In connection with that, I have received the following statement from Seumas O Duibhir, Secretary to the Committee:—
"To: An Ceann Comhairle, Dáil Éireann.
"The Dáil Committee wishes it to be understood that the report read by Commandant O'Hegarty was drawn up and read to Dáil Éireann without our previous knowledge. The Committee had agreed to read the two reports following on the agreed report, and that the Dáil be asked to adjourn without discussion.
"Signed on behalf of the Committee, Uachtaran,
Seumas O Duibhir, Runaidhe."
Mr. O'Dwyer then read the following:—
"To An Ceann Comhairle: We desire to report that, following on the decision of the Dáil after the reading of the two reports from the Committee set up under Dr. Hayes' motion, we held five further prolonged sittings. The Committee, at the request of the anti-Treaty side, agreed to leave undiscussed, for the time being, and without prejudice, the clauses embodying the difference which caused the break, and discuss the details of proposition under which an agreed election could be held.
"We proceeded to discuss the scheme for an Election laid down in 2c (See Appendix B) of our previous report, and Deputy Dwyer handed in a memo on that scheme which was accepted in principle by the anti-Treaty side.
"Deputy Boland put in an alternative scheme (See Appendix C) and after prolonged discussion on the two drafts, which lasted until late on Saturday night, 13th instant we got, on the basis of a suggestion from Deputy McKeon, a certain framework of a scheme on which agreement could be reached.
"On Sunday night the pro-Treaty side filled in the details of the scheme and put in a draft embodying these details. With certain verbal alterations and additions, the draft, which consisted of eight clauses, was accepted by both sides, with the exception of two clauses. Clause No. 2 was not accepted and Clause No. 6 was not reached. There was a very long discussion, during which Deputy McKeon suggested that if the proportion of 6 to 4 was more acceptable that he would endeavour to secure his colleagues' agreement on that as a proportion. Deputy McKeon said that the course of the discussion proved to him the necessity for that proportion as originally put in of 5 to 3. He pointed out that we, as a Committee, had been unable to reach finality on any real issue because of the fact that our numbers were equal, and the result had simply been long discussion, no progress and no conclusions on vital matters, and that he was far more committed to the proportion as named in the draft than he had been when the draft was handed in. He pointed out the absolute necessity for ordered, progressive Government if this country was going to retain the national position which it at present held, and that except there was a working majority, that precisely the same deadlocks which had arisen at the Dáil and at this Committee would arise again and with the very same deplorable results.
"Deputy Boland suggested that it might be possible to put the pro-Treaty proposition in words which would meet the anti-Treaty position in this matter of the proportion of candidates to go on the National Panel. Deputy Dwyer agreed and suggested an adjournment to consider that possibility.
"Before the adjournment was taken, Deputy McGuinness commented strongly on the fact that interruptions and abstentions had practically left us without a full attendance at any time during the Conference and that, as a result, the pro-Treaty side were being continually faced with the necessity of going over the same ground on matters both agreed and disagreed with members of the other side who had been absent during the discussion. The Committee, with the exception of Deputies Mellowes and Moylan, who were not present when he made it, felt that Deputy McGuinness was justified in his protest.
"On Monday the pro-Treaty side put in the memo with alterations agreed on and also altered the wording of Clause 2 to endeavour to meet the anti-Treaty point of view.
"Deputy Boland put in a further draft (See Appendix D) which was discussed along with the pro-Treaty draft in so far as it related to the question of the proportion of Candidates, and no further. After a discussion, which centred almost altogether on the necessity for a majority Party under the scheme, Deputy McKeon agreed to substitute again the proportion of 6 to 4 instead of 5 to 3 as in our memo, as the proportion of Candidates to go forward on the National Panel. Deputy Boland, after some discussion, expressed his readiness to accept the proportion named and stated that he did so reluctantly because he would prefer to recommend such a course to his colleagues rather than break on that matter at the Conference, with the possible results of that break.
"It was agreed to adjourn until 10 p.m., to give Deputies Mellowes, Moylan and Ruttledge an opportunity of considering the acceptance or rejection of these proportions.
"On resumption Deputy Mellowes announced that his side could not agree to anything except the existing proportion in Dáil and existing personnel as far as possible, and the Conference broke down.
"It is desirable that the Dáil should understand that the pro-Treaty objection to the scheme for selection of Candidates by Sinn Féin in Deputy Boland's draft was based on these grounds:—
"(a) That Sinn Féin by the Ard-Fheis agreement was a neutral body.
"(b) That previous to agreement it was divided just as Dáil is divided.
"(c) That the two parties had under the agreement set up their own electoral machinery and were in perfectly orderly ways doing ordinary routine election work, selecting candidates, propaganda, etc.
"(d) That to force these two parties together again under present circumstances could not lead to harmony or the observance of the spirit of the agreement we were trying to reach, and uphold if we reached it.
"It is not necessary to show how much preferable it is from every point of view that each party should be responsible for its own nominations and how far such a course would go to prevent needless, expensive contests in parts of the country without any desire on the part of the people to enter on them, in these places.
"The exact position in which the pro-Treaty side stood at the end of the negotiations is set out in Appendix A. We desire to stress this fact—that the Committee had reached agreement on Clauses 1a and b, 4 a, c, d, e, g, h, and in a less definite sense with Clause 5. We believe firmly that we have found an honourable solution in the remaining clauses for all our differences.
"We desire in conclusion to pay our very sincere tribute to the five southern Officers who came before us, and, in a scarcely lesser way we desire to pay the same tribute to Councillor John Buckley of Bandon, whose action has largely formed the basis of these negotiations.
"Signed:—Seán McKeown, Seán Hales, Padraic O Maille, Seosamh McGuinness, Seumas O'Dwyer."
"This document was finally handed in by us after various discussions which led us to believe the recommendations then set out met the points raised in those discussions.
"We recommend that:
"(1) The following principles be accepted and passed by resolution in Dáil:—
"(a) That all legislative, executive, and judicial authority in Ireland is, and shall be derived solely from the people of Ireland.
"(b) That Dáil Éireann is the supreme Governing Authority in Ireland.
"(2) Mindful of our obligations to the Irish nation and recognising that our common ideal is the good of Ireland, it is realised that the most pressing necessity at the present moment is unity of the forces that have worked together for the past six years. We realise, further, that practically the whole country has the strong feeling that peace and order must be restored and preserved, and that means must be found for looking after the urgent social and economic needs of the nation.
"We are of opinion that the minority in Dáil Éireann can agree to our recommendations without sacrifice of principle, without prejudice to what they consider the best future interests of the nation and without departing from their ideals.
"(3) Recognising also 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 desire, and accepting the fact that Dáil Éireann has by a majority approved of the Treaty which is the vehicle of these advantages, and accepting also the position created in the country by this approval, we are of opinion that a contested election now might be attended by civil strife which might result in a dissipation of these 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:
"(a) An agreed Election.
"(b) A Coalition Government after the Election which will have the confidence of the whole country.
"(4) (a) The present Parties shall nominate each their agreed proportion of candidates to the Third Dáil.
"(b) The proportion shall be as 5 to 3.
"(c) The nominations so made to be submitted to a Comhdháil of the Sinn Féin Organisation in each existing constituency under P.R. They will receive from that Comhdháil its imprimatur and be sent on from there to the Standing Committee of Sinn Féin for the same purpose. It is agreed that responsibility for the selection will rest on the present Parties and that neither Comhdháil nor Standing Committee shall have any power of Veto on the candidates as submitted.
"(d) The Standing Committee will place their candidates on a Panel and they will go forward on that Panel and the elections shall be held on the one day throughout Ireland.
"(e) The indefeasible right of the Irish people to free election is maintained and every or any interest is free to go up and contend the election against the National Panel.
"(f) The Coalition Government, after the Elections, will consist of ten Ministers and the President, of whom six shall be nominated from the Government side and four from the Opposition. The nominations shall be in the hands of the President.
"(g) In the event of the Coalition Government dissolving a General Election shall be held on the basis of adult suffrage as soon as possible.
"(h) This arrangement is entered into in good faith and with no purpose of evasion for Party or other purposes.
"(5) We had definitely stated that in our opinion, agreement having been reached on the political side, army unification could best be accomplished by the Officers who are meeting at the present time representing the Dáil forces under G.H.Q. Beggars' Bush and the forces under the Four Courts' Command.
"Their numbers could have been increased if it were thought necessary by the addition of officers from each side, these officers to report direct to the Dáil on this separate subject."
"(c) That in each existing constituency under P.R. the Pro-Treaty and Anti-Treaty Parties would nominate one additional candidate. Such candidate would go before the electorate without public speeches, without public meetings, and the elections would be carried out on one day throughout Ireland.”
"We agree, in the main, with the views set forth in your memo. We are especially affected by the view that there is a body of opinion in the country which considers that the present Dáil is not sufficiently representative, and provided that the question of the Treaty is not an issue at the elections, we would recommend:
"(1) That the Dáil avails of the opportunity to renew its representative character.
"(2) That Sinn Féin Organisation puts forward its candidates, as formerly, irrespective of their views on the Treaty.
"(3) That the candidates be nominated as formerly by the Local Conventions of the Organisation.
"(4) That the Officer Board act as a Standing Committee for ratification or rejection of candidates.
"We believe that this scheme would obviate the dangers of a contest between the two Parties in Sinn Féin on the issue of the Treaty.
"It is obvious that it is dependent on the co-operation of the Sinn Féin Organisation. We recommend, therefore, that a special meeting of the Officer Board of Sinn Féin be summoned to attend so as to get the Officer Board's assent and support in case this scheme is acceptable to the Committee.
"We are agreed—
"(1) That no issue is being determined by the election.
"(2) That a national coalition panel for this Third Dáil, representing both Parties, in the Dáil and in the Sinn Féin Organisation, be sent forward.
"(3) That this Coalition Panel be sent forward as from the Sinn Féin Organisation, the number from each Party being roughly in proportion to their present strength in the Dáil, and
"(4) That the present Parties should nominate this proportion of candidates through the Party Executives at present constituted.
"(5) That every and any interest is free to go up and contest the election against the National—Sinn Féin—Panel.
"(6) That constituencies where an election is not held shall continue to be represented by their present Deputies.
"(7) That after the Election the Executive shall consist of the President, elected as formerly; the Minister of Defence representing the Army, and nine other Ministers, five from the majority Party and four from the minority, each Party to choose its nominees. The following Executive offices to be paired, namely: Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs; Finance and Economic Affairs; Local Government and Education—the President to say which officer of each pair shall be held by the representative of his Party.
"(8) That in the event of the Coalition Government finding it necessary to dissolve, a general election shall be held on adult suffrage.