I do not think consideration of that motion will take very long. I should like to say at the outset that in putting it on the paper I did so expecting that it would be entirely a matter of form, in order to sanction by this sovereign Assembly the agreement come to at the recent Ard Fheis. I would like to emphasise that I have not brought that motion forward here with any desire to create disturbance, to break the agreement, or any of the various reasons or suggestions which are made by some Ministers yesterday in connection with resolutions or questions brought forward. I took it in fact when I put it on the paper that it would be seconded probably by a member of the House not in agreement with my views and passed unanimously. That is the spirit in which I put it forward and I only did so because any agreement come to by an association such as the Convention of the Ard Fheis was would be signed by people concerned more in their capacity as private citizens or members of a political organisation and has not the force which a Decree of this House would have.
I want at the outset to make it quite clear that I would resent very much any suggestion that in proposing this I am in any way desirous of postponing or obstructing an expression of the will of the people. The only object of our coming to an agreement at the Ard Fheis was in order that the Irish people may not be fooled again, and if, as it was said, Ulster knew the Constitution with which she should have to be associated it is to my mind far more important that Ireland should not come to a decision until Ireland knows the association under which she will have to live. It was in the interests of Ireland getting exact particulars of that Constitution without any possibility whatever of the change of a comma afterwards by anybody in or outside of Ireland—in the interests of the Irish people —that agreement was made in the Ard Fheis and that I bring this forward now. I, therefore, take it that it will be passed unanimously by the House and I think it would be a good thing if it were seconded by one of the other side.