I suggest that if there is any matter that requires clarification in the minds of members that they should ask questions. Now I would like everybody clearly to understand, and the delegation on the one hand and we on the other have agreed to this, that the plenipotentiaries went over to negotiate a Treaty, that they could differ from the Cabinet if they wanted to, and that in anything of consequence they could take their decision against the decision of the Cabinet, but of course they would know the consequence. They would know what they were deciding against. If I was on the delegation I would have taken a different view from Mr. Griffith on one point. Now I wish to explain to you that a Cabinet team has to work so well together that at critical moments like this it should be unable to act together as one man when you have fundamental differences that you cannot get rid of. I have only one thing to say, one thing I feel hurt about, with respect to the delegation, and that is that a Treaty was signed in London, and when I heard of it first the signatures were appended to it. As I came in the door of the Mansion House I was given a signed copy of the document, and it had already been given to the Press in London. It was then about 7.15. Now it probably would not have altered the final position a bit, but what I did feel was that if I was of any use to my country it was that I was able to keep the two groups together. I considered myself of no other avail. I considered at least I might have the chance of getting that unanimity which was so essential at the moment. My tactics would have differed from those of the delegation. I stood away from the delegation because I thought the tactical position was stronger. I do not hesitate to admit to anybody that I went out for peace from the moment of Lloyd George's letter to me. I went out for peace if I could secure it honourably, and I felt it my duty to do so. I struggled for it. I battered down the wall of the isolated Republic to do it. I saw that I would have to batter down that wall. I said when I was elected as President that as far as I am concerned my oath was taken to the Irish people I mean my oath was taken on the Irish side it was referred to this morning in the Independent. Some of you I know voted for me as President because I was for an independent Republic, that in the eyes of many meant an isolated Republic and I was also voted for by people in the country who thought that if there was anything like that which is now before the country I would not use my influence to get it rejected. I therefore represented two groups. When I went down to Clare I primarily represented the Republic and I felt that my first obligation was to the group in which I stood, and everybody knew that I stood definitely for the Irish Republic. I have tried to keep the country together as well as the members here together, and I have also showed that I never made a statement that I was altogether for the Republic or nothing. I was careful on that point if you go through anything I have said at any time. I have been perfectly consistent. I have been classed as a moderate. So I am. I believe I am a moderate. I frightened some members here in the Dáil before I was elected as President when I said, "This oath to me is not going to bind me to do anything but what I consider right and honourable and best for the Irish people". It was on that consideration you took me, and on that consideration I am going to stand. I felt at the same time in honour bound if I could by any honourable means to get an isolated Republic. It was my duty to the people to do it. That has been my effort all the time to get that, and if I could not it was a question of tactics to leave it in the hands of others who might be able to do it. Expecting peace by negotiation I started to break down that wall. I opened a path. The plenipotentiaries were sent because they were likely to be people whom the British Government would be induced to try and do business with. I knew the men perfectly. It would not be quite the team I would have sent were it not there might be personal differences among members of the Cabinet which would prevent them working together as a team. I suggested they were the best team I could get, and I felt that we could do the work here because we were in constant communication. At a certain stage a certain question was being put to the delegates. I saw that the question was coming. I do not like hobble skirts. I would have opposed the oath for this Assembly if I could because I do not believe in binding yourself up in hobble skirts, for human nature is such that you come to the time when you kick them off. Then this question had to be decided. I was here and I was considering the whole circumstances. I would have said "No", though I might not have said "No" before. I would have said "No" in the circumstances because I felt I could have said "No" with advantage to the nation. On October 25th I wrote this:

"I received the minutes of the seventh session and your letter of the 24th. We are all here at one that there can be no question of our asking the Irish people to enter an arrangement which would make them subject to the Crown or demand from them allegiance to the British King. If war is the alternative, we can only face it, and I think that the sooner the other side is made to realise that the better."

That decision was taken with the full knowledge of the consequences and I took it that time because I said to myself if they publish their proposals we will put up ours and stand behind, and let them go to war if they dared. If they did we would be perfectly right. If I am in prison and a man says to me you can go out and walk round the roads if you give me your parole that you will not escape I would say I will not give you my parole. I will use my chance to get out of the prison house anytime I can. If you ask me to give my parole I would say no and do your downdest.

Would you mind reading our reply?

Yes. Now a man will say to you, that is all right for yourself, but are you going to decide like that for hundreds of thousands of other persons. I give only one answer to that. I know what I would do for myself. Then if they ask me to decide for them I will decide for them as I would decide for myself. They have ultimately the right to decide for themselves. That is my position. That letter of mine to the chairman of the delegation drew from the delegation a note which I could not understand to tell you the truth. Would you like me to read it all or only portion of it?

Letter to me from the delegation dated October 24th, 1921. (Reading) "Your letters reached me this evening. It is impossible for me, with the engagements we have this evening and the time at my disposal to deal with all the matters. I have got a meeting of the delegates and secretaries. The delegates regard the first paragraph of your letter No. 7 as tying their hands in discussion and as inconsistent with the powers given them on their appointment and Nos. 1 and 2 of 'Instructions to Plenipotentiaries from Cabinet' dated 7th October." I could not see that for one. I simply gave the decision. The delegates considered that was tying them and they sent this letter in protest signed by everyone of them. Another paragraph was: "Obviously any form of association necessitates discussion of recognition in some form or other by the head of the association." That is a perfectly true statement but they were to form an association that would be compatible with the aspirations of the Irish people. We went over the form of association that would be consistent with the aspirations of the Irish people. There was nothing in my letter which should have drawn that answer. (Reading): "Instruction 2 conferred this power of discussion but required before a decision was made reference to the members of the Cabinet in Dublin". That is perfectly true. We simply told them what position we would take. I didn't wish to limit their powers of discussion. I was the strongest advocate that they should have full powers of discussion. There was no use in sending them if they were to be figureheads. There was no question of withdrawing powers. (Proceeding): "We strongly resent, in the position in which we are placed the interference with our powers". Again I hold there was none. "The responsibility if this interference breaks the very slight possibility there is of settlement will not and must not rest on the plenipotentiaries. As to your coming to London" it was suggested by the Minister of Finance that I should go over. I had the same reasons against it then as I had at first. I said if circumstances arose which would alter my previous decision by bringing up new points I was willing to go. (Reading): "As to your coming to London, we think, if you can come without being known, it is important you should do so immediately. But if you cannot come privately do not come publicly unless we send you a message that in our opinion it is essential." Of course it would be out of the question my going privately. In reply to that I wrote: "Yours of October 26th received. There is obviously a misunderstanding. There can be no question of tying the hands of the plenipotentiaries beyond the extent to which they are tied by their original instructions. Of course a Cabinet decision cannot be withdrawn or varied except by the Cabinet as a whole. It is because this should go without saying that I am surprised any misunderstanding has arisen. The delegates must understand these memos of mine, except I explicitly state otherwise, as nothing more than attempt to keep you in touch with the views of members of the Cabinet here on the various points as they arise. I think it most important that you should be kept aware of these views, for when the delegation returns there will be a question of a Cabinet decision as to policy. My going to London I am glad that your view agrees with my own on the matter. You may take it that going privately is impossible".

Later I wrote a letter to Mr. Griffith with regard to procedure on November 17th and I said even if we are able to arrive at an agreement with them in substance the form of procedure will be of the utmost importance. The consistency of our position must be maintained on our side but that is the whole thing in this that association which would in fact mean something very like what has been signed. Such an association with I think proper and delicate handling could be brought about which would be quite consistent with our position. I say anything they could do constitutionally they could not deal with it otherwise than by a Dominion Act. The one catch the big catch in that Treaty proposal is that when it comes to a Dominion Act you are not going to have that Treaty; you are going to have resolutions in the British House of Commons, when it comes it may be a Dominion Act. We will see if that position is reached. It will not be easy to devise procedure which will satisfy both sides. In order that they might start from their own angle we gave the plenipotentiaries a roughly drafted treaty which they might proceed for as a basis. It is most unfortunate that we have had these differences of opinion. I believe it is the grandest chance for making peace a peace that we would all be delighted with, from the point of view of our strength and everything else has been lost in a few hours and it is not because I am against peace but because I am for real peace (Hear, hear) that I am taking this attitude I have taken, and I hope that when this matter is thrashed out that it may be possible for us to yet make a final effort to get real peace. Now, having said that, I think I have said all I have got to say about it. The plenipotentiaries, I repeat, had a perfect right to disagree with the Cabinet and a perfect right to sign but when Mr. Griffith came over I came up from Clare when he came over he gave me a document which was very near the final stage. I told him definitely I could never sign that document. At the Cabinet meeting on the following day the matter arose again and Mr. Griffith pointed out clearly and [recte that] he would not break on the Crown. I was willing to break on the Crown because I said again, "we will present our two documents", but he said he could not in his conscience break on the Crown because it meant going back to war and he did not think we were in the position in which we could fight a war. It was pointed out by certain members of the Cabinet that it would have meant a split inasmuch as they would not in any circumstances accept the Crown and it was up to him was he going to split the country on such a proposal. That was the position. It was suggested, as I was strong on breaking off if necessary on the point, it was suggested that I should go over now and a new situation had arisen, and I was ready to go over to break, at least I would have been ready but for one thing that was against it and that one thing is that Mr. Griffith coming over on a breaking question my going over would be interpreted as anxiety on our part and likely to give in. I did not want this interpretation to be placed on my action, and that extra little bit I wanted to pull them and hoped they would be pulled, could not be done if I went and therefore I was balancing these. Now Mr. Griffith in discussing with another member of the Cabinet said, "well then I will not break on the Crown but I will not sign". It would be presented to the Dáil and therefore I felt that I was presented with a fait accompli in the signed document. We have been presented with a fait accompli in that signed document and that is the whole difficulty and I would do anything I could to try to restore the position to what it was but I could not allow it to be understood by the country that I was assenting to that document and that the Cabinet was assenting to the signing of that document.

The other member of the Cabinet to whom he refers was myself. There was some rather heated passages between the chairman of the delegation and myself. Now, at the finish as the President has pointed out, the chairman, when I put it up to him that this would mean a split and by the way I may say this, first at the Cabinet meeting and I repeat now what I said at the Cabinet meeting the last few days, I am satisfied for what I know of each individual member of the delegation, that they have done according to their lights, what they thought was the best for the country, and although there were heated passages between Mr. Griffith and myself and between Mr. Collins and myself it was merely because we differed in opinion. It was not because I doubted their honour. I never suggested such a thing. Mr. Collins said to me and to those of us which [sic] are against the four fundamentals that were in this Treaty that has been signed and which are in the document presented to us, "If you are not satisfied with us, get another five to go over." Now if the undertaking that Mr. Griffith gave later on that is the one the President has spoken about, that he would not break but that he would not sign: he would come back to the Dáil if the undertaking had not been given I would have taken Mr. Collins at his word and I would be in favour of another five going over, but it was because the undertaking was given that I was satisfied and went back to Galway in a happy frame of mind because I knew if they could not satisfy their consciences they were going to come back and leave it to the Dáil.

I have a suggestion to make, apart from anything Mr. Griffith says or I say afterwards. I think it would be right for the members of the Dáil to be in possession of what I call the essential documents and I suggest that there are three essential documents the semi-final document from the English side to our side which we brought back to Ireland, and the document from our side to the English side which followed that and which give what I call the best impression of what occurred and the final document from the English.

The Secretary of the Delegation

I have all these here but I have only one copy.

of course I don't know whether I would be in order in speaking. Perhaps Mr. Griffith

One thing, as I said at the beginning, is to keep the minds of every member clear as to what happened in the beginning. There was a suggestion that the plenipotentiaries exceeded their powers. President de Valera has explained to you now that they did not do so and that he did not intend to make that suggestion. We did not exceed our powers. We had powers to sign anything we considered it well to sign and the power of the Dáil was the power of ratification, but we were not going to sign anything we did not think the Dáil might not honourably and properly accept. During the whole of the time we were there we sent every night a courier to Dublin, with details of everything that happened, to the President. I understand that copies were made. I think there were five copies sent one for each of the Ministers, so that day by day each of them was acquainted with all that was going on, public conversations and private conversations.

Various documents passed between both sides. Copies of these documents, every scrap of paper that passed, were sent to the President and the Cabinet. On the Saturday before we signed we had arrived at a crucial stage. We had fought in the beginning, we had tried the Republic, we had tried neutrality and we tried a proposal which hereafter will be read to you. We had driven them from position to position on other points, but on this they were standing on a rock. I came back on the Saturday. I had written the day before to the President that now we were up against the Crown and Empire and we had to face it, and I asked for some suggestions from the members of the Cabinet in Dublin. I got none.

I am sorry for interrupting you but the Minister of Finance took over a special document which I had sent along. It was not a complete document but it covered the vital points.

We will get that document afterwards. I merely want to get the facts clear in the minds of the members here. I came back on the Saturday to Dublin. I attended a Cabinet meeting. I went back to London that evening. I told the President we brought back what seemed to be the final proposals of the English Cabinet. I said we were now up against this question of the Crown and the inclusion in the Empire. I told him that I would not break on the Crown if the other points we wanted were conceded, because if we did we could not carry our own people with us on the mere point alone and we would throw all the Dominions against us. I said I would not take that responsibility. We suggested for the President himself to go to London but for reasons which I know are perfectly cogent in his mind he decided not to go.

I had not made up my mind until you had given the undertaking that you would not sign.

Mr. Cathal Brugha and you were speaking to me on the subject then and they asked me if I would not break on the Crown I would not sign that document and I said I would not. I also said that I intended and the minutes of the Cabinet meeting will show what happened

"... President and Dáil to reject."

"The Minister for Defence was in perfect agreement with the President. The only matter upon which he could disagree would be the question of recognising the King of England as head of the Associated States."

"Mr. Griffith would not take the responsibility of breaking on the Crown. When as many concessions as possible conceded, and when accepted by Craig he would go before the Dáil. The Dáil was the body to decide for or against war."

"The President took his stand upon these Irish proposals which meant external connection with the Crown. He suggested the following amendment to the Oath of Allegiance:

'I ........................ do solemnly swear true faith and Allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State, to the Treaty of Association and to recognise the King of Great Britain as head of the Associated States'."

That was taken down by Mr. Duffy across the table. I was only showing how to get around the thing that was objectionable, but surely nobody would take a thing like that until it was presented.

I am reading the official minutes of the Cabinet meeting.

I say these minutes were never signed and never read and never adopted.

Let me finish them (Reading):

"(c) Delegates to carry out their original instructions with same powers.

(d) Delegates to return and say the Cabinet won't accept Oath of Allegiance if not amended and to face the consequences, assuming that England will declare war.

(e) Decided unanimously that present Oath of Allegiance could not be subscribed to.

(f) Mr. Griffith to inform Mr. Lloyd George that the document could not be signed, to state that it was now a matter for the Dáil, and to try and put the blame on Ulster.

(g) On a majority vote it was decided that the Delegation be empowered to meet Sir James Craig if they should think necessary. The following voted for and against:


President de Valera Minister for Finance Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister for Economics Minister for Local Government


Minister for Defence Minister for Home Affairs

(h) It was decided that the President should not join the Delegation in London at this stage of the negotiations."

Continuing MR. GRIFFITH said:

Now there is the position on the Saturday. We went back to London and we met these people on Sunday and fought straight up and down all day. We nearly broke on Sunday night. We did make a break as a matter of fact but we went back again on the Monday morning and we started in. That Monday evening Lloyd George was sending his final reply to Craig. Craig had called his Parliament for the Tuesday and with the definite assurance I had got Lloyd George the previous week held back for another week. We fought all day and he had two letters written to Craig and they were going off at 10 o'clock that night. One letter was informing him that the negotiations were broken off with us and the other was putting this proposal to him and is now my Treaty. We had the alternative and we had to face the alternative of making the decision. Then I tried to get them to put it back for a week to get back to the Dáil. I could not get it done. We had to take a decision. We were plenipotentiaries. If we did not take a decision then if we left the place the people of Ireland would have very properly come to us and say, "We entrusted you with powers to make a decision and you hadn't the courage to do it. You have thrown us back into war without our knowledge." We did make a decision and we made the decision when they came to us they said, "Will you be within or without the Empire". We said if you give us this and that we will propose that to the Dáil. Under these circumstances we have signed that document and we have come back with the document now. Attempts have been made to create in the public mind the impression that we went there pledged to the Republic and pledged to bring back nothing but a Republic. I want you to recollect all that happened. I would not have gone there, nobody in his senses would have gone there, in such circumstances. If we wanted the recognition of the Republic as a preliminary we could have said so. We were sent to negotiate a settlement. When we were sent I stated to the Cabinet I would strive to bring back a Republic but I could not bring back the Republic. No member of the Cabinet had the slightest misunderstanding.

None whatever.

We went there to get the best settlement possible consistent with the honour and the interests of Ireland. That is how we regarded ourselves. We believe we had got the best settlement consistent with the honour and interests of Ireland. An attempt has been made, not by President de Valera but outside, to make it appear that we went there with more or less definite instructions to take a Republic and nothing but a Republic, whereas we were sent there to do our best, in effect to make a bargain. In a speech at the Dáil on August 17th. Mr. de Valera, spoke of mutual give and take, said they were ready to meet and adjust this on the basis of mutual give and take. In the same speech he said. "If it was demanded of me that before going to negotiate with the British Prime Minister I would first of all have to renounce our independent right I would not have gone. If, on the other hand, seeing the claim that they are putting forward I made a demand before I went, that Britain ought to acknowledge our right absolutely then I might have been held to be unreasonable because then there would have been no question of, or necessity for, negotiations". Once you start negotiations you are going to give away something and you are going to get something. At the general election the question was put to the Irish people to say what form of Government they wanted how they wished to live so that they might have an opportunity of working out for themselves their own national life in their own way and the answer the people gave was unmistakable. "I do not take it", said the President, "for the form so much because we are not Republican doctrinaires as such. It was for Irish freedom and Irish independence". Well, we have brought back Irish freedom and Irish independence (No, no and question). Ireland is as free as Canada and Australia (No). I don't mind the members arguing with me. I object to being interrupted. We say and we contend that we have brought back a satisfactory answer. It is for the representatives to decide whether we have not but let them argue it out hereafter. If we were to bring back the full demand we would not have been sent at all. President de Valera met Mr. Lloyd George last July and Mr. Lloyd George made certain proposals to him. These proposals involved the acceptance of the Crown and Empire. President de Valera did not immediately reject them.

He did not sign them.

He thought it consistent with his position to bring them back and place them before the Dáil although they involved acceptance of the Crown and Empire. He considered he was bound to lay them before the Dáil.

The point is just what I did with Lloyd George's proposals. I was against his idea from the start. If I could get peace by negotiation, a peace we could stand by, I was out for it. Now, I got those proposals. I saw that they would not bring peace, and I am against these because they won't bring peace to Ireland. I flung them back at him. I didn't even take them from his room. I said these are no use to us. I went away and I suggested to our representative in London that as they were signed anyhow it was something in writing that we had from the British Government. There would be a thing we could proceed from and I thought it would be useful to have that signed document and I suggested that when he met the Prime Minister's secretary that he might suggest that he might as well send them back. They are signed documents. I rejected them there and then and if you looked at my reply after the Dáil had seen them you would see that I confirmed that rejection. You will see in my note it says: "The anticipatory judgment which I gave you. I am now able to confirm, having submitted them to Dáil Éireann" or something to that effect. I did not see there was any use in proceeding along that line at all. I had tried to tell Lloyd George that there was no chance of getting along on that particular line. I suggested an association.

I think it is most unfair for the President to get up and make a speech in the middle of a speech.

I admit that. I am sorry.

I felt obliged to lay them before the Dáil and that was the point. In letter 14, written by the President on September 19th he wrote:

"A treaty of accommodation and association properly concluded between the peoples of these two Islands and between Ireland and the group of States in the British Commonwealth would, we believe, end the dispute forever and enable the two Nations to settle down in peace, each pursuing its own individual development and contributing its own quota to civilisation, but working together in free and friendly co-operation in affairs of agreed common concern."

which of course was perfectly clear. In letter 16 he wrote:

"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 practical 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".

We explored every possibility of a settlement for eight weeks and in the end we brought back this Treaty. Now I know what is going to be said about it. If we brought back heaven and earth we would be blamed. Before I went away I said: "Whatever the plenipotentiaries bring back some one is going to kick them", and I said, "If so I am going to kick back". We have brought back a Treaty and as to the definition of a treaty, when the Boers in 1881 beat the English what they got was England insisted that the Boers' right was established and England insisted on controlling the foreign affairs of the Boers and putting in a British President and insisted on the right to march her troops across the Transvaal, and the Boers agreed to that. When they asked for a Treaty in '84 on these lines the English Government replied, "No, we are only making a convention". A treaty is an instrument between two sovereign states. England has concluded a Treaty with us the first she has concluded in her history. That Treaty gives Ireland an equal status with England, Canada or any country in the Commonwealth and places them on an equal level. The guarantee Ireland has now for her security against England is the joint guarantee of Canada, Australia and the Dominions. Any invasion of our rights is an invasion of theirs. In questions of foreign policy, peace or war our voice is equal to that of England. We have brought back the name of the State, the army, the flag, and it is for Dáil Éireann to say whether they believe that is dishonourable to Ireland and whether they will declare war; but we were not prepared to say to the people that Ireland is not to go to war against that; but if they do I will follow in the ranks but I will never lead under such circumstances.

The matter he is dealing with now could have been dealt with in a public session. He is defending the principle. Have we not got into something of an impasse? Was not the matter with which the session was to deal in private to decide whether the delegates had exceeded their powers or not?

State what is the point of order.

That we are discussing in private session the Treaty itself. The chairman of the delegation had not originally opened his statement.

That is not contrary to order, inasmuch as these are shut out from discussion at the public session.

It is out of order to discuss it in private.

Clearly not.

I object to members making speeches in the middle of important statements.

I am stating views which I will state in public session. The thing I want you to remember is this to decide whether we exceeded our powers. I understood President de Valera to agree.

There is no question of exceeding powers but to know how this team broke.


and we want to get together again.

The private session was to know how it was broken. I think both sides have a fairly good idea as to the real facts and there is no longer any necessity for a private session.

If you wish to make a representation to a member, in order, while he is making a speech you must make it by note of hand and privately.

I want to understand that the difference between us and the members of the Cabinet at home in the end was not the vital difference between the Republic and the Crown. It was a difference of the degree of recognition of the Crown; a difference between the degree of the Oath of Allegiance; and on that principle, that small difference to ask the people of Ireland to go back to war is a thing I will never do. What we got was better. There was no vital difference of principle and what we signed, I signed it not under a threat of war I would not have signed it under any threat of war if I believed it dishonourable to the country, but if it had not been for the immediate prospect of war I would have come to the Dáil before signing it. I stand by it on the merits and I believe the Irish people if they accept it will a month hence see the British troops out and our own army in.

then said he had only that morning received a letter from Mr. Lloyd George which he would read. Having failed at the moment to find the letter Mr. Griffith added I cannot delay the discussion. I have the letter somewhere and will read it later.

There was an arrangement that there would be Whips and that the people who wished to speak would make arrangements through the Whips. I don't wish to enforce any rigid order now in this private discussion but when we meet again in public it will be necessary to have much more rigid order than at the opening this morning. It was very difficult for a person presiding over an assembly of this kind to call to order those who have principal responsibility for the affairs of the country. But instead of that he must expect to have their fullest co-operation in maintaining order. I wish to point out that there is nothing gained by departing from order and that the gain is only imaginary. There will be time enough and we can take all the time necessary. From every point of view I appeal to you to assist in having these proceedings conducted in the best possible order. With regard to the grave and important decision you have to come to, the more carefully you set about it, from every point of view the better. Constant contradiction and corrections raise the temperature and that is what we have to avoid. There is no gain to anyone in raising the temperature of the discussion. In the country we want to have it at a proper level. Where there are Whips it would be possible for those who wish to make speeches to arrange it and that is better than to stand up on the spur of the moment.

then read the following letter received that morning from Mr. Lloyd George adding that it was written to cover questions of doubt that might arise:

"10, Downing Street, S.W. 1. 13th December, 1921.


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. 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 counterclaim to which it thought Ireland entitled. Upon the case so submitted the arbitrators would decide after making such further enquiries 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 the 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."

Will this letter be read in public?

intimated that it would.

I want to ask a question. Is it a fait accompli or what are we talking about, and if at a public session or any other session will the President say if he intends to submit an alternative to the Treaty proposed at the present time if he intends to submit a policy as an alternative?

The suggestion I have to make was to meet things that Dáil members had been expressing views about. Dáil members have stated that they were in the dark about certain things. At no stage while I have been a member of the Dáil have I denied information to any member who asked me on Dáil matters. I have no intention of doing it now as I think that the vital documents should be in their hands. I am not certain that the delegation met to consider among themselves that we have to agree with the British authorities about that. I don't think we have to agree with them about a document that we put in as a joint document when there was agreement in the one they put in in reply to the final document. But it would be of importance to the Dáil that these documents should be in their possession. If the delegation think they are in honour bound not to submit them I can only say we should first arrange to get permission to submit them. There is one point about the signing of this. It is only a point. It occurred about half past one o'clock in the morning and a question was asked direct across the table from Mr. Lloyd George to Mr. Griffith. We had been fighting about the alteration of certain clauses and he said: "If we alter those to what you want will you recommend this document?" Mr. Griffith said, "yes". That committed us as well as the signatures. When we were asked for our signatures I thought it was an advantage to have their signatures and if we came back with an unsigned document they would be able to say, "They have not signed it: they're codding you".

I want to answer a question. I was asked whether it was a fait accompli. I say that I of all people if there was one member of the Dáil or one person in Ireland who had a tremendous responsibility I had it. You will all admit that my duty would have been were it not for another point of view to have been with the delegation. I was captaining a team and I felt that the team should have played with me to the last and that I should have got the last chance which I felt would have put us over and we might have crossed the bar in my opinion at the high tide. They rushed before the tide got to the top and they almost foundered the ship; and as I was captain I have a right to show that it was not through my fault as captain that it has been done. It was a fait accompli but the position can be restored somewhat. I have a proposal such as I would have tried to write. If they broke I would have written final proposals and I would have been as much against Cathal Brugha and Austin Stack if they went on one side as I would against Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins on the other. It is possible to get what will really be such as we can accept. There are differences that may be regarded as shadows, but they are more than shadows the things that matter for us. If to the Crown and His Majesty's Ministers in this country these things are not shadows for them; but the Irish Army and the Irish Ministers if they are mere shadows, why should they be grasping for the shadows, and why should not we? I wanted to clear these shadows because they meant an awful lot. We have the country supporting definite proposals. It will be the mischief to get the English out of the position they are in. If we go we will be divided and a Provisional Government set up in Dublin Castle will be as a matter of fact legally as much a usurpation as the other on the present proposals. I want to get proposals and it could be done by delicate handling. I am excusing myself to the Dáil as the captain of the ship and I can only say it is not my fault and I am trying to recover the position. My proposals may not suit one or the other and if you don't reject them I will do my best.

And the ship has not foundered yet.

The Minister for Finance has made a statement. I am not in agreement with that and it will be necessary for me to say so now, otherwise it might be charged against me that the statement was made, that I did not contradict it and my objection might go by default. The Minister of Finance stated that Mr. Griffith made his reply that he agreed and that we were as much committed as when we signed. I say we were not. No member of the delegation was committed except Mr. Griffith until he signed. My reason for saying it is not my own personal recollection. I will quote Mr. Griffith's letter¹.

1. This letter is not entered on the record.

I assented and my assent meant as much as my signature.

A private word meant a public signature. It was for himself. But it is all over the world that the men have signed. That is the difficulty.

If this conveys the idea of a Government and of an Opposition the difficulty some of us feel is where is the Government and where is the Opposition? It is within the province of the Dáil to ask the Ministers to resign and have a new Cabinet.

Until you remove me I am President. I have a right to ask any Minister to resign, and when I got that document, only I felt it would have given a wrong impression if the Dáil had not met so soon, I would have asked these members to resign, because you must have a united Cabinet. But this cannot continue beyond this session. We must have an agreed Cabinet. It is for that reason we are working in this way and as Ministers talking at each other.

The Meeting adjourned for luncheon at 1.20 p.m.

On resuming after luncheon the Speaker took the Chair at 4.20.

Am I in order in resuming the discussion?

I want to express the feelings and the oppressions of a private member upon to-day's proceedings. It does seem to me that it is a most extraordinary thing that Ireland should be thrown into the vortex of a great cleavage and on the brink of war for the trifling, small, pettifogging points that have been brought up to-day. I think, members of the Dáil, that we must realise that we are here with a very grave issue before us one that affects the future of Ireland for generations to come. And it is not because a certain point of punctilio and procedure may have been neglected by the plenipotentiaries that their country is going to be thrown back into the vortex of war; and I as a private member demand that before we come to discuss this Treaty that we are supplied with all the agreed statements that went from the Dáil Cabinet to Downing Street in order that we may know exactly what is the issue, so that this discussion and to-morrow's debate will not be fought and decided upon a false issue. As we came in to-day we heard certain members of the public shouting, "Up the Republic". Ever since this controversy arose the impression on the public mind has been that one section of the Cabinet has been standing for the Republic, and the other standing for the Treaty. That is not the issue, and this decision will not be allowed to be decided upon that issue. Now there are some other points raised. We are told that this Treaty should not have been signed before it was brought back to the Dáil. It is not a question that the plenipotentiaries were within their rights in signing it, but the wisdom of their doing so has been questioned. I want to point out what an unenviable position Ireland would be in to-day if that Treaty had not been signed. If Ireland's delegates had not signed it, neither would the British delegates have signed it and our delegates would have come back here. The same cleavage would probably have occurred, and we would have been just where John Bull wants us to be split in two and England committed to nothing. But despite the fact that the cleavage has taken place Britain through her delegates is committed to certain big things, and Ireland can have those if the Dáil agrees to have them. She would not have these within her reach if that document had not been signed. I do want to ask the responsible members of the Dáil to remember that they are not dealing with school children and that Ireland is not going to be treated like a class of schoolboys. Ireland will not stand trifling with great and sacred national issues and the man who thinks that at this stage that things which may mean life and death for the nation are going to be decided upon small petty points does not understand the temper of Ireland. Ireland means to have peace to-day if she can have it and Ireland will sweep aside any man or any body of men that stands between her and peace with honour.

Therefore I trust that in any future discussions we may have that the members of the Dáil will rise to the seriousness of their responsibilities and remember that this is not either a class of schoolboys or a debating society, but that it is the Parliament of the Irish nation, where the future of Ireland is going to be decided for generations. If we keep that level we will be keeping these things in their proper perspective.

I think Mr. Milroy's remarks are most uncalled for. I think every man has come here to give his opinion according to his own conscience and nothing will deter us from doing so. We all know what the consequences will be but we are here to act according to our conscience and the members of the Dáil will not be dictated to. These remarks of Mr. Milroy's are a threat to the members here and we will not stand it.

Mr. Ceannt misunderstands me. I did not mean to dictate to anybody.

I wish to make one point and one only, and it is a point that I think should save time in this Assembly. We have heard this morning a great deal of talk as to why this last final document was not shown to the captain of the ship before it was signed. Now the answer to that to my mind is that that final document could never have been produced to the Cabinet or An Dáil otherwise than over the signatures and backed by the recognition of the plenipotentiaries. There was first an objectionable defence clause, an objectionable trade clause and an objectionable clause with regard to the North-East and Lloyd George said: "If I have to fight I will keep any friends I have in Ireland, but if you will sign this document I will bulk these three things. Your improvements on the defence clause, your improvements in the trade clause, and your improvements on the Ulster clause and I will give away in these three things if you sign". The final document could never have been produced to the captain of the ship otherwise than over the signatures of the plenipotentiaries.

I would like to ask one question. We have been here since 11 o'clock this morning, and we have heard a lot of arguments, but I don't know yet what the difference between us is. Are the President and the people who are voting with the President taking the stand on this Treaty, that there should be a Republic or are they taking their stand on this Treaty that there should be something else? I think every member of the Dáil is entitled to know definitely what we are going to vote on. We want to know exactly where we stand and what we are voting for. If we are voting on the question of a Republic we understand the position, but if we are voting for something else we must understand what it is.

We want now to get every document concerning this matter. The Minister of Finance suggested that there were three documents that we should have and I suggest that we should get them without further delay. I also suggest that we should get every bit of correspondence between the delegates and the British Prime Minister. I don't see when we are in private session why anything should be kept back from us. The Minister of Finance suggested this morning that they should consult the British delegation as to whether they should give us those documents. I maintain that we have the right to ask that these documents be submitted to us in secret session. Every member of the Cabinet is bound to submit to the Dáil, and the Dáil is bound to submit to the country, and I demand every single document, private letters and everything else written by any member of the delegation or received by any member of the delegation during the course of the negotiations. I am quite sure that the Dáil will support me in that. We must know where we are. Mr. Milroy suggested that we were not schoolboys or schoolgirls or a debating class. We are here with a full sense of our responsibility and we don't need Mr. Milroy or anyone else to tell us what our responsibility is. I call on the President and on the delegation to produce every document and the crossing of the "t's" and the dotting of the "i's" that has passed on this matter.

Mr. Speaker, I have to explain one point. What I have said this morning has I hope not been deliberately misunderstood, but it has been misunderstood. What I said this morning conveyed this. We as a delegation went into private sittings with the members of the British delegation. Reports were made. We agreed on both sides that these sittings were to be private; we agreed in this sense that there were to be no secretaries taking official notes. I have no intention of breaking my word wherever it was given or whatever it was given for. I have here on this file every document that passed between us, but there were no private letters between any of us and members of the British delegation. Any one of us would not have regarded any such letter as being private from his colleagues at any time.

I never meant that at all. I meant every detail that was submitted to the Cabinet and British delegation must be submitted to us now.

I do claim your protection, Mr. Speaker, for not being interrupted when I am speaking. I think that you ought to give me at least that much consideration. I have suggested that vital documents be produced to the Dáil. I have suggested it because I wanted clear issues. I didn't get any support from any member of the Dáil in that. I suggested it twice and no member of the Dáil suggested that it would be an acceptable thing. I shall read a vital document that was agreed on by the Cabinet, and I shall read them all if you like.

With the permission of the Minister of Finance I suggest that we should have one copy of these three documents before we go into public session to-morrow the statement that the whole Cabinet signed, the agreement that they were willing to accept, the one that they refused made by the British delegation, and the final Treaty so that we can compare the three of them and see where the difference lies.

It is not necessary as a matter of order that you make that suggestion now.

Those interruptions are not points of order. They are most unfair.

The reason I made it was that it would save the Minister of Finance

You are not in order.

Not only that, but I have here my own documents which I used at No. 10, Downing Street, with my own notes and changes. I am prepared to go over every word of it. I have no wish to conceal anything and I have never done it. I say these documents are the vital documents and it is only a question of our word given as delegates. I ask the delegation if they thought they were committed to the British delegates in publishing these things. I believe we are not in these final documents but I believe we would want to get their agreement to publish the earlier documents. I for one would be for publishing and giving them to the members of the Dáil. The delegation should think how far they are in honour bound to ask for permission to publish the earlier documents, and we could withdraw now and consider that. I consider we are bound in a few particulars but I do not think we are bound to withhold any kind of publication of the latter documents because they were given under somewhat similar [sic] circumstances from the earlier documents. I only want to make it clear that I have a certain doubt as to whether I am committed to give certain documents without letting the other party know that I am giving it. I have no objection if they are published throughout the world; but for the moment I am in the position of a delegate who agreed we would not do certain things and I want the other delegates to know I am doing it. So long as I am clear on my conscience on that point I don't care. If the other members of the delegation think they were committed to inform them it is for us to decide, and I think at any rate all the delegates ought to withdraw to consider that point, but I am perfectly clear in my own mind that the latter documents were not given under the same conditions as the original ones, and the original ones are really not of vital importance because all the original documents were documents hedging on both sides; you were fencing with them and you were putting in perhaps a problematical point, one that you might get some agreement on, or might be successful in getting some discussion on. Any person who ever took part in negotiations knows that you do such things as that. There is nothing whatever to be concealed not only from the members of the Dáil but from the whole world. We have all the documents to the smallest extent, even to any meeting where one of our couriers went to hand a document or their secretaries handed in a document to us. But without committing members of the delegation I believe that certain documents on this file cannot be disclosed. Every document is here that we handed in, even to the original published correspondence and a copy of every letter that came from the Cabinet to us and went from us to the Cabinet. More than that we have some newspaper cuttings which questions were asked about and an article I wrote myself.

I would like to make one suggestion. It seems to me that the proposal to publish a document or two at random does not get us any further. I would suggest that the right thing to do in order that everybody may understand that the delegation has nothing to hide from the members of the Dáil to go through the whole file and to report what documents they consider vital and to give them over to the Dáil. Some of those documents are vital and some are not. It is perfectly easy to satisfy everyone by appointing a committee from this meeting to go into the documents and to report what documents they consider vital, or in fact if they consider all the documents vital. That would settle the difficulty and bring us down to business.

There is one document which is the really vital document. It is the difference between two sections of the Cabinet. There was a draft treaty prepared at the Cabinet meeting and approved of by all the Cabinet at the Saturday meeting.

No, no. If I might say as chairman of the Cabinet there have been suggestions of some document that was agreed to by the whole Cabinet. I say there is no such document in existence. I had a habit whenever the plenipotentiaries and the Cabinet came together to try as it were to take stock. There were two sections of the Cabinet holding very strong views in different directions as it appeared in the end; but it was absolutely necessary that we should, in order to get what I hoped I could get, a united Cabinet policy, finally step by step take stock. On this Friday on which I was called from Clare Mr. Griffith brought to me a second document. I looked over it and I said, "I will not sign it", because the decision that conveyed to my mind had been taken back weeks before. Next day we had a Cabinet meeting. This document was produced and working all the time as I was from a point of view which had been sanctioned by the whole Ministry that of external association I looked over this and suggested certain changes. I had not the responsibility of drawing up the final wording. I had the responsibility of looking over them when they came up finally. I suggested certain changes. I asked certain other members of the Cabinet what they thought of this or that in the document. Just imagine there was an oath in one of these documents "And the King as head of the State and Empire". I said, "That is impossible; that is not external association; that is inadequate and if there is an oath at all it should run something like this." I dictated verbally a sort of change in this and it was taken down by one member of the plenipotentiaries.

I know it was taken down by one member from my dictation. I never saw that in writing. Now imagine a person talking of assenting to something he had never seen in writing.

Something he had proposed himself, President de Valera.

Something I suggested by way of change. There is a question for instance of whether we stand for the Republic or not. I said from the start we stood for external association. I was always on for external association. I had to make up my mind whether we would face war. We had either of two things to do, either to surrender and consider it or let them go and wage war against us. With that alternative I took definitely my decision. This is the document and apparently I can see from the suggestions that my sitting down and reading this over and saying. "That won't do", expecting the final document under the instructions number three would come back so that I would read every line of it. The oath is the oath to be taken by the members of Parliament to the Irish Free State. The Irish Free State Saorstát na hÉireann. That originated in this way. When I was over with the British Prime Minister he looked at my notepaper and he said, "You need not change the name of your state". That was very simple for him. So the Irish Republic as a name being repugnant to them it was suggested I think by Mr. Griffith that the Irish Free State was a good name. I never objected to the name. I believe the Irish people had the right to choose their own name. If the name mattered I would have chosen for instance the Free State of Ireland. Even if we were an outside external association it would have the right to choose its own name. Now this is the oath as I saw it: "I solemnly swear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State and to the Community of Nations known as the British Empire and to the King as the head of the State and Empire". Looking over that and criticising it simply that they might have our views I said, "It is obvious that you cannot have that or anything like 'and the King as head of the State and the Empire'. You could take an oath of true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of Ireland something like 'to be faithful to the Treaty of Association'." I have not a record of it, but something like to be faithful to the Treaty of Association between Ireland and the British Empire, and to recognise the King as head of there was a question of what the name should be, and I said something such as the head of the Association. The first time I saw it I said that it would not do at all. That it might be recognised individually instead of collectively. That document was taken back. It was the last I saw of it, and it was considerably altered; but I expected that any verbal alteration I suggested in that would come back to me in type form and that I would have an opportunity of going over it line by line and saying that if you go on that we won't have a united Cabinet. We took stock in that and I made certain suggestions and we regarded that these principles were pretty well finished. They went back and the next thing I heard was the signed document.

No, Sir, it is not the vital document at all.

Let us have it. I don't know of anything else. I am trying to find out what the vital document is.

Are we getting a copy of that document?

As far as I am concerned the secretary of the delegation has all the copies. Any documents that are there they are at liberty to have them. If the Dáil wants it I will give the whole correspondence and they can see it all.

It is agreed now that we are entitled to a copy of that document which we want. I suggest that copies of that document be printed and circulated to members before to-morrow morning.

We sent the delegation over with a draft treaty, marked A.A. I expected a whole series of changes from A to Z and the thing they took over to-day might be changed in an hour and turned into quite a new document. Surely a fight that has lasted for 750 years and negotiations that have lasted six months could have lasted for another couple of hours to get satisfied.

That won't do Mr. President.

Let a committee be appointed to investigate the documents, leave them before us but not to take documents out of their places and simply [sic.], by leading us into a wilderness.

1. In another copy the word "simplify" and not "simply" appears.

I think the one document that is wanted is the last document handed to the plenipotentiaries at the Cabinet meeting.

I say there was none. It is nonsense. There was no such document from the Dáil. I was expecting to get the thing back in a form in which I could go over it.

There was a document given on the 18th November. We have not suggested that there was a formal agreement at the Cabinet. I said at the delegation meeting that we had to come to certain decisions promptly, and I said the document handed in gave a faithful impression of what was our view and what was the view of a united Cabinet. On the 18th November a document was handed in which I propose to read.

Will the motion be put?

I object to this burking of the discussion. We want this document of the 18th November which was before the document produced.

Before you read that we will take a decision on the motion that has been proposed.

A statement has been made that this document of the 18th November was before the Cabinet for a fortnight.


It is in the matter discussed by the President that I wish to say a few words. There was a statement made by the Minister for Finance and I understand controverted by the President, and it is on that I wish to speak.

Could you make that statement when we have disposed of this motion?

I think my motion that the particular document which Mr. Collins wishes to read now is the one prepared [recte proposed].

There is no seconder.

I beg to second it.

I have ruled that the motion before the House is that a committee be appointed to examine the documents, and you will take a decision on that motion.

I second that motion.

I put that motion that the committee be appointed to report what documents should be disclosed by [recte to] the Dáil.

When that motion is carried does it debar the Minister of Finance from reading his afterwards.

No. It is now moved by Mr. Gavan Duffy, and seconded by Mr. O'Kelly, "That a Select Committee shall be appointed before which the documents and correspondence shall be laid and that it be their duty to report to Dáil and supply An Dáil with a copy of any documents considered vital".

The motion was carried unanimously.

It would be necessary for that committee to know what the Cabinet said about these documents. Now, for instance I was talking a moment ago of one document here

On a point of order, does it matter what the Cabinet said about certain documents?

I still insist on my right to say that it has been said that a certain document was taken back and was practically passed by the Cabinet. I say there was no document taken back and passed by the Cabinet in that way. At the Cabinet meeting I got a certain document and I passed certain criticisms on that. I now ask also that I be allowed to speak. I have served every one as well as I can and I think the time has come at least when I should get a certain amount of respect from certain members of the Dáil (applause).

I think it is very unfair for the President to say that about me. He knows there is no one in Ireland has more respect for him than I have. I think that now when a decision is arrived at that he should not try to influence the committee by saying what documents ought to be brought forward.

It does not matter. The President has a right to influence the committee if he wishes.

I want nothing other than that every member here should know truth and the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

May I ask that the Cabinet minutes be also put in evidence.

I ask whether the Cabinet minutes became a real minute until they were approved and signed.

I say there is never a case where a Cabinet's minutes, to my knowledge, has been brought before me to sign for the simple reason that they are left to the secretary as a kind of record of what happened. They are sent out then sometimes to Ministers as Cabinet decisions if orders are given.

I wonder what use the Cabinet minutes are?

I say they are a record. A rough summary of what the secretary thinks has taken place. He is an independent witness. I have found him to be a magnificent independent witness; but the Cabinet minutes are not minutes in the proper sense. The minutes of an assembly are supposed to be things that each member who is present stands by. You cannot stand by a thing when you don't know what is written in it. If the Cabinet minutes are accepted I want to know whether these Cabinet minutes agree with what I think took place. At no time has this matter been brought up before us. I make my proposition to this committee which is to investigate the documents and it is that a long series of documents may be very interesting, but they will mean nothing as far as this controversy is concerned. The real point which has to be settled is whether a certain document which was taken back to London was an agreed document. I say that there was nothing in type that I ever saw taken back to London that represented my views. There were certain verbal things and there is a document here which might be the one and which so far as I can see would represent fairly accurately what I would not break on. If I have such a document under this article 3 of the instructions I would go over it with my pen and make alterations that I would be willing to stand by. I spent a portion of last night drawing up a document very like this except some objectionable things in this have been eliminated. If this were the proposed and signed thing I would not be on the opposite side.


There are no two sides.

I have got the right to see if this document represents my views. There are two different views on it.

Not in the Dáil. We all stand for the one thing in the Dáil.

We have got to see that. This controversy is painful to me because I have never engaged in anything of the sort and it would never have occurred if the document had been submitted to me before it was signed because we would have a definite written protest against it. As regards this document here of December 4th I would ask the secretary of the delegation to say definitely what his impression is with respect to the history of it.

I must object. We must get in order some way or the other. When the Minister of Finance attempts to read a document he is howled down.

It is the same document.

It is not.

I hope there are no two differences in this Dáil yet. Now there is evident heat on both sides of our Cabinet. They are our Cabinet still, but we are their masters and if they don't conduct themselves I am telling you this that if we don't conduct ourselves the Irish people will make us. I feel for the President I know he is over-worked and I feel for the delegates I know they too are over-worked; but I would appeal now for coolness and drop this what I call in common language snarling and don't be giving the common people of the Dáil a bad example. If you proceed in the regular way we will get on nicely and I hope with the good judgement of all the members of this Dáil that we will settle this little difference and don't open the breach but let us try and close it.

As a result of the motion that has been passed would you ask for the appointment of that committee and let all the documents and minutes be put at their disposal to clarify their minds and to assist us in clarifying ours. I ask you to insist on this being carried out.

I would like to suggest that the minutes be not put in as minutes till we form a war Cabinet. I would not call a minute a minute until it was re-read at the next meeting and signed by the chairman. Put them in as secretary's notes and I will agree.

I think a member of the Cabinet has at least some right in an assembly like this. Shortly, what happened was this: when the Cabinet met at 12 o'clock on Saturday they perused the instrument which the British Government were prepared to adopt. The Cabinet met at 12 and adjourned at 1.30. They met again at three and adjourned at seven. I think I spoke at 6.30 and at that time I said I won't take that oath; the delegation asked what would they put in instead and the President said substitute your own. I felt then that the delegation did not get justice from us. They were in the heat and thick of controversy with a British delegation in close touch with their own Cabinet, while they were 24 hours from ours. They could not possibly get back the views of the other members of the Cabinet to be in time for the discussion on the matter before them. I will go further and say I believe the President, with all due respect to him, and the Minister for Finance are both wrong when they say the Dáil was not committed to the terms signed by them. The plenipotentiaries have committed the Dáil by reason of their action according to a point of law.

No, but international law of which nobody here knows the first tittle.

They have not treated you as a nation. Southern Ireland is the term they themselves say.

I did not interrupt the President although there has been no one who violated the order of debate more than the President. Plenipotentiaries were appointed by the Dáil, but plenipotentiaries were unfortunately not appointed by the English Parliament. That was not an accident on their part. It is unfortunate no one knew the precise international law governing the matter at the time. The point made by the President regarding the President of America is not analogous. The President of America was not a plenipotentiary in the sense that our plenipotentiaries were. They were part and parcel of the assembly that sent them there. As far as the Cabinet is concerned I never got any interpretation of international law on the subject. I have made the other two points clear as I understand them and as I believe occurred.

Is there any necessity for ratification when the Treaty is now a fact according to international law?

I am glad that question has been put to me. There is a motion that a committee be appointed. The motion is not that I appoint a committee. Will some member move the appointment of the committee?

I propose a committee consisting of 6 be appointed.

I propose Professor Stockley, Miss Mary MacSwiney, Dr. MacCartan, Micheál Ó hAodha, Kevin O'Higgins.

I object. If you appoint one member of the Cabinet you must appoint all.

I am not a Cabinet Minister.

I will leave my contribution at 4 then.

I suggested one representative of the two different points of view be appointed to assist the committee.

I suggest the Whips be appointed.

then moved that Professor Stockley, Miss MacSwiney, Micheál Ó hAodha, Dr. MacCartan, P. Hogan be appointed as a committee.

I would like one thing we are just getting the discussion into a way that it is going to confuse the real issue and creating suspicions in the mind of every member of the Dáil. I would not like any suspicion to arise. To make things clear perhaps the Minister of Finance or the Minister for Foreign Affairs would tell us of the contents of the document or read it.

THE SPEAKER put the motion to the House and declared it carried.

Who is to supply the documents? I take it the Secretary of the delegation, and checked either by the chairman or the Minister of Finance. I have the letters passed between the delegation chairman and myself and I am quite ready if the chairman is agreeable that they should be made available for the Dáil.

Instead of heated discussion across the floor of this House I think we should consider how we will conduct the public meeting. I wish we could conduct it in the same spirit as the proceedings this afternoon. The President says he intends to discuss an alternative. I would like that the whole situation be discussed as we shall approach it to-morrow, and not appear to-morrow as we did to-day without knowing what we are going to say or likely to say.

What motion is the present speaker speaking to?

There are some things we should like discussed in private session. The Headquarters Staff of the Army may have some statements to make and the Minister of Finance may have something to say. I would not like Michael Collins saying in public session that he signed this document in the full knowledge that the I.R.A. were not fit to continue the war or something like that. We should rather he make it now before the public session.

Mr. Speaker, apparently I am going to be hanged without even a chance of speaking. Whatever else does happen it is obvious to every member here that I may have a case to put yet. I have not stood up once this day without being interrupted. Let the members of the Dáil say it is fair and I am satisfied. Surely it is not fair.

MR. J.J. O'KELLY rose to speak and there were cries of "Order, order".

I am Speaker here and so long as I am it is my business to call members to order. I am going to rule with a rod of iron in this matter.

I still cannot rise without interruption. There is no other assembly in the world where a member on equal terms with the others would be consistently interrupted each time he got up. It is not the position that would appeal to people with public representatives. I think it would be a very much better indication of good faith if the members who have interrupted might refrain and put themselves under that much restraint while I am speaking. I cannot believe it will do them any real good. Surely most of you will admit I am not getting a chance. Our [recte On the] question of submitting the documents to a committee I don't believe they will have concluded in time for the morning. There is one finance memo alone took a committee of experts several days to prepare. It is a vital document. There are many other documents but they are not vital in the main issue. If the committee does not get to work at once they will not be ready for the public session in the morning. Anything I have to say will have to be said in public. I have been put in this position that I will have to appeal from the unfairness of the Dáil to that decent body the general public.

The President spoke about the publication of these documents. These documents cannot be published without the consent of the other side. That was the agreement from beginning to end of the conference.

I left it altogether to the delegation. What they do is altogether a matter for the delegation. I don't suggest publicity outside so far as I am concerned.

I think we are rather talking at loggerheads. Regarding this private session we want to get over any difficulty that might cause a difference of opinion to members of the Cabinet without giving unnecessary details to the public. Moreover, the Treaty being signed may have been influenced by the state of the army or of the exchequer. Therefore if we are going to talk over the why and wherefore of the Treaty's being signed it is inevitable these questions should come up. Instead, however, of getting down to fundamentals we have been talking around the question. A few moments ago I asked for every document and the Minister of Finance thought I was finding fault with him. If that is so he must have misunderstood me. I am sorry but I meant absolutely no reflection on him. I asked for 3 vital documents, but with regard to the finance document which took several days I suggest that for another day. I submit this matter altogether if giving up the documents can be cleared up as between the President and the chairman of the delegation. We want to have these undercurrents swept away. We want to be as one if we can. I do not know if any proposal was handed to the delegation or not. It might be possible a project was made that many could accept and I could not. I am a doctrinaire republican if you like. The point at issue is to get the necessary documents. That will stop the President from saying the other side were unfair and the other side from saying the President was unfair. That is most unworthy of this Assembly. We are led to understand that the delegation came back after doing a certain thing they were not empowered to do. That is the suggestion of the President; if not actually suggested he went very close to it. If the President is wrong then it is for the Dáil to reprove him if they think fit. We want to see the documents to prevent this blaming of one side by the other. If we go back to war again and I am afraid we shall have to then matters relating to the army and finance must be discussed in private. Better to postpone to-morrow's public session till 3 o'clock and if we can't meet then postpone the public session to the morning. I want the documents which are of importance in the acceptance or refusal of this Treaty.

You are a member of the committee.

Miss MacSwiney's point of view is absolutely correct. We are not asking the committee to go through all the documents relating to the Treaty but the documents necessary to find out the relations between our own Cabinet and the delegation.

We meet here in order to transact the affairs of the country at a time of crisis, but this meeting has changed into the aspect of a trial or impeachment of certain persons for what has taken place in the past. Is this true or is it not?

It is true. That is practically what it is.

I can clear up one point. I am a member of the Cabinet and the delegation. There was no agreed document between the Cabinet and the delegation. At a Cabinet meeting we discussed a document and the members of the delegation went back to London with certain personal impressions from that discussion. There was no agreed written statement. The members of the delegation in London differed themselves as to the interpretation or impression they took away from the discussion.

The thing we are discussing is whether this Treaty is acceptable to the country or not. With all respect to the members of the Cabinet if they are not prepared to fight we can chuck them out and appoint a new Cabinet. We are doing damn all.

This is the most painful experience I have ever had in my life. I was compelled to make a public statement with reference to the Treaty because everybody would assume that the plenipotentiaries and the Cabinet would be in agreement if I did not. The matter would have gone by default and it would have appeared that we would have all agreed that this was an acceptable Treaty. It was not acceptable to me as one. The suggestion that I also would have accepted that document was based on my own attitude which is an independent one in the Cabinet. I have my own view. I stated I went to get peace that we could all stand by. A final document was brought over to us on Saturday. I believe if the document was altered in a certain way it could be made the basis of an agreement which could be accepted by all. That I do not say was the opinion of all the Cabinet. I misled nobody. There was no doubt as to what my position on fundamentals was.

We cannot change one comma of the Treaty. We must ratify or reject it. There was a document discussed on Saturday which formed the basis of a treaty. That discussion took place in the Cabinet and our plenipotentiaries went back and put in an alternative to that which would command approval of a unanimous Cabinet. It is true that a united Cabinet was prepared to recommend to you a settlement which would give Ireland an external association with the British Empire, involving the King of England as head of the States, and voting an annual contribution to his Civil List.

I would like to ask the chairman of the delegation four questions. He mentioned in his statement that there were other points he wished to exchange for the Crown and inclusion in the Empire. No. 1 is this, What were the points that the chairman of delegation said he would want in exchange for the Crown and inclusion in the Empire? No. 2. Does the chairman of the delegation agree that he gave an undertaking to the Cabinet that he would not sign the Treaty before submitting it to the Dáil? No. 3. Was the chairman of the delegation aware that the English Prime Minister intended sending the letter of [recte to] Sir James Craig on the 5th instant; and if so did the plenipotentiaries sign under duress? No. 4, Are we to understand in view of the statement of the Assistant Secretary for Local Government that the delegates drew up wholly or in part the clauses referring to the partition of Ireland?

I will answer those if Mr. MacDonagh will pass them over. Since this issue has been put before the people it has been represented as one between a Republic and what we have secured. That is a false issue. From the official note of the Cabinet meeting of November 25th it is agreed that Ireland should recognise for the purposes of association, the group of states making up the British Commonwealth, and that a sum be voted annually to the King's Civil List as head of that group. So that the choice is between what we have signed, and what the Cabinet were prepared to accept and in which they were willing to recognise the Crown and vote sums to the Civil List.

To make my point clear I drew up proposals which I would submit to-morrow and which I was prepared to stand by. There was a question of either a make or a break, and in case they had broken we would have published our proposals as counter-proposals. I had intended to propose in the Dáil articles of agreement as an amendment to the proposed Treaty and give them to you for acceptance. They represented the distance to which we could go. We were prepared to accept external association recognising King George as head of the group with no reference to Ireland. Further, that we could give him a sum for such services as he rendered as head of the group. I, for one, would be prepared to give him that. If you have a managing director of a group there is no reason why one member of the group did not give him a contribution. We here would be well rid of him at that price. The difference between us is this. On one case we have the King as King of Ireland, and the Irish Ministers as His Majesty's Ministers. In the other case you would not. In the first case you were prepared to accept the King of Great Britain as King of Ireland, under promise to keep faith with him as if he had a national right to expect faith from you. I would have been prepared to sign a document which would make Ireland an external associated State of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It is not a new idea, but an old idea with us from the very start. The meaning precisely of such an agreement would be this: we are not part of the British Commonwealth but we would have the right to enter into a League of Nations and, if we wanted to, into association with France and England and other nations of the League. If England, Spain and France formed themselves into a group they could recognise the King of Spain as head of the group, but the President of France would not be head of the state and the people of Spain would owe no allegiance to the President of France. By accepting the King of England as head of such group it meant a thing which you could do and a thing which you cannot do without sacrificing your independence. It would be ultra vires as a matter of fact to pass the motion to-morrow. It would be ultra vires to ratify the motion because it is absolutely outside our power, or the power of any Irish Parliament to vote away the independence of the country. We were elected to be guardians of the independence of the country. We were not elected to change the form of government by swallowing this Treaty, and then handing over the government of this State to a foreign head. If you do, it will be a nullity. Either as a political party, or as we are the Parliament of this nation, you can't do it; and if I were a President like the President of America I would deal with any government [that] put up such as that as a usurpation and use all the army at my command to prevent it until the people had decided for themselves to change their form of Government. This Dáil can do other things, but it cannot ratify this Treaty. It can do as the British Parliament is doing. You can pass a resolution if you like recommending it to the Irish people but you cannot accept it (?) until you refer it to the Irish people. I have got here the proclamation of the last election. It might be said there was some excuse for the action of the First Dáil. But after that they had a General Election and I was asked, and I said to the people that they were voting for nothing less than the substance of freedom, and they were voting for nothing less than the legitimate choice of the people the Republic established by the vote of the people. Ratification is disestablishment, is handing over power to another country of which we here are the guardians. The treaty we are prepared to sign is a treaty consistent with our independence. This is not consistent with our independent state. In paragraph 2 put in it was stated our representatives can only treat with you as representatives of a foreign state. They had to swallow it to the extent and they were forced not to make us say we were the representatives of a mere political party or what Mr. Lloyd George says an assembly of the elected representatives of Southern Ireland. It is not Dáil Éireann, thank God. The country will be spared the dishonour of an assembly like this voting definitely away the power which was given them, of voting away their birthright. They can't do it. That's why I object.

Is President de Valera moving the rejection of the peace Treaty?

To-morrow I intend to move that you cannot ratify this Treaty. It is ultra vires to move definitely a resolution of ratification as a legal instrument. If you did it would be nullity. If the chairman of the delegation agrees to move a resolution that you recommend it to the Irish people you can do it but you cannot pass an act of ratification. There is a big difference between them. If the chairman of the delegation moves the ratification I will oppose him, and I will substitute that which I am ready to stand by. It is simply this, I am trying to recover ground that was lost. My proposition is this that you unanimously stand behind this agreed document and that we offer this to the people of Britain as a basis for lasting friendship. It is right to say that there will be very little difference in practice between what I may call the proposals received and what you will have under what I propose. There is very little in practice but there is that big thing that you are consistent and that you recognise yourself as a separate independent State and you associate in an honourable manner with another group. You enter an association in which the King of Britain is not King of Ireland, the armies of Ireland are not His Majesty's forces, and the Ministers not His Majesty's Ministers but Ministers of the Irish nation also.

President de Valera says that the Dáil cannot consider even the ratification, yet on the official agenda of the Dáil we have here issued under the President's authority a motion for the ratification of the Treaty. This must be out of order. We want a proper direction. We should have a ruling as to which is right, this document issued under the authority of the Dáil Cabinet or President de Valera.

We are meeting and speaking to absolutely no purpose. It would be far better if our Cabinet put something before us such as the President's proposition to avoid a discussion in such a form as would disturb the general temper of the meeting. The fact before the country really is this: that they are more afraid of a split amongst us here than they are afraid really of war. If we continue in the way in which we are speaking now we will do no work to-night. We have already set up a committee to look into this question of documents. I suggest that having regard to the possibility of a split that the Dáil appoint a small committee on whom we could place the onus that even if we do not meet to-morrow in public session that we shall not scatter from this meeting without making that body responsible as a liaison or arbitration body, to act between the opposing sections of the Cabinet. One thing such a body could do this evening, with the President and chairman of the delegation, they might settle what work we can usefully do in private session. They could clearly define what aspects of this Treaty and the present situation will come before us in public session and let us know in private session.

It was for that reason I made that statement, to indicate what would take place.

The explanation is not in order.

It was asked for by Dr. MacCartan.

I do not wish to impose my views on the Dáil, but without something being defined as to what we are going to talk about we are getting further along that road of ill-feeling we have been travelling. It is for the general body of the Dáil to pick somebody to hold the reins between the two sections of the Cabinet.

I would like to lay stress very strongly on what the Chief of Staff said about the danger of a split. I think we have been talking round and round the subject. I would like to give you, as one of what you may like to call the die-hards of the Dáil, my opinion from beginning to end about this conference. It has been said to me that I was either a fool or wilfully blind if I did not see that entering into that conference gave away our whole case, and that the sending of delegates to London meant a compromise. I was some time in America and the very day I arrived back in Dublin I was struck by the atmosphere of compromise. I was told the Republican ideal was given up. I was told the President on the first day he went to meet Lloyd George gave up the idea. I very well contradicted it. I will give you my impressions of what that conference meant. Nobody has ever so gravely told the people of the evils of propaganda than Mr. Arthur Griffith. He told us England put a paper wall around this country, and on the inside she told Ireland what she wanted us to believe about the world, and on the outside she told the world what she wished the world to believe about us. He has told us of the evils of British propaganda. I don't think anyone in Ireland was more cognisant of this evil than Arthur Griffith. The first great rend in that wall was my brother's suffering and death in Brixton, and next to that the greatest thing done for Ireland was this conference. Not because it signified compromise, but because it tore the last remnants of the paper wall from the face of the world and let us see each other. I never believed we could get recognition of our Republic from this conference. I did not vote for delegates going there with any ridiculous dream that Lloyd George would say straight away, "Take your Republic and God bless you". But I thought it possible Lloyd George would realise that it is better to have Ireland as a friend. I realised we would have to give up something. I thought very naturally England would fear our proximity to her, and that we might have to make defensive alliances for one. I would not ask the country to refuse even if they had to give an offensive alliance, to be done for ever with Great Britain. On one thing we determined, that was that we would not give way on allegiance, or partition of our forces. I want to say, that even with my die-hard proclivities, we could to-morrow drag him another bit than to-day and go on until you brought him to the pitch our delegates brought him last Monday night. When you had brought him to the last ounce and he refused to go to the limit which was the lowest limit we could take then say, "Very well I go home and put it to my Dáil." I do think they were guilty of weakness but I don't think they were guilty of dishonour. Nobody should say so. They did not mean to be dishonourable. They felt that [they] had to choose and choose within half an hour, and the only thing is that they chose the weak instead of the strong thing. But I do think it is a wrong thing to say an insult to say that when they were sent to London they were sent to compromise. They were not. The Minister of Finance read a document to-day; it was practically their credentials, the credentials to the plenipotentiaries from the Government of the Irish Republic. The President speaking in the Dáil yesterday about the oath to do the best he could for Ireland. He made other remarks which we can only regard as signs of weakness on his part. We were a body of about 120 and I defy any body of 120 to keep their mouths shut as closely as they ought. I have openly stated that the terms of reference were inside an Irish Republic and it would have leaked out and Lloyd George would have refused a conference. But everything we have gained seems to have gone in flash. First in going into the conference we did not compromise. On the day we appointed those plenipotentiaries I spoke and I said there was an air of compromise both outside and from inside the Dáil. I said any man who meant to compromise should speak then or forever hold his peace. Every one who votes for the passing of this Treaty acts dishonourably if he did not speak that day. I do not believe it was wrong to send those delegates. I do not believe I compromised my principles in so doing because it was a magnificent piece of strategy to draw the attention of the whole world on our cause. I believe on last Monday when Lloyd George bluffed our delegates at 3 o'clock in the morning they did not believe it was bluff. At 3 o'clock in the morning one's brain is very very tired. We know and they know now that they were bluffed. When he said to them at 3 o'clock, "You will sign or we will declare war", they should have said, "Very well do your worst". He said we are not sorry to sign we will have to submit it to Dáil Éireann [sic]. They think the thing they have brought back to us is a good thing. It might have been five years ago if it were brought to any one of us then. Though we might not have taken the oath we might not have thought it dishonourable, but after January 1919 no man having sworn an oath to the Republic can withdraw from it. What have we small nations but our honour? We can't fight big nations physically; we can fight, as has been proved, treachery or intrigue only beat them by standing out honourably. How can anyone of us swear you will be faithful to George V unless you owe him faith? But you have absolutely no right to say that by sending plenipotentiaries and [sic] we hamper ourselves and the Dáil. I want to make my position clear. On the point of order

On the point of order no one has a right to stand up and denounce this Treaty without formally moving a rejection.

All I want to say is that there was no compromise meant by sending those delegates to London because a suggestion has been thrown around to [recte that] the President as leader compromised. You did not swear your oath to the President but to the Republic. When you sent the delegates to London you didn't send them to compromise. That did not directly or indirectly involve a compromise. We believe it would show the world the justice of our case. If England was prepared to go a certain distance there was no reason why she should not go the rest. Moreover, look at the effect of it: you have got out of prison men condemned to death for murder and those who were called leaders of the murder gang in Ireland sat at the same table with the British Prime Minister on equal terms. If we have gained nothing else we have won a magnificent victory. We won much, we lost a lot of it when the Treaty was brought back before the world.

There was a lot of talk when the Treaty was brought back, but if we present to the world to-morrow a united front then the country will follow us. I think those who put before themselves a measure of expediency should ask themselves is it worth while sacrificing expediency. If they declared war on us to-morrow we are not a bit worse off than we were six months ago. For God's sake and the sake of the dead let us keep together. We who stand for principle cannot give in to you who stand for expediency, and expediency can always give way to principle. Therefore, if there is to be a split, it is because you who stand for expediency have accepted something which we who stand for principle cannot give way. If there is a split the evils of that split will be on your shoulders not ours. It is for you to come up to our standards; not we to come down to yours. Therefore I would ask the signatories to submit to the decision of Dáil Éireann. We may have a united front then and the people will come after. If we put it to the people to-morrow a lot, perhaps the majority, would accept. Cannot you remember what we were told about the slave mind? Can you not realise the slave mind it took a 100 years to create, it will require a few years of freedom to bring us back. Our people are still of the slave mind, but they will do what we ask them to do. It is for you therefore who think of compromising or mean to, to speak out and you will have the country behind you. I would oppose sending delegates if it meant compromise. You did not answer my challenge on 14th September; not one of you who believed this meant compromise spoke; therefore it's your bounden duty not to split the country now.

In my opinion no good purpose is served by making speeches in the private session that can be made in the public session. I, as one of the signatories, will state my position to-morrow; it is the least compromising position in all Ireland. I suggest it is only waste of time making speeches that can be made in public session.

I have a suggestion to make: it is that you appoint a committee from the rank and file to consider this division in the Cabinet, and see if we could not get any way out of it to maintain unanimity. I suggest the rank and file of the House exclude all the members of the Cabinet (laughter); that the Speaker summon this meeting immediately after tea to evolve some programme, or some modus vivendi or operandi that will save us from the disedifying scene witnessed this morning. I believe if the rank and file get together they will furnish as much brains in the assembly as there is in the Cabinet (laughter and applause). I believe they will discuss the matters in dispute in a much more decorous fashion than at present. I will move that a private meeting of the rank and file be held after tea, and that the Cabinet and everyone be excluded.

Any motion of that kind is absolutely out of order.

I think it is a very sensible suggestion. I second it.

I insist on my right as a member of this Dáil to be here whenever this Dáil meets.

This is not a Dáil meeting.

If it is not a Dáil meeting it is not for me to have anything to do with the convening of it. The motion before the House is that a committee be formed to accept the responsibility for acting as a liaison committee between the two sections of the Cabinet, with a view to defining what work may usefully be transacted in the private session and to decide what issue will face us in the public session.

I hold that is quite unconstitutional. We have a Parliament now and we cannot resolve ourselves in [recte into] a political party. I am here as President until you remove me. There will be no other Cabinet as long as I am here or else I will be a private member. I am in charge and if you wish to remove me well done, but so long as I am in charge no man will come in and order me about.

The President has indicated that he is going to make certain proposals in connection with to-morrow's meeting. I think we should have them in writing.

I was going to make proposals to recover the ground that was lost, which I wished to make in private session. I am trying to retrieve the position. I spent last night getting these proposals together. If we could modify them to get something that would be purely unanimous as a counter proposal, I believe we'll win with this thing. We'll do the something we would have done if there was a break. If there was a break I would have published counter-proposals to theirs. They will not go to war for the difference. The one is a thing the Republic can do, and the other is a thing we can't do.

This meeting is summoned here to reject or endorse this Treaty and there is no third course open. The British Parliament has either to accept or reject it. Everybody here is going to vote one way or the other. We took your responsibility and you must take ours.

And if you reject it we can do what we like.

Mr. MacDonagh has handed me four questions. The first one is, "What were the points the chairman of the delegation said he would want in exchange for the Crown and inclusion in the Empire?" The answer is trade, principle of defence, alteration of the oath and partly Ulster. (2) "Does the chairman of the delegation agree that he gave an undertaking to the Cabinet that he would not sign the Treaty before submitting it to the Dáil?" No. The chairman of the delegation gave an undertaking to President de Valera and Cathal Brugha that he would not sign the document he had with them. He also told them before signing he would try to get back to the Dáil.

Addressing Mr. MacDonagh, Mr. Griffith said in reply to an interruption, "I know you very well, Mr. MacDonagh. I am answering your question straight."

(3) "Was the chairman of the delegation aware that the English Prime Minister intended sending the letter to Sir James Craig on the 5th instant and if so did the plenipotentiaries sign under duress?"

I was aware he proposed sending a letter on the 5th instant. I think he could have held it back for a week or so. I would not have signed without bringing it to the Dáil, if I could have brought it here. But I would have recommended and in the sense I did sign under duress.

(4) "Are we to understand in view of the statement of the Assistant Secretary for Local Government that the delegates drew up wholly or in part the clauses referring to the partition of Ireland?" I don't quite understand that we drew anything up. They drew them up. We altered some of them at the last moment.

The House adjourned for tea at 6.30 p.m.

On resuming at 7.25 p.m. on Wednesday, the Speaker said:

In resuming the business a difficulty is when you resolved yourself into a private session we had no regular agenda and the result has been that the discussion has been rather desultory and not directed to any particular point. It was understood before we went into a private session that the business was to discuss certain definite aspects of the question before us which were better discussed at a private session and these aspects have not been brought before us in any regular form by any one up to the present. I am now going to ask that in entering upon any portion of the discussion the members should commence by sending to me notice of the particular subject which they wish to bring under discussion and I will take these subjects in order. I would like those who wish to speak in future to keep that in view. What you wish to speak about concerning a private session put it down and bring it to me and I will put those subjects before you in the best order I can. Mr. Barton has proposed to make a statement on the reason for his signing the Treaty. That is one subject which I suppose in his judgement is best stated in a private session. Mr. Gavan Duffy has proposed for discussion the following two matters: (1) That the public session be postponed till Friday. (2) To correct the statement that the proposed Irish Constitution will be created by a Dominion Act.

I would like to ask you one question about the committee appointed to go into the documents as I understand they have come together.

What I want to know is this we have wasted practically all day. I believe we have wasted half-a-day. We adjourned into a private session to discuss certain things. The plea put forward was that there were certain things which should not be discussed in public and that several of us wanted information about finances, about the military strength and otherwise. There has not been a question asked the Minister of Finance about finance. There has not been a question asked the Minister of Defence about the army. We have been talking all day. Anything we have discussed could as easily have been discussed without any advantage to the enemy in public session. There has not been one single question about finance or the army asked. I propose now that the matters for the private session be confined to subject which would be of advantage to the enemy if they were made public.

Well, the subjects will be named in the order I have suggested.

I believe Mr. Barton is going to make a statement that may lead to statements for or against the Treaty by the general body of members. If any such statements are to be made they are to be reserved to the proper time and place and not be taking up the time of the private session.

I second the motion.

I didn't understand that he made a motion.

I made a motion that nothing else be discussed except what I stated.

Do you propose to throw the responsibility of deciding that on me?

I don't think it is right to suggest that. I have already asked that the Chief of Staff would make a brief report on the state of the army in the case of war; secondly, that the Minister of Finance be asked to make a brief report on our present finances.

Perhaps Mr. Seán T. O'Kelly would include a request from the Minister of Economics with regard to the position of the country.

I could probably save a lot of time if he would indicate what I should give in the report. Naturally, I can't say off-hand what we could do and naturally I can't refer at all to future arrangements without giving an opinion which perhaps some people would regard prejudiced opinion. I can have a statement on short notice as to our present liabilities and how what money we have is committed and what balance we have. That is a matter of detail in which I have to get my staff to assist me as I didn't know the request was to be made. I get a weekly statement for myself. I can't now at this hour of the evening get the last week's statement which by referring to I could indicate the position very briefly. In reality there is nothing that need not be public about that. But for the purpose of a public session it need not be referred to at all. I can say off-hand for instance that we have something about £200,000 odd on deposit receipt or held under some scheme of deposit receipt here in Ireland. I could not say the exact amount off-hand because naturally for the past couple of months I have not been able to give my personal attention to matters of detail that I did give when I was here in Ireland, although every time I came over I had some consultation with my financial people here. Now it would probably be wise for me to refer to the question of holding of the money in future and the question of future loans. I am just making a little statement which would give the members a chance of seeing what they want. If it is in the mind of any member to raise a question as to what I thought of the future loans I would have to take conceivable circumstances into account. That would be only my opinion and it may be a prejudiced decision. If the few Deputies who mentioned the financial position indicated what lines I could go on I could have a statement pretty early in the morning.

I didn't ask any question about finance or anything else. The plea was put forward that we should have a private session because some members wanted to know about finance and other questions. We have not discussed any of them to-day and I propose that we confine ourselves to these questions.

It will save probably a number of other questions if I say I heard it suggested by somebody to-day that perhaps it had relation to the possible amount of money that was due by England to Ireland. If that is suggested I can only refer any Deputy to the secretary of the delegation because our whole financial case is contained in a memorandum put forward which as mentioned by me to-day is of very vital importance. It took a great deal of time to prepare. Assuming that you are going into arbitration with Great Britain this document on finance handed in would be the basis of a claim and the claim I may say against England is put at the figure of £3,000,000,000.¹ If anybody is going to put it higher than that

1. In another copy the figure £3,000,000 is given.

With regard to the army if any Deputy here has any question to ask let him ask the question and I will give the answers to-morrow. The only statement at present in my possession is a general statement. We have a very efficient Headquarters staff, each man of which has a certain section to look after and being efficient and patriotic men and each doing his best for the Republic you may take it for granted that we are in a much better position to fight now than when the Truce started.

I submit the question relates to the army department and not to the Minister for Defence. One of the questions would be how far the army was affected by those disagreements in the Cabinet. I was approached by a member of the I.R.A. as I came here to-day and told if I voted for that Treaty I would be shot.

You may take it that the army regard themselves as soldiers and will abide the decision.

With regard to the question raised by Deputy Fahy, I may state that Deputies from Cork City and County were presented with an order from the Headquarters staff of South, namely, that if we didn't vote for the rejection of the Treaty we were guilty of treason to the Republic and presumably the consequences were about the same, even that we would not be given a trial. We can presume what the consequences would be. Now it is desirable I think that the Minister of Defence would answer the question as to how far the divisions in the Cabinet which I still maintain are not divisions in the Dáil as yet how far those divisions are affecting the army and if the Cabinet as the responsible government of the Republic have really taken into consideration the effect of their action on the army. The question from the South is most pertinent in this case and it is most important for the Minister of Defence to consider this and give an answer to us who are threatened to be shot like dogs if we take a certain action here. Whether we take that action or not I think should be a matter for our consciences. It is serious I should think for the army that these divisions in the Cabinet are permeating the army already and we should like an answer to that.

As one Deputy from the South who has also received that notice I must say that I got it. Whatever I think of the wisdom of sending it I don't think it was meant in the same way as Mr. de Róiste says. The distinction made this morning was, I take it, that we were elected definitely for a Republic and in consequence our constituents are at perfect liberty to tell us what they think. We are told that the First Southern Division sent up to Headquarters a demand for the rejection of the Treaty proposal. It was for the Headquarters to say whether that was exceeding their powers; secondly, we were told it was our duty to accede to this demand; that to act otherwise would be treason to the Republic. I don't think there is a threat to be shot in that. We would want to remember that we are a nation but an infant nation and as I have already spoken in this assembly on a former date about the analogy of our case with America, I tell the members of this Dáil now that a similar situation arose in America in 1778. And Washington and the army said the country was not to weaken and if the army does the same to-day God bless them.

It is an extraordinary thing first to deny a thing and then to justify it. I got that notice. It is a definite threat that I would be shot if I do a certain thing. I do not raise it from a personal point of view because it does not matter to me in the least. Any vote I have to give will be given on the merits of the case and actuated solely by the dictates of my conscience. The point is, the question raises the extent to which the army as a whole has been affected. I don't think it has appeared in the Dublin press I read it in the Cork papers to-day there is quite a feature made of a report of a meeting of the Brigade Commandants of Dublin announcing a decision that was arrived at by the majority to follow Mr. Griffith. That I think can further indicate the tendency of the army. I raise this to impress upon the Cabinet as a whole, to impress upon them the danger to the army of their present differences. I have already written to the officer from whom I received it to that effect. It does not matter to me a bit.

The threat is not confined to one side and it is a serious thing that the Minister for Defence will have to consider; as Minister for Defence he is responsible to the Dáil and he is responsible for the discipline of his army and his chiefs of staff and I say to him that now is the time for him to put strict disciplinary measures into the chiefs of staff because no matter what Government remains in power here we can't have an army divided and furthermore it is scandalous that there should be sides taken, and some of the principal men, not alone have they sent parties around the country trying to influence members of this Dáil but they are using sinister threats outside. It is not confined to either side. It is for you, Mr. Brugha, to say that the army responsible to you and you to this Dáil that they act loyally to this Government and to nothing else.

It may be that certain Deputies down in Cork are using these arguments against acceptance of the Treaty. The army in Clare have not said a word about the Treaty. They look upon themselves as soldiers. The civil population are out for the Treaty.

The army in Cork consider that they are soldiers but that they are nevertheless citizens and they are entitled to give their opinions.

They should do it, not as an army, but through the Sinn Féin clubs.

I think the army in Cork is just as entitled to express its opinions as the G.H.Q. The Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff the Adjutant General, the Quartermaster General, the Chief Inspector of Training and the Assistant Chief of Staff have all laid themselves out in this morning's press as being in favour of the Treaty. The officers and men of the First Southern Division have sent up a demand for the rejection of the Treaty here and if there are any army questions affecting southern Ireland the Divisional Commandant requests permission to come in here. There are statements made by the Adjutant General and by others that any man going down to Cork will be shot. I can say for Cork that's a lie. There are points to be cleared up about the army. When I voted for certain delegates to London it was on the understanding that we were playing for time. It was not to get a Treaty such as this that has been presented to us. I had no doubt at all about it. There is some undercurrent about this. I must say that the amount of arms we were getting would not enable us to carry on very far but I think owing to our efforts we can carry on.

A definite accusation has been made against me and

THE SPEAKER said Mr. Walsh was first on his feet.

I don't see any grave reason about any member of the I.R.A. or the I.R.A. as a body giving a well considered expression of opinion on a matter that involves their own lives and their own outlook. But I must confess that the document which I hold here in my possession leads me to the conclusion that on exercising my judgment on an all-important question before the country I may be subject to certain treatment. That is very clearly set forth. Unfortunately I fear that that viewpoint is confined to neither side. The case made is that in any final fundamental decision which may be good for the country that the army should interpose and save Ireland. In other words, that the army should prevent the Dáil from expressing their opinions. We are all keen on saving our country. None of us can gain anything by going back to the Parnellite split or the Redmondite split. We have all suffered our share and we all hope the right thing will be done for the dear old motherland but it is essential at this stage that those at the head of the army, and I would include the President, should speak out definitely and state the limits to which they are prepared to tolerate any action on the part of the men who constitute our army.

I think it is absolutely wrong for the army as an army to send any notice to any members of this Dáil. And if I were directly in charge I would make it my duty that every member of the Headquarters staff who sent that thing to the paper I would immediately ask for his resignation off the staff and I would do the same with the Southern Division.

This is news to me. I didn't hear anything about this till now.

It is news for me also.

The Deputy from Cork said that the Adjutant General had said a certain thing. I am the Adjutant General and while I have been that I have done nothing and said nothing except what was within the spirit and letter of strict discipline. There is nobody on the Headquarters staff more unpopular than I am because of that and I am unpopular chiefly because I insisted, on the instructions of the Minister of Defence, that the army was not to interfere as an army in any matter that was not purely an army matter. The remark was made and it was made to me and I repeated it not seriously because I didn't believe it about a man from Cork being shot. I am not in Cork, fortunately for Cork (laughter). I went down to Cork when it was difficult to go there and when it was dangerous to go there. A statement was made and a specific name was mentioned. I didn't repeat it except to two or three and the remark was if Mick Collins goes down to Cork there are men there to shoot him. And a woman in Dublin said, "If there is not a man good enough in Cork or in Ireland to shoot Mick Collins I will do it myself" I don't think I ever told that to the Minister for Finance because I took it to be a statement of an excitable woman in a period of great excitement. With regard to the statement which appeared in the Freeman to-day it says: "We understand". This is the first I know of it. Any statement I made as a solider about my opinion was made to the President and it was made in the presence of the Chief of Staff for the members of the General Staff. The President knows what these statements are. I don't know who is responsible for this thing in the Freeman. I am not. I knew nothing about it. I was not approached about it until it appeared in the press this morning. It says, "I have good reason for stating that the following accept the Treaty: The Chief of Staff; Deputy Chief of Staff; Assistant Chief of Staff; Director of Training. These are known in the army as the 'Big Four'. Two of them are members of Dáil Éireann and will speak for themselves to-day. In addition the following are believed to take the same view: Adjutant General, Quartermaster General, Chief Inspector of Training", of whom I have never heard.

That is all I have to say about it. Anything I have said or any act or word of mine in connection with the army was within the spirit and letter of military discipline and nobody knows that as well as the officers of the First Southern Division. I am anxious that this matter should be fully and thoroughly investigated and any place an army officer asks me about the question debated I told him that as far as he was concerned he was a soldier. When I was summoned to this meeting of the Dáil I thought it my duty to consult the people who elected me to the Dáil and I went on Monday evening to Carlow. I met the officers of the Comhairle Cheanntair. I met the people who proposed me, seconded me and elected me. I met the Brigade Commandant and he spoke on this matter and I said, "I have been discussing this matter with people I have a right to discuss it with. I can't discuss it with you. Your duty", I said, "was clearly stated in the public statement issued by the President that the army was not affected". I as a member of the army am not affected. My business is to obey the person giving the orders. I am very sorry that this question is brought in here. I am speaking in the presence of officers to whom I have issued instructions and officers who had carried them out. A most unfair and unjustifiable thing has been stated about me. A gentleman from Cork said there were counter-threats and that he would insist and I will insist too that the names of persons whom he has in mind be given to the Dáil and that these members get their opportunity of answering that any members of this Dáil knowing of these threats let them make a statement to the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Defence will deal with them in his fashion. I did repeat to Seán MacSwiney, the Deputy in Cork, the story that I was told I again repeat that I took it as a joke and I thought that we had at least in Cork a sense of humour. Notwithstanding all the bitterness introduced in the debate to-day I still maintain mine.

My motion has not been put.

I understood your motion was accepted generally. We were acting upon it.

Anything about the army should be addressed to the Minister of Defence. We are met here to decide the most important thing any body of Irishmen ever met to decide and here we are quibbling about what somebody said. I was told last night that I would be shot if I voted for this Treaty and I am not kicking up a row about it.

I must absolutely dissent from the last speaker. The first is a newspaper speculation. The second is an attempt to prevent the members of this Assembly from registering their votes. I think in no country in the world would there be a greater criminal act committed than for an assembly to allow its military to decide in advance what decisions they should arrive at. And I think the responsible Minister should see that those responsible for that attempt, should see that those people are properly rebuked or dealt with, and that they should be made to realise that their position is in the army, that the position of men who come here to act as legislators and who are to decide those issues not in accordance with instructions they get from the military themselves in any part of Ireland but in accordance with what they conceive to be the dictates of their conscience in the interests of the country. I think it is a serious and a grave matter and instead of attempting to turn it into a trivial matter which the last speaker did I think this House ought to realise it is a grave matter and I think we ought have some statement from the Minister of Defence as to what he proposes to do.

As one of those who received those notices I wish to say I received a second disclaiming it. I received the first stating that I should consider what I was doing. I received a notice to-day saying the notice I got a couple of days ago had no authority whatever.

As one of the Brigade officers concerned I signed my name to that document. We didn't send it up as a demand. We sent it up to ask for certain consideration for a certain view-point of ours down in the South for the consideration of the Cabinet and we also [sic] I think as far as I remember our O/C apologised to the Chief of Staff for his action which might not altogether be in accordance with military discipline. We didn't think it was our business as military men but we thought we had a duty as citizens of the Irish Republic. It was not with a view to dictate to the politicians that we sent on that. We just wished to put our view point before them. And I don't see it that anybody should infer that it should be thought by any member of the Dáil that we wished to dictate. Much as we like and respect the man who wrote that note I am not in agreement with him.

I think that the Deputy for Cork was referring to a different document to the document that was taken exception to by certain Deputies. That is the document that has been addressed to the members of this Assembly from Cork, but from the Cork No. 1 Brigade area not from the County of Cork. As a Deputy for Cork if I received such a document as this I couldn't be in attendance at this Assembly.



Because I have as good an opinion of myself as ever I had.

I don't know what undercurrent of irritation is troubling people in regard to the army whether they feel that the army is in the same confused position as to [sic] the Dáil seems to be. The army first came into this matter when the President sent for the members of the Headquarters staff to ask them for certain opinions with regard to the army strength and he subsequently asked for their opinions with regard to the Treaty and then he asked us generally how the army stood. And he was told by me for my own personal self and for the members of the Headquarters staff who were present that whatever our duties were as members of the Dáil or in any other capacity or whatever way we discharged those duties that we were absolutely soldiers and that we stood by the army in whatever position we held then and if there came any changes in whatever position the Government thought we could best serve the army. That is the position with regard to the Headquarters staff. With regard to this notice which appeared in the Freeman's Journal to-day I want everybody to understand that the G.H.Q. staff or no member of it had anything to do with it. And it came as big a surprise to me as the note that I saw issued by the O/C Cork No. 1. As far as I am personally concerned I don't think there is a single member of the army who can say that I spoke to him or expressed my opinion with regard to this Treaty. Two of them came to me last night to know what I thought of it. I told them that they should meet people of different views. That if they went to certain people they would get excited and I told them that they could go to bed and that they would hear all about it. Re the document that came from the First Southern Division I support every word that Mr. Seán Moylan said about it. The tone and spirit of that note was such that nobody could take exception to it. The officer who wrote that note has been the man who was perhaps so far as I personally was concerned at any rate an education and an inspiration in the army. The work that he had [was] amongst the officers in the country and he submitted that note which I submit was eminently reasonable. That does not prejudice the position that [recte of] that officer or prejudice the position of the officers in the 1st Southern Division with regard to their duty as soldiers. I am very much surprised at the officer in charge of the Cork No. 1 Brigade and I am perfectly sure that when he realises the want of discipline that may be read into that note that he will realise it. I am sure that the officer will stand by duty as well as any officer in the First Southern Division. The Commandant of the 1st Southern Division is in town and I would like that this meeting if it so wished would hear what he had to say with regard to the army.

It is not necessary at all.

I have spoken to some other officers since of that Division and the Dáil may be perfectly satisfied that the First Southern Division will stand as soldiers with the generosity of service that the country has always got from them. As to that note from the Cork No. 1 O/C the legends that have grown around this the article in the Freeman's Journal is at the bottom of all this.

With reference to my meeting with the Headquarters staff I want to make it clear I didn't ask them for their political opinions. I brought the chiefs of the staff to find out from them to see how they stood as regards the strength of the army. I asked would you be for continuing or not. It was only in that particular way that the question of the Treaty or anything like it came in. I didn't discuss the Treaty.

That must have been very much misreported in Dublin. I was told that every man in the Headquarters staff at the meeting, which discussed this question of the ratification of the Treaty, that they had decided with one dissentient to urge for the ratification of the Treaty. The people in Dublin who have asked me for the position of affairs I have told them this. I always mentioned the fact that I understood it so that they had met and discussed this question. It was told to me and I used it in telling the people what way the Treaty was likely to go. When I saw the document coming from the First Southern Division it struck me only then that the report of the action of the G.H.Q. staff might lead to the ruin of the country. It might lead to the general disruption of the army all over Ireland and I urged on some of the officers I happened to meet, officers who were members of the Dáil, to use their influence to prevent any such meetings to discuss matters of this kind. I presume once the matter was brought under the notice of the Minister for Defence that he take action, as it was his duty to do, to prevent the army headquarters from being turned into Sinn Féin clubs or political gatherings.

The Deputy speaking at present is making statements about matters which never happened.

I don't know. I am making it only as I was told, as the police say, "on information received". Everybody in Dublin discussed it that the Headquarters staff met and decided with the exception of one vote the question of the ratification of the Treaty.

I called that as my duty to know the strength and to find out the fighting strength of the army. It was purely and technically a committee that came to me to discuss how they stood and to find out from a purely military point of view how the fighting strength stood, leaving aside all other questions whatsoever. It was absolutely necessary to get the opinion to bulk as to how long they could hold out, what fighting strength they had, and so on. Any misrepresentation of that meeting as a meeting that agreed to a certain line of action with one dissentient is not the thing. They gave their judgement on army questions purely and simply.

I would like to ask the President what was the reply given to this question about the effectiveness of the army in the case of a renewal of the war?

That will come on in its turn from the Minister for Defence.

I have been sent two questions. One is: What is the position of the army as regards the morale of the army? That is a question I am asked. Now as regards the morale it is as high as ever and probably higher. We know what this paper (the Freeman) wants propaganda.

You may take it for granted that as long as I am in the position that I hold at present that I will put down any indiscipline in the army. It has not been shown to me yet that there is indiscipline. Let any member of this body let me know of any threats that have been sent to them and I will see that similar threats are not used in future. Now as regards the army I will give you all particulars.

I suggest that if people want to know these things through curiosity or to fill up their own minds with information that they should not ask them. I suggest a general statement is enough.

MR. CATHAL BRUGHA here went into some matters in detail and Mr. Brennan (Clare), Mr. Dolan, President de Valera, J.J. O'Kelly (Sceilg), Mr. MacEntee, Séamus Robinson and Eoin O'Duffy spoke on the question.

I must say that the day any portion of the army does not obey the Government then there is an end of your fight for freedom.

The Government has the loyal support of the army.

If the army as a national army does not obey the Government, and until this Dáil is dissolved any man who does not obey the Government if there is any scrap of an army left to arrest him he will be arrested.

I propose that a public session be postponed till Friday. I will take this matter later. I have a second motion. This may seem to many people a small point. It was said this morning that if this Treaty were passed it would be put into operation by an English Act of Parliament. Now I don't want to speak on the merits or demerits of the Treaty. If this Treaty is accepted or rejected let us understand what we are accepting or rejecting and I think statements should not be made which don't hold water such as the statement which it is an insult to listen to that if this Treaty is to be put into force it will take the shape of an English Act of Parliament creating us into a dominion. Now if you look at the last clause of the Treaty it is very ambiguous and vague. It says that if the Treaty is approved it shall be ratified by the necessary legislation. It is perfectly obvious that it will be necessary from the point of view of getting matters straight that the English government pass an Act of Parliament repealing their Act of Union, but it is not true to say that because they repeal this therefore they propose that an Irish Constitution should take the shape of an Act of Parliament. The very fact that they call this thing a Treaty makes it a document which turns it into a fact by ratification and requires no Act of Parliament. I am sure it was mentioned in good faith. It is not fair to add to the burden of those supporting the Treaty by making their position worse than it is.

There is nothing in this that does not make it likely to be a Dominion Act. There was a treaty in the Boer War and that treaty was put into an Act. You have no guarantee in this document that it will not be such an Act that will be imposed upon you and if you get your guarantee then of course that point goes by the board.

In the case of the Boer War you had a treaty made in the field of battle between victor and the vanquished. It was not a treaty at all. They took good care not to call it a treaty. The point is that if this document is put into operation there is nothing in this Treaty justifying the British Parliament in pressing a Dominion Act. I am not going to prophesy what they will do. But I can say this with a full assurance that if they seek to limit our powers by a Dominion Act that is a thing against which the Irish Government can protest against in the face of this Treaty. There is no Dominion of the British Empire which was founded by a treaty with the people of England. There was none. When I was over with Lloyd George he wanted me to take home with me the Treaty of Vereeniging in order to study it. I didn't take it. I didn't want to study it. There were orders in council which gave Dominion Home Rule to South Africa and I certainly believe there was a Dominion Act establishing the Union of South Africa.

Years after probably. There is nothing in this document which shows that the British government will not dictate our constitution.

The Boers were defeated in 1902. In 1905 they were given temporary representative government being according to British law conquered territory. Consequently, according to British law they could be dealt with by an order in council. After that the Campbell-Bannerman government came in in England and they were given by order in council responsible government. There was no Act on that occasion at all. In 1909 the various states of South Africa decided to federate, Natal and Cape and so on, and the federation which they formed was given effect to by an Act of the British Parliament. It might be described as a Dominion Act and that is the Act now under which the Dominion of South Africa holds its constitution.

I understand that the responsible bodies in the British Constitution are the King and Parliament. Have we any guarantee that they are going to call it a Treaty at all? We are calling it a Treaty.

I don't see what is the use of discussing this in private session. The reason it is called a Treaty at all is because it is signed as a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland.

The curious thing I notice about this is that the word Treaty is blocked out in the only signed document I got and in the Press the word Treaty is used. I pointed it out to the members of the delegation.

Mr. Childers can explain all that.

The draft Treaty as signed was not described as a treaty. It was described as articles of agreement and in that form it was signed by the delegation. On the following day it was observed that the word treaty was not used in connection with this draft, although the word treaty was frequently used by Lloyd George and a communication was made to Downing St. pointing out the omission and suggesting that there should be added to the words "Articles of Agreement", "Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland." That was agreed to by the British. These words were inserted and they appear in the copy before me.

At the head of my copy it is blocked out and "Articles of Agreement" are at the top.

All this can be discussed at a public session. We are now on our trial because we are not constitutional lawyers. Did anybody suggest I was a constitutional lawyer before I went over there? I saw some of our barristers and they looked damn poor fry before some of the other fellows. They didn't do as well as some of the fighting men did before them. How do I know what our lawyers are going to do without law? We noticed on the following day that this document didn't bear the words "Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland". We immediately arranged for it to be put in. If we are expected to be constitutional lawyers and to know how all free states in the world came into existence now is not the time to tell it.

It was for that purpose that article 3 of the instructions were put in so that we could go at it line by line.

If these points are going to be made we will meet them and beat them tomorrow. In the copy of the Treaty between Ireland and the British Government you make that ground of omission an object for attack on us.

I beg your pardon, I am not attacking anybody. I am looking after the interests of Ireland. If there is anything wrong in this Treaty and if this Treaty be ratified I want, at least, to see that we don't be held up as fools. We don't want Lloyd George again to trick us. I don't want the British Government to trick us. I won't trust them. There is an old saying, "Is mairg a bhíos go holc agus bhíos bocht na dhiadh" and I say that because I do distrust them and not because I want to attack anybody here. I have the highest possible respect for my colleagues, every one of them. There is not one of those men who is not the soul of honour and who is not doing his best for Ireland, and I am fighting now not to be beaten by the politicians in England and by English statesmen. We want to prevent ourselves being tricked by England. We want at least to get something and not to be a laughing stock if it is accepted.

President de Valera said the word "Treaty" was blocked out at the top of the page. It is not.

I will bring the copy I have. It was not the Minister of Finance I wished to say a word against. I was anxious about the Treaty. I was trying to get recognition for the Republic and when I saw this thing I said at least it would be a good thing to have a Treaty there signed by them. But I wondered what was the meaning of this and therefore I feel that the necessary legislation which they will put in is not what the plenipotentiaries imagine.

I don't wish to continue the discussion as to the kind of instrument which we are to ratify. But The Times never refers to this as a treaty and when it published the articles it never published the word "treaty".

Is this in order to discuss this Treaty and try to bias the judgement of the Dáil before this matter comes up for discussion? Speech after speech has been made condemning the Treaty here and some speakers will repeat their speeches tomorrow. That is not fair play. I insist that you must rule this out of order.

I claim protection of the Chair. This is a point that those who are to ratify the Treaty should have.

They can have that tomorrow.

It is much better that this can be raised in private.

What has The Times got to do with it?

The Times has always been regarded as the official or semi-official organ of the British Government. If the head of this instrument whatever it may be called were really a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland then The Times had no right to publish that Treaty with the title out.

The Morning Post of the day that it was signed and the Morning Post can only have got this document presumably from Downing Street, and it heads it "Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, Articles of Agreement".

We were assured by the plenipotentiaries that this was a Treaty signed and that we hadn't power to do anything but to accept it or reject it. But Article 18 clearly shows what was in Lloyd George's mind. It says, "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 not a tactician. I never tried tactics on debate. I don't believe in that one bit. But if I got that document I would be suspicious of it. But I think it right that every member of the House should know about it. If they can get a guarantee that this thing should be ratified by a ratifying Act and that there will be no interference let them get that guarantee.

I thought this private session would be used to come to some sort of common understanding. I think the Treaty should be considered if there is some defect in it if it is called a treaty. The point is whether we can get the English to recognise it as a treaty. We should treat it in a friendly spirit the spirit of calmly making the best thing we have of it.

I agree. It was for that purpose I came here. I am not doing party work and have nothing to do with party or faction work. I am working purely in the public interest in the widest sense. I was going to make a proposal which I would put as an amendment to Mr. Griffith's proposal if I could get anything like a substantial agreement which would end the war and keep us united. If we are not united we can't carry on the fight successfully.

I have a motion that we can't envisage here the work before us at a public session.

I would like to know what is in the President's mind as to the nature of his proposals something that may be satisfactory to both sides before we take definite action tomorrow.

I have again to refer to the past so that you might understand the future. As I said, until the difference in the Cabinet arose when a break off didn't occur on the matter of insisting on the question of whether we remain inside the Empire or the question of allegiance, I would have faced the possibility of war with all that I know it means. On this the word "gambling" was used in the Cabinet. I was asked will you gamble on war and I said, "I will", because I know in the long run the smallest gamble knowing that there were people who would not be satisfied and that you couldn't get a peace answer. I was ready to gamble on the possibility of war. If the break occurred my idea was that the probability was that the British proposals would be published. We would put up our counter proposals and show the world and see are the British going to make war on us because we won't give an oath to their King. Because that is what it amounted to. I referred today to trying to batter down a stone wall and I suggested external association. I was ready to break if we didn't get it because I felt the distance between the two was so small that the British would not wage war on account of it. You say if it is so small why not take it. But I say, that small difference makes all the difference. This fight has lasted all through the centuries and I would be willing to win that little sentimental thing that would satisfy the aspirations of the country I would wait longer not because you had the national aspirations satisfied. Of course, those are entitled to their opinions as to this document that was referred to this morning. That document came to us and I think we could not have this allegiance. If we could get this external thing external association my whole hope was that I would be fighting not on this side but on the side of the plenipotentiaries for acceptance. Now I want to try if I can to recover that situation and going over the Treaty and looking at it and comparing it with these proposals I ask you can we mould these proposals into a document that might include what we could accept. I have managed to draft a thing and I think there is only one snag in it and that is the "Ulster" question. In this Treaty we are fighting Great Britain and not Ulster. Having got this Ulster claim in I don't know how we could go back of that except to make a declaratory statement in the beginning that we don't recognise the right of any part of Ireland to secede, still for the sake of so and so we are willing to accept it. The other thing is this take step by step this document I hold in my hand and the British document. I worked out something which I think would be a basis of constructive work so that when we come to ratification instead of proposing that Treaty which would divide the country I know it won't satisfy everybody it won't satisfy those who want an isolated Republic that can only be secured by beating the enemy down or by the other thing. I know other people say, "We will hold on". It is quite admissible. There would be only one danger of my producing a document of this kind in a public session. They would say it is neither fish, flesh nor good red herring. But I think there is a document that we could all subscribe to and we could say to the British people "We can't accept that we can accept this that can't bring peace, this can". We know there are some who will never be satisfied. After all what do they want? Is it not friendship between the two peoples? What good is it to Lloyd George to have a majority in this country if there is a strong minority who will continue as before? The British people if they are wise will be willing to give the extra bit of a jump. He (Lloyd George) would be afraid as a politician to sign a document which would be leaving Ireland outside the Empire. But when it is a definite offer when it is said, "Will you join us as a free people? Are you going to make war on us with a forced Treaty?" It would be difficult to get an assembly like this to agree to any such document. There are in my proposals certain paragraphs which would be accepted by everybody. I know the plenipotentiaries would accept it. I see only one hope therefore in the situation and that is that we should, when Mr. Griffith proposes that we recommend the Treaty, propose an amendment saying that, "This will not satisfy a large section of our people but we here as their representatives believe that this will and we will unanimously recommend this and therefore there is peace in it". If you like I can get copies in here. The only thing about it is I don't expect we will be unanimous. But presented with the fait accompli that we are presented with, and with the danger of a division, my own feeling is that a plebiscite in the country, at a time with the papers against us, that our people would accept that Treaty under duress. I believe they would (Hear, hear). I have that feeling I may be wrong. We know if they did there would be an intense feeling against by the others. I don't want to influence anybody. I know if that were put before the people they would, as a matter of fact, accept it. They would not be wise. There were other things to be put before the people. I am anxious that they should not accept anything less than they can get. It will not mean war. That is my proposal. If any proposals are not definitely opposed to the principles that anybody holds they will come with us and try to have an unanimous decision on the matter. It is the only way I see out of it at the present time. I let the Minister of Publicity know that this is the work that I was engaged on when I was accused of using the Government staff for a party purpose.

I did not say that.

You did. I don't forget it at all.

I appeal as an ordinary member to those present and to the members of the delegation not to living [recte bring] in those small petty questions before the Dáil.

I was in America and a similar contest was forced upon me and similar suggestions at the back were being passed about. And there have been suggestions made as if I at one time wanted to do something and then that I left the delegation in the lurch.

The President has made a certain proposition. I wish to hear the chairman of the delegation's views on the proposition.

This is exactly the same proposition we put up twice to Lloyd George and we fought it for two weeks. The fact of it is this, the Treaty is a thing you have to take it as it stands. The fact of this Treaty [is] we have to accept it or reject it. We have got to take it as it stands.

I am anxious to say something in explanation and just to put briefly what the position is. I am glad the President has given us the proposal. We put this proposal. In some ways I think some of the things we have secured from a verbal point of view are better. We put this before the other side with all the energy we could. That is the reason that I wanted certain vital documents and these will show that the same proposals that the President has now drafted have been put already. The suggestion is that we can act on this thing in this way if we wish the ratification will be moved here. It will be supported. But let it be rejected. Let this thing be put up as what the Dáil will agree upon. That is what we are told here. But I for one want to have it on record that we have put up this already and that we have failed to get it. There is no other delegation that would have got a better or a greater treaty than the delegation that went.

The thing is this, no Irishman can ever go on a delegation again thinking he is speaking for a straight decision one way or another. Let the Treaty be rejected and let those who take the responsibility for its rejection put that to the country. If war is to follow I accept that decision, and in whatever capacity my services can be of assistance I accept that capacity, but I should never be in the same position but I would always do one man's part in any work I had to do for Ireland. But let it be understood that no delegation should go back to these people whom we distrust. I know the answer they would get "You can go to the devil; you can't speak for anyone; you can't deliver the goods". In my opinion they won't treat with any other delegation. There should not be and there is no hesitation on my part to face the two straight issues contained in the document. We recommend the ratification of the document. If it is rejected as a most humble individual I will do whatever part my nation requires of me to do in whatever capacity I can serve her interests. But let there be no mistake about it, that we stand for a definite position. We don't stand for nothing. If we chop this thing the British Parliament will chop it. If there is any defect in it from a legal point of view the men who have that particular kind of knowledge will I suppose be seeing to the details of it in that particular kind of way. Let there be no mistake about the alternatives. We have heard about external and internal association. Association means association with them. When I am speaking about the thing itself that is what I would regard as the disaster of this thing. I would prefer to see the document rejected absolutely to passing these proposals, and having taken responsibility for that rejection it means that we are challenging them as a nation to a military decision. Well, I believe they are prepared to give belligerent rights if we made that a condition. We could ask them. If we don't want these rights we need not ask for them. The decision will be in our own hands. But let the thing be an absolutely straight one. Let us clear them out or they clear us out. But let it be understood that we have done our best for the document before you, such as it is. I have done my best to secure absolute separation from England. I have done the best I could in the difficulty for many years. Documents and formulas I could not understand. If I went again I couldn't make any stronger fight for this document than I made for the others. I can't understand these phrases that have been brought in here. I am standing not for shadows but for substances and that is why I am not a compromiser.

I would suggest that every member here would carefully consider that when in the morning we meet we will present a united front to the enemy, and then we will have no occasion to split the country or to split ourselves either.

I suggest that we have got as far as we could get and it would be a great deal better for us from every point of view to adjourn.

I propose that tomorrow be a private session. I think it would be better now to have a public session on the day after tomorrow.

Have the discussion in a friendly way on what rejection means to the country. I think some of us know more about the facts than others. As a matter of fact we have had no discussion yet on the Treaty or on the benefits that would be conferred by it on Ireland or on what its rejection means to Ireland. Each member has a very serious responsibility placed upon him to consider these things in a cool and friendly way.

Have the committee power to have these documents typed and circulated if they consider them worth it?

You have appointed the committee and it is presumed they know what they are going to do.

The point is very pertinent all the same. Now as to the statement of the Minister of Finance. Suppose you make a proposal of this kind the British will feel that they have a certain duty to the delegation that went over and met them and they will say, "Well we are letting them down badly if we don't stand for the other and reject this thing". It must be some form to appeal to the two nations. It can't be, therefore, the question of the delegation at all, it must be simply the form a sort of appeal to the two nations. It is only a popular appeal to the two nations.

If the Dáil was not fairly unanimous upon it you could not do it. It is my last effort and it is a poor one. It is only a bad best.

There is one thing I would like to keep out of this thing. From the position that we have had to take up we should not be forced into a position and nobody should force us into a rotten invidious position and because I say a certain article will not be accepted. Let no man here put me into the position to argue for anything less than full freedom for Ireland. I couldn't say in my heart that I would regard the Irish nation committed to anything less than full freedom. I could not say in my heart that anything would satisfy me personally less than full freedom. I believe there are world forces in this present thing. These are all things I could say in the public session. But if we go arguing on this I want to say a word on this showing that we have put up the same thing to the English and it was not acceptable to them. We were not able to prevail on them to accept it. Don't put us in the position of doing anything else than what we tried to do. If we went to Lloyd George he would say: "If I accept this document (No.2) you will come back after and say, 'we can't accept this now, I want my Republic' ". That would be in reality the position as I see it. And I am not going to be put into the position so to speak of saying that the British would not accept some of this. The correspondence shows that we have already tried it. And I, as one man, can do no more.

In declaring the House adjourned I would like on behalf of you to express the hope that a real effort will be made to conduct this discussion in future in every way worthy of the nation we belong to. It is easier to exercise a little personal restraint than to meet the enemy in the field.

I think in fairness to us, the Dáil should ask for our resignations.

(Shouts of No, no)

These are matters it seems to me the Cabinet should come together and discuss.

The House adjourned at 9.30 p.m. to 11 o'clock a.m. on Thursday the 15th December.