PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT.

The PRESIDENT opened his statement by expressing regret at his absence on the previous occasion, but he could not help it. His first duty after returning from America was to get in touch with the Ministers and as many of the Teachtaí as he could. On the night before the meeting the Minister for Defence saw him and asked was it a wise thing to hold a Dáil meeting. A meeting of this sort, where they all came together, might have disastrous consequences. The Minister of Finance, on the other hand, considered that although it would be disastrous if they were all captured there, at the same time the risks were not so high that it was absolutely necessary not to have a meeting. In any case the three of them decided it would certainly be very bad for the Republic if a meeting like this was held and they were all captured. He and the Ministers of Finance and Defence agreed that it was very important to have a meeting of An Dáil, and now that the responsibility of calling this meeting was on all the members themselves, he and the other Ministers were only too happy to meet them, and he was very glad to be there that day to meet them all in session. He agreed with the ideas expressed the last day that the important thing for them now was the question of the general policy to be pursued throughout the country.