspondence which preceded these negotiations, the British Prime Minister had refused to accept the status which was laid down as necessary by our President for our plenipotentiaries. When the President decided or suggested a particular reply, before sending that reply a special meeting of the House was summoned, and each member was supplied with a copy of the proposed reply. Furthermore, the President himself read it, and directed the special attention of the House to the now famous paragraph 2. He further impressed on the House before they agreed that he should send that reply, that they should realise a possible and I think he said a probable result would be the breaking off of negotiations and the immediate renewal of war. There was not a suggestion that that reply should be altered by even a comma. The House was unanimous. After deciding that, there was a feeling of absolute relief in the House that there had been such a clear decision taken. When at a later meeting of the Dáil the plenipotentiaries were appointed, the one fact of all others which weighed with me was the possibility of a compromise. In connection with the possibility of compromise was the mention of one particular name. I mention it now without suggesting any reproach—far be it from me—that was the Minister of Finance.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    The Minister of Finance has not compromised.

    MR. D. O'CALLAGHAN:

    I do not mean a compromise in the sense of definitely deciding to change the stand from the Republic, but to accept some thing less as a means to it. I want to be absolutely fair to every man. I do not wish to suggest that any member here has in any way acted in such a manner as would deserve reproach! I trust I have said nothing that would in any way interfere with them. I certainly had no intention of saying any thing that would hurt the Minister of Finance [hear, hear]. I also make it clear that some of us in the Dáil have visualised an independent Ireland. I have learned to-day, I must say with considerable surprise, from one of my colleagues in the representation of Cork that he never did. I can only say—

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    That is not a correct interpretation of my speech.

    MR. D. O'CALLAGHAN:

    Very well, I withdraw it. For the rest, I regret very much the manner in which public boards and other institutions through the country have been divided up on this question. That there should be a division in this House is and would be in itself regrettable. There was a hope that it might have ended there and that division would not be forced through the country—but the country has been lined up for and against. The people of the country, even those who desire the Treaty ratified, are still keener about avoiding the return of days of internal divisions and party turmoil. I think, and still hope, that such a result, which would be so deplorable, may still be avoided, be the result what it may, for some time at least. I would furthermore suggest to those in favour of ratification that they should place it on record, saying that its acceptance by those who favour it is based on the desire of the people that it be accepted, and that their view also be placed on record in connection with it. That is, formally, that they desire the ratification of the Treaty, not as a case of absolute freedom, but that in view of the circumstances of the moment they desire its ratification rather than embark at the moment again in war to secure what remains, and what was withheld from them, of their liberty. I would ask those in


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    favour of ratification to place that on record because that is a fair representation of those of our people who do desire ratification. For the rest I will close by regretting the strained feelings which have been visible in this House, and by hoping that when the vote has been taken here—if a vote be taken, and if my suggestion for a plebiscite be not accepted—then at least the bitterness and strained feeling and animosity that has so suddenly arisen in a House where there was wont to be such friendship will end with the division [applause].

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I will make a suggestion now whereby we can avoid a division. Rightly or wrongly, Deputies or no Deputies, the Irish people have accepted this Treaty. Rightly or wrongly, I say——

    MR. SEAN T. O'KELLY:

    We do not know; how do you know? [Cries of They have, and counter-cries of No, no; they have not.]

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    The noes are very feeble.

    MR. D. CEANNT:

    They are not.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I will make a suggestion which will not take away from the principle of any person on your side——

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    Is all this in order?

    THE SPEAKER:

    It is not. It can only be done by permission of the House.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I do not care whether it is in order or not. [Cries of Chair].

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    I appeal to the Chair. Is it in order?

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I have tried to do things for Ireland for the last couple of years; I am trying to do this thing for Ireland now to avoid division [loud applause]. Are the Deputies going to listen to me or not? [Cries of Yes!].

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    Chair, Chair.

    THE SPEAKER:

    If there is any objection——

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    My suggestion is——

    MR. A. MACCABE:

    In the interests of unity he should be heard, I think.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    Quite so.

    THE SPEAKER:

    Members can only speak out of their turn by the courtesy of the Dáil.

    MR. J. N. DOLAN:

    I beg to move formally that permission be given to the Minister of Finance to speak.

    MR. D. O'CALLAGHAN:

    I beg to second that. As something I have said may be taken differently, I now wish to say that I have long since, before this House met, told the Minister of Finance privately, and I now say it publicly, that when he arrived at the point when he was satisfied to recommend the Treaty as the best thing in the interests of Ireland, I quite realised the magnificent moral courage that required from him. I told him that privately, I now say it publicly. I am not aware of having said anything which would have riled him, or injured or hurt any of his feelings.

    MR. J. J. WALSH:

    I would suggest that you ask the President to give permission to the Minister of Finance to speak.

    MR. SEAN T. O'KELLY:

    With all due respect, it is not the President can decide——

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    It is the Chair.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I have no objection, of course.

    THE SPEAKER:

    Permission is given, I take it.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Well, the suggestion is this: I have my own feelings about the Treaty. I have feelings about it perhaps very much keener than Deputies who are against it. Well, I believe that the Treaty was inevitable,


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    and this is the suggestion: that the men and women in the Dáil who are against the Treaty may continue to be against the Treaty, but they need not cause a division in the Dáil, and they need not cause it by falling in with this suggestion. We cannot be weaker if we accept this Treaty, provided some of you—and I give you all the credit of standing on principle and standing on nothing else against ourselves—as I have said we cannot be weaker, and you cannot have compromised yourselves by allowing this Treaty to go through; and I want to insist that, in my opinion, rightly or wrongly, the Irish people have endorsed this Treaty. Now, if the Treaty is rejected, what happens? The English are absolved from their bargain. You have all said strong things against the English, but they will be absolved from their bargain, and it is not a question of a Treaty or an alternative Treaty. There is neither a Treaty nor an alternative Treaty in the circumstances, and I say the opposition can redeem the country in that way, and they can take all the kudos. They may have all the honour and glory, and we can have all the shame and disgrace [applause].

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    What is the proposition?

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    That you allow the Treaty to go through and let the Provisional Government come into existence, and if necessary you can fight the Provisional Government on the Republican question afterwards.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    We will do that if you carry ratification, perhaps.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I thought you said ratification would be ultra vires.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    It is not ratification. There is a question whether approval is not in a sense ratification. It is unfortunate that the papers of the country are taking it up as ratification. It is a very strange thing we get a proposal like that here, when it is obvious if you were to approve of the Treaty that very line of policy could be followed, anyway; and when there is a suggestion to make a real peace, a peace that we could all stand over, that simply because certain credits were involved it should be turned down.

    MR. J. N. DOLAN:

    I rise to support the adoption of the motion by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and before going on to speak on the merits of the motion, I would like to say that I am sorry our President has put the construction that he did on the suggested way out—that way out that was suggested by the Minister of Finance.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    What way out?

    MR. J. N. DOLAN:

    He said that that course could be adopted when the Treaty was ratified; but remember we are here faced with the possibility that this Treaty may be defeated [hear, hear]. Then the point that the Minister of Finance makes becomes a reality. The country has accepted the Treaty. [Cries of No!]. The country has accepted the Treaty, I say. [Cries of hear, hear, and No!]. What position then would this Dáil occupy? Where is your constitutional usage or your democratic government? Where is your Republic? Where is government by the consent of the governed?

    PROFESSOR STOCKLEY:

    Wait for the next election.

    MR. J. N. DOLAN:

    I have listened to all the arguments that have been advanced against the ratification of this Treaty, and I must say they have all left me cold. I expected when the Lord Mayor of Cork rose to support the rejection of the Treaty that he, at least, would have some sensible alternative proposal. He had not. There is no alternative to this Treaty, as all the speakers on the other side have plainly pointed out, but chaos, and a gamble and a chance. There is a good deal of good—there is very much good in the Articles of Agreement that are embodied in this Treaty. I stand for this Treaty then, knowing all the circumstances that I do, knowing what led up to the negotiations when we sent our plenipotentiaries to London. I stand for it on its merits, and I say that in the knowledge of all these circumstances our plenipotentiaries have done


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    exceptionally well. It is to the substance of what they have brought back I allude; and I say when you examine this Treaty and visualise the possibilities in working it, there is a big substance in it, and there are great possibilities of developing it for the Irish nation. As some of the other speakers have said, our ideal shall be a Gaelic State. There is nothing in this Treaty to prevent us building up from within, and developing under our own constitutional usage to the advantage— and to the sole advantage—of the whole people of Ireland. It is said we will be dominated by English interference in the working out of our Constitution. It is said that certain things in this Treaty mean an advantage to England. But what I say and believe is that the men who frame the Constitution, and afterwards the men who work the Constitution, will say we shall interpret all these things in the Irish way to the benefit of the people of Ireland that we are serving here in this legislature. Now, it is said England is conferring on us concessions by this Treaty. I say by this Treaty England is abdicating the grip and the hold that she had on all our life here in Ireland, and she is withdrawing her armed forces from our midst. I see big possibilities in the carrying out of our Constitution, when our Irish soldiers are protecting that Constitution within even the strict limits of the Treaty. In fact—I am not speaking of law, I do not want to get up against Mr. Childers, because I am not a lawyer—but in fact we have in the body of this Treaty sovereign status. It remains for us to grasp the good that is in the Treaty. Have the courage to go in and use it. Have the courage to undertake the development of our country, and to make it possible for our country to advance still further to the goal that is now before her. There has been great play made about the words internal and external association. I see and realise the difference, but in the alternative proposals where external association is mentioned it is not stated by those who advance that argument that our delegates pleaded, worked, and worked energetically for external association, and it was turned down, as the isolated independent Republic was also turned down. Our plenipotentiaries had to face facts, and facing these facts—I say it deliberately—they interpreted as fairly as it was possible for ordinary human beings the instructions that we know they got, those of us who have read the Cabinet records. There was great play also made of the objectionable features of the Treaty. One of them that was mentioned to me—I have not heard any speaker refer to it at all—was what a terrible thing it was that we undertook to pay the pensions of the old R.I.C. Well, I think when the Minister of Finance is the Paymaster of the old R.I.C. they will be much safer in his hands than if they were paid by external association.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    Hear, hear.

    MR. J. N. DOLAN:

    Speaker after speaker on the other side has got up and stated they were elected here on a particular mandate, and that so far as they were concerned they had not changed, and that until the mandate was withdrawn from them they could not see their way to make what they call a compromise on the Irish Republic. It has been stated over and over again, and we all know that it is ridiculous for those men to say that there was no compromise, that there was no lowering of the mandate, or no lowering of our declared principles, so to say, when we agreed to send plenipotentiaries to London to negotiate some kind of association with the British Empire. One Deputy said his conscience was eased by some particular clause in a formula that was read to him. It is not of formulas I am speaking now. I wish to refer him to facts. Was not he a party, and was not every man in the Dáil a party to the fact of sending our plenipotentiaries to London to negotiate some kind of association with the British Empire? I do not look upon this Treaty as final and everlasting. I recognise that all countries are developing, and I look on this as only a stage in the development of Ireland. I believe in the saying that ‘no man has the right’, et cetera. Now let us, in the name of God, lay aside all this talk of formulas and face facts. Look at the facts and realise what facts will be staring us in the face if the Treaty is rejected. Realise the chaos in the country, and realise the possibilities


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    of the future. Let us then go in and grasp this opportunity; use it for all it is worth, and let no man here attempt to put a stop to the onward march of the nation. [Applause].

    MR. FRANK FAHY:

    Just a personal point I would like to introduce. If any words of mine could bear the interpretation that any of the plenipotentiaries were followers of the Welsh Wizard, I beg to withdraw those words, and say I never meant any such thing. I would be very sorry to say it of any member of the Dáil or of any of the plenipotentiaries. I accept fully the explanation of the Assistant Minister for Local Government that he was present at the meetings of the Cabinet by the express orders of the President. I am sorry for the statement made that he was there by act of grace.

    MR. M. P. COLIVET:

    I am going to be as short as I possibly can. If I wished I could spend about two hours raising points about this Treaty, but, in the first place, I would have you all bored to death, and, in the second place, there would be very little chance of changing any man's opinion [laughter]. The country seems to require that each of the Teachtaí should give some reasons why he is voting in the particular way he thinks on the subject. Another reason why I do not wish to go into debating points is this: there are, in the main, two sets of interpretations to be taken of this Treaty. One is what I might call the interpretation of the Irish point of view, and the other the Imperial point of view. In debating against the Treaty it would be my business to examine how far the imperialists could drag or interpret the points of that Treaty to their views, and to point that out as the effect of the Treaty. In so doing I would, in the possibility of this Treaty being passed, be piling up munitions for the common enemy, and if this Treaty does pass it would be to our interest and to our ambition to see, if there is any interpretation at all, the Irish interpretation wins [hear, hear]. Much has been said about constituents. As far as my constituents are concerned, what I do here is a question between me and them, and concerns no other member of the Dáil, and I am prepared to settle with them what I do here. I was selected on the principle of the Republic. The Republic was formally declared three years ago, and for three years has been functioning to such an extent that not only have soldiers and policemen, but men of our own race, as spies, met their deaths on the moral authority of that Government. I am now asked to throw out the Republican Government and accept the status of a Dominion within the British Empire. Many men can find it within themselves to reconcile such with their previous views and opinions whether they were expressed in oaths or in any other form whatsoever. That is their business. I am only concerned with mine, and my point of view is, I cannot do that thing. I have declared myself a Republican, and have been elected a Republican, and I will never willingly become a subject of the British Empire. I do not put forward my conscience or judgment as infallible. Probably the judgment and conscience of the plenipotentiaries and those voting with them may, in history, prove to be sound; but sound or unsound, I am only responsible for acting on my own, and I am not going to be swayed from that by any cloud raised by the national Press as regards such words as ‘government by the consent of the governed’. I thought we had left all these catch-cries behind. ‘Government by consent of the governed’. Self-determination, to my mind, means this: that the people will be asked to say what they want, with the firm understanding that what they say they want they will get.

    MR. SEAN MILROY:

    Give them a chance.

    MR. M. P. COLIVET:

    It is a question now of ‘Will you have this or not? If you do not, you will get a rap on the nut’. Is that self-determination? I do not regard it as such. If the people say they want the Treaty because the result will be war, that is not self-determination. Call a spade a spade, but that is not self-determination. In reading over the speeches of the last Session there was one reference in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the plenipotentiaries by Mr. Lloyd George in which he referred to the


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    pledge given in respect of the minority by the head of the Irish plenipotentiaries. ‘The framing of the Constitution will be in the hands of the Irish Government subject, of course, to the terms of the agreement, and to the pledges given in respect of the minority by the head of the Irish Delegation’. On reading that I could not remember of any explanation being given. Perhaps it was given. I would like that, at an early stage, the Chairman of the plenipotentiaries would inform us what these pledges are. They may not be of any importance or relevant to what we are discussing. I think we should know if there is anything else besides this Treaty which we would be bound by. Let us know what are the personal pledges he has given, and which, I presume, if the Treaty is passed, he will endeavour to point out to a future Government. [Applause].

    MR. LORCAN ROBBINS:

    I have listened to this debate ever since it started, and I never heard anything so unreal. There are three parties in the Dáil. There are the uncompromising Republicans, the Treaty party, and the Document No 2 party. The uncompromising Republicans can no more support President de Valera than us——

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Let them judge for themselves.

    MR. LORCAN ROBBINS:

    I went to the country during the Christmas recess and consulted with my constituents as to their views about the Treaty. I have got a unanimous vote from my Comhairle Cennntair. They asked me what President de Valera's alternative was, and I was tongue-tied—the President had me tongue-tied. I say it is a grave injustice to the country that I and men like me, trying to argue for the Treaty, are being tongue-tied. There was some opinion in the country that President de Valera had some mysterious card up his sleeve. Every member of the Dáil knows there is not.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    May I be permitted to give an explanation? I am ready at any time to move Document No. 2 as an amendment.

    MR. LORCAN ROBBINS:

    I am only pointing out——

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I am ready at any time to make that proposition publicly, and then you will see whether any uncompromising Republicans will support it or not. It is very important that there should be no misrepresentation.

    MR. LORCAN ROBBINS:

    I deliberately refrained from dealing with Document No. 2. I am giving my own opinions as a member of the Dáil. I am not mentioning any clauses.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    It is to suit the will of the other side.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    It is not to suit the will of the other side that Document No. 2 was kept from the public.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    You asked for a straight vote on the Treaty. I am ready at any time to make my proposals in public in substitution for your Treaty.

    MR. LORCAN ROBBINS:

    Our position in the country is absolutely artificial, because the country does not know what we are rejecting as an alternative, and I have found that out all along. We have had duress hurled at us. I say the real duress is that any part of Ireland is left out of the Irish nation. The people in my county care nothing about formulas or oaths; they do care a lot about Ulster being kept out. That is the biggest question. Anything that ever mattered to the people of Ireland was the unity of Ireland, and I was surprised to hear Deputies getting up and talking about Mr. Griffith and the Southern Unionists. We want the Southern Unionists and we want every Irishman [hear, hear]. I never believed more in Mr. Arthur Griffith and never believed him to be more of a statesman than when he sent his message to the Southern Unionists [hear, hear]. The Southern Unionists are Irishmen, and, as Parnell once said, we need every Irish man. These people have been in a false environment. They are not English anyway, and it is for us to win them if we can, and if any man gets up and tries to draw them nearer to Ireland he is a statesman and should not be criticised [hear, hear]. I resent the remarks made by the Minister of


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    Agriculture that the opinion behind this Treaty in the country is manufactured. The men I went to when I was down in Westmeath were the men who gave me loyal support ever since I went on the run, and I can also say they gave loyal support to Sinn Fein. They were men who suffered most—Volunteer Officers, and not Southern Unionists or Nationalists either. They are all Irishmen who believe in ultimate Irish freedom. They do not care a whole lot about formulas. When I went through Westmeath we never talked about theoretical Republics. We said we were out for getting Ireland into the hands of the Irish [hear, hear]. We stood where we did to get Ireland into the hands of the Irish. If the Mikado of Japan came over, it did not matter so long as Ireland belonged to the people of Ireland. The people of Westmeath do not care twopence about theoretical Republicanism, and neither do I. They had certain ideas in their minds, but they had one great idea; they want England out and Ireland in; that is their idea [applause]. And any man who comes along to them and talks about about a Workers' Republic, a theoretical Republic, or the nebulous Republic that we thought we had for the last two years, is talking foolishly. They do not understand. What the people of Ireland want is getting the soil of Ireland back to the hands of the people of Ireland, and they believe in getting the foreigners out and our own people in. Nothing else matters to them or ever did matter to them. That is what they always wanted. You would think by the talk of some people that we had a Republic here for 750 years. Red Hugh and Sarsfield were ex-officers of the British army. Tone was a member of the United Irishmen which was at one time, and was all along, a constitutional movement, and he became a Republican because he thought there was no other way out to freedom. Owen Roe was prepared to make a Treaty with the Puritans. The Irish Federation with Davis and Mitchell was prepared to accept the King, Lords and Commons of Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is only two years old, and it was a very weak infant all the time. I was working for it, and I know how it was able to function. Some people think that because they got up in January, 1919, Ireland was a Republic. For God's sake get back to facts. We were able to hold on by the skin of our teeth, and we are taking this Treaty because we could not hold out twelve months longer, and right well every man in the Dáil knows it. We have never been offered an alternative to the Treaty. We are not told how we can obtain freedom except by accepting the Treaty and making it better. Damn principles, but give us Irish freedom by any road we can get it. That is my view, and it is the view of the average man in the country. You would think we were a crowd of theologians instead of Irishmen [hear, hear]. How are we to win freedom except by taking the Treaty and making the best we can of it? The people of the country have their own plain views about Irish history, and I must say, with all respect to the Dáil, they have ten times the brains and wisdom of the Dáil [laughter and applause]. They know the realities of Irish Freedom. They know every time we rose in our history we were fighting an all-powerful enemy with inadequate weapons. They believe we are going to get an Irish Army and that we can make the best armed small army in Europe. It is not often I agree with the Countess, but she said a thing I quite agree with, and it was this: ‘England would not give this Treaty if she could avoid doing so’. Lord Salisbury laid down a principle: ‘What England gives in her weakness she takes back in her strength’. I myself have a dash of English blood in me. I quite agree England will take back this if she can. I will give my reasons why I vote for the Treaty. I do not care threepence about so-called oaths. I believe in ultimate Irish freedom. I am voting for the Treaty because we are getting an Irish army, and if we get an Irish army armed to the teeth, it is for England if she wants to take it back to take back the Treaty by force of arms; that is why I am voting for the Treaty. [Applause].

    MR. EAMONN DEE:

    I am against the ratification of the Treaty on several grounds, one of which is that it is a permanent barrier against the unity of Ireland. I am a Republican and I can not swear fealty or allegiance to the British King. I object to the clauses


    p.208

    in the Treaty pertaining to naval defence, submarine cables, wireless stations in time of peace or war. I also oppose the Treaty because of the partitioning of Ireland. As Deputy Sean MacEntee has said, it leaves a permanent barrier against the unity of Ireland. I object to the Treaty because of the liability for the British National Debt; but the main objection I have to ratification is because of the fact of swearing fealty to the English King. I believe and regard the Treaty as an ignoble document, unworthy and inconsistent with our national ideals. Now the Anglo-Irish Conference, as you are aware, sat in London. We understood that the two nations were going into that Conference with a certain independent status, and for the express purpose of a settlement of the age-long difference. This would have been achieved on voluntary and reciprocal lines, but what happened was this: the Irish Delegation signed the Treaty under a threat of force and under duress, a distinct violation, to my mind, of the Truce, and that destroyed the hope of a friendly acceptance of the Treaty by the people of Ireland. Much criticism has been made of the Irish Delegation both individually and collectively. I am not going to criticise them at all because I firmly believe they tried to do their best. But what I will do is criticise them in conjunction with the British Delegation—criticise the Anglo-Irish Conference as a body. I believe they missed the supreme opportunity of settling the Irish question for ever. The blame for failure rests on the shoulders of the English representatives in the Conference, for, instead of rising to the plane of a voluntary and reciprocal agreement on which our delegation stood, they succeeded in forcing our representatives down to Britain's customary materialistic level where the hopes and the wishes of both countries were wrecked in dishonour and disgrace. The next step was when the Treaty, signed in London, was placed before you for consideration. The pro-Treaty Deputies place eulogies upon it. They told you the reason they signed it was because of the terrors of immediate and terrible war. The Press took up the cry, and then we have heard the changes being rung on this threat of terrible and immediate war. That went on until our Speaker, Deputy Eoin MacNeill, went speaking from the body of the House and made reference to the fact that the appeal to force was a bad argument, and then I noticed both the Press, the country and the Deputies here dropped the use of this threat of war, and they refer to it now as that it will bring chaos upon the country. Deputy Etchingham gave us a very lucid description of the meaning of the word ‘fealty’, and I would suggest he would take up the meaning of the word ‘chaos’, and search in Webster's Dictionary for the various meanings of the word ‘chaos’. As regards the reference to substance and shadow, I think Deputy Miss MacSwiney dealt very clearly with that when she described one as expediency and the other as principle. The next thing in connection with the Treaty was where they described it as a bird in the hand, and praised it so highly, I thought it was a Bird of Paradise with lovely green, white and gold plumage. Then the anti-Treaty Deputies began to criticise it, and judging from what they said, they thought it was not a bird at all—at least not yet. It was only an egg, originating in the British Cabinet, and classified in accordance with the oath of fidelity as belonging to the order of the O.B.E. The Governor General will assist at the hatching-out process in the Irish Free State, and it might produce an ugly duckling, not a game chicken anyway. The Anglo-Irish Conference missed the greatest opportunity in modern history because they failed to give effect to the principles of self-determination which the great war so clearly emphasised as a world demand. A world conference is being held in Paris this month to uphold it. The political philosophy of Europe to-day is Machiavelian and Troitsekean, which means political cunning and bad faith combined with the unscrupulous use of force, and England in Europe to-day is its outstanding protagonist as far as Ireland is concerned. But England's day of reckoning is not distant. If she wishes friendly relations with Ireland it must be on voluntary and reciprocal lines. Britain will have to settle the Irish question according to the true wishes of the Irish nation, or the Irish question, as General Smuts has said, will settle the Empire. The Irish question

    p.209

    is to-day a world question, a great human question. For centuries we have been, and we are to-day, allies of all the oppressed peoples of the earth. Our fight for freedom and against oppression has given them heart and courage. We have no quarrel with any other nation but Britain, and we owe no ill-will to any other nation. All Ireland wants, as President de Valera stated, is to be allowed to live her own life in peace, with freedom to accomplish her own destiny. With our national freedom will come power to help to secure, in conjunction with other Christian countries, world peace and prosperity for all the suffering peoples on the earth. Ireland's glorious mission is to help to spiritualise and to civilise the world. When Ireland secures true freedom she will rise to the spiritual and intellectual heights which she attained in the 14th century, when she gave to Europe at her best, and adopted from other countries that which she found worth adopting. This Treaty will not bring peace. Fealty to Britain's King symbolises the shackles of slavery. The manhood and womanhood of Ireland repudiates it. Fling it back in the faces of those who falsely said they wished this age-long difference between the Irish and the British peoples ended. The one vital issue—the right of Ireland to full national freedom—they burked and declined to face though that would have solved the difficulty for all time. They were not great enough to trust themselves; they were not honest enough to trust Ireland; and now the only thing for British statesmen to do is to play the role of political hypocrites before the world and endeavour to still further fool Ireland and to fool the world. Reject this ignoble document and keep the Republican flag flying and refuse to fasten the chains of slavery and fealty on the proud spirit of the unconquered Irish nation. [Applause].

    ALDERMAN SEAN MACGARRY:

    I am going to endeavour to make a record for brevity. I am supporting the motion for ratification of the Treaty and I make no apology to anybody for doing so. I did not wait until I became a member of this Dáil to become a Republican. I have worked in the Republican movement for twenty years. I am a Republican to-day and I will be a Republican to-morrow. I vote for the Treaty as it stands. For that I do not need the opinion of a constitutional lawyer or a constitutional layman or a Webster's Dictionary or a Bible to tell me what it means. I put on it the interpretation of the ordinary plain man who means what he says. I am not looking for any other interpretation from Webster's Dictionary or anywhere else. I know what the Treaty means, and the man in the street knows what it means. I vote for it as it stands. We all know what it is. I do not see any reason for any argument, or making a pretence that it is less than what it is. I realise what its acceptance means, and I also realise what its rejection would mean, and it is because I realise these things that I am voting for it. If I did not realise them I would probably be voting against it. I do not want to make this an excuse for voting for it. Another thing is this: I feel as much committed to the ratification of the document as if my signature were on it and I will tell you why. I want to bring you back to the meeting of the Dáil when the Gairloch correspondence was read, and when President de Valera gave us an interpretation of what the oath meant to him, and Deputy Miss MacSwiney—she will correct me if I am wrong—I can recall the impression she made on me. I think, if I am not mistaken, she challenged the members of the Dáil that if there was anything in the nature of a compromise, or some thing less than a Republic contemplated, to say so, or else for ever more to hold their tongues.

    MISS M. MACSWINEY:

    I think I said that outside the Dáil. I was told the negotiations meant compromise and therefore, inside the Dáil, I begged to be informed if they meant compromise. I did not think so, but outside the Dáil I was told they did mean compromise; I was assured they did not.

    ALD. SEAN MACGARRY:

    I did not hear any assurance given. She challenged the members of the Dáil to speak then or for ever hold their tongues. The members did not speak then, but God knows they made up for it since [laughter and applause]. If talking would have got us a Republic


    p.210

    we would have it last week [laughter]. What did we think we were sending to Downing Street for? Did any of us think we were going to get an Irish Republic in Downing Street?

    MISS M. MACSWINEY:

    Of course you could.

    ALD. SEAN MACGARRY:

    A Downing Street made Republic? [Laughter].

    MISS M. MACSWINEY:

    No, a Downing Street withdrawal from Ireland.

    ALD. SEAN MACGARRY:

    Downing Street are withdrawing from Ireland.

    MISS M. MACSWINEY:

    No, they are not.

    ALD. SEAN MACGARRY:

    Several Deputies protested very strongly and very loudly that they were standing on the bedrock of the Irish Republic. A week before they were standing on the slippery slopes—to borrow a phrase of the Minister of Finance—the slippery slopes of Document No. 2. Document No. 2 was pulled from under their feet and landed them with what must have been an awful jerk on the bedrock of the Irish Republic. They will be standing on that until the proper time—I mean the time when Document No. 2, or perhaps Document No. 3 will be given to us.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    You can have it immediately if you like—whatever your side agrees.

    ALD. SEAN MACGARRY:

    There has been theorising in some of the speeches made here by Deputies about Government by the consent of the governed—self-determination. You can have government in Ireland to-day by consent of the governed with this Treaty. You can have self-extermination without it; but you cannot have war without the consent of the Irish people. And the only reason you carried on war for the last two years was because you had the consent of the people. Several other Deputies talk about going back to war. I put it to them now they believe they are not going back to war. They are gambling, they know they are gambling, and they think they are gambling on a certainty. I have done a little bit of gambling myself—not very much—but I was never on a certainty yet that did not let me down [laughter and applause]. They are quite right, they are not going back to war; they are going back to destruction [hear, hear]. I think it was the President quoted the famous dictum of Parnell, that no man can set bounds to the march of a nation. Parnell said a lot of wise things. Parnell never said anything wiser than that. No man, or body of men, can set bounds, or should attempt it. There were two factors in Ireland within the last hundred years that set bounds to the march of the Irish nation—the British Army and British control of every nerve of our national life, education, finance, customs and excise. They set bounds to the nation's progress. Now it is the people who vote against the Treaty are setting bounds to the march of the nation's progress. I do not like talking about this question of oaths, because you are tempted to say things which you might be sorry for. But I would like to ask the Minister of Defence whether he has had, or has still in the l.R.A., people who have already sworn allegiance to the King, as soldiers of the British Army? They have done good work, and we did not ask them when they were joining up: ‘What about the other oath?’

    MR. LORCAN ROBBINS:

    And some of them are in their graves.

    ALD. SEAN MACGARRY:

    I am sorry to have to refer to the dead. Several Deputies have come to me and told me I was letting down the dead I worked with for very many years. One said: ‘You worked with so-and-so for many heart-breaking years when to be called a Republican was to be called a fool’. I say no man of all the dead who died for Ireland was ever in this position. Would to God the men I worked with had to face this proposition and I believe they would be with us to-day [hear, hear]. The Deputy for Kildare, the Minister of Agriculture, quoted today a passage from the work of James Connolly. I am sorry Deputy Childers is not here because I wanted to ask him why he did not insist on the whole document


    p.211

    being read. The Minister of Agriculture read a passage from Labour in Ireland——

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    I did not read anything from Labour in Ireland.

    ALD. SEAN MACGARRY:

    Well, I beg his pardon. He certainly did say that James Connolly said: ‘In this, as in the political and social world generally, the thing that matters most is not so much the extent of the march, but the direction in which we are marching’.

    MR. ART O'CONNOR:

    Correct.

    ALD. SEAN MACGARRY:

    These are words of James Connolly, the man who, twenty years ago, taught me to be a Republican. He probably taught Republicanism from a different angle,but he was always a Republican. But the Minister of Agriculture did not tell us that, when Connolly wrote that, he was enthusing about the Local Government Act of 1898. Is the Local Government Act of 1898 better or worse than this is now? I am going to conclude. I think it was Charles Lamb told us about the Chinaman who burned his house to roast a pig. He at least had something to say for himself. After all it was his own house, and he got roast pig [applause]. Then again I heard about Samson. The Deputy from Wicklow might tell us more about that [laughter]. It was Samson who pulled down the pillars of the Temple. That was his funeral. I do not want to attend the funeral of the Irish nation. [Applause].

    The House adjourned until 11 o'clock on Wednesday morning.


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    DÁIL EIREANN PUBLIC SESSION Wednesday, January 4th, 1922

    THE SPEAKER (DR. EOIN MACNEILL) took the Chair at 11.15 a. m.

    MR. FRANK FAHY:

    When speaking yesterday I made use of the words ‘the supporters of the Welsh Wizard’. I admit that these words may bear the interpretation put upon them by the chairman of the plenipotentiaries. I did not see it at the time. What I meant by that reference was the supporters of the English Prime Minister in the English Press. I did not for a moment mean to suggest that there were any supporters or followers of the Welsh Wizard in this assembly, because if anyone outside this assembly or inside it suggested such I would deal with them as sternly as is in my power.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    I am quite satisfied that Mr. Fahy did not intend to convey the impression that his words gave at the time.

    MR. DONAL BUCKLEY (KILDARE):

    A Chinn Chomhairle agus a lucht na Dála, I will begin by asking what was the mandate we, the members of the Dáil, got from our constituents in the last election ? I know the mandate I got anyhow was to look for freedom, to strive for freedom for the country. When the plenipotentiaries left Ireland for the last time I presume they had in their possession a document in which was stated the minimum demand Ireland was to make on England, and coming up to the last moment on the eve of the morning on which that document was signed there was a threat held over the heads of these delegates. If there was a threat, the object of it must have been to minimise that demand that they had in their possession—that they were about to make. It is admitted that the threat was made. Therefore I conclude that the minimum demand which they had in their possession when they left Ireland must have been minimised before these Articles of Agreement were signed. Therefore they must have been signed for something less than freedom for Ireland to my mind. How can it be said that we have freedom if we picture to ourselves John Bull standing four square in this country of ours, with a crúb of his firmly fastened in each of our principal ports? We are told that in each of these ports there will be what is called a ‘care and maintenance party’—a very nice mild term. What does it really mean—this care and maintenance party? It means a British Garrison in each of these ports with the Union Jack—the symbol of oppression and treachery and slavery in this country, and all over the world, in Ireland especially—that this symbol of slavery will float over each of these strongholds, blockhouses of John Bull. Yet we are told we are getting freedom in these Articles of Agreement. I recall to mind one incident that happened during the last election whilst I was addressing a meeting in my constituency. A few of the khaki-clad warriors had fastened a Union Jack to a lamp post right beside the platform from which I was to address the meeting, and I remember stating distinctly to that assembly that I would not rest satisfied until every vestige of that rag was cleared out of the country. The assembly agreed with me, and before the words were scarcely out of my mouth a rush was made by half-a-dozen boys from the crowd and although the flag was defended by seven or eight of the warriors that flag was torn down. How can it


    p.214

    be said that we are going to have freedom with this document when the flag which symbolises slavery continues to float all over the country, here, there and everywhere, not alone in these four ports, but wherever there is a signal station or any other sort of station belonging to the British? The people of Ireland at this juncture have been stampeded by the rotten Press of Ireland. Lloyd George is rubbing the palms of his hands and laughing, I doubt not, at the spectacle which is anything but creditable to Ireland that has made such a fight up to this. To my mind the country wants a tonic of some sort to set it thinking. The country is not thinking. It has been stampeded and it now seeks to stampede its representatives. Well there is one representative anyway that won't be stampeded. I stand to-day for the same object for which I stood on the platform through out my constituency and for the same object for which my constituents elected me and I mean to continue so. I shall vote against the Treaty. [Applause].

    MR. A. MACCABE (SLIGO):

    A Chinn Chomhairle agus a lucht na Dála, tá níos mó ná beagáinín le rá agamsa ar an gceist seo, agus caithfe me labhairt as Bearla. In saying that I have decided to vote for this Treaty I think I should personally express my regret at finding myself in opposition to many of the leaders who piloted the national cause through the storms of the last five or six years. It is certainly no pleasure to us on this side of the House to stand up and declare ourselves in opposition to one especially who, in the eyes of the great majority of our countrymen, symbolises a national ideal. But in this cause no feeling of personal admiration, of personal animus either, can be allowed to influence our judgment or prevent us doing our duty to the people that sent us here. My duty at the moment I consider to be to examine the Treaty on its merits, and to decide, quite irrespective of the circumstances attending its signature, whether it was a settlement the country could honourably and profitably accept. I have come to the conclusion that it is, and I am going to vote for it. My action in doing so is governed by two considerations. The first is that the Treaty represents goods delivered and not promised to us—goods that we all know were never offered or, indeed, seriously asked for before. The second is that, as a matter of expediency, it is better to take these than run the risk of war or chaos and all that it means to our people and the prosperity of the country. Now, before going on to discuss the value of the goods delivered, and the advisability or otherwise of accepting them, which are really the only questions that matter—or at least, should matter—I should like to explain my position regarding the Republic. It is this: I regard the oath as a binding obligation on me to use every endeavour to secure the realisation of the ideal. It never, in my mind, barred any particular methods of achieving it, nor did it specifically mention the methods advocated by the opposition. To me, recognition of Irish nationality and the securing of practically complete control of our Army and natural resources which this Treaty brings us, are things that no Republican in his sober moments could or should refuse to accept. It will be said, of course, that in voting for the Treaty we are abandoning our principles, that we are breaking our oath, that we are betraying the Republic, that we, in fact, are guilty of all the sins in the calendar. For my part I don't mind what anybody says or thinks about me as long as I do my duty to the country, and my conscience is clear. But the opponents of this Treaty should remember that there are other principles and ideals involved in the issue besides Republicanism. There is, for instance, the ideal of a peaceful and happy Ireland, or that no less dearly cherished one of a united Ireland. There is government by the consent of the governed on which we took our stand throughout this war. Then what about the principles of Christianity? Are they worth any consideration? After the sermon addressed to the sinners on this side of the House by my old and, I must say, sincere friend, Deputy Etchingham, I take it; that his disciples, including his no less ardent acolytes, are familiar with the Commandments on which the principles of their religion are based.

    MR. ETCHINGHAM:

    Arran Islands.

    MR. MACCABE:

    I surrender that to the opposition for external association


    p.215

    in connection with the Free State. How many of them, I wonder, could stand up in this House and say they have never violated any of the Commandments? This is not a Webster, nor a text-book of international law, but it is the law the opposition is appealing to against this Treaty. The book has no high-sounding title. At school we used to call it the "Halfpenny Catechism." I'll read out the Ten Commandments, as by law established, as Moses would have added were he a constitutional lawyer, to Teachtaí opposed to the Treaty, and any of them who have never violated the principles for which they stand are at liberty to make themselves seen and heard. I see none of you have stood up to protest your innocence. It is as I thought: no one on the opposition side denies having offended against fundamental principles of the law my friend, Deputy Sean Etchingham, would have us, on this side, observe to the letter. I'm not saying, mind, that it should not be the law, but I maintain that, in their attitude to the Treaty, if they take the Ten Commandments as the law, they are no less principled than we are. If they succeed in having the Treaty rejected, they set aside every religious and political principle I know of, for they propose to accept as final a settlement that will not bring us a Republic; they postpone for generations, perhaps, the realisation of the ideal of a united Ireland, and they gamble recklessly on the lives and welfare of four and a half million people. As to the oath, all I can say is that it is unpalatable to me—it is, I believe, to us all. Nor do I like the idea of being associated internally or externally with a man eater; but I am prepared to take the Treaty for what it is worth, and as a stepping stone to getting more. Now I candidly do not believe that any of us are saints, not even my friend who gave the sermon a few days ago. This world is no place for saints, and the Church wisely refrains from canonising anybody whilst he or she is in this life. If the Commandments were the principles upon which international relations were grounded the attitude of the opposition to this Treaty would be the correct one, even though it might not be the honest one. But the trouble is that nations like individuals have different sets of principles, and interpret or disregard them just as it suits their circumstances. The British for instance, murder Indians on principle, and the great audience outside says "Amen." The Kaiser and his opponents sent armies to the shambles for a principle. East Ulster refuses, at least for the time being, to come into Ireland on principle. We could make a very plausible case for decimating the population of the corner counties on principle but our Christianity and the good sense of the President and his Cabinet forbid it. On principle, too, Miss MacSwiney would have the whole population of Ireland wiped out of existence, man, woman, and child.

    MISS M. MACSWINEY:

    I beg your pardon. I never said anything of the kind. It is only on the principle of which I spoke that you can avoid wiping them out of existence.

    MR. MACCABE:

    She would not leave us even a grasshopper [Laughter]. That is the inference I drew from her speech, and I think most of the House drew the same inference from her speech.

    MISS M. MACSWINEY:

    Then I say if that is so the intelligence as well as the principle is on our side of the House [Laughter and applause].

    MR. MACCABE:

    Thanks. [Renewed Laughter]. We see here the abyss into which a blind and reckless pursuit of one principle leads and the danger to any nation of having people of such mentality in charge of its destinies. It may be that Miss MacSwiney's mind and outlook are distorted by the terrible experiences she has passed through. If so there is some excuse for——

    MISS M. MACSWINEY:

    Again I protest against my name being used in that connection. I did not, and will not, use it myself in that connection. I did not bring anything of my personal experiences into my public speech here. I protest and ask the protection of the Dáil against any member using my name in such a connection [to Mr. MacCabe] and besides I assure you that I am quite sane on the point.

    MR. MACCABE:

    Am I in order, a Chinn Chomhairle?


    p.216

    MISS M. MACSWINEY:

    Not in using my name.

    MR. MACCABE:

    I just used the subject matter of your speech.

    MISS M. MACSWINEY:

    Leave out my experiences.

    MR. MACCABE:

    From the inference I drew from the speech I can regard it as her suggestion that Ireland should fight to a finish even though half of the population were wiped out. That is nothing less than a criminal incitement to national suicide, whatever you (Miss MacSwiney) may think of it. I think it is quite evident to anyone who studies history that principle plays a very small part in international politics. And before we embark on a crusade to have the Ten Commandments written into international law I'd suggest that we try to have some of the Teachtaí whom we have heard speak against the Treaty converted to Christianity. The awkward fact at the moment is, that despite anything we can do or say in Dáil Eireann, the politics of the world are being, and will continue to be, dictated by expediency. I am voting for the Treaty for reasons of expediency and I consider, even though I were violating a principle, that it is my bounden duty to do so. Most of us are new to politics, and we do not realise the responsibilities of the office we hold. If we did the interests of the country and the lives of our people would come first in our consideration, and our principles and religious scruples long afterwards. There is another aspect of the campaign that is being carried on against this Treaty which I would like to refer to, while on this point of principle. It is the exploitation of the dead; and for the sake of their memory as well as in the interests of truth I beg to protest against it. I knew a number of these splendid men in their lifetime, amongst them Tom Clarke, the first President-elect of the Irish Republic. I agree with what Mrs. Clarke has said—that be would have voted against it. But he could not be expected to do otherwise considering that he worked almost alone for a lifetime to keep the flame burning. I also knew Terence MacSwiney very intimately, and I knew him as a sound Republican. I don't believe that he, or any of his comrades, would have died for Document No. 2, if it came to a choice between itself and the Treaty, nor, what is more, do I believe that he would sacrifice the whole population of Ireland on the altar of his principles. Now, nobody objects to people voting against the Treaty because they have a personal grievance against England, but I do suggest that it is unfair asking other people to vote for their grievance, for this is what it really amounts to. Is it not enough to have eight, nine or ten votes as the case may be, but not sufficient anyhow to defeat the Treaty, cast on this personal issue? Where does the country come in? I would remind all these Teachtaí who have such grievances that they were not sent here to avenge the wrongs committed in the war, but to secure an honourable peace, and I hold that this is an honourable peace, for when the honours are counted up they are all on our side. It is England that has surrendered, we have surrendered nothing. I would, therefore, appeal to them to rise above their personal prejudices and think of themselves, not as the sisters, or wives, or mothers, or brothers of dead patriots, but as representatives of the people, with the fate of a country in their hands. The earth belongs to those who are on it, and not to those who are under it, and to the living and not the dead we owe our votes. I would ask them also before they launch the country again into war, or worse, to think of the millions of wives and mothers and sisters who are waiting expectantly for peace, and to picture the disappointment and despair which the news of the rejection of the Treaty will bring into their homes.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    Don't speak for the women.

    MR. MACCABE:

    I know what the women want just as well as the interrupter.

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    You are an old woman, I know.

    MR. MACCABE:

    Thanks very much. I know just as well, if not better, than Deputy Mary MacSwiney what the people want in their heads and hearts, and I know it is not war. I wonder is


    p.217

    there one woman in this assembly who could rise to the great opportunity, one woman who would sink her feelings, sink her cravings for vengeance, sink her principles even, and, sacrificing her personality as others sacrificed their lives, vote for the good of her country. Such an act of self-elimination would, in my opinion, appeal to the whole world as an act worthy of a country woman of Terence MacSwiney. I won't say any more on the question of principles or on the question of Christianity. Perhaps I have said enough; perhaps I have said too much. I did not mean to grate on anyone's sensibility or insult anyone. I just spoke in the way I thought necessary in a crisis like this when the issues should be placed straight before the country and no personalities dragged into it [hear, hear]. Now coming to the Treaty I'd like to say at the outset that I'm not enamoured of it. I don't like the oath, I don't like the enemy in our ports, and I don't like the Governor-General in substance or in shadow. But Document No. 2 is open to all these objections for——

    MADAME MARKIEVICZ:

    No, it is not.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I have several times said I will bring that document forward, and bring it as an amendment. Unless it is here I do not think it fair to be referring to it.

    MR. MACCABE:

    It is most unfair to us and the country to suppress it.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I am ready at any time to bring it forward if the other side agree to I bringing it forward as an amendment.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    Early in the proceedings the other side asked President De Valera to publish it at the beginning of the Session and he refused.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Do you object to my bringing it here as an amendment and publishing it then?

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Are we going to conduct a debate or are we going to have an old woman's wrangle?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    There is no question of wrangling. This is an important matter. A document has been referred to piecemeal and an attempt made to prejudice it. I am ready to bring forward the document as an amendment to the Treaty. There is nothing keeping it from this assembly or the nation except the fact that the other side want a direct vote on the Treaty. Now I am ready at any time to move it as an amendment.

    MR. MACCABE:

    I do not object to Document No. 2 but I object to No. 8, certainly, which is being prepared for us.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    There is no document being prepared and I must be protected from these references, or else allowed to bring forward the document. I must insist on a vote being taken here in this assembly whether this document can be brought forward as an amendment or not.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    I have done my best in a few instances to try and have the debate conducted without interruption, and I do think that speakers when making references ought to have the protection of you, Sir. If we are to discuss Document No. 2 and not the Treaty, let us discuss Document No. 2, and any speaker on our side and any speaker on the other side is entitled to make due reference to the things that have been said, and things that are possibilities.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I formally give notice that I am going to move to-morrow, and put it to a vote in this House, that this document be brought forward as an amendment to the Treaty.

    MR. A. GRIFFITH:

    I suggest that President de Valera should hand that document to the Press as we asked him a fortnight ago.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I am giving notice insisting on my rights as a member to put forward this as an amendment. I will do it to-morrow.

    ALD. COSGRAVE:

    A member is entitled to speak once. I understand


    p.218

    the President has already spoken once, and the President did not introduce any document, nor did he move an amendment although the Minister for Home Affairs, who spoke afterwards, said he seconded the President's amendment.

    MR. A. STACK:

    I beg your pardon.

    ALD. COSGRAVE:

    The official records will contain all that you said.

    MR. A. STACK:

    The official records will show your inaccuracy.

    ALD. COSGRAVE:

    A member having spoken once is not entitled to speak a second time—if my interpretation of the Standing Orders is correct he is not entitled to speak a second time. Consequently it is not open to the President to move an amendment. I put that point of order to you.

    THE SPEAKER:

    That point only arises in the case of the President actually moving the amendment.

    MR. MACCABE:

    Am I in order to——

    THE SPEAKER:

    I thought you gave way to the interruptions. If you held your ground you would not be interrupted. You can continue. I will allow no further interruptions.

    MR. MACCABE:

    As regards the Treaty in general I would ask consideration for it on four main grounds: first, that it enables us to set to work at once building up the Gaelic State with a distinctive language, culture, and civilisation. This will be, in itself, the best bulwark we can have against that peaceful social penetration, which is supposed to follow in the train of a Governor General equally with a Republican upper ten. For my part I don't see how the Teachtaí opposed to the Treaty, if they have as they say such faith in the spirit of the Irish people, can maintain that their nationality or their morals will be undermined by the presence of a Governor-General or a Viceroy. The important thing is that the real governors of Ireland, the police, the military and the auxiliaries, sixty or seventy thousand of them all told, leave us. For my part I look on this Governor-General as a very useful bogey man. He will be to Irish Nationalism and Irish Republicanism what the Pope is to Orangeism in Belfast [Laughter], and until we have achieved complete independence I'd regard it as a disaster to lose this tangible stimulus to work for it. We all know what nationality did for the development of the language and for native culture, and we can imagine what a driving force it would lose were there anything in the nature of a settlement that the nation would be deceived into believing represented the attainment of the ideal. A second ground on which I would recommend the Treaty is that it is an official recognition of our status as a distinctive nation—the first ever we got since Confederate days, and then it was only as an appanage of the English Crown. Clause 1 says in plain language that we have the same status in the British Commonwealth of Nations that the Dominions have. I think, even apart from Mr. Lloyd George's letter, we can say that, as a Dominion, we are entitled to enter the League of Nations. If not, I'm sure in their own interests the British Dominions will have something to say about it. Now, Mr. Childers says that certain facts, such as distance and inherent strength affect, or are likely to affect, the status of the Irish Free State. Of course it is evident that the argument of distance used against this Treaty is a two-edged weapon and cuts both ways. I surrender that to the opposition for an experiment in external association with the Irish Free State. How we are going to get an Irish Republic set up further away from England's door than an Irish Free State I do not know; but I know this, that distance did not save the South African Republics, even though one of them was in external association with the Empire, when England chose to attack them. As to strength, I think this Treaty makes it plain that our powers of self defence will be such that no enemy, however long-ranged his guns, will be in a hurry to return here once our army is organised, and I think it will be conceded on all sides that a national army is in itself a guarantee that our status will be at all times respected. And as far as the defence of our coasts is concerned I see nothing in the Treaty which will prevent us making our shores as impregnable against enemy attacks as


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    were those of Suvla Bay against the fleets of the world. And the experiences of the war go to prove that assaults from the sea on well organised land defences are neither profitable nor effective. But what puzzles me in regard to this question of defence is how the opposition can say that we will be at the mercy of the enemy when we have established government and a thoroughly equipped army, in view of the fact that we were able to paralyse British Government in Ireland for a number of years past without either. However, there are other guarantees we can rely on apart from the army; the guarantees implied in the membership of the British Commonwealth and the League of Nations. The British Dominions, for their own sakes, will see that our status is respected, but we have a higher and more impartial, if less interested, community to appeal to if we think our rights are infringed, in the League of the Free Nations. Membership of this means admittance to the family of nations, in other words, the international recognition we sought so vainly in the early days of the Republican movement. Was it not on this issue admission to the Peace Conference or, in other words, admission to the comity of nations, what is known as the Plunkett election was fought in North Roscommon? To-day a door is opening for us, but because it is not the hall door we are too proud to enter. We must go in tall hats, with brass dog chains across our vests, and our hands in our trousers pockets, just to impress the hall-porter. It reminds me of an incident that occurred in my part of the country during the Versailles Conference, when the question everyone was asking was would de Valera be admitted to the Peace Conference. There, as elsewhere in Ireland, the people take a very lively interest in public affairs, and every night at the fireside, as most of us know by this, they discuss the national question in all its moods and tenses. One very stormy night after the East Clare election—when excitement was at its height—the ramblers in a certain house decided to have a peace conference of their own to debate the political situation. After the preliminaries were settled the question arose as to who should play de Valera. It was, as I stated already, a wet, stormy night, and when it was mentioned that de Valera would have to remain outside the door knocking until he was admitted, no one was very anxious to play the role. As no volunteer was forthcoming the assembly decided unanimously to give it to a member who happened to be very careful of his health and not very popular. He was therefore ordered out and, when the door was locked, told to keep knocking until the Peace Conference had decided whether he should be admitted or not. Needless to say, once the Conference started its deliberations it was not in a very big hurry coming to a decision regarding de Valera's admittance. For several hours he was left there at the mercy of the wind and rain, breaking his knuckles on the door that would not open. At last, disgusted at the treatment meted out to him by the Peace Conference, and realising the joke that had been played on him, he delivered a few resounding on the door and left. He never thought of the back door which would have admitted him and saved him from the dangerous attack of pneumonia which he contracted as a result of his night's exposure to the storm. Now this story, I think, has a particular application to the issue we are discussing at the moment. We, in this assembly, have the option of admitting Ireland to the comity of nations by a side door, or a back door if you like, or letting her play de Valera at the hall door for God knows how long—poor old Ireland in her threadbare shawl standing there in the rain and storm for another long night with no certainty, even at the end of that night, of getting in. We on this side of the House at least, will not be a party to the joke, and I hope those opposed to the Treaty will consider before the vote whether Ireland is a fit subject at the moment for either a gamble or a joke. The third ground on which I would consider this Treaty worthy of support is that it offers a solution of the Ulster difficulty which places us well on the road to a united Ireland. I know there are members in this House who would advocate the coercion of the Ulster minority, and other members who would not even stop at that. Again I say that the land of Ulster belongs to those who are on it and not under it, and I take this opportunity of complimenting our President

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    on the statesmanlike solution of the difficulty which appears in the Treaty. Minorities have been forcibly brought inside the boundaries of a number of nations liberated in the recent war, with results that should give us to pause before we launch on a coercion campaign against the corner counties. The recent history of some of these nations is well worth studying, and I'd specially commend it to those Teachtaí who rail at the plenipotentiaries and the Cabinet for not securing a united Ireland right off. Of course they do not realise that this Treaty gives us just as much control over the destinies of East Ulster as the British Parliament has and, what is still more important, an excellent chance of getting complete control. The economic argument is all in our favour—the railways, the markets, the customs—and this will always continue to be the decisive argument in favour of unification. For my part I'd prefer to see East Ulster stand out at first, so that our minorities may get a chance of having justice done to them in the making of boundaries and for the additional reason that I would not care to see a province of the size of North Ireland as it stands come into the Irish Free State. The establishment of the Irish Free State is, to my mind, not only a big step towards the ideal of an independent Ireland, but also a big step towards the ideal of a united Ireland, for were we to set up a Republic here in Southern Ireland I fear the unity which we all aspire to would hardly come in this generation. On the other hand, I look forward with confidence to the day when the demand for a Republic will come from a united Ireland, and that day we can say with certainty England will not and dare not refuse it. The fourth ground on which I consider the Treaty worthy of support is that it gives us all the essentials of economic freedom. One item of vital importance to Ireland has been almost overlooked in the discussion of the Treaty and that is the question of trade and commerce. The delegates have succeeded in bringing back full and complete fiscal freedom, thereby winning the right for us to protect our industries against English or any other foreign goods, to trade freely with the outside world, and to make commercial treaties with whom we may. This power has always been regarded in Ireland as the acid test of freedom, and we can only appreciate its importance properly when we remember that it was on this principle the Volunteers of '82 took their historic stand for independence. The picture of the Volunteers in College Green with the motto "Free Trade or else" suspended from the muzzles of their guns is eloquent of the importance the Irish nation has always attached to the right which our delegates have now once and for all established by the Treaty. With this control I believe we will be able to make Ireland economically strong enough to resist any aggression or threat of aggression from without; and this economic strength is the first thing we should aim at for it means a bigger and more vigorous population, a self-contained country and, if you like to put it so, much greater fighting potential. If we got a Republic of the Cuban type, for instance, we would in return have to surrender some of our freedom on such vital matters as trade and defence, for it too would have to be in the nature of a compromise and, putting the Central American brand of freedom side by side with ours, I think ninety-nine men out of every hundred, if it were a matter of choice, would any day vote for ours. I'm not going to say war with England is inevitable if the Treaty should be rejected. I think, in fact, there has been too much exploitation of this bogey by people on the side of ratification. Lloyd George would scarcely be such a fool as to declare war on us over the wording of an oath. He might even be persuaded to go further and give us a Republic of the Central American variety with all the forms of independence and none of the substance. Any of these settlements would, of course, entail a compromise of some kind on our part. What would we have to compromise? Nothing that I see except some of the substance we have got in this Treaty—control of our customs, control of our army, and probably another port or two. Where would the independence that we say we are working for come in then? Where is it in Cuba, for instance—the beau-ideal of some prominent members of the opposition?

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    Another misrepresentation.


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    MR. M. COLLINS:

    Another interruption.

    PRESIDENT DE VALERA:

    I am entitled to interrupt when he makes a misrepresentation.

    MR. MACCABE:

    This is some of the substance of freedom that Cuba had to surrender for her so-called independence:—No Treaty with foreign power, etc.; no debts that current revenue will not meet; intervention in certain circumstances; Naval and coaling stations; Reciprocal Treaty; Government by a Commission from 1906 to 1909. Now I put it to any sensible man or woman whether it is not better to take the essentials of freedom first which we are undoubtedly getting in the Treaty and look for the symbols afterwards, or plunge the country into chaos on the chance of getting this shadowy independence, but with the dead certainty of creating Mexican conditions in the country. Then there are other things to consider which no one here has thought it worth while mentioning although, to my mind, they are the real kernel of the situation. We are in a very backward condition, socially and economically speaking. We have, in fact, as far as the other countries of Europe are concerned, been practically standing still for nine or ten years; the land question is still us far as ever from settlement; a number of our industries are leading a precarious existence: labour is restless and aggressive. Do the Deputies opposed to this settlement think that all the elements interested in these vital questions will stand passively impracticable at the moment? Do they for an ideal that to most of them seems by and let this fight go on indefinitely think the farmers, the backbone of national Ireland, broken and disheartened by the crash in prices, will stand idly by while we run the country to ruin? For this is what rejection really means—not war. War against England would probably unite the army if it would not unite the country, but our enemies are too wily to force war on us. It is not war we are faced with but disunion, internal strife, chaos, and a retreat, perhaps, to the position we held when this war began. Finally there is this aspect of the question to be considered: the moral effect of a prolonged state of war on the population. We have already seen the effect it has had on such countries as Germany and Russia and, to a lesser extent, on England—how it has put passions of every kind in the saddle. Murder, robbery, arson, every brute instinct asserts itself when the doctrine of force alone is being preached abroad. Life will become cheap. Men will settle their quarrels with Webleys instead of their fists. The striker will abandon the peaceful method of picketing for the bomb and the torch. The landless workers will have recourse to more deadly weapons than hazel sticks in attacking the ranches. I'm not painting the picture any blacker than it is likely to be if this fight is to be carried on to a finish or until Document No. 2 is signed, sealed and delivered. For my part I stand by the goods that have been already delivered. In case this House does not stand by them I'd make one request to the succession Cabinet before sitting down. It is this: Give us Dominion Home Rule, give us Repeal of the Union. Give us anything that will stamp us as white men and women, but for Heaven's sake don't give us a Central American Republic.

    MRS. MARGARET PEARSE:

    I rise to support the motion of our President for the rejection of this Treaty. My reasons for doing so are various, but my first reason for doing so I would like to explain here to-day is on my sons' account. It has been said here on several occasions that Pádraig Pearse would have accepted this Treaty. I deny it. As his mother I deny it, and on his account I will not accept it. Neither would his brother Willie accept it, because his brother was part and parcel of him. I am proud to say to-day that Pádraig Pearse was a follower and a disciple, and a true disciple, of Tom Clarke's. Therefore he could not accept this Treaty. I also wish to say another reason why I could not accept it is the reason of fear. As I explained here at the private meeting, that from 1916—I now wish to go over this again in public—from 1916 until we had the visits from the Black-and-Tans I had comfortable, nice, happy nights and happy days because I knew my boys had done right, and I knew I had done right in giving them freely for their


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    country, but when the Black-and-Tans came—then no nights, no days of rest had I. Always we had to be on the alert. But even the Black-and-Tans alone would not frighten me as much as if I accepted that Treaty: because I feel in my heart—and I would not say it only I feel it—that the ghosts of my sons would haunt me. Now another thing has been said about Pádraig Pearse: that he would accept a Home Rule Bill such as this. Well he would not. Now, in my own simple way I will relate a thing that happened, I think it was in 1915 or 1916. He sent me into Dublin on a very urgent message, and when I came to Westmoreland Street I saw on the placards Home Rule Bill Passed. At that time I knew very little of politics. I was going on a very urgent message as I told you. I leaped out of my tram, got into another and went as fast as I could up the roads of Rathfarnham. When I went in I found him, as usual, writing, and he turned round and said: ‘Back so quickly?’ ‘Yes,’ said I, ‘the Home Rule Bill is passed’. He sat writing: the tears came into his eyes. He got up and, putting his arms around me, said: ‘Little mother, this is not the Home Rule Bill we want, but perhaps in a short time you will see what we intend to do and what freedom we intend to fight for’. He then asked me about what he had sent me for, but I had come back without it. ‘Never mind,’ he said, ‘I will do it myself to-morrow; go and get something to eat’. I said to him then: ‘What are you going to do?’ ‘Mother,’ he said, ‘don't ask me, but you will know time enough’. Now, in the face of this, do you mean to tell me Pádraig Pearse would have voted for this Treaty? I say no! I am sure here to-day the man to whom Pádraig Pearse addressed these words—I am certain he is present—he said that he could understand the case for compromise, but personally rejected it. As an instance: when discussing the now much-mooted question of Colonial Home rule he said that had he ever a voice in rejecting or accepting such proposals his vote would be cast amongst the noes. Well now my vote for accepting this is equal to his. I may say just a word on the oath. Our friend Mr. MacCabe read out the Ten Commandments. All I can say is what our catechism taught us in my days was: it is perjury to break your oath. I consider I'd be perjuring myself in breaking the oath I had taken to Dáil Eireann. An oath to me is a most sacred vow made in the presence of Almighty God to witness the truth, and the truth alone. Therefore that is another reason of mine. Now men here may think little of an oath, and think little of a word of honour, but I repeat here a little incident that happened twenty minutes before Pádraig Pearse was executed in Kilmainham, and it will let you know what he thought of a word of honour much less an oath. He, poor fellow, had something written for you Irishmen, and to-day I am ashamed of some of you here. Had that note then come out from Kilmainham, I am sure we would have had many more on our side in rejecting this Treaty, but the priest whom he wished to take out that document had given his word of honour to the British Government that he would take out nothing. Pádraig asked him to take out the document—at least, to take it to his mother, because he knew that if his mother got it, it would be put into the right quarters. The priest told him: ‘Pádraig,’ he said, ‘I have given my word of honour to take out nothing’. ‘Well, Father,’ he said, ‘if you have given your word of honour don't break it, but ask those in charge to give mother this because she is bound to hear it sometime and I want to get it out now’. If that document had been got out—it may be got yet, but, alas! I am afraid it is too late—the people here would not have made up their minds so willingly to go the wrong path and not the right path. People will say to me: ‘The people of Ireland want this Treaty’. I have been through Ireland for the past few years and I know the hearts and sorrows of the wives of Ireland. I have studied them; no one studied them more, and let no one here say that these women from their hearts could say they accept that Treaty. They say it through fear; they say it through fear of the aeroplanes and all that has been said to them. Now I will ask you again: there are some members here who may remember what Pádraig Pearse said in the early autumn of 1916. He said it when he was inspecting the Volunteers at Vinegar Hill. He told them there

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    on that day: ‘We, the Volunteers, are formed here not for half of Ireland, not to give the British Garrison control of part of Ireland. No! we are here for the whole of Ireland’. Therefore Pádraig Pearse would not have accepted a Treaty like this with only two-thirds of his country in it. In the name of God I will ask the men that have used Pádraig Pearse's name here again to use it in honour, to use it in truthfulness. One Deputy mentioned here about rattling the bones of the dead. I only wish we could recall them. Remember, the day will come—soon, I hope, Free State or otherwise—when those bones shall be lifted as if they were the bones of saints. We won't let them rattle. No! but we will hold what they upheld, and no matter what anyone says I feel that I and others here have a right to speak in the name of their dead [Applause].

    MR. EOIN O'DUFFY:

    I think too much time has already been wasted in idle recrimination, by trying to fix responsibility for this error and that error. Now the plenipotentiaries are accused of doing this thing, and the next moment the Cabinet, or perhaps the President, is accused of doing that thing. Cannot it be agreed that we are all out for the one thing—to secure the freedom of our country and that if we differ at all we only differ in ways and means [hear, hear]. Every one of us is entitled to our opinion. One side disagrees with the plenipotentiaries. They disagree with Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins on a point of policy. Another side disagrees with President de Valera on a point of policy; but let not this disagreement blind us to the sterling worth of these three men—these three men who, above all others, have done the most to break the enemy's strength in this country. I still refer to England as our enemy in the country. I hold that I, as a more or less silent member of the Dáil—this is the first time I attempted to speak—that I am as much responsible for everything that occurred as well as everybody else. I was present here at the Session of the Dáil before our plenipotentiaries went across. I heard the correspondence read from Lloyd George to the President, and heard the replies from the President to Lloyd George. I heard what took place at the different Cabinet meetings; certain documents were handed out to us, and on that data I am in a position to make up my mind. I am sure everybody here is in the same position. Let us, then, get away from all these things of trying to fix responsibility and, even at the eleventh hour, consider the Treaty before us on its merits. There is not very much to be gained by making flank attacks in a place like this, how ever decisive they may be elsewhere. I think, too, it should be agreed that no party—unfortunately there are two parties—that neither party has the monopoly of patriotism, that neither party has the monopoly of principle, and that neither party can claim to be the sole custodians of the nation's honour. Now as regards the Treaty I am in favour of it for two or more reasons. The first reason is that only one or two out of the 35,000 people I represent are against it; and the second reason is that I believe the judgment of my constituents is correct on this occasion under the circumstances. As regards my right to voice the feelings of my constituents, that has already been threshed out here and in the Press. I need not labour it except to say, in my own opinion, the will of a constituency should prevail against the will of any one individual who may happen to be their mouthpiece at this particular time. It cannot be denied that this Treaty has the support of the country. The position is so grave that Deputies should weigh it very carefully before they take the responsibility of flouting the practically unanimous voice of the sovereign people of Ireland, before they refuse point blank to faithfully voice their people's will, because the people's will is mightier than the sword. I do not propose to go into the military situation. I did that in Private Session and all I would say now is that I'd ask the Deputies to bear in mind the facts I placed before them. The officers here who have the courage to stand up and state what they know to be true from experience, stated it also in Private Session; but now, unfortunately, in Public Session these same officers have been called cowardly and dishonest, said to be lacking in military knowledge, and I think some one said it would be better if some of them had fallen in the fight. Well we cannot prevent any civilian


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    who happens to be a member of this House making remarks like this—intolerable and unseemly remarks. We cannot stop that, but the people who fought with us officers know us, and those people will not believe those remarks; and I hope, too, that if we have to go to fight again, and if we have to fight along with these people, that they will have no less confidence in us. I do not propose to occupy your time by going into the merits of the Treaty, except very superficially. The principal clauses that appeal to me are the evacuation of Ireland by England's forces, civil and military, and the setting up of our own army, trained and fully equipped. That, I admit, is not freedom, but as the Minister of Finance said in his statement, it is freedom to secure it. Our comrades died, in my opinion, to bring about Freedom, and I think it is towards freedom when a British soldier or a British policeman, in uniform, cannot be seen in the streets of Dublin; I think it is towards freedom when we will have our own National Army established here to safeguard the liberty of our people. The deaths of our comrades, and their deaths alone, brought that about [Applause]. Parnell was quoted here as saying that no man has the right to set limits to the march of a nation. No man has a right to try to make a nation travel faster than it is able without replenishing it on its journey, if it finds it difficult to reach the goal. I know that freedom is worth all the blood that has been shed for it; but why to-day should we, fully alive to all the facts of the situation, why should we sacrifice the manhood of Ireland, the young men that we require so much to build up the future of the Irish nation? Have the young men of Ireland to be sacrificed to get up a step on the ladder, and in order to secure what this Treaty gets for us—to get the British forces out, to get the Irish forces in, and to develop our own life in our own way, free from interference by England's armed forces or, what is worse, by peaceful penetration. There are a number of things in the Treaty that we do not like, but we must understand that liberty in every country is restricted by treaties and mutual understandings in relation to its neighbours. I think there is not a small nation in the world has secured so much by physical force alone, without any outside support, as Ireland [hear, hear]. Through the success of our arms and methods of warfare it has been rendered possible for us to negotiate a Truce and later on a Treaty. On the ratification of this Treaty Ireland passes from what was known all over the world as a domestic question to a position of sovereign status in the League of Nations. In practice, Ireland is invested with almost all the attributes and essentials of nationhood. There is no longer any obligation on us to take part in England's war or pay for it. We have full control in internal affairs and full control of external trade and commerce. But, what is most important of all, we have the language, because without the language I do not think we would be qualified for full independence. Now we may assume the hustle for freedom is only beginning; we have now our destinies in our own hands and if we do not secure freedom then it is our own fault. I think we will secure our freedom; I prefer to trust the Irish people. Let us, in God's name, go ahead and build the Irish nation. I have confidence, whatever may be our decision here, whether the Treaty be accepted or rejected, that every man and woman in this assembly and every man and woman outside this assembly will work together harmoniously for the freedom of our country. In South Africa the Boers had a Republic before the South African War. They were beaten by force of arms and forced to submit to more humiliating terms than this Treaty offers us. Would it be considered dishonourable on the part of the Boers, if opportunity offered, if they tried to secure back the Republic again? I hold there is no finality in this world, and to secure the freedom of our country there is more surety by ratifying this Treaty than by rejecting it. The position we occupy to-day has been truly won by the living and the dead. It is not our goal, but I hold that it brings the ball inside the fourteen yards' line. Let us maintain our position there and by keeping our eye on the goal the major score is assured. I now come to the North-East, and I want to say a little on that because very little has been said about it up to the present. At the outset I should say that I am not very enthusiastic over the Ulster clauses in

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    this Treaty, and I think nobody is; but no one in this House, I think, suggests now, or ever suggested, that Ulster should be coerced. We are unanimous about that. It is all very fine to say, as has been said by another Deputy, that the plenipotentiaries and those who support them have betrayed Ulster. The people of Ulster will understand at once that such idle statements as those, not followed by acts, will bring them no farther. Only one Deputy speaking against the Treaty dealt with Ulster at any length at all. He was interrupted and asked for his policy and he said that he had none because it was none of his business. I hold it is the business of everyone who has a policy with regard to Ulster to bring it forward, and surely, above all, it is the business of a man who lives in Ulster and represents an Ulster constituency to come forward with a policy . I say he is the man and not the plenipotentiaries or the men who support them. If he has a policy I'd prefer to have his opinion. I have spent the greater part of my life in Ulster. I know it well. I know the business men of Ulster don't want separation because they fear economic pressure—the boycott has given them a taste of that. In the Gazette every week at least two or three of the principal men in Belfast appeared there for bankruptcy. With bankruptcy staring numbers of others in the face they will see that the Northern Parliament comes to terms with the rest of Ireland, and if they refuse to do it they will kick them out. Though the present war was between Ireland and England, Belfast has lost thousands of pounds in business. Since the Truce they have made a desperate effort to bring back their old customers again, and now of their own free will I am satisfied that they will not cut themselves adrift from a prosperous Ireland. I could quote instances we had of bitter dissatisfaction on the part of Ulster business men with the policy of Messrs. Coote, McGuffin and Co. To put it shortly, the business men of the North-East want to join up with the rest of Ireland. They are in favour of this Treaty being ratified, but the Orange assassins are against it. Personally I would prefer, and a number of Ulster Catholics agree with me, that it would be better, perhaps, that Ulster should not come in with the rest of Ireland for a time; that they should stay out just for a trial. Later on they will find out that they have to come in, and they will be easier spoken to. It was put up here also that part of Monaghan, part of Cavan and part of Donegal would be included in the Northern Counties' Parliament. The man that made that statement does not know anything about Monaghan. He paid one or two flying visits to it and he is not going back. I know the people of Monaghan, and I know the Unionists of Monaghan. The non-Catholics there are not fools. We made it very clear to them that if they were prepared to join up with the enemy they would get the same treatment as the enemy. Nine or ten of them have got the treatment of the Black-and-Tans, and they admitted they did not get that because of their religious belief, but the got it because they were part and parcel of the enemy. The people of the six counties know that under this Treaty they will be dealt with, as the Minister of Finance said in Armagh, not only justly but generously. Now I may be asked how do I reconcile with that statement a statement of my own at Armagh in which I said I was prepared to use the lead on Ulster. I did not then, nor do I now, recommend the lead for the purpose of bringing Ulster in with the rest of Ireland. What I said was that if the Orangemen were to murder our people in cold blood as they had done in the past, then they should get the lead. If they continue to do this my prescription remains the same. Let us consider for a moment what will happen our unfortunate people in the North-East if this Treaty is rejected. My opinion is that there will be callous, cold-blooded murder there again. Of all the atrocities committed in this country by the Black-and-Tans, and God knows there were many, there was nothing to equal the atrocities committed on our Catholic people in Ulster by the "A" and "B" Specials. We have instances of it in Belfast, Dromore, Cookstown, and Newry. I could describe it to you but I do not want to do it. Their action in each case was the same: they took out our people's eyes, put sticks down their throats, broke their arms and legs, and then shot them. That was the policy adopted, and it was the same everywhere; so it

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    must have been an agreed policy. That is the lot that is before our people there if we are not in a position to defend them and ourselves. The Ulster Deputies who vote against this Treaty must understand they have a very grave and solemn responsibility on their shoulders if they throw Ulster back into the position it was in before. I can see no way of avoiding it except acceptance of this Treaty. I know Ulster better than any man or woman in this Dáil because I have faced Ulster's lead on more than one occasion with lead, and in those places where I was able to do it I silenced them with lead. I would have silenced them in very ease with lead if I had as much lead as they had. A lot of people are talking about the non-Catholics of Ulster but it was very little help and encouragement I got from these people for the last two years I was trying to carry on the war against the combined forces of Carson and England, and I can lay claim to as many successes as any man in the country. If the fight should begin again I will, please God, take my place in the fighting line, but I will take good care I will have with me some of these men who are trying to make history for themselves—I will take good care that they take a little risk also. One Deputy in referring to our army officers said: ‘You who profess to be soldiers’. He said it very ironically and sarcastically. I say, and I am speaking on behalf of our soldiers, we do not profess to be anything but what we are. We are not, perhaps, qualified for the positions we hold; we have no military training, but we are doing the very best we can; and I thought no person chosen to be a member of this House would stand up and criticise statements made by an officer in Private Session. I did not think that day would come so soon. I do not pretend to speak for the dead. All I will say is—‘Lord rest the souls of those brave men who fell, and those who fell under my command. God forbid that I would betray them’. At this very moment there are over forty brave men awaiting the hangman's rope. Seven of these come from my Brigade and I got a message from them. That message is: ‘Don't mind us; we are soldiers, do what you think best for Ireland’. [Applause]. I rather think that would be the message a great many of our Volunteer dead would give if they were able to do it [Applause]. That message does not say they would accept this Treaty; that message does not say they would reject this Treaty; it says they leave it to the Government of Ireland to do what we consider as best. I do not want to keep you very much longer. As regards the oath, I am no authority on these things, but I must say that my conscience is at ease on the matter. Until we secure an isolated Republic there will be some symbol or some form of connection with Britain. While there is there must be some form of oath or recognition, and we should not be wasting our time over any form of words which, when examined very carefully, will have more or less the same meaning. There will be always some form of recognition of his Brittanic Majesty until we get an isolated Republic. It was said here that the Treaty was signed under duress, under threat of war. Well, I do not think, personally, it was necessary that any threat of war should be made. I hold we are in a state of war now; it is only suspended by the Truce. We have our liaison officers—if there was peace we would not have liaison officers—and the enemy have their liaison officers. If negotiations had broken down, or if at any time the Truce broke, there would be a resumption of hostilities. The plenipotentiaries were aware of that and they should have known a breakdown in the negotiations would have led to a resumption of hostilities. I think that is what was in their minds when they said they were signing under the threat of a terrible war. In conclusion I want to say what I think might happen in the event of the Treaty being rejected. It is only my own opinion. It is generally admitted here that there will be either war or political chaos. Personally I would prefer war. I agree with another speaker who said he would prefer war to political chaos. I fear that political chaos would break the morale of our army in less than six months' time. There would be unofficial shootings here, unofficial raids there, indiscipline and, perhaps, disaffection. Should that happen, all our efforts are in vain, for our only hope is in the army. For this reason I believe we must renew hostilities if we are to keep the army knit together in a fighting

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    bond. I do not know would England declare war on us. I am not concerned with that or have no fear personally. But I feel we must renew hostilities if we are to hold the army together, and my opinion is that the army is our only hope. I am glad that a Deputy from Cork, in speaking for his Brigade, said he was prepared. I know he is prepared, and I know the army in my constituency is prepared; but I know also they have a policy and I know a good many others here know what they are going to do. But fighting on the field as a soldier is one thing, and taking responsibility for it here is quite another thing. Personally I consider, and I think I said it before, that the chief pleasure I felt in freedom was fighting for it. But as a Deputy with a very big responsibility on my shoulders I have to weigh the pros and cons very carefully. I might be asked, and probably would be asked: ‘What about the army if the Treaty be ratified?’ My answer to that is: we are not bound to have an Army under this Treaty if it is ratified. It says ‘we may’. But I say this: we can have an Irish Volunteer Army that will be a model to the world in discipline and courage.

    MR. LIAM MELLOWES:

    I have very little to say on this subject that is before us, because I stand definitely against this so-called Treaty and the arguments in favour of acceptance—of compromise, of departing from the straight road, of going off the path, and the only path that I believe this country can travel to its freedom. These arguments are always so many at all times and with all causes, while the arguments in favour of doing the right and straight thing are so few because they are so plain. That is why I say I have very little to say. An effort has been made here from time to time by speakers who are in favour of this Treaty, to show that everybody here in this Dáil was prepared mentally or otherwise to compromise on this point during the last few months. I wish, anyway, as one person, to state that is not so. I am speaking for myself now on this, and I state certainly that, consciously or unconsciously, I did not agree to any form of compromise. We were told that when the negotiations took place we were compromised. We have been told that since this Dáil meeting. This is not so because negotiations do not connote compromise. Entering into negotiations with the British Government did not in the least presuppose that you were going to give away your case for independence. When the British Government, following upon the Truce, offered, as it did, to discuss this whole case of Ireland, Ireland had no option but to enter into such a discussion. To refuse to have done so would have been the worse thing for the Irish case, and would have put Ireland very wrong in the eyes of the world. There was no surrender involved in entering into such a discussion; and when the plenipotentiaries went on their journey to England they went, not as the plenipotentiaries of a Republican Party in Ireland, not as the envoys of any political creed in this country, but they went as the envoys plenipotentiary of the Irish Republican Government, and, as such, they had no power to do anything that would surrender the Irish Republic of which they were plenipotentiaries. They were sent there to make, if they could, a treaty of settlement—personally I doubt if it could be done—but they were not sent to bring about what I can only call a surrender. I am not placing the plenipotentiaries in the dock by stating this, but I am stating what are plain facts. It is no reflection on them to state these things. In item 3 of the instructions given to the plenipotentiaries it is stated: ‘It is also understood that the complete text of the draft Treaty about to be signed will be similarly submitted to Dublin and a reply awaited’. The Dáil had no chance of discussing this Treaty as it should be discussed because the ground was cut from under the feet of the Dáil with the publication of this Treaty to the world before the Dáil had a chance of discussing it. The delegates, I repeat, had no power to sign away the rights of Ireland and the Irish Republic. They had no mandate to sign away the independence of this country as this Treaty does. They had no power to agree to anything inconsistent with the existence of the Republic. Now either the Republic exists or it does not. If the Republic exists, why are we talking about stepping towards the Republic by


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    means of this Treaty? I for one believed, and do believe, that the Republic exists, because it exists upon the only sure foundation upon which any government or Republic can exist, that is, because the people gave a mandate for that Republic to be declared. We are hearing a great deal here about the will of the people, and the newspapers—that never even recognised the Republic when it was the will of the people—use that as a text for telling Republicans in Ireland what the will of the people is. The will of the people, we are told by one of the Deputies who spoke here, is that this Treaty shall go through—that this Treaty shall be ratified [hear, hear]. The will of the people! Let me for a moment carry your minds back to the 21st January, 1919, and I am going to read to you—I make no apology to this House whatsoever for the length of time I keep them in reading it, or to the people of Ireland for the length of time they are waiting while this thing is being discussed—I am going to read the Declaration of the Independence of this country based upon the declared will of the people at the elections in 1918, and ratified since at every election [Applause]. This is the official translation of the Declaration of Independence as contained in the official report of the proceedings, of the Dáil on that date:

    Whereas the Irish people is by right a free people: and whereas for seven hundred years the Irish people has never ceased to repudiate and has repeatedly protested in arms against foreign usurpation: and whereas English rule in this country is, and always has been, based upon force and fraud, and maintained by military occupation against the declared will of the people: and whereas the Irish Republic was proclaimed in Dublin on Easter Monday, 1916, by the Irish Republican Army acting on behalf of the Irish people: and whereas the Irish people is resolved to secure and maintain its complete independence in order to promote the common weal, to re-establish justice, to provide for future defence, to insure peace at home and goodwill with all nations and to constitute a national polity based upon the people's will, with equal right and equal opportunity for every citizen: and whereas at the threshold of a new era in history the Irish electorate has, in the general election of December, 1918, seized the first occasion to declare, by an overwhelming majority, its firm allegiance to the Irish Republic: now therefore we, the elected representatives of the ancient Irish people in National Parliament assembled, do, in the name of the Irish nation, ratify the establishment of the Irish Republic and pledge ourselves and our people to make this declaration effective by every means at our command: we ordain that the elected representatives of the Irish people alone have power to make laws binding on the people of Ireland, and that the Irish Parliament is the only Parliament to which that people will give its allegiance: we solemnly declare foreign government in Ireland to be an invasion of our national right which we will never tolerate, and we demand the evacuation of our country by the English Garrison: we claim for our national independence the recognition and support of every free nation of the world, and we proclaim that independence to be a condition precedent to international peace hereafter: in the name of the Irish people we humbly commit our destiny to Almighty God Who gave our fathers the courage and determination to persevere through long centuries of a ruthless tyranny, and strong in the justice of the cause which they have handed down to us, we ask His Divine blessing on this, the last stage of the struggle we have pledged ourselves to carry through to Freedom.

    There, to my mind, is the will of the people. There is the Irish Republic existing, not a mandate to seek a step towards an Irish Republic that does not exist. The will of the people! The British Government has always sought, during the last century of this struggle in Ireland, to get the consent of the Irish people for whatever it wants to impose upon them. If the English Government wanted to make concessions to Ireland it had the power to do so even though it had not the right, and we could take whatever it was willing to give without giving away our case. But this Treaty gives away our case because it abrogates the Republic.

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    The British Government passed a Home Rule Bill; it is still upon the statute book of the British Government and was never put into force because, when the time came to put it into force, the British Government found that the Irish people did not want it. The British Government since then has passed Act after Act and each time has been forced to overlook its own Acts, to forget about them, and to-day through this Treaty the British Government seeks to gain the consent of the Irish people to this measure. The British Government intends to try and find a way out because it has more experience than ourselves of what it means to have the people of Ireland with it—to get the assent of the Irish people to whatever it wants to do with Ireland. The will of the people! Why, even Lloyd George recognised the will of the people at one time. Speaking in the House of Commons in April, 1920, he said: ‘If you ask the people of Ireland what they would accept, by an emphatic majority they would say ‘we want independence and an Irish Republic’. There is absolutely no doubt about that. The elected representatives of Ireland now, by a clear definite majority, have declared in favour of independence—of secession.’ Now, when Lloyd George admits that, it seems strange when we ourselves say that we never believed in the Irish Republic; that it was only a myth, something that did not exist, and that to-day we are still working towards the Irish Republic. To my mind the Republic does exist. It is a living tangible thing, something for which men gave their lives, for which men were hanged, for which men are in jail for which the people suffered, and for which men are still prepared to give their lives. It was not a question so far as I am aware, before any of us, or the people of Ireland, that the Irish heifer was going to be sold in the fair and that we were asking a high price so that we would get something less. There was no question of making a bargain over this thing, over the honour of Ireland, because I hold that the honour of Ireland is too sacred a thing to make a bargain over. We are told this is a question as between document referred to as No. 1 and Document No. 2. At this moment there is only one document before this House, and when that is disposed of as I do hope it will be disposed of in the proper way, then we will deal with any other documents that come up in the same way if they are not in conformity with the Irish Republic. There is no question before us of two documents or two sides, but there is a question of maintaining the existing Republic of Ireland or going back on it, throwing it out and accepting something in substitution for it with a view to getting back again to the Irish Republic. Let us face facts as we did so often during the last few years. We are not afraid of the facts. The facts are that the Irish Republic exists. People are talking to-day of the will of the people when the people themselves have been stampeded as I know because I paid a visit to my constituency. The people are being stampeded; in the people's minds there is only one alternative to this Treaty and that is terrible, immediate war. During the adjournment I paid a trip to the country and I found that the people who are in favour of the Treaty are not in favour of the Treaty on its merits, but are in favour of the Treaty because they fear what is to happen if it be rejected. That is not the will of the people, that is the fear of the people [hear, hear]. The will of the people was when the people declared for a Republic. Under this Treaty—this Treaty constitutes concessions to Ireland. It is, if you like, a new Coercion act in the biggest sense in which any Coercion act was ever made to Ireland. One thing you must bear in mind and make up your minds about: the acceptance of this Treaty destroys the existing Irish Republic. Whether we like it or not we become British subjects, British citizens. We have now a common citizenship with the English people, and evidently there is going to be a new citizenship invented—Anglo-Irish Citizenship. It is well known what you are going to get under this Treaty. The very words ‘Irish Free State,’ so called, constitute a catch-phrase. It is not a state, it is part of a state; it is not free, because England controls every vital point; it is not Irish, because the people of Ireland established a Republic. Lloyd George may well to-day laugh up his sleeve. What must his thoughts have been, what must his idea have

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    been, when he presented this document for signature? ‘lf they divide on this, we can let them fight it out, and we will be able to hold the country; if they accept, our interests are so well safeguarded that we can still afford to let them have it.’ Rejection, we are told, would mean war. I, for one, do not hold it would mean immediate war at all, but I do hold that the unanimous rejection of this Treaty would put our case in such a fashion before the world that I do not believe England would, until she got some other excuse, dare to make war on the basis of the rejection of that. The question is not how to get a step towards the Republic. The question for us to decide here as the Government of the Irish Republic is how we are going to maintain the Republic, and how we are going to hold the Republic. Instead of discussing this Treaty here we should be considering how we are going to maintain the Republic after that Treaty has been rejected and put upon one side. We have acted up to this in the belief that the authority for Government in Ireland has been derived from the Irish people. We are now going to change that. If this Treaty goes through we are going to have authority in Ireland derived from a British act of Parliament, derived from the British Government under the authority of the British King. Somebody stated here there was more intelligent discussion down the country on this Treaty. I agree perfectly with him. I was in the country and I met the people at their firesides. I met people in favour of the Treaty, but I found no one under any delusion about it whatsoever. We have been told, presumably as a reason for accepting this, that before in Ireland chieftains and parliaments, and representatives of the people had admitted the right of the British Government to exist here. We were reminded of King John visiting the Irish chiefs and we know what happened the Irish chiefs when the Irish people realised what the Irish chiefs had done: We know the day when you had the Irish O'Donnells the ‘Queen's O'Donnells,’ and the Irish O'Reillys the ‘Queen's O'Reillys.’ I wonder will we ever see the day when we have the Irish Republicans the ‘King's Republicans.’ The Parliament of 1782 did not represent the people of Ireland because it admitted the King as its head. This is the first assembly in the history of Ireland, since the British occupation, which is representative of the people of Ireland. It is here because the people of Ireland wished it to be here. The Parliamentary Party after years of efforts, when they in their turn had done their best, they went the way that all compromising parties go. Compromising parties may last for a time, may do good work for a time in so far as they are able to do that good work, but inevitably they go the way all compromising parties go. As it was with the Irish Parliamentary Party so it will be with the Irish Free State Parties and I say that with all respect. The Irish people have, thanks be to God, the tradition of coming out and speaking their true selves no matter how many times they may be led astray. Has the whole object of this fight and struggle in Ireland been to secure peace? Peace we have preached to us here day in and day out—peace, peace, peace——

    A DEPUTY:

    Peace with honour.

    MR. MELLOWES:

    Yes! that is what we want. We do not want peace with surrender, and we do not want peace with dishonour. If peace was the only object why, I say, was this fight ever started? Why did we ever negotiate for what we are now told is impossible? Why should men have ever been led on the road they travelled if peace was the only object? We could have had peace, and could have been peaceful in Ireland a long time ago if we were prepared to give up the ideal for which we fought. Have we now to give it up for the sake of this so-called peace? If peace is that which is to be the pursuit of the people then this Treaty will not bring them peace because there will be restless souls in the country who will not be satisfied under this Free State to make peace in this Free State possible. I use no threats, but you cannot bring peace by compromise. You cannot bring peace to a people when it does not also bring honour. This Treaty brings neither honour nor anything else. It brings to the people certain material advantages, such, I say, as they could have had long ago if they were prepared to sink their


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    identity as Scotland did. Ireland has never been prepared to do that, and I do not believe she shall ever be prepared to do it. If this is a step towards the Republic how can it be contended that it means peace? Under the terms of this Free State are you going to be strong enough to say to the British Government ‘Hands off’? You will have an army, it is true, but it will be an army in which the incentive which kept the fight alive for the last few years will be lacking. Who will tell the British Government, when the time has come to tell it, keep its hands off? Will you be any more united then than you are now? Will all of you in favour of this Free State look forward to the time when you are going to say to the British Government: ‘You must not have anything more to do with us’? You will not. Human nature, even the strongest human nature, is weak, and the time will inevitably come, if this Free State comes into existence, when you will have a permanent government in the country, and permanent governments in any country have a dislike to being turned out, and they will seek to fight their own corner before anything else. Men will get into positions, men will hold power, and men who get into positions and hold power will desire to remain undisturbed and will not want to be removed, or will not take a step that will mean removal in case of failure. I only speak my mind on this matter. But to me it is very clear there is only one road this country can travel. It is the road we tried to travel together as best we could. It is the right road, and now if there should be a parting of the ways some of us, if God gives us the strength and courage, will travel it no matter what. Under this Treaty the Irish people are going to be committed within the British Empire. We have always in this country protested against being included within the British Empire. Now we are told that we are going into it with our heads up. The British Empire stands to me in the same relationship as the devil stands to religion. The British Empire represents to me nothing but the concentrated tyranny of ages. You may talk about your constitution in Canada, your united South Africa or Commonwealth of Australia, but the British Empire to me does not mean that. It means to me that terrible thing that has spread its tentacles all over the earth, that has crushed the lives out of people and exploited its own when it could not exploit anybody else. That British Empire is the thing that has crushed this country, yet we are told that we are going into it now with our heads up. We are going into the British Empire now to participate in the Empire's shame even though we do not actually commit the act, to participate in the shame and the crucifixion of India and the degradation of Egypt. Is that what the Irish people fought for freedom for? We are told damn principles. Aye, if Ireland was fighting for nothing only to become as most of the other rich countries of the world have become, this fight should never have been entered upon. We hoped to make this country something the world should be proud of, and we did not enter into the fight to make this country as the other countries, where its word was not its bond, and where a treaty was something to be struggled for. That was not the ideal that inspired men in this cause in every age, and it is not the ideal which inspires us to-day. We do not seek to make this country a materially great country at the expense of its honour in any way whatsoever. We would rather have this country poor and indigent, we would rather have the people of Ireland eking out a poor existence on the soil; as long as they possessed their souls, their minds, and their honour. This fight has been for something more than the fleshpots of Empire. Peace! peace! is the consideration. Is this Treaty going to bring you peace? No! Under Clause 7 you are going to be made a cock-pit of the next naval war in which England is engaged, because your docks and coast-line are given up, unfortunately, to the British Government to use as it sees fit. As against that we are told if we do not accept this Treaty we are going to have war. Every argument that I heard here to-day in favour of this Treaty is the argument I heard years ago against the question of ever attaining an Irish Republic. Every argument used here was the argument used by the Irish Parliamentary Party when fighting elections in this country. Every argument I heard here to-day was the argument everyone here had to answer in reply

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    to those who faced them years ago. War! we are told. Were the people of Ireland afraid of war when they faced conscription in this country? They were threatened with annihilation. It was a question then of whether they would fight at home or abroad and they decided to fight at home. When the General Election came on they were threatened with war again. They were told that the corollary to acceptance of the Republican mandate or the Republican platform was war. The people of Ireland did not flinch. They accepted the issue and the issue, as we have seen since, was not war, but the people of Ireland did not flinch. This Treaty reminds me of the Treaty of Versailles, of the miserable end up to that bloody holocaust when the nations of the earth, after fighting supposedly for ideals, parcelled out amongst themselves the spoils of the young soldiers. The misguided young men who fought in that conflict were left disillusioned. Is this Treaty going to be a Treaty of Versailles? Are the Irish people to be told that when we spoke of a Republic we did not mean it? Are the Irish people to be told that when we spoke of independence we meant to be inside the British Empire and that when we spoke of ideals we meant morally? I say no! We did not mean that. You could point out to me for all time, day after day as long as you like, the material advantages to be gained under this Treaty, and it would remind me very much of what I have read about our Saviour. Having fasted for forty days He was taken by the devil to a height from which He was shown the cities, towns and fair places of the earth and told He could have all those if, bowing down, He would adore the devil. We are told to-day that we will get these things in return for the selling of our honour. I say selling of our honour; others here may not mean it; others here may not have the same view of it as I have, but my view is that we are selling the honour of Ireland for this mess of pottage contained in the Treaty. Under the future of this Free State, if it goes through, when are we going to know when we will have sincerity in Ireland about the Republic? After you get the Free State what will you take on hands, and what do you mean, when you talk of something next? The Government of the Free State will, with those who support it now liking it or not, eventually occupy the same relationship towards the people of Ireland as Dublin Castle does to-day, because, it will be the barrier government between the British and the Irish people. And the Irish people before they can struggle on will have to do something to remove that Free State Government. That, I think, has been the history of this country most of the time, as it is the history of most countries that go the way now urged by those who support the Free State. If the Free State is accepted and put into operation it will provide the means for the British Government to get its hold back again. It could not beat Ireland with force, it did its best. No war the British Government initiated here could he worse than the terrible mental strain imposed on the people during the last eighteen months. And that war was not levelled so much against the Irish Republican Army as against the people of the Irish Republic, because the British Government had a surer view of the people than we had. They felt that if they could crush the people of Ireland that would mean the end of things in Ireland until the next necessity arose. The British Government did not, for very obvious reasons—because of what it would mean on conditions abroad, and because of what the outside world must necessarily conclude—allow this warfare, as far as it could prevent it, to become one as between the British Army and the Irish Army. But it tried to maintain the appearance of it being a warfare conducted by no representative people, by people who counted for nothing against the forces of the civil authority, and that is why the Black-and-Tans and the Auxiliary forces were organised for special service here. The British Government still keep up the pretended show of maintaining the civil authority in Ireland, even though that civil authority had to be maintained by force of arms. And it was because the British Government saw there was a tangible government here, that the Irish Republic did exist, that it had its hirelings to murder its representatives, to murder Lord Mayor MacCurtin, to murder Mayor O'Callaghan, and to do to death Terence MacSwiney. The British Government recognised that there was a Republic, even though some of our

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    representatives now do not, and the British Government recognised that it must be at the representatives of the Republic that blow must be struck. It knows to-day that the people have the Republic in their minds, in their spirit, and that any act they can do can not crush it. We placed Ireland upon a pedestal for the first time in the history of this country. For the first time in the history of this country we had a Government established by the directly declared will of the people. That Government rested upon the surest of all foundations and placed Ireland in a position it was never in before, since its subjection. Ireland was put forth to the world as a headlight, as a beacon beginning to shine for all time to guide all those who were struggling. The whole world was looking to Ireland for a lead. This downtrodden, this miserable country, as some of you called it, was, during the last few years, the greatest country in God's earth. ‘Are we always going to adopt the attitude of seeking something that is a little in front of us while the world always moves on?’ Ah! how little that Deputy knew of what the world is. How little that Deputy knew that here in this country of ours is contained the germ of great and wonderful things for the world. The world did not move on; it is Ireland has moved on and Ireland has left the world far behind. We can get very insular sometimes, but it is well for us sometimes to see that we are not so downtrodden and miserable as some of us think we are. This country was one of the best in the world. It has fought a fight that will ring down through the ages, and maintained itself well against all the tortures and inflictions that a foreign tyranny knows so well how to impose. It maintained its way up to this stage, and now, not through the force of the British Government, not because of the weight of the British armies, but through the guile of the British Government, and the gullibility of ours we are going to throw away the Irish Republic. Somebody talked about facts. These are facts. We are told that we must have unity. Yes, we want unity, and had unity in Ireland during the last few years, but we had it only on one basis—the basis of the Republic. Destroy that basis and you cannot have unity. Once you take yourselves off that pedestal you place yourselves in a position to pave the way for concession after concession, for compromise after compromise. Once you begin to juggle with your mind or conscience in this matter God knows where you will end, no matter how you try to pull up later on. You can have unity by rejecting this thing; you cannot have unity by approving of it. Rejection means that the Irish Republic exists here, and that we are still the Government of the existing Irish Republic. Accept it and there is no Irish Republic existing because you have destroyed it, because you have abrogated the right of the Dáil, and this Dáil exists here as the Republican Government. It did not exist here for the purpose of changing its status. It was placed here by the people to work for the recognition and the interests of the Republic not to take steps towards the gaining or abolition of it. The Republic is here because it is in our wills. Destroy that by accepting this Treaty and there is no Republic. And you will not have unity and you will not have peace. You can have unity though you may not have peace, but you certainly will have unity and honour by rejecting this Treaty. Accept it and you will destroy the Republic, and even though you gain for Ireland the material advantages—you point out control of our language, et cetera—though you gain these things you throw away that which Ireland found since 1916, that which, after all, imbued Ireland in this phase of the struggle. 1916 did not represent the will of the people; 1916 found very little support from the people, but 1916 has been supported by the people since, and it has been 1916 that based their ideal when they declared for a Republic. From 1916 down to the present day that struggle has gone on. Person after person has been induced to come in and do his or her part. Now, if you accept this Treaty you are going to establish in this country a Government that does away with the Irish Republic. It is not a step towards the Irish Republic but a step away from it. That Treaty admits the right of the British Government to control the destiny of Ireland. Even though you have control of some of the material resources of the country you are going to put yourselves in the position of being within the British Empire,

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    and outside, away from the rest of the world. During the last few years we were beginning to occupy a unique position in the world. As long as we looked upon ourselves as being independent we could appeal to the outside world and so long were we certain of receiving sympathy and help. Now you are inside the British Empire if you accept this Treaty, and, turn where you will, you will be told you are a domestic concern for the British Empire. The League of Nations—what does it mean to this country? The League of Nations—the League of Robbers! We stand, some of us, where we always stood and despite all that has been said in favour of this Treaty we mean to continue standing where we stood in the past. Whatever may happen, whatever the road may be in front of us, we intend, with God's help, to travel it. The time will come yet—I hope it will come soon—when those who are going to depart from the straight road will come back to it. Then we will be together to the end of this fight. I am sorry to inflict such a long statement upon the Dáil. It was not my intention to do so when I stood up, but ideas keep coming to your mind, probably, when you feel so keenly on a matter which represents the ideals for which one has struggled and fought, the ideals for which one is prepared to do the same again, but for which one is not prepared to compromise or surrender no matter what the advantages may be. [Applause].

    [The House adjourned at 1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.]

    The House resumed at 3.45 p.m., the SPEAKER (Dr. Eoin MacNeill) in the chair.

    MR. DESMOND FITZGERALD:

    I want to say at the beginning, with regard to the last speaker before lunch, that I agree practically with every word he said. There is one thing I want cleared up because it may be a very fundamental difference. During the speeches in this Dáil there has been constant repetition of the words ‘Irish Republic,’ and it has given the impression that the declaration of the Irish Republic was a declaration in favour of a form of Government as distinct from what I understood it to be. I remember in 1917 a meeting at which the President spoke in the Mansion House, where he said that he accepted the words ‘Irish Republic’ as the best means of making it perfectly clear to the world that we have stood for absolute independence, whereas it seems to me during the course of the discussion in the Dáil that a great many people are fighting for a Republican principle rather than a national principle. Now the last speaker quoted from the Declaration of Independence read at the time, in January, 1919. Now I have always understood by a Free Irish Republic that we meant an independent Ireland, and I think that is borne out by that Declaration of Independence which was read by the member for Galway, and I think it bears out the point made by the member for Monaghan yesterday, namely, that the Irish Republic was looked upon as a means to an end, as one of the weapons used in fighting for the freedom of our country. In the Declaration of Independence adopted by the Dáil in January, 1919, it says: ‘Whereas the Irish people is resolved to secure and maintain its complete independence.’ It says that, and it goes on to say—and it is before you to-day—that ‘In order to promote the common weal, to re-establish justice, to provide for future defence, to insure peace at home, and good-will with all nations, and to constitute a national polity based upon the people's will with equal rights and opportunities for every citizen,’ et cetera. That was said to be the object we had in mind by complete independence. Now, in reading the present Treaty it seems to me that it tends to promote the common weal; to re-establish justice; to provide, possibly to a limited degree, for future defence; to secure peace at home and good-will with all nations, and to constitute a national polity based upon the people's will with equal right and opportunity for every citizen. It is because I see in this Treaty means to attain those ends that I am supporting this Treaty. And in the declaration of the Dáil in January, 1919, which ratified the establishment of the Irish Republic, it ordained that ‘The elected representatives of the Irish people alone have power to make laws binding on the people of Ireland, and that the Irish Parliament is the only Parliament to which that people will


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    give its allegiance. We solemnly declare foreign government in Ireland to be an invasion of our national right which we will never tolerate, and we demand the evacuation of our country by the English Garrison.’ Those things were laid down at that first meeting of the Dáil, and I think that, without being worried by words, including the words ‘Irish Republic,’ there is only one thing to guide us here now as ever, and that is the well-being of the Irish nation. I have always held, and I hold still, that for the complete well-being of the Irish nation sovereign independence is required. We are faced now with this Treaty, and with no alternative to it as far as I can see. I propose supporting the Treaty, because I am satisfied, looking at it, I think, as impartially as possible, that not only does it make for an immediate improvement in the future of this country, but, judging by the possibilities of what will happen by ratification or acceptance, it seems to me that we shall be much nearer the ultimate goal at any period such as I mentioned, by acceptance than by rejection. And I consider that in accepting—for always the one basis as a guide for our actions in this country is the welfare of the Irish nation—that we are not in any way breaking any pledge or abandoning any principle by doing what we are doing. It seems to me that we have one thing to rest assured of, the one thing that was made clear by the last few years' history of this country, and that is, that the tradition of Irish Independence and of Irish Nationality was too strongly embedded in us to be overcome by British Terror or by the disastrous period which preceded 1916. And I say that, given the powers, limited though they be to some small extent by this Treaty, there is no fear whatever of any going back. I look upon the Treaty as an entrenchment of the position so far gained, and I don't see that it is any abandonment of principle. Many things have been asserted about this Treaty which I consider quite unwarranted by any ordinary reading, and I agree with the speakers in this House that it will be the duty to read it in the light most favourable to ourselves. The last speaker said that the Government of the Free State would occupy the same position as Dublin Castle occupies now with regard to the people of this country. That may be so, but there will be this difference: our grievance with Dublin Castle is that it is there, and that it is not in our power to remove it except by physical force, and we have not had, so far, that force to remove it; but I cannot see how anyone can read this Treaty in such a way as to think that any Government which is undesired by the Irish people cannot be removed by the express will of the Irish people [hear, hear]. The last speaker asked how would we know when the time would come to fight again; how would we know when the time would come to strike for what he called an Irish Republic. In the declaration that is posted around the walls now which was made by the leaders of 1916 it was pointed out that in the last three hundred years Ireland had risen in arms some six or seven times. We have no reason to think that our generation or the generations coming after it will be less worthy Irishmen than those who have gone before; and it seems to me that if we accept this Treaty it will be worked by the people as well as they can, always working as Irishmen, thinking of the well-being of their country and when the time comes when they find that there is anything in the Treaty that comes between them and the well being of their country they, by the very oath they take in it, and by the whole tradition of our people, have only one course before them, and that is to act for the well-being of their country without any regard to anything else what ever. It has also been generally understood here that a Treaty is a thing which is made for eternity. It is no such thing. It is well recognised that a Treaty exists as long as it suits two parties to keep it. The last speaker suggested if ever it was for Ireland's good that the Treaty be abandoned we were bound in honour to keep to it. I think it is established the world over that a Treaty exists only until such time as one of the parties to it formally denounces it. I am satisfied that this Treaty bears that interpretation better than any other. It means this, that we do allow a certain limitation of our sovereignty by occupation of certain of our ports; that is to say, that we allow our sovereignty to be interfered with to a rather less degree than the sovereignty of Spain is interfered with by the occupation

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    of Gibraltar. I would ask the member for Cork, who stated his objection to it was that he would see British ships from his house every morning, if he thinks at the present time Spain, in its weak condition, is justified in not considering the feelings of the people of Algeeiras, who also see British forces every morning when they look out? Does he think that Spain is insulted and that she is bound in honour, without any regard for circumstances, to declare war, and to declare war continually on England until that one point is effected? I do not think so. There are one or two points in the Treaty which have been laboured very much. One was the Governor-General, as he is called. The first clause in this Treaty says that the Executive shall be responsible to Parliament in this country. In Britain the Executive is, in fact, responsible to the Parliament, but in form it is responsible to the King. In Ireland, under the Treaty, it is clearly laid down that the Executive is responsible to the Parliament. The opponents of the Treaty contend that the King or his representative on the Council constitutes the Executive. They quoted the Canadian Constitution, 1869, section 9. That may be so if you like. In that case the King or his representative is responsible to the Parliament according to Clause 1 of the Treaty, and the Parliament is responsible to the people. Therefore I shall put the interpretation on the Treaty that the representative of the King of England will be responsible to the Parliament in Ireland which is responsible to the people. If the Crown or its representative means anything more than a symbol of State as Mr. Childers contends, he is the servant of and responsible to the Parliament and the people. Thus we have in the Treaty itself the very demand of the President: ‘That the legislative, executive and judicial authority of Ireland shall be derived solely from the people of Ireland.’ I am satisfied that this Treaty bears that interpretation, and does recognise the sovereignty of Ireland. Sovereignty is of the people and is unalienable, and for that reason I say that, having only one formula to guide us—it is a formula which is not a mere formula, but absolutely basic—that, as the servants of the Irish nation, without abandonment of principle or without any breaking of oaths, we are doing a thing it is quite feasible for us to do in supporting this Treaty. The Republic has been spoken of as if it were a thing existing unchallenged. If that is so, I don't know what we were fighting for. We were fighting for the independence of our country, and that independence was interfered with because England still held our country. Now we have England recognising—whether she agrees that she is recognising it or not—this document in front of us is a recognition of the sovereignty of Ireland, but there is still a limitation of the independence of Ireland. That limitation is agreed to, say, under duress. I don't know of any Treaty that is not signed under duress, and I am quite satisfied that the Treaty was signed under duress not only by the plenipotentiaries, but by the representatives of the British Government. Everyone agrees that it was never love of justice or love of Ireland that induced Mr. Lloyd George to agree to that Treaty. He agreed to it because it was in our power to make it worth his while to agree to Irish independence to that extent. For that reason he signed it under duress and we signed it under duress. By accepting it we have sufficient belief in the Irish people that they will conserve their energy and build up their country, so that at any future time, if it be found that England is acting as the enemy of this country, we will be in a better position to deal with her than we are now [hear, hear]. And I am quite satisfied if at any time Ireland is in a strong enough position to challenge England with a fair chance of success, if England still persists in acting as our enemy, that she will receive final confirmation of the desire of the Irish people for the complete independence of their country. [Applause.]

    MR. SEUMAS FITZGERALD (CORK):

    During the adjournment I took the opportunity to test my constituents, and to the best of my ability during that short time I felt the pulse of my constituents. I found the following: those individuals who, to my certain knowledge were always against us favoured the Treaty. It was to be expected of them. Those whom we brought with us in the present fight


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    supported the Treaty first because it was boomed in the Press as a great victory. Now they feel compelled to accept it as a mere compromise. The sympathisers and the workers themselves find themselves in a very curious position. They now, what they did not at the beginning of this Session, understand what the Treaty actually is. They realise that we have not won; that Lloyd George has won. They believe that no matter whether you call this, Government of Dáil Eireann, Government of the Republic, or call it the Government of the Saorstát that, for good and all, if we accept this treaty sovereign independence is gone. They feel, some of them, that they should accept the Treaty under duress, but if there is any possibility of uniting and practically unanimously rejecting this Treaty they would prefer that such would be done. Then there are those who bore the brunt of the fight during the past two or three years. They are—and I have ascertained their opinions —almost unanimously against this Treaty, war or no war. Now one argument that I had to meet that was a fairly serious argument from my point of view; the Press boomed it and the country swallowed it: it was the point of view expressed by Deputy Mellowes that we as a Dáil had, before we sent plenipotentiaries to London definitely made up our minds to agree to compromise. I do not wish to enter into details to controvert that statement. There is an official publication of the Dáil containing all the correspondence that passed between President de Valera acting in his capacity as President of the Republic and Lloyd George; and I defy any single individual to show me throughout the whole of that correspondence by letter and telegram where the interests of the Republic were compromised. Now, the question of the mandate gives a good many Deputies a serious trouble of mind. What is my mandate? The only mandate that I ever remember having received was a mandate to come here to this second Dáil, and to the best of my ability safeguard the interests of the Republic established on the twenty-first January, 1919.

    MR. M. COLLINS:

    What about 1916?

    MR. FITZGERALD:

    Now that mandate is clear enough. The individuals who asked me to accept that mandate have not asked me to change. I have in my pocket resolutions passed by Sinn Fein Executives in my own area, and the most important Councils in my own area—those resolutions have not found their way into the Press—reiterating confidence in the Dáil, and expressing at the same time confidence that their representatives will do what they think best in the interests of Ireland. That is my mandate. But even so I find that, without considering the individuals whom I have mentioned, that I have found out that I can also take from them a somewhat similar mandate. Support of the Treaty by those who support it in my constituency is based upon fear, and such a mandate cannot be a true mandate. I have found that the thing that is uppermost in the people's mind is peace rather than the Treaty. Everybody, including myself, is anxious for peace. The people are longing for peace. All are not for the Treaty. It is discussed and it is also cursed. Well, if I find that the people want peace rather than the Treaty, and if I believe that the rejection of this Treaty will give us an opportunity of establishing a real and lasting peace, I would be interpreting, to the best of my ability, the wishes of those individuals who long for peace by voting against the Treaty. The last Deputy who spoke seemed to imagine that England does not mean that this Treaty will be binding. Why are Treaties made at all otherwise? If treaties were not binding we could have war practically in every decade. England would not put certain words in this Treaty unless she honestly intended to see that they were carried through. We know that even upon certain points in the Treaty that she even threatened war. I would imagine that she meant what she said when she asked that this certain phrase or clause would be inserted in the Treaty—if she threatened war. The Treaty is no empty formula to her. She, and not us, has won on principle. The Deputy from Cork, Deputy Walsh, gives an instance of how the provisions of the Treaty could be circumvented, and he stated that Germany gained a few extra points out of the Treaty of Versailles. I maintain that, as regards


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    essential details, that certain points may be gained from treaties from time to time, but I maintain that on fundamentals treaties are essentially binding. They may alter in respect of questions about finances and particular clauses, but I do not believe that on such fundamentals as the questions of sovereignty or defence that England does not recognise that that Treaty is binding. The Deputy who spoke before me claimed that it was not irrevocable in so far as it was signed under duress. What was the duress under which the Treaty was signed? All the plenipotentiaries who signed were not there, and I hold that the duress to make that Treaty invalid should be personal and immediate duress. I do not believe that any of the plenipotentiaries were threatened with immediate death at that period, or that they were threatened with immediate torture. The duress was not immediate. If the matter was brought as a contentious matter before any International Court of Law I believe that, irrespective of England's strength, England would win. Now about the question of the alternative if this Treaty is not ratified. I give those who are supporting the Treaty, or a majority of them, credit, in so far as I believe them to be out for an ultimate Republic. Now I maintain that this Treaty is irrevocable, and to secure an ultimate Republic—the only way we could do it is to cast aside that Treaty, and that means a declaration of war upon England. It is a matter of choice therefore with me as to whether war will be immediate, or whether we must be prepared for war. Let the people understand both alternatives. The alternative on our side is immediate war, and the alternative on the other side, in so far as the Treaty does not satisfy the aspirations of those who signed it, is future war. Some of the speakers who support the Treaty do not believe that war will be necessary. They believe that we could gradually encroach upon this Treaty and that we could take ‘this thing and this thing and this thing,’ as I heard it expressed. I do not believe that that is at all possible. For instance, we will just conceive in our minds the principal people who will work the Irish Free State if it does happen to come into operation. They will be people, the majority of them—I do not mean those who are supporting the Treaty, but I mean those who will come into the Irish Free State Government from outside—whose purely material and sordid interests will hamper your movements in that direction every way they possibly can. The Deputy from Cork, Deputy Walsh, offered a parallel in South Africa. Does he designedly forget the efforts that South Africa made during the period of the great war in Europe to regain a Republic? She was faced with the bitter opposition of her own people, and she lasted but a few months. What will happen if in endeavouring to secure an ultimate Republic in the future, we try to take the Opportunity of England's temporary weakness at such a period and attempt by force of arms to re-establish a Republic? The chaos that you imagine will follow the rejection of this Treaty will be nothing to the chaos that will follow such a course if adopted at such a period. I maintain that our moral position is such at the present time that we can better face war now than we can in ten or twenty years' time. The people of Ireland imagine that it is only solely on the question of the ratification of this Treaty that the alternative of war has been spoken about. I think the members of the Dáil will readily admit that they themselves faced war when they directed the President to transmit the reply he did transmit to Lloyd George on the 24th August last. They will admit that there was a probable break when our President refused to take as granted the letter that he sent to Lloyd George at Gairloch on the 13th September as not having been handed to Lloyd George when the open threat of war was contained therein, and the Dáil accepted that and the country does not seem to have realised it. Even the second last telegraphic communication sent by our President to Lloyd George invited the alternative to open warfare at that time, and the warfare did not come although it took ten full days for the British Cabinet to make up their minds, from the 19th to the 29th September. They did open negotiations, and the result was that our plenipotentiaries went to London. Therefore those who imagine that the only alternative is war are not acting

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    fairly towards the country. If the Treaty is unanimously or otherwise rejected it is due to the President and his Cabinet to formulate a policy, and with that confidence in him that won so much for Ireland, I firmly believe that our confidence in him will not be misplaced at such a juncture. The last speaker said that one of my objections to the Treaty was that a British naval force would be in occupation of Cork Harbour, and that from my residence I would see it evening, night and morn. That was not my argument. My argument was that from my reading of the Treaty I can see the British naval force not there for five years, but there for ever. He pressed forward as an analogy the situation in Algiers. The situation is somewhat different. Algiers is, in a different sense, de facto dependent on France.

    MR. GRIFFITH:

    Algeciras, which is part of Spain—not ‘Algiers’ which is the opposite side altogether.

    MR. FITZGERALD:

    I don't know anything about that. I understood him to speak of Algiers. I maintain that certain countries are de facto dependent on other political bodies, but those other countries are better off than we will be under this Treaty in so far as those countries themselves are sovereign. Deputy Fitzgerald, I think, says he believes that Ireland will have sovereign independence under this Treaty. Sovereignty is to me the complete independence of a state from all other states, that the state derives its rights solely from itself and are native to itself; that they are not delegated to it by another state; they are not exercised by virtue of powers conferred on it by any other state or body, that legally and judicially the state is not subject to any other political body. The position that we find at the present time—the Government of the Irish Republic functions on rights derived from itself and native to itself—bespeaks the Government of the Irish Republic as a sovereign assembly. Under this Treaty the authority of the Irish Free State is delegated to it by the British Parliament as legally and judicially subject to the British Crown, and as such, I maintain it cannot be accepted that Ireland under the Treaty will be a sovereign independent nation. The only other thing that it can be is that it will be a subordinate nation of the British Empire. I have heard arguments brought forward here in regard to the sovereign independence of Canada and Australia. In so far as their authority is derived from Britain and is exercised under this superior jurisdiction of Britain I cannot accept it that Australia and Canada are sovereign nations. After the great war the Allies imposed obligations on Germany—and Austria as well—obligations which she could not resist, but Germany still remains sovereign. Legally and judicially its authority was its own and was derived from itself and was not delegated to it by the Allies. I would really prefer this Treaty to recognise the fundamental of Irish sovereignty and be prepared to sacrifice other considerations such as financial considerations, truce clauses, aye, and defence clauses, but only for a certain period. Persia, Afghanistan and others allow other nations to exercise certain powers which are their's alone by right, but they are still sovereign. The reason why I would prefer such is this, that the people at all times will agitate for material concessions. The people as we know them will not at all times agitate for the ideal. The people will be very slow indeed to agitate for the idea of sovereignty which we have now lost under this Treaty if we accept it, when war will be the only method of regaining it. I do not know of any nation on this earth that does not claim that sovereignty as a natural attribute of the state. Why do we not demand the same right? You call It the Irish Free State. Fundamentally it is not so. Now about the clauses of the Treaty. I will not debate them. The clauses containing the oath and the Governor-General, and the point about common citizenship are repulsive to every individual whom I have met in my constituency who has created the present situation or assisted to create it. It is, undoubtedly, causing them great anxiety. The Deputy from Cork, Deputy Walsh, said that if he thought the Treaty would bring disunity to Ireland he would vote against it. From his inference I gathered that he meant Ulster. Does he take into consideration a more grievous and a more disastrous disunity than the one he spoke of? I


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    speak of the disunity that is bound to come—the disruption of the national movement. Deputy O'Duffy said that if he were offered the alternative to war or chaos that he would prefer war. I believe national chaos is bound to come out of the acceptance of this Treaty unless some superhuman effort is made by somebody who has not yet come along to try and retrieve the position that we have lost. The Deputy also stated that the peaceful penetration of England is now at a standstill. I maintain that it is now and now only that the peaceful penetration of Britain is percolating through this country. He also mentioned about prisoners in Belfast awaiting execution. I am much in the same position myself. There are several individuals from my own constituency at the present time under sentence of death in Cork prison. At the same time I well remember that a communication was sent to the Press by the Brigade Commandant who at that time was responsible for the operation for which those men were adjudged guilty, that those men were perfectly innocent. From what I know of those men I do not believe that they would wish that their predicament should be allowed to trouble my conscience in this matter, and I firmly believe that they are quite prepared to stand by any decision the Dáil would make. But I know the attitude of one, personally. He has been sentenced to fifteen years and he is at present serving that sentence. He is well known to practically every Deputy in the Dáil, and when visited last Christmas by his sister it was natural that something should crop up about the Treaty. Now I maintain that there is very little difference between a man under sentence of execution and an individual who is condemned to fifteen years' penal servitude. Some, I think, prefer to be shot straight away, but this individual said that he wished it would he known that he would prefer to rot inside in jail for the fifteen years than accept this Treaty [Applause]. There is, at least, one opinion from an individual who has just as much to say as the individuals who are under sentence of execution. Now, I think it was the President who mentioned the point that if what is contained in this Treaty were contained in a further act that England thought fit to impose upon the country, that it is quite possible that we would seize upon the Act and work it to the best advantage. Deputy MacGarry sought to bring an unfair inference from what was contained in James Connolly's book admitting his acceptance of the Government act of '98. There is a difference in going forward and going backward. James Connolly, at that time, by seizing on that Act would be going a step forward. In taking that step he would not have signed any treaty bartering away the sovereign rights of the Irish people. In conclusion I wish to state that the men in my area who count will never accept this Treaty. There is nothing in the Treaty which binds England to remove the English Garrison out of this country. There is stated in a subsequent letter sent by Mr. Lloyd George to the Chairman of the Delegation, Mr. Arthur Griffith, that they will evacuate Southern Ireland. I wonder where they will go to? Then again,there is nothing in the Treaty that does not give England quite a legal right to bring her troops into Ireland whenever she deems so fit.

    MR. MILROY:

    Except the Irish Army.

    MR. FITZGERALD:

    The men who count in my area, I say, will never accept this Treaty. They ask that we should be united and refuse to accept it, because it will bring Ireland no peace. I am of the one mind only, and I ask that this Treaty be unanimously or nearly so rejected. After that we will put our minds together and try and re-establish our own position and make one more try. Those men have asked me to bring forward this suggestion here, that we should not accept this, and that we and the whole nation should make one more serious effort to try and re-establish the position that we had before December 5th.

    DR. R. HAYES:

    A Chinn Chomhairle, I have never at any time during the past three years, at any of the sessions, taken up very much of the time of this assembly, and now, at its last session, I certainly am not going to do so. In that respect at least I will try to be consistent. I am voting for the Treaty and I also am supporting


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    its adoption; and although I recognise that it confers a status on this country that it had never since the English invasion, at the same time I recognise that it does not give us everything that we wish for. To me, anyhow, it is a compromise, but surely there are times, there are occasions—critical occasions—in a nation's history when it is justifiable to compromise, especially when the object of the compromise is not an ignoble one. It is a necessary compromise to me, anyhow, but it certainly is a compromise without dishonour. Speaking of compromises, to me it seems that the signing of this Treaty was the final result, the culmination of a whole series of compromises, during the past four or five months—all necessary compromises. One of the very first acts in the negotiations was a compromise. Our army was not defeated, it had not surrendered, and yet the enemy capital was selected as the meeting place for the two delegations. As a political proposition in relation to an immediate settlement with England it seems to me that the Republic ceased to exist four or five months ago. I agree with Deputy Mellowes that the real Republic, the Republican ideal, still exists, and is still cherished in the hearts even of those people who support this Treaty. I think that it has been unfair and unjust the criticism that has been levelled at the Delegation over these negotiations. They were selected by this assembly and by the Cabinet of this assembly to make a bargain, not on the Republican basis, but on the basis of association with Britain's Commonwealth. They made that bargain and they have brought back the bargain, and I think, considering the governing circumstances, that it is a pretty good bargain. I am firmly convinced of one thing regarding this Treaty, and it is this: but for the oath contained in it, ninety-nine per cent. of this Dáil would accept it, as a compromise at least. I say that the oath is just as unpalatable to those who are voting for the Trea