STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT.

Last year five Members of Dáil Eireann were chosen as plenipotentiaries on a delegation, to meet an English delegation with a view to seeing how "The Association of Ireland with the community of nations known as the British Empire may best be reconciled with Irish National aspirations."

This delegation had secret instructions, but these instructions did not violate or restrict, according to International Law, the plenipotentiary authority conferred by Dáil Eireann, and expressly set out in the credentials over the hand of Mr. de Valera to be produced to the British Government and Delegates, and these are the terms that were given tp the Plenipotentiaries:—

TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS COME, GREETING:

In virtue of the authority vested in me by Dáil Eireann, I hereby appoint

Arthur Griffith, T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chairman;

Michael Collins, Minister for Finance;

Robert C. Barton, T.D., Minister for Economic Affairs;

Edmund J. Duggan, T.D.;

George Gavan Duffy, T.D.;

as envoys Plenipotentiary from the elected Government of the REPUBLIC OF IRELAND to negotiate and conclude on behalf of Ireland with the representatives of his Britannic Majesty GEORGE V., a Treaty or Treaties of Settlement, Association and Accommodation between Ireland and the Community of nations known as the British Commonwealth.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I hereunto subscribe my name as President.

Done in the City of Dublin, this 7th day of October, in the year of our Lord 1921, in five identical originals.

After a considerable lapse of time and many negotiations, reports concerning which had been transmitted here to the Cabinet of Dáil Eireann, the Delegates returned, and presented an instrument which represented, at that time, the maximum terms which the English delegation were prepared to accept. This instrument was rejected by the Cabinet, the late President Griffith undertaking not to sign that instrument—namely, the rejected instrument, without first coming back and informing the Dáil Cabinet that he would sign.

This is not a time for face saving, and no one's face is going to be spared to any disadvantage or any discount to our great and mighty dead. There sleeps at present in Glasnevin the late President and the late Commander-in-Chief, earning a rest they were denied on earth. One of them, President Griffith, honest man that he was, told me in London on the occasion that we were there in last May or June, that Mr. de Valera, then President of Dáil Eireann, in November, 1921, said to him previous to the Cabinet considering the terms that had been for warded by the British that it was a grave responsibility to turn down that instrument without consulting the people.

President Griffith kept his word, and he did not sign that instrument, and with General Collins and the other members of the delegation, returned to London. Negotiations were broken off, and subsequently resumed. Material concessions were made by the British delegation.

These great men signed the Instrument, but it was not the Instrument that President Griffith undertook he would not sign. They signed on behalf of the Nation that they represented, and on whose behalf they had so valiantly fought, and they died—one with his Ministerial harness on his back, and the other wearing the uniform of the soldiers of the Nation he had laboured so hard for, and for whose honour and existence and for the supremacy of whose Parliament he poured out his blood.

The late President also informed me when we were in London in May and June last, that Mr. Barton—and wherever he is let this message reach him— said to General Collins on the way to Downing Street to sign the Treaty: "I will never let you down, Mick." This gentleman, Mr. Barton, before he signed, went out of the room to discuss the matter with his friend and cousin, Mr. Childers, and returned in five minutes and said that he would sign—and let that message reach Mr. Childers wherever he may be.

These are just words now. They are not told for the purpose of influencing a single Member of this Dáil, but they are true, and the Irish people should know the truth. The rejected terms of accommodation which Mr. de Valera in the responsible position he occupied had said would entail a serious responsibility on those who would reject them without consulting the people, was not the ultimate Treaty, and if it were a serious responsibility to reject the one, how much more serious was it to reject the other? And to reject that other every conceivable device was invented to prevent the people from expressing their opinion.

When the Treaty was under consideration, Mr. de Valera issued a statement saying that there was a constitutional way of settling our difficulties. The constitutional decision having been against him, more elaborate designs were engineered against the Nation. A section of the Army was seduced from its allegiance to the Government. Amongst the papers of the late Commander-in-Chief there is a report of a convention of the disaffected section of the Army held on some date in March last, at which, amongst the matters that are entered as principal discussions, there occurred the following:—

"That matters of immediate concern for the Executive will include:—

1. Maintaining of Ireland as an Independent Republic.

2. Appointment of C.S. who will appoint G.H.Q. Staff Appointments can be vetoed bv Executive.

3. Declaration of Dictatorship (for this purpose the Executive shall be empowered to secure services of others who need not be members of Executive) with a view to:—

(a) Ordering dissolution of all pretended Governments in Ireland by prohibition of Parliamentary Elections until such time as an election without threat of war from Britain can be held on adult suffrage.

The Dictatorship would overthrow the four Governments in Ireland opposed to the Republic, viz., Dail Eireann, Provisional Government, British Government, and Northern Government."

The Treaty position being regularised by Dail Eireann and by a meeting of members elected to sit in the Southern Parliament, the work of taking over the administration of the country from the British began immediately. The Castle, for centuries the seat of alien Government in this country, was formally handed over, and that institution is now entirely and completely in the hands of the people's Government, and under the control of the Executive, and is manned at this moment by Irish troops. The transfer of the Executive has taken place, and Ministers appointed by the representatives of the Irish People have taken control of most of the public services, some of which are still reserved, but will eventually pass into our hands as soon as satisfactory arrangements are concluded.

In the papers left by the late Commander-in-Chief it is stated that "Mr. de Valera and his supporters were asked to take part in the Interim Government without prejudice to their principles, and their right to oppose the ratification of the Treaty at the elections. They were asked to help in keeping an orderly united nation with the greatest possible strength over against England; exercising the greatest possible peaceful pressure towards the union of all Ireland; with the greatest amount of credit for us in the eyes of the world; and with the greatest advantage to the nation itself in having a strong united Government to start the Departments of State, and to deal with the urgent problems of housing, land hunger, and unemployment."

At the Ard Fheis an agreement was arrived at, the elections being postponed for three months, those who were against the Treaty pledging themselves to allow the work of the Provisional Government to proceed. Already the political situation had affected business. The subsequent activities against the popular will, and for these activities the political sponsors, i.e., the Party in the Dail who are described as Anti-Treaty, are and will be held responsible by the people of Ireland. Neither age nor sex, not even religion were spared. Roads were blocked to prevent meetings; firearms were used against speakers, and in one case a meeting to be addressed by the late President was proclaimed. The elected head of the Nation was to be dominated by an army despot; the man who worked for thirty years in the service of his country was not to be terrorised in that fashion. At the risk of his life, and leaving behind the late Commander-in-Chief as President's substitute, he set out for Sligo determined to die before he would admit the right of any person, armed or unarmed, to restrict liberty, and he declined to barter the people's liberty even at the risk of his life. I bear witness to the cheerfulness with which the late President set out on that journey, and to the satisfaction expressed when he had returned from his encounter with these armed despots. In an adjoining county a deputy of the last Dail who was informed that he would get short shrift at the elctions, said a few revolver shots would settle that. Very few revolver shots were fired by that gentleman during the late war. The late Commander-in-Chief, General Michael Collins, who was unquestionably the most hunted man by the British during the late war, encountered armed opposition at meetings held in various parts of the country. In those places there was overwhelming support for him and his policy, but an armed minority sought to prevent the people hearing what he had to say. Trees were felled and placed across the roads to prevent people attending the meetings; rails were torn up to prevent people travelling by trains; newspapers were seized to prevent the people reading about the meetings, and terrorism of the basest kind indulged in under a political label, and few and feeble were the protests by the Anti-Treaty party against this new onslaught on democracy. There were merely individual expressions of opinion; no man on the Anti-Treaty side had the moral courage to stand up and say if these onslaughts did not cease he would retire from membership of that party. The ultimate policy of the Anti-Treaty party was now apparent, i.e. destruction. When a peaceful arrangement with Ulster was entered into and signed by President Griffith and General Collins, armed raids took place on goods coming from Belfast under an edict issued by the Irregulars, i.e., the Belfast Boycott. Every constructive effort made by the Irish Government was made the object of attack by the Irregulars or the overwrought members of the Anti-Treaty party. Meantime a business slump set in and economic chaos became inevitable. The Four Courts were occupied and barricades were set up. This institution had been handed over by the British and had become the property of the nation. Its use as a public building was very largely availed of. Offices in that institution were utilised to administer funds of orphans, widows and the insane. Documents important to the life of the nation were stored there. The Record Office was of inestimable intrinsic value; the only Brehon Decree in existence was housed there, and due and sufficient notice was given to these armed gentlemen of the value of these documents and of the necessity of safeguarding them. All these attacks on the people and on public and private property notwithstanding, the Government still continued a peace offensive, always in the hope that a statesmanlike appreciation of the situation would eventually command the attention of more responsible elements of those opposed to the Treaty. The fact that such a presumption was correct was evidenced when the Southern Officers published a statement. Meeting after meeting was held between representatives, and on the Treaty side the mere terms of any agreement counted for nothing. No price was too high to pay as long as the Treaty position was kept and the Treaty secured, and while that position was maintained, even though it shook the confidence of our friends and supporters and brought us very near the edge of a precipice, no action was taken, no statement was made, no word was uttered by the late General Collins that would give offence, or even umbrage, to the humblest member of the Anti-Treaty party. In all these efforts to effect stabilisation, the Government were being constantly reminded by their own supporters that they were playing with fire. Every act of grace, every effort made for peace, every consultation tried to bring about friendly co-operation on the points, which before the public were admitted to be common ground, was taken, as the sign of weakness. Reviewing the whole course of events now, and in the interim absence of proof, one is driven to the irresistible conclusion that a way was being fashioned for a return of the English troops and English administration, as if after the disorganisation so deliberately planned, the Nation could look to the same leaders with any degree of confidence. After making fruitless attempts to secure accommodation, a formula was found, and only the great heart now no longer beating, and lying in Glasnevin, could have out of its illimitable generosity given so much away. But what change of heart was seen on the Anti-Treaty side. It is well that those who talk so lightly now of peace as if it were something which could be had as easily as saying “Yes” or “No” should thoroughly appreciate the position. Peace with the politicians, or an apparent peace, was not the peace for which we had bargained. Well might the Anti-Treaty Party bargain for peace and demand and get the highest price, knowing well that another peace had had to be made with the Irregulars in arms.

On the 12th June—during the absence of Gen. Collins—an advertisement appeared in the Press over the names of Michael Collins and E. de Valera, which was not authorised by Michael Collins, and on the 14th he published a repudiation of it.

It is unnecessary to read the Coalition Panel Agreement, but it is right that this should be read:—

"During the absence of Messrs. Griffith and Michael Collins in London on Monday, 12th June, 1922, the following advertisement appeared in the Dublin papers of that date. It occupied a treble column space of about ten inches in each column. Here is a copy of the advertisement:—

"‘The English are furious with the Collins-de Valera Pact because the English fear Irish unity.

"‘Will you play the enemy's game, and destroy the Pact, or will you stand by that Pact and vote for the Sinn Fein panel?

"‘You won't get it by voting for a Dail of warring sections and interests.

"‘You will get it by voting for the Sinn Fein Panel which will secure a united effort from the forces of Irish Nationality.

"‘Peace, stability, order can only be secured by the two effective National forces, united by the Collins-de Valera Pact.

"‘Your only security against the Nation's enemies, foreign and domestic.'"

CUMANN NA POBLACHTA.

On the 13th June, Mr. Michael Collins was shown this advertisement which appeared in the Press of 12th June.

The following statement appeared in the Press of the 14th June:—

"On Mr. Collins' attention being drawn to the advertisement inserted in Monday's papers by ‘Cumann na Poblachta,' he said he had not seen it before it was inserted, nor did he believe that Mr. de Valera had seen it. The Pact agreed upon by him and Mr. de Valera stated clearly in Clause 4 ‘That any and every interest is free to go up and contest the Election equally with the National Sinn Fein Panel.' In his opinion the statement in the advertisement: ‘Do you want peace? You won't get it by voting for a Dail of warring sections and interests; you will got it by voting for the Sinn Fein Panel which will secure united effort from the forces of Irish Nationality,' was not in keeping with the spirit of the Pact, and to suggest that non-Panel candidates, by contesting the Election, branded themselves as national enemies was obviously contrary to the agreement signed by him and by Mr. de Valera."

On the 15th of June, negotiations having been going on with the Irregulars, the following document was handed to the Minister for Defence by Messrs. O'Connor and O'Malley from the Four Courts:—

RESOLUTION PASSED AT EXECUTIVE MEETING HELD ON 14/6/22.

That we instruct the Officers deputed to meet the Beggar's Bush Officers to inform them that:—

For the purpose of maintaining the Irish Republic, the Executive has decided that:

(a) Negotiations on Army unification. with Beggar's Bush must cease.

(b) We take whatever action may be necessary to maintain the Republic against British aggression.

(c) No offensive will be taken by our troops against the Beggar's Bush forces.

On the 18th June—after the Election— forces from the Four Courts seized munitions at the Curragh, the property of the people of Ireland.

We have positive evidence that on Sunday, 18th June, Rory O'Connor, Ernest O'Malley, and Thomas Barry, with an armoured and Lancia car, and a force of Irregulars from the Four Courts, held up members of the Civic Guard, disarmed them, and took possession of their arms, at the Cross at Kildare. The disarmed Civic Guards were there and then informed by the O'Connor-O'Malley-Barry party "that they had declared war on England, that they had issued an ultimatum for Monday morning, and that they did not want to be fighting with Irishmen," and they asked the Civic Guards "to come along with them."

On the 26th of June motor cars to the value of £9,000 were seized under the pretext of the Belfast Boycott at Ferguson's Garage. The Government being made aware of it, National troops were despatched to the premises, and they arrested an Irregular leader named Henderson. It was the duty of the Government to prevent illegal seizures not authorised by any Court functioning under the authority of Parliament. The following day one of the highest Military Officers of the State, General O'Connell, was kidnapped and taken prisoner to the Four Courts. These actions were a direct challenge to the authority of the people, as expressed in the elections, and to the authority of the Government. It was now evident that neither peace, order nor security could possibly be maintained if the Government did not take strong and definite action. An ultimatum was sent to the Four Courts, and military operations were begun against those who defied the authority. These actions were only taken after every possible effort had been made to effect a peaceful settlement. It must, however, be definitely understood that in all these efforts for a peaceful settlement the Government was bound to see that the Treaty position was maintained. At that time the Irregular forces could have withdrawn from the Four Courts, bowing to superior force, and still maintained, should it be so desired, an attitude of opposition on constitutional lines to the Government's policy.

If peace be made now it must be on well defined lines: it must be a constitutional peace. There must not, and will not, be an armed body in the community without the sanction of Parliament, and Parliament must have control of all arms, and an armed opposition to its will cannot be permitted. There must be no misunderstanding about that. We do not contemplate, and never said we would fire the last shot to consolidate the supremacy of Parliament. It won't be necessary to do so, but if those at present in arms, or at any future time in arms, think that the Government fears to assert the authority of Parliament, they are mistaken. Members of the Government may fall in that, task which it is their duty to carry out, and others will take their place and accept the same responsibility.

During the progress of the military operations within the last two months there has been an utter indifference on the part of the Irregulars—in their attacks —to the vital interests of the community. It is well known there is a house famine in Dublin, and throughout the country, but that did not prevent the occupation and the destruction of the habitations of the people. The Provisional Government had already taken steps to provide for 2,000 houses. It was evidence of their appreciation of the house famine. Hotel accommodation was strictly limited; that did not prevent a large number of hotels being seized by Irregulars, and during the occupation by Irregulars of the hotels, and other places, members of the Dail belonging to the Anti-Treaty party were in these hotels. Sniping and ambushing had taken place on a much larger scale than during the late war, and in one of the ambushes a most promising Officer— General Collison, with four Officers of lesser rank—was killed. I recollect the late President saying that he would at all costs attend the funeral of General Collison, and of four Officers that were killed in the ambush at Leix. The 25 men who took part in that ambush surrendered almost immediately to a force of six of the National troops, after doing their damage. They put up a white flag and screamed for mercy. General Collins went down and interrogated these twentyfive men, and not a single one of them had fired a shot against the English in the late war. Piers have been destroyed, roads trenched and mined, bridges blown up, railways seriously damaged, and signal boxes destroyed. In a word if there is to be war let us concentrate upon cutting the arteries of the Nation! Valuable mansions have been burned and the policy in this line of action cannot but have one effect, that is the driving of the wealthy classes out of the country with a consequent loss in the revenue of the country, and the attempt to develop a sense and feeling of insecurity which will damage the future prospects of the Nation. In one case a mansion was visited, and "The Book of Lismore" and numerous other valuable Irish manuscripts including the "Crozier of St. Patrick," were sprinkled with petrol, and but for the unexpected arrival of the National troops would have been consigned to the flames. In Cork, they took possession of the Custom House and seized the revenue of the country and the money belonging to the people to the extent of £100,000. They went so far as to make a demand for the payment of Income Tax. These particulars give a picture of the extent to which they are prepared to go to further the proclivities of those people until every man who possesses a revolver becomes a despot. While these operations are in progress and until order has been restored, reconstruction and reparation are obviously impossible. Only last night news was brought of a further attack on the people, namely, damage, to the Water Works. Action taken by the Government in this connection is solely and entirely with the intention of restoring order and taking steps to secure that life and property must be respected and that the laws of the country must be obeyed. The Nation is suffering now, and all this suffering, great as it may be, is less than that to which all the activities of those who are in arms against the Government wish to commit the Nation, i.e., renewed war with England. Peace must be on the basis of the Treaty and it is open to any section of the community to oppose it politically and constitutionally. Amongst the documents that have come into the hands of the Government in connection with this struggle occurs the following:—

"HEADQUARTERS,

KERRY No. 1 BRIGADE,

July 10, 1922.

"Dept. Ref. No. A/8

"O/c. 6th Battalion.

"With regard to the ‘E.D.J.' I understand that Ryan of Kilrush, who has large shares in her is, and has always been, friendly to us, and that another merchant named Glynn who is not friendly, has two boats—‘the Corona' and ‘the Turk.' Will you arrange with the bearer that if the ‘E.D.J.' is not of any great use to us that she be returned as soon as possible, and make arrangements that one of the others be taken.

"With regard to the Free Staters who are trying to get across, or those of the workhouse crowd who are active in your area, you will se that they are immediately rounded up and sent to Fermoy, which is now a detention camp for Free State prisoners.

"If that Triumph bike is not running, have it sent here immediately. Have any information transferred to us through Listowel as quickly as possible.

"If an English destroyer or sloop comes within Rifle shot of your shore, snipe it, and, if possible, have a rifle grenade dropped on deck. Possibly then they may shell the coast or make a landing— the very thing we want them to do. Then we have the old enemy back, and that will clear the whole aspect of the present war.

"(Signed) A. O. MURCHADHA,

"O/C Kerry No. 1 Brigade."

The man to whom this despatch was directed, Mr. Martin Howard, is now a prisoner in our hands.

On Tuesday, the 29th August, Erskine Childers and a party of Irregulars damaged one and attempted to cut a second Transatlantic cable at Valentia, Co. Kerry.

In July last an honourable Truce was entered into between the English on the one hand and the Irish on the other, that Truce was never called off and those are breaches of the Truce.

The Nation which has struggled so long against the most powerful foreign aggression will not submit to an armed minority which makes war upon its liberties, its institutions, its representation and its honour. During its long and bitter struggle Irish honour was bright and resplendent. An Irishman's word of honour was dearer than his life, and no political advantage can have any respect without honour. There must be clear thinking on this subject of peace. We demand no concessions which cannot be given without honour. We insist upon the people's rights. We are the custodians of the rights of the people and we shall not hesitate to shoulder them. We are willing to come to a peaceful understanding with those in arms, but it must be on a definite basis. We want peace with England on the terms agreed to by the country. Apart from the question of the honour of the Nation we are satisfied that the Nation stands to lose incomparably less from the armed internal opposition than from a reconquest. The National Army is prepared to pay the price, and so are we. Last December Ireland was in a position of power and of influence of great promise for the country. Foreign Nations expressed their appreciation of the settlement, and for a short period there was a boom in business. The action of the opposition destroyed that boom, lessened that power and damaged the reputation of the Nation. These potentialities must be restored. Great material loss has been inflicted on the Nation. It is impossible to estimate the extent of this loss, but it is easy to appreciate how much was needed to restore the country after the war with the English; war with the English in this sense meaning not the last 3 or 4 or 5 years, but the war which restricted National development, which left us a poor Nation, which left us industrially and politically on the same level with the smaller Nations of Europe, and the education of the country fashioned as if Ireland were a Province and not a Nation. Hard work lies before the Parliament of the Nation, and with the active and cordial co-operation of both and of the various sections making up the community it will be possible to restore the Irish Nation not alone to the position in which it was at the time the Treaty was signed but to the potentialities which the Treaty offered and which it is possible to get out of the Treaty. There is now no reason why blame should be shifted on the British or any other Government blamed if we do not succeed. This Parliament and this Government is of the people and expects to get that support which is essential to a Government and a Parliament. We must realise our responsibilities not to one section or to one order of the community, and we must seek to make the administration of this country and the business of the Parliament something worthy of the people. Our Army and Police Force must be efficient; the Courts must command the confidence of the people, and the Parliament must resuscitate the Gaelic spirit and the Gaelic civilisation for which we have been fighting through the ages and all but lost. The Nation is still full of vigour and is conscious that a mere handful of violent persons is for the moment standing athwart its upward and onward march towards the achievement of its highest hopes.

Tá orm-sa a rá ná fuilimíd sásta leis na rudaí tá ráite ag an Uachtarán.

Níl aon rud fóos ós bhur gcóir. Ná beadh sé níos fearr dá mbeadh rún ar dtúis?

Cuirim an rún so—"Nách féidir leis an Dáil cuidiú leis an Uachtarán i dtaobh an óráid a thug sé anois dúinn."

The better procedure is to take this question on a motion.

'Sí an tuiscint a bhí againne ná go mbeadh óráid ón Uachtarán ar dtuís, agus ansan go mbeadh caoi ag gach Teachta labhairt.

Cuirim an rún so—"Nách féidir leis an Dáil cuidiú leis an Uachtarán."

Thosaigh sé leis an gConnradh idir Eire agus Sasana. Nior ghádh focal a rá ar sin. Ar na ceisteanna a bhainean leis seo ní dubhairt sé focal.

Would it not be better there should be a motion before the Dáil in order to facilitate discussion?

Mr. Chairman, I beg formally to move that this Dáil cannot approve of the policy of the Executive as laid down in the statement by the President.

It would be better to proceed with this question on a motion. It would be necessary to first suspend the Standing Orders.

It is very difficult for anyone not in the Dáil before to know how you are going to suspend the Standing Orders after your refusal to allow the suspension of Standing Orders an hour or two ago.

I ruled that Standing Orders could only be suspended on a question of national importance. This is materially a question of national importance, and it seems to be the wish of the whole Dáil to discuss it.

On a point of Order, may I ask if the adjournment of the Dáil was moved now on the President's statement, will it prevent a Motion for the adjournment which is to come on at 6 o'clock this evening?

I do not see why a discussion cannot take place without a Motion.

I put the question to the Dáil whether the matter would be discussed without any Motion. If it is the will of the Dáil it can be discussed without a Motion.

I must say right at the beginning that so far as we here are concerned we are not at all satisfied with the Presidential statement of policy we have just heard. It is not the statement of policy we asked for on Saturday. As a matter of fact it is not an answer in any particular to the questions we put to the President on Saturday, or to the Executive; instead of that it is a declaration of its policy with regard to people who are altogether outside this Dáil. It is an answer to a number of questions on certain propaganda conducted outside the Dáil. It is not an answer to the questions we put. We asked for a Declaration of Policy on certain specific points, and we have not got an answer on any of these points. He began his statement by recalling the history of Ireland since the Treaty between England and Ireland was signed last December, but we did not question the Treaty on Saturday. We did not cast any doubt on the credentials of the signatories of the Treaty. We did not question the right or authority of a Second Dáil to carry that Treaty or any other Treaty. Not only that, but, personally to my great regret, instead of facing the future as the President of this State ought to face the future on the strength, courage, resolution and authority of this Dáil, be turns round and does what we have condemned other people in Ireland for doing; that is—he rattled the bones of the dead in our faces. I have as much respect for the late President Griffith and Michael Collins as anybody, in Ireland, but I do not think it is fair that when questions as to the future policy are put that the reply should be to relate the many risks they ran and many brave and courageous things they did; we want something more than that. We have really in the statement a kind of time table give to us. Now, the order of events is of some importance. As a matter of fact he has given us some information to-day which nobody has made public in Ireland until he made it to-day. He has told us that a Declaration of War was made by the Executive Forces, or the Republican troope, upon England. Why didn't we hear of that before to-day? Last March, he says, there was a Convention of the Republican troops. That Convention brought up as matters of immediate concern the question of the maintenance of an Independent Republic, the question of a Chief of Staff and of Army appointments, and also the question of a Dictatorship and the dissolution of the four Governments in Ireland. We are not concerned with that. We are not concerned with questions of Dictatorahip or of the Independent Republic, or of different positions in the Army at all. This is where the whole importance of his statement came in. He says these things were done in March. In April certain proposals for Peace were made. The Executive of the day turned down these proposals and said they could not negotiate with the people in the Four Courts. April passed over, and May came along, and then June came with a General Election. A Pact was entered into between, the people with whom the Executive did not negotiate—the people who declared they were going to abolish the four Governments in Ireland, and who were going to set up a Dictatorship, and who were wrangling and squabbling about the higher jobs. But the lower jobs were disregarded; there was no squabbling at all about the private soldiers' jobs. In May and June that Pact was entered into and a panel between the two parties was arranged for the purposes of the Election. The President has spoken about the Ard Fheis Agreement. We are not concerned with that and the Dáil is not concerned with the Ard Fheis Agreement. The Ard Fheis Agreement was an agreement entered into between the two wings of one political Party ignoring everybody else in Ireland belonging to other political Parties, and ignoring those who belonged to no political Parties. There was not a single word of condemnation of that Panel or of that Ard Fheis Agreement. Agreements were entered into, and broken as soon as they were entered into, and it doesn't matter to us by whom they were broken. We have an idea they were not entered into for the general good of the country, but in order that the dominant party in the country might retain its dominance by reconciling its two sections. We are told that on a certain, date certain seizures were made at the Curragh. Certain other things were done. That declaration of war on England and these seizures were made on the 16th June. No, the election was on the 16th June. That declaration and these seizures were made on the 18th June, two days after the election. Between the 18th June and the fatal 28th June these illegal seizures at Ferguson's and other places were made, and on the 28th June the bombardment of the Four Courts was begun. Now we are not denying the competence of the Government to take any measures that were wanting or that they required to take at any time, but we want to know what became of all the negotiations. Why was it that between these dates the utmost friendliness could prevail between the two sections in outside negotiations? Aye, Mr. Chairman, on the very night before the bombardment of the Four Courts, officers of the two armies were fraternising with one another, and at four o'clock in the morning they were attempting to blow one another to pieces. Why is it all these documents have not been produced so that the country might know? We are not concerned with who is at fault or who is not at fault, but we want to know where the fault is. We are not specking on behalf of the Republicans. If they want to speak they have their own means and methods. We are speaking for a great part of the population of the country which is suffering from the actions of the two armies, and the two sections of Sinn Fein, and the two parties in the Dáil. The innocent people of the country have to suffer, to bleed, to starve and to die, while the Government keep all these negotiations, and the documents concerned with these negotiations, as secret and as hidden as it is possible for anyone to keep them secret and hidden. On the 1st July the new Dáil was to assemble. How could it assemble two days after the civil war had broken out? We asked the President on Saturday whether this was a war or a police operation. The President has not answered that question. It was either one thing or the other thing. It is either the one thing now, or it is the other thing. We want to know which it is, because we wish to know where we stand. It will be only making a debating point, and I do not want to press it at all, but the President said the hotels were seized by certain troops. But they were destroyed by other troops. The question raised on Saturday, and we want to raise it again to-day—a question raised outside by certain gentlemen elected as Independent representatives, and we hope they will have the courage to raise it inside— is, who is going to pay for all the destruction and the ruin? The President has not said a single word about the payment of these things. We know very well who will pay in money as well as in blood for it. We know the row there will be kicked up by the people of money in this country when this bill has to be met. The Treaty put a big war debt on Ireland; it put obligations for a war in which we had no concern. We will have to foot the Bill for the Irish war—for the Irish Civil War as well. But the President is silent on it. He does not say a single word. He does not say how he is going to meet the obligations that the war has put on him and on us. He has spoken about the deaths. We all deplore the deaths that are occurring up and down Ireland. We are deploring the deaths that are caused by the deliberate shooting of people on one side against the deliberate shooting of people on the other side. But the President does not say a word about the scores at least, if not hundreds, of Irish boys who, for one reason or another, are accidentally shot. I am not referring to those who are alleged to be shot escaping. I am referring to those who are shot within the ranks of national troops by accident. He has not a word to say about those. He says that until all this is finished there can be no reconstruction. He says he does not want to fire the last cartridge or seize the last gun. Can he tell us, or can anybody tell us, how these things are going to be done so long as a considerable body of armed mea are in the country? You have either got to disarm them or make, peace with them. No one knows better than those on the other side, particularly those who went through the guerilla warfare, that it will take many months, maybe many years, and a big army, and millions of pounds, to suppress a considerable body of armed troops who want to obstruct tfae Dáil and prevent the functioning of the Free State or of any State in Ireland. He says he will go on as he is going on. And why does he not tell us what is the military position at the moment? We know pretty well what the political situation is; we know what the social and the economic situation is—it is chaos, it is almost anarchy. Why doesn't he tell us how much better the position is than it was on the morning of June 28. We were told the Dáil could not meet; that it was not permitted to meet. We were told that probably two or three weeks would settle all. Two or three months have gone past. They have not settled it. Are two or three years going to go past before these Irregulars, Republicans, or Anti-Treatyites are suppressed and disarmed? He will find in the long run, just as between England and Ireland, his friends and colleagues will sit down and come to an arrangement. The Lord preserve us from that arrangement, if made as several were made in Ireland during the last two years. He has nothing to say about unemployment, except that nothing will be done until this little scrap is over. He has nothing to say about the landless men in the many parts of Ireland. When we went to the late Executive we were told that it was not the season of the year for interfering with land. This is the season of the year, or it is coming on? We were told the Executive had up their sleeves plans and specifications for dealing with the land question and land problems and unemployment, only these terrible people the Irregulars would not let them do it. There is no one here, there is no gunman up there to prevent them bringing the plans and schemes and putting them before us. They might not put them into operation now. Let them produce them, and not let them be fooling the country, as this country is not going to be fooled all the time. There is great support in many quarters for this Government. The majority, the great bulk of the people, without any denial, are at the back of this Government. They were at the back of the late John E. Redmond for many longer years than they are at the back of this movement and Party, and they are just as ready and willing to change to-morrow if thwarted as they were in 1916 and 1917. We ask that the Government should tell us what is their policy about prisoners, and what is their policy about arming the civil forces. We were told the Criminal Investigation Department, the Civic Guard, and I suppose the D.M.P., were under the Minister of Home Affairs. I asked on Saturday if the Army was going to be responsible to the Dáil. I have not got an answer. We asked on Saturday if the Government was going to continue the policy that has been carried on for two or three months all through Ireland of raiding and going into houses without authority, without a warrant, without a scrap of paper or anything else. Not a single answer was given to these things. We were told by the late Executive that no officer had any authority or any warrant to arrest or raid without civil warrant or authority, but it is happening not only here, but in every part of Ireland. It is happening here in Dublin every night. It is happening to all conditions of people, civilians. We are not talking about combatant men going out to fight, as presumably they go to fight. If they do not go to fight, that is not our business. From Tirconail to Cork, and from Baile a Cliath to Galliv, there are hundreds or thousands of men who can prove their cases if they are given a chance. They got no chance; they are arrested without warrant or authority ; they are put there without trial or investigation, or hope of trial or investigation. They are told in one breath that if they sign a form it will be all right, and then they are told that their case has to be investigated. Who investigates the cases? The combatants have been released, but scores, hundreds of thousands, have not been released. We asked that something should be said about the jails and barracks. Are they under the Home Office or are they under the Minister of Defence? I should be sorry that the jails and the conditions of the jails were under the Minister for Defence. We all know, particularly those of you who have been in prison, that a certain amount of propaganda has always been made about barracks and prisons. We all know that a good deal of that propaganda has been exaggerated; that little incidents have been exaggerated; but there is not a county in the 26 counties, there is not a barracks or jail out of which has not come information which is a disgrace to any Irish Government. These things may not be true. If not true, deny them. We asked for something in the nature of a definition of the Army Regulations. We have not got any. No one in Ireland knows if an Army officer is entitled to arrest or shoot. No one knows if the operations are in charge of the civil authorities, or whether the Army is in charge. You had to-day the arrest of a number of strikers. It was a surprise to everyone to find that they had been arrested by the D.M.P., and not by a party of National troops. It was a surprise, and the reason, I suppose, was because the lawyer was on the job. The reason, I presume, was that the lawyer had been on the job to prevent a faux pas being made. Last night the troops fired over the heads of pickets. Now the censorship, it is reported in the morning papers, has been removed. Hundreds of thousands of these incidents are happening up and down the country. We have no code of Army regulations. Complaints have been made by friendly foreign visitors who have travelled through Ireland on business and who have seen the condition of barracks here and there and the lack of discipline. Not a word about these things or what is going to be done to prevent these things. Reference has also been made to the Civic Guard. The Civic Guard, I think, deserves a place altogether to itself. I am not going to deal with it in anything like a detailed way to-day, but I would ask the President, whether it is a fact that a special Commission was set up to enquire into the affairs of the Civic Guard, and if so, what report has that Commission made? We have heard a good deal about Irregulars. I have here a report from a Kildare paper, in which our old friend, John Fitzgerald, whose name will be familiar to gentlemen on the other side, set out to establish a kind of volunteer or state reserve. It states that on the motion of Capt. S. Ahern the chair was taken by Quartermaster J. J. Fitzgerald, Co.C., who amongst other things said, on the question of starting volunteers in the district, “I appeal to every man present to join the National Volunteer Reserve. I say this, but not in the nature of a threat, that every man in this battalion area, I do not care what his age, is going to sign this declaration. It is not coercion, but it is coercion in this sense that we want to carry it out.” I do not know whether that is a matter for the Minister for Defence or the Minister for Home Affairs, but I think it is a matter for somebody to look after. Jack continues: “Those who are not present will also be asked to sign. On those who refuse to sign that declaration punishment will be inflicted! and they can go out and fight with the Irregulars. They won't ride two horses, and by the time we finish we will know who are on our side. Now we want to know all about the Civic Guard. We want to know how many of them are in Dublin and how many in Kildare, and about their remuneration and various other things. There are other matters which may come up later. There are declarations and tests being put to Government Servants just as in Belfast. I have heard about the seizure of motor cars as a very serious crime. I have in my hand a letter from a gentleman whose motor car was seized by the First Meath Brigade of the National Army. I am told by the Minister for Defence, and I should not expect anything else from him, that there was no particular reason why this particular car should be detained. But it is detained, and has been detained for several weeks. It was commandeered by a Commandant-General of the National troops. The man whose car was commandeered is not a rich man. He is not a man like Ferguson's. I am not apologising for or excusing the people who went to Ferguson's. I do not think they had any business to go there at all. I want to refer to another statement of the President, that is with reference to peaceful negotiations and peaceful relations with Ulster. I deny his right to talk about Ulster. Ulster is Nine Counties and nothing less. And of the Nine Counties of Ulster Sir James Craig's Parliament is a little Parliament for Six Counties. In fact, it is the Parliament of one city. He talks about peaceful negotiations and pacts, and he talks about Irregulars—Republican troops —breaking these, and fighting and smashing up and bringing on chaos. I want an answer to one or two questions. Is it a fact that an arrangement was come to between Officers of the Four Courts and the Officers of Beggar's Bush by which certain things would be done within the Six Counties? I want to know if anybody from the National Forces was brought to his death working in Beggars Bush on that particular Job? It is all right to talk about peaceful relations, but if there are peaceful relations on one side there should be peaceful relations all round.

I must intervene. It may possibly be reported in the Press, but I have no knowledge whatever of what the Deputy is speaking about.

Now I hope that the President will take steps to find out whether there is anything that has not been reported to him, and that there will be no more of these secret negotiations between any section of people, in Ireland, whether armed or unarmed, whether one Government or another, and that everything shall be brought up and put before us here, and that we shall have no further secret negotiations with Belfast or London or Mallow, or wherever else the headquarters of the Irregulars may be. I want to know, and you also want to know, how much the Civic Guard is costing. It has been said that we of the Labour Movement wanted an unarmed Police Force in Ireland. We do, but we have never suggested for a moment that at present the Force should be unarmed. We understand the Civic Guard is being formed, not as a Peace Force or a Police Force, but just as an ordinary semi-military R.I.C. The Minister for Home Affairs will deal with, that. There are Members of this Dáil who are, or were, in control of the Civic Guard. It is the first time in my life that I heard of the Chief Commissioner of a Police Force being a Legislator. There are many other things now which I could go into, but I wind up with one thing. The President has said that the Executive intends to restore order and intends to make property and life respected. I think that reveals the whole mentality of the Executive. That property comes before life——

That is an accident—I meant it the other way.

Yes, the President says he meant it the other way, but there was no bombardment of the Four Courts until property was seized. You are more concerned with property and rights, not rights, but seized privileges of certain sections, of certain groups in Ireland, than you are with the lives of the ordinary men and women of Ireland. Talk about the common people of Ireland. It is just talk. The common people of Ireland don't matter a single snap of your fingers provided that you can get into authority, and that the old gang who are looking for dead men's shoes are all right. The President has evaded all those questions that were put to him on Saturday. He has given us the history of Ireland for the past six months. We want to get down to realities. We want to get rid of the humbug and of the sentimentalities and things like that. There is a stern task before the people of Ireland, and if that task is not faced in the proper spirit, and with the trimmings cast aside, if we do not get at the root of this you will find that there will be no tasks before the Irish people or the Irish Nation, because there will be no Irish people or Irish Nation.

I wish to continue this discussion on the President's statement, and I think it might be more regularised if a Motion was moved, and I beg to move:—

"That, following the statement of the President, I beg to move that the Dáil approves of the action the Government has taken, and is taking, to assert the authority of Parliament."

A Motion can only be moved by the Leader of the Dáil now. If the Dáil desires to discuss the matter it may.

There is rather an important matter of order raised by the Deputy for Mayo. The President made certain statements covering a number of matters. All these matters have been traversed by Deputy Cathal O'Shannon. It seems desirable that all these matters should be open for the discussion of the Dáil. The Motion that has been made by Deputy Sears confines the Dáil to one point. I think that it is undesirable, and I urge you and the Dáil that the discussion proceed on the entire range of the President's speech, as the discussion was initiated by him.

I beg to move that following the statement of the President the Dáil approves of the action the Government has taken, and is taking, to assert the authority of Parliament. And I submit that under the terms of that Motion a Deputy cannot be restricted in any sense; but can traverse all points raised by the President, and the matters spoken of by Deputy O'Shannon.

When Deputy O'Shannon suggested a Motion disapproving of the President's statement, it was ruled out of order.

No. It was merely stated that it would be necessary to move the suspension of the Standing Orders. If it is the wish of the Dáil to take a motion on the subject it can be taken.

Is it fair that a Motion such as this should be pressed in the interests of a few Members of the Dáil? I think the discussion should go on the lines made by Deputy O'Shannon following the statement made by the President.

I submit that the wording of that Motion would be more correct after the President had replied to the criticisms made by the Members of the Dáil.

We have already arranged that we shall adjourn at 6 o'clock for the day, and at 7 o'clock we will take up a different matter.

It is desirable that in general we should only carry on a discussion on a Motion. In the old Dáil one of the difficulties was that Members insisted on discussing things without any Motion being before the Chair. I think it would be well that we should conduct all the discussion as far as possible on Motions.

I propose that we suspend the Standing Orders for the purpose of allowing the motion to be put forward. I believe it is the only proper course. Having a discussion in the Dáil without a Motion will lead to a good deal of want of order.

If there is such a Motion taken up now, it must be adjourned at 6 o'clock until to-morrow.

I take it that the general range of the discussion will not be limited by the Motion, but that it will be over the whole ground raised by the President.

When Deputy O'Shannon rose to speak I asked him to propose a Motion and to have the Standing Orders suspended. Subsequently the discussion went on without a Motion.

I agree very definitely with the suggestion made by the Minister for Local Government and yourself. Had that been made an hour ago it would have saved time.

It was made an hour ago.

And refused. The proposition was made here that the statement of the President was not a satisfactory statement, and the question then arose whether that could not be moved until the Orders of the Day had been suspended and there was a general desire to allow the discussion to follow without any Motion. That having been so, I suggest that we should continue as we have gone so far, and without any Motion.

If we were doing what the Dáil desires we would be quite all right. The opposition to the suspension of the Orders of the Day, I think, came from Mr. Johnson himself.

I do not see why we should not go on as we were. There was a difficulty about the Standing Orders. It cannot be suggested that a Vote of Confidence in this Government is a matter of national importance.

It seems to be.

It is desirable that the debate here should be on a definite Motion, and it is only introducing ideas that are disturbing to the debate to raise the Motion now and to get it put before the Dáil, considering that a Motion was already made by Deputy O'Shannon which was as reasonable a Motion and as reasonable to be accepted by the Dáil as the one now.

I agree. I accepted the Motion, but it was not pressed.

I suggest that Mr. Sears give Notice of Motion to move this after 3 o'clock to-morrow.

That would be unfair, because certain speakers have got an amount of latitude to-day.

My own view would be that there should be a Motion that would allow us to take a definite conclusion. The Motion proposed to-day would enable us to come to a definite conclusion.

My idea is not to narrow the discussion, but to discuss the points already covered.

Would it meet the wishes of all if the Notice of Motion were given for to-morrow?

The Motion moved by Deputy Sears would restrict the discussion, because the Motion pledges support to the policy adopted by the Government, whereas some would wish to have a different policy in the future.

We are prepared to accept your suggestion that the Motion be moved to-morrow, and that the debate go on in a general way this evening.

Deputy Sears may continue the debate.

I give notice that I will move the Motion to-morrow, and I wish to say a few words in continuance of the discussion.

I suggest that he cannot do that if he is to speak to-morrow. He must keep himself to that.

Those who are taking part in this discussion can also take part in the discussion to-morrow. Deputy O'Shannon, in his comments on the President's speech, said that several points raised by his side were ignored. They were ignored by the President because he was replying to questions raised by people outside, not raised across the benches, but raised in ambushes and in burning and in other forms of destruction. Now the questions raised by the Labour Party are of considerable importance, but the question troubling the country at present is the question dealt with by the President. The country wants to know if this policy of destruction is to continue from one end of the land to the other, and what are the intentions of the Government. Every Deputy in this Dáil that has gone through the country has been met with the question as to the origin of the present war, and the President dealt with the very root of the matter in connection with this. Undoubtedly there are instances—questions like the Civic Guard, or questions like the Military Code, that Deputy Shannon raised. The Government is fully prepared to meet all those questions, but after the President's statement, the question which concerns this Dáil and the country primarily is the general policy of the Government. It is necessary that that general policy should receive the approval or disapproval of the Dáil, and afterwards any minor matters could be dealt with, whether the Civic Guard should be armed or not, or any other question raised by Deputy O'Shannon. Those on this side of the Dáil fully sympathise with the expressions of sympathy by Deputy O'Shannon as to the sufferings of the people and as to their liability for the cost of the war now proceeding in Ireland, and we yield to no one in our sympathy for those. But there is a more vital question as to the rights or wrongs of this fight that is now going on and that cannot be pushed aside. You have to take a part, one way or another as to that, openly and above board. The other questions—whether the Civic Police should be armed or not, and as to the condition of the gaols—are important too. We have sympathy for everyone suffering. But the chief question is this—are the majority of the people to prevail, or is the minority to rule, because the minority has a larger proportion of revolvers than the majority? That is the first question to be settled. The country looks at this Dáil to take a decided attitude one way or the other in connection with the policy of frightfulness, which is driving this country into ruin and disaster.

The remarks of the President in his address were that he did not mean to continue the fight to the last cartridge. He was asked questions from the Labour benches on last Saturday as to his intention with respect to the unemployed. So far he has not yet answered the most important question which a Labour man could put before the Dáil. We have hundreds and thousands of unemployed owing to the political state at the present time. I know personally that a great deal of destruction has been done. Questions have been asked as to who will pay or who will foot the bill. Personally I know that a great deal of the Deputies here represent the ratepayers, and I know also, as well as they do, that when it comes to the day of payment for this destruction, the common working man is the one who pays the greatest part of it. He may not be a great ratepayer, but he will have to pay for the necessaries of life to keep his family and body and soul together. The Minister for Defence is at present plotting and planning to reduce the wages of some of those who will suffer later on. I do not say that the President will not answer the questions put to him by the Labour Party last Saturday. We have listened to his history of the Irish Movement since 1916. He explained to us in detail the negotiations which took place up to the fighting of the Four Courts, but as Deputy Cathal O'Shannon says, why was not all this correspondence published, so that the whole Irish Nation would be able to see it? Are we to continue in the future as you have continued in the past by keeping every negotiation and every promise made to one side or the other a secret to yourselves, or will this Parliament be like the Ulster Parliament, not a Parliament of the people, but a Parliament of jobs? Personally I do not say that this Parliament shall be such, but if we are to continue and, if we want to bring peace to the country, it is no use sending out armed lorries at night, it is no use to have your soldiers firing shots in the street. Outside in the villages you will find shots going off in the night. This thing must be stopped. Why does not the Minister for Defence and the President see to it? If the question is asked we have to give notice, and when notice comes on it will be the same as the English policy in years past—" Wait and see." I want to ask the President one question. I know the people who are put down as being anti-Treaty.

I would like to know did this Government give those Deputies the same facilities as was given to the Deputies of Dáil Eireann in 1920 by the British Government, namely, the guarantee that if they entered this Parliament they would not have been arrested, and did this Government or the Cabinet Ministers of this Government offer to release any of the T.D.'s arrested on the opposite side in order that they could attend this meeting if they thought well. There is another question I would like to put before the President, that is the question of unemployment. He says that nothing can he done for the unemployed until such time as the present warfare is settled. If we cannot assist the unemployed until you have succeeded in patting down this armed body which is up against the working of the Government what steps should we take? What are you to do? Are you to see hundreds and thousands of children dying of starvation, and thousands of workmen thrown out of employment? Are you going to tolerate propaganda from any opposite section? Your first duty would be to relieve the unemployed by giving an advance of money to each public council in order that they may start schemes of industry to give employment to the unemployed. If you do that you will have the country much more in favour of you than you have now, because the people will see that this Parliament is a Parliament out for the industrial welfare of the nation, and not for the destruction of public property.

There were some remarks made by Deputy Cathal O'Shannon to-day to which I propose to refer. One remark was "I want to get rid of humbug, I want to get down to realities." I say that is a laudable ambition. I share it also. I want to get rid of humbug and get down to realities. The principal reality with which this Parliament is faced is the object for which it came into being—the establishment of the State with a Constitution in accordance with the Treaty signed in London on the 6th December last. Another reality we have to face is that basic principles are challenged, and until they are vindicated there can be no democratic state established in Ireland. Democracy! I was surprised that the leaders of the Labour Party should show, so little appreciation of the real meaning of democracy. I have a shrewd suspicion that I am a better democrat than Deputy O'Shannon, because I believe in the rule of all the people, whereas I am inclined to think Deputy O'Shannon believes rather in the rule of a section of the people.

I believe in the free constitutional expression of the people's will, and the carrying into execution of that will. I have a shrewd suspicion Deputy O'Shannon would prefer to see a drawn battle with a weak Éxecutive giving a small section of this Dáil a very delicate balance of power. He wants to know about prisons, about prisoners, about Ulster, about unemployment, about Oriel House, about the Civic Guard, and pretty well all about everything.

It is a laudable ambition.

In an opening statement the President could not very well cover all that ground, but I think his statement covered the thing that matters most to this Parliament, aud that is whether this Parliament is to be the ruling voice of the Nation outside, deciding all issues of policy, great or small. Until you have the principle of representative Government established and acknowledged you cannot get on with your Parliament. The principle of representative Government is gravely challenged in this country.

You would not let it express itself.

The last Dail approved of a particular Treaty, knowing well that in doing so it was voicing the will of the people, that it spoke through the authentic voice of the people of Ireland. It is not quite in order to say that because the people of Ireland were not confronted with a perfectly free choice that it was not their will but their fear. That was an epigram raised by Or Deputy at the last Dáil. It was pointed out that the people of Ireland were confronted with a state of facts that they were powerless to alter. To say that we are not free to judge on that set of circumstances and free to choose within these circumstances is unsound; to say that people have no right to do wrong is merely a clever epigram. Mankind down through the ages has found no surer rudder or base of guidance in difficult phases than the free will of the community democratically expressed. Now the Dáil, the elected representatives of the people, came to a certain decision. In such an election as it was possible to hold the people endorsed that decision, and certain armed men within the Nation said "not so but otherwise, because we will it. This course is wrong because it does not meet with the approval of our minds." They are now in arms against the people of Ireland and against the people's Parliament and the people's Government, and until that issue is decided there can be no democratic State founded here. I submit that the thing that matters most to the Parliament is whether this Parliament is to be a mere talking-shop or whether what it says holds in this country. You cannot build where foundations are challenged; the issue must be decided one way or the other, and the chief business of this Parliament is to decide it. I submit that the chief and primary duty of the Parliament is to decide whether it is going to give its whole support to the Government it has elected in deciding that issue. One does not usually build in the path of a forest fire, one gets after the fire and faces the building afterwards. We have been asked about unemployment; surely it is wheels within wheels. Surely the thing that makes most for unemployment is the fact that there is no credit, no security and no system of justice—the fact that every man who has a five-pound note is sitting on it. Until you re-establish normal conditions, unemployment will go on increasing, and no man and no Government could stop it. Let us then consider arid follow the excellent advice of Deputy O'Shannon and get rid of the humbug and get down to realities. He did cover some points in which I am interested and of which I have some little knowledge. He spoke of prisoners and their right to trial and their right to very careful consideration of their cases. Now the decision with regard to prisoners was this, that any man who recognised and signed a simple statement to the effect that he recognised the supremacy of the Parliament elected by the Irish people, and that he would not interfere unlawfully with the, person or property of his neighbours, that man's case was immediately considered, and in the early days of this fight men who signed that form were almost automatically released. Then. there were some shocks; men who signed that form were found again in arms against the Government elected by the Irish people; and again interfering with the property of their neighbour.

On a point of information, while the Minister for Home Affairs is dealing with the question of prisoners and the signing of the form, may I ask him whether the twenty-six or twenty-eight Derry prisoners in Kilmainham jail, who signed the form, have had their cases investigated?

I would be glad to give the information at another time; but, in fact, it is more properly a question for the Minister for Defence. I am sure he will be glad to give a thorough explanation with regard to the Derry prisoners. Now, one of the shocks we received in connection with the signing of the form was the case of three men from Dublin who were arrested at Athenry and sent to Galway prison. In the pockets of one of them was found a letter from his father giving him eminently sound advice, saying he heard he was going wrong, asking him not to be a fool, and pointing out that he had never given him bad advice in his life. Shortly after this young man arrived in Galway jail, he wrote to a young lady in Dublin and the letter started:—"Such and such a cell, 7th year of the Republic." In the course of his letter he stated he was on his way to join a flying column in Galway when he was arrested. Ten days after that he signed a form and made a statement to the effect that he had not any connection with the Irregulars and, it was almost superfluous to add, he would not have anything to do with them. While he was awaiting his more or less automatic release he wrote a letter to a friend in Dublin which, because we are not dealing with this man now, but with a type, I propose to read to this Dáil. It reads:—

"Monday night, Galway Jail, No. 4 Cell, 7th year of the Republic. Dear Billy—Just a line in answer to your welcome and lengthy letter which I received on Sunday. I thought that you were gone down South but I suppose you gave it the slip. All that I am thinking of is where to get guns when we get out, because I want a talk to some Bank managers and a few Railway Clerks. So for God's sake if you drop across any keep them safe because I don't think we will be here very long. If you are saying anything about guns in your letter just mention them as B.G. and I will know what you mean. ...has been telling us some dead snips in places where he worked, and we mean to pull them off when we get out. Even if you only get two B.G.'s keep one safe for me. It is getting dark now and I cannot write any more for the present, but the next letter I write I will tell you everything. Do not say anything about the F.S. as all letters are censored. I get these out by a warder. It is dark now and I do not know what I am writing, but I will write soon again. Good-bye for the present. I remain your old friend, Eddie.

Is there a postscript?

There is, but I do not propose to read it out to the Dáil, because it contains some rather foul language. Now, that is not the case of the writer, but the writer is a type, and in that single document you have embodied the disintegration that is at present proceeding apace in this country—the moral disintegration. If we in this Parliament do not do the duty we are sent here to do, if we do not face the facts, then there will be no democratic State established in Ireland. This will not be the Irish Nation, for it will go down in chaos, in anarchy, and in futility. Let us face the big thing; let us lay our foundations steady and sure; let us put a firm, cool grip on this fever-stricken land, or we are no Parliament, and we are not doing the duty the people of Ireland sent us here to do. I gather Deputy O'Shannon had not a very high opinion of the Government. I wonder if anything the President could have said would have improved his opinion of the Government. Surely we must all face the big fact that the question in this strife that is proceeding is whether the people shall rule in Ireland, or whether a clique of neurotics, a clique of pseudo-intellectuals, shall rule by the force of the revolver. I would appeal, not merely to the Labour Party, but to every section of the Dáil, for a little sympathetic appreciation of the difficulties that the Government is faced with and of the tremendous responsibilities on its shoulders. I do think there might have been a more emphatic endorsement of the grave step that had to be taken by the Provisional Government—the gravest step ever taken by representative Irishmen, perhaps, in the history of the country. We believe, and we still believe, that had we not taken this step this Parliament would not have met, and the very existence of the Parliament was at stake. We had very good reasons to believe that we anticipated by a couple of hours the creation of conditions under which this Parliament never-would have met—conditions that would have brought back the British power— horse, foot, artillery and Navy—in hostile relations to this country. And so we acted as we were bound to act, interpreting our oaths in the way they were interpreted by one who is not here to-day, by doing our best for the Irish Nation in any circumstances that would arise. And we did what we thought best in the circumstances that did arise, and it is not fair or decent that we should be left, like Mahomet's coffin, suspended in mid-air. Why is there neither an endorsement nor a repudiation of the step we took? Let it be repudiated, and there is an obvious course for those who took the step—an obvious course which, if we only considered ourselves personally, would be a blessed relief. Let us get rid of the humbug and get down to the realities. We want to function as the first native administration in a century and a half. We want to function as a Government responsible to the people. We want this Parliament to be a real Parliament. We want things discussed and decided here and to be carried out, and we do not want things decided otherwise than democratically. I hope I am a democrat and have a due appreciation of the relations that should exist between one holding the position I occupy in the country and the people of the country. I think we all have it. I think we all understand the relations that should exist, what we are fighting for and will continue to fight for, to settle Ireland and put into the hands of the people of Ireland the administration of their own affairs and the making of their own laws—the making or changing of their own laws—regulating their own development, and the sovereignty of the people's will. Surely we will get from that Party which claims to be above all things democratic, a measure of strong support to establish the sovereignty of the people's will. I think we will, for I believe that they are sent here as Labour Representatives to this Parliament with the sound sense and true instinct of nationality. The men that sent them proved it in the conflict with the British, and I know the men who sent them would not wish for mere carping or captious criticism for striving to establish sovereignty of the people's will.

I rise as one of the young children that has found a home for the first time in an Irish Parliament, and I do say quite frankly, not for the purpose of placing a wrong construction or meaning on any words used by ministers or members of this Dáil, that the Minister for Home Affairs and the other Ministers in this Dáil can take it that our presence here is a proof that we are prepared to help them to put into operation the Treaty which was ratified by a majority of the representatives of the second Dáil. Therefore I hope any other Ministers will not question our attitude on that particular matter. I will say also quite frankly that so far as the President's statement is concerned it was more an explanation of what has been done in the past than what he is determined to do in the future. I must say he was quite frank and straightforward as far as I could follow. I am surprised that the President in his statement did not outline in some detail the policy which he intended to pursue in regard to the things going on in the country at the present time. I think he had a right to recognise—as some of us here must recognise—what is going on in our constituencies—that there has been a certain form of collapse so far as Local Government is concerned in this country. We all know what it is due to. We know that for want of Local Government it is impossible to carry on the work of reconstruction. You have at the present time to face the fact that the County Councils are not getting the rates, and in one division of the area represented by myself and the Minister for Home Affairs the rates due amount to about £35,000. I want to know what steps are to be taken to have these rates recovered. We, as Irish people, have always claimed our rights as citizens and I would say to the President as we claim our rights as citizens so the Head of the Government functioning in the country is bound to point out to the people who are not doing their duty that they have a responsibility, and to the ratepayers who refuse to pay rates, for reasons we do not understand, that if they do not do so the Local Government Board will take whatever measures they intend to take to make them. The objection, so far as I can gather from it, is more concerned with the desire to place responsibility for the operations that started on the 28th June on the right shoulder. Personally I believe the condition of affairs, as we see it to-day, is due, and due alone, to the split that took place in the Army in the beginning of this year. Those men will have a heavy responsibility resting on their shoulders, for the split in the Army would not have arisen, I believe, but for the fact that you had in the second Dáil and in this Dáil, men who hold positions in the Army and at the same time pose as representatives of the people. That may happen in regard to the troops of the Provisional Government in the future, as it has happened in the split in the Army. If you allow men to hold positions in the Army, on active service particularly, and if, at the same time, the people elect them to this Assembly, I hold he cannot be master and servant at the same time, and when that man feels dissatisfied in this Dáil on questions of policy, he goes back to the division in the Army from which he came and creates division that should never exist. The Pact has been talked of to considerable extent here. The Pact, in my opinion, was an agreement, at least it was stated to be an agreement, upon matters, upon which we did not know the people agreed to. It was nothing more than an agreement between two contending parties both of them connected with the Dáil without consulting the people. The Pact admitted that every interest in this nation had a right to representation, but what did we find when we went to the constituencies Many of the members sitting in these benches had revolvers and guns used against them by people who were party to that Pact. I will take the case of North West Dublin, where there were four Treaty candidates. The Civic Guard as I understand have been trained and paid by the people of Ireland to administer the laws that are made in this Parliament, impartially between one section and another. That Civic Guard, as far as I understand it, were brought out—mind you, the Minister of the Civic Guard was candidate in that division—in mufti in the North West Division and used to go around in tenders of the Provisional Government to defeat the member put up by the Labour Party. I make this statement, and I hope those responsible will enquire into it and repudiate it if I am wrong. At any rate this is one instance where the pro-Treaty Party is concerned, where the Pact was not carried out in our case. I will go further and say that a Commandant in the Army who was, as far as I know, an Assistant Commissioner at the time, stood outside one of the polling booths and shouted out: "Don't vote for the Labour Candidate, a man who scabbed or black-legged in 1913 or 1914." I challenge anyone in this Dáil to prove that the man who went forward ever scabbed or black-legged. I am only giving this example to the Benches opposite to show that the Pact was not carried out by yourselves.

We have, and I am sure for the first time, and it is of great interest to the people of this Dáil, and the people of Ireland, a full explanation in regard to the Army Convention, and the cause of the breakdown of that Convention. So far as I am concerned, and I say it without fear or favour as regards one side or the other, if the Executive of the Irregular Forces stood for a Military Dictatorship I would not countenance that. I have been anti-Military all my life; I am up against Militarism whether it is on the side of the Republic or on the side of the Free State Forces. Perhaps it would be of interest to the Minister for Home Affairs if I read for him an incident in connection with the Free State Forces in one of our Constituencies—

"Portlaoighise.""As a member of the Irish Transport Workers and General Workers' Union I beg to bring under your notice the conduct of the Officer Commanding the Free State troops in this town. He raided the Gas Works at 12.45 on the morning of the 26th August, and assaulted me and put a revolver to my breast, and said he would plug me and the bastard of a Manager, and he would also blow the place to hell as it was us that made the mine that killed his men at Abbeyleix, and the Manager might clear out from Maryborough or he would do for him. Trusting you will bring this matter up at the Dáil, and have a stop put to these ‘Black and Tan' methods."

Now I hope that the Minister for Home Affairs, who is the responsible Minister of the Government, will see that discipline is kept in hand, and if there is a charge such as this brought against any particular person that they will arrest him and give him a fair trial by his countrymen. I realise fully, as a responsible member of this Dáil, that no amount of criticism or discussion can undo what has been done in this Dáil on the 28th June. I would ask the people of Ireland, who are the judges of what happens in this Dáil, and the judges of the Government to place the responsibility on the proper shoulders when the next election takes place. In saying that I do not want to be understood as making an election speech; as a matter of fact I could compliment the Minister for Home Affairs, and when I was listening to him I could almost believe he was a member of the Labour Party as regards part of what he said. He said many things uncomplimentary, but then he came along at the end of his statement and glossed them over. He said that a coup was being made at a particular time for the purpose of bringing England back to this country. That is the first statement we have heard about that. We are glad if criticism brings out a statement like that. No member of this Dáil could object to reasonable criticism. We are not here for the purpose of exploding any bombs. We are here to help so far as we can by constructive criticism this Nation on its feet once more. I will say this that I regret the state of affairs in Ireland to-day. I do not believe that the shooting of one Irishman by another is going to end this business. I believe no matter how we differ as Irishmen that we cannot solve our differences by shooting one another down. I only hope that the Executive forces who are responsible for the document read by the President would take that view, and among these people there are as good Irishmen as in the Free State Forces. If they took that view we could hope for reconstruction. One of the members of the Pro-Treaty Party stated that the people of Ireland were looking to this Dáil to save the situation, but the Dáil are looking to the people of Ireland. Every member of this Dáil will recognise a certain lack of moral courage that is helping to bring about the economic collapse of this Nation. If the Nation is going to be saved it is only going to be saved by the people who can take one of two roads. There are only two roads—the road to destruction, and the road to the building up of this Nation. I am a Republican in so far as that I do not believe in the Monarchical system. I accept the Treaty not as an end to anything we have been looking for, but as a means to an end. I will never recognise so far as my conscience is concerned the right of any man in any country to be the nominal head of that country simply because he is the son of his father. I am opposed to any principle of Government dominated by the Monarchical system. I have to ask myself arising out of that whether the difference between the Treaty, and what can be got by the only alternative, Document No. 2—is worth the shooting of one Irishman by another. I am not speaking for the Party; I am speaking personally. This Document No. 2, so far as I could follow it, was not Republican system of Government. It meant that they were prepared to accept association with England by an arrangement under which England's King was head. In any arrangement by which the Monarchical system is recognised there is from the Republican point of view no difference between one document and another. I would ask the President particularly when he is replying to the question to deal with matters affecting the Local Government because if we allow matters as regards Local Government to collapse there is no hope for the Nation, and we of this Dáil cannot do anything to build up this Nation again. We have been told from the Ministerial Benches that we are children in National Government. In this connection I want to refer to a letter of Winston Churchill's written to the then Acting Head of the Irish Government concerning compensation for loss during the Anglo-Irish war. I am not aware of what arrangement was entered into between England and Ireland on that matter, but I hope the Chairman will communicate with Mr. Churchill on this subject and tell him that the people of this Dáil or Nation are not children; that the Treaty has been accepted, and that it is open to us to put our own interpretation on the Constitution. That is for this country, and it is for him to look after general reparations and mind his own business.

As a matter of personal explanation the Deputy who has just spoken said the Assistant Commissioner of the Civic Guard had used intimidation against Voters. That is not true. I was the Assistant Commissioner of the Civic Guard at the time, and I was then in Kildare looking after my duties.

I understood that the Assistant Commissioner was Comdt. Ring.

The Dáil adjourned at 6 p.m.

On resuming at 7.20 p.m.

On a point of order, if the time for assembling or re-assembling is come to, and neither the Chairman nor Vice-Chairman is in the building, are there any provisions made by which another Member can take the chair, and the business can proceed?

I believe there are no such arrangements.

Can we have an undertaking that when the Dáil adjourns for a certain time that at the time fixed for re-assembling it can proceed to business instead of the Members wasting 20 minutes.

I have nob left the building at all. I have been here the whole time. I can take the chair at the time fixed for re-assembling. Members have been supplied with forms, and they are requested to fill in particulars—names and addresses for the Clerk of the Dáil. It is essential that the Clerk of the Dáil should have that information.