This is the report of the conferences that we held on Wednesday night, Thursday morning, and last night: "A meeting informally arranged and consisting of five Deputies from the anti-Treaty side, and four men from the Treaty side was held at the house of Deputy Seán T. O'Kelly on Wednesday night. Those present were, anti-Treaty side: Deputies O'Kelly, Mellowes, Ruttledge, Moylan and O'Connor. Treaty side: Deputies Hogan, McGuinness, Hayes and O'Duffy. Agreement was reached with Deputy Liam Mellowes dissenting." Now as regards the nature of that agreement, those on the anti-Treaty side do not wish that now disclosed. Is that correct?
DEBATE ON TREATY
DEPUTIES O'KELLY and O'CONNOR
Well, agreement was reached here, and we want to settle that particular matter now. I have the full particulars of the point settled before we read the agreement.
I do not see why this information should be withheld from the House. This thing was not initiated by either the President or the Minister for Foreign Affairs. It is initiated from the private members of the House and I think we are entitled to know what has happened, and what were the bases of agreement, at any rate, and what are the bases of the differences that came about yesterday. I think the House is entitled to know that, and I move accordingly.
I beg to second that.
An effort was made to see if some basis of agreement could be arrived at. The thing was very informal. We met to have a talk amongst ourselves. There was certain agreement come to on certain lines. It was stated by me before the meeting broke up that of course this was to be taken as private, and nothing published without the consent of all parties, and there was no dissent. If we met anywhere have we not the right to talk and discuss matters without having anybody public, private, or anything else, to demand the right to know! (Voices, You have not). If we met in private, what right has anyone to know! We talked amongst ourselves, and we came to certain agreements which were submitted to our leaders. There was acceptance to some extent on one side and rejection on the other side; therefore we maintain that matter ended. We did try then to come to an agreement as a result of your mandate to us and we read over what we did agree to the night previously. We dropped certain parts to which there was strong objection, and there were other parts to which we all agreed. We agreed unanimously that could be put the Dáil and in explanation of how much agreement we made. We could start by telling the Dáil what was done last night, on the undertaking that what we did would have to be put before the Dáil. If we did that there may be some way out. From my point of view I would look on it as a breach of agreement to put before the Dáil anything that was done by the private meeting. There was no understanding that anyone would see it but the people who made it. If anyone wants to see it in private I have no objection; but this is not a document to be put before the Dáil. On some paragraphs there was practical unanimity, but on other paragraphs there was less agreement and on the total we disagreed.
I think it is reasonable to take up the attitude that what this House is concerned with is the extent to which agreement was reached. If we can hear from the Committee what is the point to which agreement was secured it is the most satisfactory way of starting the work.
It is not a question of what they agreed on. What does it mean? If eight or nine members agreed to a particular thing it is binding on nobody here. As a joint body have they a definite proposal? (Cries of No). They have not succeeded in that; they have failed. At the same time I would like to hear what they now put before us. Do they wish any adjournment or that they may discuss the matter again? (No, no). Is it then they have failed to find a solution?
We have failed.
We agreed on Wednesday. I used the words substantial agreement, but I meant by that that four from our side, and four from the other side agreed. The dissenting voice was Deputy Mellowes. We agreed on that. As regards the point about our discussion being private, I hold it was tentatively private. If we had continued on the same line I am sure no one would hold it would continue to be private. When I put the matter before the leaders of my side I did not suggest it was private and I had not in my mind it was. It is certainly a very substantial agreement and I hold it is very vital for the Dáil to know what the substantial agreement was. The Deputies on either side do not now agree to what they agreed on Wednesday night. They do not agree now; after they interviewed the President and others they did not agree to that. They admit they did agree on Wednesday night. They do not now agree to what they agreed on Wednesday night. This is not at all unfair. I want to be fair and just, and I do not want to make any statement here that is unjust. If what I said is wrong I would ask any of the four Deputies to contradict it.
When Deputy O'Duffy said here yesterday that substantial agreement was reached he only implied it as meaning there was agreement between eight members and there was a dissenting voice, and I think that is quite correct. The substantial agreement as far as I understand it was that we agreed on certain points. There were other points we did not agree on. I did not agree on certain points as well as Deputy Mellowes, and I did not change my mind between Wednesday night and yesterday morning. There are some points I did not agree on points 3 and 5 I did not agree on. We did agree on certain points (Hear, hear).
What I meant was substantial agreement on the points we agreed on (laughter).
Reference was made to paragraph 3; that is all Greek to the House. I hold we have to go into the whole thing and
Read the things you did agree on.
That is the important point of the whole thing, whether we are for the Treaty or against it (Hear, hear). Publicly yesterday, we de cided to go into secret session on a statement to the effect that substantial agreement had been reached on certain points among certain members of the House. Now, as one member, I could not consent to go into secret session unless I understood these points, which had been before myself, would be admitted to the House. If those points are not to be submitted to the House, let us have it like this: if agreement is reached in private, we are told in public it would be dishonourable to disclose the agreement. Let everything be public and then there can be no agreement (Hear, hear). If we cannot have this document now for the meeting on Wednesday night an agreed document was brought away; it was not signed. It is a point of honour on the men who agreed. It is as much a point of honour as if they had signed it. That was submitted to Mr. Griffith and myself and we agreed to it. Is the House not to have that agreed document, and last night's document, and everything that happened at the committee meetings? Why cannot the House have that?
We met a number of private members in a private conversation. We agreed on certain principles. We agreed those should be submitted to our leaders. We also agreed they should be private. Although this committee was afterwards nominated by the House, on understanding that substantial agreement was reached, to submit proposals, the proposals to be submitted should be
May I speak afterwards?
I was not finished.
But I was in possession, Sir. I was speaking. Is not that right? I have been asked, and have been asked many questions. Let Deputies get up in a proper orderly way and answer these questions in the way I have tried to do here. Now there is a point of public morality in this. I do not care who says otherwise and if that agreement is not to be disclosed to the House in private, then I for one cannot agree to continue the private session (Hear, hear). Again coming back to the point, if anyone changes his or her mind overnight, I do not mind, but let them at any rate stand up for their changed opinions again. If we are not going to have this thing put before us, we ought in ordinary decency go into public session again, and let there be no private committee meetings and then there can be no question of dishonour because everything will be disclosed. Let us have it one way or the other (Hear, hear). Let us be straight whichever way we have it.
As regards this question of exploring any possibility of agreement, I suggest it is entirely immaterial to this House certainly it is to me as to what measure of agreement was reached in any particular tentative way. Let us have the suggested arrangements as they stood without any mention as to how far agreement was reached. The House can decide as to whether there is in it the basis of a settlement.
I do not mind what you call them so long as you do not call them articles of agreement (laughter).
When did these discussions take place first. I came here yesterday and remained for half a day, yet I could be told by a man in the street that these discussions were taking place. I do not ever remember to be told about these private discussions. We want to be told beforehand, and not to be told when we go into secret session. There is too much of this going on.
Anyone here who likes could discuss the matter amongst themselves. Have you not all in your various hotels been talking about affairs? We were not in any different position to that. How could you be told such discussions were taking place before they had taken place. You were all told about it yesterday. You could not be told before that because we had not met before.
There is a difference between this talk and other talks. There have been little conferences at hotels. No one who has ever been present at any of them ever moved that this House be adjourned in order that they might be continued with a view to a settlement.
As a member of the committee I would like to explain my attitude towards the matter. There is a substantial difference, it seems to me, between the conference or committee that met on Wednesday night and anything that took place in hotels so far, and for this reason. There were nine individuals of what we may call very great honest and average intelligence (laughter and applause). I insist upon these two things (renewed laughter). They did not represent their principals. They on the other side did not represent the President or anyone else, neither did we on our side represent any of the principals. We sat down as friends to see if we could come to any decision or agreement that might be of some use. The agreement we came to was reduced to writing. Three copies were made. Certain men were deputed to place a copy before each of the three most important people in Ireland today, President de Valera, Mr. Arthur Griffith and Mr. Michael Collins. Now it will be clear to this House, when you come to the point of making a definite written statement to which you agree, Mr. O'Kelly on his side to recommend to the President and we to our people, you have got to a very important point. That is surely clear. Now it was a private meeting; I agree absolutely. We submitted on a principle; some agreed and some did not agree. Then we asked the leave of the House in public to adjourn for further discussion. I may be wrong, but I assumed the discussion was on the thing we agreed on. We did not reach final agreement last night at all. We could not reach any form of agreement. We reached no form of agreement last night, and the only thing for us to do now in my view is to present the House with the clear report of what happened. In my view, too, it must be a clear report of what happened from the very beginning (Hear, hear). As regards the document which Mr. O'Kelly says is confidential I do think if the House wants it let the House have it (Hear, hear). If the House does not want it, let the House have no document and go into public session, talk about the Treaty and do not have any more rubbish of ways out.
As one of the non-Treaty side of the House who was not consulted about the private session I would like to give my opinion. Certain people took it on themselves to have a private talk as anybody might. I think no will deny that from the very beginning I was anxious for unity. But it can only be had in one way. Anybody is at liberty to try and explore possibilities, and if four members of our side of the House agree to something which the rest of us would not agree to that was their individual opinion, and the only reason for dragging it up here now is to create more disunion; the thing to do is to put before us the things we agreed on. I did not see the document. It may be the reading of the document might be used by those who are against us to suggest a split in the Republican Party. It is quite possible, judging by some of the things said and done, that that should be done. Personally I have no more knowledge of what is in the document than any member of the House. For myself, I would be perfectly willing to have every bit of it out. But if the object is to have a split in the Republican Party you will be very much mistaken, mind that now. I do not care if the document is put in or not. If private members agree to something that the rest of us would not agree to, that is their business. What is the object of getting at the things that they agreed on in a private conversation on Wednesday night, and disagreed on after consulting their principals?
Why should not we know?
Go and ask privately and you will be told. Some members agreed on something they should not agree to, that is all. As far as the document goes, it means nothing. We should have everything out, and have a straight issue before the country, and have no tricks, such as pretending
Has the Deputy any right to make imputations against the members of this House?
I do not make any imputations. Who made the imputations that there was an oath in Document No. 2 when there never was?
I said there was such an oath; I never said it was in Document No. 2.
Why not have the whole thing out now?
Deputy Hogan has been anxious to speak, and you have not been fair to him.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
I have not been unfair to him. He gave way to another speaker.
I do not want to impart any heat into those discussions, and if Miss MacSwiney asks what is the object of having the document before the House I can tell her what is not our object. It is not our object to impart any bitterness. This committee was set up to try and find some common ground, and none of us want to spoil that now. There is a suggestion here that our honour is involved and for that reason I will tell you exactly my position. This was a private discussion in the sense that first of all it was initiated by private members. At the time of the discussion the idea, as I understood it, was not to make it public. I want to make that clear. I never thought, and I see now Seán T. O'Kelly agrees with me, that idea of ours would preclude us from telling any member of the Dáil, what our discussions amounted to, and what result we reached Mr. O'Kelly agrees about that himself. It was not to be made public at the time. None of us ever understood in fact we all agreed, and proceeded on the assumption, including Mr. O'Kelly that there was nothing to prevent us from acquainting any other member of the House of the result of the conference. We agreed then all except Mr. Mellowes we have not agreed now. We have no agreement now; we had agreement then. When the four on each side agreed it was decided that the leaders on each side of the House should be acquainted of the agreement. There were men at the conference deputed to see each of the leaders and tell them what the agreement was. They did so. On one side the agreement was adopted as I understand; on the other side it was not. In that state of affairs we met in public here yesterday and in public it was stated by Deputy O'Duffy, and accepted by the other side without dissent, that we had reached substantial agreement. On the strength of that statement made here in public the Dáil was adjourned to enable us to continue. We continued. Here we are today. We have no agreement. We had agreement before. In the set of circumstances I have detailed it is a matter for the House whether everything should be told or whether everything should not be told. If everything did not be told them, the members of the House having all the circumstances put before them, from every point of view the proper thing to do is to go into public session.
I do not think any useful purpose would be served by publishing what has transpired at this private meeting unless it would be to see how far the Dáil would be impressed by the deliberation of these eight or nine members of the Dáil (Hear, hear). If there be a hope in that and I think it ought not to be abandoned lightly then there is a good case for disclosing what agreement has been reached. Every member of the Dáil is interested in having an united front. The country wants that and the nation, I think, is entitled to it. If there be a possibility at all of united and agreed action whereby the nation will have the services of every representative in Dáil Éireann, it would be well worth seeing how far the Dáil does approve of what the eight or nine members agreed on.
I would like to support what Mr. Mulcahy and Miss MacSwiney pointed out what has been agreed on should be put forward.
I think it is right for me to say something about the question. I think it is not altogether fair for the Deputy from College Green, Mr. Seán T. O'Kelly, to state this was an informal meeting of the Teachtaí on both sides, because this question of unity in the ranks has been agitating the minds of many of the back-benchers if I may so call them on both sides. We are all anxious to find a common ground on which to work out the future welfare of our country. The first suggestion as regards this matter came from my friend on the other side the Deputy from North Mayo, Mr. P. J. Ruttledge. He said it would be an excellent thing if common ground could be found whereby the services of every man in the Dáil could be preserved for the nation. He and I have been long working out an effort to bring about a meeting of Teachtaí on each side of the House and he and I approached a number of members of the House and we were turned down on a few occasions. But all the same we persevered and we succeeded in getting these members on both sides to meet. I did not go on the committee myself because, having strong views on one side, I thought it would be better I would stand down and let others go on. It was no informal meeting; it was well known to a good many members on both sides that efforts for unity were being brought about and all the circumstances connected with the whole negotiations should be made public to the House. We are not in public session now, and there is no reason or justice for denying any fact from the general body of the members of the House.
As one of the members of the committee I would like to say that while on the anti-Treaty side I was prepared to go as far as I possibly could to try and arrive at a common ground of agreement. I urged things on my President in a discussion yesterday morning which I felt sorry for afterwards. I thought I had gone too far. I do not think the reading of the agreement we came to on Wednesday night would achieve the purpose of creating unity. I think it would make confusion worse confounded and that is my honest opinion (Voices, It could not be worse). It could be worse, if you had the Republican ranks divided into three or four sections instead of into two. Really things could be worse. The only solid line of ground we could have at all would be the line of thought manifested in the agreement which we came to last night, which shows the trend of our minds just as much as Wednesday night's document. We failed to get common ground but the affair we agreed on last night pretty unanimously would show the trend of our thought, and there may be a germ in the affair of last night which would give us common ground. I am afraid personally Wednesday night's document would make it impossible to get unity in this House.
I may say we came here today with the hope that we would have something before us that would help the whole of the House if I might say so. I will only make one suggestion now, and that is that the eight men who came to some agreement at some time or another would agree now upon how much of the agreement the House should be made acquainted with. How much are they all agreed on we should be told?
I have no objection to the whole document being read but I am afraid the reading of it will do harm.
That is only one man's opinion.
I think all sides are agreed that what we arrived at at least what we wrote down last night might be read to the House and the House could be told how far agreement was reached.
The men on both sides are honest and fair in their desire to help the country at this moment; they do not want to throw a further bone of contention into our midst. I know nothing about what happened on Wednesday night. I have no curiosity. Well, of course, I have curiosity but we will put that aside for the good of the country. What I would suggest is that these same people go outside and decide amongst themselves how far it would be wise to disclose the contents of their proceedings on both nights how far it would be advisable for the good of the country. Let us have an agreed report from them and not a bone of contention such as on this morning one side trying to drag out a document and others trying to keep it back. Let these men get together and decide how much it is best for Ireland to read here today.
Could not a beginning be made with the matter agreed on and let a decision on other matters be then taken?
This House is not responsible, neither is it entitled to know what has been done at those informal meetings. This House is entitled to know what has transpired from the time it met yesterday morning and the appointing of this committee. That will simplify the matter. We serve no useful purpose here by talking on matters everybody knows. Wherever any two members of the House have met, and wherever any two Irish people have met for several weeks past they have been discussing all sorts of things. We are as much entitled to drag their views in here as we are to compel the committee to disclose what has been done on an informal matter.
We have been made suspicious already; let us know everything.
Yesterday's adjournment made the whole proceedings seem official at the start. But it is not to make that point that I rise; it is to remind you there is a motion before the House.
A motion has been proposed and seconded and there is no amendment.
The motion I seconded was that the matter agreed on should be put forward.
I seconded a motion that the whole thing be published.
Nobody here has any right to ask me to show them any private letter or document that I wrote to any man here or to the President or to either party. No one here has any right to ask me to show a document that we nine members meeting in a private house discussed and agreed upon. It has nothing whatever to do with anybody.
I would like to say if this House is going to insist on hearing every private discussion between members on different sides that comes before their notice it will create such friction that it will be quite impossible for members of the different sides to get together and discuss anything. They will all be afraid of what they say. The only chance of unanimity is to let the rank and file of the two sides get together
The rank and file have agreed and the leaders will not agree.
And the Dáil will agree to this document.
Deputy O'Kelly in his first remarks said he had no objections to any member of this Assembly seeing and hearing the contents of the whole proceedings in private. If he has no objection to that course, why should he object that we should know it now? We are in private; what we say will not go outside in the press (Cries of Oh). Why this expression? I do not know if those who make these ejaculations intend to convey anything. At least I have no intention of
You have not much respect for private documents.
I have as much respect as any other member of the House. Surely if this House finishes with an apparent resistance on the part of some members to let the whole House know matters of really serious and vital interest, not only to the House, but to the nation if we finish with apparent resistance on the part of some members to let the House know these things then I say this private session has been a great blunder and has added to, instead of diminishing, the atmosphere of disunion we are trying to prevent.
There is an agreement reached which Mr. O'Kelly will tell you about now.
At one of our meetings there were certain things said and done, and on thinking over then the following morning, I saw it would be absolutely waste of time and would only lead to further trouble and discussion and further differences in the Dáil, if they were put before the House. One of them the most contentious, it is agreed will not be read; it is agreed that would create further trouble. As regards the rest of the small number of agreements we came to there are some I still take strong objection to, but if the House insists on having them I waive my right as a private individual to have them put before the House. In winding up I would like to say the agreement was that we would come to the House and say we had arrived at no agreement and if they demanded documents they were at liberty to have them. Does the House demand the documents? (Cries of Yes and No).
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
The proper thing is for the House to decide. It is proposed by the Deputy from Louth, Mr. P. Hughes, and seconded by Dr. MacCartan that the terms of agreement arrived at on Wednesday night be submitted to the House together with the other document not agreed upon. This is the motion. An amendment was proposed by the Deputy from Clontarf, Mr. R. Mulcahy, and seconded by Miss MacSwiney that the points of agreement reached by the committee be made known by [recte to] the House as the proper starting point of the discussion.
I spoke before Deputy MacCartan and I understood mine was the motion and the other was the amendment.
No; I had seconded before you spoke.
The contentious point is removed by agreement.
One contentious point.
The contentious point. We discussed this question this morning and the only contentious point was paragraph 3 and we have agreed to remove that entirely. That being so it is not necessary to put the matter to the House at all. We all agreed on that this morning if that was removed it would facilitate matters very much. We have agreed now and that should have brought us further.
These meetings formal and somewhat informal that we have had have not, in my opinion, resulted in anything that can be put to induce unity. We met fair specimens, perhaps, of the various grades of thought in this Assembly. Certain views were expressed. I, perhaps, had more objections than assents, so much on that I object to everything except one item. I do not think any useful purpose is going to be served by the Dáil again threshing out what we threshed out amongst ourselves. You are going over the same ground and raising more acrimony, discussion and disunion. This morning, on meeting again, there was no more agreement among us than there was last night. In fact, in my judgment the result of the conference we have had is we agreed to disagree. I do not think it is going to do any good to one side or the other to enter now on a long discussion as to what we discussed. We came out of it with no tangible result and, really speaking, we have nothing as a body to put before this House that, in my opinion, is going to induce unity.
As one who has remained silent, all along hoping for agreement, I wish to say this: I would like to know what happened at the private meeting and the meeting yesterday, so that we may fix the blame on the proper people. The country demands unity and I want to be in a position to explain to my people who are the persons who want to disturb unity. Who are the disturbers of unity? I want to find that out and I will before I leave here.
The object is to create more disunion and I object more strongly than ever.
Deputy Mellowes says the publication of these documents will not, in his opinion, make for unity. I disagree with him. I think it is a very extraordinary thing that one of the members of this committee got up here and said that after consideration he decided that what he agreed to the night before he could not then agree to.
Perhaps he might change his mind again here if this matter was threshed out and if the backbenchers here brought their influence to bear on him the Deputy for Dublin, Mr. Seán T. O'Kelly. He said he agreed to certain things at a previous meeting. Well, I as a private member of the House want to know what happened in the meantime to make him change his mind (laughter and applause). He is a man who went into this conference, in all seriousness, to make for unity in the Dáil, and he was there in the exercise of his duties and had his whole faculties. What made him change his mind between that and morning? I am hopeful the good sense of the Dáil will make him change his mind back again to the point when he agreed substantially to a form of words that, in my opinion, put all this very vague question that is before us.
Have a vote.
There is no substantial agreement as the result of last night's meeting. Unfortunately there is no amendment before the House; the amendment is out of order; there was no agreement reached last night.
Well, I move as an amendment that we let the matter drop and go into public session.
The only value of all this to us is, does any member of this body or any of the men who met think there is any proposition, which if put forward for discussion here by a private member, would afford a hopeful basis for unity? If that is not so, the sooner we go into public session the better.
I beg to second the member for Limerick.
If this amendment is carried we go forthwith into public session. Is that so? Being a kind of stranger here (laughter) before going into public session I would like to know if in speaking in public there are any restrictions on points that might be inclined to give information to the enemy? Looking at the thing as I have had to from the outside, the great tragedy to my mind has been the defeatist speeches of the heads of the army (Hear, hear). Before this motion is put to the House I would like to know if the speech of the Chief of Staff truly represents the voice of the army? (Voices, No). And I would like to know if it is true that the Irish Republican Army that brought the British government to discuss terms of peace is not strong enough to take a good sized police barrack, because I know something at any rate about the difference in equipment that that army had when I left here last October and what it has today. I would like to know further if in public session when I speak on this question are we entitled to say what we feel about the abilities of the army to defend the liberties of this country.
I want to leave the room for a moment to get one or two references and I will deal with that.
Before the Deputy for Clontarf leaves I would like to ask the Chairman whether this is in order. We are discussing a motion as to whether certain documents are to be given to, or withheld from, the members. This is entirely out of order. Are we going to vote on the motion or not?
On a point of information I rose, Mr. Griffith; I want first to ask if the amendment be carried, are we going into public session immediately? I intend to speak against the Treaty, and if by any statement of mine I would embarrass the army by giving information to the enemy, I want to know if it is true that the army are not able to capture a police barracks. It is a point of information. I might have to modify my words. I hope you will not allow any technicality to prevent my getting that information.
I am entitled to speak for the army.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
If my suggestion is worth anything I will submit it to you. I am in an awkward position today here. I came in as a private member of the House. There was no agenda prepared for today's business and it is my opinion that business is over. This committee has already reported back and I would suggest that without any further discussion that we adjourn until half past two o'clock and thence into public session.
Vote on this. Could we not vote?
Since the thing was put into the public view yesterday I cannot see why this document should be withheld. Once it was mentioned that there was substantial agreement amongst those men who met, I do not see why every member of the Dáil should not get the terms of the agreement. We are told if any member wants to get it he can go to any of the gentlemen who were there and have the agreement and see it. What is the difference between going and seeing it with these men and having it read to the House? We did such things before and we kept our minds to ourselves; we can do so now. I believe we are going to clear up misunderstandings if these documents are read.
I am going to settle all this thing by resigning publicly at the public session. Either this is the Government of this country or let the majority rule. As far as I am concerned I am not going to be a party to manoeuvres of this kind at all.
Can members disclose the result of a private conversation? (Several voices, No). Then the House cannot authorise anybody to do so.
Will Deputy Boland ask the question concerning the army? I am ready to answer him.
Questions concerning the army were then put and answered. Army matter having been dealt with,
Although not in absolute agreement on the terms of the document we drew up last night, we are in full agreement and the contents of the document should be made known to the House. Certainly, it did not seem clear to me when the Dáil appointed us for this work yesterday that it was absolutely essential that we should agree, or that unless we agreed no report was to be read. I think if the contents of this document were known to the House it can do no harm. And I can tell you this, it is going to do neither side any good either. You are not going, by any word or line in it, to secure a vote one way or the other. I am afraid there is too much of tactics here (Hear, hear). Yes, too much of tactics since the terms of the Treaty of which I am in favour were published; after President de Valera's published statement I saw that no matter what happened there was danger of a grave split in the country that would do untold harm. And any efforts I have been making and those with me I will say for the men on the other side that the object was the same how best to preserve the service of the President for the nation. The President has made a very grave statement here today. In public session he said, that he would resign. I think that would be a terrible disaster (Hear, hear). That will drive us back farther than we have been for one hundred years. I do not know if any of the members on the other side are agreeable but we all agreed this morning that the terms of the document we drew up last could be made known to the House (Hear, hear).
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
Is the House willing to accept my suggestion that we adjourn or shall I put the motion? (Voices, Put the motion). I learn just now that the amendment has been withdrawn.
The amendment is not withdrawn.
It is not withdrawn; there is an amendment.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
The only amendment handed to me is the amendment of Deputy Mulcahy and that amendment, I now understand, is withdrawn.
Am I in order in submitting another amendment? (Cries of Yes). The amendment is that whereas both parties have come to an agreement, and as we were told it was a substantial agreement, that substantial points of agreement came to be submitted and no others. It is evident from the tactics here that the object is to disrupt the Dáil and they will disrupt the country worse than ever.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
Let me have the amendment in writing.
The amendment is not at all clear.
It is not seconded.
It is not clear because it just picks the question by referring to an agreement whereas the point of difference is whether you will publish to the Dáil the points of agreement reached on Wednesday night or whether you will not. Therefore there is no use in that amendment. I speak for all the members of the committee.
The meeting on Wednesday night was not officially sanctioned by the House and we are not concerned with it.
Speaking for the whole committee, there is no use in proposing that the agreement that we reached last night be published because we did not reach agreement last night (Hear, hear).
Nobody is entitled to demand from me any private documents or any information which I think in my judgment is not going to be of value to the House.
Is there any necessity for a motion or an amendment? I understood Mr. Seán T. O'Kelly to say that with the exception of one point there was no objection to the House having all. If that be the case is there any necessity for a motion or amendment?
As an individual member, I object.
If members meet in private there is no power to make them submit anything to the House whether they do or do not come to an agreement.
Is there any amendment? I would like to move one.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
Personally I do not see any use in continuing this discussion.
I move that the House adjourns to three o'clock and then go into public session.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
I think that is the general wish of the House.
Before you decide on this matter, the President has made a very serious statement. If in public session he is going to resign where will we be? We better settle that matter first.
There is no use in discussing it. The whole of Ireland will not get me to be a national apostate and I am not going to connive at setting up in Ireland another government for England.
I wish to make one suggestion. The suggestion is this: That a small committee be appointed immediately to select a number of speakers to finish up the debate and let us not be kept here until doomsday.
On the motion of Mr. Michael Hayes, seconded by Ald. Joseph MacDonagh, the House adjourned at 1 o'clock.