The Republic of Ireland Bill, 1948—Second Reading (Resumed).

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

With the echoes of the '98 celebrations still vibrating through the air, it would be a poor Irish heart that would not feel its pulse quicken when a Bill with a title like that which is in our hands comes before the House—the Republic of Ireland Bill, 1948. Listening to Senator Bigger last night, I asked myself what would the men of '98, the men of '48 or the men of '16 have given to be assured that the day would come, even if it were 150 years later or 100 years later, when an Irish Parliament would meet to discuss and to pass a Bill with such a title. What would Senator Bigger's ancestor who gave his life for Ireland in '98 have said if he had known that we would be meeting in this free Parliament to discuss such a Bill? What would his uncle, Francis Joseph Bigger, my good friend, have said if he knew this day had come? For the thrill the title gives us and the proof that the death and the sufferings of those who fought in '98, in '48, in '67 and in '16 were not in vain, I think we owe thanks to the Taoiseach and to the Government for the introduction of this Bill. For my part I render that thanks in the most whole-hearted spirit.

It required bigness on their part to admit that since 1936, or certainly since 1937, when the majority of the Irish people in the Referendum of that year adopted the Constitution, we have had what Article 5 claims for this State, that it is an independent, sovereign and democratic State. I believe that that is an authoritative definition of a republic. It is comforting to think that those who sneered at the "dictionary republic" as well as Britain and the nations formerly called the British Commonwealth have accepted it. We can put our label to it then one of these days without the fear of having it pulled down. This hour sees a vindication of those who stood for the Constitution. It shows bigness for the Taoiseach to admit he has been in the wrong. Let us who supported the Constitution show bigness too. I stood for the Constitution and merely lost my seat in the Seanad through my support of the Constitution. We must be big and let bygones be bygones. The interpretation which was put on subsection (2) of Section 1 of Article 41 of the Constitution had such an effect on the women in Ireland that they mustered in battle array to defeat the Constitution in the Referendum. It would have been a great disaster if they had done so and we must thank God, and thank God doubly to-day when we are discussing this Bill, that the Constitution was not rejected. I admit whole-heartedly that it is a real advance that we can take the name republic and attach it to the State which the Constitution set up in 1937. I admit that that is a great advantage, and, if I had any doubts about it, I was convinced by Senator Lavery's admirable speech last night.

It is a good thing to get rid of the External Relations Act and it a good thing that there is no King's name in any of our laws. That is a decided advance, but, alas, portion of Ireland is still portion of the Royal Title—King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This we must not forget, that this republic we are setting up—we are not setting it up—this republic which we describe in this Bill, is a republic for only Twenty-Six Counties. I think, too, that the name "Republic of Ireland" is a misnomer in the circumstances. I listened to the Taoiseach last night and he made a very good point. I think his reasoning was that, as in the Constitution we say that the name of the State is Ireland, or Eire, in the Irish language, we can call this republic the Republic of Ireland. Some of his Ministers, the Minister for External Affairs, who I am glad is listening to me, went further when speaking on the Second Reading in the Dáil and Deputy Major de Valera agreed with him. He said:

"The new Act will extend to the whole country in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution."

That appears at column 704 of Volume 113 of the Dáil Debates. But surely it is difficult to accept that opinion or to believe it is justified in view of the "self-denying ordinance" embodied in Article 3 of the Constitution, which declares:

"Pending the reintegration of the national territory and without prejudice to the right of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of that territory the laws enacted by that Parliament shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws of Saorstát Éireann and the like extra-territorial effect."

That seems to me to limit the area and extent of application of our ordinary legislation to the Twenty-Six Counties. This Bill is just a piece of ordinary legislation and no more applies to the Six Counties than do our licensing laws.

The Minister for External Affairs, in the same speech, claimed, as an important fruit of this Bill, that this will be the first time that the Republic of Ireland will, as a separate State and entity, take its place among the nations of the world. But will he claim that the nations of the world will recognise it as the Republic of Ireland, in the full historic sense of those words? I do not think he can, and the British Premier made it quite plain that he does not accept it in that sense. I think I read in some of the papers that a member of the Northern Ireland Parliament described Mr. Attlee, when he was making his declaration on the Bill to the British House of Commons, as having behaved towards us with the excessive indulgence of a benign parent to a spoiled child, but he lost no time in assuring the British House of Commons that there would be no change in the constitutional position of Northern Ireland and reiterated a former promise of his that there would be no change in that position until Northern Ireland consented to come in with us.

He may have behaved with the benign indulgence of a parent to a spoiled child, but I think he thought he was just giving us a Christmas toy to keep us happy in our corner, because we would not be happy till we got it. He did not see any objection to letting us have this name as we already have the reality. But, for my part, that ought to put us very much on our guard. I cannot escape the suspicion that the British Premier would not have been so forthcoming and benign, had he not thought that the passing of this Bill would lengthen and strengthen Partition. That is something we must guard against, and one way of guarding against it is by not having any premature rejoicings. There was a lot of discussion in the Dáil with regard to calling the day on which this Bill comes into force Independence Day. We have not got independence, so long as six of our counties are under the British Crown, held by British troops and the whole frontier manned by British customs officers. We have not got the freedom which the men of '48, '98 and '16 died for, so long as that is the case.

I give the House an instance of a personal type. I wrote a book some time ago and my own brother in Northern Ireland cannot import that book on a commercial basis for sale in his shop. He must take it in in twos and threes. Is that the Republic of Ireland? I think it would be most unsuitable if we were to rejoice so long as our territory is not united. Pearse prayed for an Ireland Gaelic and free, but there was not a divided Ireland in his time and our prayer must be for an Ireland free, Gaelic and undivided.

Mr. Hayes

The Republic of Ireland Bill is put forward by the Taoiseach and the Government as something which gets rid of pretence and enables us to face realities. It surely clears the road for us to make economic and social progress. It removes doubts and removes confusion, and, before I go any further on that point of confusion, let me quote the present Leader of the Opposition, speaking in University College in December, 1938. He said:—

"I, for one, am sorry...because I feel that if we were able to say that we were an independent republic there would be none of this confusion which exists at the moment and which is helping to cause dissatisfaction and is in a sense a source of danger."

That was quoted by the Minister for External Affairs in the Dáil on 26th of last month and surely, by itself, it goes to show that there was confusion and that that confusion was acknowledged by the head of the Government responsible for the Constitution of 1937 and the External Relations Act of 1936. This Bill removes that confusion and we remove, therefore, from Parties and from politics certain shibboleths and catchcries which have done us harm and tended to impede our social, economic, and cultural progress. In the future, Parties must base themselves upon their achievements in the economic, social, cultural and educational fields. That is a great argument in favour of this Bill. The statement that there was no confusion is, of course, quite contrary to the facts, as acknowledged by Deputy de Valera himself.

The Bill has been attacked on three different grounds. The first ground— in which all the English newspapers, joined by at least one Irish newspaper, united—was that the declaration of a republic would be followed by dire consequences to Irish citizens, dire consequences in the realm of citizenship, dire consequences in the realm of trade, and with the further insinuation and sometimes explicit statement that the new State, the republic, would not be internationally recognised. Before the Bill came to its final stages in the Dáil, all these doubts had been resolved, all these fears had been dissipated and it had been proved by statements made in Great Britain, in Canada, Australia and other places that all the prophets of evil were quite foolish and that their prophecies were quite groundless.

There is a great deal of misunderstanding of what Dominion status was or of what the link with the Crown meant, both by those opposed to Dominion status and by some, like Professor Bigger here, who favour it. There is no such thing as having the same King and having necessarily, because we have the same King, good economic relations. We had the same King with Great Britain in 1933—there can be no doubt about it—but we had an economic war and economic sanctions and economic loss, although we were within the Commonwealth without any doubt then and had the same King as Great Britain. Having the same King does not mean, either, a free interchange of citizens.

I attended for four or five weeks a conference of parliamentary delegates from various Commonwealth countries, and one of the great bones of contention there was the colour bar, the difficulty between certain parts of the Commonwealth where, in spite of having the same King and quite freely and clearly acknowledging the same King, people are not able freely to travel within the King's Dominions. The same applies to currency. Canada and Great Britain acknowledge the same King but have two different currencies. Neither does it mean going to war together. South Africa went to war on the last occasion, after the proposal was actually opposed and only carried on a division in the South African Parliament. That being so, it should be recognised that, without recognising the King—because for historic reasons we cannot do it and never wanted to do it—there is no reason why, having come to that conclusion and having now actually named the State the republic, we should not continue to enjoy whatever advantages we have been enjoying heretofore.

Another argument against the Bill is that it makes no real change at all. The truth is that those who put forward that argument are bewildered and annoyed at the introduction of this Bill and as a result of their bewilderment and annoyance they are floundering about in a mass of false and absurd history and ridiculous constitutional law—including, of course, abuse of constitutional lawyers. One of the strange things in this debate is that the word "lawyer" appears to be a term of abuse and opprobrium. Senator Ó Buachalla when speaking yesterday struck me as suffering from a very acute inferiority complex. He was talking about constitutional law points but seemed to regard the possession of legal knowledge and professional ability in constitutional law to be a drawback from which the Taoiseach and the Minister for External Affairs and the Attorney-General were suffering. Senator Bigger, although himself also a university man and a university teacher, seemed to suffer from the same peculiar inferiority complex, which I regret to see in any university man.

The name "Ireland" has been mentioned. Surely Senator Bigger—or, for that matter, Senator Quirke or anyone else—does not think that the people who accepted the Treaty were Unionists? They certainly were not. They were Nationalists but they were realists as well. They included many who had fought hard against His Majesty and His Majesty's forces. Some of them are dead now, some happily alive. Collins, Mulcahy, MacEoin, Gearóid O'Sullivan and others— they looked the facts in the face and never said that the settlement of 1921 was a final or an ideal settlement. They never concealed their desire to make progress to absolute freedom, not only in fact but in form.

In spite of that a good deal of our history has been misunderstood and not only misunderstood but wilfully misrepresented. Surely we should regard our history as progress and regard what everybody did at a particular moment as something worthy of praise—where credit should be given when credit is due? I am tried of hearing people talking about Daniel O'Connell and criticising him because he was not out in 1916.

It is what he did in 1798 we were talking about.

Mr. Hayes

If Senator Colgan had read his history about Daniel O'Connell, he would find out that he could not have been out in 1916.

He was out in Dublin, raiding rebels' houses.

Mr. Hayes

O'Connell was able to do something for the Irish people in his own time and in his own way. I was reared a strong, violent, relentless, opponent of the Irish Party. Everything I have read since has led me to believe that what they did was a necessary preliminary to what was done afterwards. What O'Connell did was a necessary preliminary to the Land War and to what came after.

I admit that, but I will not whitewash O'Connell.

Mr. Hayes

I am not whitewashing anyone—not even myself. I think we should get a view of Irish history that shows men as doing their best in their own way and in their own time and making substantial progress, until this point we have reached to-day which leaves only one step of progress still to be made, as Senator Mrs. Concannon has explained. That is what we have to do and to say, as was said yesterday, that progress was made after 1932 and no progress was made before that is just childish, futile, absurd and false history.

Progress was made before 1932. For Senator Quirke's information, I quote him an authority I am sure he is willing to accept. In this very House, on the Second Stage of the Constitution (Removal of Oath) Bill, 1932, Senator Seán Milroy asked a question of the then President of the Executive Council, Deputy de Valera, and it is given in the Seanad Debates, Volume 15, column 938, 2nd June, 1932, as follows:—

"The President:... I thought for one, at any rate, that the 26 Counties here, as a result of the 1926 and 1930 Conferences, had practically got into the position—with the sole exception that instead of being a republic it was a monarchy—that I was aiming at in 1921 for the whole of Ireland."

You could not have greater praise than that.

"Mr. Milroy: As a result of the Treaty?

"Mr. de Valera: I am quite willing to give to Senator Milroy or anybody else any credit that can be got for the policy they aimed at, and I am prepared to confess that there have been advances made that I did not believe would be made at the time."

There is an authority that my friends on the opposite side will surely accept for the advances that were made. From 1932 further advances were made, particularly from the point of view of taking out forms and symbols which no longer enshrined within them any substance or fact. As was quoted here yesterday, a Scotsman, Mr. Berriedale Keith, an authority on constitutional law, said in 1933 that Mr. Cosgrave in 1932 had deprived the King of every vestige of influence and of all legal power. You cannot do anything better than that.

Fianna Fáil continued that particular kind of progress and they continued it and were able to continue it because the Statute of Westminster had been passed in 1931 through the efforts of people like the present Taoiseach and the present Minister for Finance, Deputy McGilligan. Therefore, we can look at the whole as a record of progress. To shut our eyes to the fact that that progress was based on the transfer of power from the British to us in 1922 and the evacuation of the Twenty-Six Counties by British troops is to blind oneself wilfully to the obvious truth. At any rate, the ex-Taoiseach was not blinding himself to the obvious facts. We should give credit all round and we should recognise that progress was possible in 1921 that was not possible in 1914; in 1937 that was not possible in 1922; and in 1948 progress is possible that perhaps was not possible in 1937. But we will have to get rid of this business of thinking that certain people, because they use certain catchcries, have a monopoly of intelligence and patriotism. They have not.

Why all the solicitude on the part of the Opposition and other people about the Fine Gael Party? What is their anxiety about that Party? It is quite touching to find so many people so interested in our Party and its position now. The whole trouble with these people is that they thought the Fine Gael Party was dead, and they find it alive now, proclaiming a republic. They are very hurt. I can understand that, but they would be very well advised not to talk so much about it. When I hear people abusing lawyers my mind goes back to the Sinn Féin and volunteer days, when we were very glad indeed to have the services of lawyers, the services of constitutional lawyers, the services of ingenious and patriotic lawyers who used their ingenuity without fee or reward to save Irishmen from the firing squad. One of the people who did that was the present Taoiseach, and the Attorney-General who spoke last night. Senator Ó Buachalla at that time would not have spoken with contempt of constitutional lawyers who were using their brains and experience for that very great and very laudable purpose. I am sure that the Senator has heard of cases of that kind.

There is another objection to this Bill by those who say that they have a sentimental attachment to the Crown and that this Bill is taking the Crown away from them. I think the Attorney-General very successfully disposed of that argument yesterday. It is very interesting to find that those who are attached to the Crown all seem to have ancestors who died for Ireland. It is a very remarkable thing that Senator Bigger, who, I am afraid, was rather confused in what he said, began by explaining what his ancestors had done and then went on to deprecate anybody talking about 1916. In other words, if your great grand-uncle or your great grandfather died in the Battle of Antrim, it is all very good, but if Senator Colgan said he was out in 1916, that is very bad. That is reaping up old things which we should not reap up.

Senator Bigger demonstrated that he was neither a lawyer nor a politician. If a politician is a person who should have given study to these matters, then Senator Bigger certainly does not qualify for that particular title. Surely Senator Bigger, if he followed the progress of our operations since 1922, would have realised that under the Fine Gael Party for which he voted, as he says, and for which he is never going to vote again—it is a very foolish thing for a politician to say how he is going to vote at the next election; the best people reserve their judgment until they see the circumstances and hear the speeches—as I have said, progress was made in every possible way towards practical republicanism from 1922 until 1932 under Mr. Cosgrave.

Perhaps Senator Bigger will listen to me as I am not a constitutional lawyer, but I presided over the Dáil when the Constitution of 1922 was passed. One of the most interesting things about it was the extraordinary efforts made to create a republican constitution combined with a king. Constitutional lawyers or historians who study the Constitution will be struck by the constant endeavour, so to speak, to put the King in his place as a servant of the Executive and to give as much as possible of a republican form to the Constitution. There was a proposal to have a Constitution in which the King would not enter at all. Only for the unhappy civil war it might have been possible to do that. It was not done, however. Certainly there can be no doubt that that was the idea then, and there is nothing new in the present Taoiseach or anyone who supports him coming forward with this Bill for the Republic of Ireland now.

There has been some talk about people's election pledges. Surely Senator Bigger has regard for Edmund Burke, a great Irishman who was attached to the British Crown and who was a member of the British Parliament. Surely he is a great authority for the theory that when you get into Parliament you must do your best; that you are a representative and not a delegate. I take it Senator Bigger has heard that. The promise, if it were a promise, that the Taoiseach as a candidate for election gave was a promise which depended on the Fine Gael Party getting a majority, and they did not get a majority. A new situation arose and new opportunities. The new opportunities had to be grasped and the new opportunities are being grasped in this Bill, not for the good of a Party, but for the good of the whole country. Surely there is nothing constitutionally wrong, nothing undemocratic, and nothing dishonest in any such operation.

If the Senator or any other Senator will look back at the history of any Parliament he will find, over and over, things done for which no explicit mandate had been demanded at the previous general election. The theory that you must do nothing in Parliament except something you have a mandate for would be very crippling and very bad for Parliamentary government. Many feel that it is a pity we could not have loyalty to the Crown but, if loyalty to the Crown is an essential factor in membership of the British Commonwealth of Nations, then we must remember what loyalty is. Loyalty, surely, is a growth. Senator Bigger will appreciate that loyalty is a growth, a natural growth and not a synthesis. You cannot make up loyalty to the Crown in a laboratory. You cannot compound it in a vessel. You cannot make it with machinery. You cannot create a sentiment of loyalty to the Crown by Parliamentary resolution. If every single one of us here, for the purpose of satisfying Senator Bigger or some other people with sentimental attachment to the British Crown, were unanimously to resolve that we were loyal, we would not be a bit more loyal walking out of the door than we were walking in. It must be a genuine feeling, and for reasons which there is no use arguing about and which everybody knows there is no such real feeling here. The Oath of Allegiance that was devised in the Treaty was, according to Lord Birkenhead, "the greatest prevarication in history," so great a prevarication that people who took it said they did not take it at all.

On that point, I may say this, when the Fianna Fáil Party came into the Dáil in 1927 they took the oath as much as anybody else did. If they did not take it, nobody took it. It was taken exactly in the same way by everybody of all Parties. Nothing has given rise to more prevarication, to more public scandal, than that discussion over that particular formula of words, created because the Irish did not want to take a full-blooded Oath of Allegiance to the Crown.

It is arguable that we should never have been put into this Dominion pattern. The British desired in 1921 that Ireland should go into the pattern of the British Dominions. We did a good deal since 1922 to break the pattern up. The British should have made it a sine qua non for our getting certain powers in this country but the realists who accepted that position accepted that position as a step towards getting what the Irish people wanted and what the Irish people cannot help wanting and what this Bill gives us for Twenty-Six Counties at any rate.

Let me say one other word on Partition. We are told that the removal of the King from this discreditable and by no means dignified position as an organ or instrument that he occupied in the External Relations Act, is going to put an obstacle in the way of union with our fellow-countrymen in the North. I wonder have we forgotten all so soon what it is that our fellow-countrymen in the North object to, those of them who do object. I remember the last Home Rule Bill. It became a suspended Act, eventually, in 1914. It contained a full-blooded Oath of Allegiance to the King. There was no Irish army in it, no Irish flag, no anthem, no fiscal powers, no power in it to protect Irish industry or impose a tariff on British goods. The control of the very police force was postponed, and not given to the Irish Parliament in Dublin at once. It was to that Bill that objection was taken, and it was against that Bill that the Ulster Volunteers organised. It was to prevent that Bill from coming into operation that they threatened to throw the King's Crown into the Boyne, consorted with the King's enemy and created a mutiny in the King's army.

People like myself, reared as I was reared, will have to be allowed to be rather sceptical about the loyalty of those people for whom Senator Bigger says he speaks, because their loyalty was such that they would not accept from the British Crown for this country what we now consider to be so mean and so miserable and so poor an instalment of freedom as that. The people who would not accept that, we are told, would be prepared to consider unity if we would retain the undignified position of the British Crown which is enshrined in the External Relations Act of 1936.

Surely, Sir, if these people in the North are, as I believe they are, the bluff, honest, sincere people that we are told so much about, surely they will appreciate honesty and sincerity and straight republicanism better than they will appreciate the milk and water combination which combines royalty with republicanism. Surely we can speak to them now on a clearer basis. Surely they will have more regard for us in our new position than they could ever have had for us in the position we occupied when the External Relations Act enabled people to say that we were something or that we were not something, as they wished, that we were one thing here and another thing there.

This Bill appears to me to be an honest effort to clear up a tangled and confused situation. I have had experience of the confusion. Although I have some understanding of it, I could not explain it to anybody, to Parliamentarians from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa whom I met recently except on the basis that the people of this country had no regard for the Crown for historical reasons, which the South Africans understood very well—some of them— and that an endeavour had been made to have a republican form of government and retain the slenderest possible link with the Crown. When we have cleared away that difficulty we will enable all Irishmen to co-operate for cultural, social and economic purposes and give fair play to everybody.

Senator Bigger has already told us that fair play is being given. For my part the thing I liked least in Senator Bigger's speech was his statement that the minority here were getting more than their due. I hope not. I hope that what the minority is getting it merits by its intelligence and zeal. It does no good to give back-handed compliments of that particular character. This Bill will enable us to co-operate better, and will prevent, as the Taoiseach has said, controversy which bears no fruit, which is arid and barren. It will enable us to treat with the majority in the Six Counties on a franker and more honest basis, and they like frankness, they like straight-forwardness, and they like blunt honesty. It will also enable us to have more intelligent co-operation and better economic relationship with Great Britain and the British Dominions. If that is so, we should all be satisfied. We should all accept this Bill for what it is, and not try to belittle the Bill or explain that it is taking something from people that they had and that they cherished. It is taking nothing from people who cherished the King because the King was in no position here that anybody who reveres him or honours the British Crown could have agreed with. This Bill is going to set us forward to a new era of co-operation between ourselves, and with our nearest neighbours and greatest friends.

I rise as a Six County Protestant to support and welcome this Bill. The House will pardon me if I advert in the beginning to the already very much publicised remarks of Senator Bigger last night, simply because we have to clear away false thinking about the position of the minority in the Six Counties. I hope to show you very shortly that the title of this Bill is a perfectly accurate one, and Senator Bigger's remarks last night confirmed me in my opinion. Senator Bigger claimed not to be a constitutional lawyer or a politician, and I am afraid that he is not a scientist in politics. His speech was one of the most inaccurate I have heard produced in a public debate for a long time.

What did Senator Bigger ask us to believe? He wants us to believe that this Government here which is based on the will of the people, this present Government which is making every effort to clear away trial by special tribunal and imprisonment without charge, is exactly equivalent to the Government under which I live, a Government which claims that it cannot govern without the Special Powers Act which is an abrogation of every decency of ordinary civil law. Senator Bigger asks us to assume that we must treat the one Government with the same deference and the same delicacy as we treat the other. One thing I know about Senator Bigger is that he is not living in the Six Counties and I am. He says that there is no coercion in the Six Counties. There is a fascist police force, armed and paid for by all the people who live in the Six Counties, including us Nationalists, and I could tell Senator Bigger a long story about their treatment of myself. There was no open coercion against me although I know from the inside records— because I have my own intelligence service—that it was said by police authorities: we will have to put this man, Ireland, in jail during the war. The matter was discussed and they came to the conclusion that they could not put me in jail because I knew too many influential people. Short of that, my telephone was tapped, my mail was interfered with, the police visited my house and searched my papers simply because I was an opponent of the Government, an opponent who suggested that what we should do at that time was for all of us to get into green uniforms and help to defend the country. Yet Senator Bigger tells me that I must treat that Government up there with the same deference and delicacy as I would treat this seat of Government here. I submit that the comparison of unlikes is the father of all faulty reasoning. Here in this House, however, we have a scientist comparing the most blatant unlikes and asking us to accept the reasoning. If Senator Bigger performed experiments in his laboratory on that basis he would not get very far, but here we have an experiment affecting the lives of people and that is the reasoning on which it is based.

I knew that at some time in Senator Bigger's remarks he would come to deal with the old question of the British Navy. I knew that it was inevitable that it would come out. Why did the British Navy protect this country and our shores during the war? Was it for love of Ireland or was it to protect their own interests? Senator Professor Bigger did not tell us that the British Navy also protected the coasts of Holland, France and Belgium. Does Senator Bigger ask us to draw the conclusion that because the British Navy defended those coasts, the people of those countries owe loyalty to the British Crown? While the British Navy was protecting the coast of France one of the things that was worrying Britain and America was the cleavage of France into two sections and the splitting of French political opinion. That was their one bugbear. But the people of Britain and America did not subsidise and protect the interests making for division in France and yet they do it in Ireland. Senator Bigger did not bring that out in his allusions to the British Navy. I am afraid that Senator Bigger has confirmed me in my opinion. If scientists in politics would only bring into their outlook the same hard reasoning— because Senator Bigger is a distinguished scientist—that they devote to their scientific pursuits, all would be well, but I am afraid that they lead us astray when they come into politics and lead themselves astray. Senator Bigger made great play of loyalty to the Crown. He spoke of the Crown as being a centre for the British Commonwealth of Nations. I happen to be a Presbyterian, and we Presbyterians, I think, are ipso facto republicans. If a Six-County Presbyterian is not republican in politics it is due to the fact that he has not carried his thinking to a logical conclusion. In any event, the Six Counties is a much more republican area from a social point of view and in our outlook on life than this area down here.

The very philosophy of life in the Six Counties is republican. The very structure, the very government of our Presbyterian Church is republican. What I say to my Protestant friends who are not Presbyterians is that the problem facing you at the moment is perfectly simple. The problem facing the loyalist Protestants is under which King will you serve, the King of England or the King of Kings? If we want a centre for the real Commonwealth of freedom-loving nations, which I hope is going to come about in Western Europe, for all of us who follow the Christian ethic as a basis of society, is it not perfectly obvious that if we need a centre for that greater Commonwealth to which this Bill contributes, the centre for that co-operation of nations based on Christian ideals should be the King of Kings? Will the King of Kings not serve much better as a centre for that Christian effort than any earthly king? When one thinks of that, it puts these matters of loyalty to earthly kings in their proper perspective.

Senator Bigger also referred to the economic issues that might impede the reunion of this nation. He spoke of the economy and the great industries of the Six Counties and I think he mentioned social services. The trouble with Senator Bigger's reasoning is that it is so much after the fair. He tells us that he is not an ex-Unionist, but the brand of sentimentality and false reasoning to which he treated us last night bears such close relationship to ex-Unionist reasoning that I am afraid it is suspect, and to ram home that suspicion we have only to look at this morning's issue of an ex-Unionist paper and see the pæans of joy with which Senator Bigger's remarks were greeted.

On this question of the social services and of fitting the industries of the Six Counties into the framework of this country he was very much after the fair. The Ulster Union Club, a club of Protestant republicans, has published a booklet on that subject, and I have noticed that Ministers who have always referred to these social services as something which makes reunion impossible are now silent. I grant that the social services down here are coming up to the level of the Six Counties, and shortly they will be practically on a level with British social services, but even if they were not, the matter could be dealt with in the meantime so that there would be no falling off in the standard in the Six Counties. I have dealt with these matters that Senator Bigger raised, because I think that we have had a certain amount of false reasoning to clear away.

Let us come to this question of the loyalty of the Six Counties. Down here the King was treated as an office boy. In the Six Counties, I am afraid it is becoming increasingly clear that the Crown is becoming simply a counter in a political game, and if I were an Englishman I would very much deplore the so-called loyalty, the exploitation of loyalty in the Six Counties. I think it is most undignified from the point of view of the English Crown, and I am delighted to see that point of view creeping around in England and in responsible journals which I read, so that again Senator Bigger and this ex-Unionist form of argument—I am not saying that Senator Bigger is an ex-Unionist—are completely late for the fair.

Loyalty is exploited in the North of Ireland. A sentimental attachment to something is exploited by a group of men who ought to know better. The Ministers of the Six-County Government are men of leisure, education and solid financial background. Surely, from those of us who have these advantages all the greater responsibility in public affairs is asked? What do these men up there do? At the very moment when it would be absolutely into Britain's basket that we should have a united Ireland, at the very moment in the history of Europe when we stand in great danger on account of the division of this country, at that moment these so-called loyalists are exploiting loyalty for their own ends, because they are out for nothing else but a position of social and economic privilege. That is what it boils down to in the long run. All this pretty talk about loyalty cuts no ice with me—I live in the place, and I know.

There are many other points made in what Senator Bigger said which I could take up, but I want to get on now to my main reason for welcoming this Bill. I do not come to meet this Bill—this Bill comes to meet me, because I have been a republican in politics for the past 20 years, ever since I took an interest in politics. I welcome the Bill for that reason, and I welcome it for a wider reason, because I think that this Parliament, with the passage of this Bill, is throwing a searchlight on this condition of affairs in the Six Counties. You are, as the Taoiseach very ably and very clearly showed us yesterday, bringing this question on to an international basis, and, when this question is on an international basis, a searchlight will be projected on the state of affairs in the Six Counties. It is for that reason that I welcome the Bill.

If I may revert for one moment to the condition of affairs in the Six Counties, Sir Basil Brooke tries to make out that the issue is that "Ulster" is not for sale. That is not the issue at all, when you analyse the situation. The issue is: Is "Ulster" capable of recognising a moral issue in the history of Western Europe? That is the real issue. Are they capable of realising? Are these men of education, leisure and background capable of seeing that facing them is a great moral issue, because to me the moral issue is perfectly plain and has been plain to me ever since I thought about these matters? If we are the fine fellows we say we are, the place for us to prove that is in the united councils of Ireland. As soon as we take our place in these united councils, I am perfectly sure we will play our part and possibly a little more than our part.

That is the issue. Will the Six-County leaders see at the last moment the danger in which all Western Europe stands at the moment, because this island off the coast of Europe is just the same as the divided France of the last war? The conquest of space, the new supersonic planes and so on make this island strategically a portion of Western Europe, and at that very moment these leaders exploit these differences in Ireland. I welcome the Bill for the reason that here we have a framework within which we can honestly build for the future. I welcome the Bill as a Six-County Protestant republican. I welcome the Bill as a president of the Association of Young Ulster Protestants who are republican to a man. I welcome the Bill as a citizen of the Irish city in which republicanism, as such, first took shape and in which the social atmosphere is profoundly republican to this day. I welcome the Bill for all these reasons, and I believe it opens the way towards a fruitful future not only for us in Ireland but for our relations with Britain and the Commonwealth. At last we have put them on a basis of honesty and complete truthfulness.

I rise to support the Bill and I do so because I had the honour of being associated, in my own very humble way, with every forward movement towards the Republic of Ireland since 1916. I am proud that this day has come and proud of the unanimity shown by members of the Seanad in relation to this Bill. There was a time when such unanimity seemed impossible, but happily the day has come when we are all at one in the republican movement. Would to God it had happened earlier in our careers as public men. It is true that the Treaty was handed to us labelled as the stepping-stone to the republic, but it is also true that, during the ten years of Cumann na nGaedheal government, not one step was taken or one yard of advance made towards that republic. The Oath of Allegiance to England had to be removed from the Treaty and we had then, on behalf of the Irish people, to see that the land annuities earned in Ireland by the Irish farmers were kept at home and used here for the benefit of the Irish people. The next stepping-stone was the return of the ports and it is unnecessary to tell the House or the people of the country what might have happened during the recent war, were it not for the fact that these ports were in the hands of the Irish people. Then we had the External Relations Act, which was necessary, too, and which almost established the republic completely, at least for Twenty-Six Counties and, following that, the Constitution.

The extraordinary thing about all these forward steps which were mainly or entirely taken during the Government of Fianna Fáil is that unanimity was not gained in respect of any of them. Every one of these steps had to be taken against violent opposition from the other side. I have no desire to have an acrimonious discussion. If this Bill is found sufficient, if the constitutional lawyers find there is an "i" left undotted or a "t" uncrossed and wish to bring in a further Bill, I am sure they will find the same unanimity from this side of the House as they find on the present occasion.

I am afraid I have to get into a discussion which I did not wish to get into. We older people in the movement, some of us before 1916, never thought we would see this day, or the honour and pleasure of doing this thing. I congratulate everyone on all sides, past and present, and hope it will stand as it should stand, for the Government of this country as a republican Government. There are some slight fears in the minds of the people since this has come so suddenly on them, and they ask how it is that, all of a sudden, the English people and the Commonwealth of Nations have become so solicitous about us, how it is that during the discussion in the Dáil on this subject, at a certain psychological moment the Prime Minister of England, Australia, Canada and New Zealand were standing poised, ready to send a message to the Dáil, to the Minister for External Affairs, or the Taoiseach, assuring them in the middle of the debate that this country would suffer no ill-effects as regards trade or commerce or otherwise with those nations.

Who were the people who were suspicious about this?

The people of the country.

What people? Have you met them?

I meet them every day at the cross-roads, in shops and villages.

You must have facility for meeting queer people that no one else has.

The Senator meets them too, I am sure.

Not one. This is one of the Fianna Fáil humbugs we have to put up with.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Senator Duffy must not be interrupting.

Can we correct him if he makes a mistake?

You cannot. There is the Cathaoirleach for that purpose.

That is not his function at all.

It has been already explained, but the Minister for External Affairs cannot too often reiterate the fact, that there is no quid pro quo for this Bill.

Why create that kind of suspicion in the public mind? Is that not treachery to the country?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

The Senator is entitled to make his point.

I am entitled to protest against treachery to this country.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Senator Duffy can follow later on.

People in glass-houses should not throw stones.

There is no harm at all in the Minister or the Taoiseach or anyone else reiterating the fact, because that suspicion is in the country, no matter even what Senator Duffy may think. He must be in an extremely fine glass-house.

That is furthering and spreading the suspicion.

It is a natural suspicion.

A Senator

Now it is out.

It is natural suspicion —because Fianna Fáil is not in office.

There was no sign of a republic or anything of that kind in the minds of my friends on the other side of the House up to the last three or four months. They were completely opposed to an Irish Republic.

The Labour Party voted against the External Relations Act, 1936.

They voted against every measure——

Including the External Relations Act, which put the King in the Constitution.

Probably he was there by some silken thread capable of being snapped at any second.

It was never snapped in the last 16 years.

I think it was explained explicitly by Senator Lavery that the King was not in the Constitution.

Surely Senator Lavery explained the opposite?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Senators will get time to rebut these statements later on, if they wish. Interruptions of this nature are not in order.

There is a widespread suspicion that there is some quid pro quo behind the scenes. Whether I believe it or not—and I really do not, because I accept the Minister's words always—he cannot too often reiterate that fact, for the contentment of the people of the State, that there is no quid pro quo, no military alliance, now or in the future.

Mr. Baxter rose.

May I interrupt Senator Baxter? I was third on the list last night. What has happened in the meantime? On a point of order, I am entitled to ask in what order the speakers are called here.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Senator Baxter.

I wonder if I might put a question before Senator Baxter proceeds? May I ask Senator Honan, as he asks for assurances from the Government, if he could specify the kind of suspicions he had in mind, so that I may be able to deal with them in replying?

I will give just a rough idea of the kind of suspicion. The people I have listened to speaking— and I could not tell 50 per cent. of their political affiliations, as I do not question people about that and do not mind—seem to have the general idea that this Republic of Ireland Bill would not have come on so suddenly and with such great unanimity from all sources were it not for the possibility of some quid pro quo, that there is some contract or some kind of military alliance or some accommodation in times of war or conflict with other countries.

These are, for all of us, no matter what we think about this Bill, very historic days. There are many, probably on both sides of the House, who hardly dreamt they would live to see this situation come about. I have listened to a great many of the speeches delivered for and against this measure, but the truth is that some of apparently the most vigorous speeches made in defence of it were actually against it. Strangely enough, I heard three very unpleasant speeches delivered on it, and those three. I am ashamed to say, came from the mouths of Ulstermen. Two of them were Ulster Catholics in the other House, the ex-Minister for Finance and the ex-Minister for Local Government; and the other was Senator Bigger in this House. I am an Ulster Catholic and so is Senator Lavery. I would hope that, at this period in our country's history, there would be evidence from the people of Ulster of a better spirit of toleration, but if those whose names I have mentioned before Senator Lavery's and my own are typical of the spirit of Ulster, then Ulster has a great deal to learn, indeed, about Christian principles.

We listened to Senator Honan, who rarely talks very long in this House and who is never very aggressive. He expressed certain fears with regard to the consequences of this measure. The first thing I ought to say, as it has not yet been said and should be put on record, is that the people of this country at this historic moment were very fortunate indeed when this big step had to be taken that they were able to call to their service and the service of the nation the galaxy of legal talent which has been collected together in this Government. Probably never before in our country's history had we available men with the same genius, the same commanding intellect, the same firm purpose and resolution to do what they saw it was necessary to do, and do it in the right way. They had also the aid of the Attorney-General. I think everybody who listened to him last night will subscribe to the statement that he is a man who stands out among his fellows. When you think of the situation that has presented itself to us, with men like Senator Lavery and the Taoiseach and the Minister for External Affairs abandoning their calling, the Bar, to come and serve the nation, you can see why people paid so much for these services, and we ought to have an appreciation of the great sacrifice these people are making for the Ireland of to-day and to-morrow in placing their great abilities so unreservedly at the nation's disposal.

When I listened to the ex-Minister for Finance and the ex-Minister for Local Government in the other House and when I listened earlier to Deputy de Valera and now to Senator Honan, whom I like and respect and know for a very long time, I felt that there you had the whole story all of a piece. He revealed certain suspicions to-day. He did not express disappointment. But, in the other House, and in the Fianna Fáil Party everywhere throughout the country—they may say what they like —there is evidence of disappointment. Some conceal their disappointment better than others and some exploded, as these ex-Ministers did, in a way which is no credit to them or their Party or the country.

I suggest that when this Bill first appeared it was a shock to Fianna Fáil —so Senator Honan expressed himself, if I judge aright. The ex-Taoiseach received it then with a calm, gentle spirit that was rather enigmatical, and the general conduct of Fianna Fáil in the early stages of the discussion was not too unfavourable, until they heard the Taoiseach and the Minister for External Affairs in reply, until the story came of the reception of this decision in Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and then they were astonished. They could not believe their ears that this great step had been taken, this coping-stone on the arch put on without any consequences whatever. They looked into their own hearts and minds and probably thought of the things that would have happened had they attempted to do the same thing. They would have done it in such an unmannerly, discourteous fashion that they would have got us into another economic war and the storms that would be raised about our citizens in other lands would have so disturbed the people of the country that they would be able to give the cry again, "the old enemy, England".

When that has not happened, they are astonished. Why has it not happened? Because the men responsible are men of competence and ability, men with a clear outlook and, above all, men with no inferiority complex; modest men all of them no doubt, but men who when they go out of this country, are very good judges of the capacity and capabilities of those others whom they have to meet. They have been able to meet them at least on level terms, standing up for the rights of the people here in a courteous, civilised and learned way.

Senator Honan asks us what they got and what have they given. They have given nothing in exchange only the things that we were giving before. What have they got? They have got just what we had before, what we were enjoying under the other statutes of this Parliament and the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliaments of the other States of the Dominions. But that astonishes Fianna Fáil. It adds to their disappointment. It should not be so. It is very unfortunate that that should be the reaction of the Opposition Party to this decision. It may be that they suffered keen disappointment that it was not possible for them to take this decision to repeal the External Relations Act. But how could Deputy de Valera do that, because that would have given support to all who said we were not a republic? He had his republic out of the Encyclopædia Britannica and, having got it, there was no need from his point of view, or at least the point of view of his political prestige, to repeal this Act. Therefore, it is left to others. They have had the courage to do it, and, if there is credit to be given, it should not have been grudged and the hares that Senator Honan raised should not have been raised.

This Bill embodies the dream of people over the generations. I can recall a March morning in Mountjoy Prison in 1921 when I, with a number of others, were coming in from the exercise ground. I walked up the passage, and Frank Flood said to me: "I wonder will we ever get a republic?" A few days afterwards Frank Flood and five of his companions were executed. While they and many others died so that this day should come about, the son of one of the leaders of Easter Week, and many others who fought in Easter Week, are playing their part in this achievement. Some people are troubled about those who supported the Commonwealth in the Fine Gael Party. Who are they? Why did they do it? I travelled strange ways myself, and, until I found myself amongst these people, there were days when I believed in Deputy Eamon de Valera. Until 1925, I still had a lingering belief that there were some of the things in him that we believed were in him after 1916. But, at a conference which I was responsible for summoning in the Shelbourne Hotel in 1925, when the ultimate financial settlement was coming before the Dáil, when I heard the solution that Deputy de Valera had to offer us then, when he told us that, in order to put on record the fact that when this Bill was passed in Dáil Éireann, the majority of the elected representatives of the people were against it, we would simply go and sign our names in a book; when I heard him say that, instead of saying: "We the majority, will go in and vote against it," I was so completely disillusioned that I saw the man for the humbug that he was. That is what I believe he has been doing all along, since. Where was one going to find oneself then? Eventually, I found myself associating with the people who had accepted the Treaty, who had fought for it. There were amongst those who backed that Party then, a great many of the people who were what was known as ex-Unionists. I feel there are some who are not even "ex" to-day.

I could not help feeling, when Professor Bigger was speaking, that if he represented his true self, there was another place that would suit his type of mind and his attitude much better than this, that is, the Unionist Party in the Northern Parliament. I have heard a great many of the people who have spoken in the name of the minority in this country since 1922 and I must say that his speech was by far the most unpleasant. At this time it is astonishing, more astonishing still from a man named Bigger, who tells us that his ancestors were Joe Bigger and James Hope, and others. I have very good reason to have very great respect for the name of Joe Bigger. My grandfather, my namesake, at the end of the last century was, with a few others, responsible for bringing Joe Bigger to Cavan and helping to elect him to the British Parliament. Joe Bigger was the master obstructionist, not a great orator, but a gallant Irishman and he was associated with another Protestant leader who in those years declared that no man had the right to set a boundary to the march of a nation. In the genetical sense there are such expressions as "true to type" and "throwbacks", but I do not think that Senator Bigger is a throwback to Joe Bigger. If Joe Bigger were here to-day there would not be anyone more proud than he that other generations have made the contributions they have made to bring this day about.

The people of this country in every generation wanted liberty and freedom. They wanted peace. They wanted stability, a chance to make progress. These are the things that are being given to us under this measure. We are going to be given stability.

I hope we are taking the guns out of Irish politics. I believe we are— not out of all Irish politics because there are far more guns in the politics of the Six Counties than there are in the Twenty-Six Counties, and Senator Bigger knows that. When he speaks to this House of the toleration that is here, it makes one feel that he is playing with words. There was not so much necessity to make that speech here yesterday, but there has been many a time over the years when a statement like that from him or his likes in this country, repudiating the charges that have been made by the bigoted Northern leaders would have carried a good deal of weight. When recently a minister at a church assembly spoke about the intolerance of the Catholics, that would be the time for one of the Trinity professors to contradict that, and to express the view that Irish Catholics are indeed tolerant.

When I heard him on this I could not help recalling a speech that I read when I was a boy. In the election of 1910 or 1909, the same charges were being levelled as are being levelled to-day. There was an election in County Monaghan. One of the candidates was the late James Lardner and the other was M.E. Knight. The present Bishop of Ardagh was then a young priest in Clones and he addressed himself to this very same charge. He said something like this in answer to these people: In God's name, when were Irish Catholics intolerant? Go into the humblest cot on the countryside and what picture will you most often find on the walls— the picture of Robert Emmet, that young Irish Protestant patriot who, because he laid down his young life in a heroic, perhaps a foolish, attempt to free his country from the chains of slavery, young Ireland has taken to her heart and written his name in letters of gold in the roll of her martyred dead. Now, 50 years after, we have to answer the same charges. Is it not time that these people grew up? Senator Bigger thinks that the people in Fine Gael have abandoned a position they had occupied for a long time and that he and his supporters have a grievance. He apparently voted for the Taoiseach in the last election and now he is going to vote for Deputy MacEntee in future. They have the same type of mind and Deputy MacEntee is welcome to him. I would feel very hurt indeed if the attitude of people with the outlook of Senator Bigger was to influence Mr. John A. Costello or the part he was to play in Fine Gael or in the inter-Party-Government.

I do not know what these people did in one or two constituencies, but I do know that, on the whole, they did nothing but vote for Fianna Fáil. In my own constituency, after they had voted for their Protestant candidate, they voted for Fianna Fáil. It was the same in the adjoining constituency of Monaghan and the same in Longford. In Westmeath they voted for non-Catholic Fianna Fáil Deputies. They did it in Meath and everywhere in the country, north and south, and yet now they make a claim on us. That attitude of mind cannot prevent the nation from marching on. We are exercising rights now that we are free to exercise because we are led by men of competence and courage, and none of the fears that these people have expressed are going to come to us. No longer are we going to give allegiance to kings except to one King, and I think that this is a time when we should rejoice. I do not want to take from what the people over there did or from the contribution they made, but I want to correct Senator Honan when he said that nothing was done for the whole ten years previous to their coming into office to hasten us along the road to this day. Surely the Statute of Westminster was of itself a great achievement. I heard the ex-Minister for Industry and Commerce say something similar. I can make no claim to having given support to the Treaty, but I wonder if the Treaty had not been accepted where would we be standing and would we have had any place to stand? I do not know, and history cannot record because that experiment was not tried.

This stage we have reached was brought about by the efforts of many generations and Fianna Fáil, in its way, has made its contribution. I suggest that when the people who worked together and drafted the Statute of Westminster achieved their object, they did something for the British Commonwealth of Nations that it took Irishmen to do. I believe sincerely that this new decision which has been taken by the Government, these new foundations they are laying, are opening up possibilities for many other nations as well as ourselves. I believe that not alone is it holding the nations that were in the Commonwealth and people like ourselves who were outside such as the people of India and elsewhere, together, but it is opening up vistas and possibilities to other nations who see the dangers ahead to rally round an idea. Above everything, Irishmen stand for the supremacy of Christain principles and ideals and it is in that spirit that this Bill was introduced and that it will be passed. If it is debated and implemented in that way by all of us, I believe that it will lay the foundation for much better relations between this country and Britain and it will do something more, it is creating a situation when the possibility of the nations of Western Europe rallying round this idea is far greater than it was before. That, I think, is a major reason why this Bill should be accepted by all of us with unanimity.

I would like to put my interpretation of history on record, since so many have already done so from their own point of view. I have no past to apologise for; I would not even have to apologise for my presence here; I have no particular Party to defend. It is fairly well known that when the inter-Party Government was first suggested, I did not approve of the proposal, not because I thought it was undesirable for Irishmen of different points of view and different political allegiances to come together and work together, but because I thought the thing was done hastily and that no good could come out of it; I confess I was mistaken. As an unrepentant republican who can trace his ancestry much further back even than Senator Bigger—we can trace ours back to the Battle of Clontarf—I say, as others have said, that we are not now asked to proclaim a republic; the republic was proclaimed a long time ago and all we are doing is putting a name on the State or christening the child. Some people may dispute when the child was born; some cannot agree who its parents were; Senator Bigger goes on a different line and says that the child is not legitimate. Instead of christening the child, he would have vaccinated it and used a Union Jack instead of a vaccination mark.

I want to go back on history, and relate the history of the past with the history of the last few weeks. I read, as we all did when this proposal was first made known in the papers, the hullabaloo that was started about the disasters that were going to fall on this country because the King was being put out of the State, and because we were declaring a republic. The people who started the agitation have not, in my opinion, any great regard for the King of England. They have regard for their own interests and nothing else. When an assurance was given on this side and on the British side that it would make no fundamental change in ordinary commercial and industrial relations between the two countries, the hullabaloo was dropped by the Unionists and the ex-Unionists. If they protested, they protested that the Protestants had been betrayed.

We know that there are various sorts of Protestants, and, in my opinion, the Protestant religion is a very easy one; you can make a religion to suit yourself and still have it. I do not think that the Protestant religion is a political idea, but we are asked to accept the Protestant outlook. If Protestants want to have a religion, let them have it and let them live up to it, but I am not going to have a Protestant point of view rammed down my neck under the pretence of its being a political outlook. I have one objection to the External Relations Act, and it is that if we had to choose an instrument or agent to carry on for us and to sign our diplomatic credentials, and if, as Deputy de Valera stated recently, we were at liberty to choose any instrument we liked, why, of all people in the world, did we choose the King of England? Look what a hullabaloo would be kicked up by Trinity College, and by the Unionists had we chosen the Pope, and yet we are supposed to be acquiescent and agreeable when they choose the head of an alien church, a Church which says we are— but I do not want to repeat the things they call us. One can read their Oath of Succession, and see what they have to say about the Catholics.

I have no love for the King, or any desire to be under the King of England, because he was the King of England and I am an Irishman. Although I was born and reared in the tradition that the King of England was no friend of Ireland, it became more than a tradition, and almost an instinct, with the plain people of Ireland, and I dislike the King of England and the English Government instinctively. For that reason, when we get rid of the King out of our affairs, I can look on the English with tolerance, and I will have no reason to hate them unless I go back again on the past. We should not approach it in the attitude some Senators have taken; an attempt should not be made to make Party capital out of it, but Party capital has been made out of it, or an attempt has been made to do so. Even when the Taoiseach was appointing his 11 nominees to this House, one of whom I am, that same paper, the Irish Times, protested against the Taoiseach's right to exercise his constitutional privilege and to appoint whom he thought fit to this House. They specifically mentioned some of the people of whom they approved, and carefully pointed out that these were Protestants, and so were all right, but just as directly they excluded me from their list, and a few others. They mistakenly included Senator Miss Butler as a Protestant, and could not very well back out of approving of her afterwards, when they discovered their mistake.

I was one of the people who was not approved of by the Irish Times. I was one of the people who was described by the editor of the Irish Times as a political hack. I would never have bothered about defending myself against the editor of the Irish Times or anybody else, but for the fact that I have now got to the stage when I can tell what a political hack means in this country. I was for a great many years on the editorial staff of an Irish newspaper. That newspaper cried out in Easter Week, before I went on its staff, that enough men had not been executed and that paper has never been allowed to forget that since. That was done because the paper was owned by political hacks. It was not done because it was the desire of the journalists to write that sort of stuff and the men who wrote that had to write it to dictation, just as the present editor of the Irish Times, being a political hack, has to write what the owner of his paper tells him to write.

People like myself who were described as political hacks worked on that paper. We influenced the policy of the paper. I, as one of the editorial staff, refused to write things which I thought should not be written. I refused to write things which I thought unpatriotic and undesirable. I, frequently, as other men on that staff did, took the risk of being sacked, and eventually we altered the policy of that paper somewhat and you only have to go back and read what that paper published and what I wrote in that paper when Terence MacSwiney was dying on hunger-strike. We altered the policy of that paper and we did our best, even at the risk of our jobs, to see that the rights of the nation and the rights of the Irish people would always take precedence over our own personal rights and our own jobs. I do not want to blow my own trumpet, but if that be the type of thing that marks the political hack I am proud to be a political hack.

My record in the Irish movement, like that of Senator Hayes, goes back a long time. He and I were boys together and, as far back as 1907, we were in the earliest of the Sinn Féin movements. We were in the same branch of Connradh na Gaeilge and I have still the newspaper cuttings from Sinn Féin—a few fugitive sheets they were then—of our meetings, in which his name and mine are mentioned, as well as those of a few other men, some of whom are dead and some of whom still live. We were only boys and we were there at that time defying the British Empire and defying the British Crown, and we kept it up. We took different roads afterwards, but we never became political hacks. I go back because I want to show who are the people who are backing this Bill and this Government.

I was in the Howth gun-running. I was out in 1916 and I was arrested, but I thought I was very clever and I escaped from the City Hall while under arrest. I did not kill anybody in Easter Week because the job was not given to me to kill anybody. I went out and was prepared to do whatever fell to me to do. The job they gave me might have been considered a menial job by others; it was not so considered by me. The Countess handed me a bundle of proclamations and said: "Will you get these posted up?" I posted them up in the streets of Dublin and while going around I met Sheehy Skeffington. He and I walked together and parted outside Jacob's. He said to me: "Will you come up this way?" And I said: "No; I am going down to my mother's to get paste to put these up." Sheehy Skeffington went the other way, was arrested within 20 minutes, and was shot by Bowen-Colthurst, one of the King's officers in this country. I escaped while under arrest and so escaped deportation.

I never claimed credit for it. I never asked for a pension and never even applied for a medal, but we were the unknown people, the rank and file, the ordinary people who kept the fight going when the leaders were interned and deported. In 1917, we kept it going and I kept the only Sinn Féin paper that was in existence at that time going. I kept Irish Fun going when Brian O'Higgins was deported and interned. In 1918, it was unimportant people like myself and the man who is now District Justice Reddin, together with one or two others like us, who could scarcely make a speech, who went out and stood at the cross-roads, who went through the whole of County Dublin, and particularly North County Dublin, stood on ditches and defied the British Empire and their constabulary, although it was only a very short time before that the men who had declared the republic, who had fought for the republic and who had declared their allegiance to Ireland had been executed, imprisoned or deported.

We went out, and we did our share at that time. I am not, as I say, blowing my own trumpet. I was only doing what I thought should have been done and what thousands of others did —I claim no credit for it—and what we would have been discredited for not doing. We came then to the Treaty debates and I sat through the whole of them. I listened to the speeches and I was influenced by the leaders of the time, and I took sides when sides were taken. I took the anti-Treaty side. I risked my job and I lost my job, and I had to do menial work but I stuck to my principles and, like the rest of the people, I never flinched.

I thought the Free State was a bad bargain and I stood with Deputy de Valera, as he is now, and with the anti-Treatyites. When it came to the occupation of the Four Courts, I went into the Four Courts and I talked with Rory O'Connor. I say this now, from that conversation with Rory O'Connor that Rory O'Connor and these men who went out with guns at that time did not go out to start a civil war. They went out to show that if there was any attempt at watering down, if there was any possibility of improving the terms England was offering, there were men there to see that a better bargain was got, if it could be got, and that, if all else failed, there would always be men to see that the best was made of whatever bargain was got. They never intended that brothers should turn guns on brothers, but it happened, and neither one side nor the other can be blamed for it. Both must be blamed for it.

Capital has been made in this debate and in the debate in the other House as to this Bill taking the gun out of politics. The gun came into Irish politics long ago. As I said, I was on the side of the men who brought the guns into politics, but they were brought in by both sides. I will say something now which probably nobody else is in a position to say. I saw what happened and I saw, to quote Deputy de Valera's words, which have often been misinterpreted since, brother shooting brother and I saw them wading through brother's blood. Deputy de Valera did not say that should be done; he said it might be done, and it was done. It was a prophecy and not a suggestion that it should be done. I saw it happen. Two boys of 16 years of age left my house one day. They were members of Fianna Éireann and they had no arms. They were acting as messengers for the republicans. They were picked up on the road by some Free State troops and that was the last seen of them alive. Their next appearance was in the morgue in the Mater Hospital and I have here in my hand the photograph of them lying there dead. They were two boys of 16 years of age, shot down by Irishmen because they were carrying messages for the anti-Treatyies.

The horror of that came to me and I said this thing should not go on, and I used what influence I could to stop it. Eventually it was stopped, not through my influence, but I approved of the stopping of it, and I approved of the laying down of the guns. To make it worse, while the shooting was going on, we, the anti-Treatyites, paid for and had printed, this document. It is a document which I will read:—

"Dáil Éireann.

Government of the Republic of Ireland.

Oifig an Uachtaráin,

Baile Atha Cliath,



A Chara,

On behalf of the Government and the Army of the Republic, I beg to tender to you and to the other relatives of...........................our sincere sympathy with you in your sorrow. .........................died nobly defending the independence of our country. His devotion will be an inspiration and an incentive to all his comrades to persevere faithfully until the objects for which he gave his life are achieved. A Free Ireland will pay tribute to his sacrifice, and his memory will be cherished for ever to the triumph of the cause which he championed."

I did not think that was a thing to give any Irish parent in exchange for the life of their son. Even that was not given, because immediately it was printed, we got orders—and I happened to hold those things at the time—not to send out any more of them.

I have a letter here from the Office of the Assistant Adjutant-General, Óglaigh na hÉireann:—


"Enclosed from the President. The condolence letters will have to be scrapped. You will learn from his note what the President wants."

The President's note was—I will not read the whole of it:—

"As given in my draft the last paragraph runs: ‘A free Ireland will pay tribute to his sacrifice and his memory will be cherished for ever in the triumph of the cause which he championed.'

As it will have to be reprinted, owing to the mistake ‘to' instead of ‘in'...."

We had a quibble about words and we forgot the realities. We have forgotten about the guns in politics and I hope there will be no going back to them now. Let us confess our sins instead of the sins of our neighbours. The gun came into politics in the time of the civil war and I have a letter here from the Department of the Quartermaster-General. He was asked: "Will you buy a .45 Webley revolver for 30/-?" The reply was: "I will, of course, buy the article. It is well that you be sure that you are not buying one of our own from one of our men." The gun came into politics, and the 30/- was paid for a gun from one Irishman to shoot another.

I believe the Bill we are passing to-day has taken the gun out of politics, just as it has taken the King out of the law. I think it is desirable that from now on we should think of the future rather than the past. I am confessing that we were wrong, but I want to say this, that we were wrong on both sides, when he started fighting each other over the Treaty, when we started fighting about oaths; because there were oaths both in Document No. 2 and in the Treaty. We fought about oaths in 1922, and we are fighting about oats in Donegal in 1948. We are always fighting about something that does not seem to be very important.

In 1927 on July 2nd there had been an election. Fianna Fáil went to the electors as a new Party. I cannot remember how many Fianna Fáil Deputies were elected. They got about one-third of the total votes, but they did not go into the Dáil. They were still denying that the Treaty gave us any machinery which could be used for improving the status of this country. Henry Harrison was publishing Irish Truth, and he asked the late Cruise O'Brien and myself to carry on his paper while he was conducting his campaign. We carried on that paper for him, and in that paper on July 2nd I wrote an article addressed to Fianna Fáil. The heading was “A Republican's View.” In the course of the article, I said:—

"The future can be based only on the present, as the existing conditions grew out of those which preceded them. In the Treaty and in the Free State Constitution, there are admittedly defects that might well be remedied, but the Treaty is a valuable tool which, properly used, will bring peace and, at least, some fair measure of prosperity to the country. We republicans must realise this and, knowing it, must also know that the time for constructive work is the present moment."

I wrote that. Fianna Fáil had adopted the policy of abstention up to then, but within a couple of weeks Fianna Fáil changed its policy and went into the Dáil. I had some share in the shaping of Fianna Fáil policy then. I have had some share in the shaping of it since. I see Senator Hawkins laughing quite contentedly to himself, that anyone should claim that he had done anything to advance the status of this country, or that anyone had done anything for this country but de Valera. I have done more, have possibly sacrificed more, through loyalty to de Valera, than any member of the present Fianna Fáil Party. I have done it willingly and I make no boast about it and no complaint about it. Even as late as 1935, when Fianna Fáil wanted propaganda done for them, they came to me and I wrote their propaganda though not a member of their Party. So do not let it be said that the people bringing in this Bill are a body of ex-Unionists who betrayed the country in the past. I want to show that, whatever Party one belonged to, the history of Ireland did not begin with the present members of the Fianna Fáil Party. They should not begrudge a share of the honour to everybody else who helped to shape the destinies of this country.

Although I believe in the infallibility of the Pope in matters of faith and morals, I believe in no man's political infallibility and I follow no leader blindly. There has been too much hero-worship in this country in recent years and too little consideration for the rights of the people. I did not want to go on the lines on which I have gone, but I believe it was right that these things should be said, to show that, if we stand now for an inter-Party Government, we have neither betrayed our principles nor do we intend to betray the nation in the future.

I never thought I would come to defend a Cumann na nGaedheal Party or a Fine Gael Party, but it has been said that the electors have been betrayed by that Party. Can we never think of anything else in Ireland? Captain Henry Harrison, no enemy of Mr. de Valera, in Irish Truth, on the 25th June, 1927, wrote:—

"A widespread impression was created throughout the country by speech, by poster, by handbills and by the common say-so of their supporters, that Fianna Fáil were going into the Dáil with an elaborate programme either as a majority to form a Government or as a minority to form an active constructive Opposition. A very large section of those who voted for his candidates will feel that they have been cheated by Mr. de Valera's delusive propaganda."

The same thing was said then—there was always somebody being deluded, someone being misled. We have come to a new era in Irish history, a time for stocktaking. Since we are all looking back, I took the liberty of looking back, too, but I think it is more important that we should look forward.

I think there are other things which we will have to get rid of as well as the British Crown and the British Government's interference in our affairs. If we could not tolerate the King as an external agent, as an office boy, a rubber stamp, I wonder are we going to tolerate for ever the interference of the British trade unions in our affairs. I know the way we are supposed to bow down and genuflect if anyone raises a copy of the Constitution in his hand. The Constitution can be a dangerous thing, as the trade unions the right to operate freely in which is a republican Constitution, I am sure, gave and maintains and establishes for the British trade unions the right to operate freely in this country, a right not conceded to them in any part of the British Empire outside Great Britain itself. They cannot run their branches in Canada, India, Australia or New Zealand. But, by this sacrosanct Constitution, this republican Constitution, out of which the King was taken, the British unions were formally established and left there.

I want to know whether in the formal declaration of our republic that we are making now we are doing more than formally declaring the title of this State to be a republic. We have got an assurance that it will be formally recognised by other nations, a thing never done up to now. But, having got that status, are we going to take a subordinate position to any part of the British Empire by allowing Great Britain to interfere in our trade union affairs and to dominate and dictate to us in matters of finance?

Would the Senator coerce his fellow-citizens?

I will coerce no man to do anything. I never coerced with a gun or with economic pressure. I have been subject to coercion for my opinions, and the coercion which was put on us, when it was not the guns, was the threat of starvation. We were sacked. I approved of the Fianna Fáil Government's policy more than I did of their predecessors, because I thought that in a great many things they were more national, because I knew they were anxious, if it could be done, to find a way to get rid of British trade union interference in this country. They did put up a proposal which would have met it. They said that no man would sacrifice any benefits, and, as was done in the case of the insurance companies, they guaranteed that a fund would be established by which men could carry over their benefits if they left the British unions. Some of the British unions were agreeable that it should be done. But, if we have a republic, and if we have the right to manage our own affairs, that right should not be restricted in any shape or form by an alien agency.

I do not want to go into other matters, but I want to say that I was for a while connected with one of these British unions, because we had no choice at the time. It was a long time ago, and there was no other union catering for journalists. We had the choice of two British unions and we had to stick to one of them. We did, however, try on every possible occasion to limit its interference with our affairs. We had to join it for our own industrial and economic safety.

I think the Senator is going a long way outside this Bill.

I do not think I am. I am dealing with the status of this country. If the status of this country is to be a republic in future, it should be a free and independent nation. So long as the republic which we are declaring in this Bill is hampered in its control of its own industrial affairs by British trade union officials who have the right to operate here, a right they do not claim in Canada and cannot exercise in the British Empire——

That is a matter for future legislation.

It is within anybody's right to set me right. I know the Constitution declares that men have the right to choose unions of their own choice. I want to make sure that the British unions will not undermine the national movement here, as some of them were attempting to do. There was a great attempt made to undermine the national movement by agitation carried on in the trade union movement under the banner of the Labour Party. We formed a separate independent Labour Party because we thought there was interference.

That is going outside the provisions of the Bill.

If it is going outside the Bill, I am sorry, but it seems to me to affect the status of this nation. I want to know what the republic is and what the republic will do——

That is a matter for future legislation.

Do not go back to Brian Boru.

I might go back to Brian Boru or further, but I shall make my own speech and the Senator has a right to make his afterwards. I am neither the paid official nor the mouthpiece of any foreign union.

Neither am I.

I cannot see that it is out of order, when we have a Bill to declare the Republic of Ireland, when we are taking the King out of our affairs and declaring ourselves a free, unfettered nation, that I should point out that we do not become a free and unfettered nation merely by the passing of this Bill, that there are other steps which must be taken. I do not want to have the gun brought back into politics. I do not want that Irishmen should have to fight about trade union matters. But, if we are capable of governing the nation, we ought to be capable of running our own trade unions.

May I intervene to say that the Minister for External Affairs will be concluding the debate? I wonder if we could fix a time at which he could conclude the debate. Perhaps if we said 4 o'clock we might do our best to reach a situation in which the Minister might rise at 4 o'clock.

Will that be concluding the debate?

Yes, on the Second Stage.

There are a number of Senators anxious to take part.

There is no desire to restrict the debate, but just to have, so to speak, an ideal that the Minister would conclude at 4 o'clock.

Of course, we could not make a definite arrangement that he should conclude at 4 o'clock. I would ask Senators, however, to bear that in mind and to endeavour to shorten their speeches so that the Minister for External Affairs may conclude about 4 o'clock.

First of all, I must say that I welcome this Bill, as I feel every nationally-minded Irishman does, whether he is at home here or in one of the far corners of the world. I have to admit that I am in agreement with those who have felt in recent years that there was doubt and confusion about the position in which we were. It humiliated me when abroad to have this constant taunt thrown at me, "You claim to be Irish, but you are British; you still use the British King." In saying that, we have to recall the time when the External Relations Act was introduced, when the world atmosphere was entirely different from what it is to-day. I doubt if any Senator would be bold enough to declare that what we are doing now would be possible to achieve when that Act was passed. We have to-day a ready acceptance of this attitude and decision of ours by Great Britain herself and by her constituent dominions and selfgoverning colonies. Would we have that before the war? Of course, we would not.

Now that we have got it, I want to join with those who paid tribute to the understanding and friendly gesture shown in the utterances of the Prime Ministers of Great Britain, Australia, Canada, South Africa, India, and the rest who so readily accepted the position, which at any rate has been clarified for them without question or doubt. But, when we listened last night to Senator Bigger, who declared that his roots go back 300 years, I had the feeling that the roots have not struck yet. What would have been the feelings of a Frenchman, a Spaniard, or a German proud to be called a Frenchman, a Spaniard, or German, if he heard a man declare that he and his forebears were here for 300 years, but they had not yet readily fallen in with the wishes and desires of the people amongst whom they live? Are they ever going to be absorbed? Does not his Bill indicate that from now on a man, if he claims to be Irish, must prove that he is Irish, and that there can be no divided loyalties, that an Englishman owes loyalty to his own country, that a Frenchman owes loyalty to France? Is not this Bill simply asserting that and, without any hostility to any, is it not asking for an Irishman to declare and prove and act just as an Irishman and not as a compromise, as something else?

There are one or two points that come up, and I think we must ask for information on them. In this new and friendly atmosphere that has been envisaged, and which I am one of those who firmly believe will happen—I believe we are going to have stronger association with those people who think as we do, when this association can be offered by us as friendly equals based on common interest and on friendship rather than on forced loyalty that was always fictitious and never worth a hoot. Having got that, though, are we consciously or unconsciously opening the way to any dangers to ourselves?

I have heard loose statements about new facilities, equality of citizenship, and the rest. I only mention these so that the Taoiseach can answer them, because they are of importance to us all. We have here a small, newly created industrial and commercial arm. A Control of Manufactures Act was introduced for the purpose of enabling these infant industries to maintain themselves against the inroads of our more powerful industrial neighbour. I would like to know, and I think the Taoiseach might thank me for giving him an opportunity to make it clear, whether the position of the real Irishman under these Acts is going to be maintained, whether his position is going to be loosened or worsened in any way, and, furthermore, as regards that other important matter, the acquisition of property tax, which put an Irishman in the position that he could hope to get some of his own property at a reasonable price, and be protected in some measure against these people coming from across-Channel who get money easier than any of us have discovered a way of getting it, whether that position is to be maintained.

That is entirely a matter for the Legislature of this country, and has nothing whatever to do with the arrangement. It is entirely a matter for the Legislature.

In any case, of itself, this Act of ours does not worsen the position?

No, it has no effect on it whatever. It is a matter for the Legislature what they will do subsequently, if they do anything. I am not saying anything about that.

I hope the Bill is going to make us, ourselves, restore the words Ireland and Irish to their proper place in our national life. I am appalled every time I get a copy of a Bill that we have to discuss, even the present one, when the word "Éire" is used in the English context of the Bill. I often wonder why we have played into the hands of those who want to damage us by using the word "Éire" both in Irish and English. I do hope we are going to have an assurance now that in so far as the Government can do it, the word "Ireland" is coming back to the place which it should never have been taken out of and that we are not going to make it possible for the Daily Mail and other newspapers to describe us by that appalling adjective “Eirish”.

Propaganda to-day is a subtle and powerful weapon. I think we have not made the fullest possible use of it. The one regret I have, and it is the one regret that has been shared by those who, like me, support this Bill, is that to-day, instead of having this Republic of Ireland covering our 32 counties, it only covers Twenty-Six Counties. In travelling about one finds people who would be horrified at the suggestion that they were not well informed, who do not know that a majority of the people in the whole 32 counties of Ireland want an all-Ireland, 32-county Parliament. We have to do something to put that matter right.

I have here, under the date 2nd December, a statement by the Minister for Commerce of Northern Ireland in which he describes Éire as a foreign country and proposes to say nothing further as it was "improper for this House"—that is Stormont—"to discuss the affairs of a foreign country." Would that Minister dare to go to the Glens of Antrim and tell the Irish-speaking residents there that he regarded them as alien because they claim to be Irish? That is propaganda that is going on day after day and I do hope that having established, as we are doing to-day, the republic for the Twenty-Six Counties, we will use it as a new base for a steady and very determined effort to let the rest of the world know that Partition was imposed on this country, not 100 years ago, nor 150 years ago, but in the life-time of every man and woman in this room, that it is a recent thing that no Irishman asked for. When we make that fact known by properly prepared propaganda we will hasten the day we all hope for when this Republic of Ireland will extend from shore to shore of the whole 32 counties. I can say a lot more but I know the desire is to give the Minister a chance to conclude early and I will content myself with these few remarks. I heartily endorse the Bill.

I am a non-republican and there are a certain number of people in this country who are also non-republicans. How are we approaching this matter? First of all I would like to say that I am going to try to stick to the Bill and the matters arising out of the Bill. Some people in this country feel that there was an alternative to this Bill. They felt, and feel, that the framework of the Commonwealth is at present being remoulded. That it is going to be extended to include not only the Dominions like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but also other countries such as India and Pakistan. I do not know if the revised Commonwealth would have suited our aspirations. Certainly, there are people who are apparently going to be in that Commonwealth, if they are satisfied, namely, India and Pakistan, who would have ideas about the sovereignty of their State and who would have to have their aspirations satisfied. My personal feeling is that that position should have been explored. I do not know how far the Government considered that matter, but in any case a different course has been adopted. The leader of the Government assures us that the change will make little or no difference. This may be true in the main, but undoubtedly there will be cases of individual hardship. I think this cannot be denied and all that can be done is to endeavour to mitigate that.

I am trying to approach the Bill as a realist and, having left the Commonwealth, how are we to ensure our defence or with whom are we going to be associated? Are we going to join a group which may be possibly the Commonwealth or some larger group? It is no use for us to hide our head in the sand, for some measures will have to be taken for an associated defence. Apparently rumour has been busy—I suppose you cannot prevent people from considering that—and I feel that this country must be associated for the purpose of defence with other people. It is no use for us to think that we can rely on our own strong right arm. Belgium wished to remain neutral in the last two wars and she was caught in the vortex before she even made any preparations. In the course of this discussion, I have listened to arguments from people who know far more than I do about the matter and I have listened to arguments on the question of whether we are in the Commonwealth or have left it or whether this was a republic or was not a republic. These questions can be argued if you take different points of view. This Bill, however, is going to settle that matter. One of the things that I deprecate in this discussion is that everybody seems to be trying to claim a certain amount of credit for himself or for somebody associated with him or to cast discredit on what someone else has done. There is no doubt that this country, like other countries, is in a process of evolution. I listened to speakers who contended that all the people who joined in various movements for centuries past were entitled to be given full credit. I would go still further than that and say that I do not think even that is wide enough. My concept would be that everybody who has contributed to the life of this country as a useful citizen in no matter what walk of life, whether actively engaged in politics or in trade or commerce, is entitled to his due share in the advancement of this country.

I believe that the real development of a country depends on the building up of the moral force and fibre of the country. When a moral force can be built up, the barriers seem to crumble. No movement or no country could be united or get anywhere if people start bickering about how far each person has contributed. We can look around at the gradual growth all over the world of an informed and ordered opinion. I am rather weak on history, but I think that all movements throughout the world have started with freedom. That is the most important thing of all, and without freedom you cannot get anywhere. Of course, there are various freedoms. There is religious, political and economic freedom. Everybody seems to approach their ideal and the problem of how it is to be obtained with a consideration of what physical force can be mustered in support of it, and they only think secondly of moral force. I would like to mention, for the consideration of the House—and possibly some of the historians will correct me if I am wrong— the fact that slavery was abolished without fighting. I do not mean to say that there are not slaves at the present time, but no one in the world supports that. Slavery disappeared through the moral force of the people who advocated that measure. I would like to urge upon this House that the most important question is how we can muster our moral force for the advancement of this country's best interests. Everybody does not see eye to eye, but a whole lot of people may see eye to eye with a movement, and cannot a percentage of them be brought in in support of the status of the country.

One thing that has astonished me in connection with this Bill is how little thought has been given or explanation offered as to the quality of the republic that it is proposed to set up. I take it that when this Bill has passed, as those introducing this measure have stated, a republic will have been set up; we will have passed through a door, and the question then will be what quality of a republic is it proposed to support? Is it the status quo? We have all listened to various republicans in the past, some of whom advocated that no foreign goods should be allowed into this country, some that there should be no commitments in regard to defence; others, a national currency free from any link with sterling, and yet others, that the Irish language should be made compulsory. In the last few minutes I think I heard it advocated that British trade unions here should be abolished. The realists, and I claim that I belong to the realists, would like some satisfaction on these points.

What I would urge on the people is to give up arguing about a whole lot of matters which, in my opinion, do not matter, such as the past and what happened in the past. Remember that what this country will be is not what it was in the past but what we will make it in the future. Let us try to unite on a programme which we can all accept and work for whatever progress we can achieve. We will make far greater progress as a united people, a people united in our ideals, having sacrificed possibly some of them, or having left them in abeyance, than we will make by continuing to argue about things which do not matter.

I approach this matter with a certain amount of pride and a certain amount of sorrow. I am an old republican. For the information of the Seanad, I joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1911, when I was 19 years of age, and I tried all my life to be consistent in my republicanism. I am sad that this Bill does not embrace Ireland, as we know it, but is confined to Twenty-Six Counties. I accepted the Treaty of 1921 because I had on more than one occasion heard the constitution of the Irish Republican Brotherhood read and the members of that organisation were prepared to accept any measure of freedom as a means to an end. That was not the sole reason for my acceptance of the Treaty, but it was an important reason. I want to be quite honest—I do not want to be offensive—and say that I withdrew my support of that Treaty because I believed the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, of which I was never actually a member, was going holus-bolus into the British Empire. When I saw a photograph in the papers of Irish Ministers dressed in court attire in Buckingham Palace, I felt it was no place for me and I got out of it.

Senator Honan to-day was jumped on because he voiced a suspicion that there might be some other reason for what might be called the change of front on the part of certain people making up the present Government. I personally would like an explanation because to me it appears that there has been something in the nature of a political somersault, and when I hear people complaining that they did not expect this from the Fine Gael Party, at any rate, I feel that there is a certain amount of justification for their complaint. For the past 25 years, or prior to Fianna Fáil coming into power, we knew that we were fairly closely connected with the British Empire in the matter of attending Imperial Conferences and so on.

The Taoiseach has said, and I want to compliment him on his speech introducing this measure, that the main reason for this Bill was that it would bring peace into Irish political life. Everybody in the House will hope that he is correct in that view, but I do not know whether he is correct in believing that the confused state of affairs in connection with the External Relations Act of 1936 was responsible for the gun being in Irish politics in later years. My recollection is that, subsequent to the enactment of the Constitution—I do not say because of it—we had a fairly peaceful time, and certain people then decided to make war on Britain. And for what? To compel Britain to get out of the Six Counties. It was because of that making of war—attacks on British cities and so on—that the Irish Government had to take measures against these people.

The point I am putting to the Taoiseach is that if that was the attitude of these people in 1938—and their attacks on the British Government might have involved this country in very serious consequences—what is to prevent them adopting the same attitude in 1948 in relation to this question of Partition? I have come now to the stage at which my fighting days are over. I am a man of peace and I hope the Taoiseach is correct in his view that we will have a peaceful future.

Not alone are we rather bewildered as to the attitude that has been taken up. I opened the Sunday Independent a couple of weeks ago, and was amazed to see a great article there advocating the establishment of the Irish republic. Abuse has been thrown on the Irish Times, for certain things it has said. We all know what to expect from the Irish Times, and at least this can be said in its favour, that it has been consistent through all the years. But a paper which hounded Redmond, fomented the 1913 strike, condemned the 1916 rebellion, and indicated certain leaders that should be executed, that called Martin Savage an assassin, and had his place destroyed as a result, that has been opposed to every advance of extreme nationalism in this country —when I saw that paper advocating a whole-hog attitude on this question of the republic, I felt it was time to examine my conscience.

I wanted to know, and am still anxious to know, what is the reason. I know that when the Taoiseach was finishing up—I may be taking him up wrongly—he spoke of siding and cooperating and standing with other people. I personally hope that this country is not committed to anything. If it is a question of defending western democracy and Christendom against attacks of Communism, I am wholeheartedly with the Government, and stand for the people who take that attitude; but I would like to know if this country is being committed, or if there is any possibility of being committed, beforehand as a quid pro quo in connection with that action.

None whatever. I made that perfectly clear in the Dáil, and the Senator need not worry his head about it.

I accept that unreservedly. We had a very fine speech, from his standpoint, from Senator Bigger. He started off by saying he represented nobody, he was independent, and then he proceeded to speak on behalf of what I describe as the King's Irish in this country. These people are not concerned with their rights, no more than the people of Northern Ireland are concerned with the rights that they might secure or might be deprived of under an All-Ireland Republic. What they are concerned about is their privileges. These people for centuries have enjoyed privileges in this country when the mere Irish did not count for anything. Any of us who lived prior to the much-abused Treaty of 1921 know the position. The mere Irish, and particularly the mere Catholics, counted for nothing in the scheme of things, as far as the British Government in this country were concerned. That is the trouble with these people to-day. They are not looking for rights, but they are resenting the loss of their privileges.

These people are not Irish, they do not accept Ireland; their first loyalty is to Britain. That is our grievance with them. There is no lack of toleration of the Catholic to the Protestant, but we object to these people living here, and living well here and living out of all proportion to their numbers here. We object to these people refusing their first loyalty to this country and giving their first loyalty to Britain. There is no change in that attitude. There has never been any change in it and we see the planter stock in Senator Professor Bigger, despite his ancestors who went before him. I knew Francis Joseph Bigger, a man who did much for Irish culture and Irish nationality.

I have read of the Earl of Warwick, and I know much of Jemmy Hope, and I know what those men would say to-day, those republicans of that time, if they had listened here to-day to the speech of their descendant, Professor Bigger, who was speaking on behalf of the irreconcilables as far as this country is concerned. I want to know, if we establish an Irish Republic, what we are going to do to make these people be loyal to us. If they will not be loyal to us, let them get out. You could not have such a position in any other country in the world. What did the Yankees, the Americans do—they put them to Canada. After the American War of Independence, those people who were the King's Americans in America were chased out to Canada.

When you talk about Canada and Australia and New Zealand being loyal, why would they not be loyal to Britain, since they are the one flesh and blood? These people, in their conquest, went over the world and deprived the rightful owners of those countries. The unfortunate blacks in South Africa were deprived by the South African Government of their legitimate rights as human beings, not to mind as citizens. These are the people who talk of us, a country that has sent its sons and daughters throughout the ages to every part of the world; and then we are expected to show loyalty, to what? To something that we were never loyal to, something we never owned loyalty to, something we could not own allegiance to. Independent of our history, independent of what has gone before, will any man here tell me why any Irishman should be loyal to a British King? What is the reason? Any rights they ever had they had here by conquest, by superior force. There was never any question of loyalty in the hearts of the people of this country to the British King. Why should we profess a sham allegiance, a sham loyalty, that none of us ever felt? I ask the question of the Taoiseach—I do not expect him to answer it now— what is going to be done to see that the people who live and have their being in this country give their first loyalty to it.

There are other matters that must be attended to also. If we are going to cut the painter, it ought to be cut completely. If we are going to be Irish, let us be Irish, let us be whole-hoggers, sea-green republicans, and let us have no half measures. There are many British institutions in this country of ours that ought to be got rid of—if possible, by peaceful means, if not by peaceful means, well, we will have to use other methods.

Senator O'Farrell referred to the trade union movement and the Leas-Chathaoirleach was inclined to think him out of order. I suggest that this matter is very germane to what we are discussing. Actually, there is no use in us declaring ourselves free, no use in saying we are free politically, if we are not free industrially. The position at present is that the country is split in this matter of British or foreign unions and Irish unions. No matter what any man says, no matter what any man with a spark of Irish nationality in him may say, he must admit in his heart that it is a bad thing for the country. The people who hold there should be only Irish trade unions in this country are following in a royal tradition, the tradition of the men who said over the centuries: "We stand for Irish control". It would be a good thing for Ireland if a way out, a settlement of this problem, could be found. The present position can be very dangerous. It is quite possible for vital services of this country to be dislocated as a result of a decision, or want of a decision, in Britain, outside the control of this country altogether. We had a clear example of that during the Black and Tan war—we had Irishmen, railway employees, refusing to handle munitions to be used by the Black and Tans against their own people. That was a laudable and patriotic action on the part of those railway men, but the British executive in London looked at the matter simply from the point of view of Englishmen and refused to sanction that strike or condone it. They refused to sanction or condone that strike or pay strike benefit to the people who, in spite of the decision of the British executive, refused to handle the stuff. They allowed them to be dismissed and, like Pontius Pilate, they washed their hands of any responsibility for these people. That position affected a vital service which this country could not do without—the railway service. It is quite possible that the British executive in London to-morrow or the next day can paralyse the Irish railways without any reference to——

I am afraid the Senator is getting very far away from the Bill.

I suppose we are all rambling a bit. I did not think you would let me go so far. I think the Government should consider that question. I hope this Bill will be accepted unanimously by the Seanad. We should not be trying to score petty points off each other in debate. I want to pay tribute to the Taoiseach for the way in which he introduced the measure, but I think—and I say this without any offence—he was a bit ungenerous in picking out certain statements by Deputy de Valera when he was Taoiseach. I think it rather cheapened the speech that he was making debating points out of things that possibly would have another explanation if Deputy de Valera were here to answer them.

All Irishmen who have done their little bit, I think, should get the credit. As a boy I was violently opposed to the principles and the policy of the late John Redmond and the Irish Party. But, looking back from middle life, I can say that it is possible that only for them other things would not have happened; that they have brought us along the road we find ourselves on to-day. We called them pro-British and all sorts of things. I suppose we can say now, at any rate, that, no matter what they were, they did what they considered best in their time for the country, that they did what they considered they could do and that they did it willingly and well. That also applies to the men who came after them in the Sinn Féin days. I was a member of Sinn Féin when I was only 14. I tramped the city and country when there were baton charges. Then we had the 1916 Rising and the Black-and-Tan movement, and then the unfortunate split over the Treaty. We were at one another's throats for a long time. Let us, however, be generous and admit that we all did what we believed to be in the best interests of Ireland. If we accept that, we will realise, at any rate, that we can look forward to the day when politics here will be an internal matter, when we will not have to be worrying about international situations.

I should also like to say that circumstances govern people and the British Government which refused to recognise the passage of the External Relations Act 1936, was not as strong as the British Government in 1948. We should remember this in our tribute to the British. I pay them no tribute. I believe that what they do is simply a matter of expediency and in their own selfish interests. If they are acquiescing in this matter, they are doing it because it suits them and because they cannot afford to do anything else. The British Empire is not the British Empire that many of us knew 30 years ago. The British Empire is a very sick one to-day. What it did in 1914, 1916, 1921 and 1936, it could not afford to do in 1948.

Let us always remember, when we want to give credit to Great Britain, that she is responsible for the division of our country. She created the present position in the North by the 1920 Act and she maintains it, and we have got to put the responsibility on her. It is her responsibility to bring it to an end. Let us not fool ourselves or be fooled by anyone, the British people or others, who say that this is a matter for Irishmen to settle. This is a matter for Great Britain to settle. It has been proved over and over again in debate that Great Britain will suit herself. If it suits her to-morrow to throw the North of Ireland there, she would throw it. If it suits the North of Ireland to come into this State to-morrow, it will come in. If there is any question of the responsibility for this, let us put our finger on where it belongs. The responsibility for Partition is Great Britain's and nobody else's. I welcome the Bill. I hope it will get whole-hearted support here, that it will be unanimously passed, and that we can look forward to a day of rejoicing for the country. I hope there will be no Independence Day declared. Independence Day should be postponed until we declare a republic for the 32 counties of Ireland.

During the course of the debates the term ex-Unionist has been frequently used. Some people have been at pains to deny that they were ex-Unionists, that they were ever Unionists. I want to say at the outset that I am a Unionist, unashamedly and unrepentantly. I am a Unionist because I believe passionately in the unity of this country. I believe that within these Twenty-Six Counties over which we have at present control unity is essential amongst ourselves for our well-being. I passionately believe in the ultimate union of the whole country. That is my form of unionism, and that, I think, is unionism to which every Irishman can subscribe cheerfully. It is for that reason that I welcome the Bill.

I do not intend to follow the very many red herrings that Senator Bigger trailed across this discussion, but I should like to take him up on one small but important point, because I think the fact that Senator Bigger made it demonstrates that he and possibly many other people have rather a confused mind on this issue. Senator Bigger takes objection to the title of this Bill as being inaccurate. He says that it is inaccurate to describe this country as the Republic of Ireland, and he makes great play about the geographical definition of Ireland as an island, and the republic now is only going to be twenty-six-thirty-seconds of Ireland.

I would like to put this to Professor Bigger. In the year 1870 there was a war between Germany and France and during the course of that war the German armies invaded France, and in the ultimate peace the Germans remained in occupation of two of the French provinces, Alsace and Lorraine, and they remained in occupation of these two provinces until the year 1918. Was it inaccurate during that period to use the words the Republic of France as the title of France or was it inaccurate to use the word France as descriptive of that country, simply and solely because a foreign Power was occupying by armed force two or three provinces? I put it that there is no difference between the situation of France then and Ireland now.

It is, I think, only quite natural in a democratic country that a measure of this kind should have been subjected to a great deal of criticism and that many points of view should have been expressed. It is rather strange, though, that this criticism has been so confused on the one hand and on the other hand, at times, scurrilous. One would have expected and one would have respected intelligent criticism of this measure. One would have respected and have been willing to meet in argument criticism that was based on, for instance, whether or not this was an opportune time to repeal the External Relations Act and formally declare this country a republic. But, unfortunately, that has not been the type of criticism that has been put up. It has all the time been a criticism of propaganda and confusion. Surprise has been expressed that the Fine Gael Party should have undertaken a measure such as this. People's memories must indeed be very short if they have forgotten that the Fine Gael Party, which is the lineal descendant of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party, who were the Party that worked the Treaty, only accepted that Treaty, as Michael Collins expressed it, as a stepping-stone to the ultimate, complete and sovereign freedom of this country.

Probably the most dishonest line of attack that has been made upon the Taoiseach and his Ministers who have undertaken to steer this Bill through our Parliament has been the line of attack that claims that the people were swindled. I think Professor Bigger used that rather vulgar if expressive word, made "suckers" of, that this Government had no mandate for this action. That is a particularly dishonest type of argument. Mandates are things that it is not always possible to have. Government action is very often governed, not by mandates that they receive or do not receive during the course of an election, but by force of circumstances. I would like to remind this House, and I speak from memory and subject to contradiction if I am wrong, that the late Government had no specific mandate at the beginning of the European war to declare neutrality, that the Fine Gael Party had no specific mandate at that time to support them in their declaration of neutrality, that the Labour Party and all the other Parties in the Parliament had no specific mandate for the declaration of neutrality, simply and solely because at the time that they were elected the question of neutrality or non-neutrality was not of immediate political importance. Nevertheless, that does not say that the Fianna Fáil Government were not quite correct and quite right in declaring neutrality at that time, and it does not say that they did not reflect the wishes of the vast majority of the people. I think that is accepted without question. All this business of a mandate is completely dishonest and beside the point.

Senator Lavery, I think, demonstrated clearly last night that, from a legal point of view, what we are doing to-day could have been done in 1936. Play should not be made on that. I do not think we, in the Fine Gael Party, wish to claim any particular political advantage that it was not done in 1936, because I personally feel that there must have been some very good reason why a formal declaration of a republic was not made in 1936. We have never actually been given that explanation. There is no reason why we should have been given it, but I am quite convinced that there was a reason for it. If I were to speculate I would think that it was this, that, in 1936, the same friendly relations did not exist between ourselves and the neighbouring island as exist to-day, and on that subject I would like to give credit where credit is due. From 1938 onward the Fianna Fáil Government did improve friendly relations between this country and Great Britain. This Government is carrying that tradition on.

The memories of many of the people who criticised this measure and who criticised the political Parties who are introducing this measure must be exceedingly short. Nationalist progress in this country has always been a gradual one, one of step by step. Nationalist Parties in this country have started from time to time with different objectives, sometimes a limited objective. The old Parliamentary Parties that Professor Bigger referred to last night had for their policy a limited objective consisting of a limited form of home rule. That was their objective.

Mind you, even in those days there were men at the top of the nationalist Parties who were before their time, and Parnell was one. Although the Party that he led at the time had for its objective a limited form of home rule, Parnell distinctly stated that a limited form of home rule would not necessarily be a final settlement when he made his famous statement that no man shall set bounds to the onward march of a nation, etc. Truly, no Irishman would expect Fine Gael to-day, or any other Party, to have a limited national objective. Unfortunately, we in this part of the country are not the only people who have short memories, and it is regrettable that our Northern brethren appear to have very short memories too, and to overlook and to blind themselves to certain indisputable facts. For people who are supposed to take an extremely realistic and materialistic outlook on their problems, they have successfully blinded themselves to the fact that they have reached that peak of industrial prosperity that they enjoy to-day, not with the assistance of the British or the English, but in spite of the British and the English. They seem to forget that they had to build up those industries which are so prosperous there to-day in the face of cut-throat competition from the shipyards of the Clyde and the industrial districts of central England. They do not appear to be capable of realising, from a materialistic point of view—which, admittedly, is not putting things on a very high plane—that they have something to gain by joining with us.

To-day their industrialists must be in a rather unenviable position. Their every action, their every attempt at enterprise or to sell their goods is controlled, not by their own Government but by a Government sitting in London, by an official of the Board of Trade in London, over whom they exercise no control. I suggest to some of the businessmen and industrialists in the North that it might be well for them to consider that position they are in and the possible fruits they might gain and the protection they might receive from us down here.

I do not want to say much more on this subject of the North, but if Senators wish for a statesmanlike attitude on this problem, I would recommend to them the speech of the Minister for External Affairs on the Vote for his Department in the Dáil this year before the adjournment. I only wish to say in conclusion that when the dream of every Irishman comes true and a union is brought about between ourselves and our fellow countrymen—because no matter what anyone may say, they are our fellow countrymen in the North-East—I think that the people of the North-East will be a great asset to Ireland and that they will have a very big part to play. Economically they will be in an unassailable position and it will be time then to talk about the defence of this country. To defend the country as a whole is one problem, a problem that might not be too difficult, but the defence of the country divided is difficult. The relations between ourselves and our neighbours at present are friendly and good. Once there is a united Ireland, I think there could be no limit to the friendship that could exist between the two islands.

It is with some temerity that I approach this Bill for the reason that I have no history behind me to connect me in any way with the efforts of other generations to achieve a measure of freedom for this country. I am of an age group that did not have the privilege of joining Patrick Pearse and which, thanks be to God, was saved from the tragedy of civil war, an age group that can now treat those years as history, an age group for which it is easy to accept the position created by the Bill as the only natural step that could be taken at this stage. We of the age group to which I belong have no hesitation in doing all the honour we possibly can to all the political Parties who have combined in all the years of our history to achieve the measure of freedom we have to-day. We are prepared to acknowledge all the heroic deeds of all our people, but we claim that we have a right to expect now that the intention of our statesmen shall be concentrated and directed to the future and not to what has happened in the past.

Yesterday afternoon and this morning I have listened patiently and with great interest to the various speeches and the impact of the controversy that has grown up about this Bill has not made any impression on my view that the Bill is the only natural one that could be brought before us for consideration. Anyone who cares to direct his attention to the opening speech of the Taoiseach must realise that the Taoiseach gave a very able résumé of the history of our constitutional development in this country over the past 25 years, and, to my mind, as a man who was not associated with any of the steps in that constitutional development, he gave a very fair comment. He took us through the various steps in the course of that constitutional development and I think that we people can look back dispassionately on the reports of imperial conferences, reports of Dáil Debates and look back on the circumstances surrounding the enactment of the Constitution of 1937 and consider the necessity for the Act which we talk of as the External Relations Act. We people can consider all these as natural steps, one following the other as the night follows the day, and for that reason there is no alternative to-day but the passage into law of this Bill.

If the two streams of opposition or controversy which the Taoiseach referred to cannot in any way make me withdraw from my belief that this is the only natural step we can take, it is because I believe that political Parties or groups of any nature have no right to-day, any more than they had in Parnell's day, to set a boundary to our onward march, irrespective of the fact that this natural progression of ours might in some way interfere with what some groups may consider their rights. I believe that political Parties or political groups may react to this Bill. We have listened to a complaint—or so it appears to me— from one section.: "The Crown has been stolen away from us," and I have a feeling in my heart, listening to speakers on this side, that they feel that their particular republic has been stolen from them. That is the position which confronts me, and before I finish I should like to appeal to all those groups to give their unreserved approval to this Bill, to be bigger than their own group, because, so far as I am concerned, this measure is just as big a thing in my life as Pádraig Pearse's declaration was to him. I should like to see it passed into law, because it certainly removes from our midst the dissipation of our national energies which we have witnessed for many a year. I have witnessed that more in print than in fact. I should like to see all our energies devoted to and concentrated on following our star and backing up that moral compelling force which must find its answer in the application de facto of this measure to all Ireland.

Let me say at once that, convinced by a study of the Dáil debates and by the speeches made in this House, I intend to give this Bill my support, and I believe that in doing so I express the decision of a large number of my constituents, namely, the graduates, and especially the younger graduates, of Dublin University, men and women eager to contribute wholeheartedly to our country's welfare. Let me say, too, that I must dissociate myself most emphatically from the disparaging remarks which have been made here on all sides and in the Dáil about lawyers in general and constitutional lawyers in particular, though the prejudice, I regret to say, goes back to Plato. In a matter of law, if we cannot trust the consensus of legal opinion, we had better emigrate to some jungle where the rule of law is still unknown. If, in a matter of constitutional law, we, as the supreme jury of this nation, do not base our decisions on the most careful and unprejudiced arguments of constitutional lawyers, we are repudiating the essentials of civilisation. In the dangers and perplexities inherent in the Government of every country, the commonsense politician and the learned lawyer should be in the closest and sincerest alliance. Such an alliance, I believe, is nearer full achievement now than ever since 1921, and I welcome its approach. Speaking, therefore, as a neophyte in politics, as one who is learning the difficult and perplexing art of politics, let me say that I dissociate myself from the disparaging remarks about politicians, and, speaking as the representative of a university which has given many legal luminaries to this country in the past and is doing so at present and will, I hope, do so in the future, I dissociate myself from any prejudice against the lawyers of our country.

Only a few weeks ago, the Taoiseach did us the honour of visiting Trinity College twice, and may I say that the members of Trinity College deeply appreciate these visits by the head of our State, and Ministers of our State? The time and energy they spend in coming to visit us is deeply appreciated. On the occasion of his visit, the Taoiseach appealed to the younger people in Ireland to rid themselves of this prejudice against politics, and he appealed in a way which struck a chord in the hearts of many of his audience, and, if I can do anything to help the Taoiseach's wishes in that matter, I will do it gladly.

I have said that I believe I represent a large number of my fellow-graduates. I think that I had better present my credentials as an informed spokesman for the younger generation of the religious minority. In the past ten years, I have addressed and argued with audiences, large and small, in Belfast, my native city, Derry, Armagh, Dublin, Mullingar, Portarlington, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Tralee, on the problems of our religious minority. What I have to say in what follows is an honest attempt to express the opinions I met in these frank and vigorous debates. May I say with emphasis that among the thousands of young Protestants with whom I spoke and argued, there was a cordial and ungrudging recognition of the scrupulous fairness of our successive Governments to us? Without any sense of inferiority, and without any sense of superiority, as free Irishmen to free Irishmen, we accept that consistent maintenance of impartial justice as worthy of our country's most honourable traditions.

I have said that I intend to support this Bill, but I cannot end simply with that affirmation. My support is based on reasoned conviction and not on passion, not on education, not on environment, and not on heredity, though I, too, can claim, as many have claimed, a distant connection with an Irish leader who died in '98, and I, too, was born in Belfast. But since my support is based on reasoning and reasoning through a very complex situation, reasoning which I believe most of my constituents are going through as well, I must, with your indulgence, take this opportunity of clarifying the causes of that reasoning. May I say that I think one of the best functions of this Seanad is to promote a mutual understanding in a sympathetic and intimate atmosphere of this kind? If I can do anything in the future to promote that understanding, I will do it with all my heart.

In the debate in the Dáil and Seanad, there have been many references to the views of the religious and political minorities. In almost every case, the comments from both Government and Opposition have shown that scrupulous regard for democratic justice to which I have already referred. But, with the best goodwill in the world, many of the speeches suggested a rather confused notion of the nature of the political opinions of the religious minority. May I, both for the sake of better understanding and as a preface to my comments on the Bill, clarify this point? Take, for example, the use of the term "ex-Unionist." It has been commented on already in these debates. It applies to one class and one class only, that is, the class of people who came to political maturity before the Treaty, and who, after the Treaty, gave up the Unionism that they held before that. It is a precise term, and should not be used either loosely or in abuse.

The fact is that there are four main sections in the religious minority of this country. There are what I may call the revolutionary republicans, those who are in the tradition of Tone and Emmet. Let me emphasise that some of those still living fought and suffered for the republic from 1916 on and suffered for it till very recent times. Some of my own friends are amongst those and I speak for them. This was a section of the religious minority to which a man who lived in this House belonged, who sat at these fireplaces with his republican wife from France. I refer to Lord Edward Fitzgerald. I am sure that, at the debates this evening and yesterday his shade must have been watching us with the acutest interest and sympathy, because we are doing something to-day that he died to do in 1798. I do not think that, when we speak disparagingly, as some do, of the religious minority, we should forget such revolutionary republicans as he.

There is another group, what I call the constitutional republicans, more in the tradition of Davis and Parnell. These in most cases have suffered less in the past and, as a result, have less credit now, but I would emphasise that these are as strong in their loyalty and conviction in favour of the republic as any member of the Irish nation. They are ruled by reason rather than by feeling, by head rather than by heart; but, honestly, in the long run, I think we can rely for endurance and firmness on the reasoning republican rather than on the unreasoning republican, if such there be.

The third group—and this is the group for which I ask for sympathy here—is that which may be called the Free Staters or the ex-Free Staters, members of the Commonwealth Party. These are more in the tradition of Grattan and Butt. They had no antagonism to England in so far as England was prepared to allow complete freedom to Ireland. These are the people who are in perplexity and difficulty now and I ask you to help them. They are trying to find their way, to strike a balance between a genuine desire for independence and a genuine desire for co-operation in the Commonwealth. I will speak more of them later, as I believe we must consider them thoroughly here to-day.

The fourth group is that of the Unionists—Unionists, plain and simple. A graduate of my own university was Edward Carson, a southern Irishman, a Unionist. They believed, and still believe, that the Union of Ireland with Great Britain is the best thing.

To apply the term ex-Unionist to any of these is manifestly misleading.

There is another difference to be considered, a difference in age. The post-Treaty generation, to which a recent speaker has referred, the young men and women who grew up and came to political maturity after 1922, the under-forties on the whole, did not begin to think or feel in any real sense politically till about 18 or 15 years ago. It is a ridiculous anachronism to call these ex-Unionists. These anachronisms are not confined to one side of the country at all. It is some 12 years only since I was accused of being a Home Ruler in 1936 in my mother's drawing room—a Home Ruler in 1936! It is as futile to call these people ex-Unionists as to call many of the respected members of our present Government Home Rulers. In fact, it comes to this: the same shades of political opinion that are found in the majority are found in the minority, though it is quite clear the proportions of the extreme left and the extreme right are different.

An earlier speaker has referred to another misunderstanding about that section of our people in the Twenty-Six Counties who are properly described as Unionists, not ex-Unionists. The Unionists are not confined to the religious minority. That point must be emphasised. I know more than a few of the religious majority in this country who hold staunchly to Unionism in the full sense. Though I do not share their views, I think it my duty to emphasise that the political convictions of these southern Unionists should have our respect and genuine consideration, not only because we are a democracy, but also because our hopes for a truly peaceful settlement of the Partition problem are enmeshed in the destinies of these Unionists, North and South. One Senator very recently, I regret to say, has suggested that such people should be driven out —I use his own term. Frankly, this sounds to me more like totalitarianism than Irish democracy. I am satisfied that it is not the voice of our ruling statesmen, and I mention it only to dismiss it.

Such is the complexity of the politics of the religious minority that to suggest that their attitude to this Bill is simple and undifferentiated is gravely misleading. I am sorry if I seem to be complicating matters, but it is my business to disentangle complications.

All this is more complicated by the fact that the Bill is complex, too. The Bill involves the setting up of a sovereign republic, but it also involves our relationship with the nations inside the Commonwealth and, by implication, our whole foreign policy. A decision on this Bill is clear for two sections of the religious minority. The republicans accept it gladly, the Unionists reject it firmly, but the remaining group, those who value our connection with the Commonwealth, have been perplexed and troubled and, in some cases, misled on this Bill. I do not say they have been misled simply by members of the Dáil and Seanad, but misled by other sources of information, too. In my opinion, many of those, like myself, would support this Bill, but they need reassurance on certain points.

Let me be entirely frank about this. The political thinking of what would once be described as Anglo-Irishmen, now properly described as Irishmen, in this country is not easy. It is not easy for a young politician to find his way between the conflicting elements in our State, North and South. Family interests may pull him in one direction, education in another, his reason and his passions in another direction. I am voicing my own particular feelings when I ask for your sympathetic attention in this matter, because I represent a generation that is slowly taking up its definite orientation in Irish politics. We must do it with caution; we will do it with sincerity. I appeal to you then as a neophyte in politics and as a representative of that minority for your sympathetic hearing.

There are three difficulties in this Bill, and I want to face them frankly. The first is the question of secession from the Commonwealth, so-called. That term has been challenged and been challenged rightly. The second is the need that has been expressed by some for a definite mandate from the people for this Bill. The third is the suggestion which has been made that our foreign policy in future may be progressively isolationst until the country is united. These are the three difficulties I think we must face.

This Bill has been represented in some quarters as a precipitate and injudicious secession from the Commonwealth. Until I studied the debates in the Dáil and heard the Taoiseach's exposition and that of Senator Douglas and others in this House, I took this view, and intended to oppose such a secession on the ground that it would curtail our practical freedom. I am now satisfied that the Commonwealth connection has been, as the Taoiseach said yesterday, a dead root for 16 years, and, as far as international co-operation from this side of the Channel was concerned, it did more harm than good. Secondly, the declaration of the English Prime Minister seems to safeguard the privileges of our nationals for the present at least and, from the Taoiseach's introductory speech, I am convinced that he will do all in his power to preserve those privileges. For let me emphasise as a representative of men and women who sometimes like to go abroad, and often go abroad to come home again better and wiser people, that all these privileges of free come and go with every continent in the world mean a great deal to our graduates. For those who seek a livelihood or vocation abroad to lose that freedom of movement and employment which we have enjoyed in Great Britain and the Commonwealth would be calamitous for all the Irish universities. I believe my colleague in the National University will support me on that.

I do appeal to the Taoiseach or the Minister for External Affairs, if they can see their way to do it, to give me and those for whom I speak a clearer promise of active efforts to widen and strengthen these links, these practical, personal, golden links, with the nations of the Commonwealth. If that is possible, it will be a great reassurance to people who are trying to find their way in a complex situation. Personally, if it were possible, I should like to see the republic in a new, fully constitutional relationship with the Commonwealth, without any question of qualified sovereignty, as a mother nation of millions of Commonwealth citizens outside our own boundaries.

Perhaps I may be permitted to quote from a book which has just appeared, and which I do not think has reached this country, by a distinguished Irishman, Dr. Nicholas Mansergh, who was born and educated in this country. It is a fair-minded and impartial survey of the position. He calls it The Commonwealth and the Nations. His final paragraph is this:—

"The implications of Eire's relationship with the Commonwealth have led us, therefore, into new fields. They suggest a Commonwealth of the future in which there are both member States and associate States, the distinction between them being one, not of status, but of histroy, tradition and cultural background. By such a development, the Commonwealth could only be strengthened, for it would mean that political and constitutional realities would once again be brought into harmony. In this great community there would be a natural place for nations peopled by many races and speaking many tongues, but all, from their vast store of varied experience, contributing to the common good of the whole, and thereby to the peace of the world."

I wish we could bring ourselves at least close to that ideal.

The second difficulty is this. There have been accusations of false election pledges. Many sincerely patriotic voters are disturbed by this, not through malice, not through ancestral bitterness, but simply in terms of honesty. These sincerely patriotic voters do not wish to denounce or deplore or condemn; but they do wish for a better explanation. I, with them, know that our Taoiseach and our Ministers of State must have some good and honourable reason for their decision. If the Taoiseach would give us a clearer statement on this, I and they would welcome it. I wish it were possible for politicians to say: "I changed my mind." If he does not, I, for my part, will be satisfied that his silence or his vagueness is justified by reasons of high policy, or the greater good of the State. I am prepared to accept that, for I respect both his professional and his political integrity.

With these qualifications and one more which I must mention, I am convinced that some three-fourths at least of the younger generation of the religious minority will support this Bill and will give the new era that it should inaugurate in Irish politics their firm support. And I personally, though I cannot describe myself as a republican, welcome the proclamation of an unambiguous, sovereign republican, Ireland. I welcome it as a representative of the college whose members laid the foundation stones of this structure that has been almost completed to-day—Tone, Emmet, Mitchel, Davis, to name only a few. I welcome this decision as a member of the Church of Ireland whose sons also have had a distinguished record in Ireland's struggle for political and intellectual independence for over 200 years, from Dean Swift on through Grattan, Tone, Lord Edward, Smith O'Brien, Parnell and others whom I have named before.

Here in parenthesis I must take up Senator O'Farrell's reference to what he rather loosely called the Protestant religion. I deplore the introduction of any sectarian controversy into this House, but if it is introduced I mean to fight as hard as I can against it. He described the Protestant religion, as he calls it, as an easy one. I protest against this superficial and hurtful remark. I shall not argue it out here, but let me say that, apart from the sectarian issue involved, this is not the time in Ireland or Europe for quarrels or hard words among Christians. I will say no more on this, but I am sorry that Senator O'Farrell, whose speeches I have learned to admire in this House, should take it on himself to make a gratuitously hurtful remark of this kind. But let me add that I entirely agree with him for reasons I have already given, that the sooner the term Protestant is discarded as an equivalent term for Unionist or ex-Unionist the better for the clear thinking of us all.

One difficulty remains, and in a sense. I think it is the most constructive difficulty that I have to offer, if any difficulty can be described as constructive. This is the question of our international and external policy in general. Some remarks which I have read have suggested that the republic will not agree to full co-operation with the freedom-loving and peace-loving nations of the world until we achieve what is called the reintegration of our national territory. The Taoiseach's closing remarks yesterday contradicted this, but, frankly, I think we need a firmer and more definite assurance if we are to decide on this Bill with a full understanding of its international consequences. By the election of our country to the United Nations Assembly on Wednesday last, our Government has been given a unique opportunity of making such an assurance now. Am I wrong, Sir?

What is the position?

The position is that our application has gone before the General Assembly of the Security Council, but there is power of veto which, no doubt, will be exercised.

Then I will say the steps towards our election to the United Nations Organisation give us, or may soon give us, an opportunity of seeing that, without bargaining or without holding back, we will devote all our energies to fostering international unity and goodwill. Partition or no Partition, we cannot as Europeans and Christians repudiate our share, no matter how small, in the supreme responsibility of preserving European Christendom, its faith, its culture and its freedom. For, let me emphasise, Partition is not the worst evil that a country can suffer. Other nations, besides this nation, have suffered Partition. Poland, that country so similar to our own, suffered Partition, and now in a sense has achieved the reintegration of her national territory. Do we envy Poland now? Do we desire national unification at the price that Poland is paying? If we adopt and isolationist policy now we may increase the risk that we may have to pay that appalling price for reunion of our country. If by our decisions in the coming critical months and by short-sighted narrowness of vision we do anything to bring about such a reintegration of our national territory as Poland or Czechoslovakia or Roumania have achieved, future generations of Irishmen may have cause to blame us more bitterly than any Parliament in the tragic history of our country.

Our external relations are not just matters of our internal political and economic convenience. Moral obligations are also involved. We have responsibilities to meet as well as rights to demand. No sovereign and independent nation has the moral right, especially in so critical an era as this, to stand apart and say: "Am I my brother's keeper?" Our recent, not election, but progress perhaps towards election to the United Nations Organisation, as I have already mentioned, does give us an opportunity of declaring an unselfish and disinterested determination to unite in preserving Christendom and Western European civilisation. Best of all would be a declared all-Party foreign policy of full international co-operation. The Dáil and the Seanad have never been united in such unanimity as they have been in the last few weeks. I appeal to our leaders to seize this chance to present a firm united front to the international enemies of our way of life. Then and only then will our neighbours across the Atlantic, our neighbours across the channel and I believe many of our neighbours across the boundary, salute with respect and welcome the new era of Irish politics as I and those for whom I speak salute it with hope and determination now.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

The Senator's reference in his speech to Senator O'Farrell was to Senator Seamus O'Farrell. That is understood?

Yes, Sir. That is the Senator to whom I intended it.

I have very little to say and I am afraid I am going to bring this debate down to a much lower level than the very high level which it has reached in the speech of Senator Stanford. I am not going to deal with the politics of the Bill at all. I accept it as a fait accompli and I am simply concerned with one or two factual possible results on which I would like to get an assurance from the Minister that certain interests, especially those of my own constituents, have not been overlooked. I fully accept, of course, the statement of goodwill by the British Prime Minister and Dominion Prime Ministers but, at the same time, there are certain technical administrative problems which all the goodwill in the world will not solve. I also accept that most of these have probably been already considered by the Irish Government or will be considered by the Irish Government, but I do not think that it is any harm to put on record some of these practical questions that may arise on the repeal of the External Relations Act, simply in order to draw the attention of Ministers to them, if they have not already considered them, and to draw the attention of the House and the public to them because they certainly have not considered them.

Although, as I say, I am reducing the level of the debate to the lower level, I think possibly I am doing something for which the Seanad is peculiarly fitted. The high politics of this measure have been adequately and amply debated here and elsewhere and I simply propose to ask the Minister to address his mind to three or four of the consequences of this Bill which will automatically arise because I accept of course all that the Taoiseach has said to the effect that most of our rights arise out of agreement and not out of status.

There are one or two matters in which, as far as I know, Ireland will suffer by going outside the Commonwealth unless measures are taken by British legislation and I have no doubt at all that these measures will be taken. The first is a matter which Senator Stafford has already eloquently referred to, that is, the position of our graduates abroad, including my own constituents, because it is not only the graduates of Dublin University who go abroad and earn honourable livings in all parts of the world; there are certain positions, in particular in the consular and diplomatic service, and the judicial service in the British colonies and Dominions to which our graduates occasionally go. I would like the Minister to assure us that even in the case of appointments of that kind where oaths are necessary that our citizens, our nationals, will not be precluded from taking such oaths of allegiance as may be called for in the British diplomatic, military and other services. That is a matter to which I would like to call attention.

Furthermore, I would like to call attention to the fact that Irish nationals may wish to sit in the British or Dominion Parliaments, in either House. Members of Parliament are expected to take the Oath of Allegiance, and I would like the Minister to consider whether there is anything repugnant to Irish nationality under our new republican status in taking the Oath of Allegiance in the British Parliament, in either House. That question may arise.

Another concrete question I would like an answer to is, can an Irish national, after this Bill is passed, own a British ship without further legislation? The Merchant Shipping Acts, as far as I know, are extremely categorical regarding British nationality and the ownership of British ships.

Another matter to which I would like to draw attention—it is a small matter —is the subsidiary register in Dublin of certain important British companies. Three or four of the banks which are associated with the Central Bank of Ireland have their head offices outside this State. Under the provisions of the Central Bank Act, those banks are required to have subsidiary share registers in Dublin. There are certain other important British companies which have a large number of Irish shareholders, and which also have subsidiary registers here. I am informed that under British legislation the setting up of subsidiary registers is confined to countries which are dominions or colonies. I am informed that unless appropriate legislation takes place, the minute this Bill is passed the subsidiary registers will cease to be recognised as legal by British legislation.

I am also informed that in that event, the Irish Exchequer would suffer severely because there is some arrangement, which I am afraid I am not able to describe very fully, in relation to death duties, by means of which shares registered in the Irish register of these companies pay death duties to the Irish, and not to the British Government. That is a matter to which I wish to call attention.

Another small matter to which I wish to call attention is our position in regard to the sterling areas. Of course, I will not enter into that highly contentious question at the moment, whether it is desirable to be a member of the sterling area or not. Assuming it is desirable, assuming the free movement of funds throughout a very large part of the world is desirable in this country, access to the central sterling-dollar pool is a matter which confers advantage on our businessmen and nationals generally, and any unintended exclusion from the sterling area would be a source of considerable inconvenience. Therefore, I would suggest that whatever we may do regarding leaving the sterling area as a matter of deliberate policy, the accidental cessation of membership would not be a desirable step.

Under the Exchange Control Act, 1947, a British Act, Ireland is not included by name as a country in the sterling area. The words "sterling area" no longer appear. The First Schedule of the Exchange Control Act defines as scheduled territories all Dominions of the British Commonwealth of Nations, with the exception of Canada and Newfoundland. I simply call attention to the fact that unless that section is amended before this Act comes into operation, this country will automatically cease to be a member of the sterling area. It should be included in the Second Schedule of the Act, which includes countries belonging to the sterling area but not in the Commonwealth.

Is Iceland in the Commonwealth?

No, but it is in the Second Schedule. We are nowhere —we are not mentioned. The drafters of the Act, not having heard the debates here within the past three weeks, imagined that Éire was in the Commonwealth and, therefore, we are in the sterling area because we are in the Commonwealth. After the passage of this Bill we cease to be that and, therefore, we should seek inclusion with Iceland, the Faroe Islands and other humble islands outside the Commonwealth.

I do not think we are in the sterling area because we are in the Commonwealth. But the Senator need not worry about that. The position will be very carefully safeguarded.

I am merely mentioning these points in order that they will not be overlooked. I know they are minor administrative points, but they are of some importance, and I wish to put them on record so that they will not be overlooked.

The Senator may rest assured that they have not been overlooked.

Therefore, the purpose of my speech has been achieved. There is one other matter that may involve consequential legislation, not perhaps in Great Britain, but in some of the Dominions. Some of the preferences which are enjoyed in Canada, New Zealand and Australia are not specifically granted to Éire. They are, however, granted to Commonwealth countries, and we have enjoyed them automatically without question in the past. When we cease to be a member of the Commonwealth it is clear that those preferences will no longer be automatically conceded. I am simply drawing attention to the necessity for safeguarding these minor matters which will automatically arise. Every matter to which I have referred to-day is a matter which will automatically arise. I perfectly accept what the Taoiseach has said, that the greater part of our international preferences rest on agreements and not on status. I have confined my remarks to a small group of privileges which rest on Commonwealth status, and I respectfully suggest that the Government should see that these minor gaps are filled.

I can assure Senator O'Brien that we are obliged to him for calling attention to these matters. In so far as they may not have been considered, I assure him they will certainly be considered. I can also assure him that all these matters to which he has referred have been very carefully considered and will be safeguarded.

My remarks will be directed to the relation of this measure to the one remaining problem which has to be solved and which, I think, those interested in its solution should bear in mind. It has been stated repeatedly and emphasised not only in these debates but outside on many occasions that the sole responsibility for the Partition of this country rests on the British Government. The responsibility rests on the British Government for Partition in so far as it was responsible for introducing and passing through the British House of Commons the Act of 1920, but older members of this House will remember there was talk about Partition long before 1920 and that it was not the British Government that raised the question of Partition in the first instance. It was the people who are now insisting on the maintenance of Partition. Senator Hayes referred to the Home Rule Bills of 1912 and 1914. I remember an earlier Home Rule Bill and older men will remember an earlier one still. In 1886 and in 1893 there were proposals to grant a limited measure of Home Rule to this country.

Senator Bigger in the course of his speech stated that 50 years ago there were people in Northern Ireland who wanted to remain in the United Kingdom and he said that they wanted that still. In 1886 nobody had a word to say about putting them out of the United Kingdom. In 1893 nobody proposed to put them out, nor in 1912 did anybody propose to put them out, but they were as opposed at that time to the measure of Home Rule which was proposed to be granted, as they are now, and anybody who would think for a moment that this slender tenuous link that we are removing to-day would go any distance whatsoever in influencing these people in Northern Ireland are living in a fool's paradise.

Much has been said about the loyalty of these people but whenever their real loyalty was tested they showed what it was worth. I understand loyalty to mean not alone sentimental respect and love for the person of the sovereign but loyalty to the laws of the Government of the country in which one lives. As I say, in 1886 and in 1893 and especially in 1912, they showed exactly what their loyalty was worth. We have had talk of the gun in politics. So far as I understand my history, the gun was first introduced into politics by that distinguished son of Trinity College to whom Senator Professor Stanford referred.

He did not introduce it; it was introduced very much earlier.

I understood that the Senator wanted us to believe that he was following in the footsteps of Tone.

The point I wanted to make was that while the British Government did, because of pressure from those people in the North, introduce that Act, the responsibility was not theirs alone. I am sure Senator Bigger has heard of the Buckingham Palace Conference in 1913, convened by King George himself. Why did that conference break down? The Redmondite Party at the time were willing as a compromise to agree to the exclusion of four counties from the Bill but the conference broke down because the partitionists wanted to claim Fermanagh and Tyrone as well as the other four counties. What claim had these people to Fermanagh and Tyrone? None, any more than they have to-day.

I agree with Senator Bigger to this extent in his suggested solution of this problem. I do not believe that if Britain to-morrow were to repeal the 1920 Act and were even to withdraw their forces from the North, we would be any nearer to a united 32 Counties than we are now. Therefore I believe that a solution of Partition will not lie along these lines. It will lie along the lines suggested on many occasions before, that we must make it worth while for the people in the North to come in. No matter what may be said or pretended about their loyalty, they look first of all to their own privileges. It is because they want to preserve the privileges granted to them in the past that they are maintaining the present position. I think therefore our policy should be to make this State in which we have now, and have had indeed for 25 years, practically complete and absolute control, such a State that this big class — I think it was Senator Bigger or Senator Stanford said that it was not the mass of the people but the middle-class people who are open to argument—will see that it is to their personal advantage to become citizens of a republic for the 32 Counties.

There are one or two small points to which I also wish to refer. Most of them have been dealt with already. I should like to refer to the point made by Senator Bigger, and indeed by many others outside this House, that the Government had no mandate, and that they did not consult the people before they decided to introduce this Bill. That is nothing new in the case of Governments, even in our own time. I remember that in 1932, for instance, the Fianna Fáil Party came into power largely because of the promises of what they were going to do in the matter of taxation and in the matter of salaries of public officials of one kind or another. They were not very long in power when they discovered that many of the promises they made were not capable of being fulfilled. They had to act, as all Governments have to act, in accordance with what they thought were the best interests of the country. As has been said, they are not delegates; they are representatives. Senator Hayes quoted a statement of Edmund Burke. I might also quote another distinguished man, the late President Roosevelt, who had been badgered and criticised for doing something for which it was said he had got no mandate from the people. His retort was: "When a policeman sees a felony being committed, is he to go to the town hall and consult the mayor before he takes action?" The Government, when elected, was put in a responsible position to do what they thought best under the conditions as they found them when they took over the reins of Government. That is what they are obliged to do, and what they should do.

Senator Colgan introduced, rather irrelevantly, a matter in which, as a great advocate of freedom, he showed that he would be prepared, in certain circumstances, to advocate coercion. If there are a number of people in this country who desire to join an organisation which they think is to their best interests, why should Senator Colgan or anybody else prevent them from doing that?

The very case that he quoted, that of the railwaymen, was an example that Irishmen who may be members of what he calls British unions were not prepared to sacrifice the interests of their own country even at the behest of the executive of their unions. The railwaymen showed that spirit in 1918, 1919 and 1920. I do not think it is right to advocate, especially when it comes from a great lover of freedom like Senator Colgan, that men who, for their own reasons and for good reasons wish to remain associated with fellowworkmen in other countries because of circumstances and traditions of many years' standing, should be coerced and compelled by law to do something that they do not want to do. I do not think that comes very well from such a great lover of freedom as Senator Colgan.

What about Senator Bigger's constituents when the same thing is being done now?

I support this Bill for the reasons so well stated in the speeches made by the Taoiseach not only in this House but in the Dáil. I feel with him and with those who support him that the removal of the confusion we have had is going to be helpful to this country. Something has been said, not in this House but outside it, suggesting that it was rather generous on the part of the British people not to impose the penalties which the prophets said would be imposed on us if we took this step. Now, whatever we may think of the British people they are a far-seeing people. They have long traditions, and they can look ahead. I have the idea that, in acquiescing to this proposal, they are looking into the future when they see some new countries at the present time engaged in making their own constitutions. There is no doubt whatever but that the tendency in these new countries which have no blood relationship whatever with Britain will be to establish full sovereign republics. I am sure it would be to the advantage of Britain that these countries would remain in the family—you can call it the Commonwealth or anything else you like—and they saw that by admitting Ireland into that family as a republic rather than as a Dominion, there would be the inducement to those new countries also to remain in the family and not join up with a different group of nations. If they did that it would be to the detriment of Britain. I believe that may have, to some extent, influenced the decision of the British Government, because as I have said, they are a people who look ahead, and are wise in their generation as a result of their long traditions.

In conclusion, I want to refer to the name of this State. I have always considered it a most unfortunate thing that the name "Éire" found its way into the English version of our Constitution. If it had not been there we would never have heard of these sneering titles such as "Eirish" that we so much object to. I think it was a pity that was done. I think it was wrong. If it had remained in its proper place in the Irish version it would be all right, and we could assume that this State would always have been know as "Ireland". In my opinion what is being done now will have the effect of giving back to this old nation its ancient name, and that as a result we will hear no more of these belittling statements. I hope that the Government will do everything within its power to wipe out the name "Éire" when speaking in English. Of course, when speaking in Irish we must use the proper name. I trust that, in the case of official communications and on the forms used in the Government service that it is the name "Ireland", not "Éire", that will appear.

I welcome this Bill very sincerely. I am also glad that, when the present Government decided to repeal the External Relations Act, they agreed to go a step further, and put in the name "republic" in this Bill, thereby making it clear to the world beyond all doubt that we here actually have a republic. I have been a believer in the independence of my country since the days of my childhood. Since 1915 I have worked to the best of my ability for the establishment of an Irish republic. I believe that republic has existed since the passing of the Constitution. I know, of course, that the External Relations Act constituted a certain element of confusion, and that the republic was not internationally recognised. Why I welcome the Bill so much is because, though we were a republic without a doubt, the fact that we lacked the name might have meant danger in the future. We were losing the effect of the inspiration that that name will be to coming generations.

Many of us would have wished that this External Relations Act had been repealed by the previous Government when in office. When we take a broad view of things perhaps it may have been as well that they did not do that. If the previous Government had brought forward this Bill it might have caused a certain amount of opposition internally and perhaps outside. Now that it has been brought before us by the present Government, the Bill has secured the unanimous assent of the people. Perhaps it is in the fitness of things that these two Parties which worked for and laid the foundations of this State should now come together and put the final touches to it.

Senator Baxter spoke about the reception that this Bill got from the Opposition Parties. I do not want to strike any jarring note in this debate. At the same time, I do want to make a reply to some of the Senator's remarks not for the sake of scoring any debating points but rather to bring ourselves back to the realities of the situation. The Senator stated that there was bitter disappointment amongst the Fianna Fáil Party at the introduction of this Bill. I said that, as a matter of fact, we were disappointed that the previous Government had not brought it in. The feeling amongst the members of Fianna Fáil and amongst the public in general was this: that they were stunned with amazement when the present Government decided to bring in a Bill to set up a republic. That is the real fact. It created as much amazement as if we were to read in the newspapers some morning that the Russian Government had decided to send an ambassador to the Pope.

I would ask the members, especially the Fine Gael members, to realise that in opposing Fianna Fáil they opposed the very idea of the republic. Remember the way they jeered at the "dictionary republic" and so forth. The general impression all over the country, and accepted by their supporters and by their opponents, was that that Party stood for membership of the British Commonwealth. You must understand that to find a sudden change like that without any explanation of how it came about could not be received with anything else but with amazement. You must not wonder if some people were suspicious. I mention these points just to get back to reality. The Government must realise that such could only be the effect. I am disappointed that we did not do this, but we are glad that it has been done. These are only small points; they have nothing to do with the main point, which is the good that has been done for the country.

I should like to make clear the fact that the republic already existed although it was not externally recognised. The speech made by Senator Lavery last night has relieved me of the necessity of elaborating that point. I listened very carefully to his exposition, which was clear and lucid. What he said could be grasped by even the weakest intelligence. The House and the country owe him a debt of gratitude for the explanation he gave of the External Relations Act and the Constitution and the position in general. From Senator Lavery's explanation and the explanation of others such as that of Senator Douglas, who gave details, we can form a clear picture of what actually happened and of the present position. It is well that that should be so, as we are, perhaps, facing a new era.

Many of us were opposed to the acceptance of the Treaty and still believe that it was a mistake. At the same time, we believe that it was accepted by the Party that accepted it with the intention of using it as a stepping-stone. I think it was Senator Lavery who explained the many alterations which had been made in it during the Fine Gael term of office and I think Mr. de Valera said that he was surprised at the extent to which they had used their powers. We must give them credit for that. On the other hand, all Parties must agree that when the Fianna Fáil Government came into office they made a very rapid advance towards complete independence of the British Government and of the Crown. The final result was that they had established a republic in all but name. Unfortunately, members of the present Government, who were then in opposition, opposed their efforts. Now that we look back we can realise that it was, perhaps, opposition for opposition's sake. It was unfortunate, but human nature is human nature and I suppose it will be that way always. The main fact is that to-day we can give credit to all Parties for contributing their share and that we have come together to complete the final step as far as the Twenty-Six Counties are concerned.

It has been objected that this measure will adversely affect the question of Partition. I think any student of history will realise that such will not be the case. If we look back, we will find that the British element in this country always possessed a superiority complex in regard to the people of this country. It is a common thing with that element everywhere. They look down upon those whom they have conquered. The more we tried to appease them at any stage in our history, the less they thought about us. By asserting to-day our complete independence as a sovereign republic we are bringing ourselves nearer the abolition of the Border. The position will be understood abroad, and it was not clearly understood heretofore. The English Government and the English people will learn to respect this country more than they did when they thought it was part of their empire. I believe that common sense alone will, in the course of time, solve the problem of Partition. I believe that, eventually, the Northern people will have their own local Parliament, which can govern them according to their ideas, but that the British Government will not have the sovereign rights which they possess in this country. We can leave the rest to time to reunite the two peoples. It may be difficult to believe that, but 20 years ago no one would have thought that India and other countries would be completely free to-day. We cannot foresee what will happen in the next ten years.

I was very interested in the speech made by Senator Professor Bigger. I have always had a great love for minorities; the smaller they are the more I like them. I have such an amount of admiration for a minority of one that if the Senator had not been so completely wrong I should like to be able to say that I stand beside him in his statement that he had been badly let down in voting for the Fine Gael Party. I felt a kindred feeling with him, because I must admit that I, too, got something of a drop. I always thought that if that Party got into office they would immediately head for the Empire with bands beating, and when I found they were going to set up a republic I naturally got the drop of my life. The only trouble is that I am afraid that I am dreaming and that I shall wake up. I liked the speech made by Senator Professor Bigger, because I know that he spoke sincerely and that he expressed the sentiments of many thousands of people, whom we shall call strangers, who are in our midst. I would ask them to consider the present position. We have a passionate love for our country and a passionate hatred for the institutions that have kept us in subjection for so many hundreds of years. At the same time, I can well understand the feelings of those strangers who came over here generations ago and who have retained the loyalty of their forefathers. We can respect them, because in every generation they have given freely of their blood for the Empire and the King to whom they are loyal. For that reason, we would ask them to understand the situation as it is to-day. Times have changed and standards in the world have gone. Let us look round us. Empires have gone. Things that 50 years ago seemed impossible have happened. These strangers are fortunate that their home to-day is amongst the Irish people. They must realise that, taken all in all, the Irish are a kindly peace-loving race whose only object is to be at peace with the whole world. We would gladly welcome those who have hitherto been strangers in our midst into our brotherhood. The passage of this Bill will open for them a new era. Hitherto they have retained the loyalties of their forefathers to a foreign country and a foreign King. Hitherto those loyalties have been incompatible with their loyalty to their country because the interests of the two loyalties were diametrically opposed. With the passing of this Bill those interests will no longer be in opposition only in so far as the problem of Partition is concerned.

Senator Lavery pointed out the way in which the Irish had worked for England in the past and yet had remained loyal to their own country. A more apt comparison might have been made with the United States of America. Thousands of the descendants of those who emigrated to America in bygone days retain as great a love for the mother country of their forefathers as do the Unionists for England. But that does not prevent them giving their loyalties and their service and their love to the country of their adoption. For the first time the position is clarified. For the first time it is possible for the Unionists to give an undivided allegiance to their own country. There is no reason why they should not retain their love for England, her traditions and her institutions while, at the same time, becoming good Irish citizens. To-day there is no reason for any further antagonism between England and Ireland except in so far as Partition is concerned any more than there is any reason for antagonism between Ireland and America. The reason why the descendants of the Irish exiles in America can give so great an allegiance to the country of their adoption is because there are no conflicting interests between Ireland and America. From this day forward the same situation should obtain between England and Ireland. We are a peace-loving country and, unless some catastrophe occurs, we shall never enter into war that might create friction between us and our nearest neighbour. There is an opportunity offered to-day to the erstwhile strangers in our midst to play their part with us and we assure them of a welcome when they do that.

I would like again to say that I sincerely welcome the introduction of this Bill and I am glad that it has received the general assent of the country. But I do want to advert at this stage to one fact which has not so far been stressed. Once this Bill is passed we must be brought to a proper realisation of our position as a republic. We must ensure that that position will obtain international recognition. In order to do that the Irish people must fit themselves to be good citizens of the republic. There was a time when I regarded the idea of a republic from a somewhat sentimental point of view. Later I studied the question of a republic, and now I believe that a republican Government is the only fit and proper régime for a free people and the only proper Government for man created in the image of God's likeness. I believe that even a limited monarchy savours of feudalism and is alien to the nature of man. I believe that the people must now be fitted to carry on the work of a republic. A republic requires educated, intelligent citizens with a fitting appreciation of civic duties. I believe, too, that this Bill will prove a great incentive to the study of the Irish language and the fostering of Irish culture. Our hopes will be centred in the generations to come, but the young people and the children of to-day must be made to realise that they stand for the first time in an Irish republic in which they must play their part. Part of that task will be to bring about the reintegration of our country as a whole and then to make the country an example to the other Christian States throughout the world.

For the benefit of the House, at what time is it hoped to conclude?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

No decision has yet been reached on that point, but 4 o'clock has been suggested.

Is there a definite ruling that the debate much conclude at 4 o'clock?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach


May I take it then that the debate may continue after 4 o'clock?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

It may continue until 10 o'clock to-night.

I believe that there are a number of people in this country who, when they are discussing the Republic of Ireland Bill, are under a completely wrong impression, and an impression which, in my view, is definitely harmful to the country. I refer to the people who seem to imagine that all the members of the Protestant churches in this country are opposed to this Bill, and to the idea of a republic. That, of course, is not the case. I am convinced that the people who foster that idea, though they may not intend to do so, cause bitterness and ill-feeling, and unwittingly do a great deal of harm. I believe that some of the speeches made to-day on this subject, particularly those of Senators Stanford, Ireland and Douglas, will do a great deal of good, and will help to dissipate the wrong impressions that have been created, provided they get plenty of publicity. The people will then see that a large section of the Protestant community are wholly in favour of this Bill.

It is most important, in my opinion, that both the Catholics and Protestants in this country should work together in co-operation in every possible way under a republic. I believe that both speeches and actions which tend to cause bitterness and ill-feeling between Catholics and Protestants are harmful to the country. We should do all in our power, therefore, to bring about peace and goodwill and a close co-operation between the peoples of the various denominations. We are all Irishmen, and I believe we should all be united in the common object of trying to make our republic the best possible republic it can be.

In introducing this measure, the Taoiseach stated that it would put an end to a great deal of the barren and futile discussion which has in the past distracted people from economic issues. I believe that is one reason why the majority of the people will welcome this Bill, and I feel that we are now at the beginning of a new era in Irish politics. I welcome this Bill from many points of view. There is no need for me to go into detail with regard to them, since I would merely be repeating what so many have already said here to-day. From now onwards, our principal aim should be to devote more of our time and energy to establishing in this country the best possible republic from both a social and an economic point of view; a republic in which poverty and slums and other social evils will be eliminated, in which both wealth and work will be more equitably distributed and in which we can all work together for the common good. From now on, the people should put aside all past bitternesses and ill-feeling, and work together in harmony for the abolition of injustices, and for the establishment of a more just social order based on Christian principles. I believe that the type of republic for which we should all work together, in peace and goodwill, is one based on social justice.

I wish briefly to raise two points which have not been raised before. I must admit that I was somewhat surprised that they were not raised up to this in the debate. They are important points since they touch upon the responsibilities with which we shall be faced under this enactment. I was sorry that on a measure such as this the debate was not kept wholly above the level of Party politics. When it descended into the arena of personal justification it was inevitable that we should be treated to biographical details, political post-mortems and an examination as to motives. All these things have, no doubt, some interest but they are really matters that fall more appositely into the province of the historian. Now I should like to turn right round in the other direction and look towards the road we are going and not to the shadows that we are leaving. In fact, in listening to the remarks this evening, a line from McDonald's play, When The Dawn Has Come, which was produced in the Abbey Theatre in 1908, came into my mind. Somebody is saying towards the end of this moving tragedy: “What is going to happen when all this has come to pass?”; the reply: “Well, whatever happens, we will have left this eternal twilight and have got into the daylight.” I think we are leaving the twilight and entering the daylight, and I should just like to be sure that our eyes are upon our responsibilities.

It might be argued that one of these responsibilities is not really the responsibility of the Government. It is the responsibility of more than the Government; it is the responsibility of the entire two Houses, and that is the maintenance of our democratic system. At the moment I think it is generally agreed that it requires a two-Party Government. If you have one-Party Government, you have merely a dictatorship, which may be good or may not be good. If you have a multiple-Party Government, as on the Continent, it is difficult to ensure stability. By the removal of one of the difficulties between the two main Parties in this country, I think we will have to look to a new alignment. I am not expecting an answer to this, but it will have to be in our minds in the next few years: what will be the natural Party division in this country? We have to run the country on good Party lines, so that the Party which is out will be in effective opposition to the Party which is in, and so maintain the essential change that keeps the nation's blood alive. I cannot suggest what the division will be, whether it will be capital and labour or Liberal and Tory; but we will have to keep our minds on what way the division will come about.

The second responsibility concerns external relations, notably, of course, with the Commonwealth. The Attlee declaration eased the minds of a great many people, but supposing another British Government came into power and the incoming Government said: "You are claiming alien rights and we are going to give you alien rights", what can we do to avert the danger? In one way we cannot do very much. We can endeavour to exchange rights as far as possible and afford reciprocal citizenship rights. But I feel that the best way to obviate the possibility is by increasing the quality of our general or temporary exports as much as possible.

I remember when the late Lord Birkenhead was over here. His speech attracted a good deal of interest, because this was the speech of "the Galloper," who had rounded the corner and come back to his old notions, and had participated in signing the Treaty. His speech was made with the intention of being reported, but there were no reporters there. To speak without reporters on these issues means that you might just as well talk to yourself. What impressed me most in his arguments, as one of the signatories of the Treaty, was when he said:—"We began to realise that we were dealing, not with a dominion, but with another mother country." I think it is the fact that we are a mother country which is largely responsible for our unique position in Western Europe to-day. Of course, we have been a mother country for a tremendously long time. I feel that this great achievement which we are now seeking to bring about brings to us the additional responsibility of ensuring that our children are in the best condition to go round the world and come home again. They will probably have to face greater competition. But certainly it is our privilege and responsibility to see where we are going and to turn out the best we can. These are the two issues raised by this Bill. One is the future of Party Government, and the other the necessity of screwing up our standard and seeing that we keep to it.

I am glad to say that the tone of the debate in this House has been different from the tone of the debate in the Dáil. In my recollection no Bill has met with so little opposition as this measure. In my 25 years in Parliamentary life in this country I do not remember any Bill to receive so little actual opposition. There was indirect opposition from the people from whom one would have least expected it. Reading the Dáil Debates and listening to a great many speeches in the Dáil what struck me most forcibly was the intense desire of the opponents of the Government to express their satisfaction with the measure, but they had a most peculiar way of expressing it. I have never in my Parliamentary experience had a feeling of pleasure so queerly defined as it was in the Dáil. My worthy friend and political opponent, Senator O'Dwyer, struck a different attitude in the Seanad to-day. But there was complete misrepresentation of the facts in the debate in the Seanad in many ways. The Government Party were represented as being non-republican and then as being pro-British and pro-Commonwealth in the same breath. It was represented that the Protestant minority were altogether opposed to this Bill. These are two complete inaccuracies. The Taoiseach and his colleagues were represented indirectly as being non-republicans. My answer to that is: did Mulcahy, Cosgrave, MacEoin and others go out in 1916 just for fun? Most of them are members of the Fine Gael Party and the Government still. I do not think anyone will suggest that they have changed their spots. Are the Taoiseach and the Government and the Fine Gael Party in general to be described as pro-British or as pro-Commonwealth because in the years following 1922, when the Treaty was accepted, even according to the admission of Deputy de Valera, they did their part to further the course to complete independence? If in those days Mr. Cosgrave kindled the spark of friendship with a country at which we were hitherto at loggerheads and if that friendship grew practically into a flame of regard, were those people to be represented as non-Irish in their attitude?

I resent the attitude of the Opposition in that regard during the debate and I resent more than anything else the implication that our Protestant fellow-countrymen are opposed to this measure. I was glad to see that representatives of that minority refuted that statement in this House to-day.

I was particularly struck by the speech of Senator Stanford. The Senator referred to matters that I would have liked to refer to. Like Senator Bigger, I have among my constituents a considerable number of people of different religious denominations. I am glad to say that I have the support, almost the affection, of the majority of the Protestant community in my county. I have yet to learn that the majority of those people are opposed to this measure. I am glad to hear from the representative of one of the universities of this city that the bulk of the Protestant people he represents are not opposed to this measure. The attitude of the chief opponents of the Government, the people who claim to accept the measure with pleasure but who conveniently and indirectly oppose it, reminds me of the attitude of a petulant schoolboy who gets into a fit of temper because his brother got the jam. I do not think there is any necessity to refer at length to the opposition, if it was an opposition, of the biggest Party in the Dáil.

The Bill is quite simple. Even though Senator Lavery gave us a wonderful exposition of its purposes and consequences, I do not think that the average man has failed to realise what the Bill means. The Taoiseach put it very well in the Dáil and Seanad when he said that it was to clarify the position. Nobody knew where we stood, what our position was, whether we were republican or non-republican or what political position we held. Mr. de Valera took up the attitude in regard to our position with Britain and the Commonwealth that though we were in we were out and though we were out we were in, and when the Taoiseach liked we were neither out nor in. If this Bill has done nothing else, it has made our position clear; it shows that we are out now, at any rate.

That change had to come. The aim of centuries of agitation in this country is now realised. The ideal of the people is at last fulfilled. Senator O'Dwyer expressed it adequately when he said that all Parties in this House are really pleased with this measure. I believe most of the speeches in the Dáil were so much fraud—there was no reality behind them. I believe that almost every Deputy and Senator who spoke feels in his heart that he must welcome the Bill as a settlement of an age-long agitation between ourselves and the people across the water. If it only brought Irish men and Irish women together again in this country, it would have achieved a great deal.

We had divisions, I am sorry to say, very fierce divisions, of opinion during the past quarter of a century; brother fought brother, sister fought sister, fathers and children fell out and people of different religions fell out. It would not be fair to say that it was a religious affair in this country because religion had nothing to do with it. There were differences of opinion amongst the people and if this Bill did nothing else but clarify the situation and do away with the cause of disruption, it would have served a good end. I believe the Taoiseach is blamed for bringing in this measure without an appeal to the country. This is not the first time such action was taken; it is not the first time that grave action was taken without reference to the people. I remember when the last Government came into office they proceeded to withhold the annuities. I think they needed some mandate from the people for that particular action. They proceeded with the economic war, and they plunged the country into great trouble for a number of years, and they had no mandate for it.

Who started the economic war?

It would be much better if the Senator had not referred to the economic war.

I am sorry I referred to it.

Give us the history of it.

It was, at any rate, one of the things the last Government did without a mandate from the people.

It would be much better if the Senator did not make any reference to it.

There was a definite mandate from the people for the withholding of the annuities.

I did not say there was not, but there was no mandate for starting the economic war.

It was the British who started the economic war.

Senators should get away from the economic war.

There was no mandate for the Blueshirt campaign.

That is also irrelevant.

There can be little doubt that every self-respecting person in this country approves the action taken by the Taoiseach. If the thing has to be done, 'twere well 'twere done wisely. The thing that probably troubles our political opponents is that it was done so wisely, and that the change came about with such little agitation from people outside this country. I believe that if it had not been for the artificial atmosphere that was created here in opposition to the measure, it would probably be accepted with acclamation internationally. There is no opposition to this measure internationally. The British, the Canadian, the Australian, South African and New Zealand people have not opposed the measure. They did not voice opposition to it, except in a very small way. It was left to the people of this country, the people from whom one would not have expected opposition, to create an insidious campaign against the Government.

Professor Bigger alone in this House, so far as I heard the speeches, came out in actual opposition to the Bill. I respect an opponent who comes out like that, fearlessly to oppose something, even though it is a thing I might have set my heart upon. I disagree with Senator Bigger, but I respect him for his speech. I think he misrepresents the feelings of the people whom he represents here. Nevertheless, I believe that Senator Bigger was honest in his speech.

We have heard the terms "pro-British" and "anti-British", but this Bill removes any necessity for any of us in future being called pro-British. As the Taoiseach said so forcibly in his speech in the Dáil, antagonism to the British Crown in this country was not to the person of the British Crown, but to the symbol of the Crown because, unfortunately, for 700 years every act of oppression in this country was associated with that Crown and it came to be an accepted fact that the Crown was synonymous with oppression in this country. I think it is well, both for the Irish and the British people, that we put an end to that state of affairs. When we come to consider it, is there not a grain of Saxon blood in all of us? What Senator, looking back as far as I can look back, can say that there is not a drop of Saxon blood in his veins? I cannot and I do not know of any other Senator, no matter how Irish his name may be, who has not a drop of Saxon blood in his veins. After all, our proximity to Britain makes it inevitable that there should be inter-marriage between our people. We are all kin when you come down to bedrock, but even though we are kin, we have a natural desire for possession. The desire of the smallest holder in the country or even the person who has nothing is to rule in his own little home, to own something some day. The desire of every national in any State, if he is a person of commonsense and of any fair ideals, is to see himself a member of a free State, a State that is not controlled by any outside Government. The non-fulfilment of that right has been the cause of all the wars that ever arose.

We should be thankful that, in our time, we have been able to achieve, or that we shall have achieved when the Seanad has passed this measure, what generations of Irishmen have fought for and that we are privileged to see the realisation of that dream, because it was a dream to most of them. It was said of us in the dark days of the past that we were not fit for government, that the Irish were not fit for government because they could not cooperate. I think in the last 50 years we have learned the ideals of co-operation. We were always imbued with these ideals, but political divisions prevented their expression and fulfilment. In later years, however, we have shown our attachment to these ideals in many ways, in the management of our dairies, in the great co-operative movement, in the co-operation amongst beet growers, and latterly in the formation of the Government itself. By the formation of that Government we have shown the greatest effort of co-operation and the most sensible co-operation we have had in this country for many a day. I hope that effort is going to expand and that not only shall we have the co-operation of the Parties who formed the Government, but that we shall also have the co-operation of the main Party opposed to it and the minority who distrust us, the small minority represented by Professor Bigger. If we have so far co-operated in the matters which I have mentioned, is it a vain dream or hope that we can in the near future co-operate with our brethren in the North?

Mention of the North brings to my mind something that was not so far mentioned in the debate. The North has been referred to as the dismembered part of this country. I should like to refer to the Northern Government as the Government of part of a dismembered Ulster because, after all, it is only part of Ulster, the major part if you like. Ulster itself was dismembered and when one comes to apportion the blame, I think it is wrongly ascribed to both Parties in this country. Neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fáil were responsible for the dismemberment of Ulster. It was achieved in some of those negotiations when a famous representative of this country who was nurtured and reared in Trinity College proved himself, both as a political advocate and as a lawyer, too smart for the people who opposed him. He led the people who represented us in those days—who sincerely represented us, I am sure— into the belief that by surrendering two counties, he had given them something of a Pyrrhic victory—and it was a Pyrrhic victory. They accepted it and for a time—I hope not for all time but for a long time now—they converted the majority in Ulster, as I believe there would be a majority in favour of the action we are taking here, into a minority. Poor dismembered Ulster! I believe that if Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan could be returned to Ulster, if we could make, as it were, a present to Ulster of these three counties, Partition would be solved and if we could only have Ulster as the entity it was for 700 years in this country, the question of Partition would not only not arise, but that a free vote of the people of Northern Ireland—and I think even Professor Bigger will agree with me in this— would show that their best interests would be served by co-operating with what has been called the Free State. Is it too vain to dream of the day when the majority of even the six dismembered counties will come to realise that the best hope of advancement lies in their co-operating with us? This is a day that most of us will live to be proud of—most of the younger members anyhow. Some of the older members will pass on before the full significance of this Bill is realised but future generations will bless the day when some Government in this country brought to fulfilment the dreams and the hopes of several centuries.

I did not propose to take part in this debate as I had an idea the debate would have been concluded some hours ago. The Bill before the House is a short measure and it is not a Bill to declare a republic. It is a Bill providing that certain functions carried on a behalf of the Irish people by the King will from the date of the passing of this measure, be carried on by the President of this country. It also provides that the name of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland.

We are not in this Bill declaring a republic. The people of this country declared a republic in 1937 when they enacted a Constitution and we support this Bill with great pride, pride in the knowledge that those people who opposed that Constitution and who stood in the way of every advancement we were making during those years, have now admitted both in this House and in public, not alone admitted to the Irish people but to the nations of the world, that every step we took was taken in order to bring our institutions into harmony with Irish traditions. That is why we feel proud. The last speaker suggested that our support for the Bill was being given in a stinted manner: that while we were giving lip service to it we were placing obstacles in the way of its going through. It would have been a grand and a glorious chapter in our history if, in the years from 1932 to 1939, the people who were then in Opposition had given the support and encouragement to the then Government in doing things that we are prepared now and in the future to give to any measure that is brought forward for the benefit of the country.

It has been suggested that the enactment of this Bill will remove the gun from Irish politics. We know that many tragic events took place. Everybody is sorry that these things happened. We quite well realise that lives were taken unnecessarily, but I never heard the excuse put forward that these lives were taken just because the Government of the day refused to annual the External Relations Act or to declare a republic for the Twenty-Six Counties. The excuse given on every occasion was that those men were doing what they were doing and were encouraged by people to do it; that they were advised that they were doing the best thing for the advancement not of a Twenty-Six County republic but of a 32-county republic. I hope and trust that this Bill, when passed into law, may have the effect, as others have said, of putting the gun out of politics in this country, and that each and every person will realise, as many have in the last few years, that their aims and objects can best be secured by coming in and co-operating, as the elected representatives of the people, to advance the interests of the nation.

Senator Baxter, in the course of his speech, made certain remarks. I do not think it is necessary, either here or elsewhere, to tell the members of this House, the country or the world as a whole what Eamon de Valera has done for this nation. I think that what Senator Baxter said came very badly from him when a Bill like this was under consideration. Every obstacle that stood in the way of bringing in a Bill of this nature, and every obstacle that created difficulties between this nation and Britain, with the exception of Partition, had been removed by the Fianna Fáil Government under the leadership of Eamon de Valera. Therefore the suggestions that have been made about our support of the Bill were not fair.

We would like to get answers to certain questions, and to have more definite knowledge as to why the Bill is being introduced at this time, in view of the fact that on the day this Government was formed the present Minister for External Affairs stated that while this was one of the planks in the platform on which he stood as leader, he was prepared to put it in abeyance as he had not got the necessary vote of confidence to put such a measure into effect. We should also like to know when the Bill is going to be put into operation. When are we to have the great day that we have heard so much about? Why is the putting of the Bill into operation to be delayed? Is it that a decision to that has to be taken in consultation with other people? We should all be very glad, I am sure, if the Minister for External Affairs could assure us, as he partly assured the other House, that this Bill will take the guns out of public life. Has he got an assurance from the people using the guns that they will no longer be used if this Bill is passed?

In conclusion, I hope that in a very short time the jurisdiction deriving from this Bill will extend not to the Twenty-Six Counties but to the 32 counties. Every action and step taken either by the Government or by individual Ministers, or indeed by any section of the people to bring that day nearer, will get our support.

It is regrettable that Party points of view or Party arguments have crept into the discussion on a Bill such as this, which is essentially national and has no relation to Party politics at all. We all have our Party differences. At any rate, on this occasion, the House, with very few exceptions, is united so far as this Bill is concerned. Consequently, there should not be any attempt to make Party capital out of it.

In the course of the debate, Senators have gone back as far as the Treaty, dragging in things that were altogether unnecessary. My friend, Senator Quirke, said that the Taoiseach did not give enough credit to his Party for the part it had played in this respect. As I told the Senator outside, I think that the Taoiseach did give credit to the late Government. I do not bother reading Bills. I never did so until I came into the Seanad. I am not a constitutional lawyer, but I knew that the King was still connected with the Twenty-Six Counties, or with Éire, or whatever you like to call it. I assumed that we were still in the Commonwealth. Deputy de Valera's resort to a dictionary did not do anything to convince me to the contrary. Now, it was the constitutional lawyers who surprised me. I did not realise, until I listened to their speeches, that we were so near a republic as we had been before this Bill was introduced. In that respect, I think they gave full credit to the late Government for the advancement which they had made.

Senator Bigger, and some people outside this House, seemed to have some confused ideas about the republicans lately in prisons and in internment camps and ordinary criminals. Senator Bigger quoted from Deputy MacEntee, and Deputy MacEntee also confused republicans with criminals. Some people may not like republicans who continued to fight up to the present. Some of them had been described outside this House as murderers. Now, they are not murderers. They are honest to God republicans like Wolfe Tone, Pearse, Tom Clarke and the others. We may not agree with their methods. Personally I did not, but while my head was against them my heart was with them in prison. I think that a great many of our people on both sides of the House feel the same way about them. Senator Bigger also suggested that they were an insignificant minority, and, consequently, did not require or deserve much attention. He also said that the republican tradition is very short. It is a very short tradition in the history of this nation, but it has been consistent. It has often been a very small minority since the days of Wolfe Tone. It was a very small minority when the late W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne MacBride were celebrating the centenary of 1798. I know for a fact that they and John O'Leary and a few other intellectuals, who were the intelligent part of the Party, represented a small minority in comparison with the whole country. They were a small minority when I first took the oath to the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1901. They were a minority also before Sir Edward Carson decided to form his provisional Government in the North and get guns for his men. They very soon became a majority—and a minority any time, any day, may become a majority in a very short time. They had the republican tradition behind them which, as I have said, has been consistent. With that tradition behind them nobody can tell when they may become more than the despised minority. The main reason for introducing this Bill, as has been pointed out by the Taoiseach, was to satisfy that element. A lot has been said about taking the guns out of politics. When these men used the guns, may be unwisely, they used them because they believed that they were doing so in the interests of an Irish republic. If we have an Irish republic now there is no reason for any guns, and that, I submit, will take the guns out of Irish politics as far as the Twenty-Six Counties are concerned.

Senator Honan referred to a quid pro quo which implied that there is something behind this measure about which the House has not been told. The implication is that the present Government has committed itself so far as a European war, which is in the offing, is concerned. I would point out that only one power in this country can say whether we will enter into a war or stay out of it, and that power is the Oireachtas. No matter what the Cabinet may have done—and I do not imply or wish to suggest that they have done anything behind the back of the Oireachtas—the only power in this country which can declare war is the Oireachtas. Consequently, nothing can have been done behind its back by the Cabinet, and the Senator's fears may be allayed. That point was mentioned by others in this debate, too, but I do not think it was mentioned in the belief that it exists. I think that they are afraid to give credit to each other for anything that is done.

Senator O'Connell referred to Northerners as being Partitionists. I say that Northerners are not Partitionists. Carson was not a Partitionist. He was for Partition, not for the sake of Partition but because he thought it would block Home Rule. I do not believe he was ever a Partitionist. He told the late Kevin O'Higgins that he believed as much in a united Ireland as O'Higgins himself did. That may surprise some Senators. He also said that he did not believe Partition would be abolished while Lord Craigavon was alive. A Senator wanted to know why the Bill was introduced at this particular time. I think the Taoiseach made quite clear the reason for that. He gave the secondary reasons and concluded with the primary reason to which I have referred. I am sorry that anyone should create the impression that he is not wholeheartedly for the Bill. Somehow the impression is created that it is supported with qualifications of some kind. I know that that is not a fact, but unfortunately that is the impression some of the speakers who do not support the Government have created.

There is no necessity to discuss the Bill itself. I merely wanted to correct some points such as the question of minorities and the question of gunmen being criminals. I distinguish between criminals and the men who were republicans and who were fighting for a republic. As I said, I have a great respect for them. This Bill, as Senator Quirke said yesterday, gives us an opportunity to work together for the future benefit of the country and join hand-in-hand in obtaining a republic for the 32 counties of Ireland.

I should like to ask one question of Dr. McCartan. Does he hold that the people who shot Gardaí and the other officers of the established Government of this State since this Constitution was established were within their rights in doing so?

No. In sympathising with them, I realise that they believed they were as justified in shooting Gardaí as Senator Quirke believed in shooting an R.I.C. man.

A Senator

A Free State soldier.

I am not going to speak at any length because most of the sentiments and views I have on this problem have been expressed and re-expressed during this debate. It has, however, been said by some Senators that we cannot have unity for all of this island until we have more to offer to the people of the Six Counties. We in this country have had a tradition of human liberty and a tradition of people who suffered and fought for that liberty. Now that we have achieved that liberty we bear no bitterness or malice or ill will towards any section. We have preached that principle all over the world. We have preached it to the Hindus, to South and North America, to the black man, and so forth. That is a great heritage to have. I think it is wonderful that we who have been subject to religious persecution, to economic persecution and to every form of persecution have emerged from that ordeal in a way that I believe no other country could emerge from it. It has been said that the people in the North are republicans and liberty-loving people. If they have that great feeling for liberty, and if their kith and kin were the people whose names are enshrined in the great American Constitution, let them come in with us and be one with us in this great historical nation and have, in this generation when freedom seems to be passing from the earth, one country that is united in holding that torch. I say that in all sincerity and with deep feeling, because it has been said that we have nothing to offer to them. That is a great mission.

My friend Senator Quirke said that at one time you could always find the King. He said in a different vein later that one would want to play the three-card trick in order to find the King. One thing I believe the Fine Gael Party will never stand for is playing a trick to find anything. As a Party Fine Gael has been over and above-board since its inception. We say to the minority and to the majority and to every one else in this country that these are the things we stand for in office and out of office.

I believe that the time of the full realisation of our national status is a great time for our country. I believe that as a result of this measure nothing but strength and dignity and the complete fulfilment of our national aspirations, both politically and economically, will come to this generation and the generations that are to succeed us.

It is not my intention to make any lengthy speech in this debate; firstly, because I am not able to, and secondly, because it is, perhaps, not desirable to say too much. There are, however, two points I would like to emphasise. As a member of the Fine Gael Party, I think it is only proper that I should express to our leader our admiration for the work he has done since he took office, particularly in the last six months, culminating in this particular Bill. Those of us who worked with him back in the early 20's, and who watched his subsequent professional career soar to the heights to which it did, expected much from him; but none of us anticipated that he would lead us to the great height on which we find ourselves to-day, and none of us believed that he would leave behind him the atmosphere he has left, both here and throughout the world. I am proud to have been associated with him down through all the years. I am proud of the dignity he has maintained everywhere he went. I am proud of the atmosphere he has created. There is just one thing I would like to say in that respect, and that is that much has been said that could well have been left unsaid, because, after all, Ireland belongs to all of us.

It is the dearest wish of all of us to have a united Ireland. No one, as I have said on many occasions, will bask more gloriously in an independent Ireland than I shall. If it is the dream of the most advanced Irishmen to have an Irish republic, I bow to them in that respect. But republicanism has no particular attraction for me. I wanted an independent Ireland at all times. Irrespective of the form or method, an independent 32-county Ireland is the greatest achievement we may hope to attain. The late Kevin O'Higgins, with whom I was closely associated, accomplished much. The Statute of Westminster widened considerably the scope of the British Empire. My inclinations prompt me to the belief that we may not lightly despise the British. Au Contraire, in the changing world in which we find ourselves to-day they would be the people with whom I would be most anxious to associate, provided always that they appreciated my association. In the years subsequent to 1926 and again recently Fine Gael attended meetings with the British Government and gave there of their best. I wonder how far that Government appreciated them and how far it went in meeting their needs and their desires.

Partition has been maintained under the ægis of the Crown. No contribution was made in that association to the ultimate unity of Ireland. We must remember, too, that General Smuts played a not too glorious part at the inception of Partition. There was no other option left after the last meeting but to walk out. The Christian world might perhaps be the better for a strong Commonwealth of Nations; but if that Commonwealth has no room for a united Ireland, then Ireland has no alternative except to walk out. Is the Commonwealth of Nations, then, anything the richer and are the ties that bind South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Canada to Britain any the stronger by Ireland walking out? I would like to think that perhaps they were. It seems to me that they are not. To-day they are without India. They are without Ireland. There are hints that there may be further defections in the near future. Since there appears to be no room for Ireland in the Commonwealth, then the only alternative left to the Government was to take the step they have taken.

If a United Ireland cannot be achieved within the Commonwealth then there is no option left to us except to leave the Commonwealth. It would appear then that Britain must be weakened before Ireland can achieve unity. To my mind that is not a pleasant thought. Yet it is the only option that is left. Senator Bigger adverted to the fact that there was no coercion in the North. I am associated with scores of people of the same convictions to which Senator Bigger subscribed. I realise their position in the North. My ambition would be to see the people of the North here. My ambition would be to bring in here their brains, their industry and their courage. Sometimes I almost feel that if they did come in they might themselves become the Government of Ireland. But we all seem to lack commonsense with regard to this problem. I sit here and I listen to a member of a distinguished institution tell us that there is no coercion in the North. Yet I know, as does everybody else, that there is a subject race in the North; that there is in the North a race condemned to be, like the Gabaonites of old, hewers of wood and drawers of water; and, in that knowledge, I sit and listen to a distinguished member of our oldest university say that there is no coercion in the North. I would not say an offensive word because I regard the position as one in which we must forget the Party ties that bind us here. We must do the best we can to promote the unity of Ireland. We all have to bend in certain ways in order to meet one another, to facilitate justice and commonsense. There is too much patriotism and too much Irish warmness in our people to stand for anything but tolerance.

A lot of humbug has taken place since this Bill was first mooted. I feel proud to belong to the Party which has introduced this Bill. As I say, a lot of cant and humbug has been indulged in in reference to this Bill. This Bill is a very short one and should not have provoked all the propaganda that surrounded it since it was introduced. The two-edged sword was used all the time. People who supported the Bill tried to drive a dagger into the hearts of those who introduced it. Let us hope all that is at an end, that the Bill will be passed and that we will do our best to help in bringing about a 32-county republic as soon as we can, instead of trying to score off one another.

As to Senator Bigger who spoke yesterday, I was surprised that a man of his eminence and ability should take the line he did. Looking back over the past 28 years, I can say that when I was a young fellow I was the enemy of the people of Senator Bigger's persuasion. When the Treaty came, however, everything possible was done to see that these people got all the protection possible. When two undisciplined armies were fighting one another here nobody got more protection from every section than Deputy Bigger's people got. I hope that in speaking yesterday he did not express the feelings of the people to whom he belongs and who call themselves the minority. I have the same love for all of them. Since our Civil War, I have learned the necessity for Christian charity. It is very hard to understand the line which Senator Bigger took. He insinuated that the North could not come in because Protestants would not get a fair share of control. Since the Treaty our Government has given to the minority all the help and protection it possibly could. We are all one people and why should they imagine that any Government here will try to tyrannise over people because they are of a different religion and are of a different outlook?

I am certain Senator Bigger knows very well that those who have brought in this Bill are absolutely honest. I would appeal to him, instead of taking that line, in future not to try to alienate his brother Northern, but rather try to make this Bill such a success that it will help to bring about a 32-county republic. That is the aim of all of us and I am sure this Bill will not hamper it. As the Taoiseach said some time ago, the hand of friendship was extended to the people in the North, but it was spurned and thrown aside. I feel that this Bill will do away with Partition. We may have had a republic in the Twenty-Six Counties before the Bill was brought in, but now at least we have an independent republic so far as outside countries are concerned. Our influence will be much greater with them, and might be the means of forcing the North to come in. I cannot agree with Senator Bigger that there will be any shooting or any civil war, or that there is anybody in this House who wants to start shooting in the North. I cannot understand his mentality if he thinks that would be the case. I believe we are now in a much stronger position to get a 32-county republic established through the influence of outside countries. Their influence helped to bring about the Treaty in 1922 more than the shooting by a lot of us did.

I should also like to refer to statements about the shooting of policemen. I hold that there is no difference between the shooting of policemen in 1926 and in 1937 and 1938. It was as big a crime to shoot a policeman in 1925, 1926 or 1927 as it was to shoot a policeman in 1937 or in 1938 or 1939. If Senator Quirke thinks it was a crime to shoot policemen in 1937 and 1938, I say it was a crime in 1926. The sooner we forget about all that the better. We should try to help one another, even though we may differ as to politics or economics. We should bend our minds towards helping the Government in power, no matter what Government it is, rather than be harping on the past and trying to gain kudos by talking about what we did. If we could forget all about that and look to the future, we would be a lot better off and much happier people. We should not be thinking of who will be in power in one, two or three years. Since this Bill was introduced the discussion has centred around: "How long will it be until I am in power and have you out?" I ask that that should be forgotten and that we should bend our minds to helping one another, no matter what Government is in power.

I think it is quite clear we are all agreed that this Bill is a good one. As Senator Ryan has just said, there has been an attempt on the part of some people to get a share of the praise. The choice between the Parties has not been one of the direction in which the policy should move, but of the speed at which it should travel. Leaving out certain details of this debate, we have, I think, travelled the road every one of us wanted to travel in our different ways and we have now arrived at a republic for Ireland. I will not say much more on that point but, as a Fine Gael supporter since the Treaty, and up to quite recently as an ordinary rank and file one. I feel there are certain things that have been said quite wrongly about the Party. There has been in some cases unconscious confusion and in many other cases very conscious confusion of our aims.

We have had all this talk about the Commonwealth and that we were not republicans. It was not a question of being labelled a republic. What we were concerned with was real freedom. It was not a question whether we were a republic or a co-equal member of the Commonwealth. We have now reached the stage where we are definitely declaring a republic. Thank God we have a Government that is prepared to declare full freedom for Ireland. On this occasion to please everybody it is being called an Irish republic, which it always was.

We have been accused of letting down the people interested in the Commonwealth. This has not been very clearly dealt with, and I am not saying that I can clearly deal with it. As regards the Commonwealth, there are two kinds of people who profess to support our participation in it. First of all, there are those who would do so for the good of Ireland, for the mutual advantage of associating with a particular group of nations. Secondly, there are those who are unnational in outlook and who see in the Commonwealth something that will perpetuate the Crown and something that will frustrate the acquisition of full Irish independence. These people were anti-Treaty in 1921 and 1922; they were anti-Statute of Westminister and anti-External Relations Act, and now they are anti-repeal of the External Relations Act. These are the kind of commonwealthers who criticise us and describe us as doing a volte face.

These people's conception of the Commonwealth is one where we would have a proper allegiance to the Crown; they are the people who would like to see the Commonwealth imposing penalties on the Irish people because we are acting as a free and independent Irish nation. Surely, according to the definition of the British Commonwealth, it is supposed to be a group of co-equal and fully independent nations? Surely, if one of those nations does exercise its full nationality, as we propose to do, that is the time for the Commonwealth to show itself as a really free association of nations? There is the point that there are numbers of people in this country who think the Commonwealth has got more out of us than we get out of it, but that is another point.

If it should be desirable for us in the future to join the Commonwealth, it might be no harm for me to say a few words on some points that were raised. It is believed by some people that the symbol of the Crown is the essential bond of the Commonwealth and because we have abolished the Crown we, therefore, must be debarred from the Commonwealth. I think this conception is really built upon the historical fact that the Commonwealth of Nations has evolved from the old Imperial conferences where definitely the countries going to the conferences were subservient and Great Britain was really the dominating country, if not the mother country. She was, at any rate, in a dominating position and she was dictating on what terms people were to go there. All this talk about the Crown is a hangover from that particular conception.

The concept of the Crown as the source of common citizenship is a British one. We must consider how the Commonwealth evolved from being an Empire conference. Since the Statute of Westminster in 1926 and the conferences, to which the Taoiseach referred, of 1929 and 1930, the character of this association has been rapidly changing. Instead of a group of dominions and colonies foregathering under the wing of a dominating Great Britain, we now have a group of co-equal, separate, independent States.

Ireland and Canada were leaders in this movement of change and advance to a more and more individual independence. I have not heard anybody referring, except in critical terms, to the Taoiseach's visit to Canada, and I think it is in this we will find some explanation, and I think the real explanation of the wise action of the Taoiseach in doing what he did in Canada and saying what he said there.

There has always been, since those days of the Statute of Westminister, a very close similarity of views on national status and inter-Commonwealth relations between Ireland and Canada. It might interest the House to hear what appeared in the Observer of Sunday, October 3rd, while the Commonwealth Conference was meeting in London. It was an article written on Commonwealth viewpoints by a Martin Ross. This apparently has been accepted, because it has been quoted on several occasions and it has never been disagreed with by the Canadian Government. It says:—

"The strength of the Commonwealth, in Ottawa's eyes, is that it is a loose association of like-minded but separate and distinct States.

There is therefore nothing inherently objectionable to Canada in the idea of new constitutional arrangements to include in the association States which do not recognise the Crown. Admittedly it seems paradoxical that a Commonwealth whose only formal link is the Crown should seek to include countries which do not recognise that link. But the Commonwealth has never objected to paradox and if the Prime Ministers can devise a new formula it will be accepted here."

That comes to this point. We are being told that we are going to be thrown out of the Commonwealth. We are not going to be thrown out unless the people who are urging so strongly that we should be, merely to punish us, get their way.

But the Taoiseach, before he brought this Bill forward, and when he was in Canada, took the trouble to consult with other members of the Commonwealth and how anybody can criticise him because he did that and suggest that he did not realise the importance of the thing, is beyond my conception. Obviously what the Taoiseach was doing was the wise thing. He had made up his mind that we were going to declare a republic. The last Government did not declare a republic because they knew there were grave reasons why they could not, and these grave reasons had to deal with external relations, relations between this country and other countries. That is what the Taoiseach was doing. He was preparing the ground.

There was no reason why we should not have a republic and at the same time convince the other members of the Commonwealth that it was not only necessary here but that it would be in the general interest and fully in conformity with the march of progress that was being made in the Commonwealth itself in regard to relationships that we should be a republic and at the same time in the Commonwealth and that they should make it possible for us to be in that position. I understand from the statements made by the different members that they have the greatest sympathy with our move here.

I think they have almost bluntly said so, that they are going to set about creating such a situation that we can, if we wish, be still members of the Commonwealth. Therefore, I feel that by the Taoiseach's action in that way, he has fully justified our stand as commonwealthers, that is commonwealthers for the good of Ireland and not commonwealthers for the love of the Crown. He has particularly justified the stand of Fine Gael and we have no apology to make to those who voted for us as commonwealthers. There is a far bigger body of supporters of Fine Gael whom I know who have been nothing if not republicans but they did not call themselves republicans. The term "republican" is merely a name, but they stood for the essence of republicanism.

As I am on that point, I should like to point out that we are not alone in this kind of approach to this situation. Deputy Gerry Boland speaking in the Dáil, on this Bill, as reported in Volume 113, No. 4, page 559, said: "I, personally, would not be one bit disturbed about our status, provided we had a united Ireland." The phrase, I grant, was used in connection with a different thing, but it is the same principle. Deputy Boland is not a bit concerned about our status so long as the essence is all right. We, in Fine Gael, were never worried about calling ourselves big names so long as we had the essence of freedom. That is what we claim we have had. The future, therefore, would seem to hold out a position where the wishes of the Irish people for full independence and the desire for inclusion in the Commonwealth can be settled at one and the same time.

In the debate yesterday, there was a reference to a statement made by Deputy de Valera to the effect that "there is a lot who want to be in and a lot who want to be out". I claim that this Bill is going to satisfy both these people and I, therefore, support the Bill. I think the action of the Taoiseach and his Government in preparing the ground for this Bill with care without walking into all the dangers and traps that existed, is to be commended. I welcome that action and I have great pleasure in supporting the Bill. I think it is a highly patriotic Bill and it is what the nation desires.

Senator Tunney rose.

Mr. Hayes

Before Senator Tunney speaks, I should like to know whether we are to conclude at 6 p.m. or whether there is to be a tea adjournment. I wonder how many Senators desire to speak apart from Senator Tunney?

If there are a number of other speakers to follow, it is desirable that we should adjourn for tea. It is not fair to members of the House nor is it fair to Ministers that we should continue without a tea adjournment. The House has always been accommodating to Ministers.

I wish to speak very briefly on the Bill.

I suggest that we might carry on if the Taoiseach gets in before 6 p.m.

Senators need not worry about my convenience. I am quite prepared to stay on.

But we have a tradition to live up to in the tea adjournment.

I do not wish to stand between Senators and their traditional practices.

There are also two other Bills to be taken this evening.

Mr. Hayes

Yes. If the Minister could get in before 6 o'clock we could carry on instead of adjourning. If the Minister cannot get in at 6 o'clock or before that hour, I suggest that we adjourn at 6 o'clock.


I am not going to detain the House more than about five minutes, as there is nothing that I have to say on the Bill that has not already been stated by some other Senators. So far as I am concerned, however, I feel that I am constrained to take exception to the statement made here by Senator Bigger. People may say that it is not manly to attack a person who is, as it were, speaking alone, but after all his statement was so serious and there was so much behind it that I could not conscientiously allow it to go unchallenged. Senator Bigger and his co-religionists in this country are persons for whom I had always the greatest respect, even though we do differ in religion. I always believed that they were people who, when they did make statements. at least spoke according to the light of their consciences and made an honest effort to speak the truth. I am satisfied, however, that Senator Bigger's statements last night in every shape and form were false, very false. He painted a wrong picture of the position of this country and what is still worse, I am convinced that there is nobody in this House who was more satisfied that they were false, than Senator Bigger himself.

I have not intervened so far, but may I have the protection of the Chair?

I am commenting, as I am entitled to comment, on the speech of the Senator. Senator Bigger stated that the Northern problem was our domestic affair. Certainly it is our domestic affair, but let England withdraw her forces out of this country. Senator Bigger did not suggest that. Senator Bigger tried to show to the people of the world that the Partition of this country was due to differences in the religious beliefs of the people. That is a false statement, and while I am one of those who believe in justice for every minority and in justice for every individual, I could not allow Senator Bigger's statement to go unchallenged.

Senator Bigger wanted it to go out to the world that this trouble was of our own making. It is no such thing. Is Senator Bigger not well aware that England invaded this country and conquered it by force and that it is England's rule that has kept it down for 700 years? What right in this country has the British Government which claims to be the defender of democracy all over the world? If they believe in honest democracy, why do they not clear out of Ireland?

I say the people by a free vote in 1918 decided the type of Government this country should have. Senator Bigger has stated that on a free vote of the people to-morrow, they would vote for remaining in the British Empire. That is entirely wrong unless the people have changed very much since 1918. If Senator Bigger could use his influence with the British Government to leave this question to the free vote of the Irish people, I am quite prepared to abide by their decision and I know in advance what that decision would be. Let us be honest and have no beating about the bush. I would say to those who differ from us in religion that they have nothing to fear from a sovereign Ireland.

We are a peace-loving people but a people who will stand against any oppression. I think it is up to men of the type of Senator Bigger to use their influence with the British Government, whether they be a Tory Government or a Labour Government, to end this problem. I am sorry to say that the Labour Government has done very little, so far as the removal of the unnatural Border in this country is concerned. It is wrong that any member should come in here and make the statement that he is not a constitutional lawyer and that he is not a politician, but as a politician he takes advantage of this House to put forth a statement all over the world that the difference between us and his co-religionists is of our own making. It is no such thing, and Senator Bigger should realise that.

I am not trying to stir up any bitterness, but I feel that if the British Government was in earnest in what they say—that they stand for democracy all over the world and object to the acts of tyranny practised by strong nations on weak ones—they would show good example themselves by clearing out of this country. They have no right to be here except the right of the conqueror. I can tell Senator Bigger that I believe this Bill will take the gun out of Irish politics as far as this portion of the country is concerned. I want to tell him, too, that as long as liberty-loving Irishmen are born here they will never be content to sit down and allow the British Empire to domineer over any part of our country. It has no right here except the right of the conqueror and of the tyrant and the scoundrel.

This Bill will show the nations of the world that the majority of the Irish people stand for a republican form of government. We showed that by our majority vote in 1918. We are showing it now by the unanimous vote that is behind the Government on this Bill. If one were to add the members elected for Northern Ireland you would have a huge majority in favour of the republic. If we are to practise democracy, as well as talk about it, there is no answer to what I say, that the majority of the Irish people are in favour of a republican form of government. This Bill will prove that to the peoples of the world, and, further, that the British Government will not allow this measure to function in a certain portion of the country.

I congratulate the Taoiseach and the Minister for External Affairs for having brought forward this Bill. I believe that, even though certain things have been said, it will go a long way in doing good for the people of this country and among Irish people the world over.

I congratulate Senator O'Dwyer on the honest to God speech he made this evening. If I had spoken on the Bill last evening I might have made somewhat different statements, but having heard Senator O'Dwyer's speech, I feel that it is due to me to thank him for it. I would hope that he would use his influence with other members of his Party to be as honest in their statements as he was in his. I could not understand the attitude of certain Fianna Fáil members in the Dáil on this Bill. I would like to deal with some of the statements that were made last evening by Senator Quirke, but I feel that it would not be good for the country if I were to do so, particularly after the speech we had this evening from Senator O'Dwyer.

This Bill will prove that the leaders of the Fianna Fáil Party were not all as wise prophets as they pretended to be. I want to say that in my opinion this Bill will vindicate the men who accepted the Treaty as a stepping stone to the republic. That is a point that we have all been shutting our eyes to. It has not been emphasised sufficiently in this debate. I say that as one who opposed the Treaty. I am honest enough to say that. It has been said by all those who have spoken from one side of this House, and also in the Dáil, that we had a republic since 1937, except in name. Well, if we had how did it come about except through the Treaty? I would say that even though I and all belonging to me opposed the Treaty. I would not be here if I had not been born. If a certain position had not been accepted at a certain time it follows that a republican Constitution could not have been enacted in 1937. That should be said in recognition of the great men who gave such service to this country. They were reviled and the phrase was even used in this country that they were "traitors" and should be treated as such. We are now told by the Fianna Fáil Party that we have a republic. I am not going to dwell on that because it would not be good for the country if I were to go into it too much.

A lot has been said about the Commonwealth Party, and unkind things about the Fine Gael Party—as to whether it was the Commonwealth Party. I read a statement made about two weeks ago by Deputy Oscar Traynor, the Minister for Defence in the last Government. He was referring to the strength of our Army. He said that, during the emergency, it was up to such strength that if Germany invaded this country it could hold them until the British came along. All I will say about that statement is that if it were made by a Fine Gael Minister for Defence certain people would take objection to it.

Will the Senator give the quotation?

I will get it.

We want it now.

The Minister for Defence said that our Army during the war was only sufficiently strong—he was complaining about the fact that it was small at the present time—if Germany invaded the country to hold them until the British came along. If that statement did not appear in the Sunday Independent a fortnight or three weeks ago I will resign from the Seanad to-morrow.

Are you trying to cast a reflection on the Irish Army because they would be able to hold the German army for a week?

No. That is too clever.

No, I am not. I joined the Irish Republican Army in 1913 under the late Joseph MacBride of Westport, and I have been a true Irish republican ever since. I would be the last man to cast a reflection on any soldier of Ireland. I should just like to say to the people who have so much talk about the Commonwealth that I am afraid that if that statement was made by one of the Fine Gael Ministers we would take a very serious view of it.

I do not see the point.

There is a lot in that point. I should like to say—only for the records of the House, since Senator Quirke stated yesterday that I was expelled from the Fianna Fáil Party— that I resigned from the Fianna Fáil Party and one of the four reasons that I gave to the then Secretary, Mr. Davin, to put before the National Executive for my resignation was that I was not satisfied with the republican position.

I should also like to have it on the records of the House that Senator Tunney was the only one, to my knowledge, who was expelled from the Fianna Fáil Party by public proclamation—and I did it myself in this House. He resigned a couple of days later.

I would ask Senator Quirke to sit down and not interrupt me. I did not speak yesterday evening. If I had done so my speech would have been different to what it is this evening. I do not like to be personal but I would say that if the Fianna Fáil Party had expelled Senator Quirke they might be in office to-day.

That is a good thing, anyway.

On what grounds?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

What about coming to the Bill which is before the House?

Let the Senator examine his conscience. However, that kind of talk does not get us anywhere and I have nothing against Senator Quirke any more than against Senator Smyth. If Senator Quirke had not mentioned expulsion I would not have corrected him but, in the circumstances, I had to reply. I wanted to have it on the records of the House.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Let us now come back to the Bill.

A lot has been said about rejoicing on the day this Bill becomes law. I would appeal to the Government to postpone rejoicing until we have a 32-county republic and, when that day comes, the Irish people will rejoice. After all, though the day on which this Bill becomes law is a day on which there could be rejoicing, nevertheless it could also be a day of mourning. While I am delighted that we have gone this distance along the road, at the same time I am satisfied that the true Irish people will never be satisfied until we have a 32-county republic. I would ask Senator Professor Bigger to use his influence with his colleagues across the water favourably in our regard. Mention was made of coercion. It would be bad enough if a majority coerced a minority but it would be very bad indeed if a minority coerced a majority—and that is what has taken place.

I am very pleased with the speeches that have been made during this debate, even those made by the Senators who are sitting on the Opposition side of this House. The majority of them were good and reasonable speeches. I believe that out of this Bill will come good for Ireland. With regard to credit I say that from 1916 onwards a certain amount of credit is due to all Parties. I am one of those who will say that when the Fianna Fáil Party took office they moved and moved quickly a certain distance along the road. I am satisfied now that the people who accepted the Treaty accepted it in the belief that it would be a stepping-stone towards the republic. I am satisfied that the Minister who has introduced this Bill has done so with a good intention. As one of those who has done his part in the struggle for the freedom of this country since 1913 I wish to say that I am delighted and happy this evening —and not only now, but a week ago— to think that we have reached the point where every member of Dáil Éireann has agreed to the Republic of Ireland Bill.

Captain Orpen

I support this Bill because I felt at the time the Executive Authority (External Relations) Act was before the Dáil that that Act was a subterfuge, a dodge, to try and make those people who wished to believe that the King had disappeared out of Ireland believe he was gone and to try and make those who wanted to believe that a link still existed believe it was still there. I felt that the Bill was an attempt to satisfy conflicting views. Any Bill of that nature is apt to bring about confusion and is, therefore, unsatisfactory. I think subsequent events have proved that the Bill was not satisfactory. It satisfied nobody except those who were prepared to be satisfied with anything. That is one of the reasons why I welcome the repeal of the Executive Authority (External Relations) Act. I never believed that in that Bill there was any satisfactory link with the Crown that could be said to be anything in the nature of allegiance to the Crown and those who thought there was—well, if it satisfied them, well and good. I feel, however, that it is a good thing that the position has now been made clear to all.

Some of us feel that the Commonwealth of Nations was a group of nations who made a valuable contribution to world stability. Some of us feel that now, owing to world changes, the basis on which that Commonwealth of Nations used to rest must be broadened. We have seen—nobody knows this better than does the Taoiseach—the gradual development of the Commonwealth of Nations from a nebulous idea into something much more concrete on the completion of the Statute of Westminster. But we must go further than the Statute of Westminster to-day if that Commonwealth of Nations is to survive. Symbolic links were all very well in the past. To-day we must be realists. No group of nations can possibly hold together if the physical stepping-stones between them are removed. It is possible that both India and South Africa may shortly alter their associations with the Commonwealth of Nations unless that Commonwealth changes the basis upon which association rests at present.

This declaration of a republic has had rather peculiar reactions in certain quarters in Britain. I should like to quote now from a publication known as The National Newsletter. It is the King-Hall letter of December 2nd, 1948. Under the heading “A Vision or Policy” he says:—

"We are now about to enter a phase and story of the Commonwealth in which for the first time it will be openly recognised that the people of a republic are in many special ways in a privileged relationship with the peoples of monarchies, and vice-versa. This special relationship is going to be accepted because it is commonsense to create it and because it is also a peaceful way of proceeding and good business. But Eire is not the only republic in the world which has citizens which share with those of the United Kingdom a number of common outlooks. What about the United States?”

I quote that to show that some people in Britain think that our action in declaring a republic here may have considerable reactions on world organisation. We should remember that, small as we are, a nation of this size can sometimes contribute more and risk more than larger nations can when it comes to questions of alteration in international relationships. While technically, no doubt, we are outside the Commonwealth of Nations as it is constituted to-day I hope that a new association of nations on a broader basis may find for us a place in which we can usefully serve and contribute to the well-being both of ourselves and others. Let us remember that small nations in the future cannot hope to exist alone. They must have the goodwill of others. They will only have that goodwill when they are themselves prepared to co-operate and do their best to help others.

While it is quite clear for historical and other reasons that many people in this country could not willingly co-operate with the British Commonwealth of Nations in its old form, because of the special form of association now, I see no reason why, if this vision comes to pass, we cannot co-operate and play our part in a wider association of nations. This Bill clears the air and allows us to take part with other nations without the necessity in the future of making excuses or giving explanations. I feel, therefore, that we can now move forward into the future prepared to play our part without let or hindrance.

On behalf of those whom I represent I fully support this Bill. The people whom I represent are for the greater part those who look upon the Crown as a symbol of oppression. I represent the small farming community whose sons emigrate to England every year and are compelled to make their living there. I believe the relations that will exist after the passage of this Bill between these migrants and the English people with whom they come in contact will not be worsened in any way. I believe that those relations will improve because of this Bill. That is one of the reasons why I support it.

I support it also because it has brought unity to our country. I speak with first hand knowledge of a large part of the West of Ireland where in the past neighbours have been divided. I say without fear of contradiction that very few measures have been introduced in this House which have been received by the people with so much satisfaction and so much hope. The people believe that the unity we once had will be restored to us under this Bill.

I would like to commend to the House the speeches of both the Taoiseach and the Leader of the Opposition in the other House on this Bill. They were very fair. They gave credit where credit was due. They gave thanks to those people who made it possible to introduce this Bill at this stage. They gave thanks to the Irish Parliamentary Party prior to 1916 and to all those connected with the national movement, irrespective of Party. I think it would be well for the country if the general body of Deputies and Senators followed the headlines set by them. Personally I think that nothing would go so far to restore unity or to give our country a higher status than if the debates in both Houses had been conducted according to the headlines set by the Taoiseach and the ex-Taoiseach. Things would be very much improved to my mind.

Yesterday evening, Senator Bigger was looking for concessions to his sentiments and to those of his friends. He told us that he was in the British Army during the war when France was defeated, before Russia came in and before America came in. All credit to him for that. But I would point out to him that he was not there alone; that there were thousands of Irishmen belonging to the class which I represent, who were not possessed of worldly goods and had not very much to defend in that way, who gave their services and their lives in what they believed to be the cause of world freedom.

I would suggest to Senator Bigger, if he is looking for a concession to his sentiments and to those of the minority he represents, that I think I have an equal claim or a much stronger claim to make, the claim of those people who looked upon the Crown as the symbol of oppression and yet who gave their services and their lives to the British Empire when it was in danger. I certainly hold that we are entitled to some concession to our sentiments.

Senator Bigger when speaking yesterday made a good many charges and told us that the Taoiseach, like Deputy de Valera, had been travelling round foreign lands. He suggested that they should have remained at home and directed their speeches and their energies to Northern Ireland. He did not say that he is prepared to accompany them. If he believes the unity of Ireland can be achieved by that means, it is up to him as a good Irishman to address himself seriously to the possibility of putting his views before the Taoiseach and making some suggestions as to what he considers the best means of reuniting the whole of Ireland. I am sure that there is nobody in this or the other House or even in the nation who will be slow to give Senator Bigger credit if he is the means of solving the partition of this country. Therefore, I suggest, if he has something in mind, or if he thinks that speech-making and explaining the position to his friends in the Six Counties can be done by the Taoiseach or members of the Government or with the co-operation of the previous Government, he will have willing helpers in all these. As I said, not alone the members of the Government and of both Houses but the entire nation would be grateful to him or any other man who would be the instrument of solving the question of Partition.

After the very many speeches which have been made both yesterday and since 10.30 this morning in welcoming the introduction of this

Bill, there is very little left for me to say. As one, however, who, for the past 40 years, had the honour of the confidence of many of those people whose patriotism and sacrifices and endeavours made it possible for this Bill to be introduced and paved the way for it, I feel that I should like to be personally associated with the welcome that is being given to it. I welcome the Bill for many reasons, a few of which I shall give you. First and before all I welcome it because, as has been pointed out by the Taoiseach, it does away once and for all with the trouble that divided families, homesteads and villages in this country for the past quarter of a century and it prevents the possibility of a recurrence at any time of the tragic episodes that marked our history during that period.

I welcome the Bill also because of the manner in which the achievement has been brought about. People opposed to the idea of a republic visualised repercussions against the many of our nationals who, unfortunately, up to the present could not get a living at home and had to go to Great Britain and other countries of the Commonwealth which would make their position anything but comfortable. Thanks to the Taoiseach and his Ministers, that ground was pretty well cleared before the Bill was introduced.

Thirdly, I welcome it because of the manner of its introduction. I consider it proper that a Bill of this kind should be introduced by the Leader of an inter-Party Government; that it will do away, as Senator Hayes pointed out, with the possibility of any people in the near future or in years to come claiming a monopoly of patriotism in this country. As a supporter of the Treaty and a helper of Cumann na nGaedheal and its successor Fine Gael, I welcome this Bill, though Fine Gael latterly has come in for a certain amount of notoriety. It looked to me as if the only opposition that certain people in the Dáil and a few here had to the particular measure was that it was introduced by a Government which had a strong leavening of the Fine Gael Party. But, as Senator Hayes and I think Senator Douglas pointed out, the people of the Fine Gael Party were realists and they accepted the Treaty as freedom to achieve freedom, the freedom that this Bill will bring to this country once is is enacted. The symbol of the Crown was just as repugnant to members of the Cumann na Gaedheal Party as it was to those who took exception to the Treaty because the symbol was introduced. Fine Gael followers had no personal animosity to those who wore the Crown. What they objected to was that the Crown stood for—acts of aggression, repression and injustice, the actions of the crow-bar brigade that figured so much in my native county, and their crimes against a defenceless people, all justified by the Crown.

It has been pointed out that the symbol of the Crown could never be a cause of unity, but Fine Gael accepted it. They accepted it because they felt it would be an inducement to those in the Six Counties who still feel that they would not like a united Ireland or who would prefer to be tacked on to the British Empire. For the past 25 years, as has been pointed out, concessions have been made by two successive Governments, but no good has come of it and the only alternative is what is being done now—and that should have been done years ago. However, it is better late than never. I believe that as a result of the peace and contentment that this measure will bring about, and the fact that the youth of the country can bend their energies towards developing our natural resources, the circumstances will be such that in the near future the North will be asking to come in to join us and we will be only too glad to give them a hearty welcome when that opportunity arrives. There is no talk about civil war. The guns have been taken out of politics by this Bill and, please God. they will remain out of politics.

I think it was Senator Hayes who referred to the fact that several Parties for many years have contributed their share towards securing the status which this Bill will now give our country. I believe, and I am not alone in that belief, that were it not for the realism and foresight of those great men who, in 1921, had the courage to make a settlement with England, it is very doubtful if things would have reached the very happy pass they have reached to-day. These men were misrepresented by several, misunderstood by not a few, but they carried on and the justification of the faith they had in the future of their country is to be found in the introduction of this Bill which, I believe, will bring peace and happiness and will eventually bring about conditions that will do away with the unnatural boundary that divides the people of the six northern counties from this State.

I came in here this morning with the avowed—well, perhaps, not avowed, but the latent —intention of crossing swords with Senator Bigger. Though he is looking remarkably fresh and well, he has taken rather a beating to-day, so I am not going to add anything that I might have to say to the attack made upon him—not upon him personally, but upon what he has said. I would like to devote the few remarks that I have to make to a congratulatory phrase to a younger colleague of Senator Bigger, Senator Stanford. If this debate did nothing else, it did produce a speech from Senator Stanford showing that he, as a younger member of the same institution, is taking a line which, I believe, will show tremendous results in the near future.

In the university which he represents and amongst the people of whom he is one it has been said, and possibly with some justice, that to a large extent they have held aloof from Irish politics since the Treaty and a paper that possibly favours the minority, or possibly thought up to this debate to voice the views of the minority, must feel in a sorry pass to-night, having heard the speech of Senator Stanford. He has said a thing that I believed for the past five or six years, and that is that the minority to which he belongs votes for three or four Parties, or possibly for independents, but that at no time did it give its complete or universal support to any Party. I think that that would be an extremely healthy sign in Irish politics and when I tramped the roads of County Wicklow looking for votes, if Senator Stanford's minority had voted for me I would have got a quota and a half and probably brought in another candidate. However, I bear no grudge against them that they did not vote for me. They had more able and experienced candidates that they did vote for.

I belong to a generation whose tradition is that of Sinn Féin, but whose memory does not stretch back beyond 1918 or 1919. I consider it inconceivable that there should be any suggestion that the Leader of this Government could be doing what he is doing to-day motivated by anything other than patriotism of the highest order.

I have no intention of bringing Party politics into this and neither have I any intention of ever apologising for the Party I belong to, for the man who leads it, or for the man who leads this Government. In my Party our tradition needs no praise and the members of it need never, have never and will never apologise for themselves.

One Senator made a remark which I would like to endorse. He was possibly paraphrasing the speech made by the Taoiseach some weeks ago. Surely, this day was not achieved solely by the men who died heroically in 1916; surely, it was not achieved solely by the men who fought up to 1921 and who regrettably fought each other after 1921? He raised his voice in praise of Parnell, Redmond, and the men under Redmond who went out and died upon foreign fields in the belief that they were helping, as they have helped, to achieved this Bill. A well known and very experienced Parliamentarian said to me when I was coming in here that he wears a scarlet poppy—I have never done it, nor any member of my family— in memory of those men who did their part in the belief that they were fighting on these foreign fields for this day and, he said, after this Bill passes into law, a man may wear that poppy and be as good an Irishman as the man who wears the Easter Lily, because both are remembering something that is noble and fine.

If I have any enthusiasm in supporting this Bill it is because we are united, or practically united, on it. Perhaps the tragedy of the past ten or 12 years might never have taken place if Fine Gael, when our Party got into power, stood behind them in dealing with international problems, such as the removal of the oath and the Governor-General and the other things that, perhaps, caused the civil war. If they took the stand that Deputy de Valera is taking now, in supporting the inter-Party Government in the introduction of this Bill, I do believe that some of the things that have happened within the last ten or 12 years would not have arisen. I am certain that Fine Gael has learned its lesson now but had they taken the stand that Deputy de Valera is taking now and had supported him in his policy, this country would be very much better off.

It is quite obvious that if the Government had not the support of the Opposition at the present time on this Bill, it would not be so favourably received by the Commonwealth nations. If Fine Gael had supported Deputy de Valera when he was the head of the Government in removing the most obnoxious features of the Treaty of 1921, for which I am not blaming anyone, then all the strife of the last ten or 12 years would not have arisen and their would be no need for all this talk, which we have recently heard, about "taking the gun out of Irish politics". Unfortunately, Deputy de Valera did not get that support and we have had the gun in Irish politics. The Government now in their wisdom in 1948 introduce this Bill which has the support of the majority of the Irish people.

Were it not for the support that the Government is getting from the largest Party in this House, the Bill would not be so well received at home, any more than abroad, but because of that support, this Bill has been received favourably, internationally and elsewhere. If I have any enthusiasm in supporting this Bill it is mainly for this reason. It is extraordinary what unity can do. I think everyone will agree that in dealing with major matters like these or in dealing with an international problem, the Government of the day should have the support of the Irish people. You have got that support from the Leader of the majority Party in the Seanad and in the other House and therefore the Bill has been well received.

At the risk of repeating myself, I say that the gun would have long gone out of Irish politics if the Fine Gael Party had supported Deputy de Valera in the removal of the oath and the other objectionable features of the Treaty. I am sure that if that Party had to face the same problem again they would not act in the same way as they did.

The major problem now confronting the Irish people is the undoing of Partition and I am sure every Senator hopes that in our time Partition will be undone. We may have various ideas as to how that is to be achieved. Some people think that it is unwise at the present time to repeal the External Relations Act, that, if that Act remained, perhaps it would be a bargaining basis so far as the North of Ireland or England is concerned. The External Relations Act has gone and therefore that bargaining power, if it was a bargaining power, has vanished. Other ways and means will have to be adopted to get our nationalist and unionist friends in the North to come into a united Ireland.

I believe that the economic position here is as good and perhaps much better when you take everything into consideration, than it is in the North, no matter what you may hear from various political platforms from time to time. If you had the whole thing analysed by economic experts who would give the pros and cons, both here and in the North, I believe they would show that the economic and social conditions of the people of the North would be very much better if they threw in their lot with us than remaining as they are. I hope that the things which the Minister for External Affairs visualised as a result of this Bill will be fully realised and that in our time at least the gun will remain out of Irish politics. It is something that should not have been in politics for a very long time now. Unfortunately some people in this country were told otherwise with the result that for a number of years certain sections of the Irish people went their way and did more harm than good perhaps to the Irish cause so far as the Partition problem was concerned. Had they accepted the decision of the country after the introduction of the Constitution we would have been in a much better position to-day. They did not do so with the result that we had all this bitterness, about which we have heard so much, amongst a certain section. It was a very limited section and perhaps it was exaggerated.

It is my ardent wish and the wish of all sincere Irishmen that we shall have unity in this country henceforward so that we can concentrate on economic and social problems, so that we can get the things done for our people that need to be done, things that probably would have been done by now were it not that we had a civil war and economic war. Then during the late war many of these things had to remain in abeyance. We shall have to face these problems now and complete the schemes enshrined in all our programmes. If we do that in the spirit in which it is expected that all Irishmen should act, we shall not, unlike Senator Professor Bigger, have anybody coming along and telling us that we were mugs, dupes and "suckers". As it is now approaching 6 o'clock, I do not wish to detain the House further but I hope that the principles enshrined in the Bill will have the success which the sponsors of the Bill expect.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

It is now 6 o'clock. Does the House wish to carry on or to adjourn for an interval? I would remind Senators that there are two other Bills to be dealt with.

I think it would be better to allow the Minister to conclude now.


I do not know whether there is very much that can be added to what has been already said in the other House and in this House in the course of this debate. I would like at the outset to congratulate the House and to express a deep sense of appreciation at the way in which this Bill was dealt with by all sides in this House. I think it was approached in a constructive and helpful manner generally, more so than in the other House. I am possibly in a more difficult position than anybody else in the House or than any of my colleagues in the Government in dealing with this matter because I have to look at it not merely from the point of view of the different Parties in this House, and not merely from the point of view of the country, but I have to look at it a little bit from the point of view of other countries. Therefore, I possibly have a more difficult task in some respects in taking part in a debate of this kind.

Senator Fearon made a remark which I think is very true, and which I think, to a certain degree, approaches the fundamentals that made the introduction of this Bill essential. He pointed out that we have had no normality in politics and that, possibly, a new alignment would result, after the passage of this Bill, in the political life of the country. That, I think, is very true. Ever since the establishment, if you like, of the republic by the votes of the people in 1918, subsequently ratified by the Dáil in 1919, we have had no normal political development. The people have not decided political issues on their merits. They have approached them on the basis of the particular Party they were affiliated to and very often on the basis of the particular side that their family, or some member of it, took in the civil war. Probably the greatest misfortune that can befall any country is a civil war. That misfortune befell us. It lasted a short time and ended officially sometime in 1923, but its after effects have survived right up to the present day; they survived right up to the debates in the Dáil the other day and were it not for the discretion of the members of this House, they would even have survived up to to-day in the debate in this House. Accordingly, I think it is essential to approach the whole of this matter on the basis that we have not had a normal political development, and this measure, if accepted by all sections of the community, does form the basis upon which normal political development will result as far as this part of the country is concerned.

Now, I do not want to represent the Bill to be anything more than it is, nor do I want suggestions to go by unchallenged that it is anything less than what, in fact, it is. The Bill declares the status of Ireland to be a republic. It declares that unequivocally, and to those who, possibly, partly in self-justification seek to minimise the effects of this Bill, I would put this simple test, if they would care to examine it themselves, that this is the first time that the word "republic" appears in any Statute of this State other than in a Pensions Act or a Coercion Act: it is the first time in which the words "Republic of Ireland" are mentioned in any Act passed in the Dáil or in the Seanad, other than incidentally in a Pensions Act or a Coercion Act. I think that illustrates the lack of normality that we have had in our political life. We have awarded pensions to people who fought for the republic on the one hand and in the Acts dealing with that, the word "republic" appears. On the other hand, we have outraged every canon of justice by passing Coercion Acts in which the word "republic" also appears. I am not laying that at the door of any particular Government. I am not blaming anybody for it. As Senator Mrs. Concannon said: "Let bygones be bygones". It applies to both Governments who ruled the country in the past 25 years, but it is, if you look at the thing philosophically—if you like in retrospect—typical of the lack of normality that has been in the political development of our country. We hope that this Bill will put an end to that position.

Many Senators have gone back in retrospect over their political reactions over various periods. I do not want to do so at any length. I think it is probably unwise to do so in detail. While Senator O'Farrell and other Senators were talking, many pictures flashed through my mind, not so much of my own acts but of contacts that I had with various people who featured during those years. I remember long talks that I had with Rory O'Connor, shortly before he was executed in Mountjoy, about Kevin O'Higgins for whom he had a tremendous affection and regard. I realised then as I realise now the tragedy of the position which resulted from the civil war. I remember long talks that I had with George Plant shortly before he was executed, and with Senator Quirke who, I think was one of his best friends, in another period of time. Did we want that situation to continue? Is that the situation we want to continue? We have an opportunity of ending it now. Senators on the Fianna Fáil Benches asked if we had any assurance that guns would not again be used. I think that that question has been put, not very sincerely.

I think it has merely been an attempt to play a little bit of Party politics but I suppose it is very hard for politicians to refrain from Party politics occasionally and I think that guns could be used in Party politics. The only answer I can give is that I can give no assurance for what men in the future will do—no more than Deputy de Valera, when he decided to enter the Dáil, could give any assurance as to the future conduct of subsequent generations of young men with whom he subsequently came into conflict. But having been associated for a fairly long time with the movement for independence in this country; having had opportunity to think about it and having, I think, analysed fairly carefully the various factors involved, I think that the cause of guns in politics was not an internal cause. It was due, purely and simply, to the various attempts that had to be made to reconcile the traditional ideals of the Irish people with the requirements of British policy as regards this country. As I have said before in the other House, I am prepared to give full credit to what was done both by Mr. Cosgrave's Government and by Mr. de Valera's Government in trying to enlarge our sovereignty. But at all times they were always placed in the position of reaching a certain point and being told they could not go further. Having reached that position they then inevitably came into conflict with a section of the people who believed in the ideal of an Irish republic. Indeed I need not go further to demonstrate that than to rely on a speech which was made by Mr. de Valera at the National University. Let me quote from the Irish Press of the 3rd December, 1938:

"I say deliberately that it would be better for the nation if we were an independent republic.... I, for one, am sorry because I feel that if we were able to say that we were an independent republic there would be none of this division which exists at the moment which is helping to cause dissatisfaction and is in a sense a source of danger."

I think Deputy de Valera was perfectly correct then. I think that the events that have occurred since have proved that he was correct. That the confusion continued to exist can, I think, be evidenced by a statement made by Deputy de Valera on the 18th July, 1945, in the Dáil. I am quoting from Volume 97, column 2734:

"There are Deputies in the House who have suggested that we should repeal that Act. If any group of people in this country want to take that as their programme they can do so, but all they will do as far as this State is concerned is to remove an element of confusion. It is, I am admitting, an element of confusion, because the average person is not going to examine exactly its full meaning or anything else."

What is the good of saying now in 1948 that it was not an element of confusion and that everybody knew where we stood? Let us be frank and big and broad-minded about it. Let us realise that it is a good thing nationally. I am perfectly willing to grant that possibly a situation and circumstances may not have existed that made it easy to get rid of this measure. We are getting rid of it now and let us do so without recrimination and let us make it a basis for unity. One thing that we shall require to do is this. In Britain the Crown is a symbol around which the people rally. The same applies to a large extent in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada where the Crown is a symbol of their mother country to a large extent. We here have had no symbol around which the people could rally. Our history, our tradition, made the Crown anything but a rallying point for our people. Now let us make the Republic of Ireland the symbolic rallying point around which our people can rally. Let us all agree that it is above Party politics, that we can all give our allegiance to it and that we will utilise it as a national rallying point.

Senator Mrs. Concannon was rather troubled, I think, this morning, as to whether this was a 26-county or a 32-county republic. I thought that that position had been dealt with by Deputy de Valera in his Constitution—by Article 2 of the Constitution which has been praised a good deal, I understand, by the Fianna Fáil Benches. Article 2 of the Constitution provides that:

"The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas."

That is, the national territory of the State. This Act declares the State to be the Republic of Ireland.

What, then, about Article 3?

Article 3 provides— and surely there is nothing else we can do about it, and I take it that Senator Mrs. Concannon voted for it at the time—

It was necessary.

Article 3 provides that pending the reintegration of the whole territory the laws can only apply in that portion—

That was my point. The law we are passing now only applies, in accordance with that portion of Article 3, to the area laid down in that Article.

The law we are passing applies to the State. The State is the whole island of Ireland.

The law does not—

Might I put this parallel both to Senator Mrs. Concannon and to Senator Professor Bigger who share the same problems—though from different angles, I take it. I do not know whether they are merely debating points or real points.

They are very important points.

Very well. Let me put it this way.

In 1870 France lost Alsace-Lorraine. Alsace-Lorraine was occupied by Germany and remained occupied by Germany from 1870 until 1918. France nevertheless remained France and the name of France did not change because two of her provinces were occupied by a foreign country. There are many other parallels in the history of European countries where a similar position prevailed. Surely, because another country takes over or occupies a portion of our country, we are not going to surrender the name of our country.

Assuming that the making of the State gave Ireland her name and Ireland is subsequently deprived of six of her counties, that does not deprive Ireland of the right to use her original name. That is quite true. But we are now passing into law a measure that declares us to be the Republic of Ireland. I know that it is ridiculous for me to pit myself against a constitutional lawyer, but I would like some constitutional lawyer to prove how a law now made can change the effect of the self-denying ordinance embodied in Article 3 of the Constitution.

I shall put it simply. I do not think it is a matter of constitutional law. Article 2 of the Constitution prescribed the national territory of the State and Article 4 gives the name to that State. This Bill describes the status of the State: it is the same State with the same national territory.

Many remarks have been made about constitutional lawyers. I am not going to deal with them because I think they were rather petty and unworthy of the speakers. I would like to say, however, that I, as Minister for External Affairs, was extremely happy to have as my leader in the Government the present Taoiseach, Mr. Costello, who is an eminent lawyer. I was likewise extremely happy—and you probably can appreciate this having listened to him yesterday in this House—to have with me the present Attorney-General, Senator Cecil Lavery, at the various conferences that took place both in Paris and elsewhere. Having listened to him yesterday, you probably now realise what assistance a man of his calibre was to me and how glad I was to have him at my side.

It would be wrong for me not to take this opportunity of paying a special tribute to the work done by the Taoiseach in this matter. He is a man of tremendous humility, of tremendous honesty, ability and courage. He knew perfectly well when this decision was taken by the Government that he would be the target for the bricks and jibes of Professor Bigger and his political opponents. But he was not afraid to face these jibes because he realised that, as the head of the Government and as an Irishman, it was his duty to bring the country forward and to maintain peace and unity in the country. He felt this was the best way in which to achieve that object and he would allow no political jibes to deter him in that task.

I am not a member of the Fine Gael Party. I hold no brief for the Fine Gael Party. A great deal has been said about not having had a mandate on this measure. I approach that in two ways. I am not aware that the Fianna Fáil Party had a mandate for introducing the External Relations Act at the time it was introduced. On the contrary, their mandate was to establish an independent republic without any connection with the Crown. As the Attorney-General explained to you yesterday, they did carry out that mandate for one day and for one day we had no King; and the next day they reintroduced the King. They did that without a mandate.

As King of Ireland?

As King of Ireland. Read sub-section (2) of Section 3.

Nonsense—read the Attorney-General's speech last night.

Read the Act: "Immediately on the passing of this Act, the instrument of abdication executed by his Majesty, King Edward VIII, on the 10th December, 1936, a copy whereof is set out in the Schedule to this Act, shall have effect according to the tenor thereof." The effect of those words is to make that Act of Abdication part of our law. The Act of Abdication is then set out in the Act. The first words of the Act of Abdication are: "Edward VIII, King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions." The effect of those words is to make Edward VIII King of Ireland. It does not require a constitutional lawyer to point that out to anybody who has taken the trouble to read the Act.

I do not like to pursue Senator Bigger farther than he has already been pursued, but I think there are a few points to which a reply is necessary. He, first of all, explained at length that he had no mandate for the attitude he was adopting here and that he was not speaking for Trinity College. What right then had he to speak at all in opposition to this measure? Much less, what right had he got to throw stones? He then made the claim that he was better entitled to speak of Ireland as the mother-country than anybody else. I do not want in any way to minimise the number of our graduates who go abroad but they form a very, very small percentage of the total number of emigrants who had to leave the country over the years gone by. I think Professor Bigger must not have thought out what he was going to say on this Bill and what his attitude was going to be or, alternatively, he must be completely lacking in a sense of humour. He commenced by taking great pride in his ancestors who were associated with '98 and in his uncle who, if I am not mistaken, was a member of the Supreme Council of the Fenian Brotherhood.

Not an uncle; that was Joe Bigger.

At all events, he introduced Tone into his speech. I could not but wonder at his inability to realise how incongruous it was for him to bring in Tone and the United Irishmen in support of his views. Surely, his views are diametrically opposed to those held by Tone and the United Irishmen. He mentioned some of the founders of the Sinn Féin movement. Surely, their views differed fundamentally from the views expressed here by Professor Bigger. Apart from the debating points he made, apart from the personal attack he made upon the Taoiseach, apart from throwing a few bricks here and there, his attitude was —I hope I am not being unfair to him— that he wanted to remain a British subject, that he had an affection for Britain and for the British Crown. As I understood Tone and the United Irishmen, they wanted to break the connection with Britain and the British Crown, at least so their writings would seem to indicate when one reads them now. He made then a rather extraordinary statement in which he accused this Government and Deputy de Valera's Government, and I take it also Mr. Cosgrave's Government, though I do not think he mentioned it specifically, of closing the possibility of securing the unity of the country by seeking to obtain the maximum amount of freedom. Are we then to take it that we are only allowed freedom on certain conditions, or that we are only allowed unity without freedom? Is that the up-to-date doctrine of democracy, that freedom is conditional, that the right to self-determination is conditional, that one can only enjoy democratic rights provided one is prepared to forego one's right to national unity or to national sovereignty?

Senator Bigger throughout declared himself to be a lover of freedom and I do not think that as a lover of freedom he can have thought the matter out very carefully because, if he were a lover of freedom, he would not look upon freedom as a thing which was conditional. If one loves freedom, one loves freedom absolutely. It seems to me that freedom which is conditional ceases to be freedom. It seems to me rather odd that, as a lover of freedom, he should in any way condone or seek to excuse the denial of the elementary democratic rights of the people of, say, Tyrone, or Fermanagh, or Armagh, or Derry—a majority in four counties and a minority in two counties. Are they not entitled to as much freedom as we are? Why should it be necessary for Senator Bigger to condone a denial of freedom in their case? I take it he would be up in arms if we here denied elementary democratic rights to the minority whom he represents. If we arranged the electoral laws in such a way as to deprive them of representation on county councils or deprived them of Parliamentary representation, I take it that Senator Bigger would quite likely protest against such a denial of democratic rights. Why then does he condone these infringements of democratic rights when they occur in the Six Counties? Why can he not in honesty, as a lover of freedom, denounce this denial of democratic rights in the Six Counties?

I am afraid I am possibly spending too long a time in dealing with Senator Bigger. I am doing so in the hope that he may realise that in his speech he was not always consistent and that possibly he may have thrown out some of his arguments hurriedly without due consideration. But one thing which I think is rather damaging was stated by Senator Bigger. I do not propose to quote his words, but the purport was that Partition was a purely Irish matter which concerned Ireland and Irishmen and nobody else. That is not correct. It is unnational and it is not in accordance with the facts. As Senator Bigger knows, Partition exists by virtue of a British Act of Parliament. The Border is operated by the British customs. The Six Counties are occupied by British troops. The finances of the Six-County Government are inextricably mixed with those of the British Government. There have been no declarations by the British Government that they wish to see Partition ended. In these circumstances, it is futile to suggest that Britain has no responsibility for Partition.

Senator Honan asked some questions. I think he asked them generally, though I have been somewhat irritated by a lot of the suspicion which was cast deliberately by some of the members of Senator Honan's Party. He wanted to know if there was a bargain, if there was a quid pro quo, if there was any understanding that there was to be a military alliance or military accommodation in case of war. The answer is quite categorical. There is no quid pro quo, no understanding about a military alliance or military accommodation in time of war or at any other time—absolutely none. That was made clear throughout—that the question of our status, of our national sovereignty was one about which there could be no bargain of any kind.

The same matter cropped up in the Dáil and was dealt with by the Taoiseach. In reply to a question by Deputy Dunne, who drew attention to certain newspaper reports, the Taoiseach said:

"No representative of this State has either directly or indirectly, by implication or otherwise, entered into any commitment on defence matters with any other country or with any Government or authority whatsoever outside this State."

Is that categorical or not?

I am prepared to accept that unreservedly.

Now I think that if this Bill has served no other useful purpose it achieved one extremely useful purpose. I feel that every Senator will agree with me when I say—I am not saying it for the purpose of paying an empty tribute—that it produced the speech we had to-day from Senator Stanford which I think was a most valuable contribution. It is time that the minority which has been so often wrongly described as the ex-Unionist minority should play an active part in the national life of the country. We shall welcome them as citizens of the republic. We believe that they will be better citizens of the republic than many of us and we shall be prepared at all times to welcome them in our counsels. It certainly made me feel very hopeful when listening to Senator Stanford to-day that that development was about to take place.

Senator Stanford raised a few matters in his speech. He raised the question of the exchanges which have existed hitherto between Ireland and the Commonwealth countries and whether they would continue. He hoped that we would not become too isolationist. In point of fact, as the Taoiseach explained to the House, one of the reasons which prompted the Government so that it would enable a more normal relationship with Britain, was that as soon as we removed the two main points of friction in our relationship with Britain, Partition and the maintenance of outworn constitutional forms that were repugnant to national sentiment and that had no place in our history—that by removing, at any rate, one of these points of friction, the only one we could remove, we were making it possible for a more normal relationship to develop between ourselves and Britain and the other Commonwealth countries. We will now have no quarrel of any kind with the other Commonwealth countries. The only quarrel, the only point of friction that will remain, will be the point of friction between Britain and ourselves in relation to Partition. So far as the other Commonwealth countries are concerned, there will be no quarrel or friction or difficulty, and it will be our desire to have the friendliest and closest relationship with the Commonwealth countries.

Is the Minister prepared to give an undertaking, or to make a statement, that some active effort on our part will be made towards that co-operation? I think we have played a rather passive or an internal part up to the present, and I would welcome some hope that active overtures will be made to heal the breach.

I am quite prepared to give that assurance to the Senator, that everything will be done by the Government to develop the closest co-operation with the various Commonwealth countries. I want to make myself quite clear, lest there be any misunderstanding. As has been stated by the Taoiseach and myself, there can be no question of a military alliance while Partition remains. I have, even in discussing the thing in newspaper interviews and elsewhere, put the position this way. We are in the position of a man who has one of his arms tied behind his back and he is then approached by the man who tied that arm behind his back and asked to join in and fight with him. Our answer is: "Let go of our arm first." Did I hear my friends on the Fianna Fáil Benches asking a question?

We were saying: "Even then"—we must be free to make up our minds even then.

I am saying this not in any sense of derogation; I do not want to suggest that the last Government in any way failed in its duties in matters touching on international relations, but I will say this, and I am saying it in no critical sense of my predecessor, that I think we have in the last six months in European politics played a fairly active part. My view has been that far more important than military alliances and pacts based upon political reasons is the development of economic co-operation in Europe. That, to my mind, is the most fundamental way in which to create a situation where war will not result. We have, therefore, taken a very active part in the promotion of that idea in Europe.

I am on a special committee that was set up, a council of Ministers charged with responsibility to try to speed up the development of economic co-operation in Europe. I am not letting out any secret that I should not let out when I am saying this, that a number of countries in Europe, including ourselves, believe that a greater degree of energy should be brought into play to secure economic co-operation in Europe. A greater drive is needed and, in effect, this council of Ministers should aim at a kind of economic committee or cabinet for Western Europe. I would also like to see linked with that some of the Commonwealth countries. I have made that suggestion and I hope it will bear fruit. I can assure the Senator that we have played a very active part. I think I can say, again without letting out any secret, that we have played a more active part than most of the countries in Western Europe.

Senator O'Brien and some other Senators mentioned various points of difficulty. Of course, there are a great many points of difficulty and they are all being examined. We were asked, on the other hand, by Senator Hawkins, I think, why was the application of this Bill being delayed. If Senator Hawkins and my friends on the Fianna Fáil benches want this Bill to come into operation at once, irrespective of the consequences—say, before the 1st January, when the British Nationality Act comes into operation—and are prepared to take all the consequences that will follow, then the Bill can be brought into operation at once.

Senator O'Brien and some of the other Senators who dealt with possible difficulties seemed to have overlooked the existence of the new British Nationality Act. I think very few people, including Senator Bigger, realise that at the moment they are not, under British law, Irish citizens. Under British law at the moment all of us are looked upon as British subjects. Irish citizenship as such was never recognised by British law and will not be until this new Act comes into operation. It comes into operation on 1st January next and it creates four categories of citizens. It creates, firstly, United Kingdom subjects, and Commonwealth or British citizens are in the second category. The third category covers Irish citizens and the fourth category, aliens.

That will be the first time that Irish citizens as such will be recognised under British law. Irish citizens are then given under the Act the same rights and privileges as British or Commonwealth citizens, but they get these privileges by virtue of their Irish citizenship and not by virtue of being British citizens. The position from that point of view will not be altered.

The same applies to some of the remarks made by other Senators who asked what will be the position when there is a change of Government in Britain—does that mean that a new British Government can alter this position and victimise or punish our people at some future date? Of course they could. They can do that at the moment, if you like, but they cannot do it without defeating their own Act of Parliament or altering their own law because, under their own law, Irish citizens are recognised as such and are given certain rights. Membership of the Commonwealth, or the nebulous position we had hitherto, was absolutely no guarantee that we enjoyed any particular rights. As a matter of fact the position we found when we came into office was that we had trouble in getting for our agricultural produce the same price as was being paid to Denmark. The struggle was, not to get a preferential rate, but to get the same price as was being paid to Denmark. On the other hand, a lesser price was being paid for our cattle than we could get from Continental countries. We found that practically all our manufactured goods were being excluded completely. It was not a question of getting a preference, they just were not being let in. These have been the benefits of membership of the Commonwealth.

Senator Professor O'Brien mentioned the question of membership of the sterling area. There seems to be a good deal of confusion about that because in the sterling area there are many countries that are not members of the Commonwealth. Likewise there are some countries in the Commonwealth that are not in the sterling area. Canada, for instance, is not in the sterling area. Iceland is not in the Commonwealth but it is in the sterling area.

Some Senators referred to British trade unions operating in Ireland. I am not going to deal with such a controversial topic now but might I suggest to Senators, who did mention the subject here, that they might read some references that were made, I think by Deputy Connolly, in the other House to that topic on the Second Reading of this Bill. It occurred to him that possibly this Bill might also provide a solution for that problem. I would appeal to these two Senators here to explore that avenue to see whether it could also provide a solution for that particular difficulty.

That was our attitude, that under this Bill something might be done.

I think Deputy Connolly in the other House made some references that I felt provided at least a basis for discussion.

The difficulty I see is that they have a right established under the Constitution.

I do not think I should be drawn into that. I think the Senator misunderstood the decision given in the courts.

I think the Minister had something to say to the establishment of that right.

In setting aside the Trade Union Act?

I was an advocate certainly. I was on the opposite side to the Taoiseach when the Taoiseach was upholding the Act.

I was preventing the Government at that time from declaring that a person had not got a right to join any union he liked.

Perhaps, between the two Ministers, we might get a solution of the trouble now.

I was appearing for my friends over there incidentally.

I think the two Ministers will have to settle it.

Mr. Hayes

It looks like it.

It all turned on the meaning of the word "regulate". The Government wanted the court to hold that it meant "abrogate".

I think that something might be done by the two Ministers towards finding a solution.

I am sorry that I mentioned the matter. I mentioned it because I was afraid that Senators might have missed what I thought was an olive branch held out by a Deputy in the other House. I do not think I need say anything more. I think everything that could be said about the Act has been said. I want to repeat that it is brought in in no sense of hostility towards Britain or the Commonwealth countries. It is our desire to maintain the friendliest relationship with them, and we believe that this Bill is a constructive step in the development of that relationship.

I should like to pay a very special tribute to the assistance which we received throughout, not merely from the British Ministers but from the Commonwealth Ministers—from Dr. Evatt, from Mr. Fraser, the New Zealand Prime Minister, who I am glad to say is going to spend a few days with us next week; from the Canadian Ministers, from the South African Ministers, with whom I was in close contact throughout but who were not present at the conference, and from the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru, with whom I was also in contact throughout. They all gave us invaluable help and advice and certainly we felt at the end of this conference that Ireland had a great many friends throughout the world.

I think before I sit down that I should say this. There has been a great deal of controversy as to who should and should not get tribute for the passing of this Act. It occurs to me that it would be well if we realised, in passing this Act, that it has been made possible largely by the sacrifices made by a great many people of past generations and of this generation who are no longer alive and who laid down their lives so that the passing of such an Act as this might be possible. The best tribute we can pay them is to work in unity to try to secure the complete integration of the national territory.

I should like to ask the Minister this question. Are we to take it that on the passing of the Bill the use of the word "Eire" where English is used will be discontinued? I think the nation is looking for some definite assurance on that point.

That is the intention. There was a suggestion originally of doing the same thing in Section 2 of the Bill as was done in the Constitution, of saying that the description of the State in English shall be "the Republic of Ireland" and in Irish "Poblacht na hEireann." We felt that if that were done we would slip into all sorts of trouble and that the country would be described by all sorts of queer names. Accordingly it was not done. It is the intention to use in English the name "The Republic of Ireland". The question of the extent to which the "Republic of Ireland" will be used as against "Ireland" is a matter that will have to be examined in some detail. Different considerations will apply, and these will have to be examined by an inter-departmental committee.

Will the Minister take steps to see that formal representations are made to ensure that this State shall be described as "Ireland" by foreign countries and by Britain in her broadcasting system? It is rather annoying to hear this State described as Eire by the British in their newspapers and in their broadcasts, in the hope of suggesting—I trust I am not judging them wrongly—that Eire and Northern Ireland are two separate States. It was the intention, when the Constitution was passed, that this State should be described as "Ireland", and in the Irish language as "Eire". I would be glad if the Minister would give an assurance to indicate that it is intended to raise that point and see that it is settled.

The Senator can rest assured that everything that can be done to achieve that position is being done and has been done. I do not know if Senators noticed that, in the trade agreement we had recently with Britain, there are two versions—in ours the State and the country are described as "Ireland", and in the British copy they described the country as "Eire".

If their assurances of goodwill are sincere, and if we describe this State as "Ireland", then I suggest that common courtesy would seem to demand that they would accept our description of the State.

I should like to know from the Minister if there is any intention of issuing a stamp. I think it would give great hope to people all over the world if there was an issue of stamps with "Poblacht na hEireann" printed on them, though I am afraid that expression does not apply to all Ireland. Still, we have the right to call it the Republic of Ireland. It would be a splendid thing to have these stamps issued if it could be done.

I am very glad to get the Senator's suggestion. I am sure it is one which will be considered by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, which is never slow to issue stamps.

Well chosen or otherwise.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, 15th December.