Censorship—Motion (Resumed).

As I said at the beginning, I believe that if this book were to be left alone it would die a natural death. Under a charge of 15/- per copy I believe it would never have got anywhere, but it would appear to me that the Senators who are sponsoring this motion and who spoke at such length on it are really under a great misapprehension as to what the results of their efforts would be, if they could possibly succeed. Their attitude would seem to me to be the attitude of schoolboys in debate around a table, who would take a chance on using any kind of argument in order to put over some kind of a point on the fellows at the other side of the table. That is the attitude of Senators who spoke on this motion, as far as I can judge it. They do not mind what line they take so long as they can score a petty point on the censorship. That is their attitude. If that is not their attitude, and if they are sincere in this, we must only take it for granted that their desire is that full scope should be given for a review of this book; in other words, that anybody who wants to write up what he thinks about the book and take up the pages of the Press at any time, can write away about it.

If that is so, I am sure that Senators will admit that it will not be confined to one line of thought and that the other side must be given a chance. If Senator Sir John Keane, Senator Kingsmill Moore or Senator O'Sullivan give their opinions on the book or on certain sections of it, they must grant the same facilities to other people to deal with that subject also. If that is so, I suggest that we would then have a review of the whole period with which this book deals. Is it suggested, or is it considered desirable, that we must go back and have a review of what happened at Balbriggan? I am quite sure that everybody in this House has heard of the Sack of Balbriggan. If that is so, then that will open up another question, and we must go back to the period when Cork was put to the torch and when the citizens of Cork were running around in their night attire, and some of them without even their night attire, to the amusement of the troops in the city at that time. That is not a matter of hearsay; it is a well-known fact.

I, myself, believe that there is nothing wrong in writing the history, the truthful history, of this country. I believe that it should be written for future generations so that they may know what happened, but in the particular circumstances in which we are living at the present time, I do not believe that this is the time to placard that history in the newspapers. I do not believe that it would at all serve the purpose, which those particular Senators would like to serve, to have all this business trotted out again at the present time. Do they want us, for instance, to go back on what happened in County Cork, when 14 I.R.A. men were surrounded in a house who, when their last bullet had been fired and the house was on fire around them and they had no alternative but to surrender, surrendered and marched out of the house with their hands up and were then butchered in cold blood? Do they want that to be told to the young people at the present moment, some of whom are not aware of these things? Are we to have people writing now to say that, regardless of what Senator Sir John Keane or Senator O'Sullivan says as to certain things having happened at that time or no matter what they say about The House of Gregory and what is said on page so-and-so, the truth is as follows? Is that what these Senators want, or do they want us to go back on that?

Will it not be in the newspapers to-morrow morning?

The Senator is an optimist. I quite realise that some Senators over there have a completely different outlook on this matter and they do not believe that certain of these things happened at all. I am sure, at any rate, that they will agree with me that during the period 1919-1921, 40 or 50 newspapers were suppressed. That is a fact. There is no doubt about it. It is an established fact and on record that that happened at that time. When it happened what was the attitude of these Senators? Did they raise their voice in righteous wrath and denounce the existing authority because these papers had been suppressed? I do not think they did, and if they did they should tell the House about it, but it is not on record that they did. That is what happened and they did not raise their voices. Why did they not do so? Because it was an outside Government that was taking the action. It would appear to me at any rate that the only reason they are raising their voices on this occasion is because it is one of the natives that happens to be the Censor.

Neither did we raise our voices when our homes were burned by Irishmen.

Neither did they raise their voices when the homes of thousands of Irishmen and women were being burned by the troops of an invading army. Neither did they raise their voices when husbands, important citizens, some of them mayors, were shot in the presence of their wives and children.

May I appeal to Senators not to pursue these controversial matters? Their introduction does not lead to better feeling in the House.

I envy the Cathaoirleach his simplicity, if he thinks the House can discuss a subject like The House of Gregory without discussing what were controversial matters 23 years ago. I believe that the supporters of this motion are foolish in trying to secure this point, to challenge the censorship, because if they do succeed they will merely open the floodgates of controversy and it will have an effect directly opposite to that which these particular Senators want. I believe it is very undesirable at the present time to go back over that period and bring the minds of our young people back to what happened then. We have had an example a couple of minutes ago of what happened when I told the story from my point of view, and what happened as it was seen by one side, and Senator Sir John Keane loses his temper in the cool atmosphere of the Seanad.

The Senator can realise what that may lead to.

The Senator began it.

The Senator says I began it, but I suggest the Senator began it. What began it was the introduction of the motion and it is because of the Senator's action and the speeches of his supporters that the debate has taken this particular line. There is nothing in the world I hold more dear than the neutrality of this country, and because I hold that neutrality dear I believe these things should not happen. If one side is going to be allowed to make its case then the other side must be allowed to make its case also. The result of this motion if the Senators succeed would be to open the floodgates of controversy and publicity and if that is once started the Senators will be sorry they ever opened their mouths.

I had not intended to speak on this debate, but I have listened to a couple of the most irrelevant speeches ever heard in this House. The reason I do intervene is that before we vote on this matter I want to remind the House of the issues really put before us. Senator Sir John Keane put his issues to the House and also spoke as an advocate of his motion. I do not want to accept every item that he put forward or every argument of the other speakers but I think I am right in reminding the House that there are only two questions at issue. One is a legal question —had the Minister the power to do this? I think that has been answered. I presume on the sections of the Act that have been quoted that the Minister had that power and was acting legally.

That is how my mind runs in regard to one of the issues. The other was a more general issue and it applies, I think, to other Ministers and other Ministerial actions. It is, did the Minister act discreetly? Not only should the Minister act legally, he must act discreetly, and this House and the ordinary public have a right to express their opinion as to whether he did or not act with discretion in a particular case. I formed the opinion that he did not act discreetly and did not act justly to the people concerned. The Minister had, of course, the power. He has the power to censor the newspapers no matter how harmless they are, if he thinks they are harmful, but I do not think the Minister had the right or was acting justly or wisely or discreetly when he sacrificed the financial rights of certain trades people and literary men in this country. If the Minister had forbidden this book, we might think what we liked but we would have no power to criticise his action but we do expect that he should act with the discretion of a just man acting as a judge.

I listened very carefully to the statement made by the Minister and I read it very carefully and I cannot find any real excuse for the line of conduct the Minister followed. While I do not question the Minister's legal position I do question very much the wisdom of the Minister in this particular case. I do not want to take up more time of the House on this subject on which I think an unnecessary amount of time has been spent, but the Minister has practically taken up the view: "I think so and, therefore, it is so." That was not actually expressed, but the Minister's line seems to be: "That is my opinion, and once that is my opinion the country must submit to it." I do not think there is any discourtesy intended to the Minister, but I beg the Senators to come back to the essential issues, and I think I have stated what the essential issues are, and whether each Senator will agree with my opinion of it is a matter for each individual Senator in his own wisdom and conscience.

Tá áthas orm gur cuireadh an rún so os cóir an tSeanaid. Is iontuigthe gurb é an tAire an té atá ag freastal gnotha na tíre seo agus go bhfuil eolas níos fearr aige ar an gceist ná mar atá ag éinne taobh amuigh. Tá sean-fhocal againn adeireas: "An té a bhfuil a lámh i mbéal an mhadaidh ní mór dhó bheith glic." Is dóigh liom go ndéanann sé dochar agus dochar ró-mhór do ghnotha na tíre seo in America a bheith ag trácht i dtaobh na rudaí thárla in san am atá thart. Tá smaointe againn go léir ar gach taobh den tSeanad—éinne do rugadh agus do tógadh in Eirinn, ba chóir dó a chion agus a dhícheall a dhéanamh ar son na hEireann gan bacadh le aon ní a bhaineas le aon tír eile agus baineann sin leis na hEireanaigh atá ar gach taobh den tórainn. Sé a ndualgais ar fad tarraint le chéile agus séan na tíre d'oibriú.

I regret very much the feeling that has been created by the debate on this motion, and I am humbly of the opinion that the Minister in charge of censorship is in a better position to judge how the interests of this country might be affected by any loose publication than the members of the Seanad on either side of the House. I am glad to see the amount of emotionalism that has been introduced in favour of this motion, but I say it is beside the point to refer to the distinguished lady who was married to a kinsman of the author of this work. That lady happened to be a county woman of my own, and everyone in Ireland appreciates the work she did for Irish folklore, Irish drama and Irish nationalism.

The writer of the book, by all accounts, was a fair-minded and impartial recorder of events as he saw them, but unfortunately it would be a mistake for anyone to allow what he wrote to be recorded as a history of what happened during that particular period when he was but an outside spectator. It has been mentioned in this House that the British officers who were killed at Mount Street in November, 1920, were courtmartial officers. As far as my information goes they were in a different position. My information is that they were secret service agents of the British Government. They were, no doubt, brave men and they were able to meet death like men, because they understood that the fate of a spy in any war is death, but I think that was the position in this country. There is no one perhaps in Ireland with more extreme views in certain matters than I have, but my views are confined to the limits expressed by Thomas Davis when he wrote.

"Start not Irish-born man if you're to Ireland true.

We heed not creed nor class nor clan, we've hearts and hands for you."

I do not quarrel with people who took a different stand from us 20 years ago. The main appeal ought to be for Irish-born men on both sides of the border to throw in their lot with their own country. If we had more of the emotionalism that is behind this motion shown in favour of the sentiment of unity in Ireland, a gathering together of every man who was nurtured, born and reared in this country, we would, be better off. Ireland's appeal is to all her sons, and in times like the present it would be a greater and a better thing for them to stand in behind their own country than to be using outside issues that are only obstructing the people.

Ba mhaith liomsa beagán a rádh i dtaobh na tairiscinte seo. Ar an gcéad ásc, caithfidh mé a rádh go bhfuil sé andeacair a thuiscint céard a bhí in aigne an tSeanadóra Seán Ó Catháin nuair a chuir sé an tairiscint seo ós cóir an tSeanaid. Caitheann cuid den leabhar so an-droch-mheas ar an náisiún Sasanach a bhfuil báidh agus grádh ag an Seanadóir Ó Catháin dó agus, mar gheall ar sin, cheapfá, nuair a cuirfí cosc le leabhar nó le duine a bhéadh ag caitheamh droch-mheasa ar an náisiún sin, gurab amhlaidh bheadh áidhbhéis mhór ar an Seanadóir Ó Catháin.

Ní le grádh ná le gráin ar aon náisiún ná duine taobh amuigh den tír seo a chuir an tAire saghas cosc leis an leabhar so, Teach Gregory, ach ar mhaithe le muintir na hEireann agus tír na hEireann. Tá sé le feicsint go rí-shoiléir ag aon Seanadóir a léighfidh an leabhar Teach Gregory go bhfuil tuarascbháil bhréagach scríobhtha ann i dtaobh cuid den troid a bhí ar bun chun an tír seo a shaoradh ó bheith faoi chois bhrocach náisiúin eile. Uime sin, tá cúsaí gleo agus troda luaidhte ins an leabhar so. Tá an tAire, san órdú a chuir sé amach i dtaobh an leabhair seo, ag iarraidh muintir na tíre seo 'choineáil sábháilte ón donas a thiocfadh as an díospóireacht agus an troid sin. Tá mé cinnte go seasóidh an Seanad go daingean in aghaidh na tairiscinte seo agus go dtabharfaidh siad cabhair agus misneach don Aire ins an obair dainséarach atá idir lámha aige.

It is difficult to understand the motivating cause that induced Senator Sir John Keane when he decided to place this motion before the Seanad— extremely difficult. It is equally difficult to discover why the Minister should be asked for an explanation for the mild form of restraint he imposed upon reviews or advertisements of this book. Any Senator, I am quite sure, or any member of the public, who has taken the trouble to read this book can find ample reason— I should use the plural and say: "ample reasons"—for the restraint imposed upon the reviews of this book. Briefly stated, and shorn of the rhetoric and eloquence we have heard in connection with this book, and phrased in simple language, the cause and effect for the action of the Minister ran along these lines. As stated by other Senators in this House, we are living in a period of the history that is gripped by a tragedy of the greatest magnitude the world has ever known, and surely, in view of that fact, and more particularly as we are a neutral country, it is the duty of authors and publishers to assure themselves that nothing would appear in a book or in a newspaper that would in any way tend to bring us on that stage as actors in that drama.

Authors and writers should display care, caution and accuracy in the matters that they prepare and place in the hands of publishers for circulation in this country. Neither one nor the other of the three has the author of this book exercised: neither that caution, that care nor that accuracy, and it is because the author—and there is the beginning of all the trouble— failed to exercise that caution, care and accuracy that the Minister exercised the powers that he has exercised in depriving newspaper people or correspondents of the power to enter into a controversy in connection with the inaccuracies and careless statements made in this book.

Notwithstanding that truth, on the last occasion on which the Seanad met, January 27, you had the Minister being attacked here in the most violent terms by Senators. They could not find sufficient words in the English language to denounce him, and had to have recourse to Latin and Greek. Now they say that they have done nothing. In their suave manner they get up and say: "We did nothing of the kind." One Senator described the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures as a "Frankaikenstein".

Another Senator alleged that the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures carried into the discharge of his duties as Minister the mentality of the Chief of Staff of an army. Now they come forward and ask the protection of the Chair when they are met and confronted with what they themselves were at some time in the history of this country, and I maintain that it is within the province of any speaker in this House to examine the credibility of the men who come forward here to attack the Minister as to the manner in which the duties of his office were discharged.

They asserted—a double-barrelled assertion—that in the first place there was no matter contained in this book that warranted the exercise of censorship against the book, and then, true to academic debate, they find that there is another barrel to their gun and say that if the book deserved to have censorship applied to it, the method of applying it by the Minister, as Censor, was the wrong method and inflicted undue hardship on the author of this book. The book, of course, as was stated, passed through the machinery of Article 5 of Emergency Powers Order No. 151, but consequent upon the type of reviews that were received, consequent upon the line of action taken in the reviews, the Minister, whatever his own view previously was, was compelled to proceed to restrain the reviews of the book.

If reviews were permitted, if some of the falsehoods asserted in the book were to be challenged, unquestionably the embers of discord and disunion would be fanned into flames again in this land. Take the particular page in this book, which deals with what has been described as the Croke Park incident, already referred to by many of the speakers. Senator Sir John Keane himself, living here at present, in his speech to the House, described the Croke Park murder as an incident. Mark you, I allege that there is in this book an attempt to justify the Croke Park murders. On page 100 of the book it is stated:—

"The leaders of the I.R.A. apparently thought otherwise and they determined to make a clean sweep of as many officers engaged on court martial duty as possible. For one reason or another, most of these officers resided in hotels or boarding-houses, since they were married and unable to obtain married quarters in barracks."

He asserts there that the men within the British Army who were shot on that occasion were court martial officers, and then, going on to connect that with the affair in Croke Park, he seeks to justify the murders in Croke Park by the shooting of men who were spies. Talking about accuracy, he says it occurred on Sunday, 22nd November. He could not even be accurate in the dates—do not mind about the other facts. The Sunday was the 21st November, 1920, and surely a man who would not take the trouble of going to check his dates in a calendar does not deserve to have much reliance placed on the other parts of his book which could be the cause of controversy and turmoil in this country.

When I say that these men were spies, I will quote from a book which is a record that Doctor Vere Gregory himself approved. On page 26 of The House of Gregory, Doctor Gregory says, when talking about the number shot on a particular occasion:—

"These numbers are in excess of those officially reported by the police at the time, but they are taken from Miss Dorothy Macardle's book, The Irish Republic, published in 1938, and which is now recognised as the most reliable and informative authority which has appeared in print for the events dealing with the period 1916-1923 in Ireland.”

I will quote from Dorothy Macardle's book, which has already met with the approval of Dr. Vere Gregory, page 412, chapter 40:—

"Seventeen Irishmen were murdered in October in circumstances which confirmed Michael Collins' suspicion that ‘shooting by roster' had been officially organised. He was aware that the English Secret Service in Ireland was, as General Crozier afterwards affirmed, ‘no secret service but a mere gang of agents provocateurs and the like,' while the Secret Service Department and propaganda department of the police ‘was a camouflaged institution having as its avowed object the extermination of Sinn Féin ‘Extremists'.”

"The centre of the system was a group of agents who lived as ordinary citizens in private houses or lodgings in Dublin. No agents of the British Government were more dangerous to the cause than this group of expert and organised spies. Michael Collins believed that the most drastic action was necessary in order to frustrate them. He gave orders accordingly. On the morning of Sunday, November 21st, by a concerted plan, members of Collins' Counter-Intelligence Service entered the houses occupied by 14 of these agents and shot them dead."

"This was the occasion referred to as ‘Bloody Sunday' by General Crozier...."

Listen to what General Crozier has to say himself—surely it is not evidence prejudiced against the side of the writer of The House of Gregory. General Crozier wrote:—

"Wilson was responsible for the first sub-rosa murder gang run by the military early in 1920, which resulted in the murder of Captain A. and others on Bloody Sunday, when Collins put them on the spot in the nick of time in order to forestall a similar action by the British authorities.”

Surely there is conclusive evidence that the information conveyed in this book is incorrect, and that it would beget as the Minister rightly conceived, controversy and disturbance in this country? Senators who have spoken in support of this motion demand liberty for the Press and for the production of books—"healthy freedom""constitutional rights""liberty"—these are the catch-cries put forward to justify an attack on the Minister.

Surely the men making this claim must have stolen the Minister's clothes to come forth and parade before the House and the country as the defenders of the people's liberty? Who gave those men the right and power to come and defend the Constitution? Was it not men like the Minister? Yet they have the audacity to say here that the Minister is out to explode and smash the Constitution— a man who was ready to sacrifice his life to procure for the people the right to freedom and the right to freely enact a Constitution for their own country. We are treated to the tosh that the Minister is endeavouring now to trample on "constitutional liberty", "individual rights" and "healthy freedom".

We have given to ourselves, through the exertions, not of Senator Sir John Keane, nor of Senator O'Sullivan, nor Senator Kingsmill Moore, the power to secure for ourselves the degree of freedom and peace we enjoy to-day, and the right to make our laws in our own way. The real complaint against the Minister for Co-ordination of Defensive Measures is that it is Irishmen who are here now to make laws for the Irish people. If Englishmen were making those laws there would be no complaint whatever. Senator Sir John Keane would live and accept them now as he did in 1918, 1919 and 1920, but, because there is an Irishman, a representative of the mere Irish-making these laws, they are wholly unacceptable to Senator Sir John Keane.

When the Senator was addressing this House on the 22nd January, he said it was a deplorable thing, after having enjoyed our political independence for 25 years, and won elementary rights for our people. Surely the Senator made a bad slip? Twenty-five years would take us back to 1919. I do not suppose that Senator Sir John Keane would admit that we had political freedom or independence in 1919? It comes to my mind, and I went to the trouble of checking it up, that in the year 1919, no fewer than 25 newspapers were suppressed in this country, a much more important matter to the people of Ireland than the suppression of the book The House of Gregory. Did Senator Sir John Keane use his brain or his intellect in defence of the hundreds of men who were thrown out of employment or the proprietors who suffered grievous loss by the suppression of these papers 25 years ago—a greater loss than ever could possibly fall on the author of The House of Gregory? Did Senator Sir John Keane defend these newspapers or stand up for the rights of the men who prepared the editorials of those papers?

Did he stand for the rights of the individuals who were earning their living through the production of these papers? He did nothing of the kind. Because that was done in this country in the name of England and in England's interests it was acceptable to Senator Sir John Keane. He kept his mouth shut and let the mere Irish suffer. Amongst the papers published in this country in 1919 was a paper published and circulated from Dublin Castle, a place that was then the official home of Senator O'Sullivan. That paper was known as The Weekly Summary of Outrages. Its third number published an outline of the duty of the British garrison in this country. The duty of the British garrison in this country, as outlined there, was to make Ireland “An appropriate hell for rebels.” Senator Sir John Keane, Senator Kingsmill Moore and Senator O'Sullivan did not belong to the rebels; the Minister did. Senator O'Sullivan, speaking here, made a most extraordinary pronouncement. He said that the Black and Tan régime in this country was brought to an end by British public opinion. I suppose there was never a more childish statement. Of course, it is made by an infant in the political history of this country. It would be interesting to hear from the Senator, when next he addresses the House on some kindred matter, what foreign power was responsible for starting Black and Tan operations in this country.

Coming to the third of the group who have taken on themselves the right of defending the liberty and the freedom of the people of this country—Senator Kingsmill Moore—let me say that he occupied the post of British Press Censor in this country. In December, 1918, when the world was told the cause of democracy had triumphed, a political Party which had the overwhelming confidence of the people of the country issued a manifesto in which the following two lines appeared:—

"The right of a nation to sovereign independence rests upon an immutable natural law."

When that manifesto, issued by the men who were seeking the suffrages of the people of this country, men representing the overwhelming majority of the people, appeared, these lines were struck out by the British Press Censor in the office of which Senator Kingsmill Moore was the superior authority.

If the Minister for Co-ordination of Defensive Measures did something of that kind to-day, deleted from a publication or from a manifesto words of that character, I am sure we would have Senator Sir John Keane going into an ecstasy, he would wrap the green flag round him and go into an ecstasy of patriotic fervour in denouncing the Minister for doing anything of the kind. In the three Senators I have named we have three men who are anxious to engage in a crusading campaign here, there and everywhere. As a matter of fact Senator Sir John Keane said that he was interested in justice for all men. He wanted justice for rich and poor.

What is wrong in that?

I am merely interpreting it and endeavouring to relate it to the professions of the Senator. I shall subsequently attempt to show where he can get a field for the exercise of these good intentions. That field is not within the Twenty-Six Counties of this State. There is a field across the Border. It is a field that affords ample opportunity for crusaders of the type of these three Senators who want themselves to be accepted by this House as the guardians of justice and right. There is a field there for their work and their vigils. There is no field for them in the Twenty-Six Counties where law and justice prevails; not in the Twenty-Six Counties but in the territory that I am indicating to Sir John Keane, Senator Kingsmill Moore and Senator O'Sullivan as the area towards which they should direct their steps. Again I am not asking the Seanad to accept my opinion alone of the desirability that they should turn their activities in that direction. I shall quote for you the words of Most Rev. Dr. Farren, Bishop of Derry, who recently said, or was compelled to declare:—

"Attempts will be made, I fear, not only to cancel Catholic votes but to cancel Catholic voters."

Again I quote from the Pastoral Letter of the Bishop of Down and Connor, Most Rev. Dr. Mageean:—

"Last year it was necessary to refer to conditions in the Six Counties making for the disintegration of family life among sections of the Catholic community. Those still obtain. Raiding of houses by night still goes on; large numbers of men and women have been imprisoned without trial; when they protested on account of grievances the men were punished in a humiliating and inhuman manner, and the girls hosed.

"While these prisoners are in gaol, their families are often in want, and but for the Green Cross would be in destitution. When they are released the victimisation continues. If by some accident a released internee manages to get a job he will not be allowed to keep it."

On a point of order, has the Censor interfered in any way with the Pastoral of the Rev. Bishop referred to by the Senator, and in what way is it relevant to this particular matter?

May I also mention that I was pulled up and, I think rightly, when I proceeded to make a very brief reference to Bowens Court and other books. Now we appear to be covering the whole ground of Irish politics ever since the revolution.

The Senator, I understand, is contrasting what is allowed in one part of the country with what is allowed here and is relating that contrast to the speech made by the proposer of the motion.

I was directly relating it to the speeches that had preceded it and I was showing that the Senators over there had ample field for their protests in regard to this matter, but I was interrupted before I completed the quotation. It was:—

"It must be remembered, however, that the police are executive officers carrying out orders, repugnant as they must be to some of them. Ultimate responsibility rests elsewhere."

I suggest to the Senators over there that there is a field for them to direct their footsteps towards and, if they showed the same energy, watchfulness and care for Constitutional liberty and justice, they would be rendering a service to the people of this country. Whether the menacing attitude which has been adopted by some Senators should be treated in the conciliatory fashion some people have urged, I am not sure. I am not sure of the wisdom of that step. I know Senators who hold probably as strong views nationally as I hold, who would be in absolute disagreement with what I said just now, but I conscientiously believe it to be the right outlook in regard to people of this character. In this country we never got anything by showing weakness or by accommodating ourselves to these people. You are never going to get anything by being weak to these people and letting these people think they can wipe their shoes on you. If you think you are going to get these people on your side by such methods you are making a terrible mistake. I am not sure that we should not cut short the activities of men of this character who come in here and pillory the Minister. It may be very wicked, but it is the one way of impressing people such as Senator Sir John Keane. This is not the first occasion on which there has been evidence of this outflanking movement against the Minister. The Minister has a harassing and difficult duty to perform and Senator Sir John Keane and Senator Kingsmill Moore and Senator O'Sullivan, who made no sacrifices to bring us the liberty and freedom we enjoy after more than 700 years of foreign domination, will suffer no reproach if their forecast as to what may follow from the publication of a book of this kind proves to be false.

Outflanking movements of this kind attack the institutions of government and show up the Ministers in the wrong on every occasion and attempt to show that Irishmen sitting at the head of Departments in this country are incapable of performing their duties, that Irishmen are incapable of making laws for Ireland, and that we suffer from an inferiority complex and must go to places where Senator Sir John Keanes gather and bring him in to show us how to do Ireland's work in Ireland's way. We are not disposed to do that. We prefer to place our confidence in the wisdom and patriotism of the men who have given evidence of their work in Ireland's time of danger. I do suggest to the Minister in all sincerity that actions like this that we are brought into contact with in this House by certain Senators warrant examination by the Department of Justice. I am quite sure that if I had taken 100th part of the action that has been taken by Senator Sir John Keane in this House in those days that I have referred to I would have been brought before hammer and tongs Greenwood or somebody else who was in power.

That is the stuff!

You have asked for these things and you are going to get them. You are going to be put in your proper place in relation to the ordinary Pat Murphys of this country. I refuse to believe the smoke-screen that these Senators throw out when they told us:—

"We have introduced this motion to defend personal rights, literary freedom, Constitutional liberty."

In my opinion, that is a smoke-screen and their real intention and motive has not been disclosed to the House. Whilst we are on this subject of literary rights, I may say we hear a lot about literary rights and art and the rights that should be conceded to literary men and how much art and literature stand for in the life of the country. I want to rivet this unshakably in the minds of Senator Sir John Keane and the other Senators there that literature and art form only a minor phase of civilisation and interesting and important as their lessons may be they pale into relative significance before the great struggle for social and political liberty that has convulsed the ages. It is that social and political liberty that the Minister is attempting to defend. It is that social and political principle that the Minister is attempting to defend in the Order he has made in relation to The House of Gregory and I am convinced that the Seanad will register their approval of his action by rejecting this motion.

Business suspended at 5.50 and resumed at 6.50 p.m.

We have been discussing this motion for a couple of days. When I first saw the motion, I asked myself, as I often do when I see the names attached to it figuring on the Order Paper, "what is the intention"? It is worded very innocently. It—

"invites an explanation from the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures in regard to the attitude adopted towards the censorship of the book entitled The House of Gregory.

At first, I thought that the rules and regulations of the House were rather wide in scope when a few Senators could, in the name of the whole Seanad, as it were, call on a Minister to give an explanation. Be that as it may, when a Senator avails of the privileges of the House and, in the name of the Seanad, asks a responsible Minister to come here and give an explanation on any subject, that explanation should be asked for in an appropriate manner. The Senator putting forward this request, or invitation, should confine himself more closely to the subject matter than was done in this case. We had the introducer of this motion, Senator Sir John Keane, reading the passages which were originally deleted by the Censor, and going over the reviews which were set up in print in the various papers and which were refused publication by the Minister. We had passages selected from the book itself and read out in a very light-hearted manner—a manner sure to arouse the feelings of many persons in this House and throughout the country who took an active part in the struggle for Irish independence during that period.

Senator Sir John Keane asked the Minister to come here and give an explanation not so much, so far as I can gather, of his action in connection with the censorship of The House of Gregory as of his action in refusing to allow to be published reviews which were in some cases set up in type. If any explanation was necessary, I put it to the Seanad that the debate here and the feelings that the debate has aroused are ample proof that the Minister was perfectly justified in the action he took. We all know what the effect would be if the statements contained in this book were reviewed in certain of our papers and publications. It has been shown here—I do not want to go over ground which has been already covered—that the majority of the statements contained in that book in relation to a particular period in the history of this country are not true and do not present an exact picture of what took place. We had various Senators this evening explaining the Croke Park murder, and we had an attempt made to justify that murder by associating it with, what the book terms, the “murder of court martial officers of the British Army”.

We know that those people were not officers of the British Army, and they were not murdered because they were officers of the British Army, but because they were spies engaged in this country on behalf of the British Government. As I said, I do not want to go back over all this history, but I think that that is sufficient to justify the Minister's action. Now, it might have been no harm if the Minister did allow publication in this case. It might even have been good nationally and good for the ordinary people of our country if this book were allowed to be published, not so much the book itself as the reviews, because of the reviews that would follow, and the discussions and correspondence in the newspapers and elsewhere, which would probably also be followed by discussions up and down the country at every crossroads. The Minister, seeing what that would lead to, and with the responsibility of a Minister elected by the Irish people, with authority given to him by an Irish Parliament to preserve, as far as he possibly can, our present neutrality and our present unity in all our Defence Forces, took the action that he did. I am sure that there are very few in this country who want to go back over those periods that are past. I am sure that we all look forward to the future, and to the time when every Irishman, no matter what part he took in the past, will come into the ranks and take his place as an Irishman and an Irish citizen, and work in the interests of this country, but we cannot have that while we have people deliberately going out to rake up the past.

Nobody can believe for a moment that Senator Sir John Keane put down this motion because he felt that a grievance and an injustice was being inflicted on the author of this book, or because the Irish people were being deprived of the opportunity of reading something which might be nationally good for them. There was another motive, and I hold that it was the motive that prompted the Senator who put down the motion, and those who supported it. That other motive was not so much an interest in what The House of Gregory contained, not so much an interest in the reviews published by the various papers concerned, which were suppressed, not so much an interest in the fact that the historical matter contained in that book was denied to the people of the country, but an interest in showing to certain people in this country and certain people outside it that we had a rigid censorship here and that that rigid censorship was keeping the people from expressing views which they would express if that censorship were not there. These, to my mind, were the views and promptings that moved the Senator to put down this motion.

It has been stated, we know, in this country and elsewhere that our people here might take a different view and might express different opinions were it not for this terrible monster that is controlling our censorship, but we in this House and in the other House, in September, 1939, passed an Act and gave over power to this Government and to the Minister to take the necessary steps. We first passed our Neutrality Bill and we entrusted the Government with these powers, with the full confidence, not alone of the members of the Oireachtas but of every Party and of almost 99 per cent. of the whole population. I maintain that the Minister has a responsibility, which is a heavy duty, to see that no word or action or any publication is allowed which might, by any possibility, be the cause of doing any harm to that position.

The motion was so innocently worded that one might be led astray by it, and the book was so unimportant from every point of view, that we might be led into believing that the mover was right. But the Minister came here and gave us a history of the events that led up to allowing the publication of the book at all, and I believe he was quite justified in prohibiting the reviews which followed. If there is any doubt in the mind of any Senator as to the advisability of the action which the Minister took, I think the debate during the last couple of days has shown that his action was completely justified.

There is one other point about the motion before the House. The Minister has come here and given his explanation. What follows? The wording of the motion asks the Seanad for an explanation. The majority of the members of this House are quite satisfied that no explanation is necessary. We feel that the Minister acted in the best interests of this country, but now we are in the position that the privileges of this House, to my mind, have been abused to the extent that one Senator as far as I can gather—out of the three; two were not as emphatic as Senator Sir John Keane—can come forward, in the name of the Seanad, and ask the Minister for an explanation of his attitude in regard to the censorship of this book.

The censoring of the book is, in the opinion of the majority of the members of the House, quite justified in the interests of the country, and if any explanation were necessary, it could have been elicited with much more benefit to all concerned if the proposer of the motion had adopted a different attitude. But, even at a very late hour, it was put to the mover of the motion that having got the explanation from the Minister, the matter might be allowed to drop. He still persisted in going ahead. Whether he is satisfied that he took the best choice or not, I do not know, but I think that before this motion is disposed of we should have an opportunity of registering our feelings in some way or another with regard to it.

As I say, the motion is put down and the Minister is asked to come here, in the name of the Seanad, while the majority of the members of this House are quite satisfied that what was done was in the best interests of the country. I assume that when all this haranguing is over, and when the champion of justice and right comes forward to reply, he will quite calmly and coolly, and with the permission of the Chair, withdraw his motion.

I can guarantee that I will withdraw the motion, after I have said something.

I could guarantee that the Senator would give that guarantee that he would withdraw it, but I suggest that the privileges of this House are being abused when the name of the House is invoked by one or two Senators to bring the Minister here to give an explanation about something on which the majority are satisfied that his action was justified. I hope, a Leas-Chathaoirligh, and I believe, that there will be some change in the procedure of the House that will make it impossible to have a future occurrence of this kind. If a Senator is dissatisfied with any action taken by the Government, or by a Minister, by all means let him set out the reasons for it and let us have something we can vote on, but let us not have this abuse of privilege by trying to hold up not only to the people of this country, but to people outside it, who may not understand our procedure, that Seanad Eireann demands that the Minister come here and give an explanation of some matter on which the majority of the House require no explanation. I do not know if there is anything I could say that would influence Senator Sir John Keane in his attitude, or change his mind, but I hope that in future the lessons we have learned in this debate will be wisely taken to heart, and that we will have no more motions of this type.

It is important that every member of this House should be able to avail himself of the privileges and responsibilities attached to his membership, but it is also important that no members of this House should abuse those privileges, as they are being abused, by putting down motions and provoking long discussions, arousing certain feelings and making an attempt to show that we are held here by a strong and rigid censorship. To my mind, that was the whole concern at the back of the mind of the mover of the motion. I believe that he did not care three thráneens about the author of The House of Gregory or the prohibitions of the review of it. What he was interested in, and what his associates were interested in, was to try to put that view forward in other places—and there is little need to add much fuel to the fire that is already kindled in other countries where that propaganda has been spread about our censorship.

I know that Senator Sir John Keane will get up and deny this charge that has been levelled at him. He may say that this was the farthest thing from his mind, but there is no other explanation, I submit, that any man in this country can see, no matter what way you take the book or put forward the grievances of the author. There is really no grievance—the book is allowed to be published—and I am sure the debate has greatly increased its sale among certain sections of the public even at 15/6 per copy.

Fifteen shillings.

It has probably gone up another 6d. since the debate started.

That may be, but I hope when the Senator gets up to reply that he will refute my allegation that he was not so much interested in The House of Gregory as in the fact that he is opposed to every censorship.

And so is Senator Kingsmill Moore——

And he is quite right.

——but Senator Kingsmill Moore was not opposed to censorship when he was part and parcel of that censorship. I do hope that it will be a long time before we have a motion of this kind, either dealing with the Tailor or The House of Gregory.

I do not intend to delay the Seanad very long, but I would like to say, at the outset, that while I do not want to impute base motives to the mover of the motion, it appeared to me that the main purpose was to get sale for a book that possibly would not get any sale at all if it were not for this debate in the Seanad. Fortunately, I have not parted with 15/- for the book, and from what I have heard here in the Seanad, I am thankful I did not part with 15/-. I want to say as a representative of the bookbinders that we have had extra bookbinders employed by Browne and Nolan's since the last debate on this book. Perhaps, I should thank Senator Sir John Keane for that, but I want to say that the Minister made a major blunder when he allowed the book to be published at all. From what I have heard of it, it teems with inaccuracies. I happened to witness what happened in Croke Park on the Sunday in question. I was there as a member of the Dublin Brigade, and I saw the Black and Tans of which Mr. Gregory was then district inspector.

I say they deliberately fired on the crowd from the bridge before they came near Croke Park at all. Senators will recollect that at the inquest on a boy of 12 years of age, it was proved he was shot in a backyard some distance from Croke Park. I am not satisfied that this story of the Croke Park shooting was told to Mr. Gregory at all. I believe that was simply a garbled account that Mr. Gregory inserted in a book for the purpose of justifying the action of the Black and Tans that day. The story of the picking out of Hogan, the shooting at and the bursting of the football, is I think too childish to be taken serious notice of. He also refers to the fleeing of Seán Hogan to America. I understand that Mr. Gregory himself knows something about flight, because I am informed by people in a position to know that he had to fly through the back door of a Dun Laoghaire hotel after he had made himself obnoxious to the people who were at that time striving to secure the freedom of this country. I believe that if a man is to be honest and is to give a fair and impartial view of things that happened 20 years ago he should at least try to tell the truth. Mr. Gregory, as I say, was a member of the R.I.C., a Black and Tan, and there are other people here who think along the same lines as Mr. Gregory.

Reference has been made here to the desirability of all Irishmen working together. I think that is a very laudable suggestion, but these people must first realise, if they are Irishmen, that their loyalty is due to this country first. They must not divide loyalties when it is a question of serving their own country. There are people in this country who put an outside country first. This country comes second with them, and they are always glad of any opportunity to vilify this country and to damage it, not alone internally but externally. I say that advisedly and I believe it to be true. Listening to Senator Sir John Keane reading out the garbled account of the Croke Park episode, I thought he read it with some relish. It appeared to be something that was very palatable to him, this massacre of Irish people in the City of Dublin by agents of a foreign power. When those of us who lived in those days look back and see the great change that has taken place, that we can sit in our own Parliament, devise laws and discuss our problems without interference from anyone, I think we, who have lived through those days and who have done our little bit to make the present position possible, can afford to ignore the Gregories and the others. The picture was painted for us of an old man setting out to write the history of his clan, and to write of incidents that happened to himself and members of his family, but he could not, on account of his anti-Irish bias, write an impartial story about many things that happened during his lifetime.

I have been reliably informed that there was censorship of the book before it went to the censor at all, that the printers had to censor portion of it. Possibly these things were put in to boost up a story in which, I suppose, not one in 10,000 would have been interested, were it not for these garbled accounts of incidents that happened 25 years ago. Personally I agree with Senator Hawkins that it is an outrage that we should have to listen to people here lamenting the action of the Minister in censoring this book. My grievance is that the Minister allowed its publication at all. If one wants to know where we stand in this matter, one has only to look round to see the line-up behind this motion of Senator Sir John Keane.

Táim ar aon aigne leis na daoine do labhair i gcoinne an rúin seo mar sílim go bhfuil an tír i gcontabhairt; agus má tá an tír le sábháil déanfar é tré aondacht mhuintir na hEireann. Beatha na tíre aondacht na ndaoine. Tá contabhairt ann go ndéanfar in imeacht aimsire spriod na daoine do lagú agus sin díreach atá ag teastáil o chuid de na daoine—go lagófaí aondacht na tíre agus go mbeadh sé ar chumas strainséirí teacht isteach sa tír seo. Tá mórán cainte i dtaobh na saoirse. Níl rud ar bith is tábhachtaighe ná an tsaoirse. Ach maidir leis na daoine atá ag caint ina taobh nach bhfuil fhios acu nach féidir saoirse gan srianú bheith againn agus go gcaithfimid géilleadh don tsrianú agus do shrianú láidir ionnus go mbeadh an tír slán. Tá an tír i gcontabhairt agus ós rud é go bhfuil an tír i gcontabhairt, caithfimid géilleadh do shrianú. Is féidir linn an cheist a chur orainn féin— troideadh cath mór sa tír so; cé bhuaidh an cath sin, muintir na hÉireann nó na Gaill? Cén fáth ar troideadh an cath sin? Ar troideadh é ar son an airgid? Dá mba rud é gur troideadh é ar son an airgid ní bheadh an scéal mar atá, ach troideadh é ar son nithe ní b'uaisle, ar son nithe spioradálta, ar son nithe cultúrdha, ar son nithe náisiúnta. Sin iad na nithe atá ag teastáil ó mhuintir na hEireann agus tá dualgas ar an Aire muintir na hEireann a chosaint. Níl siad ábalta iad féin a chosaint ina nduine is ina nduine. Tá an tAire toghtha acu agus tugadh cumhacht dó iad a chosaint i nithe den sórt sin. Dá mbeinn chun locht d'fháil ar an Aire gheobhfainn locht air ní hé faoi nár chuir sé dlí ar na foillseoirí ach faoi gur thug sé cead olc maith no donaidhe an leabhar so a chur amach.

I am not going to attempt to say in English what I have just said in Irish but there is a point or two that I want to stress in English if I may. In the first place I want to say that my main reason is to convey to the Minister and to the people who spoke against this motion that I am fully in agreement with them. To a certain extent I regret that there was some heat brought into the debate; yet one can readily excuse it. There was evidence that the Minister was perfectly right and I think the Minister will have learned the lesson that he must be even more severe in regard to this question of censorship. Anybody who is interested in the events that led up to the present conflict, anybody who has been watching carefully the moves of the belligerents from time to time, cannot fail to be struck by the extent to which these Powers in the first instance rely on propaganda of a certain kind. I am afraid that there are people in institutions in this country who are prepared to act in that way, to use propaganda with a view to weakening the unity that has preserved us so far, because in our unity lies our strength and anything that tends to weaken that unity must be watched very carefully by the Government and checked in the bud. If I had my way I certainly would not allow this propaganda to the extent to which it has been carried on. We hear people in this House and certain sections of the Press continually harping on the word "freedom." They pose as philosophers and talk about freedom of speech and action. If one examines it, it is the freedom of a jungle they are asking for. It never occurs to these pseudo-philosophers and pseudo-clever people to examine what the word "freedom" means. It never occurs to them that freedom must imply restraint. Do these people ever think that on occasions we must submit to very severe restrictions and unless we submit to these restrictions our freedom will be endangered?

I asked a question in Irish: who won the war in this country? Did the Irish people win it or did they lose it? We believe we won it. What was that war fought for? Was it fought for gain, for pelf? If that was what inspired the people who organised, led it and brought it to a successful conclusion, then they would have been better advised to remain as they were. But it was inspired by nobler things. These things were spiritual, cultural things, national things. These are the things the Irish people fought for and, whatever the cynics may say, it is these things the people desire. The Irish people having fought that war have nominated the Minister to defend these things for them. Every Minister has a heavy responsibility but, in view of everything, I doubt whether any man has a greater responsibility or has a more difficult task than the Minister who is in the House this evening. I put it to him that it is his bounden duty to defend these things which the Irish people fought for and desire. These things are being endangered through this type of propaganda that is being carried on both by speeches in this House and speeches outside, in writings in books and on occasions in the Press. The only reason I have for intervening is that I feel that the case has not been sufficiently strongly stated by Senator Sir John Keane on his side or by the speakers on the other side, but I want to impress upon the Minister that he must be even more vigorous in his attitude towards this type of propaganda. I put it to him that he would be well advised to see to it that the type of propaganda that is being carried on against the national language shall be stopped or shall not receive the publicity that it is receiving.

This action of Senator Sir John Keane is simply one of those nuisance raids that the House has become painfully accustomed to. His motion:—

"That the Seanad invites an explanation from the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures in regard to the attitude adopted towards the censorship of the book entitled The House of Gregory”

is so innocent. There are many sorts of invitation in my experience of things. There is the one familiar to school children from their readers: "Will you walk into my parlour said the spider to the fly?" There is the invitation from the lion-tamer's wife who has taken refuge from her in the lion's cage when she says: "Come out you coward." This is an invitation to the Minister to come in to be indicted for crimes and misdemeanours. He begins with the invitation, not to the Minister directly but to Seanad Eireann to invite the Minister. Is it an invitation to defend the Minister's iniquitous performance? Oh, no! Just to give a little explanation as to what he did about this book, The House of Gregory. It goes up in a crescendo as he gives himself more room and more licence in his speech. He hoped he would have “the attention and the sympathy of the House” in what he had to say and then we were invited “as jury men”—to find a verdict according to the evidence. What is that evidence then? If the motion means what it appears to mean, he was to convince the House to adopt his attitude towards the censorship of the book by the Minister and show good reason why the Minister should be asked to explain it. A bewildered House seeks the friendly aid of the Minister to explain these performances. If we turn to column 712 of his speech in volume 28 of the Official Debates of January 26 and 27, 1944——

There is no hurry.

I like this affectation of the Senator. He is quite unperturbed by what he has brought upon himself.

Absolutely. You are quite right there.

In the first paragraph of column 712, he states:—

"It constitutes an inroad into Parliamentary rights, and I suggest that it is a rather serious triple bill which the Minister will have to meet."

It appears as an invitation to the Minister to give an explanation, but it is in fact, as I have said, an invitation to be indicted.

Unfortunately, Senator Colgan, after his admirable and highly national speech, is gone from the House, otherwise I would have directed his attention to what follows:—

"I rather welcome that this has come up in a specific form, because it is always difficult to get these matters convincingly stated in the form of generalities."

I desired to call special attention to this:—

"I understand that we may possibly be having a debate, some time in the future, on the whole general question of Press censorship, and if that follows I feel that this specific case will be a fitting prelude to that general debate, because it will show you in detail what is happening, and what has happened in at least one specific case."

Senator Colgan took a very lenient view. He had overlooked, I suggest, what I must regard as a side-slip on the part of Senator Sir John Keane, who intimated that this was the curtain-raiser, the prelude to the imperial theme. There is a conspiracy apparently to renew the attack on censorship with one of these shock attacks, with Panzer troops, and the way will have been opened and prepared for it; a salient will have been made in the Government lines, and this attack will dispose of censorship in the eyes of the public once and for all and discredit it effectively. That is the real purpose of the debate. The real purpose is disclosed here. It is a prelude to a mass attack, and yet it is merely, according to the persuasive language of the terms of the motion, an invitation to the Minister.

The Senator goes on: he has so little sense of proportion as to compare the deletion of certain passages of family history and so on, to compare them to the case of Wilkes and John Brown, whose treatment led to the American Civil War. He compares them to Wilkes of North Briton fame. I am afraid, by the way, that the Senator thought it was West Briton this name was associated with. He also alludes to Captain Dreyfus. There is no possible comparison between these cases.

A Jew according to a story which I read had been indulging in pork, which is forbidden, I understand, to an orthodox Jew, and by coincidence a flash of lightning came out of a blue sky followed by thunder. He exclaimed: "What a fuss about a little piece of pork." Now what a fuss we have about a little deletion from the family history of a planter, one of the planters who wishes to gratify his family pride in the conquest of Ireland and its settlement upon confiscated lands. That, no doubt, is a congenial task, one that appeals to Senator Sir John Keane, but why should this House have its time occupied with all these tirades about liberty, freedom and constitutional rights, over such a trifle as this?

As he went on the Senator showed failure to distinguish between two very obviously different things, a failure so astounding as to make me for the first time in my life doubt the sincerity of a speaker. To show how iniquitous was the attack on the Minister, how unfair, and one-sided, he contrasts what he calls the treatment of one type of publication and this particular one under review. The Senator has a habit of challenging, when he forgets what he says himself so I had better quote his own language—he has made a sort of apology I know before the tea adjournment, but I am not accepting the apology. This is what he says in column 722:—

"We have also to examine other publications that have been allowed to appear without any restriction whatever. I do not object to that, not for one moment, because I want everything to appear."

That is the Senator in his genial moment. He "wants everything to appear". Then he says:—

"I want no censorship of any kind except of pornography or of blatant indecency."

I take no little credit to myself that between November, 1942, and February, 1944, this little change in the attitude of the Senator has been effected.

On a point of order, are we going to allow this matter of the censorship of books to be raised in the debate, because I will not be able to reply to-night?

I object to this interruption. It is not a point of order.


It is not a point of order.

To-morrow is another day. The Senator has enough of it, but other people have a right.

May I say——


Senator Magennis is merely quoting from something Senator Sir John Keane said in the speech. There is no point of order involved at all.

When I heard his confession that he does want a censorship of pornography and of blatant indecency, I recalled the lines of the poet:—

"The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd

Lets in new light through chinks that time has made."

Perhaps this debate will let in through further chinks new light on this question of saving the country from propaganda of a vicious type:—

"Do not think that I am asking for censorship; I am merely asking the Minister to explain the extraordinary inconsistencies of the censorship department."

Page 723:—

"Leas-Chathaoirleach: I am afraid the Senator is rather widening the scope of the debate."

That was a very mild reproof. What was the scope of the debate, as set out in the motion? The Minister was invited to give an account of what he had done in regard to one particular book and the Senator calmly proceeds to open up a new theme for which he had not set down a motion.

"Leas-Chathaoirleach: I am afraid the Senator is rather widening the scope of the debate.

Sir John Keane: I do claim the right to examine the consistency of the censorship department."

If he had claimed that right, he should have set down a motion that would cover it.

"I shall not be very long on this but, at least, I claim the right to refer to one publication, because the Minister says he wants to prevent the publication of anything provocative or dangerous to the public interest or the national security. I have here an extraordinary publication called Orange Terror. I am not going to wade through Orange Terror; the House need not be afraid. I am going to read only one passage from Orange Terror.”

With your permission, I propose to read at least one passage from Orange Terror.

"I am going to read only one passage from Orange Terror that is certainly provocative and that is not calculated to make for better relations with a friendly power.”

"That is not calculated to make for better relations with a friendly power"! That, I submit, is a distinct and specific charge that the passage that he read contravenes Emergency Powers Order, 151. It is a distinct allegation of a breach of the defences set up by this State in the way of neutrality and protection of national security.

"Here is the passage."

Before I read on, let me say that it is torn away from its context, not an unfamiliar thing with certain reviewers of books.

"In other words, Britain—the contriver and maintainer of a mutilated Ireland—Britain who utilised astutely the envenomed ascendancy of the settlers as an instrument for holding our Six Counties to serve as a second Gibraltar for her Empire."

Then later on in the same publication we read this:—

"How can any amelioration of the Irish Catholic helot's lot in Northern Ireland be secured but by political action.

"This appeared over the signature of a gentleman called William A. Magennis."

"The name was familiar to me and then, when I looked at the table of contents, I saw that it was Senator William Magennis who made these remarks, and these remarks have been allowed to pass uncensored."

"Have been allowed to pass uncensored" ! This is part of the Senator's indictment of the Minister—that he did not censor this statement. He has accused me, by name, of breaking the law and the Minister of condoning my breach of the law, turning a Nelson eye on it. Why does he impugn the right of anyone, call him what you like, to publish a statement in these terms or in similar terms? Simply because he does not understand what neutrality means. Let me explain to him that neutrality in international law is the condition of a State that declares that it will not aid, or intervene between, belligerents. In what way does that passage intervene between belligerents? Is it against national security? How can it be against national security when it protests against the mutilation of Ireland by a foreign Power and the maintenance of armed forces in portion of the province filched from its natural context, the island of Ireland? It will certainly not give offence to the most extreme Sinn Feiner—I need not mention names at which the Senator would shudder. It will, certainly, not offend the Party of which Senator Mulcahy is the Leader. The title of that Party declares its aim. It is called the "United Ireland Party." The very title of the Party that used to be known as "Cumann na nGaedheal" declares that it stands for the integrity of Irish territory. Certainly, Fianna Fáil is not likely to be offended by it. How can it be stated with any degree of truth, or any likelihood of being believed, that it is calculated to cause provocation and not to make for better relations with a friendly Power?

I take it the reference is to Great Britain. But has not Great Britain declared that she is, in this war, prepared to defend the rights of little peoples against aggression to the last ounce of her treasury and to the last drop of her citizens' blood? How can they be offended if they are told that here, beside them, in the island that is so frequently referred to as one of the British islands, there is a dismembered nation?

We have not to prove, there is no need to prove, our boundaries. The boundaries of an island are unmistakable. The boundaries of an island, in the natural order, are unquestionable. But a border line has been drawn as the frontier of Empire. The frontier of Great Britain and Northern Ireland lies across portion of our province of Ulster, and inside of that you have a minority that is almost equal in numbers to the majority; that is to say, it is a minority in arithmetic, but not a despicable minority, politically, and, at a time when propaganda from America, from Belgium, from France, from Germany even, is being circulated through the country without hindrance, the only people who are not to use propaganda on behalf of their national claim are the people of Southern Ireland! That is the doctrine of a Senator of this House who talks so glibly in his speech against the Minister—but let me give his own words, lest he should repudiate my recollection of them. He says:—

"I think the time has come when the Minister should go back to his political primer and should realise the proper attitude to Parliament. The Minister should realise that Ministers are the servants of Parliament. It is time he was told that its rights cannot be recklessly overridden, and that he cannot use his position to favour his vanity, his amour propre. He has a duty to his office in the nature of a judge, and has got to balance carefully the factors of public security as against personal liberty.”

Here is the man who has the audacity to talk of public security and personal liberty, and he is offended—offended to the soul—with a work that exposes the tyranny and the suppression of personal liberty in the Six Counties, where to be a Catholic is to be practically an outlaw; a State where it has been boasted that it is a Protestant State for a Protestant people; where Catholics are not to receive aid if they are not in employment, and in the case of whom, when they apply for employment, it is considered a sufficient excuse for refusing or denying them employment that their religion is Catholic. Satan reproving sin is, as we say colloquially, "not in it" with such a declaration as this.

"He has got to reflect that he has to balance carefully the factors of public security as against personal liberty,"

and the Senator would balance, according to this pronouncement, public security against personal liberty by the suppression of 20 contributions that include among their authors Protestants, men who are very well known in this country, such as Mr. Ernest Blythe.

"Really, it is rather sad that, after 25 years of political independence, we should now have to emphasise these elementary rights of a free people."

Who are "we", in that context? We are the Parliament of Twenty-Six Counties. "Ireland", as one of the anti-Union lawyers said with force and eloquence,—

"Ireland is an island. The Almighty has stamped upon her her indelible charter as a nation. The God that made our land an island never meant her to be a province and, by God, she never shall."

She has been made a province, however. That prophecy was not fulfilled. But here is audacity in excelsis: to condemn the appeal to the nations, the appeal to the better sense of the British people themselves against the negation in regard to Ireland of everything of which they hold themselves forth as champions to the world.

One of the London journalists interviewed me shortly before the outbreak of this war. He wanted to know what our attitude was going to be, and I remarked to him, amongst other things, that our present attitude was one of sardonic amusement. He asked, "Why?" I said: "Because Mr. Chamberlain is going to war on behalf of Poland, partitioned Poland. The Pharisee of nations is going to plunge Europe into a war of which no man can see the end, on behalf of a little nation that has an aggressive neighbour. We have an aggressive neighbour also, and her aggression has separated our land. It has put a red scar across the face of Ireland. Will you not do us justice and give us the freedom that is our right, to show your bona fides before the world, before you embark on this universal slaughter and destruction?” He was good enough to tell me that he never had been so thrilled in his life before. His rejoinder was:—

"The British people do not know of these facts; they have never been able to see them from this angle."

Some of us have attempted to give them such information as would enlighten them as to the utter Pharisaism of protestations of battling for small peoples and trying to make a new order in Europe where justice, liberty, charity, and all the other virtues will prevail.

Now, speaking of this dreadful publication, Orange Terror, Senator Sir John Keane says—and you will observe that this is in reply to a ruling of the Chair to the effect that the Senator was rather widening the scope of the debate, because he was bent on having his fling at Orange Terror:

"I claim the right to refer to one publication because the Minister says he wants to prevent the publication of anything provocative or dangerous to the public interest or the national security. I have here an extraordinary publication called Orange Terror. I am not going to wade through Orange Terror, the House need not be afraid.”

And, with your permission, I should like to quote a passage from the book that has been the casus belli in this affair, because I think that those passages are worthy of the attention of this House—I am reading, not from the publication which Senator Sir John Keane had, which is simply Orange Terror, but from the Capuchin Annual, 1943, in which it first appeared. In the Capuchin Annual this was added by the editor:—


"A fund to fight Partition! Subscriptions would pour into such a fund from all over the country and from outside the country, if people were convinced that it would be effectively spent. We are convinced, and readers of this edition of The Capuchin Annual, will all be convinced, that there is one way in which money can be spent, with very great effect for very little outlay, towards the unity of Ireland—and that without opening a fund, but with every Irish man and woman taking a personal, active part in the work.

"A section—a very large section —of this Annual deals with the North. It tells a terrible story—of the abandonment of 430,000 Catholics to Orange terrorism and repression; of almost unparalleled persecution of a religious minority; of responsible leaders and Government officials glorying in their evil tactics, boasting of them, inciting others to them; of the abrogation of common law, of imprisonment without charge, without crime, without redress, of democracy flouted, of elections gerrymandered, of all lawful protests proclaimed and frustrated, of juries packed, of evidence ignored, of perjury rampant, of a thousand and one injustices and wrongs; and it is all fully corroborated. You will not read it without a burning desire to end the hellish thing.”

Senator Sir John Keane naturally does not like that sort of speech. He would "not wade through it". He would tear a passage from its context, and ask people to believe that to write in these terms was a violation of neutrality. We have been very faithful to our neutrality. There was a time when every Nationalist, from Tone to O'Connell, repeated that England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity. We have not said that. We have preserved a strict neutrality, but while we have done so, we have declared in Article 29 of our Constitution a very important doctrine with regard to our international relations:

"Ireland affirms its devotion to the ideal of peace and friendly cooperation among nations, founded on international justice and morality."

"Founded on international justice and morality." My article, from which the Senator was pleased to quote in order to accuse me of disloyalty to this State by breaking its law in an important matter, objected to making a religious question of Partition, of separating the question of religious persecution from partition and making the removal of persecution the immediate object. I declared it is a political question and must be solved politically. It is merely drawing a red-herring across the trail for people to talk as the seconder of Senator Keane's motion talked about reconcilement coming about in the course of time.

Permit me to turn for a moment from the Senator's opening speech to deal with Senator O'Sullivan's. It has a bearing on this point. He had no word to say, I must admit, about Orange Terror, but he had about Sceilg's Life of Cathal Brugha. From that book he cites a passage of history from the period of the Black and Tans, and Senator O'Sullivan makes this comment on The House of Gregory affair:—

"I am afraid I must say that I am driven to the conclusion, and it is my belief, that after the book had been passed by the controller of censorship—and you will remember that the book was recalled for three weeks and then sent back to the author—the Minister came on the scene and resented, not references to atrocities committed by the Black and Tans, but those mentioned as having been committed by the other side—"

—the other side being the Cathal Brugha side, the Irish side. Then the Minister, it is alleged here, deleted passages from this book through spite. He resented no reference to atrocities committed by the Black and Tans but those mentioned as having been committed by the other side, that is, our side.

"...and determined with spiteful petulance to prevent the sale of the book by every and any lawful means in his power."

There he differs from the Senator who, "in spite of what lawyers might say", maintains that the Minister's action was illegal.

"I have mentioned both the black-and-tans and the I.R.A. but I should like to say that I did not mention these matters by way of drawing a red herring across the track."

He is careful not to tell us for what purpose he did mention them.

"The final verdict must be left to the historian of the future. It must be left to a time when all of us here have passed beyond these voices and we must await the charity and the tolerance such as living men are not always prepared to extend to each other and certainly not prepared to extend to each other in the measure shown by the author of this book. We may hope, too, for a measure of reconcilement in the whole territory of Ireland at some time in the future, although, perhaps, not in our lifetime, and if we do not get that reconcilement then, as a student of history, I tell you that there is no hope of unity in this country."

Adversity, we are told, makes us acquainted with strange bedfellows, but pertinacity and propaganda against a good cause also may bring strange bedfellowships into being. Here is the seconder of the motion wanting suppression of propaganda in the cause of Irish freedom, in the cause of integrity of Irish territory— in short, in the cause of Irish rights. Now, the author of the words I have read, purports, himself, to be a historian. He has published, I am told, a history of the Seanad, and incidentally, has given a history of contemporary Ireland, and the events belonging to it. I have not read the book, and, therefore, I cannot speak of it at first hand. If I have not read it, I have heard about it. It struck me as a very extraordinary speech in this passage, at any rate. Notice what this historian, who describes himself as a student of history, declares with regard to a case for Ireland: It is not to be made until other men and other times have arisen; the verdict on it is to be awaited.

The verdict on what—if the evidence of those who can give evidence is to be suppressed, as suppressed it is in the Six Counties of the North, where Orange Terror was banned, to show their love of liberty and their contempt for the people of Southern Ireland who have censorships? Now I re-read you, in the light of that, this passage:—

"The final verdict must be left to the historian of the future. It must be left to a time when all of us here have passed beyond these voices, and we must await the charity and the tolerance such as living men are not always prepared to extend to each other."

Why are we not to assert the rights of our people? Because we are alive? We are to wait for the verdict of someone in times to come, God knows how long. Meanwhile observe—this is the implication—let 430,000 Catholic Nationalists in the Six Counties go to Hell. He calls for tolerance and Christian charity. Tolerance for the oppressor, tolerance for those who as descendants of the planters are holding our land as a garrison. I have pointed out— not for the first time in the past 25 or 30 years—in Orange Terror, that the partition of our land is British policy, and that these bigotries, these quarrels between Catholics and Protestants are really fomented to give colour to the pretence of benevolent England that she has to keep her armed forces in Ireland lest peace should become impossible because of the divisions between these unhappy peoples. That is the pretence.

There is now a new situation and I would direct Senator Mulcahy's attention to this in particular. There is another armed force in possession of the Six Counties and its war facilities. Great Britain, as I have pointed out in that and as I have repeated through so many other agencies of publicity, holds the Six Counties because it commands the great highway between the Old World and the New but the war has shown that there is another port, a port leased by Great Britain, from Iceland. America took it over at the beginning of the war and America followed up that manoeuvre by occupying positions in the 26 Counties. When the allied forces went to Africa, America was careful to occupy another port that looks out on the ocean. Are not we entitled, in view of these developments, to consider that we are justified, while preserving our neutrality as between belligerents, not to cease to assert our national rights, that no Power may say in later days when this great re-settlement of the world is to come about, that we let our claim lapse?

By a fortunate coincidence, there is a leading article in the Irish Times to-day on Poland's future—not Ireland's future. Poland's future is “news” I must admit. I shall read just a little from it:

"Many years ago a Muscovite chieftain, Ivan III, remarked that there never could be peace, only a truce, between Russians and Poles."

It seems that there are other helot nations to which that could apply equally well. Senator Sir John Keane, in his propaganda delivered through this House, wishes the public to believe that we are to abandon all propaganda on behalf of Ireland against Great Britain, because we are pledged, and properly pledged, to neutrality as between all four belligerents. I challenge him to show that any passage which formed the context of his quotation runs counter to, runs foul of or in any way is incompatible with, neutrality as understood in international law, but if I was guilty of a breach of neutrality, so is the Irish Times. It gives a little history of the partition of Poland at various epochs and the different boundary lines of the Polish nation which have been drawn by politicians not geographers, and we come to this:

"Mr. Churchill said on Tuesday that, much as the British people are anxious to carry the war-time alliance with Soviet Russia into the constructive years of peace, they cannot forget their contractual obligations to the Poles."

The Irish Times is not afraid to quote Winston Churchill, who in his turn is not afraid to say to the ally upon which for the moment the whole security and future of the British Empire depend, viz., Russia, that notwithstanding its designs for the permanent partition of Poland, England and American claim to have a word to say about the matter. Because we are not contending about the partition of Poland but about the prolonged partition of our own island, Senator Sir John Keane says that when the Minister countenanced the circulation of my propaganda, he was unjust and unfair. The Irish Times goes on:—

"Mr. Churchill said on Tuesday that much as the British people are anxious to carry the war-time alliance with Soviet Russia into the constructive years of peace they cannot forget their contractural obligation to the Poles."

But they may, presumably, forget their contractual obligations to this country though America has not forgotten what its spokesman, Professor Woodrow Wilson, declared about the rights of small nations, the small as well as the great, to choose their way of life and obedience. Here is the end of the article:—

"When one considers the number of similar problems that bestrew"

If after that had come the word "Europe", it would have covered the case of Ireland, but the writer of the article is very, very particular, meticulously so.

The words are "Central and Eastern Europe." It reads:—

"When one considers the number of similar problems that bestrew Central and Eastern Europe one realises the difficulties of 1918 will be the merest child's play in comparison with the tasks that await those who will be required to clear up the present mess."

Senator Sir John Keane, of course, would not let the people of Southern Ireland call upon Great Britain to take a hand in clearing up the great mess which British politicians here created. I dwell upon this because it shows the virus, the ingrained hatred of the Irish nation which breaks out at some time against declarations to make and keep the Irish people Irish by having their own national culture, their own national language, and it breaks out on occasions like this again when a Minister in Southern Ireland is to prevent propaganda on behalf of the rights of Ireland to be Ireland, not Southern Ireland a State, and Northern Ireland as it is called, an imperial province with a completely different allegiance. We want to do away with the bridgehead in the frontier of the Empire drawn across our land but no, we must be silenced if we demand that and the man who puts forward that case has, as I repeat, the audacity to perorate on national security and freedom, justice and the rights of man.

What a piece of hypocrisy! That is the only word I can call it. I have exposed two pieces of hypocrisy in this nuisance raid: in the part which reveals that this is the beginning, the clearing of the ground for a massed attack to make room for the great tanks to move and assail our position and the second hypocrisy is that this is a move in the interests of high and lofty ideals. What a fuss about a little piece of pork!

After listening to this debate I am almost inclined to think that if this House was in any way an index of public opinion as it might be in other countries that there was some justification for what the Minister did. I am perfectly satisfied, however, that if the Minister allowed reviews and criticisms of this book in the newspapers we would have a state of affairs, very different from the tirades, irrelevancies and abuse—personal abuse—to which this House has listened. It is because I consider the country has got far more sense than many Senators who have spoken on this matter that I think the Minister could safely have allowed the reviews of this book to proceed and he would have found nothing in these reviews one fraction as provocative as the speeches that have been made here.

We have heard a perfect orgy of attributing motives and certain Senators who have spoken seem to know for certain what was in my mind when I brought up this motion far better than I claim to know myself. One Senator said he was perfectly certain that I brought up this motion in order to bring about a state of war but I will leave that statement to the good sense of anybody listening to me. Other Senators say that I have brought it up in order to show to people outside the country the hardships of our censorship, and in other cases I think it is suggested that I brought it up to bring ridicule on the national position. I claim to have made a strong and fair case on this motion and one that can in no way support the motives that have been attributed to me.

I went out to show that there has been injustice in this case and not a single member of the House that I heard in the debate has dealt with that charge which I claim to have proved. I showed how this book was submitted to the Censor, how the Censor's deletions were in substance accepted and the Minister himself said that he is not concerned with certain additions that were made after the Censor had passed this book. Then I showed to the House that the book was not allowed to be reviewed and that even advertisements for the sale of the book were not allowed to appear in the Press. Surely that is injustice? It may be only a small man and not a very important book, but surely the House would agree justice is justice and injustice is injustice even if it is applied to the most humble of our citizens.

The Minister says that I have no concern for the interests of Irish publishers. Let me say now that I have no special concern for the interests of Irish publishers, but I have a deep concern with justice for every publisher and with justice for every person. I am very much concerned with what the Minister has said about this particular matter because it shows that in the future there will be injustice to Irish publishers. The Minister has said, in effect, that publishers will know what they are up against now and what their liabilities are. Therefore, we have the position that the Censor may pass a book and that book will be allowed to be sold, but it may not be allowed any review or advertisements. Certainly anyone wanting to publish a book would hesitate to do so in this country with that hanging over him.

I might prolong this debate for two hours if I were to follow Senator Magennis all over Europe.

Do you withdraw your charge against me?

I will deal with you all right, and I can assure the Senator that one of my greatest pleasures in being a member of this House is to cross swords with him. I realise that he brings a literary and cultured contribution to debate, and I, with my rather primitive resources, rarely get an opportunity of joining issue with a person of such literary eminence. But it so happens that plain, unlettered people are often able to deal more effectively with learned pedants than pedants themselves. I was a little bit surprised, too, that after the sorry figure which the Senator cut in the last debate in this House, he should come in again here so actively and aggressively on this occasion. I do not say he cut a sorry figure in this House, because I know he got a great deal of support in this House, but if he heard what I heard—undoubtedly off the record, outside this House—of his performance on that occasion, I do not think he would be very happy. This off-the-record business is perhaps almost one of the curses of this country, but I can assure the Senator that many of his, I will not say friends, but life-long acquaintances, say things which really he would not like to hear at all in regard to the previous debate.

I am thankful to the Minister for one thing. I am thankful to him for intervening in the debate when he did, and saving me from what say were the mischievous machinations of the metaphysically-minded Senator. I never drew up this motion with any regard to the strict legal examination. I thought we were approaching this as friends and comrades here, and that we would take this thing rough-and-ready; that we were not going to examine motions from the point of view of a Petty Sessions attorney. I will, however, know better the next time, and when I am dealing with the Senator again, I will button up my pockets and remember the words I heard in my young days spoken by Joseph Chamberlain at Birmingham on the occasion of an international crisis, when he said: "He who sups with the Devil must use a long spoon." I will get my spoon lengthened when I come to deal with the Senator again. I have no doubt, of course, that we probably do expect a certain vehemence from the other side of the House in view of the weakness of their case, because no Senator who attacked me and the motion with vehemence had made any attempt to defend the specific charges I made against the Minister. Then, again, the charge in this case was a serious one, one worthy of being placed on a high Constitutional plane—that the Minister, in refusing to allow publication of the agenda of this House, and in that way was trifling with the sovereign power of Parliament; that he is not going to let people know what Parliament is going to discuss. The Minister says: "No, I am not going to have people know beforehand what is going to take place in this House," and, of course, as we know, he is not going to let them know in the Press because he can stop the Press.

That is a strange idea of a free democracy and am I exaggerating when I claim that this is a moral right? Certainly it is the first time I have ever heard a defence of that kind brought in in support of censorship of Parliamentary debates. I felt that when the Minister said that, he was playing a game and making his own rules as he went along. It is a most astounding reason and, apparently, it is only to apply to censorship. We can have motions on anything else as far as I can see, motions on Partition or any other question and they will be allowed to be fully published beforehand, but no motion which has to do with the censorship and in which the censorship is concerned is going to be allowed to be published beforehand, so that the people of the country may not write to inform us, the Senators on either side of the House, or say to us: "I would like to bring this case to your notice and I think you ought to bring it up when the debate proceeds."

I think the Minister's attitude was entirely unconstitutional. The agenda of Parliament, perhaps, is a very small matter but the principle is large and in that way I think it deserves being treated on the plane on which I placed it. I brought it to the plane of the fundamental rights of a free people. The Minister suggested that I exaggerated when I compared Dr. Gregory's treatment to that of a famous man in the history of the States, John Browne. The Minister said there was no comparison between what he did in the case of Dr. Gregory and what was done in the case of John Browne; that one was for unity and the other was for some purely trivial domestic matter. I challenge that and I say that the rights of Parliament are every bit as important in their own way as the rights of national unity. If you are going to ask me to choose between a united Ireland at the point of the Minister's blue pencil and the Twenty-Six Counties free to speak and think as they like then I prefer the latter. That is my opinion. I do not think unity will be worth anything if we are not going to have freedom of Parliament, freedom of speech and freedom of the Press. That is my considered opinion, and I have got no motives whatever in making that statement except the rights of the people.

I can assure the Senators who spoke somewhat vehemently against me personally, that that leaves me absolutely cold. I have been born and bred in that atmosphere. I know all about it. Perhaps the Senators do not know my record but I can assure them that I have been through all that before. I was a member of a Board of Guardians and I was up against P.F. Walsh and Alex Heskin and men like them. I have spent plenty of time in an atmosphere similar but rather milder and more courteous in tone than I have noticed to-day. You talk about giving me medicine but I can tell you it is no use. I am hardened to it.

I was rather interested, however, by the personal reference that was made to me—that I am naturally sympathetic to the aggressor and the grabber and that I am a bird of passage here not entitled to make such contribution as I see fit to our national life. My friend, Senator Quirke, made a similar charge on a previous occasion and when I asked him to prove it he told me that he had been trying to get a book but the man who had the book had gone away.

As a matter of explanation, I was merely making excuses for the Senator. He did not understand the Irish people. As I said then, and I repeat now, he does not understand the Irish people.

On a previous occasion you said our family had acquired our property by dubious methods. I will not pass many remarks on that, but you said you were prepared to prove it and you never gave the proof. But I will leave that. You say I am a bird of passage but do you realise that in my blood I have got a record of knowledge of confiscation and oppression just as great as perhaps any member of this House? If you look at the maps of Elizabethan Ireland you will see the O'Cathain country where our forebears came from. My forebears were driven out of that country in those days and my forebears fought in the Battle of the Boyne. Our interests were acquired by honest means and we acquired our property by honest means. Our money was made in an honest profession. Any one who knows the O'Cathains knows that is the case, and I say that nobody unless he is steeped in political prejudice can deny it.

Now, I am making no apologies whatever for bringing up this matter. I claim to be acting in the interests of the people, and let me say that although I get abuse in this House I get almost a fan mail outside.

Yes, a fan mail. How do you account for it? People who hardly know me come up to me on the street and say: "I read your speech with such interest." One person said: "I never read a Parliamentary debate with such interest as I did the one with your speech."

They were pulling your leg.

They were not pulling my leg. These people are not on such terms with me that they could pull my leg. I want to say, however, that Senators are living in a fool's paradise if they think that everything is grand and all right outside this House. I am making this protest for the benefit of the country as a whole and I can assure you that there are people in this country gravely dissatisfied with the methods of censorship and particularly with the attitude taken in relation to The House of Gregory.

I have now finished except to say that I will withdraw the motion. I am not in a position to do anything else because the motion is not in a form in which it could be decided on in a division. The next time I want to put down a motion I will put it in a form that will defeat the machinations even of Senator Magennis.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.