THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. - AN AMENDMENT.

I beg to move as an amendment: "That it is the opinion of this Dáil that application for admission to the League of Nations should be made as and when the Govermnent find it advantageous." The speech by Mr. Gavan Duffy was whole-hearted and in very general terms, and, if I might say so, the speech of Deputy O'Shannon was rather less whole-hearted. Deputy Duffy thinks the sole objection we could have to admission to the League of Nations is that it might be misinterpreted, in America. Well, that is not our only objection at this moment. It will be remembered this question of the League of Nations split America from end to end for two years. This Government came into office eight days ago, and Deputy Duffy was Foreign Minister for eight months, and I have been Foreign Minister for eight days, and I should be prepared to accept his judgment pretty generally in these matters, but then I looked up the qualifications required for admission to the League of Nations and they read:—

"Is the Government recognised de jure or de facto and by which States?

"Does the country possess a stable Government and settled frontiers? What is its size and population?

"Is the country, self-governing?

"What has been the conduct of the country, including both Acts and assurances with regard to (a) its international obligations; (b) the prescriptions of the League as to armaments,"

It might have been a considerable help to me if I had inherited from Mr. Gavan Duffy a reply to these questions which would be suitable for us to make to the League of Nations. Mr. O'Shannon read out an opinion upon the general declanation:—

"That a general declaration of constitutional right as described in Chapter IX. would fully qualify the Dominions for separate membership in the League as Sovereign States will become clear if we compare the status thereby secured to them with the definition of a Sovereign State given by authorities on international law. `By a Sovereign State,' says Halleck, `is meant a community with a number of persons permanently organised under a Sovereign Government of their own; and by a Sovereign Government is meant a Government, however constituted, which exercises the power of making and enforcing the law within a community, and is not itself subject to any superior government.' "

The point I would have wished Mr Duffy to make clear in the answer to these questions is what exactly is the community over which we are the Sovereign Government? I am not much impressed by the fact of admission being regarded as the test of sovereignty. The test of sovereignty is: Has one actual power in one's own country? —and recognition of it is fairly unimportant compared with the exercise of it in one's own country. Mr. Gavan Duffy suspects that the refusal to join the League of Nations at this moment is due to a surrender to Downing Street. It is nothing of the sort. It is due to the fact that we recognise we are in a chrysalis stage. As soon as the Constitution is passed and we have some real stable Government—that is, a Government whose definition is absolutely clear and whose existence does not depend on the completing an arrangement which is only half completed, then, I think, it will be possible for us to make application for admission to the League of Nations. At the present moment I think it is advisable, in Mr. Gavan Duffy's phrase, "for high reasons of State," that we should defer this application until the Constitution is passed, and we are able to state our case and our position quite clearly without any reservations to the League of Nations Assembly. I think at the present time, if I had inherited from Mr. Gavan Duffy a draft application to the League of Nations, such as would warrant their admitting us, that that draft application would either specifically or implicity contain untruths.

May I ask, as a matter of explanation, when will it be possible for the next application to be considered by the Council of the League of Nations?

Within 12 months.

Not within 12 months.

I want to say at the beginning, my intention——

Are you seconding the amendment?

No; I am supporting the original motion.

I suggest that the amendment is not really in order, because, it means a direct negative.

I think no one in the Dáil took the amendment as being meant seriously.

I will second the amendment, and in doing so I have very little to say. I inquired casually, when Mr. Gavan Duffy was stressing the importance of entering this League so that international disputes might be settled otherwise than by the arbitrament of war, if Turkey ad Greece were members of the League. Mr. Figgis, who knows a great deal about these matters, assures me that they are, both of them. I have the feeling that this step is not one which should be taken up by a Provisional Government or Provisional Parliament. It is a grave matter of policy—a matter that split America from end to end. Mr. Duffy invites us to rush in where America fears to tread. We have one duty, and we should get on with it, and we should leave to the established Government, Saorstát Na hEireann, when and if that Government comes into existence, the decision on matters such as this. I think I read somewhere—I am not sure if it was not in the Scripture—about the eyes of the fool being on the ends of the earth.

In opposing the amendment, I only want to say that I am very glad indeed to find that the Ministry is like the Americans in falling into deadly fear of the British Empire Delegation in the League of Nations. Now, I do not know, perhaps Mr. Figgis does know, that Turkey is actually a member of the League.

Qualifying for it, I suppose.

Few of what are called the late enemy States are members of the League. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, at all events, should know that one of the main American reservations was the objection to the number of votes in that assembly and on the Council, to the number of representatives which the separate representations of the British Dominions would give to the British Empire Delegation. I presume, therefore, that one of the objections of the Ministry, is that although co-equal autonomous States within the British Empire, the Ministry is afraid that the Irish Delegation might sway the votes of the British Empire. I do not think the amendment put forward by the Foreign Minister is intended seriously at all, except that he wants to shelve Mr. Duffy's motion. I hope the Dáil will not accept the amendment.

I think we should ask ourselves what is the League, what is its function, and how is it functioning? I think I agree with the Government for once. We could perhaps do something if we were members of the League, but I do not think we would have the courage to do them now if we were there. For instance, we might raise a rumpus about Egypt and India if we were there, but I do not think if there was any representative of the present Government in Geneva they would allow him to do so. If you did perhaps a number of Catholics would be shot in Belfast, or they would threaten the Border question in Ulster, or do something else, make some gesture, just to show we were not going to get away with it if we shouted about India or Egypt. The main purpose of membership would be for propaganda. From the beginning to the end the League is financed and owned by England. Other Nations, like France—and Mr. Duffy who has lived there knows their opinion— would like us to go in and say what they are afraid to say. They are afraid of England, and we being more or less reckless would say things they would not say for want of the moral courage to say it. If we said nasty things against French Imperialism, German Imperialism, and Japanese Imperialism, I think we might be able to do something. I think that is what Deputy Cathal O'Shannon, who belongs to the patriotic party here, means when he talks about the League of Nations.

I want to say that I support the motion. I said at the beginning of this Session that it was my intention to exercise independent judgment on matters which I think are not essential to the security of the administration and security of the Treaty. This is one, I think, and I do not think we can afford to regard Europe as such an insignificant little place that we can look down upon it as of no consequence to the World, that this particular country is of much more importance and exercises far greater influence on the World's destiny than the whole of Europe. That seemed to be the attitude taken up by the Foreign Minister, and I think it is quite an inaccurate summary of the relative positions. I should not be so much inclined to express my opinion on this if it were not for the line of thought indicated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. It was not so much the indication that he thought the moment inopportune, as that he thought the time would never come when any application of that kind would serve the interests of Ireland.

You are wrong.

I am glad you say I am wrong, and to hear that Ireland can play some part in European politics, and that Europe may be some day influenced by the counsel of the Irish Nation. There may be obstacles in the way at the present moment, but it is only on the grounds that these obstacles are insurmountable that I would consider there is justification in withholding application. I believe it will be a very serious and responsible day for Ireland when she makes application to be included in the League of Nations. I am sorry that moment has not arrived, according to the declaration of the Foreign Minister, but I would like to record my opinion that it is desirable such a day should come soon, and for that reason I support Deputy Duffy's motion.

I desire also briefly to support the motion, as I think the arguments advanced against it are really in its favour. It has been said, and it is perfectly clear, that there is a strong feeling at the present moment amongst the Nations forming the Assembly of the League of Nations that we should be there. I believe that has been the general feeling in Geneva during the past week. The only argument against our application at the present moment is that it is not a convenient time for such an application. That is a summary of the argument. We have only a very inaccurate method of discovering whether it is, or is not, an inconvenient moment, but what I myself think is—that we have arrived at such a stage that it is a favourable moment. If there were likely to be any rebuff to our application because of the circumstances in this country, and that our application later would be advisable, that would be a complete argument. The Government have at their disposal a gentleman who is in this country at the moment and who has been our representative in Geneva, and I am perfectly sure if that gentleman from his knowledge in Geneva advised against the application at the moment then we will vote for the amendment and against the motion, but I think that question and the advice that gentleman has brought back from Geneva specially as we have been informed on what appeared to be semi-inspired utterances.

You are quite wrong.

It was said in the Times, in the three Dublin papers, that this gentleman had come with special information on his question that we have now before us. I think it would be just as well if they informed us, because, after all, I believe it might be the fortunate moment and they might argue it was not the fortunate moment. The basis of our arguments may be wholly irrelevant one side or the other. These things can only be decided by knowing what is the feeling at Geneva. This Parliament had a representative in Geneva who has come back and has in his possession information that might help this country in coming to a decision on this matter. Now that that information is now at the disposal of the Government I trust it may go one step further and be placed at the disposal of the Dáil.

I move that the question be now put.

The amendment reads:—"That it is the opinion of this Dáil that application for admission to the League of Nations should be made when and as the Government may find it advantageous."

Amendment put and carried on a division, the voting being 44 for and 19 against:—

Ta.

(For.)

Ta.(For.)

Liam T. Mac Cosgair.Donchadh O Guaire.Séan Ó Lideadha.Séan O Duinníin.Mícheál O hAonghusa.Domhnall O Mocháin.Séan O hAodha.Séamus Breathnach.Peadar Mac a' Bháird.Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.Mícheál de Duram.Ailfrid O Broin.Séan Mac Garaidh.Philib Mac Cosgair.Mícheál de Stáiness.Seosamh Mag Craith.Domhnall Mac Cárthaigh.Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.Eamon Altún.Liam Thrift.Eoin Mac Néill.Liam Mag Aonghusa.

Pádraic O Máille.Seosamh O Faoileacháin.Seóirse Mac Niocaill.Seámus O Cruadhlaoich.Criostóir Ó Broin.Risteárd Mac Liam.Caoimhghín O hUigín.Tomás Mac Artúir.Seamus O Dóláin.Aindriú O Láimhín.Risteárd O hÁodha.Próinsias Mag Aonghusa.Eamon O Dúgáin.Peadar O hAodha.Seámus O Murchadha.Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhrighde.Liam Mac Sioghaird.Tomas O Dómhnaill.Earnán de Blaghd.Domhnall O Broin.Seamus de Burca.Mícheál O Dubhghaill.

Níl(Against.)

Pádráig O Gamhna.Uaitear Mac Cumhaill.Sean O Maólruaidh.Tomás de Nogla.Riobárd O Deaghaidh.Darghal Figes.Tomás Mac Eoin.Seoirse Ghábhain Ui Dhubhthaigh.Liam O Briain.Tomas O Conaill.

Aodh O Cúlacháin.Séamus Eabhroid.Liam O Daimhín.Séan O Laidhín.Cathal O Seanáin.Séan Buitléir.Dómhnall O Muirgheasa.Risteard Mac Fheorais.Domhnall O Ceallachain.

Amendment, as substantive motion, put and carried.

The Committee on Standing Orders, which was, in accordance with our decision to-day, to meet again, will meet on Wednesday morning at 11.30, in the same room as before. Now the question arises as to the further business and the points that have not yet been finished on the Orders of the Day.

May I ask your ruling whether Standing Order No. 76 would apply to the Resolutions on the Orders of the Day, which have not yet been reached.

That has already been answered in reply to a question by Deputy Gavan Duffy.

The principal business to-morrow will be the Franchise Resolution and the remaining business of to-day. On Wednesday the Constitution will have a second reading.

While you are making announcements, would you be good enough to make one with regard to a matter very trivial in itself, no doubt, but which has important consequences for the private Member. It was stated here: "Copies of the Official Report will be circulated daily. No proofs of the daily reports are supplied. Corrections which Members desire to suggest for the bound volumes should be clearly marked in this report, and the copy containing the corrections forwarded to the Editor within fourteen days of the date of the debate." When will this bound volume be available? In other words, for how long shall the Members who had the temerity to speak be under the imputation, in certain cases, of illiteracy? What opportunity will they be afforded for correcting these reports? The other night I spoke on the matter of the Postal dispute, and suggested that there should have been two estimates of the cost of living. I spoke so indistinctly that I am reported as saying: "That the cost of living is lower in the country and in the West of Ireland" that is, in the "rest" of Ireland; and "it would occur to any administrator of sanity to consider these two classes of cases together the case of the country worker and the case of the city worker." Here follows a lacuna. This is the only report I have read, but I suspect we could find something to complain of in some of the other reports as well. It is a very difficult House in which to be heard, especially when some of us are not masters of distinct utterance, and, consequently, no blame rests upon the official reporters; but, at the same time, it becomes a matter of anxiety for those who have no official organs in which to be reported correctly, that an early opportunity should be given for seeing the corrected report.

I suggest that it is not illiteracy, but rather an excess of the opposite quality, that endangers this.

Provision is made as Deputy Mageinnis has just read out to us for the correction of the copies supplied before they go into the bound volume, and the Clerk of the Dáil should have sent to him, as soon as possible, corrections or emendations which Deputies desire to make, accompanied by the Deputy's signature. It has not yet been decided, but it will be a matter for the Standing Orders Committee, to make recommendations as to the amount of matter getting into one volume.

Prior to being published, will they be edited? I would like to make that point clear. I was looking for a few sentences that the Minister for Home Affairs made the other day, because it gave a rather important admission from my point of view, and the whole speech had disappeared from the report.

Might I raise small matter in connection with the reporting. I am informed here that last Friday a Member of the Press Gallery wanted to see me in connection with a few words that I said, and this Pressman was not allowed to come around to the Lobby. I think that is a matter which you ought to see to that Members of the Press ought to be allowed, when they have their Press passes, to came into the Lobby and see a Member on any points that arise during the day. It is a matter entirely for the Ceann Comhairle.

The real difficulty in all these matters is that we require a Committee on Privileges. I spoke to the Standing Orders Committee on that matter. We require a Committee to determine privileges as to who shall or shall not enter certain places.

Shall we have the Minister's wise words put into the report?

We shall eudeavour. The President was speaking about the Agenda to-morrow. It will include the Franchise Resolution, and the remainder of this Agenda which has not been got through. That will be put on to-morrow. For Wednesday it was suggested the second reading of the Constitution will be taken. In that connection Deputies should read very carefully Rule 61 in the Standing Orders adopted, so that amendments sent in will be directed at the principle of the Bill, and not at the details.

You are not standing for the two days' notice in that case?

I could not stand for the two days' notice in that case, and we shall receive amendments up to 11 o'clock to-morrow.

To deal with the principal Bill, it seems rather short notice from now until 11 o'clock to-morrow to consider the kind of amendments that ought to be put forward. I understand they will have to be carefully chosen, because yourself, Sir, will have the right to choose which is which, and only three will be allowed.

Except the Dáil otherwise decides. They must be all printed, and the Dáil can take certain ones.

Shall it be 11 o'clock?

We could make it 3 o'clock at the outside, but we could not have the Agenda in the Members' hands until the Dáil begins to sit on Wednesday. I was only speaking from the point of view of having the Agenda ready for Wednesday morning.

You will probably use the Press to publish all the amendments that are sent in for the following morning.

To-morrow evening I can announce the amendments sent in. I was only endeavouring to arrange it so that members could have the Agenda on Wednesday morning. I must get some time to make a selection.

This concerns me and others with whom I have spoken. I say, with all deference to the Standing Orders Committee, I am not able to understand Article 61 at all. Having read the rules of procedure, known as Standing Order of a good, few legislative assemblies, I would like to know how it is possible to introduce an amendment on general principles. You vote "Yea" or "Nay" on it.

It would be quite simple, on clauses of the Constitution, to move that certain words be omitted.

That might be for Committee Stage.

It might be very vital.

If they are defeated on the second stage, are they further admissible?

Are you objecting to having too much scope?

All I am saying, Sir, is this: in every other Assembly the second stage has never an amendment before it; that is always left for the third stage, and I think it a very good procedure.

If we gave until noon to-morrow I would have time to go through the amendments. If we give until 3 o'clock I will have to be here to go through them, and they would have to be put into the order in which they will be discussed.

Will you select all the amendments for publication?

The three that will be discussed will be the most important for the Members to know.

This is one of the difficulties of trying to rush this business. I do not think we should be mulcted because of that.

As far as I am concerned, if the thing is to be carried out, I do not think I could receive a resolution after 12 o'clock in the physical conditions that obtain.

Have not Members amendments ready for some months past?

That may be. At any rate, the matter can be fully discussed at a Third Reading.

We will leave Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for the Second Reading.

The Dáil will meet to-morrow at 2.30.

Is the President in a position to state that he is able to set aside a day for the discussion of civil administration?

If Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are given to the Constitution, it will have to be next week.

I hope to have it this day week, or on Tuesday. From seven to ten days from now I expect it.

Motion, "That the Dáil do now adjourn," put and agreed to.
The Dáil adjourned at 7.25 p.m.