So much has been said already on the last clause with regard to the interpretation of this Constitution, that I feel it is practically useless to try and insert this amendment in the preamble. I feel that it will not be accepted by the Ministry on the usual ground on which they have resisted other amendments to certain Articles of the Constitution. The idea which I wished to express in this amendment was the idea of the statement of position. It is not part of the Constitution. It is part of the introduction of the Bill. Therefore, in my view—I do not know whether it is right or wrong—it is simply a matter for this Assembly. Now, I do think that the statement of position would be essential in this matter. We all admit that all Treaties and Constitutions are subject to change, sometimes violently, sometimes slowly, but still the acceptance of the Treaty, and the acceptance of the Constitution here, will give direction to Irish history in the future. I think, and I think very strongly, that somewhere or other in the enactment of this Constitution, and, perhaps better in this preamble than anywhere else, a certain statement of the National position should be made. Now, in the draft preamble, as submitted by the Ministry, and explained by the Minister for Home Affairs, there is a certain acknowledgment of the source of all lawful authority; there is a certain hope expressed, and then the proclamation and the decreeing of the Constitution. Now, my amendment is directed to state what is the claim that we of the Sinn Fein movement, at all events, have stood by during the recent period of Irish history, and what has been the claim of all Irish Nationalists, more particularly, since the Act of Union—that this is a Nation, and that it has all the rights of a Nation, the right of sovereignty, and the full and free exercise of that sovereignty. Perhaps it is a peculiar view, but it is one of the views that has governed my action in voting against the Ministry and certain of the Articles of the Constitution. What has been done by this Treaty and Constitution and by these different proclamations of His Majesty the King, and the act of the British Parliament in accepting the Treaty, is the renunciation of the Act of Union. Consequently if the Act of Union is being abrogated by the British Parliament, and Government, as we hold it is, Ireland reverts to the pre-union period, and that pre-union period, I hold, was not a period of a Dominion, or a Colony of England, but a period when Ireland was an independent Kingdom. Consequently many of the arguments I heard put forward here by Deputies with regard to accepting the British King, have had no influence on me on account of the view I take. We are accepting the King in this Constitution, not because he is the British King, but because he is Head of the Irish State. Some Deputy referred to the Dominions having secured the position of Ministerial Republics; to my mind, what they have secured is the position of separate Kingdoms. The same monarch is the head of all the various States, notwithstanding which they are separate Kingdoms, and the view I am taking is that Ireland is resuming the position it had in pre-union days. Now, in that position it was recognised by the British Parliament and Government around 1782, the period that has been looked on as that of Grattan's Parliament, that Ireland was a separate and independent Kingdom, possessing the rights of sovereignty and free exercise of sovereignty. I do not think that at the present time particularly, when we are enacting this instrument here, that it is essential and very desirable and that it is a practical question as governing the interpretation of this whole Constitution and every article in it that deals with our relations with the British, that we should have something which preserves that position and that interpretation. I do not see anything inimical to England in our putting this in, even if it could be held by the Ministry or by those negotiating on our behalf that the British Ministers may object to this. An assertion of our rights to the full exercise of sovereignty is not necessarily a declaration of war, as in the case of individual personal rights. Individual rights are very frequently to be held in abeyance or abrogated because they might clash with the rights of others. The same thing applies here in accepting the Treaty, or even the Constitution. The Irish Nation at the present time has in a sense, as I view it, left in abeyance certain rights which it had. Now, I also wish to have it noted that the reason given for the acceptance by this Assembly of such a from of Constitution from the Ministerial benches, as well as from the general body of members and those who have opposed the Ministry—in many respects the statement has been made that we accepted this form of Constitution, not because most of us liked it, not because it is a form of Constitution that we would enact in other circumstances, but as an alternative to a declaration of war on England. In that sense we accept it under duress—the duress of circumstances which we all here recognised. Now, the explanation in the enactment of that Constitution—an explanation as to why such a form of Constitution was accepted—was, at all events in my view, very necessary, not alone at the present time, but for some time in the future, when other people will be interpreting this Constitution and its various Articles. Consequently I suggest as part of the amendment, "in discharge of our trust to the living Irish people." The arguments of those opposed to the Treaty have frequently been addressed to what the dead would think or what unborn generations would think of those who accept this Constitution now. We cannot say what the dead would think, and we cannot say what unborn generations would think, but we can say what the present living generation of Irishmen think. It is because they sent us here to enact the Constitution and make a present peace with England, it is because we have that trust of the living Irish people, that we accept the Treaty. And I think that the explanation in the preamble would be very desirable not alone for the people at the present time, but for all future people who may be interpreting this Constitution. We cannot say what the future will do or think, but at all events, in enacting this Constitution we should, I think, make the declaration which I have suggested, so that those who are interpreting it in the future will say at least, "We did not bind their hands in accepting the Treaty or Constitution."