I would like to ask if there is any official report on behalf of the Delegation of Officers.
COMMANDANT SEAN O'HEGARTY (who was present with the Delegation of Officers) said: This is merely a report of incidents, and it is only tending to show how we approached the problem that was put before us. The following is the report:—
"We, the undersigned five officers, who had signed the statement appearing in the Press on May 2, were summoned to a meeting of the Dáil Committee of ten at the Mansion House about 5 p.m. on May 9. The situation, we were then informed, was: Both groups had submitted proposals and of those the following points submitted by the Anti-Treaty side had been accepted by others, viz.—
"(a) That all legislative, executive, and judicial authority in Ireland is, and shall be, derived solely from Irish people; (b) that Dáil Éireann is the supreme governing authority in Ireland.
"On the other hand the Pro-Treaty group had submitted the following:—
"Recognising the fact that the Treaty, having been approved by a majority of Dáil Éireann, would in the circumstances, be accepted by a majority of the people, if put as an issue at a contested election, and desiring to evade such a contest and its conflicts we recommend that an agreed election without contests be held and a Coalition Government be formed.
"The Anti-Treaty group would not accept this proposal as it stood, and demanded the omission of the words—
‘The Treaty ... would in the circumstances be accepted by a majority of the people if put as an issue at a contested election.'
The Anti-Treaty point of view, as expressed by Mr. Boland was that while desirous of availing to the full of the advantages of the Treaty, they were not prepared to agree to a settlement which, in their opinion, committed the people to the acceptance of the Treaty as a settlement.
"The Pro-Treaty point of view, as proposed by Mr. O'Dwyer, was that they were not justified in taking any risk which might jeopardise the Treaty and lose its advantages which omission of the words objected to might do, and that the people should get some reason for disfranchisement, which an agreed election would entail.
"We were asked to find a formula of words which would reconcile both views. We realised, and so stated, that what was needed was five lawyers, but that we were doing our best. We remained at the Mansion House, and at 8 p.m. submitted the following:—
"Recognising that it is a fundamental duty of Government to make available for the people the advantages gained by the war for independence, and that the people so desired it, and accepting the fact that Dáil Éireann has by a majority approved of the Treaty, which is the vehicle of those advantages and accepting also the position created in the country by this approval, we are of opinion that a contested election now would be attended by civil strife, which would result in the dissipation of those advantages and the worsening of our national position. Accepting this, and desirous of avoiding such a conflict, in the best interests of the nation we recommend as above.'
"This was submitted as an honest attempt to reconcile the two points of view and make a basis for agreement. In this formula of words we believe that all fair minded people will realise that we have adjusted, as far as can be done, the two positions.—Signed, Dan Breen, Tom Hales, H. Murphy, F. O'Donoghue, Seán O'Hegarty."