Before going on to the regular business, I would like to move under Section 14 of the Standing Orders that the consideration of this Agenda be postponed at 7 o'clock to discuss a matter of public importance, and I beg to move the following motion:

"To move that under Section 14 of Standing Orders the consideration of this day's Agenda be suspended at 7 p.m., for the discussion of a matter of public importance—namely, that this Dáil being responsible for the government of the country, hereby proclaims the necessity for an immediate Truce, to last not less than fourteen days, with a view to restoring peace, and thus saving the country from economic disaster, and hereby appoints the Commander-in-Chief, the Minister for Education, Mr. Deputy Johnson and Mr. Deputy Fitzgibbon as its delegates to negotiate the terms of the Truce."

I see one of the Ministers smiles at this, but it is the alternative to the monstrous proposal that comes from the Ministerial benches. Peace, all will admit, is essential for the country. I believe in dealing with Irishmen you can deal better by a method such as this than by threatening them with execution.

We may later on have a discussion on the matter, provided it has the support of twelve Deputies. A speech on the subject now is out of order. Would the Deputy hand the exact terms of his motion to the Clerk?

I do not think a Truce will do any harm, and I think the Minister for Defence will bear me out in that.

I think under the Standing Orders there is no power to bring on a motion like that at all.

Under Sec. 14, it is allowable. If, in the opinion of the Commander-in-Chief, it interferes with the military situation, I will not press it, but I do not think a Truce would do any harm.

What is provided for in Articles 14 and 15 is the discussion of a matter of urgent public importance.

Yes, but is not peace a matter of public importance?

Yes, but a motion is not provided for. The matter can be discussed without a motion.

If we get a discussion it will be the same thing.

Yes, if we say that the Orders of the Day be suspended at 7 o'clock for the discussion of a question of a Truce, that would meet the case.

The request therefore is, that in pursuance of Standing Order 14 we suspend the Orders of the Day for the discussion of a matter of public importance—namely, to appoint a Committee to negotiate peace. That request is made by Deputy McCartan. Those Deputies who support that request will hold up their hands.

Over twelve Deputies held up their hands.

The request is granted, and the matter will arise at 7 o'clock.