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Dáil Éireann debate -
Saturday, 12 Dec 1936

Vol. 64 No. 10

Executive Authority (External Relations) Bill, 1936—Second Stage.

As set out in the Long Title of the Bill, this is a Bill to make provision, in accordance with the Constitution, for the exercise of the executive authority of Saorstát Eireann in relation to certain matters in the domain of external relations and for other matters connected with the matters aforesaid.

I think the simplest way to deal with it would be to take the sections as they occur. The first section sets out:—

The diplomatic representatives of Saorstát Eireann in other countries shall be appointed on the authority of the Executive Council.

I think the wording of that makes its meaning quite clear. Sub-section (2) of that section is:—

The consular representatives of Saorstát Eireann in other countries shall be appointed by or on the authority of the Executive Council.

In one case the words are "on the authority of" and in the other case "by or on the authority of". The second section is:—

Every international agreement concluded on behalf of Saorstát Eireann shall be concluded by or on the authority of the Executive Council.

There are certain Governmental treaties and other treaties, as Deputies will probably be aware, which bear the signature of the King. Section 3, sub-section (1), providing for the exercise of the foregoing powers, sets out:—

It is hereby declared and enacted that, so long as Saorstát Eireann is associated with the following nations, that is to say, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, and South Africa, and so long as the King recognised by those nations as the symbol of their co-operation continues to act on behalf of each of those nations (on the advice of the several governments thereof) for the purposes of the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives and the conclusion of international agreements, the King so recognised may, and is hereby authorised to, act on behalf of Saorstát Eireann for the like purposes as and when advised by the Executive Council so to do.

There are certain usages with regard to the use of the King for the appointment of diplomatic representatives and consular representatives and for the conclusion of certain types of international treaties. We say that so long as the King is used for purposes of that sort, to the extent that may be advised by the Executive Council, he may be used in the future.

Now, we come to sub-section (2) of Section 3. Certain criticisms were made yesterday in the debate on the previous Bill which seemed to raise certain doubts, and we thought it advisable to clear away the possibility of any of these doubts. Accordingly, there is to be circulated immediately a change which I will introduce in that sub-section on Committee Stage. I think it would be better if I read the sub-section as it will be when amended in accordance with the amendment I propose to introduce. It is designed to dispel some of the doubts raised, if at all possible, and it will read:

Immediately upon the passing of this Act, the instrument of abdication executed by his Majesty King Edward the Eighth on the 10th day of December, 1936, a copy whereof is set out in the schedule to this Act, shall have effect according to the tenor thereof, and his said Majesty shall, for the purposes of the foregoing sub-section of this section, and all other, if any, purpose, cease to be King, and the King for these purposes shall henceforth be the person who, if his said Majesty had died on the 10th day of December, 1936, unmarried, would for the time being be his successor under the law of Saorstát Eireann.

We are, therefore, scheduling the instrument of abdication; we are giving effect to its tenor by law; and we are enacting that he ceases to be King and that the person who will exercise the powers indicated will be the person who, if his said Majesty had died on the 10th day of December, unmarried, would be for the time being his successor under the law of Saorstát Eireann.

Another question that was raised was what our attitude was with regard to the Act of Succession. The advice given to me on the matter was that the Act of Succession, in so far as it would be held not to be in conflict with the Constitution, was taken over by Article 73 of the Constitution, as it was adopted in December, 1922. Accordingly, it makes provisions with regard to succession which are the law of Saorstát Eireann.

Would the President say whether any portion of that Act was in conflict with the Constitution?

The portion that immediately interests us here—we do not want to go into any other question —is that dealing with the succession.

Would the President say whether an Act which is partly repugnant to the Constitution can be regarded as being in operation here?

I am not a lawyer, but I would say that the parts of it that would be repugnant to the Constitution would disappear and the parts that would not be repugnant, or directly repugnant, would remain.

Would the President say what effect Article 8 of the Constitution would have on that law?

I do not like to enter as a layman into very close debates on strictly legal points, and I should have to look up Article 8 because the matter has not been raised with me in any way. I shall have to leave the lawyers to argue it out at the end. The advice given to me, and the advice on which I am acting at the moment, is that this sub-section (2) does what we want to do. It makes effective the instrument of abdication, and, in addition to that, it provides for a successor for whatever purposes he is used in accordance with our Constitution. I think I can leave it to the lawyers to argue out any of the narrow points that may be raised, but I think this clears up the doubts so far as they were expressed yesterday. Personally, I do not see, unless some new points are raised, how there is any ambiguity of any kind left if this sub-section be passed as we propose to amend it.

I wonder whether to-day and yesterday the President set himself out to justify the Opposition up to the hilt in every criticism of theirs on his actions both now and in the past? What were we told yesterday? What was the excuse given for the hasty summoning of the Dáil? Because an Act was necessary to deal with the abdication of Edward VIII. What are we told to-day? That the Act hastily introduced yesterday did not do it.

I did not say that.

You implied it.

Did I ever expect the President to say anything definite? He spoke of fogs, and I hope that Deputy Norton sees through the fog of the Act of Succession and the Act of Settlement that the President has raised.

I hope you are as clear as he was.

After the explanation of the President, this is as clear as any fog he has ever created in this House or in this country. It is quite typical that the Government should call a meeting of the Dáil for a certain purpose. It is quite typical of the Government that they should pass fundamental amendments of the Constitution, so far as form is concerned, under the cloak of that purpose and give no time for their consideration. I am not speaking now of discussion but of consideration. It is equally typical that they should give more time for to-day's business which, if the President had arranged the business properly, could have been largely formal, than to yesterday's Constitution Bill. That is quite typical. There may be some very interesting points raised for constitutional lawyers in the future—I am not very much interested in these— as to whether at the present moment we have a different King from Great Britain, whether the connection is, in fact, broken. Perhaps the President would get his lawyers to answer that. I gathered from him that at the present moment King Edward VIII is still King here. He nods "yes" to that. That is the position. King Edward VIII is not King of Great Britain, therefore the succession and connection between this country and Great Britain is broken for a certain period at all events. That is the position, the fog, into which the President has got the country.

We had a very cynical acknowledgment yesterday from the President that all the damage that has been inflicted on the country is to enable the President to prove, without any chance of contradiction, that two and two make four and here to-day we have another effort on his part to turn, as he said yesterday—I am afraid the Minister for Finance does not seem to pay much attention to what he says; he attributes to me what the President said, a flattery which I do not want to deserve—"a fact into a reality." Here to-day again we are turning a fact into a reality but we do not do it in the Bill which the President has introduced. In the Bill as it stands there is no reference or no provision for the abdication of Edward VIII, not a bit. There is a provision for the recognition of another King for a certain very limited purpose. The President wants to clear up fogs and, as he likes everything to be clear and definite, can he answer this question "yes" or "no"? No, he will not. It might clear up a fog, so he cannot answer, yet he said the main purpose of these Bills is to clear up fogs. Coming in to the Dáil, I noticed in a placard of the special organ, which he controls, the announcement: "End of the Monarchy in Ireland." After the passing of these Bills will in any sense —do not tell me now you are using him for a certain purpose; I want an answer to this question—King George VI be King here? That is a definite question.

We will hold our own King now, as we have him.

That is a definite question. Perhaps he would answer it. His paper has answered it. Is that another effort in the fog? I had on one occasion the happiness to attend a meeting addressed by the President—then Deputy de Valera.

A Deputy

In a fog?

In Leighlin-bridge. The President was then explaining why he preferred Document No. 2 to the Republic and he gave this explanation: "I was travelling", he said, "along the road by which I wanted to come here from Carlow, but as there had been a storm I could not come along the direct road." Perhaps the President remembers the occasion.

I remember. It has no relation either to Document No. 2 or to this.

Very good; we shall see. "I did not come along the direct road because there were trees blocking the way," The President said. "I came by a roundabout way but I arrived at my destination in Leighlinbridge." The President will see I am not misrepresenting him. An interesting fact is that we passed over the direct road a few minutes before the President and there was no obstacle on the road. An interesting fact is that when we were going back to Carlow there was no obstacle on the road.

The fog, just like those obstacles, is largely the creation of the President himself. If there had been any fog in the minds of the people of Ireland or any doubts about their freedom, it was because these doubts were driven into the minds of the people by the President.

You were not travelling on the same road.

I suggest, Sir, that these disorderly members should keep quiet. What is the step we are asked to take here to-day? I wish to thank the President for his courtesy in supplying me with a copy of the amendment just now but I call attention to the fact that it is an extraordinary way of getting an explanation of the purposes of the Bill for which we are called to consider here to-day.

It is the road to Leighlinbridge.

It is an extraordinary commentary, as I said yesterday, on his conception of the rights and duties of Parliament. Not merely do the people not know what the Dáil is called together to do, but the Dáil itself is not in a position to know what it is called together to do. Not until the President stands up and comes to a certain portion of the Bill do we know whether the Bill we have before us is the Bill that we were called together to deal with. If that is not contempt for the Parliamentary institutions of the country, I do not know what contempt for the Parliamentary institutions of the country is. This undoubtedly does deal with the question which we were called together to consider.

Now, there is no doubt—there was no doubt yesterday, because the thing did not do it and there is no good in the President's pretending it was for the dispelling of doubts— there is not the slightest doubt that anybody who reads that Bill as it stands could see perfectly clearly that there was no provision whatsoever for the abdication of King Edward VIII. There was a provision for another thing altogether. There was a provision for making, in the elegant language of the President, limited use of a certain person. That is all the provision there was. There was provision for nothing else. But the whole question of abdication, the question of kingship, the question of succession, so far as any other function or duty was concerned, or so far as another status was concerned, was completely ignored. Yet, this is the way the business of the Dáil and the business of the people is treated.

The amendment, Sir, that we have before us and that is now being circulated to the House does seem to meet the main purpose of the Bill. Whether it is in order or not I do not know, I am not going to raise that point, Sir.

The Deputy may deal with that only on the section.

As I say, it meets the main purpose of the Bill, but I am not raising that point, Sir— far from it. I have no intention whatsoever to prevent this section being operative so far as it sets out to do what it purports to do. The President gave us some, what he called, explanations. He read the first section. He spent more time on sub-section (2) than on sub-section (1). I wonder whether he was chary about pointing out that in future our diplomatic representatives will be appointed by the King and that Ministers to this country will be accredited to the King. Is not that the position? That is the position. That could have been made clear in his statement on sub-section (1). Well, now, what is sub-section (1)? Is not that the position as it is at present? That is the position as it is at present—another fact becoming a reality. Then there is sub-section (2) of Section 1. Is not that the fact as it is at present—no change there? That is another fact becoming a reality, although what is the difference between them, perhaps, only the subtle mind of the President could make out. Section 2—is there any change in fact there; is there any change in reality even there? There is none.

Now we come to Section 3. In Section 3 the President attributes to other members of the Commonwealth of Nations language which they would not use in reference to themselves. They do not use the phrase "as the symbol of their co-operation." They have deliberately selected another phrasing, but we are going to legislate for them. We are going to tell them how to conduct their business and how to recognise the symbol of their unity. We repudiate any power of other Nations of the Commonwealth to interfere with our internal relations but we are going to tell them how they ought to conceive their relations. Why should not the President use the phrase that is in the Statute of Westminster: that to which they have consented? Why has he not done that? I note the President's gesture. I told the President before not to be making these foreign gestures when I am asking a question of that kind. Why is the phrase of the Statute of Westminster not used? The President had an opportunity to give explanations, but he merely read out what was there. We were able to read that ourselves. Furthermore, I think that anybody who knows, as the President, as Minister for External Affairs, ought to know, the history of the struggle that his predecessors in office, and those who acted with them, put up for the position that we achieved in international affairs, would recognise that Section 3 is a retrogression so far as this country is concerned. Section 3, so far as this country is concerned, in our rights in international affairs, is a retrogression, and if the President had, as he ought to have, a knowledge of the development of the constitutional rights of this country in international affairs, he would recognise that. If he had a sense of constitutional issues he would recognise that; but again, in his passion for legal formula, he sacrifices both facts and realities, and that is what is bound to occur with all this thing that he is going on with: that again and again, if you insist on this legality, this legal formulism, you are going to sacrifice realities for the formula.

Perhaps the Deputy would argue that, instead of merely asserting it.

I am asserting that we never acknowledged the right that is now given in Section 3. We fought against it in the various conferences and we never acknowledged it. To the main purpose of this Bill, Sir, if the main purpose is contained in sub-section (2) of Section 3—the new sub-section—naturally, we have no objection. It is the one thing that should have been done yesterday, and nothing else should have been done. That is the position; but the President has tried to trick the country by utilising the necessity for passing that sub-section in order to get a great many other things—some harmful, none of them meaning anything of any consequence for the real liberties and the rights of this country, some of which may or may not—because the President gives us no information and refuses to take the House and the country into his confidence in these matters—have serious consequences for this country. He says he has had communications with other Governments, or another Government, of the Commonwealth. He refuses to tell us what was the result of these conversations, if there was any result. How can the House, or how can the country be in the position of judging the effects of what he is doing? One thing that we can know is that the country does not gain one jot in its liberty by what is being done. Whether it will lose anything, or whether its position will be jeopardised or not, the country is left in ignorance, but there was nothing done yesterday which will increase in the slightest, although it may diminish, the freedom of this country.

Sir, the haste and hurry which has characterised the Executive Council in introducing this legislation is made all the more manifest by some of the flaws which were discovered in the Bill which passed through this House last night. This morning, we have the President coming to the Legislature and saying that even the Bill, which has not had a Second Reading yet, necessitates amendments of a kind that, if the President can understand them, nobody else can. I ask myself, in this situation, whether there is any compelling reason why the Dáil should be asked to enact legislation with that speed and under such circumstances. This is a matter which seems to me to have a tremendous effect on the voluntary relations of this country not only with Great Britain but with the other countries in the Commonwealth, and yet only 48 hours are allowed by the Executive Council to the legislative assembly to consider, on the one hand, certain symbols in our internal constitution, and, on the other hand, to regulate our relations with four or five other nations. I cannot understand for what reason the President of the Executive Council can tell us that it is necessary that this legislation should be passed with the haste which has characterised our proceedings for the past two days.

We have had here a situation from 1922 to 1936 where a certain King occupied a position in our Constitution, and exercised a certain influence in our external relations, but it could be always said in respect of that monarch that he was thrust upon us; that he was one of the pivots in the Treaty which the President says has no legal or moral binding force on our people. To the extent that that monarch was thrust upon us, and to the extent that we endeavoured to mitigate the worst features of his suzerainty over us, the President of this Government or any other Government could always claim in respect of this country that he was doing his best to remove the shackles of that Treaty. But the position has been fundamentally altered by the procedure which the President is now adopting. Up to the present we had a King who had been thrust upon us. Now that King has voluntarily declared his intention of abdicating; he has indicated that, so far as this country is concerned and all the countries in respect of which he functioned as monarch, he does not desire to continue to exercise those functions. Thus we have in this country, in Great Britain and in the other countries of the Commonwealth a situation where the King has voluntarily abdicated. So far as those other countries are concerned, if they want to preserve the succession of kings, new and special legislation must be introduced.

One could understand the desire of Britain, one could understand the desire of countries in the Commonwealth which are largely populated by people of British extraction, to devise some kind of legislation designed to continue the monarchy and designed to preserve some kind of dynastic succession. But is there the same need here to introduce legislation for that purpose? Is there the same need here to introduce legislation with the same speed as those other countries in the Commonwealth? I should have imagined that the President would have contended that our whole tradition, our whole national outlook, our aspirations as a motherland, are reasons which ought to compel the Saorstát to refuse to enact this legislation with the haste of the past two days. A King is now to be appointed with a speed which must amaze everybody in this country. The President is not satisfied with arranging his legislation in such a way—if it must be arranged in that way—as to provide for the abdication of the King, who has declared he no longer desires to rule as monarch. The President is not satisfied with going that far, and leaving the remainder of the position open for the people to consider. The President wants not merely to provide for the abdication of King Edward VIII but he wants, in addition, under a guillotine motion, and in a few hours on Saturday, a day upon which the Dáil rarely meets, to provide for the appointment of a successor to the abdicated King. I cannot understand what grounds of urgency can be pleaded for legislation of that kind. The only thing one can imagine is that Fianna Fáil seems to want a King to play with for Christmas.

We have here, at all events, a situation where we are being asked for the first time voluntarily to appoint as King of Saorstát Eireann the same person who has been appointed as King of England and King of the other countries in the Commonwealth. No previous Government in this country has ever voluntarily appointed a King. No previous Government in this country has ever voluntarily appointed King of Saorstát Eireann one and the same person who was King of England. Here, by rushed legislation, panicky legislation, the House being asked to meet on Saturday, in a few short hours we are to provide not merely for the abdication of one King but for the appointment of a successor. I should like to know whether the President really thinks that that speed is of advantage to our people, or whether the British people have asked that not only should abdication be provided for speedily but that a successor should be provided for with equal speed. Is the explanation of all this speed a request from the British Government for legislation providing for legal recognition of the abdication of the King and the appointment of a successor? Is the explanation of that speedy legislation to be found in any request by the British Government that it is desirable to have that legislation enacted? If it is not, if this legislation is not being introduced at the specific request of the British Government, will the President tell the House why he considers it necessary, in the interests of the Irish people, that a successor to the abdicated King should be appointed in a few hours on Saturday.

I wonder if the President has told the British Government that the voluntary appointment as King of Saorstát Eireann of the same person who is King of England is a distasteful national operation so far as the people of this country are concerned? Has the President told the British Government that in asking him to pass this legislation with this speed the people of this country are being asked to do something which no previous Government of this country has ever done? If that fact has been pointed out to the British Government, surely it must realise that even from its own standpoint it could not dream of expecting any legislature which has claimed independence for itself to pass legislation of this kind with this speed. I think the President has been needlessly hasty in introducing this legislation. There is no need for this legislation that we are passing to-day. Yesterday's legislation could be described as progressive legislation from the national standpoint.

It takes the King and Governor-General out of the Constitution of this country. So far as that is done, I am perfectly satisfied that the President is moving in the right direction. Why could we not stop at yesterday's Bill? What is the need for enacting this Bill? What is the need to-day to appoint a successor to the abdicated King? The President has not been able to show one reason why it is necessary to appoint that successor. The courts are not affected by any failure on our part at this stage to appoint a successor. The legislature is not affected, because no legislation would be likely to be passed until February next. But if the President were to hold his hand, and not proceed with the legislation which is before the House to-day, the country would have an opportunity of considering the whole position, and some kind of intelligent opinion would become articulate in the country which would be a guide to the public representatives of this country as to the direction in which the people's minds were travelling. We are not being given any opportunity to consider the position. The people are being rushed, through this legislation, into committing themselves to appointing a successor to the abdicated monarch.

We are not even taking the trouble to ensure that the successor to the abdicated monarch will not be asked to take an oath distasteful to the religious beliefs of the people of this country. Has the President asked, even as the price of passing this legislation in this hasty, panicky way, that at least that oath will be deleted from the Act of Settlement? Has the President even made representations to the British Government to see that this particularly distasteful portion of the British succession ceremony should at least be deleted, as something gravely offensive to the religious susceptibilities of the people of this country? Apparently not; apparently nothing has been done in that direction. Instead, the Dáil is convened hastily, in a state of panic, by two telegrams, and asked to meet on Saturday to appoint a successor to the abdicated King. One would feel that this was a particularly suitable occasion for the President to give Document No. 2 a run. One would have thought that the President would have produced Document No. 2 on this occasion, and at least let it have a canter around the political field. I say to the President that, if he could have got back to the position of Document No. 2 in this situation, I could congratulate him on his achievement. But no effort is even being made in this business to get back to Document No. 2. No effort is even being made to try to get back to the position of external association with Great Britain or with the other countries in the Commonwealth. Instead opportunities such as this which enable us to raise the question of status by Document No. 2 or by external association, are being ignored in this matter of the appointment of a successor to Edward VIII. I would like to know from the President why when the British are expecting us to pass legislation of an abnormal character, legislation which has a particular value for them, a thousand times more than for us, he has not endeavoured to discuss with them a status comparable to that which he envisaged in Document No. 2 or in the theory of external association? The President often quotes for us views and suggestions which might have obviated the Treaty of 1921. On his behalf while that issue was being discussed in 1922 the late Cathal Brugha declared the position of the President's Party to be:—

"We are prepared to enter into an agreement, an association with the British Commonwealth of Nations as it is generally called, on the same or similar lines as that on which one business firm enters into combination with another or several others. The thing is not uncommon now; such combinations are made for certain specific purposes; the combination appoints a managing director to carry out the business of the firm but it is only for a specific purpose; each firm remains independent except for this one particular business. Say the purpose would be to do foreign trade; each firm would carry on, independently, its own internal trade; and the combination would, under this managing director, carry out its purpose for foreign trade; each firm would give a stipend to the managing director. Now, by entering into combination no firm sacrifices its independence as a firm. We are prepared, on the same terms, to enter into an association with the British Commonwealth of Nations, and for the purposes of that combination we are prepared to recognise the English Government as the head of the combination."

Would the Deputy please give the reference.

The Dáil debates, 7th of January, 1922, page 331, Cathal Brugha's speech. I do not agree with the late Cathal Brugha's view that we ought to recognise the English Government as the head of the Commonwealth and it is little wonder that that remark brought cries of "Oh" from the House according to the Official Report. At all events, the main burden of the suggestion made there is that we have a certain foreign trade to carry on. The President told us that yesterday when he said that the King comes into such matters as the appointment of consular and diplomatic representatives and treaty-making. Can we consider the question of the appointment of the King in the sense that Cathal Brugha considered appointing the King for the purpose of our association with the Commonwealth? Has that suggestion even been considered by the President? Has any effort been made to get the British to recognise the soundness of that point of view from our standpoint? Have any negotiations taken place with the British Government to get that association with them that our people so much desire, to get a status more satisfactory than they possess to-day?

Yesterday the President said that he would not pass one of these Bills without the other. Which Bill was the distasteful one to the President? Was it the first Bill or the second Bill? I gather that the second Bill is the distasteful Bill to the President. The distasteful one is the one we are asked to pass to-day. That is the one about which the President himself has doubts. That is the one he dislikes. The President thinks he has got his price by eliminating the King and the Governor-General from our internal affairs. Even that is not an adequate justification for the act which we are committing to-day; for the act of voluntarily appointing the British King as the King of the Saorstát without the people having an opportunity of realising where they are going and what they are being asked to do. We have here a dismembered Ireland. We have Twenty-six Counties functioning under a status which is certainly not a status of complete independence. We have another Six Counties torn from the motherland. They are maintained in that mutilated position by the intrigues of the British Government and by the substantial subventions made to these Six Counties to maintain them in that association with Britain and its Imperial Government.

Is any effort being made to say to the British Government in connection with their desire to have this legislation implemented here that they must do something on their part to end the partition of this country? Have they been asked to use their influence with their friends in the Six Counties to bring partition to an end? Has any proposal been made to the British as the price of asking us to pass legislation of this kind for their benefit? There is a situation to-day that is full of possibilities, possibilities for the reopening of our whole relations with Great Britain, possibilities for still further reducing the number of shackles that are contained in the Treaty so far as national independence is concerned. Instead of utilising this opportunity to regain for this country the status of Document No. 2, which is the President's own creation; instead of endeavouring to utilise this situation for this country as a means of ending partition and utilising it for other possibilities we are asked to-day to pass this Bill for the appointment of a successor to Edward VIII. We are asked to pass this Bill to-day without any of these opportunities being grasped, without any explanation from the President as to the direction in which his mind is moving in the matters and without the plain people being given an opportunity of realising to what they are being committed and the ultimate consequences to the people of the act which is being committed in their name to-day.

Here we have a situation where a King, thrust upon the people, has definitely declared of his own choice that he does not desire to continue in that position. The King has broken the link. The link can be allowed to remain broken so far as this country is concerned. What is the need to repair it now? What is the need to repair it on a Saturday? What is the need for giving the craftsmen such a short period in which to repair the change? Yet, that is the very act which this Parliament is being asked to commit to-day. The King has voluntarily ended his monarchial régime here. The people ought to get time to consider that position. They ought to be given an opportunity, free from the sensationalism and vulgarities of the last few days, to review the position, to look upon the matter dispassionately and coldly, free from the sensationalism of the Press, and decide for themselves what is the best course for this country to take irrespective of the course other countries desire us to take. The President wanted to say yesterday that the line I indicated in this matter was one of openly declaring a Republic. The President must know that even the adoption of this line means no such thing.

The Deputy might develop that a bit.

The President wants to say that, if we do not appoint a King now, this country will become a Republic without any formal declaration by the President. Suppose that was true, is the President taking objection to that? Suppose that position automatically followed an Act of the British monarch voluntarily committed by him, that his action resulted in the creation of a republican situation here, is that something that is distasteful to the President? I say that even then the President is not going to get a Republic with that case. The British Government and the other countries in the Commonwealth must know that an unprecedented and un-paralled situation has been caused by the abdication of the British monarch; and as a result of his abdication, the various countries in the Commonwealth are being asked to enact special legislation. The British Government ought to know, particularly from the intimation which the President said he conveyed to them in respect of the new Constitution, that asking this country to enact that kind of legislation is asking this country to do something which I am perfectly sure the British do really know is distasteful to the national consciousness of the majority of our people.

Could not the President say with every reason and with every truth that this is the first time the people of the Irish Free State have been asked voluntarily to appoint a successor to his Britannic Majesty? Could not the President say that, having regard to the feelings of the people, and to the Government's intention to introduce a Constitution providing for an enlargement of our national rights, that is not an issue which he thinks could be submitted to the people with the speed indicated in these Bills? The President could clearly point out to the British that this is an unparalleled, an unforeseen and an unprecedented development so far as our people are concerned and that they must be given an opportunity to consider the position calmly and dispassionately. That opportunity is not given to the people by passing this legislation in this hasty way. Every atom of reason is on the President's side if he tells the British that there must be no rushed legislation so far as our people are concerned. The President has every argument in his favour if he says that this is something new and something distasteful to our people. The President has every right to claim for himself, for the Government and for our people an adequate opportunity of considering the new position. But the Government has not had that opportunity, the Legislature has not had that opportunity and the people have not had that opportunity. Evidence of the inadequacy of the consideration which the whole matter has got is to be found in the fact that the legislation introduced has been admitted by the Government to be faulty in some respects even before it has actually been tried.

There is no reason for passing this Bill to-day. This Bill need not be passed with this speed. The people of the country ought to be given an opportunity of considering this matter and expressing their viewpoint on it. Every Deputy ought, when exercising his vote on the issue before the House, to be in a position to say that his vote and his action here are in accordance with the feelings of the majority of his constituents. Can any Deputy say that? Can any Deputy say that there is a majority in this country to-day for passing this Bill with this haste? Deputies have not had time to discuss the matter with their constituents. They have had no time to garner views as to the propriety or otherwise of passing this legislation. Deputies who are voting on this Bill are exercising, in the main, their own individual judgment, because the Bill is being rushed through this House with a haste which has prohibited them from obtaining any real consensus of opinion as to the views of their constituents.

I could understand the need for introducing legislation to deal with a catastrophe or to avert a catastrophe. This is neither dealing with nor averting a catastrophe. So far as the Irish people are concerned, there ought to be abundant opportunity given to them to consider the position which has arisen out of the events in Great Britain within the past few days. We did not cause that situation, and there is no reason why we should be asked to repair it with the haste which characterises this legislation. I say that if this Bill is passed by this House it will be passed without any consent from the people. It will be passed by the vote of individual Deputies who have had no opportunity whatever of sounding their people or feeling the pulse of the country. This Bill, if it is going to go through, and every other Bill that goes through, ought to be fortified with the moral authority of the people. Can the President say that this Bill has the moral authority of the people behind it? Have we now got to a stage of passing Bills without the moral authority of the people and in defiance, I believe, of the declared wishes of the overwhelming majority of the people?

If the President wants to test whether this Bill is a right and proper Bill, whether it is a Bill that is in accord with the desires of the people of this country, let him take off the Whips to-day and see whether it can get a free vote in this House which will carry it to the Statute Book. The President knows that a Bill of this kind could not be carried to the Statute Book by a voluntary vote. The President knows that there has been no time to garner the opinions of the people as to what they desire in connection with the situation created by the abdication of King Edward VIII. I pleaded yesterday, and I plead again to-day, for time to consider this matter, for time to enable the people to make up their minds, for time to enable them to realise where they are going and to realise what they are doing. I say to the President, and to the Executive Council, that there was no need to introduce this Bill to-day; that there is certainly less need to pass it to-day, and that it should be adjourned until the normal reassembly of the Dáil in February. In the meantime, the people will have an opportunity of realising what they are doing by enacting this Bill. At all events, the House ought not pass a Bill to-day to provide for the voluntary appointment of a successor to King Edward VIII without the people being given an opportunity of expressing an opinion on the question. The President, I think, holds the view that the people should be consulted on important constitutional matters, and that their views should be obtained, particularly in regard to legislation which involves important constitutional changes not covered by the mandate secured at the previous election.

Here is an opportunity for the President to test out his views in that respect. The people are being asked to do something now that no Parliament since 1922 has been asked to do. They are being asked to declare voluntarily that the Act of Settlement is in operation in this country, that the Act of Succession is in operation here notwithstanding the odious conditions attaching to these Acts, and that the country is to-day voluntarily prepared to appoint the successor to King Edward VIII. Are not these issues of tremendous importance to the people, are they not issues upon which the people should be consulted, are they not issues upon which the people should not be muddled? The speed with which this legislation is to be passed is virtually muzzling our people. I say to the President that he has no mandate whatever, and, least of all, a mandate voluntarily to appoint a successor to-day to King Edward VIII, that he has no opinion from the country such as would justify him assuming that he has that mandate, and that on an important constitutional issue of this kind the obvious duty of the President is to take the people into his confidence and to consult them on it. The best way in which the people can be consulted is by the Referendum at which this specific issue would be the only issue so that a clear-cut opinion could be got from the people. There is no need for this haste; no need for this speed. I do not know whether the British ever demanded this speed and this haste, but, whether they did or not, they ought not to be allowed to get away with asking our people to pass legislation here that is not fortified with the moral authority of the people. The British should be told that this legislation which we are being asked to pass is distasteful to our people, they should be told definitely that, so far as the Executive Council is concerned, the people must have an opportunity of considering the whole position calmly and dispassionately before they are rushed into passing legislation of this kind.

I plead with the President for delay, and for an opportunity to let the people realise where they are drifting by enacting this legislation. I suggest that if the President agrees to that the people will exercise a judgment upon this question that will not be in conformity with the provisions of this Bill. There is no reason why this Bill should be passed to-day by the Saorstát Parliament. There is no reason why it should be passed without knowing the views of the people. If we want to be respectful to the views of the people, and to have some sense of national dignity, the House should refuse to pass this Bill to-day. It can remain over until the Dáil reassembles in February, when we can look at it with fresh minds, with minds unclouded by the sensationalism of the past few days and, in the meantime, the people will have an opportunity of considering their position and the direction in which they are being asked to travel, if they are to link themselves with this Bill. These are important considerations which should weigh with the President. Seeing that he has given the House no reason for passing this Bill, and seeing that it must be a distasteful Bill to the President and to his Party, I hope he will consent not to proceed with its enactment until such time as Deputies are fortified with knowledge of what the people desire, knowledge that will be in tune with their aspirations.

I think I have seldom listened to more unadulterated nonsense than the speech we have just heard. The Deputy seems to have missed the vital points that should impress themselves upon the consideration of the House and to have completely misunderstood the essential points in the Bill before it. I agreed with Deputy Norton yesterday when he stressed that we should confine our attention to what was immediately urgent in view of the crisis which had arisen. I take that view still. I congratulate the President on having made two important things perfectly clear to-day. He brought before us to-day a position which is, to my mind, immediately and urgently necessary, namely, that we should accept of our own accord the abdication of King Edward VIII. That is necessary. The King expressed the wish to abdicate, and it is for us, on our part, immediately to accept that abdication, if we wish to do so. I take it that we do so wish. That I contend is urgently and immediately necessary. Deputy Norton failed even to appreciate the information which the President gave him yesterday, and did not appreciate the fact that this Bill is not one which appoints a new King in any sense of the word. Two points were made perfectly clear by the President, one, that we have removed the King from the Constitution here, and that in so doing we have removed the King from certain Acts of Parliament which became our Acts under Section 73 of the Constitution. It is those Acts which determine the new succession which comes automatically into operation under these Acts, whether this Bill passes or not. This Bill has nothing to do, as Deputy Norton seemed to think, with the succession. It is clear, as the President said yesterday, and as he repeated this morning, that that Act of Settlement is one of our Acts and fixes the succession, and so long as the section which has been brought before us to-day remains unadopted that Act of Settlement and the succession, as determined through it, remain in operation. Therefore, I contend that it is our first duty to adopt the amendment which the President has brought before us to-day and to put specifically into law our acceptance of the abdication of King Edward VIII.

In that connection, it is not unimportant to notice a point made by Deputy O'Sullivan. I do not refer to it for the purpose of obstructing or delaying—far from it. If we are doing a thing, we ought to be careful to see that it is done in an orderly way. I suggest that, following on the amendment the President has proposed, a further amendment is necessary in the title. This is a formal matter, if you like. I doubt very much whether it could be held that, under the title of the Bill, the amendment the President has proposed is in order. I do not wish to raise the point of order at all. I think it would be wise if an amendment of the title were made so as to preclude any possibility of the amendment being out of order. The amendment does refer specifically to certain purposes other than those connected with external relations. The title of the Bill definitely refers to external relations. I suggest that the President should extend the title of the Bill so as to put beyond all question the point to which I have referred. I do not wish to cause any delay and I do not make that point by way of obstruction. It is, I think, a point of substance, as regards order.

The President has gone very far in appreciating the difficulties—genuine difficulties—which were present to our minds yesterday. I appreciate that disposition to satisfy difficulties as regards legislation when genuinely raised. I am very strongly of opinion that the Bill is very much improved by the amendment suggested this morning. To my mind, these amendments have clarified the position immensely. It seems to be rather fashionable to-day to clarify things and prevent for arising. I do not think that it is possible to stress too strongly that this Bill is not a Bill which, in a sense, appoints a successor to King Edward VIII. If we pass this Bill, we shall do two straightforward things. We shall, on our part and of our own free will, accept the abdication of the late King. We shall appoint to the new King certain functions in relation to external matters. That is all that this Bill does. It does not ratify any appointment and it does not make any appointment. It deals entirely with functions, just as yesterday's Bill dealt with functions. It was my contention yesterday—I have exactly the same view to-day—that removing the functions did not remove the entity—that, although we had deprived the King of certain functions attached to him in our Constitution, the King remained. The King remains as such and will remain until we pass an acceptance on our part that he, as King Edward VIII, is no longer the King of this State. Therefore, I contend that it is urgently necessary that we should to-day pass into law this Bill embodying the amendment which the President has proposed to us.

The nature of the amendment introduced confers, in our opinion, a character on this Bill which entitles it to pass to-day. We are clearly of opinion that the clarifying character of that amendment is a desirable thing and that to prevent its passage to-day would be gravely to embarrass the carrying on of government in this country. I agree that the point made by Deputy Thrift in regard to the long title of the Bill may be significant and, if the Executive Council desires to introduce an amendment directed to rectifying the long title of the Bill with a view to making the instrument effective, it will meet with no opposition from this side of the House.

There is much in the four short sections of this Bill deserving of criticism but the fact that, in its entirely, it regulates things that stand in need of regulation, makes it essential that it should pass. Therefore we shall not divide against it. Its introduction to-day has produced from the leader of the Labour Party a speech which, in my opinion is about as disreputable a performance as I have ever listened to in this House. To have the time of the House wasted and the functions of the House degraded by such performances makes one almost despair of public life in this country, more particularly when one reflects that, if Fianna Fáil were the Opposition to-day and we were the Government, that speech would have been punctuated with applause from every backbencher of the Fianna Fáil Party. Not one of them but knows that. I can only hope that that deplorable performance of Deputy Norton to-day will serve to enlighten them as to how contemptible that kind of fraud is and will teach them in future, when they have to carry on the Opposition in this House, that the Opposition have as grave responsibilities, in their own sphere, as have the Government Party. If Deputy Norton's observations have contributed to that lesson, then, humiliating as they must have been to the Labour Party, they have done some service to the public life of the country.

I wonder if the President of the Executive Council is in a position to tell us to-day whether any consultations with the other members of the Commonwealth have taken place in regard to what we are now doing. I have a feeling that Deputies on the Government side think they have a kind of duty in this matter to take a leap in the dark, that it would be some kind of high treason to find out what they are doing, that it is absolutely essential, in order to vindicate the memory of Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet, that we should legislate in this House with the zealous resolution that we shall not know the consequences of what we are doing until we have done it.

Anything else would be unfree.

That seems to be a wickedly irresponsible attitude to take up. The President of the Executive Council, when asked the question whether it was the policy of the Executive Council to sever our connection with the Commonwealth of Nations, said categorically "No"; that it is not the intention of the Executive Council by these Bills to sever our connection with the Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth of Nations is founded on the principle of consultation and co-operation. That is the very essence of the association.

How can any rational man suggest to us that it would in any way derogate from the national status, or the sovereign independence of the Irish Free State, to take the ordinary prudent precautions that any State would take to ascertain what the likely consequences of its action were going to be, and must it not gravely reflect on the respect which our people ought to have for parliamentary institutions if it is brought home to our people that, in matters so crucial as those with which we are dealing, we all of us proclaim that we do not know the exact nature of what we are doing. We do not know but we want to know. The Government does not know and it is determined not to find out. The Labour Party, according to its leader, does not know and does not care.

In connection with yesterday's Bill, I asked the President to abandon his well-established practice of deceiving the people. We are familiar with the habits of continental dictators——

The Deputy is, and of one at home, too.

——and it is to be observed that whenever they desire to cover up the evil consequences for their own people of some of their previous actions, they start a stunt, and the explanation that the people get of what that stunt is really meant to do very frequently bears no relation whatever to what the stunt, in fact, is going to effect. Now I submit that the President of the Executive Council at the present moment is speaking to the Irish people with two voices. He is in this House where his observations are subject to comment and criticism. He is reported in to-day's Irish Press as saying that the effect of this legislation simply was “that they were clearing up the constitutional situation and making it clear to everybody what the situation was. They were removing fictions.” That is what the President said when he introduced the Bill. Now let us examine what the President says when he publishes his newspaper the following morning.

To refer to newspapers as official documents is an undesirable practice. If any Minister of this House is connected with the directorate of a paper he is not responsible in that capacity to this House. Newspapers are not official documents.

In case there should be any misunderstanding, may I say that I have had nothing whatever to do with what is in the newspaper. I did not write anything in it and I have not read or seen the paper yet.

Ascribe it to the Party fogmakers.

I take it that I am not to be precluded from quoting from a newspaper?

If the President says that he has not written or read what appears in the newspaper mentioned the article cannot be quoted as being the President's.

I am quoting it as the opinion of the newspaper of which the President is a director, controlling policy. I fully accept that the President has neither written nor read this article. I do not allege that this article was written on the President's dictation or suggestion, and I am prepared to believe that the President does not intend to read it fully.

The Deputy sees the difficulty. If the Deputy reads an article from one newspaper as expressing a Minister's view, 20 newspapers may be quoted in this House with equal authority and, I suggest, equal irrelevance. What relation has the article to the matter under discussion?

I do not quote this as the President's view or as a view which he accepts. I do quote it as one of the extraordinary phantoms which have emerged from the fog the President has been responsible for creating. The President's words in engendering the fog were that "they were clearing up the constitutional situation and making it clear to everybody what the situation was. They were removing fictions." Out of that fog emerges the following amazing article:

"A Great Advance.—A marked and far-reaching advance towards realising the ideal and the reality in concrete form of Irish nationhood was taken yesterday in the Dáil when one Bill was passed and another introduced which will be passed to-day... It will be admitted that these are great and revolutionary changes which are now or which will by to-morrow be the law of the land."

"Clearing up the Constitution as it is and removing certain fictions." The President is reported in the Irish Press this morning as having said that yesterday. The leading article goes on:

"This the Government have now done, but they also came to the conclusion that it would be expedient when dealing with the matter that other changes should be made which would establish the uncontrolled and unfettered authority and jurisdiction of the Free State Government in all internal matters. In pursuance of this policy they have now established the most democratic system of government perhaps in the world, and, not merely that, but they have made as the foundation stone of the Constitution the sole and sovereign authority of the people of the Free State in every sphere of life and activity."

"Clearing up the Constitutional situation as it is and clearing away some fictions." Was it the intention of the President, when he introduced this legislation, to state the constitutional position as it was and as he knew it to be, and to clear away what he knew to be fictions; or, was it his intention so to bewilder his more gullible supporters as to induce them to indulge in extravagances of that kind?

Would the Deputy quote from the Ballaghadereen Echo?

Which did the President intend to do? I think the President did intend to fool his own more gullible supporters into believing that he was making some fundamental change in their lives. The Governor-General has signed the Bill which we passed last night and it is now law. I want to put this question to Deputies in the Fianna Fáil Party: Do you all feel freer in consequence of that? Is the country burgeoning into new prosperity? Is there any change in this Chamber, in fact or in theory? Not the least. We are exactly where we were. No one knows that better than the President. He has removed the King, a symbol, from our Constitution.

That is not right; the King cleared out.

So far as our everyday lives go, the position to-day is exactly what it was before, because the thing which has been removed was the instrument of the people's will and had no function whatever that it could exercise except under the guidance and control of this House, representing the Irish people. But we removed that; we removed that in the knowledge that some of those symbols which had no positive effect on the everyday life of our people may very well mean the destruction of our membership of the Commonwealth of Nations, which no rational member of the Fianna Fáil Party wants to bring to an end.

No inconsistency now.

None; does not the President see that? The President sees it, but he is praying to God that Deputy Seán Moylan will not see it. How does he expect Deputy Corry to see it? Deputy Corry does not know whether it is Christmas or Easter that we are approaching and the President banks on that. The President has behind him a Party who have no more notion of what he is doing at the present time than they have of what is in the mind of the Shah of Persia.

At the present time— you are quite right.

They have not the faintest notion.

Nobody else has.

I entirely agree with the Deputy. Nobody has an idea of what the President is up to. But Deputies will go down the country and protest that the King has gone——

That is a fact.

——and, in the enlightened words of this great newspaper, they will say "These are great and revolutionary changes."

And there will be cheers and shouts of "Up the Republic."

That is fooling the people, and the President knows it is. It is fooling the people the same way that the dictators of Europe fool their people when they want to whip up their courage. In my opinion it is degrading the good name of this country. I would have respect for men who weighed the consequences of declaring a Republic and, having recognised the measure of the material loss that such a course would involve, and the spiritual loss too, would go to the country and say "We are going to do it, or at least, if you want us to retain the powers of government, we are determined to do it." One can have no respect for a Government which seeks to drag our people along a course of action without inviting the people to envisage the consequences of what it is proposed to do and confronting them with a sense of duty and responsibility. The President cannot, or will not, tell us what he believes the consequences of these two Acts are going to be.

It makes me uneasy for the whole future of Parliamentary Government in this country to observe the attitude of the Fianna Fáil Party in dealing with a matter of this kind. They seem to have no sense of responsibility. They do not seem to realise what they are doing and they rather resent the suggestion that Deputies of this House should discuss or examine carefully the proposals before them. I now urge on the Government again that we should have a clear statement to-day from the Executive Council of what they consider the ultimate consequences of this legislation are going to be.

I would strongly urge on the President, in view of the fact that it is his declared policy to remain within the Commonwealth of Nations, to take the ordinary steps that membership demands, that reasonable consultation should be had at the earliest possible moment with our fellow-members with a view to preserving our association and with a view to avoiding a position arising in which we will be told that our continued membership of that association is no longer desired by our fellow-members. Disastrous as the severance of that connection would be for our country, I would much prefer that it should come by the voluntary act of our own people than as a result of a contemptuous expulsion by nations with whom we ought to have friendly relations and with whom we can have friendly relations if we only take the rational means of going about it.

Other speakers have directed attention to the fact that the measure before us to-day is the effective instrument for legalising the abdication and that the abdication was made the occasion of passing through this House yesterday a Constitution Amendment Bill which it is now admitted had no connection good, bad or indifferent with the abdication at all. If the President thinks that is honest, his conceptions of honesty and mine do not coincide. When this House rose last night, I venture to say that 80 per cent. of the Deputies in it believed that the Bill which passed through the House yesterday had something to do with regularising the abdication position.

It is noteworthy that at no stage of the debate yesterday was it said on behalf of the Government that it was not proposed to deal with the abdication in yesterday's measure and it is noteworthy that the Executive Authority (External Relations) Bill before us now was left in its ineffective form until the debate concluded last night and an amendment is brought in this morning to make it an effective instrument. The entire suggestion in yesterday's debate was that these two Bills together legalised the abdication, that neither alone would be effective to do it and that therefore there was urgency in securing the enactment of the two.

I think there are Deputies on the Fianna Fáil Benches so foolish as to think that kind of thing is cute. It is not; it is disastrous. Unless a democratic Government voluntarily submits itself to the parliamentary discipline of being compelled to answer questions, however inconvenient, truthfully, when they are addressed to them by the official Opposition in Parliament, parliamentary government cannot be carried on. We all know that parliamentary government is a difficult responsibility; we all know that it is easy for dictators to get through difficult situations because they need not answer questions and they can tell any lies they like and avoid a crisis by doing that. We all know that democratic governments experience, from day to day, the difficulty of appearing before Parliament and being subjected to interrogation. The very essence of good parliamentary government is that, if interrogation is made, truthful answers will be forthcoming. Quite frequently in properly run Parliaments the leader of the Government will address a confidential request to the leader of the Opposition not to ask him a particular question for the reason that it would be highly inexpedient that an answer should be published at the moment, and if both sides are carrying on parliamentary government in a proper way, such a request is gladly acceded to.

As you acceded to it the other night.

I said "if parliamentary government is carried on in a proper way." If the leader of the Government gets up here and, quite casually, says that previous confidences of his to the leader of the Opposition were published in the papers almost the moment he got them, and when asked to refresh our memory so that we could check up on it and correct the false impression in the President's mind, the President's reply is that he did not remember when it happened or how it happened or why it hap-pened——

If the Deputy was told that he had no right to speak here at all, would he consider that democratic government? The Minister for Finance told me last evening that I had no right to be here at all.

I hope the Deputy will have a full opportunity of speaking to-day. I am concerned more for the implications of these Bills than for the things they actually purport to do. The President, as Deputy O'Sullivan says, is sometimes given to making foreign gestures and smiling blandly, but surely he must realise that if he is going to take up the position he has adopted in regard to these measures and to the situation that existed prior to them, parliamentary government is going to become extremely difficult to carry on. He cannot carry on parliamentary government without an Opposition and he ought to know that. He ought to know from his own experience that the Opposition in this House passed through a trying time as Government, established a Government in this country in face of difficulties into which we need not go, and when the constitutional time came, vacated their position and handed over to him with the most scrupulous rectitude, a rectitude to which he was glad to pay tribute in this House. As leader of the Government, he has always got all the co-operation from the Opposition in this House he was entitled to expect. By his own actions, he is rejecting that kind of co-operation now, and, in the future, so long as we constitute the official Opposition here, the President will get all the co-operation that an Opposition ought to give, but he is making it more and more difficult to give it effectively by the attitude he has adopted.

It is only right to say that if we are to judge of the responsibility of the Labour Party by the kind of speech their leader made here to-day the President had better open his eyes to the fact that if this Party ceased to be the official Opposition, he would not be able to carry on parliamentary government at all, because if he adopted the attitude towards almost any body of men, that he adopts towards a body such as is constituted by my colleagues, who were largely responsible for founding this State, patience would have given up long ago. The fact is that this Party has shown a patience and a courage in carrying on parliamentary institutions which can only be accounted for by one fact, and that is that they built up the State and now feel it their duty to keep it standing.

Can the Deputy discuss any political subject without referring to the civil war?

I have no desire to refer to any war. I am now referring to the parliamentary institutions of to-day and to-morrow in this House, and I am making the case to the President that an absolute essential for their successful maintenance is that he should recognise that Parties, other than the Government Party, have a function in this House and that their rights and demands should receive respectful consideration. The Government has a right to demand from the Opposition reasonable co-operation, but that can only be got if both sides are prepared to play the game of democratic politics according to the rules. Unless the game of democratic politics is played according to the rules, some other system of government will take its place, and I do not believe that any Deputy wants to substitute any other system for parliamentary government.

The conduct that has surrounded the introduction and passage of these Bills has, in my opinion, done a grave disservice to parliamentary government in this country. I say that the Bill which we enacted yesterday and which is now an Act of this State was carried by fraudulent misrepresentation.

You refused co-operation.

The Bill debated yesterday is now an Act and cannot be commented on in that fashion. There is a place for testing the matter but not in the Parliament which passed it.

I do not desire to pursue that line, but yesterday the two Bills were connected and we were told they were interdependent.

I just want the Deputy to realise that one is now an Act.

One is now an Act, and the extraordinary situation is that we are now not in a position to refer to that Act which yesterday was represented as being an integral part of this Bill, but which to-day, it emerges has no relation to this Bill at all. I am primarily concerned in regard to the proceedings at present going on here for two things, and I believe I speak for this Party in that regard. They are (1) to ensure that neither of these measures operates to destroy our membership of the Commonwealth of Nations as a free, sovereign and independent State and (2) to ensure that what appears to us to be the entirely improper procedure that was pursued in regard to these Bills in their introduction by the Government will not become a precedent for future action, because, in our judgment, such procedure jeopardises parliamentary institutions in this country. On the first matter, we have repeatedly asked for assurances from the Executive Council and the President's reply is that he is not in a position to give any assurances because he himself does not know; that he communicated with one other member of the Commonwealth, and that he cannot remember what was the nature of the reply or whether there was any reply. He does not know whether the correspondence was written or not, and he forgets when it took place.

I did not say any of those things—not in that form, anyhow.

Has anything the President ever said been repeated by anybody in the form in which he said it?

That is the language of co-operation.

Let me put no false words into the President's mouth. The President made a certain statement about the correspondence he had with another member of the Commonwealth in reference to matters analogous to those referred to in these Bills yesterday. Has the President since yesterday been able to trace up the correspondence, verbal, formal, informal, written or otherwise, that took place with a view to refreshing his memory as to what actually did happen; and if he has, would the President be good enough to let us have, if it was verbal, a copy of his aide mémoire which doubtless exists in his office to remind him of what actually happened; if it was written, a copy of the correspondence; and if neither exists, then at least a verbal statement of his best recollection of the nature of the exchange, because that would be some guide to the House of what the probable, not inevitable and not certain, consequences of this legislation were?

The second thing I ask the President to do is to let us know in clear and categorical terms whether he thinks the procedure connected with the passage of this Bill and yesterday's Act are in the best interests of Parliamentary procedure in this country, and, arising out of that, whether, with a view to making the proper working of Parliamentary institutions easier in this country in future, he will say to-day whether or not he stands over his statement that the Opposition betrayed confidences which he reposed in them? If the President spoke in haste and said perhaps a little more than he meant to say, nobody is going to jibe or jeer if he gets up and says so, but the President must see that if we are paraded before the country as having received confidential communications from him and published them, it becomes impossible for us confidentially to co-operate with him ever again. We would not accept a confidence if it were true that we had ever betrayed a confidence. The President knows perfectly well that we never have.

We could take up the position of saying that so long as he said that kind of thing, we would have nothing to do with him. That kind of observation must precipitate war, and in a state of war you are not prepared to make any approach. Somebody must make an approach. I have not consulted my colleagues and I have not asked them to make the approach but I am going to make the approach now, and I ask, in the best interests of Parliamentary institutions in this country, will the President, if he is satisfied that that statement has no foundation in fact, withdraw it with the same publicity as that with which he made it? If it is not withdrawn, we cannot give that co-operation that we want to give and it is well that the country should know it. If it is withdrawn, we offer to give, as we have always done for the last five years, all the co-operation that the Government is entitled to expect from the constitutional Opposition. These are grave matters. Some of them we can resolve to-day; others we cannot, but I do strongly urge on the President that in regard to both these matters which I have mentioned, the House is entitled to a very clear and categorical statement from him. He is in a position to make a clear statement in regard to both these matters and if the best interests of the country are to be served, we ought to get it. As far as our connection with the British Commonwealth is concerned, let it be clear and definite that we are against anything which would impair or injure it. Let that be clear. Nevertheless, as this amendment is going into this Bill, and as the passage of that amendment is essential to the proper carrying on of the Government of this country, we shall not vote against the Bill to-day because, in order to deal with any objectionable items in it, it would be necessary to reject the whole measure and that would make the carrying on of Government here impossible for the time being. Therefore, accepting the responsibility of opposition, we recognise the Government's right to enact that amendment. A further opportunity may arise later, I hope, to examine the entire situation that arises out of these two Bills. Let us hope that these Bills may not have repercussions in a way that every Deputy in the House may have cause to regret.

Deputy Dillon put, once again, the very relevant question to the President why he thought it necessary to abstain from the sort of conference and consultation that is a necessary characteristic of the Commonwealth system. The answer that the President gave yesterday—I do not know if Deputy Dillon was in the House when he gave it—was that that would be an infringement of our freedom. I think that answer of the President should not be forgotten because it is a state of mind that crops up again and again in our external relations, in our relations with the other members of the Commonwealth, and the sooner its existence and its absurdity are generally recognised the better for this country. If Great Britain were going to turn herself into a republic to-morrow, her Government would certainly think it necessary before doing so to get into communication with the other nations of the Commonwealth. Does it follow that Great Britain is not a free country? During past years, and at this moment, Great Britain has been and is consulting other members of the Commonwealth about matters affecting their mutual relations. Does it follow that Great Britain is not a free country? If a man goes into partnership of any kind and agrees to act in a certain area of activity in consultation and conference with his partners does it follow that he ceases to be a free man? May it not be that that partnership has given him a greater scope, a fuller activity in this world than he would have without it, that his freedom, taken as a whole, has been increased and not diminished by the new status of partnership which involves obligations of consultation and conference?

The Bill that was presented to us yesterday has been changed into an entirely new Bill by the amendment which has been brought in to-day. The Bill as it was presented to us yesterday was, to my mind at all events, a matter of no urgency. It could have stood over until February or longer still, not only without disadvantage to this country but with positive advantage to it. But the Bill, as it now is, is on a different plane. Deputy Norton has argued that it could be left over to February or to some later date in order to give the people of this country full time to realise its implications. What status, I wonder, does Deputy Norton propose for this country during that interval? Is he prepared for those months to go out of the Commonwealth and accept all the logical consequences of being out of the Commonwealth? Is he prepared to see the people of this country, of every class, treated as aliens by Great Britain? Is he prepared to see the trade of this country subject to all the restrictions to which the trade of countries not in the British Commonwealth is subject? If he is, he should have said so plainly in his speech. I do not know whether he has given any consideration to the matter but, whether he has or not, I can only describe the way in which he has dealt with it as unworthy of the dignity of this House and unworthy of any Deputy claiming to be a responsible representative of the people.

Deputy Norton has said that this Bill is of far greater importance to the British than it is to us. Is that statement true? Any technical inconvenience that might be caused to the British by our refraining from passing this Bill could be readily remedied by them by immediate legislation in their parliament. I do not see that any suffering of a substantial character could be brought upon the people of Great Britain by our acting in the way which Deputy Norton recommends, but it is very clear that great suffering might be brought upon the people of this country by acting in the manner which Deputy Norton recommends. It is clear that if the stream of emigration to Great Britain were blocked up, our unemployment problems here would be greatly accentuated. It is clear that if the situation of 1934 were renewed, or if a situation worse than that of 1934 were created, with regard to our trade with Britain, the farmers and the whole agricultural community of this country would suffer acutely. It appears to me that the statement of Deputy Norton, that the passing of this Bill is of more importance to Great Britain than it is to us, will not stand a moment's examination.

Now, as I have said, the amendment which has been introduced to-day changes the whole character of this Bill. I still intensely dislike this Bill, but I agree with Deputy Dillon that it is no longer a Bill that a responsible Deputy can vote against. I would have voted against the Bill as it was presented to us yesterday, but although one cannot now vote against it one can dislike it, and I do dislike it. It is really turned into an extraordinary document, a hybrid document. The Bill that was wanted was a Bill consisting solely of the amendment that has been brought in this morning with certain excisions from that amendment. The Bill should have been this:—

"Immediately upon the passing of this Act, the instrument of abdication executed by His Majesty King Edward the Eighth on the 10th day of December, 1936, (a copy whereof is set out in the Schedule to this Act) shall have effect according to the tenor thereof and His said Majesty shall cease to be King, and the King shall henceforth be the person who, if His said Majesty," etc.

That is what the document ought to have been, instead of being a Bill both the short title and the long title of which proclaim it to be a Bill dealing only with external relations and matters connected therewith. I said yesterday that, in my judgement, if King George VI saw the Bill that was presented to us for the regulation of our external relations, his reaction would probably be: "Thank you very much, but I am not interested." What it was proposed to do was not to recognise him as in any sense the King of this country, whether for internal or external affairs, but to say that, having removed him entirely from our Constitution, yet, so long as he was recognised as King by certain other countries, we were prepared to delegate to him certain formal functions in connection with our external affairs as and when advised by the Executive Council to perform these functions.

The amendment that is now being brought in goes further, and it is really humorous to see the way in which it does that. The President is still, apparently, not prepared to say that the new King shall be King. What he does say is that his late Majesty "shall cease to be King for the purposes set out in the preceding sub-section"—these purposes that I have mentioned, namely, acting for us in certain formal functions concerning our external affairs—"and for all other, if any, purposes." It says "if any." Why "if any?" What is in the minds of the Government? Do they consider that there do exist other purposes or not? Is not this a typical example of the Government's habit of trying to have things both ways? They want to be in a position to say to their supporters in this country that the King has ceased to be King of this country, and they want to be in a position at the same time to say to the British Government: "We have not gone out of the Commonwealth; we are still in the Commonwealth, and we have arranged that the late King has ceased to be King not only for the purposes of this delegation of powers in the matter of foreign affairs, but for other purposes, if any, and that the new King shall be King for such other purposes, if any." If the Government took an honest view of their responsibilities they would make the situation clear alike to the people of this country and to the people on the other side of the water, and the situation ought to be the same in the eyes of the people of this country and of the people at the other side of the water.

Deputy O'Sullivan, in a very able speech, made one remark which I confess caused me some surprise. He suggested that this Bill was giving the King too much—giving the King something that the predecessors of the present Government had steadfastly refused to give him. So, at least, I understood him to say, and I confess that his remark occasioned some bewilderment in my mind. However, perhaps it will be elucidated by subsequent speakers on the Front Opposition Bench. I do think, however, that in considering this Bill, and in considering the joint effect of this Bill and the Bill passed yesterday, we ought to compare what is being done with what might have been done. I do not think that any Government, since the foundation of the Free State, has shown enough imagination in connection with the question of the Crown. I hold myself to owe a giance to the King of Ireland as an integral part of the Irish Constitution. I am not in the least attracted by delegating powers to a foreign King— not in the least attracted by it. I believe that the King, as King of Ireland, could be an instrument of immense value in many ways, but particularly in the matter of bringing Partition to an end. In taking that view, I believe I am in the right line of Irish national tradition. At a time when the prerogatives, the power, of the King were very much greater than they are now, a famous Irishman used the following words:

"When I talk of English influence being predominant in this country, I do not mean to derogate from the due exertion of His Majesty's prerogative: I owe him allegiance and, if occasion should require it, I would be ready, cheerfully, to spill my blood in his service; but the influence I mean is not as between the King and his subjects, in the matter of prerogative, but as between the Government and the people of England and the Government and the people of Ireland."

Later, in the same work, he uses these words:

"It is, therefore, extremely possible for the most truly loyal subject in this Kingdom, deeply to regret, and conscientiously to oppose the domineering of English influence, without trenching, in the smallest degree, on the rational loyalty, so long and so justly the boast of Ireland. His loyalty is to the King of Ireland."

Would the Deputy give the reference?

Those words are from the best, the most famous, of the works of Wolfe Tone, written in the plenitude of his powers, and the reference is to pages 348 and 349 of Volume I of the Washington edition of "The Life of Wolfe Tone."

I think Deputy Corry wants to know who is Wolfe Tone.

Nor were these words merely words. Wolfe Tone made full use, so long as he could, of that conception of the King as King of Ireland. He organised a petition to the King. He went over to London and joined in the presentation of that petition to the King, and by means of that contact with the King of Ireland he secured reforms and alleviations for the Catholics of this country that the Parliament in College Green had refused them. It is one of the tragedies of history that the march of events— the outbreak of war between Great Britain and France, the frantic alarm caused by that war and by the increasing atrocities of the French Revolution —should have divided the people on different lines, should have broken up the unity that Wolfe Tone had established with the people of the North, and should have driven himself into rebellion.

That precedent set by Wolfe Tone was carried on by subsequent Irish leaders under most unfavourable circumstances. The circumstances have ceased to be unfavourable. It is a well-known fact that at the time when the Parliament of Northern Ireland was opened by King George V, King George discarded the official speech which had been prepared for him to utter on that occasion, and had a new speech drawn up, in which he expressed the hope that the day would come when all Irishmen, North and South, would be working together for the good of Ireland.

I venture to suggest that, from the very moment when the Free State was established, every effort ought to have been made not to throw the Crown into the background but to make the most of it; not to treat the Army as a republican Army and have a state of things prevailing where officers of that Army would not be present when the toast of "The King" was drunk; not to have a state of things prevailing where the Governor-General could not have "God Save the King" played in his presence. Without any of that sort of silly adulation of monarchy that we see in the popular Press of Great Britain, which I would be the last to wish to see here, we ought to have realised that the Crown offered immense possibilities for securing the unity of Ireland, by treating it as the Crown of Ireland and not as a foreign institution.

My fundamental objection to the President's whole phylosophy of external association, and to the terms of yesterday's Bill and this Bill which is proposed to-day, is that we are turning the King so far as we can into something foreign, into something that can be of no use to us for the purpose of securing the unity of Ireland. For my part, I conceive it to be infinitely more in accordance with national dignity that the King should be functioning as an organ of our Constitution, as an integral part of our life and our political organisation, as King of Ireland, than that we should treat him as somebody foreign, to whom we depute certain external functions. I regard the position created by the President's measures as one less in accordance with the dignity of this country, and offering infinitely less hope for the future of this country, especially in relation to its unity.

The Bill as amended is not, to my mind, a clearer Bill than the Bill as presented yesterday. I think that the Bill as presented yesterday was pretty clear, although it did not have the effect of dealing with the situation created by the abdication of King Edward VIII. The Bill as presented yesterday was one which, in my opinion, would have definitely put us out of the Commonwealth, and would have resulted in King George VI declining with thanks to perform the functions which we were good enough to suggest that he should perform. The Bill as amended is a Bill facing both ways, designed to pacify the British sufficiently to prevent them from throwing us out of the Commonwealth, and at the same time to enable the Government to say to the people of this country that there is no longer any King of Ireland.

It was interesting to hear the leader of the Labour Party to-day giving the Government another lambasting with his tongue, and it will be interesting to see if he will do the same thing as he did yesterday. He and Deputy Davin protested yesterday against the short time they had to consider the Bill which was disposed of yesterday.

To consider this Bill.

Deputy Davin said that it would require very serious consideration by expert lawyers, and he pleaded that at least the week-end should be given. He admitted—it was perfectly obvious—that he did not understand the implications of the measure which was passed into law yesterday. But the Labour Party followed the Government Party into the Lobby to vote for the Bill which they did not understand, and the implications of which they could not follow. I suppose they will do the same thing to-day. As Deputy Dillon has said, we regard at least one portion of this Bill as essential. I think it would not take my colleague, Deputy Dan Morrissey, very long to persuade the Chair that the proposed amendment is completely out of order. We do not wish to make that point. We merely mention it for the purpose of emphasising the fact that this measure was brought in in an ill-considered fashion, without the Government or their advisers themselves having properly or adequately considered the situation.

It was perfectly clear to us that Section 3 (2) of the Bill as it stood yesterday, did not in any way not merely recognise but regularise the abdication of the King. I indicated yesterday that we agreed with the President that it was essential for the maintenance of the supremacy of this Parliament that we should ourselves pass a Bill dealing with the situation created by the abdication of the King. I entirely disagree with the views put forward by Deputy Norton on this subject—that we are by our act to-day in a hurried fashion electing the British King as King of Ireland. We are doing something in the exercise of our sovereign rights as a sovereign Parliament which we are entitled to do and which we ought to do, so long as we remain a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. It would have been more proper, I think, if instead of the procedure which was adopted yesterday to consider the question of a Bill dealing with the removal of the name of the King from the Constitution, that a Bill would have been brought in dealing solely and only with the situation created by the abdication of the King. A Bill comprising any section other than what will be comprised in this Bill in Section 3 (2) with the amendment which is to be proposed by the President is necessary. If such a measure had been brought in yesterday very little time would have been spent upon its consideration, and it would have been more in accordance with constitutional usage and practice if some arrangement had been come to with the countries of the British Commonwealth agreeing to this and agreeing that an instrument necessary to give ratification to the documents signed by the late King would come into operation simultaneously. That would have been the proper procedure. We were faced last night with the fact that the King had abdicated under the provisions of the British Parliament. So far as this country is concerned he has not abdicated yet. That is not a situation that should have arisen. It is not necessary to spend any further time on this Bill.

The very fact that we are here engaged on this Bill is in itself a very significant manifestation of the powers of this Parliament. If anybody had said in 1925 that it would have been possible for the Parliament of any member of the British Commonwealth of Nations to pass on its own mere motion and of its own volition, legislation in any way dealing with the Crown or a section of the Crown, that would have been regarded not merely as a constitutional heresy but as something approaching high treason. To British constitutional lawyers such a procedure was unthinkable. The fact that we have now every subjective matter that can be dealt with by a Legislative Assembly, within our own complete control, ought to demonstrate to the people of this country— even those who are so blind that they will not see—that under our position in the British Commonwealth of Nations we are as free and freer than many of the biggest republics in the world.

This Bill, apart from being an act that was necessary by something outside our own control, proposes to do something in addition. It proposes to confer authority on the new King and his successors to act in international affairs on behalf of this country. To my view these provisions in this Bill are completely and absolutely unnecessary. Even though yesterday's Bill has now become law, the King is taken out of the Constitution in name at least—though incidentally I still think he is there though not in name. But even if he is taken out in every place where his name or the name of his representative occurs there would have been no necessity whatever for the passage into law of Sections 1, 2 and 3 (1) of this Bill. The situation in reference to international affairs could go on just as it went on before this Bill becomes law. No new advance in the constitutional position of this country in reference to its external affairs and international affairs is achieved by Sections 1, 2, 3 (1) of this Bill. No new power is conferred on this country; no new status is acquired by this country in international affairs by the provisions of Sections 1, 2, 3 (1) of this Bill. I agree with Deputy J.M. O'Sullivan that in fact these provisions of the Bill are retrogressive. Sections 1 and 2 are completely unnecessary. They represent what merely is the present situation and the present practice; why it should be deemed to be necessary to put them into the Bill passes my comprehension. They merely express the existing practice, the existing state of affairs and the existing law of the country. Whey then put them into a statute?

Section 3 is a most extraordinary section and I am not at all sure that on its strict legal construction it may not have the effect which would, I am sure, be very welcome to some members of the Fianna Fáil Party and some of their supporters throughout the country. In fact, the effect of this Bill which is to give us half a Crown is that it gives no Crown at all; for the phrase in Section 3 (1) which purports to confer functions on the King in external affairs may in fact have the effect of there being no King at all in this country because the authority that is conferred upon the Crown by Section 3 (1) subsists only so long as the King, represented by these nations, namely, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and South Africa as the symbol of their co-operation, continues to act on behalf of each of those nations.

We are only authorising the King to act on our behalf so long as the nations of the Commonwealth recognise the King as their symbol of co-operation. Once these nations cease to recognise the King as their symbol of co-operation, the authority of the Crown to act for us automatically ceases by statute. Now, the nations of the Commonwealth never recognised the King as the symbol of their co-operation. Therefore, if this Bill passes into law as it stands at the present moment, this statute purports to state a fact which has no existence either in law or fact. We propose solemnly to pass an Act of this Dáil stating that we will allow the King to act for us in external affairs so long as the other nations recognise him as the symbol of their co-operation. But they do not recognise the King as a symbol of their co-operation. Therefore this Act never can come into effective operation and, therefore, the King cannot act at all in external affairs with the authority of this Bill, when it becomes an Act. This State achieved, as I stated to the House yesterday, something which was generally regarded as an achievement of surprising importance when it was agreed to by all the nations of the Commonwealth. We achieved that in the Imperial Conference of 1929 and in the Imperial Conference of 1930. We achieved this, that the meaning of the Crown was the symbol of the freedom of our association. The Crown so far as it existed at all in reference to the Commonwealth of Nations was the link of cobweb weight binding the nations in the British Commonwealth of Nations. That was the symbol of freedom in that association of sovereign independent States. It was the symbol of the freedom of our association. That was recognised by agreement by the nations of the Commonwealth including Great Britain. That was formally and effectively recognised by its place in the preamble of the Statute of Westminster. But it does not derive its effect or such operation as it has from being placed in or being a part of the Statute of Westminster. It derives its effect from the solemn agreement of the nations of the Commonwealth including Great Britain.

It is the link which binds them in this League of Nations. The link which binds them in this League is the symbol of freedom, the symbol of our association of which they are part. Why do we go away from that link so solemnly agreed upon at the Imperial Conference of 1929 and at the Imperial Conference of 1930 and so solemnly recognised by the British Parliament in the preamble to the Statute of Westminster? The present Government is ashamed of the phrase that the Crown is the symbol of the free association of the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Will the present Government or any of its advisers show me in any document, in any agreement, or in fact in the statement of any statesmen in Great Britain anything to show that the Crown is not the symbol of our free association? The link of the Commonwealth of Nations is free co-operation, and symbol of the Crown symbolises that co-operation.

Are we ashamed of the fact that the Crown is the symbol of our free association? Is that the reason why this phrase finds its way into this Bill? I venture to say that there is not one of the States-members of the British Commonwealth of Nations who would accept this statement here that is pushed upon them without consultation with them—that they recognise the King as the symbol of their co-operation. There has been no co-operation with the Dominions, with the other States-members of the British Commonwealth of Nations in reference to this Bill. Without telling them what we were doing in this, we are pushing over upon them something which they never have stated and which I believe they never will state—that the Crown or the King is the symbol of their co-operation.

I should like to know from the President what is the meaning of this insertion, what is the meaning of this departure from what was so solemnly set down, so solemnly agreed to, after, let me say, a very, very hard fight indeed. What is the meaning of it? It must have some significance. It will have some significance in law at some stage or other. Before we make such a radical change as that the House is entitled to know where it is going and what this is going to lead to. There is in the affairs of the British Commonwealth of Nations a principle known as the principle of consultation and conference. That is the principle, as I outlined yesterday, which was substituted for the old scheme by means of which the countries formerly forming the British Empire are bound together. Those countries known formerly as the British Empire were kept together by the whip of the Dominions Office, by the instrument of the Colonial Laws Validity Act, and, chiefly, by the extraordinary power exercised over their internal and external affairs by the British or, as it was then called, the Imperial Parliament.

As the result of the Imperial Conferences of 1926, 1929, and 1930, the Colonial Laws Validity Act was swept away, the power of the Imperial Parliament was swept away, the power of the Dominions Office was completely swept away, and it was recognised that each of the Parliaments of the States-members of the British Commonwealth of Nations had precisely the same sovereign power as the British Parliament. So clearly was it recognised that this Parliament, for example, has the same power as the Parliament of Westminster, that fears were expressed that we here in Ireland would pass laws which would be binding upon the British people in Great Britain. We have power to legislate extra territorially and the question was put to us "If we recognise the powers that you seek for your Parliament, will you not be in a position to legislate by your Parliament for the people of Great Britain, that legislation having effect in Great Britain"? Notwithstanding that, it was recognised that we had that power, and we are as sovereign as the Parliament at Westminster.

But in order that these very extensive powers should not be exercised in a manner that would be arbitrary or that would prejudicially affect the interests of the other partners in this League of Nations known as the British Commonwealth of Nations, it was agreed that there should be consultation and co-operation in matters of common concern, or in matters where the interests of one particular State might be affected in any way, or might be thought to be affected in any way, by the action of the legislature or the Executive of another State. In order that such a state of affairs should not cause friction, it was agreed that, instead of the old checks and all the other powers and whips of the British Parliament, the British Dominions Office, and the British Governor-General, the principle of co-operation should be adopted between the Governments. The Crown came into it not at all.

This Bill is bringing the Crown into close connection and connotation with the principle of co-operation and consultation. It has never been, so far as I know, and I challenge the Government to produce any authority for the proposition that they propose to give statutory effect to in this Bill—that the Crown was the symbol of their co-operation. The Crown, as I said, is the symbol of freedom of their association. We were proud of the achievement of the recognition of that principle. A real understanding of the recognition of that principle by Deputy Norton would have prevented the type of speech to which we listened to-day and would, in our view, still make abundantly clear to the people of this country the position that we have under the Treaty as a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, which, incidentally, is not a Commonwealth of British nations, as one that makes for greater security for the freedom of this country, that secures greater freedom for the democracy of this country than any other system that could be devised.

This principle of the Crown as the symbol of our freedom and of our free association is something that had never been thought of before in the history of political science and it would be difficult to find something that would replace it. That symbol, as the symbol of our freedom, does not interfere in any way with the exercise by the people of this country of their completest freedom, with the exercise by the Irish people, through their representatives in Parliament, of any particular freedom that they wish to exercise. It interferes with them in no way, good, bad or indifferent. Anything that is substituted for that scheme will inevitably eat into the freedom of the ordinary decent Irish person and take the ground from under democracy as we understand it at present. In passing this Bill these are the dangers that we have to apprehend. I cannot go into that to-day, but I do think it is worth while for any Deputy to try and understand what was achieved at the Imperial Conferences, particularly in reference to the Crown.

I do not agree with Deputy MacDermot, whose knowledge of constitutional law is not wide or profound, that we ought to treat the Crown in the way he suggested we should treat it. We treat the Crown in the way that it was treated at the Imperial Conferences as the result of years of hard work and of hard fighting, when it is reduced to the position of being a symbol of our freedom, something of cobweb weight. We heard talk to-day about striking the shackles from the feet of this nation. The shackles which are supposed to exist on the feet of this nation can exist only, if I might mix the metaphor, in the minds of the people who talk about such shackles. There are not any such thing as shackles on our freedom at present. Our operations yesterday and to-day are the clearest demonstration to the people that that is the position. The sooner we recognise that fact, the sooner we recognise that we are completely free, that we are freer, in fact, from outside interference than some of the greatest nations in the world under the system of polity in which we live, the better it will be for the material and for the spiritual prosperity of this country.

The last thing I want to mention on this Bill has reference to a question raised by the President, in answer to the points made yesterday, that the Act of Settlement and the Act of Succession are not parts of the laws of Saorstát Eireann. I disagree with the statement that these laws were brought over to this country, if ever brought over at all, by virtue of Article 73 of the Constitution. It is certainly a novelty for the President of this particular Executive, formed from the Fianna Fáil Party, to say that the Act of Settlement was law on December 6, 1922, that it was law in this country immediately before the Treaty was signed. I would have expected a different position to be taken up on the Statute Book of this country and recognised as the legal position in this country. Be that as it may, the position in my view, for us, is that, so far as regards these laws applying to the Crown and succession to the Crown, they are operative in this country, if at all, by virtue of Articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty and not by Article 73 of the Constitution. Articles 1 and 2 are well known to everyone and I will not repeat them. The Treaty was given the force of law in this country by the Constitution. It no longer has the force of law in this country. I want to know, if I am right in my view—if Article 73 did not bring forward these laws, and if Articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty did bring them over, if ever brought over—how we are going to operate Section 3 (2) of the Bill if we pass it into law, because the succession to the Crown hence forward, so far as this country is concerned, is to be governed by the laws of Saorstát Eireann?

Will the Deputy say how?

I stated, when discussing the Statute of Westminster in 1929, and the events leading up to the Statute of Westminster, that so far as I was concerned as a delegate of this country, I had no interest, good, bad or indifferent, in the Crown, in the succession to the Crown or in the laws relating to the Crown. The one thing I did want to secure, and that we did secure through the efforts of Deputy McGilligan subsequently, was that it would be perfectly clear that if we liked we could pass laws in our Parliament dealing with the Crown and succession to the Crown. We had no intention of doing it.

I said to the representatives of Great Britain at that time—I am not quite certain whether I was quite right or not, but I think I was right—that if we were ever going to declare a republic in this country we were not going to do it by Act of Parliament. So far as the question in regard to the Crown and successsion to the Crown was concerned, it was one in which we were not interested. The one thing we were interested in, the one thing we intended to secure, and did secure, was emphasised here yesterday and to-day, and that particular provision was dear to the British Government, that the British Crown and Parliament should not be exempted from our legislative capacity. We have control over what is the dearest thing to the British constitutional lawyer, the laws of the Crown, the succession to the Crown. This Parliament can do anything it likes. It was the maintenance of the supremacy of the Irish Parliament we were interested in securing by the agreement at the Imperial Conference of 1930, as witnessed solemnly on the part of Great Britain in the Statute of Westminster.

The Attorney-General

Deputy MacDermot and, I think, Deputy Norton have represented that the Bill under consideration, as it appears to-day with the amendments, is quite a different one, that it is substantially different from the Bill introduced yesterday. I think that when Deputies peruse the document unamended, and peruse the amendments, they will probably agree with me—including many, I trust, on the benches opposite—that the only difference between the document as it was yesterday and as it is to-day is that with the amendments it is a longer document. We are trying to do with far more words something that we attempted to do yesterday in the Bill which was then produced for the consideration of the House.

It is an effort at verbiage. The Minister was arguing against that last night.

The Attorney-General

I rather think that Deputy McGilligan has come to my aid with a very apt phrase, and that there is really no difference between the two documents from the point of view of the ordinary Deputy. Deputy Norton probably is delighted that we have introduced the amendments, because they make the Bill longer.

Will the Attorney-General allow me to explain? I do not think he heard what I said. I did not make the slightest reference to the amendments at all, or to the effect on the Bill introduced yesterday. What I said was that apparently there was such speed in introducing this legislation, that the Bill was being amended even before it got a Second Reading. I did not say the amendments affected the Bill in the slightest. The Attorney-General I think has unjustly imagined that I did. Deputy MacDermot did.

The Attorney-General

Deputy Norton has asked permission, if such were necessary, to correct me. I not merely allow correction but I hunger for it, if I err as regards anything I say. I thought quite mistakenly that the amount of labour on the part of compositors—at I trust, adequate wages— that would be produced by the longer Bill was gratifying to the Deputy. I have not taken down the Deputy's words in full, but I made jottings which I think represent the substance of what he proceeded to emphasise, that all this was the product of haste, and lack of thought, and that that was shown in the Bill considered yesterday that is now an Act. He said that flaws had been discovered in it up to the last minute and that objection thereto had been admitted to be correct. I would like to allay any apprehension if any words of mine can help to allay it in that respect. Deputy Norton was referring to the point raised here at a late hour last night by Deputy Lavery. Deputy Lavery I believe made the point with the object of assisting this House. He made a point about the position of the Chairman of the Dáil which, at first, appeared to me to have something in it. Accordingly, I said that, for greater caution, I would recommend the House to cover up that point in case there was anything in it. I do not know if Deputy Lavery discovered last night—probably Deputy Norton did—that there was nothing in that point. I pass from that. Perhaps I have said enough about this amendment and the elongation of this Bill.

As regards the constitutional position in respect of the succession to the British Crown, I am only stating the obvious when I say that I am not a profound, constitutional lawyer. I have neither a wide nor a deep experience of constitutional law. I have been interested in, and have tried to understand, the arguments advanced from time to time and the speeches made from time to time to elucidate the constitutional position of this country. This year, last year and in 1923 I read and listened to a great deal of explanation as to how the State that came into existence under the Constitution of 1922 was grafted on to the condition of affairs existing here in 1920. I have listened to arguments as to whether it was so grafted on or whether there was a break. There is a great deal that is interesting in that connection. I have read with the greatest interest—I say this in all seriousness—the learning of Deputy McGilligan in that regard. It is to be found in a speech which the Deputy made in this House and which I shall take the liberty, with the permission of the Chair, to repeat for the information of Deputies. Whether what Deputy McGilligan said on that occasion is sound and accurate or unsound and inaccurate, I can give no guarantee. It seems to be, at least, very plausible. The occasion was a motion by Deputy McGilligan, then Minister for External Affairs, on the 16th July, 1931, as follows:

"That Dáil Eireann approves of the report of the Commonwealth Conference, 1930, and recommends the Executive Council to take such steps as they think fit to give effect thereto."

Deputy McGilligan had necessarily to make a fairly long speech but I think the extract from that speech which I propose to read for the information of the House is not in any material way affected by any context in the rest of the speech. In volume 39 of the Dáil Debates, column 2302, Deputy McGilligan's speech is reported as follows:

"The law, the legal position, is being made to square with the central and predominant political fact of absolute freedom and unequivocal co-equality. And in the light of that conception of the matter, the recital relating to the Crown is inserted. The States of the Commonwealth control the Crown and the prerogatives of the Crown absolutely—but the Crown function is accepted in the arrangement to which we have become parties. You could not, therefore, have a series of Acts of Parliament throughout the Commonwealth dealing with, say, the succession in different ways. That would be undesirable. The function of the Crown may be exercised in a different way here from that in which it is exercised in Canada; that is a matter of the substance and form of the advice given here and that given in Canada. You could legislate for the Crown here in a way different from that in which it is legislated for in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom might, e.g., restrict a certain Royal prerogative by statute. The Oireachtas might abolish the same prerogative so far as the Irish Free State is concerned. There is no doubt whatever about that. But there had, in the nature of things, to be some arrangement to prevent the whole association from being confused within itself by conflicting legislation as to such a matter as the succession. The association is a free association. Freely, therefore, the members of it undertook this arrangement relating to the Crown which is the symbol of the free association of them all."

It strikes me as good sense that, if there is a convention between a number of nations that they are to have some person carrying this symbol of a Crown—which I think Deputy Costello told us was precisely the weight of a cobweb—there will be confusion if you introduce more than one human being—if you introduce plurality. Accordingly, I commend this Bill to the House as a Bill that is necessary, owing to the events which occurred within the past week, if the confusion to which Deputy McGilligan alluded in that speech is to be avoided.

There are only one or two other matters with which, I think, I should deal. I am not proposing to deal with the general considerations which have been discussed by various speakers. I shall, like the respected cobbler, stick to my own last as closely as possible. So far as I know, the only other topic of a legal nature dealt with was contained in the references by Deputy J.M. O'Sullivan, Deputy Norton and Deputy Costello to the Act of Settlement. It may be within the recollection of Deputies that, when I was asked yesterday, I intimated it as my view that the Act of Settlement, in so far as it is consistent with the Constitution of this country, came into the law of this State by virtue of the provisions of Article 73: that is, the carry-over Article of the Constitution. Deputies probably are familiar with the contents of that Article, but with your permission, Sir, I will read it:—

Subject to this Constitution and to the extent to which they are not inconsistent therewith, the laws in force in the Irish Free State (Saorstát Eireann) at the date of the coming into operation of this Constitution shall continue to be of full force and effect until the same or any of them shall have been repealed or amended by enactment of the Oireachtas.

I still think that in this State, working under that Constitution, the laws were brought in by virtue of Article 73.

Would the Attorney-General read Article 8?

The Attorney-General

Certainly Deputy Costello at one time, I thought, intended to suggest, or to allege, that the Act of Settlement was not law here at all. I wondered on what basis that could be advanced here, and I was, therefore, very interested when Deputy Costello told us his view to-day. As I understand it, Deputy Costello's view is that the Act of Settlement was brought into the law here, but that it was brought in by virtue of clauses in the Treaty.

He did not say that. He said the machinery was brought into operation by the Article of the Treaty, which is a different thing from saying that the Act of Settlement was brought in.

The Attorney-General

I genuinely fail to understand how the machinery of the Act of Settlement, or any part of it, could be brought in here unless you brought in at least some part of the Act of Settlement itself. Deputy McGilligan may perhaps elucidate that when he is speaking. I got the impression that Deputy Costello agreed that the law came in, but that he did not agree that it came in under Article 73. On the contrary, he strenuously denied that it came in under Article 73. Deputy Costello is generally recognised as a most distinguished lawyer. He filled for a long period the office that I happen to fill now. He had peculiar opportunities for considering all these matters, and, of course, I am impressed by the view that he advances, but I am not convinced—I am not even shaken in my own view— that they come in under Article 73. I told the House, and I adhere to my own opinion, that they come in under the carry-over clause. It is not a matter upon which I would flatly contradict Deputy Costello. Deputy Costello has given the House his opinion. I am giving the House my opinion in connection with it. Deputy McGilligan has suggested that I should read to the House Article 8. It is in the following terms:

"Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality, guaranteed to every citizen, and no law may be made either directly or indirectly to endow any religion, or prohibit or restrict the free exercise thereof or give any preference, or impose any disability on account of religious belief or religious status...."

That is the point. Article 73 speaks of laws that are not inconsistent with this Constitution, and this Constitution has in it that phrase.

The Attorney-General

Quite so. Members of the House will probably remember that the view I have repeated is that the Act of Settlement, to the extent to which it is not inconsistent with the Constitution, would appear to have been carried into the law of this State by the Constitution. Now, I will not allow myself to wander into the position of somebody who held a brief to argue that the Act of Settlement, to the fullest extent, is law in this country. There may be provisions in it affecting ordinary persons that do not apply here at all. As I say I am not arguing for this Act of Settlement. If Deputy Costello, or Deputy McGilligan, are able to persuade a competent judicial authority, dealing with a concrete case arising under the Act of Settlement, that the Act of Settlement does not apply in this country I am not sure that if I have any money left I will not join in a public subscription for a testimonial or statue, or whatever they would like, to perpetuate their memory: to add them to the list of our national heroes, and, therefore, when I mention certain aspects of this as matters that will have to be considered I am not suggesting any view as to these particular points.

Deputy McGilligan is probably familiar, perhaps more intimate than I am, with all that line of legal authority and legal dicta as to the extent which the Crown, by any British statute or any statute operating on a British model, can be bound by the terms of a statute unless specially named. There is no use elaborating that. I venture to think that no Deputy would be anxious that I should spend, as I could spend, two or three hours trying to expound that. It is a rather dry-as-dust affair, but still it is familiar to every practising lawyer, because it arises in the consideration of various matters such as preferential payments when a man becomes bankrupt: whether the ordinary law, dealing with the order in which creditors can get paid in those circumstances applies to the State, as successor to the Crown, or whether it is not altogether outside it, because it is not named.

It would appear to me, from a careful persual of the Constitution—I invite correction from anyone who thinks now that he is in a position to correct me or has matter with which to correct me—that one cannot find anything in it that specially names the Crown, that specially names the King and says you are to take away from him something which would appear to be carried over and which Article 73 attributes to him, or release him from some condition that Article 73 would appear to carry over and place on him. Unless the Act of Settlement to some extent was brought in here, I am a little bit puzzled as to how, some six or eight months ago, King Edward VIII succeeded King George V. The House is aware that the dynasty, the members of which have occupied the Throne of England pursuant to the Act of Settlement, has not been carried on by virtue of an hereditary right. The members of that dynasty have occupied it—I am paraphrasing it and, I hope, correctly—because there was a statute passed in the nature of a settlement. There were two or three statutes, but I am giving the combined effect of them. The first of them declared that the Throne was vacant and then it proceeded to settle that Throne on a series of persons in succession, with limitations over one after the other who would not be, by what in ordinary parlance is called an hereditary right, entitled to it at all. Consequently, it seems to me that it is by virtue of these statutes as mere instruments that any member of the House of Hanover occupied the Throne or bore the weight of this cobweb symbol to which Deputy Costello referred.

I think I would not be justified in occupying the time of the House in reading certain statutory conditions that are, according to the words of those statutes, by English law, by British statute law imposed upon the wearer of that Crown. I have them available and I am quite ready to read them, but I suggest to the good sense of the House that no public purpose can be gained by going into that. I cannot see how it is relevant.

Except if they are Irish statutes. Why call them British if you say in this Bill that they are Irish statutes?

The Attorney-General

I think the Deputy will probably agree with me that one cannot call them anything except British statutes. Whether Deputy Costello is right that they are brought in here by the Treaty, or the view I expressed is right that they are brought in by the Constitution, they still remain British statutes and nothing else.

They are called in this measure the law of Saorstát Eireann—in this Bill we are discussing.

The Attorney-General

The Deputy's correction of me was for the use of the descriptive phrase "British statute" which I did not use for any oratorical purpose but merely as the only precise description of the matter to which I was referring. If, in relation to this State, it were to become necessary to consider the applicability of those statutory conditions imposed by the Act of Settlement and the statutes associated with it; if it were necessary to consider whether they apply here and to consider whether, if any of them applied that might be objectionable to a large section of sentiment in this country, the question of repealing or amending them should be thought of—if I were to take part in that discussion, I would like to take part in it after I had devoted to the preparation of my speech thought, research, and time that I have not devoted to it for the purpose of to-day's debate and that I could not have devoted to it owing to more pressing work.

I have brought certain documents with me and I will read any expression that Deputies may desire. I shall read, if desired, the conditions imposed by these statutes. Let it not be suggested that I omit to read them because the language, that seems a bit out of date, sounds somewhat offensive, unnecessarily offensive to-day, and uses, incidentally, words that have never been defined by a court. If anyone thinks any purpose is to be gained by my going into these 18th century statutes, I will do so, but I shall not do it uninvited. I will read them, but I will offer no view as to the extent to which they are applicable here. I will leave that to the courts, if the occasion arises. That is all I have to say. I think I have referred to these technical points that have been raised and with that I leave these other broad, general considerations that have been touched upon to Deputies in the House who can deal with them, perhaps more eloquently than I.

Is this the only amendment that is to be brought forward? Is there any consequential amendment arising out of this?

The Attorney-General

No, not in connection with this Bill.

There is no question of the Title or anything being changed?

The Attorney-General

No. The Title is to be left as it is.

There are one or two points that might be made, now that the Attorney-General has spoken. I think the Attorney-General could have devoted himself to an explanation of the different phrases used in the sections of this Bill. The first section is divided into two sub-sections. In the first sub-section the phrase is that diplomatic representatives shall be appointed "on the authority of the Executive Council." When we come to the second sub-section, the phrase takes a new turn. The consular representatives are to be appointed "by or on the authority of the Executive Council." The Attorney-General could have devoted some little time in regard to this effort at verbiage in order to explain why the bare phrase "on the authority of the Executive Council" is used in the first sub-section and the phrase "by or on the authority of the Executive Council" is used in the second sub-section.

I offer an explanation. There is no attempt being made to assert that the diplomatic representatives of Saorstát Eireann in other countries will be appointed by the Executive Council. There is no attempt being made to assert that because it could not be done. They are going to be appointed on the authority of the Executive Council. When we come to the consular representatives, this Bill sets out what is the practice. They can be appointed by the Executive Council. Presumably, they will also be appointed on the authority of the Executive Council. The distinction made by the dropping of the words "by or" is an important point in so far as it shows that this Bill merely marks time. To no extent does it enlarge the powers of the Executive Council of the Free State. It marks no advance on the position prior to this being brought in.

When we come to the second Clause, we deal with international agreements. Just as the first Clause was split up into diplomatic and consular representatives, the second Clause might have been split up into governmental agreements and other agreements and then, of course, the same phraseology would have been used. The governmental agreements would have been "by or on the authority of the Executive Council," and the others would have been "on the authority of the Executive Council." I again want to have marked clearly the distinction that there are certain international agreements that may be made only by the head of the State and certain others— definitely and clearly, trade agreements—can be made by the Executive Council, but in the confusion of this effort at verbiage, there is something to be made clear. Those two sections fall each of them into two divisions. With regard to the matters that would be in the first, whatever is done will be done on the authority of the Executive Council, but not by the Executive Council—it will be done by the head of the State—and whatever is to be done under the second category, whether an international agreement of the trade type or the appointment of consular representatives, will be done by the Executive Council and, presumably, with the authority of the Executive Council. That is the situation as it was and the situation as it has been for a good while. That is the situation that would have continued if this piece of verbiage had never been enacted. The Attorney-General was correct in that—this is an effort at verbiage so far as Clauses 1 and 2 are concerned.

I am very interested, however, to find that the Attorney-General, possibly as a result of the speech of Deputy Norton, makes an attempt to rally the Republican spirit, if there be any left, of his supporters by saying that this amendment adds nothing to the measure. It does not. If we are going to discuss words and their import or their lack of meaning, why have we in the new section a phrase which says that not merely is there to be a king for the purpose of the foregoing sub-section, but for all other, if any, purposes? What does that mean? Why was it brought in? What has there been put into the control of the king, under advice, in addition to the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives and the conclusion of international agreements? Does the President think there is anything else, some residue of matter which he wants to envelop? Does he ever think, for instance, of such matters as a declaration of war, matters that will arise out of a declaration of war, and statements with regard to neutrality? I do not mean merely playing a defensive part, not taking an active part in war, but a clear cut declaration of neutrality such as would be recognised in international law? Is that one of the matters under this phrase "all other, if any, purposes"? The Attorney-General says that this is verbiage. It is nothing of the sort, and at this point, I think it is pertinent to make this comment. The President yesterday suffered from a remarkably defective memory. If anything has happened since the debate yesterday or this morning, his memory must be on it. He says that this is brought in because doubts were created in the House yesterday. Was there no friendly touch last night?

With anybody?

I do not mean the initiative taken here?

Is our London representative in London?

I do not know where he is.

Where has he been for the last fortnight?

Has he been kept here?

I am not going to answer any further questions like that.

There is huggermugger and hiding——

——in connection with this whole matter. It is undignified that our very efficient representative in London should really be in hiding. I could use much more undignified language suiting the situation, but I refrain from it out of regard for him personally, but the condition of things that has been brought about in the last fortnight has been disgraceful. It is necessary under the circumstances, because the President cannot face boldly up to the responsibilities, clearly understand and state where he stands and let us have a representative authorised to deal fully with any matter that might arise. The representative would not go beyond what he was authorised to do, but it would be a task of great difficulty—possibly, an impossible task—to brief anybody on what the President wanted to be done in the circumstances of the last ten days. There is a dejected party in the background this morning. I understand that it is one of the well-known features of the new process of immunisation much practised by medical men at the moment that the first dose of inoculation makes people seedy for a bit. The "King culture" has been injected by the President's hand into his Party. They will probably recover their brisk vigour in a day or two when they get into the healthier republican air of the country and away from the somewhat monarchical atmosphere of Government Buildings at the moment.

Let there be no mistake about this, and I speak as welcoming this: There is undoubtedly in this measure for the first time—and I want to dissociate myself entirely from the type of language I understand Deputy Norton used in the House this morning—a definite embracing of the monarchy on the President's initiative, and he does that on behalf of his Party, the Government. Once we have taken that fence, once the Party are definitely and safely, without any spilling and without any loss of their members, on the other side of the fence, let us see, if we can, where we are. We either reinstate the monarchy or we establish it by these sections and we do it under peculiar conditions. It is limited by circumstances, and, so far as phraseology goes, limited by time. I think the time and circumstances are to be read together. The circumstances put a limit on our use of the monarchy—so long as Saorstát Eireann is associated with the following nations...—and on that we have a right to speak because it depends upon our own initiative. We can withdraw from that association at any moment and we always could have. So long as, by our own act, we continue with them, something follows.

Then we go on further and here we get what I am going to apply the phrase "somewhat impudent" to. I take that phrase from the President himself. At the time our Nationality Bill was under discussion, he stated that if anybody asserted anything with regard to our internal structure here and the way we manage our own affairs, it was impudence. Look at this for impudence—"So long as the King recognised by those nations as a symbol of their co-operation continues to act". When did any of these nations ever declare that they recognised the King as the symbol of their co-operation? I know of only one statement that has been put on record.

These nations have put on record this: "The recognition of the Crown is the symbol of free association." I do not know if there is any sanctification given to any phrase other than that. These nations have met from time to time and made a great many declarations. There was none put forward and adopted by them with such accuracy and solemnity as this particular one. That was what they, by their representatives at Imperial Conferences and afterwards by enacting Acts varying in the different circumstances of their own countries, adopted as the phrase—"the symbol of free association"—the free association of the members of the Commonwealth. We leave that and say: "so long as the King recognised by those nations as the symbol of their co-operation continues to act." We do not put that in any hypothetical way. That is the basis of the whole thing. We give to those people a slogan they have never adopted and we tell them that as long as they continue to adopt that slogan, which they have never yet accepted, we will do the same thing. Yesterday we had a discussion about the use of the word "organ." Why here, when there is a phrase ready to hand, a phrase which none of these nations had objected to use in regard to themselves—at least they accepted it in regard to themselves—do we depart from this clear phrase "symbol of free association" and come to "symbol of co-operation?"

I do not know that we have any right to use that phrase because it is not used merely in regard to ourselves. It is used with regard to the other five that are mentioned. What right have we to say to them: "We assert in a statute, that you are recognising the Crown as a symbol of co-operation and so long as that holds, the King continuing to act for these various purposes, we will continue to have him also." If we are going to have a phrase brought in, with a sort of limiting effect in a statute of this Parliament, surely we ought to adopt the same phraseology used and accepted by these nations themselves? Of course we had not any time because we were rushed into this matter without even announcing to these other Dominions what we intended to do. We might have got their approval of this phrase. We were told yesterday by the President that there would be no chance of communication with any Government except one. That seems to be wrapped in mystery, if ever there was a deep mystery.

Does the Deputy say that there is a difference other than that of words?

I could think of a great many synonyms for "symbol of free association" other than this but why when these nations have allowed that phrase to be used so long in regard to them, do we get another label? Is there anything objectionable in the words "symbol of free association"? Is that what is the matter? Deputy Moore might describe himself as an ardent republican but I might use another phrase about him. If I introduced him to a company with my label instead of his own, he might be annoyed. I could put many glosses on the phrase "ardent republican" in connection with Deputy Moore but surely he would not like being presented to a company and my being allowed to fix the method of his introduction? He would object very much more if I limited his activity by the phrase which I applied to him. At any rate for what it is worth, there it is.

I do not know why we get away from the words "symbol of free association." Why use any phrase? Why say anything more than "symbol," leaving each person to read into it whatever he likes, but we go on and put in the phrase "symbol of co-operation," that phrase never having been used heretofore. It is not used in any document that I know of and we are not told that it is used in any document that has recently come into existence. We know in fact that these words have received no sanctification because the President has not been able to get into communication with these people. However, suppose it is there. I am on the point that the Attorney-General has made that there is no difference between the Bill presented to us this morning with the amendment and what we had last night. We set out to declare that "so long as the Saorstát is associated with the following nations ... and so long as the King recognised by those nations as a symbol of their co-operation continues to act on behalf of each of those nations... for the purposes of the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives and the conclusion of international agreements, the King so recognised may and is hereby authorised to act on behalf of Saorstát Eireann for like purposes" under advice. The like purposes were confined to the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives and the conclusion of international agreements. Sub-section (2) of Section 3 took that up: "The King referred to in the foregoing sub-section of this section shall for the purposes of that sub-section"— the purposes being the appointment of consular and diplomatic representatives and the conclusion of international agreements. That was yesterday's Bill. To-day it is: "Immediately upon the passing of this Act, the instrument of abdication executed by His Majesty King Edward the Eighth on the 10th day of December, 1936...shall have effect according to the tenor thereof and his said Majesty shall, for the purposes of the foregoing sub-section of this section, and all other (if any) purposes cease to be King and the King for those purposes shall henceforth be the person", etc. Previously it was for the purpose of the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives and the conclusion of international agreements. Now it is for the purposes of the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives, the conclusion of international agreements, "and all other (if any) purposes."

The Attorney-General

These words are added?

I am asking why? The people who brought in this must have some reason.

I thought the Deputy was pointing out some very important difference, as well as a verbal distinction.

If the Attorney-General with all his years of learning and authority at the Bar tells me that the addition of the phrase "and all other (if any) purposes" adds nothing to the previous provision, I shall listen to him.

I invited the Deputy's illustration of how in fact these words are different.

Is there any substantial difference? Why are they brought in? Why did not we leave it as it was? Will I be allowed to move that we strike out "and all other (if any) purposes"? Would there be objection taken to that? Can we be told what would be subtracted from the powers we want to give to the King if the amendment were not passed? Surely the essence of Parliamentary institutions is that the people who propose an amendment state the reasons for proposing it. What are the reasons for bringing in these words "and all other (if any) purposes"? Is there anything gained by it? Remember previously we had the matter very definitely restricted to the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives and the conclusion of international agreements. Now, the section is wide open as far as external matters go. Does the Attorney-General see no difference between a clause which says that we are going to have a certain named person as King for the purpose of the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives and the conclusion of international agreements—that is one restricted narrow series of activities that we give to that person—and an amendment to that section by which we are recognising him, not merely for these functions but for "all other (if any) purposes". Is there really no difference between the two provisions? Is it suggested that there is no difference, for instance, in the case of a declaration of war, a matter that would certainly not be governed by the provision dealing with the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives or the conclusion of international agreements?

Is it in "all other, if any, purposes"? Surely, it is? Was there intended, first, to be a change made with regard to that—a declaration of neutrality would be the same thing, or a variety of things such as the matter of contraband and every thing else of that kind, all turning on this question of a war period—was it intended previously to have operations in regard to that matter conducted otherwise than through the head of the State, and has there been a change, and, if so, why the change? I refuse to believe that these words are merely an effort at verbiage. I refuse to believe it. Whether they are intended to cover something else or not, it is clear that they have, even if only in a vague way, definitely enlarged the scope, and what we may see fitted into the scope of that enlargement, time alone will tell. I do not think, however, that any argument could be made touching the point that a phrase limited by three particular points, and that phrase, with those three points in it and this enlarging phrase following it, are the same. I do not think any argument could be made that the two sets of phrases are the same.

I did suggest last night that it was possible that we would find, after the first Bill was signed, that King Edward VIII had not abdicated as far as this country was concerned at all; and that—I do not know why—has been brought in now. Is it a mere matter of care, such as the guillotine which came to his aid, which prevented the Attorney-General from exercising his powers last night, and that he wanted to sleep over it? He has apparently thought better on the matter overnight. Supposing we leave this thing over for another day, perhaps it might be found that there is no necessity for it. The Attorney-General could devote a few more nights to sleeping on it.

The Attorney-General

Perhaps I was misled with regard to the international situation by things the Deputy said.

At any rate, the Attorney-General, evidently, gets on much better in connection with matters of this kind when he has had time to sleep on it. His mind, apparently, operates better in his sleep than when he is awake. This is a big thing, and I suggest that the Attorney-General should think over this matter in that way for a few days and sleep on it some more, and maybe it will not be necessary, particularly as he appears to have some doubts as to whether the addition of the phrase "all other, if any, purposes" does anything.

The Attorney-General

I would refer the Deputy to what he said in 1931, with regard to the confusion of things that might arise, in a speech of his that I have read.

And in order to avoid confusion the Attorney-General brings in words that he cannot explain.

The Attorney-General

I am suggesting that the Deputy should remember what he said in 1931 about avoiding confusion.

Well, I am going to come to that in a moment, because it is amazing to find people to-day applauding what I said in 1931. I should have preferred them to applaud me when the matter was hot in 1931. While I am on that point, however, the present Minister for Industry and Commerce denied at the time that the whole operation destroyed British legislative supremacy in the Commonwealth and held that it was carefully drafted to preserve the legislative supremacy of the British Parliament; and the Minister for Finance, then Deputy MacEntee, was very much agitated about the religion of the King. To-day, under the persuasive powers of the Attorney-General, the Minister for Finance does not seem to regard it as of any consequence. In fact, I heard him helping the Attorney-General, by an ejaculation with regard to citizenship, to get over a difficulty and to let the Attorney-General make it quite clear that there was nothing inconsistent with the Act of Settlement and the thing that Deputy MacEntee so abhorred in 1931 about the religious question. There is nothing inconsistent in his mind on that point now, it seems.

Yesterday, I did express the view that, possibly, King Edward VIII might be found not to have abdicated, so far as this country is concerned. Apparently, there is at least some doubt in that matter, and, to put the matter absolutely beyond dispute, we have this. It is still remarkable that the abdication and the succession—we can call sub-section (2) the succession part of this—do not appear to touch the whole root of the matter. We attempted to pluck from the King certain functions in this country. Apparently, it was believed that by doing that we destroyed kingship in this country in everything except external relations. I wonder did we succeed in doing it? Certainly, there was no clear-cut and definite repeal of the authority of the King by such a phrase as "all other, if any, purposes" which is used here. In our internal relations, we were satisfied to take the King from the Executive, from the Legislature, and his representative from a variety of clauses. Is there a residue still, and in regard to that residue of those powers, have we now completely mended the breach in the succession under Irish law and put in the new King instead of Edward VIII?

It is quite possible that this addition that is being made here this morning was not required, but, at any rate, the addition has done this for us: it has made clear and precise that we do want the King to have other functions than the appointment of various people and the conclusion of international agreements. I believe that would have flowed—in fact, I am advised that it would have flowed, to put it that way —from the preservation of the monarchical system in the country. At any rate, however, we have this—and the Attorney-General ought to be thanked by a succession of Republicans afterwards for doing it—that we have made it clear that we want the King not to be limited in his powers, with regard to external matters, to the appointment of various representatives and the conclusion of international agreements, and I suggest, with an ulterior motive, that this might well be postponed for a day or two because we might find it better to do so and, when the Attorney-General and the whole Party has slept over it, the President might find it easier to put over, to get across his supporters something that would make even still more precise the functions that he wants the King to have in the country.

Up to date it was easy enough to start off with this kind of thing—which was purely of a camouflage variety— of putting in two clauses that did nothing except write down existing practice, and then proceed, or pretend to proceed, to the limitation of the powers of the King to that. It might be better—it is sometimes better—to be precise, particularly when you are giving functions and powers of this sort, and I think it would be better, if it could be done, that we should find out what is in this phrase, "all other powers, if any," and write them down instead of having this vague matter of simply saying: "We give you these stipulated powers and anything else in the field of external relations that arises." It would be far better if we could write it down. If it did nothing else, it would lead to clarification and might serve as a sort of a cold douche. A cold douche is a good thing for some people, and if it were to be poured out of half-a-dozen or more jets, instead of through only three jets, it might have a far better effect. It is a great thing for people to get a cold douche from time to time, and I am sure that the cold douche the Attorney-General has had has done him good, because he looks the better for it already. Accordingly, it might be better from the point of view of legislation in the future if we could get this matter clarified once and for all.

I do not intend to go at any length into this matter of the Act of Settlement—whether it is the Irish law as it is described here to-day; whether it was the Irish law heretofore, or whether it was not. We know now, in any event, where we are. Nobody hereafter can query the position. This Bill, which has on the back of it the President's name, puts it beyond all doubt. The Act of Settlement is the law of Saorstát Eireann. I am not saying that that is any change, or, if it is a change, that it makes any difference, but certainly there was for a long time a reluctance to accept that as the fact. There was this position taken up, that if the constitutional machinery of the King was possible to be operated here in any other way than through a recognition of the Act of Settlement as being the law here, carried over by Article 73, then it was better done that way. I think there is at least a foothold of argument with regard to the other way. We accepted in certain clauses of the Treaty a certain individual thrown up by certain machinery. We were not concerned with how the machinery operated. We had that individual—I say it without disrespect—under our control. We could stop the operations of that individual at any time by an Act here. I never contemplated that the way in which the activity of the monarch in this country would be brought to an end would be by the repeal of the Act of Settlement, but by legislation directed to other purposes. I am not much concerned with what I believe Deputy Norton spoke about at great length to-day.

I certainly would feel if I were in the Attorney-General's shoes that I was not merely embarrassed legally—if I could ever be that—but might be embarrassed nationally in having to argue that the clear-cut terms of the Act of Settlement in certain disagreeable particulars are reconcilable, via Article 73, to Article 8 of the Constitution. I do not think that any quibbling, and I think it is quibbling, that Article 8 is confined—because the phrase occurs in it in the third line— to citizens, can cut out of this that Article 8 was intended to be one of the fundamental Articles of the Constitution, and was intended to make prevail here this situation, that no Acts would be passed here in which disabilities on account of religion were adhered to. I am sure the context of that Article involves not merely Acts passed here for the benefit of and imposing obligations on the citizens of this country, but operates upon legislation carried over, with disabilities in it, whether they are applicable to people who are strictly called citizens or not. It is certainly outside the mood and atmosphere of Article 8 that we are seriously considering the Act of Settlement, with its religious disabilities. I think Deputy Norton has tried to make into a sort of modern bogey what we have long since ceased to regard as having any terrifying effect at all. There are other English Acts that can be referred to where there were religious disabilities, and it may be that for the time being, until the matter can be codified in regard to those other statutes, people will have to shut their eyes to what would be, if brought out clearly, a breach of Article 8, and get the good out of what is in those things until the time comes when we can get them amended. I suggest that it is a dangerous thing, particularly in the mood that the President's Party tried to arouse in this country, to intermingle religion and politics. It is a rather dangerous thing for him to ask his Attorney-General to argue that Article 8 and the Act of Settlement are not inconsistent. If there is any other way other than that of establishing machinery in this country, that other way should be chosen, even at the risk of some anomaly, because the people are going to get by reaction a very extraordinary view of the weakness of Article 8 if a man with the authority and learning of the Attorney-General could be got to say here openly that he does not think Article 8 and the Act of Settlement are inconsistent.

I do not think that is really of any great importance at this particular time. What is of moment is the carrying on of machinery which, because of certain incidents on the other side, appeared to be on the point of breaking down. I want to add this, and I do it because I want to get clearly marked and to have clearly recognised just what has happened in the past day or two. There was a certain situation prevailing here; the monarchy as an institution had been accepted. There came a hitch, not by anything that happened here in the erecting of that machinery. If the President were sincere in the idea of his republican institutions, I suppose there was an opportunity presented to him with regard to republican institutions that any man believing in them would have regarded as heaven-sent.

Why would it be so regarded?

Because if the President had not taken positive action, nothing could have prevented from developing a non-monarchical position here.

What are we doing now that would prevent our doing that to-morrow?

I do not say we are doing anything. We always had that power.

Therefore, there was nothing in this heaven-sent opportunity?

There was. The circumstances were such that we were shaping towards that in this country, and the President by positive action has stopped the flow of events. I am glad he did. I am glad he has found it possible to face up to his responsibility and face towards his backbenchers. The other point has been made, as to what prevents our operating in a certain way in the future. The President has always created a certain bogey before himself. I do not think that anybody in the country apprehends what he apprehends in that connection. I know that he has addressed challenges to the British by statements in newspapers asking whether certain movements on this side would be regarded as so hostile that they would be met by aggressive action on their part—not of an economic type; aggressive military action was what was in his mind. I do not believe anybody thinks of those things except himself.

The President did make a distinction in regard to the economic privileges attaching to members of the Commonwealth. If it was only that, he said the people would be prepared to risk it, but he wanted a clear-cut statement with regard to something else. What was that something else? It was not all this talk which we have had about membership of the Commonwealth, and about the terms into which we will enter and so on. Anybody here will face up to the situation that this country is free at any moment to get out of that association. It can stay in it on terms. It can proceed by co-operation and a variety of other ways to get those terms enlarged. But the one thing I think is objectionable is pretending to object to the terms, and not operating that free right to get outside the Commonwealth altogether. That is the appalling hypocrisy which has been kept up for years in regard to this situation. I do not believe there is a soul on the opposite benches who believes that there would be a movement of any of the defence forces of England against this country if this country declared a republic to-morrow. I do not believe a soul really apprehends military action. The President says that if it were merely a question of being deprived of the benefits that accrue from economic association with those people he would be prepared to risk that, and he thinks the people would give their answer to it. The situation is there then for the President to operate on. He can leave. I certainly use again the word that I used previously. It is an impudence for us to say that we will remain on with the association and hang on to Article 1 but that we will be in on our own terms. Let us say we are out and out for all time, or let us say that we will submit to these terms. Let us say that we think that things in it are obnoxious and that we will try to get them enlarged. Pretending that you are being kept in by force and that you are kicking against being kept in is a picture that is presented in order to get popular acclaim but it is not a picture that can be put forward with truth or honesty to-day.

One of the difficulties in discussing Bills of this nature introduced by the present Government is that we know that the President always tries to have two contradictory things operating in the same Bill. For instance, when faced with the situation of the King's abdication he was put in the position of being morally forced to take some positive action with regard to the King. Up to the present his line was that the King was there because of our inheriting him and that he could not take steps to remove the King. Consequently when faced with this position he set about it in an astute way. He proposed to have one Bill providing for the King's abdication, but when providing for the King's abdication he had a Bill providing for his successor. As the end to be attained by legislation was to provide for the new King and the occupant of the Throne, he sought to have a counter-blast to that by the Bill which he introduced yesterday. His idea appears to have been, having created the phrase "republic" in this country as a meaningless cry, that he could on the one hand give the appearance to the most ignorant section of the community, for whom he founded a newspaper, that they were republicans in all matters. He thought that while doing that they would not notice what was being done in the other Bill. It is quite impossible completely to differentiate between internal and external affairs. The President wanted to create the impression that he was doing that, but it appears to me that having made that marvellous gesture of going through the Constitution and removing every vestige of the King he then put in the Bill this phrase (External Relations). He wanted to mislead his followers with the idea that the King had no reality whatever internally in this State and that he was only externally to act as a conduit pipe in community with the other countries. The result was that in his desire to create that impression the President actually failed to provide for the abdication of the King. It seems to me that under a Bill whose title indicates that it contains nothing but in relation to our external affairs, you cannot have such intimately internal a matter as the change of the occupant of the Throne. This Bill to-day with this amendment—the really substantial part is contained in the amendment— specifically declares that the King who up to the present has been the King of this country abdicates as King of this country and his place taken by another which is rather brought in by the words "and all other (if any) purposes."

It seems to me that this Bill requires another amendment, that is the exclusion of the bracketed phrase (External Relations). As I see it the amendment is much franker than the Bill that was brought in yesterday. The amendment admits that the King who is King in this country, the King at present occupying that position is going, and that another person is taking his place. I think he is perfectly right to make that clear but perfectly wrong in using the phrase (External Relations) in the title. Because, as was pointed out yesterday, we remain a member of the British Commonwealth by Article 1 of the Constitution which declares that we are a co-equal member of the Commonwealth of Nations. That Article in the Constitution, as I told the House yesterday, is implementing in the Constitution what was done in Articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty. When the Article of the Constitution says that the Irish Free State is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations naturally it is affirming something which raises something tangible in the mind. It implies that the words "British Commonwealth of Nations" have collation with membership of that organisation. When we look around us as to what it does mean, you will find that the Imperial Conference of 1926 carefully explained that to lay down a Constitution for the British Empire, and so on, was not feasible. But it says:—

There is, however, one most important element in it which from a strictly constitutional point of view has now, as regards all vital matters, reached its full development.

We refer again to the group of self-governing communities composed of Great Britain and the Dominions. Their position and mutual relation may be readily defined. They are autonomous communities within the British Empire equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any respect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Therefore, when you want to consider whether this country is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations you will look for certain things with regard to them. One thing you know is that they are within the British Empire, and another thing is that they have a common allegiance to the Crown. In the President's statement yesterday I understand he admits that we are in the British Empire and that we have allegiance to the Crown and that allegiance is what links us with the other members of the Commonwealth. Now, therefore, having given allegiance to one King who steps out to make place for another, the Bill to-day is providing that he shall occupy the position previously occupied by the King who is abdicating and, by reason of the fact of our allegiance to him, and that we are now remaining in the British Commonwealth of Nations, another man is to claim that same allegiance. That means that what this Bill is doing to-day is essential only to internal matters in this country. We are changing the head of this State. It is a fact that the head of this State is a person who is a head of the other States and over the whole Commonwealth. From that it is clear that he is the symbol of our free association with those other countries in that Commonwealth. Consequently, the attempt to mislead the people of this country with the idea that the King is something external to us, and the attempt to perpetuate that completely misleading idea by heading this Bill "Executive Authority (External Relations) Bill," when this Bill is providing that the head of this State shall be A.B. rather than his predecessor, shows that the word "lie" is written on the very face and in the very title of this Bill. If this Bill is only dealing with our external relations, it means that, if the King previously was in our internal organisation, then the same man remains in that position; or else it means that we are no longer a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations, because membership of the British Commonwealth of Nations is limited by defination to those States who owe allegiance to that monarch. Consequently, I presume that the President, on the Committee Stage of this Bill, will propose another verbal amendment, namely, the excision of the words "external relations," because he knows well that that Bill as it stands now with his amendments has written on the very face of it that it is a lie and can have no other purpose than to mislead ignorant people as to what the purpose of the Bill is.

There has been so much talk all around this in various directions that anything I would have to say would be simply a repetition of what I said before. There is one thing, however, which it might be valuable to try and make clear. Deputy Norton and others seem to think that I thought, or that anybody who examined the situation thoroughly thought, that there was a heaven-sent opportunity for doing something nationally, and that somehow that heaven-sent opportunity has not been availed of. I say that there was nothing of the sort. We have now at this instant, before this Bill passes, exactly the same opportunity as we will have when it is passed to do anything that we want to do in regard to this part of Ireland. If we want, the day after this Bill is passed, to repeal this Bill or to declare a republic, whatever line of conduct we may care to adopt in order to make it effective, we can do precisely what it is suggested by Deputy Norton and others we can only do now. In fact, Deputy Norton took very good care not to say or suggest what was to be done in the present situation—just wait.

There are people who imagine that some legal technicalities are things that can persist for a length of time and cause difficulty for a length of time. We are a Parliament here. If there was some legal difficulty interfering with the interests of this State what would we do? We would summon Parliament to clear up the difficulty; we would end the legal difficulty by making a law to solve it. Any States that might be inconvenienced—if that was the point he had in mind—by our refusal to pass this Bill, could, similarly, in so far as they were concerned, rectify the situation, as Deputy MacDermot has pointed out, by making a law. What I was interested in was that it would not be rectified by making a law which would be injurious to us. I wanted to make quite sure that any regularisation of this position, as far as we were concerned, would be done by us, and this Bill is introduced in our interests and not in the interests of any other country. It is brought in absolutely in the interests of our people here because we want to see that there will be no ambiguous position legally here.

I think I need say no more about it. As I have said already, one of the things we can do is to declare a Republic for the Twenty-Six Counties. Does Deputy Norton propose that we should do it? No, he does not. Do nothing. To do nothing legally and technically, in my opinion, would mean that we are continuing the monarchy with King Edward as monarch. Is that what Deputy Norton wants us to do? What would be the position of our representatives abroad? There are a number of other things that would cause difficulty if we wanted to continue in that position.

Quite clearly, what we have got to do now is either to regularise the position or declare a republic. We came into office with a certain policy. We have pursued that policy honestly the whole time we have been here. I am anxious to see a condition established here in which the people of this country can be on friendly terms with the people across the water. But I know it cannot be done without satisfying the aspirations of our people. I believe that the existing situation does not satisfy their aspirations and what I am trying to do in this, and will propose to do in the coming Constitution, is to get nearer to a position which will satisfy their aspirations. I have said many a time that the foundation on which friendly relations between the two countries can really be established will not be reached until it is reached on the basis of a united Ireland. Deputy MacDermot says I must have lost sight of that view when I introduced this. I did not lose sight of it for one instant. But I have to balance two things—the sentiments of a certain minority in the North which have caused them to adopt a certain position, and the sentiments of the majority of the people here who want a different position. How am I to do it? How is anybody, anxious about the unity of this country and its future, to do it? Clearly you have to ask yourself is there any point at which you will reach something with which the majority of the people are likely to be satisfied and which will, at the same time, possibly satisfy the other section? The two are going in opposite directions. The majority can claim that their view ought to prevail. They have the right to claim that it should prevail. But we have a practical situation, not one which can be solved or settled by legal technicalities, unfortunately. It has to be solved by facing hard facts. In doing what we are doing we are working along to a position where we hope ultimately we will be able to satisfy the interests and the aspirations of the majority of the people to the point, at any rate, that they will say, "We are prepared to sacrifice some of the rest in order to get a united Ireland." That has been the basis all the time.

This is no new problem. We had precisely the same problem in 1921 and the general line of solution was the same as that towards which we are working now. If we do reach that, having a united Ireland, then ultimately the view of the majority of the people will prevail. Obviously, when you get a situation like that the ultimate future of the country will be determined by what the majority regard as their general interests. Deputy MacDermot has some idea that you can bring in the North by a fuller acceptance of the British Empire than is accepted by the majority at the moment. I do not believe that at all. There was no question of that sort before 1921. It was a question there of whether the laws governing the people of this country were to be made in Westminster, where there was a certain majority, or to be made here. They refused to enter a Parliament here and the real reason for that refusal, obviously, is that they think their particular viewpoint in an assembly of that sort could only be expressed as a minority view.

When all is said and done that is the situation. We have got to solve that practical fact. Notwithstanding what Deputy MacDermot or anybody may say, I cannot conceive anybody being more anxious for the re-establishment of the unity of this country than I am. There is neither apparent to Deputy MacDermot nor to anybody else at this moment any clear line by which that unity can be re-established. One thing is certain, that you must, to a certain extent, at any rate satisfy the aspirations of the majority until they say: "Well, having got to this particular point, we are now prepared to make concessions to the minority." I do not know at what point that will be reached. I have no idea when it will be reached. What I am doing, and what was our policy in 1921, was to advance on that road so that we would reach such a point. We do not do it in a doctrinaire fashion notwithstanding what has been said.

This Bill was not introduced to deceive anybody. Clearly the main purpose of this Bill was to settle this situation. It was mainly for the purpose of settling this situation. That was the only excuse and the only reason for summoning Parliament quickly. I said I would not introduce a Bill as long as there is misconception about what has been done. I am going to put in black and white what are the functions that are going to be exercised, making it quite clear that there is no reserve of right or authority other than what is indicated on the face of the Bill. It has been suggested overnight by Deputies that it was due somehow to a suggestion that this was a plan and a plot to deceive them. Nothing of the kind.

Certain doubts were raised last night. One of these was that somehow, if we did pass the Bill, it would give certain external functions to the successor of King Edward VIII; that King Edward VIII himself seemed to hover around looking for some corner in which he would have authority to act in virtue of the fact that he was previously King. It is to cover that situation that these words "all other (if any) purposes" are inserted. It is not an uncommon phrase in law. Very often you cannot get a complete list of things that may possibly occur into legislation of this sort, and therefore the only safe thing is to put in an omnibus clause like this, so that if there was any oversight or if something was left out it would be covered in the Act. That is the whole explanation of this change.

And carried on to the next King.

Yes. There was a question about Article 51. A number of things would be involved in that, and I would have liked to give an answer that would be regarded as authoritative by the Deputy. As far as this Article is concerned I would be inclined to say, yes. If there is any hole or corner in which the disembodied spirit was hovering or trying to get into, then, if that does exist, it will be filled already by this country. We do not see any at the moment. I do not know of any functions internally that are left for the King, whether it be the King we were supposed last night to be completely removed from or his successor. I see no internal functions left for him. Some sort of vague title or something of that sort is probably there, but there are no internal functions left as far as I know. The purpose of this Bill was to remove the King from the exercise of any functions whatever internally.

As to external functions, we are concerned to make it as clear as we could make it, what the external position was going to be, and on what conditions the King who was being substituted for King Edward VIII would exercise his functions. You can approach these things from different points of view. I resent the suggestion that there has been an intention on my part to deceive Deputies. Nothing of the kind. It is a common trick on the opposite benches. If Deputies hold that the Bill passed yesterday did not do a certain thing, certainly those who were responsible finally for it, believed it did. It could be argued even now, if I wished to waste the time of the House doing so, that it did, and by a number of Deputies that it did not. We will leave it at that. The change was made to make it quite definite. I think it is right when there is a question of law that we should be as definite as we can, and that we should make quite definite the things we said yesterday we intended doing. These things will, in fact, be done by this Bill.

I do not know that I can add anything to what I have said. I am not at all deceived with the idea that we had a marvellous and a wonderful opportunity. There is complete misunderstanding and misconception. These things are of the airy type of legal technicality that can be fixed in an airy way that may be damaging to us and they may take a long time. If we remain in the position we have to operate we may very well find that the position was worsened as a result of letting them be settled by others and not by ourselves. There has been general misconception and a lot of excitement about the present situation, and because certain things were unprecedented people began to exaggerate them as if they were of tremendous and wonderful account. I have never been led away on that line. The reason the first Bill was brought in was that we were making provision and it was the right and the proper time for having this whole matter clarified as far as we could do it. That was the purpose of the two Bills. I would not have introduced the second Bill with all the ambiguities and misunderstandings without the first one. I think by doing this we have done two very big days' work. No one regrets more than I do having to summon the Dáil so rapidly, but there was no other way. Certain things happened elsewhere which might possibly be argued to have some effect on our position here. The other way was to come along and do a thing we had a right to do. I had it put to me also: "why not confine yourself to that?" My answer is that I do not think it would be in the interests of our country, or generally in the interests of the people that we should do the thing immediately necessary, that we should do that without putting the whole of the context on which the thing arose.

As I say, I am sorry—genuinely sorry—that the Dáil had to be summoned and that we had to go through these Bills at such speed. But every day was going to be a day of further possible consequences so far as our position and status were concerned. I realised that there would be a great deal of propaganda abroad as to what the new situation was going to be and what our position would be. I wanted to make quite certain that there would be no opportunity for that propaganda to go ahead and become the basis of theories which would be detrimental to our position.

I direct the President's attention to the fact that the full co-operation which was desirable between the Government and the Opposition was rendered impossible, for the time being, by the allegation of the President that we had published confidential information.

What I said on that occasion I said with the information at my disposal. I believed that information to be correct and I am not going to say anything more about it.

I do not know whether or not the President has deliberately refrained from answering the question put to him by Deputy O'Sullivan at the beginning of this debate. It is a crucial question and I do not think that the President ought to leave it alone simply by forgetfulness. Under this Bill, do the Government tell us that there will be a king of Ireland or that there will not be a king of Ireland?

So far as I can see on the face of this Bill, there is no change in regard to the Title or anything of that sort. What I said I tried to make as explicit as I could. I said that we have taken all the internal functions away from the King. Is that clear?

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 93; Níl, 6.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Clery, Mícheál.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Cooney, Eamonn.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Daly, Denis.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Neilan, Martin.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Rogers, Patrick James.
  • Rowlette, Robert James.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.


  • Davin, William.
  • Everett, James.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Norton, William.
  • Pattison, James P.
Tellers: Tá: Deputies Little and Smith; Níl: Deputies Keyes and Everett.
Motion declared carried.