Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 19 Nov 1936

Vol. 64 No. 5

Private Deputies' Business. - Problem of Partition—Motion (Resumed).

Debate resumed on the following motion:—
"That in the opinion of the Dáil the Government has not given adequate attention to the problem of Partition."—(Deputies MacDermot and Rowlette).

When progress was reported last night I was developing, or trying to develop, the argument that I thought Deputy MacDermot in moving this motion had gone on wrong lines. I think I suggested too that that view was borne out to a great extent by the speech delivered by Deputy MacDermot in support of his motion. He characterised as one of the greatest fallacies in Ireland to-day that it was the job of the British to undo the Partition of this country. I did not agree with him last night, and I certainly agree with him less this evening. I quoted from memory a letter which was written at that time by Mr. Lloyd George to Lord Edward Carson in connection with the matter. Deputy MacDermot challenged the accuracy of that letter, and I have certainly gone to some trouble to prove the accuracy of the quotation. In the "Life of Lord Carson," by Colvin, page 166, the letter is published. I have here a copy of the letter which was written by Mr. Lloyd George, dated May 29th, 1916—I think I said 1914 last night—from Whitehall Place, London, S.W. This is the letter:—

"My Dear Carson,—I enclose Greer's draft. We must make it clear that at the end of the provisional period..."

He was dealing then with the original offer of Partition—

"...Ulster does not, whether she wills it or not, merge in the rest of Ireland.

Ever sincerely yours,


P.S.—Will you show this to Craig."

I went to the trouble of going through this and verifying it from the "Life of Lord Carson," as written by Colvin, and if Deputy MacDermot will take the trouble to go across to the National Library and look it up for himself, he will see that I am right. I am quite certain that Deputy MacDermot will accept what I am saying as true, but he can look it up for himself. I assure him that it is an accurate quotation. Apart from that, it was also published in a critique in the Derry Journal, and also published in various leaflets and pamphlets and in other propaganda generally throughout this country. There is no doubt whatever about that letter. Surely to goodness, therefore, with regard to the remarks of Deputy MacDermot last night and his attitude generally on this question, to the effect that this is a job for ourselves only and not a job for the English—surely to goodness, if nothing else were required, that letter itself would make it quite clear that the power behind this whole thing with regard to the partition of this country has its headquarters in London, and not in Belfast or Dublin, or in any other portion of this country.

If that letter which I have quoted were not enough to prove this, there is worse than that; and I put this to Deputy MacDermot for his consideration when he suggests, in speaking in support of this motion, that something more adequate than the action that has already been taken by this Government should be taken. When Deputy MacDermot makes that suggestion, let him consider what I have already quoted, and let him consider another letter, which I am about to quote—a letter that is worse, if it could be so, than the letter from Lloyd George to Carson. The letter that I am about to quote is more deadly in its effects, I suggest— far worse than Lloyd George's letter. I refer to a letter from the late Lord Balfour, and I say that it is worse than Lloyd George's letter and that it definately shows the truth of what they tried to engineer against this country away back some years ago. I am sorry that Deputy MacDermot, last night, adopted the attitude of more or less pillorying this Government for not, as he thought, going ahead to redress these wrongs at a greater pace than they have gone up to the present. As I say, I am sorry that Deputy MacDermot should adopt that attitude, but here is the letter from the late Lord Balfour—the letter to which I have been referring:—

"The solution I should prefer would be to keep Ulster as she is, and to disinterest ourselves completely from the South and West of Ireland except in so far as it may be necessary to prevent its coastline from being used by enemy Powers. I fear, however, that this bold piece of surgery..."

I ask the House to pay particular attention to that phrase—"I fear this bold piece of surgery".

"...will find little favour anywhere. I recommended it in 1913, before the war rendered the solution pressing."

There are two letters, one from Lloyd George to Carson, and the other, quoted in the very same book, the "Life of Lord Carson," from Balfour.

Will the Deputy give the date of that?

I cannot give that, but I can give the Deputy the reference. They are both contained in the same book. This was in 1913.

Will the Deputy give me the page reference in the book?

No, not now, but I shall give the Deputy the reference later. However, I can tell the Deputy that I took this quotation from a critique by Mr. Lehane, which appeared in the Irish Independent on November the 14th. However, to continue with what I was saying. In view of these two letters, I fail to see how Deputy MacDermot could take the attitude which he did take here yesterday evening, and, what is more, if the Deputy does not mind me suggesting this, I think he looked this matter up in the wrong place. I know that Deputy MacDermot is not a member of the English House of Commons, but I know also that he stood for an Irish constituency for the English House of Commons some years ago, and I think it might have been for a sort of seat in the City of Belfast. I do not know if Deputy MacDermot really wants to put this question of the partition of Ireland to the people of Ireland. If he does so, and if he wants to do good in this matter, I suggest that he should take it up with the gentlemen whose letters I have just quoted in this House.

Incidentally, I noticed that Deputy MacDermot recently attended a meeting of British members of the House of Commons. He said last night that he was willing to put his cards on the table. Undoubtedly, I accept his word for that, but I should like very much, when he is closing this debate, that this House should be informed by him what took place at that meeting of British members of Parliament at which he attended. I do not press him to answer that, but I do say, seeing that he has made a statement that he is prepared to put all his cards on the table, that he should tell this House what took place at that meeting and what was the English attitude on this particular question and what was their attitude as expressed to him at that meeting.

During the whole course of Deputy MacDermot's speech last night, I think it will be admitted that there was one dominant note, which the merest amateur in politics could not fail to understand, and that was what I might characterise as an ultra-Imperialist note, or an ultra anti-Irish note. Whether or not Deputy MacDermot meant that, I do say that, last night, consciously or unconsciously, he was putting the British case, as against this country, as they might put it themselves. When I left this House last night I asked myself, as a result of Deputy MacDermot's speech, whether, in connection with this question of Partition, we were to forget entirely all about the past and all about the people who have engaged themselves in the spreading of the Irish language —all the people who have taken an active part in the revival of an Irish Ireland and who have taken an active part in a Republican Ireland and who have given everything to the ideal of Republicanism in this country, as it has been expressed in this country for a long number of years. That ideal was characterised by Deputy MacDermot last night as a sham, a myth and a phantom. I think that no Imperialist could have put up a better argument than Deputy MacDermot put up last night, and I am afraid that Deputy MacDermot has struck an unhappy moment for putting forward that argument. I think also, that if he makes that argument by way of an approach to this Party, it is not going to get any ready response, either from the President himself or from the rank and file of this Party. As I said last night, it is always the plain people of this country who are asked to make compromises and to sacrifice themselves, and, in this connection, when Deputy MacDermot asks us to make sacrifices or compromises, might I suggest to him, in passing, that there is probably no people in the world to-day who have made greater sacrifices and who have had greater reason to remember the past than the people of this country. It may be all right for the people of other countries to forget the past, but no people in the world have had greater reason to remember the past than we have had. Children are taught about the past history of their country at their mother's knee. Yet we have been told here to forget all that. I think if Deputy MacDermot examines this case and thinks for a moment that the present condition of the country is the result of Partition, he would hardly adopt the attitude that at times he does adopt. We cannot forget the past at all. We should learn from the mistakes of the past. I am glad that Deputy Dillon is in the House at the moment. I hope he will take part in this debate. I have said that we should learn from the mistakes of the past. On no other question have so many mistakes been made as were made on the question of Partition. I will be anxious on this matter to hear the views of some of the Front Benchers of the Opposition.

A short time ago there was a resolution moved here by Deputy Cosgrave. The wording of that resolution was that negotiations be opened again with the British Government on a more comprehensive basis than on the land annuities. In reply to an interruption by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, who asked "Would you include Partition?", Deputy Cosgrave replied: "Yes, I would include Partition." I do not want to say anything that would savour of recrimination, but I would like to hear from responsible Deputies on the Opposition, from Deputy Cosgrave or Deputy Dillon, their views on the matter of Partition. I wish they would tell us in the course of this debate what their attitude to Partition is. I have my own views as to what their attitude on Partition was. I have an idea of the weakness that was shown when they should be strong. When this question was an issue between the late Government and the British Government, our Party did not take advantage of that to gain either kudos or Party capital. In 1925, at the time of the Ultimate Financial Settlement, the question of Partition was the main subject that was being discussed. We did not go round the country at that time saying "I told you so." A very prominent member of our Party approached the Government at that time in Merrion Street, asked them to stand for whatever rights they had under the Treaty, and told them that we would stand with them on that issue. That is how the matter was approached by us at that time. That is why I say that we should learn from the past. This question of Partition is not going to be solved by Deputy MacDermot's resolution. I know that it is going to be a difficult and indeed a very hard problem to solve. I would be the last to say or do anything that would make the matter more difficult or more unapproachable. I should hate to do anything that would make its solution less possible. I know that there are others who think as keenly as I do on this subject. But, like my colleague, Deputy Mrs. Concannon, I happen to come from the Six-County area. When I hear discussions here on this subject of the Border, and when I hear Deputies referring in terms of this State and mentioning the name of Ireland, naturally my mind on all occasions turns to one thing. I regret to say that it has so happened that a great many people think of the Twenty-Six Counties as Ireland. That is not so. I find fault with anybody who tries to convey that impression. In a speech last night Deputy MacDermot said that there is a homogeneous unit in the Six Counties. What are the facts? It was only a short time ago that the people of Tyrone and Fermanagh brought back their Deputies from the British House of Commons. They brought them home. The people altered the decision they had given to send their members to the House of Commons. I want to tell Deputy MacDermot that there is a huge majority in South Armagh for the Republic. Not alone in Armagh but in Derry City, in Tyrone and Fermanagh, and in all these other areas the fact is that if a plebiscite were taken to-morrow—and the same would apply in one Parliamentary constituency in Belfast—there would be found a very big majority for a united Ireland. Everybody knows that. Yet we had it represented here last night that in the areas I have mentioned all the people hold one view on the advantage of being linked up to the British Empire at any price and at any cost.

Deputy MacDermot suggested that the economic building up of the Free State should be stopped for fear it might conflict with the interests of the people operating in the same sort of business in Northern Ireland. We were told by Deputy MacDermot that we should leave the Irish language alone; that we should stop talking about the Republic which he described as a fraud and a phantom, and stop building up the economic strength of the Free State. Surely the Deputy was not serious in suggesting that we should stop building up our country industrially and economically. Again and again in speaking on this matter and in adverting to it I say that it is the people who engineered this plan of Partition in England who are responsible. At the time when there was a big campaign on, Lloyd George told us that one Parliament would not be enough for this country. We should get two, he said. Well, we got two. Look at the price. It costs £12,000,000 for the upkeep of the Parliament in Belfast and the Parliament here is costing £26,000,000.


Yes, I am taking an average. It will cost £28,000,000——

It is costing £38,000,000 to run the Free State this year.

I am talking of the amount of taxes that will be levied for the upkeep of these two Parliaments.

The Deputy should give the facts accurately.

These two Parliaments have been operating for 15 years. There are boys and girls in the street outside now who were not born when these two Parliaments began to operate. At the end of another 15 years some of these will be in here and they will ask what we have done in this matter of Partition. They will ask how it came about that Partition was tolerated. They will try to get to the root of the whole evil. Deputy Brennan, and perhaps Deputy Dillon, might agree that in the recent bye-elections I fought with people who said that these elections were merely a vote of confidence in the Government. The speakers on our side at those bye-elections made the point that the question was a united Ireland and they made it clear that the people of the Six Counties trusted only one Party in this country and that is the Fianna Fáil Party, who at no time or period consented to or recognised the Partition of this country in so far as they possibly could.

When this motion comes along, asking the President of the Executive Council and the Government to proceed a little faster—because, I presume that is the meaning behind the motion —surely it is not asking the Opposition too much, although they erred in the past, to unite even now on the subject of unity. Surely the time has arrived when this question might be made one of national importance, so that the unity of the nation can be helped forward. There is no party and no individual with a monopoly of commonsense or of all the patriotism. I never, at any meeting, made the statement that the people who took the Treaty did wrong towards this country. I always gave credit for this, that they thought at that particular time, by taking the Treaty they were doing the best for this country. Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way. I ask any Deputy to go to the Library and to read the Treaty debates that took place when the question of Partition was discussed, and to read the speech of President de Valera on this subject at that time. Deputies should read the speeches that were delivered at that period and up to the present time on this question. I ask Deputy MacDermot to do so, in particular. It is a pity, before he introduced this motion, that he did not make himself a little more au fait with the whole question of Partition, and for this reason, that no motion on any Order Paper is going to remove or to undo the harm that has been done. In the past there has been weakness on this question. It has not been properly handled. There is a certain grievance on the part of the people of Northern Ireland that they did not get the consideration to which they were entitled from the people who were in power in this portion of Ireland, prior to this Government coming into power. The impression was that so little concerned were the people of Southern Ireland about this question, that harm has been done which might be irreparable later. I believe that the people and the country will always respond to anything that will lead to the eventual unification of the country. The proof that Partition was of British manufacture is shown in the fact that no Irishman, Unionist or Nationalist, during the whole period of that discussion in the British House of Commons voted in favour of two Parliaments for this country.

Everyone's hands are clean as far as that particular question is concerned. It may be a difficult job to tackle now and approaches may have to be made. One thing is certain that while that sore is there it will always be a source of irritation. It will be a legacy that will create irritation in days to come. If some advance is not made to deal with that big burning question, history will deal harshly with everyone who did not make an attempt when the opportunity offered. I appeal to members of all Parties, to the Opposition, to the Independents and to Labour, to realise that the crime of Partition was manufactured in England and that it is like an ulcer eating into the very vitals of the country as a whole. How can we go on and prosper while two Parliaments are functioning and spending the amount of money I mentioned? In such circumstances is there any hope for the future? I know that there are people on the other side of the Border who were very unapproachable some time ago but, as time went on, their views became mellowed on this question. I can tell you that they hold different views now, and that they are quite easily approachable as a result of the economic pressure that has arisen from the Border between the North and the South.

What remedy does the Deputy suggest for this admitted evil?

I have one remedy. The question put to me by Deputy Dillon is reminiscent of the question that used to be put to Parliamentary candidates in the old Sinn Féin days: "If you do away with the Irish Party what in goodness will you do?"

Answer the question.

It is a job for this nation as a whole.

I thought the Deputy's view was that it was a job for the British.

Undoubtedly, to try to force the British to come along on this question again. I heard it stated by the President that the British had practically refused to discuss the matter. There are other subjects that they refused to discuss but they have discussed them since. They always adopted that attitude in the past. When they do not want to discuss something they say that. Surely to goodness if this country goes forward on the lines I suggest, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility to make them discuss the question of Partition. Deputy Dillon, I suggest, would like me to say something to which he could "cotton on," and use in the country to try to bolster up their broken ranks. Deputy Dillon got us more votes at the last two by-elections than anyone else.

That is true. It won Wexford for you.

If the Deputy wants me to say something that might give him a text on which to approach the people once more, I am afraid he has gone about it in the wrong way. I do not do that sort of thing, particularly on big matters like this. There is only one thing more I should like to deal with, and that is Deputy MacDermot's speech. Deputy MacDermot does not like the Irish language. Unfortunately I was brought up in a place where the Irish language was not spoken.

What did the Deputy say I did not like?

The Irish language.

That is not true.

Does the Deputy want to explain his attitude?

No, I will have an opportunity of speaking later. I was perfectly explicit.

You said that Wolfe Tone, Parnell and someone else—I believe it was Daniel O'Connell—did not speak Irish.

That is not what I said.

That is what is reported in the newspapers.

That is not reported.

Thomas Davis was a good Irishman and he has been quoted very often as to his attitude to the Irish language. Here is what he said about Irish and Independence:

"Had Swift known Irish, he would have sown his seed by the side of that nationality which he planted, and the close of the last century would have been the one as flourishing as the other."

That was Davis's attitude.

Is the Deputy aware that Davis expressed the opinion that Ireland should be neither Gaelic nor Saxon, but Irish?

I quoted the words of Davis, and I take it that these words expressed what was in his mind when he wrote that.

Not what was in the mind of Deputy Donnelly?

I am interpreting what was in the mind of Davis, and I can only judge by what he has written. I have dealt, as far as I can, with the three reasons why Deputy MacDermot wants this motion passed. It is not the first time such reasons were put up. One condition, I think, was put up by Cromwell, that anyone speaking Irish should be put to death. The second condition was republicanism. I should prefer not to have to refer to that again, because, after all, people on the other benches were as much in the Republican movement as men on these benches. It is not a phantom, a fraud or a sham, no matter what Deputy MacDermot, or even Deputy Dillon, says, where a man makes a great sacrifice for any movement that he believes in. Many men in Ireland went to the scaffold and met the hangman's rope in the Republican cause before the English drove the wedge of the Treaty into our ranks. The man who gives his life for any cause is neither a sham nor a fraud.

This question is workable from many angles. Very well. I do not think that even that advice would be taken. But if that be the price that we have got to pay on this matter of winning over an intolerant minority in Belfast, I am afraid that we are not going to pay it. It is bad enough for individuals to be apostates, but to be an apostate nation is far worse. I suggest to Deputy MacDermot that, before he approaches this question again, he should take it up in Belfast and speak to some of the Ministers there. I said last night that the one thing that is doing more harm, and that has done more harm, in this country than anything else is the bane and the plague of sectarianism. Before Deputy MacDermot lectures Ministers here, I think he could find a fertile field for his efforts if he were to approach the Minister for Agriculture in Northern Ireland, the gentleman who boasted openly in his speeches that he has never employed a Catholic in his life and encourages those who follow him to do the same thing. That is what we want to keep away—the spirit of sectarianism and bigotry. Anyone who says that the heart of North-East Ulster does not beat as soundly as that in any other part of Ireland does not know that area. Surely to goodness the results of the last general election prove that. The people in South Down proved that by their mandate in electing President de Valera by a record majority. The other candidate, a left-wing Republican, was elected against all comers in South Armagh.

I am glad that this House has once more got the opportunity of giving expression to its opinion that its sympathy, at any rate, is with the people of the North, and that the people here will do their best later on to try and unify the country. I do not want to labour this question further. I hope that at least I have been courteous in any arguments that I have put forward, and that I have not trespassed too much on the patience of the House. I also hope sincerely that no words of mine have given offence to any Deputy. My respect and admiration for this House is due to this, that it is the Parliament representative of Twenty-Six Counties. It is not an all-Ireland Parliament, but I hope and trust, old and all as I am, that I will live to see the day when the Protestants of the North and the Catholics of the South will meet together in a common Parliament for a common country.

I believe a reasonably good case could be made in support of the very mild motion standing in the name of Deputy MacDermot, but I certainly think that Deputy MacDermot made no attempt whatever to make any case in support of his own mild motion. My mind gets frozen sometimes when I hear Deputies, and especially a Deputy like Deputy MacDermot, quote Wolfe Tone in support of that anti-Nationalist speech which he delivered in this Assembly last evening. I think it is about time that living politicians should give up quoting the speeches of dead patriots in support of living issues which only living politicians can face and deal with. The name of Wolfe Tone has been used and abused by every Party in this country within the last ten or fifteen years, but it was never more abused than it was here last evening by Deputy MacDermot in support of his speech which, I think, will be a blot on the records of this House. Deputy MacDermot's speech—I do not want to be disrespectful to him personally—could very properly be delivered in Stormont or in London. It could be delivered by any intelligent man, even though he might not be an Irishman, who had read books written by Professor O'Brien or any other professor, Irish or otherwise, on the question of Partition.

Deputy MacDermot used a lot of lovely phrases last evening, and for what purpose? For the purpose, as far as I could follow him—and I listened to him very attentively for 57 minutes —of trying to induce the Deputies of this House, or the people of the Free State, to go into the Six Counties, and not for the purpose of inducing our Northern fellow-countrymen to join with their fellow-Irish men in making laws for this country in an All-Ireland Parliament. He said, in effect: "Go with your cap in your hand and try by surrendering every national right and claim which the people of this country have a right to make"—which we have no right to surrender—"go with your cap in your hand and tell them that you will win their confidence by doing all these things, and having promised them that, then live in the hope"—a very vain hope, as far as I can see—"that they will join with you if they get a dominating influence in the institution which will be responsible for the future government of this country."

Deputy MacDermot had a nerve to ask the members of this House "Do we realise what is involved in this question?", the question, I presume, referred to in the motion standing in his name on the Order Paper. Every Deputy in this House with a national outlook, no matter what Party he belongs to, knows that his membership of this House, or any mandate that he may have received since the House was established, does not give him the right to surrender, for any purpose whatever, the claim for the complete independence of this country. I am certain that if Deputy MacDermot's speech were read carefully and digested by his constituents in Roscommon, that it would be repudiated by four-fifths, if not by nine-tenths, of the people who sent him into this House. Deputy MacDermot talked, as I have said, in lovely language. We in this House are quite well used to Deputy MacDermot's lovely, well-chosen phrases on this and on every other question that he speaks on, but the Deputy never said one word about the persecution of our Catholic nationalists and fellow-countrymen in the Six Counties.

That is not true.

The Deputy did not say anything that impressed me, and I listened to his speech attentively. I listened to him with greater attention than I have listened to any Deputy who has spoken in the House for a very long time.

I am not responsible for the Deputy's impressions.

I think the Deputy should speak with a greater sense of responsibility than to ask intelligent Deputies: "Do they realise what is involved in the problem of Partition." Of course we do. I do, at any rate. I realise this much: that you can never settle the differences between this country and Britain until you first settle the Partition question. I hope the Deputy realises that, too. He will realise, before this debate concludes that he is not going to get a settlement of the question by surrendering national principles. He says there is no necessity to ask the British to interfere in the solution of this question except to ask them to use moral compulsion upon those citizens in the Six Counties who prefer association with the British Empire rather than with their own fellow-countrymen. I would say to the British that the majority of the people of this country decided long before this House was set up, and on several occasions since, that their armed forces have no right to occupy any portion of this country. I would say further to the British that if they want a settlement on the question of Partition, or want to make it possible to have a settlement effected in this country between Irishmen, their first duty is to take their own forces away from those parts of this country which the Irish people never gave them the right to occupy. If they have any right to occupy the Six Northern Counties of this State by reason of any arrangement made under the Treaty, or under any subsequent legislation, their duty is to protect our Northern Nationalist and Catholic fellow-countrymen from being murdered and their houses and homes from being burned. That is part of the question which I have intervened in this debate to ventilate. I am of the opinion that this Government, as well as the late Government, have not used the international machinery at their disposal, through the League of Nations, for the purpose of advertising to the world the terrible atrocities which are being committed in Belfast and the Six Northern Counties.

I should like to ask the President whether he can give any good reason to this House why the machinery of the League of Nations has not been made use of to better advantage for the purpose of ventilating the grievances of the people of Ireland as a whole and, particularly, of our Northern Nationalists and Catholic fellow-countrymen and their treatment by the British forces and other forces there who have no right to occupy that part of our country. I believe it would have been quite a right and proper thing for the representatives of the late Government and the present Government to raise this question openly at the League of Nations. I have a recollection of the representatives of this Government and the late Government being members of what is called Minority Commissions set up by the League of Nations to deal with allegations of the persecution of minorities in other countries. I do not see why this State could not have raised long before now the question of the persecution of our Northern Nationalist and Catholic fellow-countrymen and in that way advertise the existence of this terrible problem of Partition and of the suffering which is being borne by some of our fellow-countrymen in that part of the country.

Not a word of what we say this evening or what was said yesterday evening upon this motion will be let go out to the people of the British Empire. The British Press Agencies, you may be certain, are at work for the purpose of suppressing anything that may be said during this debate in connection with the persecutions in the Six Counties. But if President de Valera thought fit, or if his predecessor in office thought fit, to raise this question openly at the League of Nations, we might bring world opinion to bear upon the British for the purpose of compelling them to get out of that part of the country in which the people of this country do not want them.

We have to win the confidence of the Unionists of the North, in the opinion of Deputy MacDermot, before we can solve the problem of Partition. I suppose that is quite true. But one of the ways in which I think we are entitled to win the confidence of the Northern Unionists is by proving, as is evident to anybody who wants to recognise it, to these people, if anything can be proved to them, the way their fellow-Unionists have been treated in the State over which this Government has jurisdiction. I do not think that there is any part of the world where a minority has been better treated than they have been by the previous Government and the present Government in this State. That is one of the points that might be put to them very forcibly by Deputy MacDermot or by anybody else who has influence with these Northern Unionists when talking about the possibility of finding a solution of the problem of Partition.

I do not profess to know a terrible lot about the mentality and outlook of the Northern Unionists. I met a good many people who call themselves Northern Orangemen. I do not know whether they are refusing to join with their fellow-countrymen in an All-Ireland Parliament because they are afraid that they would be victimised on account of their religious outlook or persuasion. I do not think that can be proved. I do not know whether that is true—whether that is the real reason why they will not face a solution of this problem, which will have to be solved in the long run. There is no evidence, at any rate, since this State was established of any attempt to victimise or prejudice the minority here for religious or political reasons.

What is the position on the other side? Deputy Donnelly has just told us that Deputy MacDermot on one occasion stood for election to the British House of Commons for a Belfast constituency. Has Deputy MacDermot been in touch with what has been going on there for the last five or ten years? I had the doubtful privilege of listening on two occasions within the last five or six years to deputations which came from Belfast and the Six Counties to place before the Government here, and before the Opposition and representatives of this Party, the horrible conditions then prevailing in Belfast in particular. I venture to suggest that there is no part of the world that could claim to be civilised where the treatment of a minority has been worse than it has been in Belfast and other parts of the Six Counties controlled by Lord Craig-avon from Stormont. It is a terrible state of affairs.

I wonder has Deputy MacDermot ever made any protest to the British Government or to his Northern Unionist friends; or did he take advantage of his recent opportunity of meeting British M.P.s to put that case before them, or find out from what they, as members of the British House of Commons, were prepared to do to have the grievances of these people redressed and put right and to afford them the protection which their forces are there to give, if they have any purpose to serve in any part of this country. I should like to ask if he put the present position of the Northern Nationalists before the British M.P.s when talking to them on a recent occasion in the British House of Commons. We see in this country at present—I shall have to be very careful what I say about it—a movement recently organised—you will find people of all Parties in it—the Christian Front Movement. The speakers at their meetings are talking to audiences of 40,000 or 50,000 people in this country about the terrible state of affairs in Spain, while we had a worse state of affairs up to quite recently in our own country.

Why has the Deputy to be careful in what he says about it?

We collect money to send to Spain. I think, if we have a Christian outlook, it would suit these people far better to collect the money to look after their own fellow-countrymen in that corner of the country to which I am referring. Charity begins at home, and I think we should be charitable to our own people, and look after our own people who are in trouble before we look after people who may be in trouble in any other part of the world. A demand was put up to the British Government some time ago by representatives of the Northern Nationalists for an inquiry into the state of affairs that existed in that area and into the victimisation carried on over a number of years of workers and others in Belfast and other parts of the Six Counties. I understand that the people responsible for putting forward that demand to the British Government also subsequently waited upon President de Valera and asked for his support for an inquiry by the British authorities into the position in Belfast and other parts of the Six Counties. I should like to hear from the President whether any steps of any kind were taken, or whether any representations were made to anybody—to the League of Nations, to the British Government, or any other people with influence over the British Government for the purpose of having that inquiry or commission set up. I believe if such commission were set up, and if the light of world publicity were given to the conditions which have been prevailing there over a period it would do a good deal in its own way to bring the light of world opinion upon this whole problem and consequently help to some extent to bring about a settlement of the Partition question.

I believe myself, and the members of this Party believe, that one of the ways by which we may be able to induce our fellow-countrymen in the Six Counties to come into an All-Ireland Parliament is by the provision of better social services. We have always advocated from these benches the provision of better social services for the Free State, especially in the case of social services which we know are better in the Northern part of the country than they are here. This Government recently passed a Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Act. There is a far better Act in Northern Ireland. I believe that the provision of better social services is one of the ways by which the workers and the poorer section of the community in the six northern counties can be brought to realise the advantage of joining with their fellow-countrymen in an all-Ireland assembly.

I rose mainly for the purpose of asking the President, when speaking, to say whether he does not even now see the advantage of bringing this whole question before the League of Nations. I am not aware that there is any constitutional barrier to the Government raising this question at the League of Nations Assembly. By doing so, you would cast the light of world publicity on the unfortunate position of the Nationalists and Catholics in the North of Ireland and their treatment by both the Six-County Assembly and the British forces there to support the continuance of that Six-County institution. I hope that, if it is not a breach of confidence, Deputy MacDermot, when replying, will indicate, as Deputy Donnelly has requested him to do, what proposals, if any, he put before the British M.P.s whom he recently met on the occasion of his visit to the British House of Commons.

A Deputy

What is the policy of the Labour Party?

I feel quite certain he did not touch upon the policy of the Labour Party, and I assume he did not put the position of the Northern Nationalists and of the members of this House as he put it when moving this motion yesterday. From contact with British Labour members, I realise that the average British Member of Parliament and the British people, as a whole, do not understand the true position in relation to the Irish question, and I should be sorry to think that Deputy MacDermot put the situation to the British M.P.s in relation to Partition in the way he did when moving this motion yesterday evening. The Deputy is a public representative. He went over to Britain in his public capacity. He went there for some purpose and we should like him, when replying, to say what was the reason for his mission and what proposals he put forward, so that we may have the privilege of expressing our opinions upon them later on. That would give his constituents in County Roscommon an opportunity of saying at some future date whether they approve of the speech he made in support of this motion or the action he recently took when he met members of the British Parliament in the House of Commons.

Will Deputy Davin tell us what his proposals are for remedying Partition?

I made one suggestion.

The League of Nations.

Nobody would suggest that, if we did not take Partition, we would never get anything, as was suggested in 1916 in St. Mary's Hall.

Deputy MacDermot to conclude the debate.

Am I to take it that we are not going to hear anything from the member for South Down?

My anxiety in dealing with this problem is that I should not render the position more difficult. The problem which confronts the House and the country at the present time is a mighty one. If we examine the origin of it and how we have arrived at the present point, we should not, in a sense, criticise Deputy MacDermot. My opinion is that the Deputy is a soldier who believes in the Commonwealth and speaks out his opinions. My beliefs lie in another direction. The Deputy has made some statements which I think would not stand the test. For instance, he said that no British Government which withdrew its help from the North would continue to exist. Suppose this Government or this House adopted a similar attitude, on the other side, would they continue to exist? If we dealt with the North in earnest, if we dealt with it, as the President said at the Ard-Fheis—as if Britain were a million miles away—I wonder how long would Partition last. To me, the British are a menace and I am their enemy until they withdraw definately from the North and from the shores of this country. That is the position of all Irishmen who believe in independence and in the sentiment of republicanism. There are things about the word "republic" which, unfortunately, do not look well in the eyes of many people at the present time but, during the whole revolutionary movement, the responsible leaders at head-quarters—men on both sides of this House at present—gave orders, time and again, to us, as junior officers, to give fair play and every possible leniency to those who differed from us in religious convictions. Personally, I fulfilled that instruction to the letter. We had difficulties at one time in the South but I often pointed out that unless we showed toleration to those on the opposite side, the time would come when the very name of "republic" would be abhorred by the Irish people. Certain things and certain incidents have, unfortunately, happened lately which have cast discredit on the word "republic," but, as we understood it, it signified independence, as adopted by our President in 1918.

The one governing factor then was the reasonable hope of success. The whole revolutionary movement at that time was based on that reasonable hope of success. We had recourse to force of arms, but, theologically, it was necessary that that reasonable hope of success should exist. The jurisdiction of this Government does not go beyond the Twenty-Six Counties, but this may be the focal point from which success will be finally obtained.

Deputies have been asked for suggestions, and I shall give mine. In my heart, I never recognised the Northern boundary or the right of England to have any garrisons in Cork, Berehaven or Queenstown, as they call it. To-morrow, if I had the power or sole charge, I hope I would restore the former Constitution. I would say: "The absence of a reasonable hope of success does not justify extreme action, but, when the time comes, we will take it." In Europe to-day, every country is presented with accomplished facts. The same policy will obtain to-morrow. What is the cause of that? If you study it, you will find that it is the result of secret diplomacy and of intrigues conducted through diplomatic channels. Why have we so many dictators in Europe? Because there was no other available alternative. In the future, not many diplomatic notes will be presented before there is a quick turn in European countries either to the right or to the left. My opinion is that before we are 18 months older this House and this Government will be travelling along a road on which there will be only two turnings, one to the right and one to the left. A vital decision must then be made. My advice is to prepare for that moment.

Why has England treated this country so shamefully? A great writer has said that England will yet regret the day that she antagonised the Irish people. If to-morrow she were to come forward, using ordinary commonsense, and say to the Irish people: "Have complete independence by all means and give me the hand of friendship," I would be the first to welcome her. Irishmen, Irish Republicans, have no hatred for Englishmen. They believe that the Englishman is as good a man as can be found anywhere else in the matter of business. In ordinary business matters I have found them the straightest men in the world. But the fundamental principle of nationality remains.

Looking at it from that point of view, as Deputy Davin has pointed out, they may not possibly understand. England has a mighty Empire, but is there any Deputy here who is prepared to say that that Empire will be so mighty 18 months hence? Will that Empire exist 18 months hence? We can assume that England will be there for ever. The main point is will the Commonwealth be a living entity 18 months hence? We must remember that it was the faith that kept Ireland secure through the centuries. Away back in 1918 it was the faith that saved us and we can go back further and realise how effective it was in keeping Ireland secure. If we lack that, nothing is going to save us.

I would be the last to say a hard word of the President of the Executive Council. I realise that he has to face the greatest crisis of his career in the very near future. I hope God will give him the strength to go through with it and that he will have the Irish nation behind him. He should get every chance until that time comes. In the meantime, we must prepare ourselves in the 26 Counties to meet any attack that may be made upon us. Great things have been done within recent years in this country. I will say for the Minister for Agriculture that a glorious monument should be raised in his honour for one thing alone, his wheat scheme. He helped in that respect to create a basis upon which all other things can be built. From the point of view of national defence I feel that the manhood of Ireland should be united, highly disciplined and trained and under perfect control. Unfortunately under the conditions that exist that cannot be so and that is one of our weaknesses.

We at one time had a powerful Empire. We could depend upon the unity of the Irish race throughout the whole known world. There are writers who will tell you that it was because of certain things that happened here that the Truce originated in 1921. I hold that that is not so. I believe it had its origin in the unity of the Irish race the world over and the possibility of trouble, particularly within the British Empire. They realised that there was a cancer which was capable of eating into the heart of the Empire. Let us observe the great fundamental principles from the national point of view and let us all try to unite once more. Let us not preach toleration but practise it.

I have the greatest possible respect for the two men who have directly associated themselves with this motion. They were brought up in a different atmosphere. They speak out what they mean, and there is nothing wrong in that. The great wrong exists where we have men who may like to be covered by the protection of the Empire while talking of the other thing. That is the big danger. When people are willing to cling to the hope of being associated with the Commonwealth, why should they not speak out their minds? I have great admiration for those who say what they think.

I am opposed to this motion. I believe in following the other road and I believe also in giving the President every opportunity to prepare himself for the big crisis which is inevitably coming, when one road or the other must be taken.

I am sure many Deputies are rather disappointed that our President has not offered to say something on this subject. Perhaps he feels, like most of the members of the House, that it is a motion not easy to talk about. I think the mover and the seconder of this motion spoke exceedingly well. Both of them were very guarded in what they said, yet, the subsequent speeches have proven that other meanings from what I am sure they intended could be taken out of their words. It is not a subject about which I am very enthusiastic, because of those implications, yet I think it is only right and proper that a word or two should be said by one who comes from near the Border.

Partition in this country has worked tremendous inconveniences. This motion, to my mind, asks us to face the position as it is and try to find some remedy. The speaker who has just sat down, amongst other things spoke of some things which he never recognised. I think it would be better for all of us, no matter from what side of the House, if we recognised conditions which exist at the moment rather than try to hide our heads in the sand and disregard those conditions. We may all have a very strong conviction on different questions, but surely as men of the world, public men, we ought to realise that we cannot all have our own way and that between nations and individuals, parties and individuals, there must be compromise and there must be a recognition of certain standards as they exist to-day. I think that if we had a more frank recognition of these things and if we faced them in a more reasonable mood, we might perhaps arrive at a solution much more quickly.

I am sure that both the mover and the seconder of this motion were sincere in bringing it forward. We might, perhaps, question the wisdom of it, but, after all, why should we not try to face up to the realities of the moment? After their two moderate speeches, I was rather disappointed that we should have been at once thrust into the atmosphere of political prejudice by Deputy Donnelly. I thought that both the mover and the seconder created an atmosphere in which we could speak frankly to each other, but yesterday evening it was disappointing that Deputy Donnelly should have made his usual bitter, electioneering speech. To-day we had Deputy Davin speaking in the same way. The Leader of the Opposition in this House on one occasion made a remark which I have never forgotten and which, I think, contains a deal of worldly wisdom. He said that when disputes arise, all the vices are not on one side and all the virtues on the other. We cannot, by a wave of the hand or by a little excitement, push these things to one side and if any argument was wanted for Partition, I think the two speeches we listened to from these Deputies constitute an argument that might have been put in the forefront, because of the manner of their delivery and of the words that were used.

I do not stand here this evening to make defences for anybody, and I do not think that there was any need to bring into this debate a good deal of the matters that were brought in. We have a Border in this country, and I believe that a good deal of the trouble and inconvenience of that Border can be mitigated and that in time it will disappear, but it will not disappear by, if I may use a vulgarism, barking across the Border at one another, but by meeting as business men, keeping our heads cool and seeing how best we can work together for the land that we all love. I believe in going back to the old teaching of long ago that came from the mouth of the Great Teacher Himself, that before we try to take the mote out of our brother's eye, we should take the beam out of our own eye. That brings us to the question: What have we to offer for the ending of Partition to our Northern people? There was a time when there were great hopes that there would be no Border and that the North would not have opted out. The business element of Northern Ireland were thinking very seriously along those lines, but, because of certain happenings in our country, the arguments that were used unhappily were thrust aside. To-day, let us think of it along the lines of how we can help each other and how we can attract Northern Ireland to ourselves.

I am speaking now, not in the interests of any Party, but entirely from the economic point of view. What have we to offer to the farmers of Northern Ireland in the Free State to-day? We are to-day making a spectacle of ourselves by spurning our best market and reducing our trade to a mere shadow of what it was in days gone by. Deputy MacDermot said that economic conditions made an appeal to the hard-headed North of Ireland men. I have had business relations with men in the very South of Ireland and the very North of Ireland, and if a business proposition is put before a North of Ireland man, he will soon rise to it. Deputy Davin brought in a point about the persecution in Northern Ireland. He spoke in very general terms and I do not think it is a matter which might be very widely discussed on this motion. He went on to say that in Northern Ireland the widows' and orphans' pensions were a much better social service than we have here to-day, and so far as I know, all those social services are available to every citizen in Northern Ireland who qualifies under the conditions. I have used this expression before, and perhaps it is no harm to repeat it now. I have been in business as a salesman for many years and I have never succeeded in inducing a Northern Nationalist to buy land in the Free State, although we can offer them better land than they have. I meet these men and I am on the friendliest terms with Northern Nationalists at our fairs and markets, and they would no more dream of coming to take up land in our country than they would of going to Spain at the moment.

Much has been said both by the mover and the seconder of the treatment of the minority in this country. I am proud and glad to say that from all parties in this House, since I became a member of it, I have received nothing but courtesy, although a member of the minority and representing the minority. I have never suffered any loss, so far as I know, because of religious convictions, but I say also that if the minority in Northern Ireland had brought the same loyalty to conditions there as the minority in Southern Ireland brought to conditions here, we would have an united Ireland to-day. That is, perhaps, stressing things very far, but we all read the newspapers, and we see that in the Northern Ireland Legislature we have speeches in the tone of that delivered by Deputy Donnelly, which I do not think are, on the face of them, fair and which show that there has not been given the same contribution that we have tried to give to this State. As the minority in this country, we believe in obeying the law in so far as it is possible to do so. We have loyally supported President Cosgrave and we have loyally supported President de Valera maintaining law and order in this country, and in helping to make this country as prosperous as we can. We have given our little meed, and I think I can claim that we have been useful citizens, and I leave it at that.

Some people have asked to-night for suggestions as to how Partition is to be ended. One suggestion I would make, just as if I were making it to two individuals. Let us make our State prosperous. Let us eliminate from our State anything that savours of spite or envy, and when we have made our State right, ask others to come into partnership with us, but so long as we maintain the attitude which we have adopted in certain matters, such as in agriculture, which is the mainstay of both parts of the country, we can never hope to bring in the other party to join with us. One might travel into other realms, but I want to confine myself to the narrow limits observed by the mover and seconder of the resolution. I say we have our part to do; let us be sensible and let us get on to normal conditions. Let us do away with this so-called economic dispute and it will go a long way towards settling and easing the Partition problem. I do not want to descend into any of the thrusts that were given in criticising the mover and the seconder of the motion, but I say that we are all Irishmen. Our Citizenship Act which we passed some little time ago settled that question, I think for all time, and defined who were citizens of this country. We have all a contribution to make to it, and, as representing what has been described earlier in this debate as the minority, I say that we are anxious that this country should be prosperous and we will do our part in helping, as far as we can, so that the conditions under which we live will be better for everybody.

I suppose, though I would very much like to do it, I dare not treat this motion as it really deserves to be treated, that is to ignore it. The mover and the seconder of the motion have made no case whatever. They have not tried to make a case. They talked about history; they talked about everything under the sun, but they did not try to put up a single argument in favour of their contention that the Government was paying insufficient attention to the question of Partition, unless indeed we are to conclude, as I think one of the speakers on this side already concluded, that the only way to end Partition was for us here in this part of Ireland, although we are the majority of the whole nation, to surrender and give up every ideal that appealed to us and that we thought right.

I think we are entitled to resent the attitude of those who here speak to us as if the people of this part of the country were responsible for Partition or that there is anything which we could reasonably do which we have not shown our willingness to do to end Partition. Surely it is an absurd position to take up that the majority of the people of this country must surrender everything that they think right and proper, in order to bring the minority into what should be for them, as for us, a common nation.

I have not merely listened to the speeches that were made by the proposer and the seconder of the motion; I hoped to read something into the speeches which might deserve a reply, but all I have been able to gather in reading these speeches, as well as listening to them, is exactly what I have said—the assumption that we were to blame for this, that the minority was right, that the minority should get everything they wanted and that we should surrender everything we wanted in order to bring them in. They have not even shown us that even if we were willing to surrender most of these things it would bring in the minority. Those Deputies know very well what has been the attitude all through the past. They know now Partition came about by the action of the minority which felt that they were supported elsewhere, and were strong enough elsewhere, to do in this country what no minority would do in any other country. In the United States of America there were a number of States which, for years, took one political view. Who is going to think that the minority there would have been justified in cutting off these States because they differed from the majority in the Union? I hold that there has been no justification at any time for the actions of the minority. I say that if a motion like this were brought into the Northern Parliament it would be understandable and it would be justifiable, but those who bring a motion of this kind here know perfectly well— they have admitted it in their speeches —that everybody in this part of the country is interested in the unity of Ireland, that everybody in this part of the country would do anything that is reasonable to bring Partition to an end.

Having read the speeches delivered on this motion I can find nothing useful in them. The only thing that I would think worth recording or worth re-reading is a statement made by Deputy MacDermot. It is the truth, at any rate, and fundamentally sound. He said that he thought anyone was living in a fool's paradise who imagined that the people of this country would reconcile themselves to Partition or that good relations between the Free State and Great Britain ever would be possible on the basis of Partition. That is the truth, and it is well that all who are interested in this question should understand that. It is fundamental; we all admit that. There has been no suggestion on their side as to how Partition should be brought to an end. Force is out of the question. That is nothing new for us to say. We have admitted it at all times. I am not saying now that force would not have been justified, but we have always, since 1921, at any rate, and even before that, admitted that as far as this part of Ireland is concerned, to compel the minority by force to be part of the whole country and to acknowledge that they were part of this country was out of the question. We have simply said that Partition is unjustifiable, that no case has ever been made for the separation of the Six Counties from the rest of the country. Conceivably a case might be made for a certain portion on the basis that they were a homogeneous community, a very small group in the neighbourhood of Belfast, but it is only in the neighbourhood of the City of Belfast that there is anything that would justify it on any grounds. I do not say it is justifiable. I have indicated that I would not regard that as justifying portion of the United States cutting itself off from the Union, so I do not think that even that small portion here would be justified. There might be some basis for a case for a minority, where it seemed to be homogeneous, in the neighbourhood of Belfast, cutting themselves off, but there is no justification for that minority compelling those who are in the hinterland—who wish to be united with the rest of the country, and who if they were given an opportunity of expressing their votes would vote to be united with the rest of the country —to be cut off.

I am talking to people who know all those facts. What is the use in my speaking about them? I myself believe that motions like this, instead of doing any good, do a great deal of harm. We feel very strongly about this down here, and it is extremely difficult to speak calmly about it because we regard as a cruel outrage this whole question of Partition. Deputy MacDermot asked us to have faith. We have faith. We are perfectly satisfied that this country will be united, and that empires will go to pieces long before the desire of the Irish people to have their own country to themselves will cease. We are perfectly certain of that. We may not be able to bring it about to-day or to-morrow, but if the Irish people remain as true to themselves in the future as they have been in the past there is no doubt whatever about it.

Deputy MacDermot's cure is that we should surrender everything. Let us take some of the things he wants us to surrender. In the realm of mere politics he wants us to surrender the desire that the majority of our people have to be independent. That is what it means. He shakes his head, but he knows as well as I do that when Home Rule, as a very milk-and-water form of independence, was mentioned, they did not want Home Rule. He talks about making Ireland a part of the Commonwealth. I have challenged him here, and challenged all those who want to have it as a useful Party label to talk about the unity of Ireland, to get from the people in the North a single expression which would lead any reasonable man to believe, if the majority here were to be content and satisfied with being a Dominion in the British Commonwealth, that you could secure the unity of Ireland on that basis. Let us hear either from the English or from the people of the North that that is a truth, and then the people of Ireland will know where they stand. Then perhaps they might build up a Party on the basis of a united Ireland. But the people of this country are not fools. They know perfectly well that the people who were asked on a previous occasion about a basis like that said "not an inch". The people who said "not an inch" then, are likely to say "not an inch" to-day.

Possibly, if we went back and had a Union Parliament in Westminster again we might have a united Ireland. What form of united Ireland would it be? What would Ireland be then— as a political unit anyhow? Possibly— I do not believe it myself—under some form of federation in which you would have some kind of common Parliament again for the two countries Ireland might appear as a unit, but the only basis on which I have ever seen that those people in the North—the minority whom it is said we are not doing proper things to win—were prepared to be united with us was that this Parliament should allow itself to be completely absorbed. Undoubtedly they will glorify the name of Ireland as a sort of geographical term, but they have not been thinking—certainly as far as I can see—in terms of Statehood or even of nationhood. We are to surrender, then, all our political ideals. We are to surrender our ideals of what Irish nationhood should mean to our people. We must, of course, give up all ideas of trying to restore the language, because if we move in that direction we are going to antagonise the people in the North. We have been told that there is a religious difficulty. I suppose we are to surrender our religion, too, as a method of bringing about this unity. That is the sort of talk we have been treated to by the people on the opposite benches, who knew perfectly well that that line of talk is going to get us nowhere. Have the majority any rights whatever in Ireland? Is there to be no limit to what they must do? Must they completely obliterate themselves in order to bring about this good feeling which we are told is so necessary for the bringing about of unity?

I think that the majority of the people of Ireland as a whole have shown themselves in all this to be people who desire unity; who have tried to make no difference; they have always admitted the minority to equality, but they have said that they are not entitled to privilege, and I think it is right that the majority should say that. Equality they are entitled to, but in regard to privilege the majority have a right to say: "We will not give it to you." If there were a Party of 40 or 50 members here they would be entitled to their rights, to their voting strength and so on, but would they be entitled to settle policy here if they were not a majority? I cannot see any light whatever, any hope whatever, in the directions in which the movers of this motion would lead us.

The only way in which we can do our part is by acting honestly and justly and with conviction; doing the things that we think are becoming for us to do; not seeking to injure them, but doing the things that we think are right on our own account. We cannot, of course, completely forget that they are there. When we are making up our minds on certain lines of action it is right that we should keep that question in mind, and I think every reasonable man in any responsible position dealing with this matter will always do that, but when he has taken stock of the situation he may very properly say to himself: "Clearly, I cannot win these people by anything that I can do; then the best thing for me is not to frustrate myself in my own regard by omitting to do the things that I think are right and good in themselves." I think the proper thing for us to do here is to go ahead and do the things we want to do because we think they are right, and to trust very largely to the influence which they will have on the other people. If that has no influence on them, then you certainly are not going to have influence upon them by the methods which have been suggested by those who have been speaking to this motion. I think that is quite the wrong way.

Deputy Rowlette talked about compromise. I have nothing to say to the word. I am not one of those who have been talking about the word compromise at any time, or thinking that there is anything foul or wrong about it. It altogether depends upon the conditions under which the compromise is made, the nature of the compromise, and what it is all about. Speaking about selling the cow, I thought that the diplomacy of McGrath the cattle-jobber was somewhat better than the diplomacy which was recommended by Deputy MacDermot and Deputy Rowlette in that regard. Speaking about the cow business, it is extraordinary how lies will continue to circulate and be believed. I never made that statement about selling a cow. That originated in a report which I made on the attitude of Mr. Lloyd George. After my interview with him I reported that it seemed to me his attitude was like that of a man selling a cow at a fair; he wanted to get the highest price he could. Of course, it was turned around in quite the other direction. However, that is a small matter. But when it was mentioned I did think that the best way to get them to go after you was to walk the other way. There was more in that diplomacy than in the diplomacy of Deputy MacDermot.

Walking the other way, as far as we are concerned, simply means this: that we have political ideals here, social ideals here, national ideals, and other ideals, and that we propose to pursue those ideals to the best of our ability to satisfy the longings and the aspirations of our own people down here. We believe that we are entitled to do it. We believe that our people are entitled to do it, and we believe, further, that we are injuring nobody in doing it. Furthermore, we believe that we will get far more respect by doing so than if we were to surrender everything in a faint hope—and a faint hope it would be, at any rate—that the people there are going to change their attitude towards us.

The questions of the Irish language and Irish nationality were inevitably brought in here in this debate, because the people who introduced the subject were not able to speak about it. They spoke around and around and about it, and, consequently, they had to bring in everything they could in the way of padding. As far as the Irish language is concerned, I think it is admitted that the great majority of the people in this country want to see it restored. Nobody, of course, who knows anything about it, doubts that the restoration of the Irish language is a difficult task. Some people, however, are only realising now that it is a difficult task, and because they realise that it is a difficult task they think that that is a reason to be discouraged. I think that the fact that it is a difficult task is only a reason to go faster, and that we ought not to pause or hesitate in the hope of getting some ideal way of restoring the language. The language can only be restored by personal effort, by personal encouragement, each to the other, to go ahead with the restoration of the language, and anybody who thinks that there is any royal road to the restoration of the language is making a big mistake. I do think, however, that people who wish to see the language restored, should be more careful in the methods they adopt and that they ought to consider whether the methods they adopt might not do a great deal of harm. It must be remembered that this is a critical period, and that to hesitate is fatal. Therefore, let us go ahead with the present method until it can be shown that it is not the right method.

I am not a little suspicious about the people who hesitate as to the road we are going on. I think that if you examine things a little bit deeper, you will find that the people who are opposed to us going on for complete independence, or for the restoration of the language, are only trying to find an excuse in the Northern situation for opposition to our progress. If they believe that the unity of the country is of vital importance, just as those who think that the restoration of the Irish language is of vital importance, I think they should be very careful, in introducing motions like this, that they are not doing more harm than good, because, if we are to have speeches such as we have heard today and last night—speeches which completely misrepresent the situation—completely misrepresent our attitude, which has been always one of goodwill—and which seem to throw the blame upon our shoulders, when, clearly, the blame is not on our shoulders, unless it is to be taken for granted that the majority must always surrender the things dear to them if the minority wants that surrender— well, then, as I have said, it would be better not to have such motions as this.

As I have said, I really would have preferred not to speak on this debate at all. However, I did not want to appear discourteous in not replying; but there is nothing, in any of the arguments put forward, to reply to. There has not been a single occasion on which the Government could reasonably have been expected to take action on which they have not done so. I have repeatedly made an equivalent statement to that of Deputy MacDermot, that anybody was living in a fool's paradise who imagined that the people of this country would reconcile themselves to Partition or that good relations between the Free State and Great Britain ever would be possible on the basis of Partition. In every case in which the Government could take action, the Government has done so. In every case in which it could take action, it has taken the action, both publicly and privately, referred to by Deputy MacDermot.

As far as the League of Nations, to which Deputy Davin referred, is concerned, there seems to be a misconception abroad. There is a definite feature of the Treaty of Versailles under which certain minority questions do not come up for discussion. The only way in which they could come up for discussion is when these problems involve the disturbance of the general peace of the world. You might make the case that certain problems were leading to unrest, so far as this country is concerned, but certainly not in the ordinary way in which people would say: "Why not raise this matter at the League of Nations?" As I say, there are a number of things which might be raised, but there is also the question of whether the raising of these matters might be useful or the reverse. In any case, we believe that in this particular question we are the aggrieved party, and not the aggressors. We believe that we are not the people who are doing wrong.

Sir, it is difficult to believe, as President de Valera sits down, that we have been listening to the leader of a Party who told the people of this country, time and time again, that he had a plan to end Partition; who, time and time again, derided his predecessors in office that they had done nothing while Partition remained unremedied in this country. The President gets up here now and tells us that he has turned his back on the problem of Partition because he believes it is insoluble and that he is going on, in this country over which Dáil Eireann rules, ignoring the situation in Northern Ireland in the conviction that he could do nothing to ameliorate it.

There was a man laid down his life in this country whose name was much derided by those who knew little of the work he did. He was a man with whom I was never politically associated. He was a man who turned his back deliberately on the acclaim of the mob. He was a man who at least never took up the position throughout his whole public life that he would be doing his duty by this country if, while occupying a responsible position, he turned his back on the Six Counties. The very week before he was struck down by a murderer in the streets of this city Kevin O'Higgins was negotiating for bringing the Six Counties into a united Ireland. He did not, like Deputy Donnelly, stand up to inflame passions and stir up feelings but he used his efforts in going about amongst the people whom he knew to be his bitterest political opponents striving to convert them and successfully converting them to his view that whatever politics we might have in this country, the best interests of all would be served by an Ireland that was united as one. The assassin's bullet ended that work and I confess with bitter regret that it has never been successfully taken up since that man was laid in the grave.

When I hear Deputy Donnelly in this House tearing passion to tatters, I often wonder if the Deputy for whom I have profound respect and deep regard, has any sense of responsibility at all for his own neighbours in the County Armagh. How he could use this debate to get up here and tear passions to tatters in Dublin while leaving the people of Armagh to take the consequences is, to me, surprising. How many heroes have we seen who have waxed eloquent on the right side of the Border and left our unfortunate people in the North to bear the consequences of the pogroms that ensued? Does Deputy Donnelly contend that the people of Northern Ireland should be driven into a United Ireland by British bayonets? Does he want the British Army to come over here and coerce the majority in Northern Ireland? Does he want them over for that purpose? He will not answer. He is silent. He does not know whether to say "yes" or "no." If he says "yes" it will not be popular in the Six Counties, and if he says "no" it will not be popular with the deluded individuals who support him in the South. If he does not want the British Army over for this purpose then does he want the Irish National Army to go up and conquer the Six Counties? Surely, Deputy Donnelly, before he waxes eloquent here about the awful crimes perpetrated in that area, should explain his words. As an influential member of the Party and as one fit to intervene in this debate what does he suggest? What solution has he for the evil of Partition? Is it a solution founded on violence? If it is not, what other course is open to him but conciliation?

Deputy Haslett, who speaks with all mildness, feels that he must rebuke the Nationalists of the North for their lack of co-operation in carrying on their campaign to end Partition. But surely the Deputy has mind enough to understand the situation when a Minister of the Crown in Northern Ireland gets up and says: "This is a Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people," and when he is supported in that by the Prime Minister. The Deputy must realise that that makes co-operation from the Catholic people of the North very difficult. It is language such as that from the leaders in the Northern Government, and statements like those of Deputy Donnelly in this House that precipitate the difficulties about Partition that we are faced with here. What individual parties in this State do or do not is not going, ultimately, to decide the issue in this matter. We have got to get the people on both sides of the Border to view this problem with cool minds and with guarded tongues. If we encourage individuals, by their speeches, to stir up harsh feelings we make that problem of Partition more complex than it is already. President de Valera says that Deputy MacDermot's speech may be read to mean that we must abandon history, and then with this antagonising gesture he says: "Are we to surrender our religion as well?" That is the kind of talk we get from the Leader of the Government.

Is it not good reasoning?

Good reasoning?

It is not good reasoning, and the kind of effective implication that is involved in these words is a matter to which I wish to draw the attention of the House. The President suggests that Deputy MacDermot or somebody on this side suggested that we should abandon our religion.

Because your argument then would be too apparent to anybody.

And we did not dare because we were too timid?

And that is the suggestion thrown out here in this debate by the President, who never uses a nasty word about his opponents, who always understands what his political opponents has in mind and whose record was never sullied by having spoken a harsh word of anybody. But nevertheless the President wishes to convey the implication that we here are prepared to abandon our religion only we are afraid of public opinion. We are all potential apostates according to the President.

I do not think that what Deputy Dillon says matters very much, but I do protest against the line of argument he is now following. I made it clear in everything I said, and I want to make sure that I will be understood. I stated that the line of argument that was being used on the other side would lead naturally to the question whether our religion also should not be abandoned in order that we should get unity. I wanted to make it clear that there are things that you will not and cannot abandon even for unity. The question is where the line is to be drawn in that direction.

The President is ever an expert at glossing his previous declarations. I attach importance on this occasion to the second gloss on the original statement. I regard it as useful that we have got it. If the President denies the implication of his words I have no desire to saddle upon him the meaning which should be drawn from them. I accept what the President says he meant, but it is different from what he said at first.

What the President said is clear to anybody with a reasoning mind.

Nobody suggests that for the cause of Partition or for any other cause in this country men should abandon their religion. I do not suggest that even to end Partition or for any other cause men should abandon their independence. My submission is that the political wrong for which President de Valera will one day have to answer is Partition; that he is primarily responsible in this country for identifying independence exclusively with the Republican form of Government. Independence is something for which men have died in this country. They died to make this country free, so that its resources might be used in the interests of the Irish people and in no other interests. It is on the shoulders of the leaders of the Fianna Fáil Party must lie the responsibility of persuading our people to the best of their ability that independence could only mean a republic and that nothing but a republic could mean independence. Leaving the Partition issue aside for the moment, I venture to say that there are Deputies here——

The Deputy must confine himself to the question of Partition.

I shall do so. The Chair might have waited until I had concluded my sentence.

If the Deputy desires to contest the ruling of the Chair there is only one method of doing so. The Deputy stated that he was departing from the question of Partition and entering into the broad issue of the political policy of the Government Party, which is not relevant. The Chair's ruling may not be brushed aside by a wave of the hand.

The Fianna Fáil Party has identified these two things, and there are Deputies in that Party at the present time who now see the dilemma into which this country has been led in regard to that matter. They recognise now that effective independence is available to our people without the tag "republic," and that the immense advantage of a united Ireland is receding from our grasp, largely as a result of propaganda conducted by the Fianna Fáil Party, which sought to persuade the Irish people that any other form of independence amounted to a betrayal of men who had laid down their lives in the past. It is that political falsehood that at the present time presents one of the greatest obstacles to re-union, and that political falsehood was the child of the Fianna Fáil Party. History is barren stuff, and I do not want to touch at length on certain references to past events made in the course of the debate. Deputy Donnelly sought to trace—I think unprofitably—the source and origin of Partition and to establish its root to a meeting held in the Ulster Hall in 1916. Partition was never consented to in the Ulster Hall in 1916. Permanent Partition was rejected by the leaders of the Party in Buckingham Palace in 1914. Permanent Partition was rejected categorically in the Ulster Hall in 1916. Perhaps I could give the Deputy a piece of history he did not know. The Minister of Munitions in England, as he then was, said the suggestion was made by the British Government that Home Rule should be put into force for 26 counties for the duration of the war, and at the end of six years, after being in force in the 26 Counties, the Six Counties would come in automatically by operation of law. That was the proposal he made for submission to the Belfast Convention. He was asked, in the event of that promise being withdrawn, would the Government of the day in Great Britain resign. He was also asked what guarantee there was for the ratification of that policy, and his reply was: "My personal honour." One of the representatives of Ireland who asked him if he had anything more substantial to offer, was informed that if the promise was broken the Government of Great Britain would resign in the middle of the war.

With that undertaking the representatives of Ireland came to the Belfast Conference, and in the desperate situation in which they found themselves they said: "We recommend to you the implementation of Home Rule with the automatic inclusion of Ulster at the end of six years; the establishment of our own Government, and the elimination from the country of the military Government at present being imposed on the people." Remember these were the same men who had been fighting to save the lives of the leaders of Easter Week. Remember we were in a situation then of extreme difficulty and great tension. That agreement was ratified at the Belfast Conference. When they went back to London they were informed by the British Government that it was proposed to make Partition permanent, and on that proposal they broke off negotiations and rejected the settlement. Deputies know that as well as I do.

And at the next general election they were wiped off the map.

That is perfectly true. They were not the first leaders with that experience.

The Deputy left the North. He was afraid to stay in it.

Save that I want to get that on record I want to leave history, and to come down to the problem that confronts us at the present time. Deputies are entitled to say to me: "Seeing that you are so ready to challenge Deputy Donnelly and Deputy Davin as to how they hoped to solve this evil, it is your duty to make your suggestion." I accept that task, qualified only by this consideration, that I have never at any time suggested to the Irish people that this was a problem soluble in a night or that there was a mysterious way of doing it. I have never suggested to the Irish people that the best solution of the Ulster question is to blast Ulster out of the way.

Who said that? That is another of the misrepresentations.

You said it.

I said immediately after the 1917 Election in Clare that Carsonism was the rock which would have to be blasted out of the path.

You said you would do it, but you never did it.

I have stated what I said then.

I always recognised that there was no short-cut to solve this problem. I recognise it now. But I say there are steps that can be taken which will bring a solution of the difficulty nearer in our day. I honestly believe that there are steps which could be taken which would solve the problem in our day. The first thing I ask Deputies and the people of this country to realise is, that it is a delusion to imagine that the plain people of Northern Ireland hate the plain people of Southern Ireland, or that the Protestant people in Northern Ireland hate their Catholic and Nationalist neighbours. I do not believe they do. You have got left-wingers in Northern Ireland just as you have left-wingers in Saorstát Eireann. You have got people down here prepared to say that everyone who is opposed to them in politics is a traitor. You have people in Northern Ireland prepared to say that everyone who does not wear an orange sash or draw blood from his knuckles on the 12th of July is a traitor. These are the people whose voices are heard. I represent a Northern constituency. I represent an Ulster constituency, in which there are Protestants and Catholics, and I want to say here that the relations existing between the vast majority of these people are the relations of good neighbours. Go and ask the average Catholic man in Northern Ireland, if the vast majority of his Protestant neighbours are not good neighbours, Christian neighbours, or ask the average Protestant farmer whether his Catholic neighbours are not good neighbours in their every-day life, and they will tell you that they are. I have known many cases in which Catholics in domestic trouble turn successfully to their Protestant neighbours and vice versa. There are many Protestants who when in trouble find their Catholic neighbours ready to help, and to help gladly. I say that the same thing obtains throughout the whole of the Six Counties.

I know that it has become popular to say that everyone who is not a good Catholic or Nationalist in the North hates with a deadly hatred the majority of his fellow-countrymen. I do not believe that. It was never true, and it is not true now. That fact established, let us face another fact. We have in Northern Ireland and in Southern Ireland an irresponsible gang of men who, for the purpose of pure party advantage in their own particular district, are prepared to beat the drum of intolerance and bigotry. Someone who wants to get a few votes in South Derry gets up and delivers a red roaring speech about the Protestant Boys, the Walls of Derry or a Protestant Government for a Protestant people. People who want seats in a constituency on the Northern Border are prepared to talk about blasting Ulster out of the way and abolishing the Border when we get the chance and declaring our readiness to shed blood, if needs be to restore the unity of Ireland. There is not a hair's difference between these two people. One is just as malicious and just as irresponsible as the other. Neither of them gives one straw about the major question of Partition. One wants to inflame Party feeling in South Derry, and the other wants to inflame Party feeling in a Border constituency purely and simply to get the votes which he thinks are requisite to return him to the Parliament in which he wants to sit.

There are vested interests in Northern Ireland which are opposed to reunion. These have grown up there since Partition was established, and I recognise what a formidable obstacle they constitute. Let us beware that in this part of Ireland vested interests are not going to grow up which will not want the abolition of Partition. Deputy MacDermot spoke of the general industrial policy of the Government. Surely, it is reasonable to say that in so far as is consistent with the general trend of Government industrial policy in this part of the country, we ought to avoid, in so far as we can, the setting up of industries here which will serve to create mighty vested interests against the ending of Partition. If you seriously mean that you are going to end it in our time, what are you going to do if you have invested enormous sums of national capital in industries which must either destroy an analogous industry in Ulster or be destroyed by a Northern industry. The more vested interests are created on both sides, the more these vested interests will be disinclined to end Partition.

There is a lot of talk in this country about a growing desire on the part of our people to end Partition. I believe that there are a large number of Deputies in the Fianna Fáil Party from southern constituencies who, from one year's end to the other, never give a moment's thought to it. If those Deputies on the far side are honest they will admit that that is true. Remember, it is not going to be such an easy job to get the requisite goodwill to surmount the comparatively simple obstacle of ending Partition. The longer Partition continues the more difficult it is going to be to end it, the more accustomed everyone is going to become to it.

When President de Valera gets up and says he regards it as a wholly evil thing that resolutions of this kind should be brought forward, I would like if he would tell us whether he himself does not apprehend that the passage of time may accustom the rising generation in this country to a condition of affairs which bitterly offends all of us who clearly remember the status quo ante the establishment of the Border. There are generations rising in this country who never knew Ireland without the Border. I say that we who did know it, we who have watched evils grow in this country as a result of the creation of the Border, have a duty to keep before the generations that are coming after us the knowledge of the fact that many of the evils that afflict this country at the present time had their origin in the Border, the existence of which they did not see, and the absence of which they never knew. I say that the plain people on both sides do not hate one another, and our object ought to be to try to spread the spirit of good feeling, as it exists among the ordinary people, as widely as we can through the ranks of politicians, and at least do nothing to shatter the good feeling that exists among the people on both sides of the Border.

I do not think that you can escape from the argument put forward by Deputy Haslett. You cannot ask the farmers or the manufacturers in Northern Ireland to come into this Free State if that is going to mean to them immense material sacrifices. You have got to secure in this part of the country a reasonable standard of living for the people. Deputy Donnelly scorns that suggestion. I put this to him. At the present time, suppose he goes to a Nationalist farmer in South Armagh and says to him: "You are getting a certain price for your cattle, sheep, eggs and poultry and the other products of your farm. I am prepared to give you a farm across the Border in the County Louth. You are getting 39/- for your cattle in Northern Ireland, and if you come to live in the County Louth you will have the privilege of selling them for 28/-." How many Nationalist farmers in South Armagh are going to come? How many have come over since the economic war began? Deputy Donnelly knows that I am facing facts, but he is trying to spin rainbows. If we honestly feel that it is very doubtful whether a Nationalist farmer would come over, what is the use of hoping that we can bring in an Orange farmer? That is what we are trying to do, to bring in Orange farmers and industrialists, saying to them that they are going to be treated with liberality and fairness, but that they will have to make immense material sacrifices in addition to doing something that they are not enthusiastic about doing. Is it sane or sensible to suggest that we are doing all that we can do to end Partition so long as we allow such a condition of affairs to continue?

The Deputy would not expect Deputy Haslett to say anything other than what he did say.

I am quite certain that Deputy Donnelly understands what I am saying and agrees with me, but does not think it expedient to say so. I say that there are few men in a stronger position at the present time than President de Valera to get Great Britain to contribute all that she could, in my opinion, contribute to a solution of this problem. I believe he could get from the British Government, if he really went about it, an open declaration that, though the British Government absolutely repudiate any right to interfere in the domestic affairs of this country, they were prepared to have it go on record that in their judgment the best service that Northern Ireland could do for the Commonwealth of Nations as a whole would be to join with Saorstát Eireann in establishing a free and independent Ireland within the Commonwealth. I believe he could get that. I believe that if he did get it would be a very valuable contribution towards the slow process of persuading the people of Northern Ireland to throw in their lot with us. I do not think there is any other way out of it.

I do not want national reunion except on the basis of conciliation. Suppose we could employ British bayonets to drive the Ulster people into Saorstát Eireann, I would not let them do it. I do not want Great Britain to interfere in the domestic affairs of this country. Suppose we had the opportunity of marching up with an Irish army and of starting a civil war to conquer Ulster, I do not want to do it. I want Ulster to come in on a basis of conciliation, and unless she does come in on that basis we are going to bring into this part of the country a burden instead of a blessing. That is going to take time; that is going to take patience; and it is going to take prudence. Sometimes one almost despairs of ever getting it done in the knowledge that these three things are essential to it. But I do not despair. I still hope it may come to pass, and I still hope it may come to pass in our time. I say that we can get reunion in this country, that we can get absolute independence for this country, and that we can make of this country in the future something like what we want it to be.

I do not agree that it is mischievous to bring forward a resolution of this kind, because I do not think the mover of a resolution of this kind should be expected to make allowance for the irresponsibilities of anyone who wants to talk about it. It is not the mover of the resolution who is mischievious; it is the people who make irresponsible speeches about it. On this question an irresponsible speech is a speech which is directed to exciting passion or anger on either side of the Border.

I believe that few people in the history of this country, or certainly in the last 20 years, had a better opportunity for expediting the reunion of this country than President de Valera has at the present time. We have absolute independence at the present moment, an independence more effective than almost any small nation in Europe enjoys, as was evidenced by the President's declaration that he proposed to enact in this House a Constitution for Ireland, drafted as if Great Britain were a million miles away. Compare that with the ability of Austria to act in internal matters. Compare that with the ability of Hungary to act in internal matters. We, who are here in the very shadow of Great Britain, can, not only do with this country precisely what we wish, but can notify her three weeks ahead that we are going to do it. We find ourselves enjoying that special form of independence which precludes her from moving hand or foot to threaten or restrain us from having that type of independence—absolutely effective independence. Having that, we can have the immense material advantages that we can get readily in the morning in association with the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Are we to throw away the immense spiritual advantage of that independence, the immense material advantage of that prosperity, the immense spiritual and material advantage of the reasonable prospect of an early ending of Partition for the name of a republic which is not to be a republic. It all comes back to that. Do our people want effective independence and sovereignty for a United Ireland, or do they want to fritter away our national wealth and national life in a futile attempt to vindicate the political past of a political party?

I put it to you that there is not a man on those benches who does not know whither we ought to be marching if we hope to make an end of Partition in our day. There is not a man on those benches who does not know that in a constitutional position which would be consistent with an early reunion of this State, we would have greater independence and liberty than we could under any other Constitution that could be devised. There is not a man on those benches who does not realise that, if he had the moral courage to face the fact that much of his political activity in the past was misdirected, and that it was time to face hard facts and resolve them to the best advantage of this country, he would come to take our view of the constitutional position here and that we could all work together for the realisation of the unity of Ireland. Bear this in mind: until the day comes when we can virtually all work together consciously to that end, not ignoring it, not forgetting it, but consciously work towards it, we can never end Partition.

The people of this country who were told that Fianna Fáil had a plan whereby Partition could be ended have been disillusioned once. They got a rude shock when President de Valera summoned up courage at the Ard-Fheis to face Seán Moylan and say to him:

"Partition cannot be ended by unilateral action and no one in Ireland knows that better than Seán Moylan."

Many people in this country got a shock when they heard President de Valera say that. It was the truth, the plain honest truth. But it was the truth that he took good care not to tell them five years before. So much is gained if that truth is understood — that unilateral action can get us nowhere, neither as between Ulster and the rest of Ireland nor as between one portion and another of this country. We have all to work towards it and realise that precious things require great effort, and that to achieve great things not only physical, but moral courage is necessary as well.

All will admit that President de Valera sometimes shows striking flashes of moral courage when he repudiates the more irresponsible parts of his own past. There is nothing in that wherewith he can be derided. In so far as he does it in the best interests of this country, it is something deserving of the respectful praise of every fellow-countryman he has got. I only hope that the sense of duty which he has shown on this occasion to his country may permeate the whole of his Party, and that the time will come when there will be sufficient moral courage on all sides of this House and of this country to recognise the sacrifices and the patience and the endurance that must be shown by all if we are to achieve what I believe the vast majority of our people still want—the unity of this country. Wanting it, I believe they can achieve it; knowing as I know that, outside the demagogues and politicians, there is no profound hatred, as has been alleged, between the plain people of our country. But, if we want to achieve that reunion, we will have to take our example from the good Protestant and Catholic neighbours in East Donegal and throughout the whole of the Six Counties, and not from the demagogues who clamour for a Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people or, on the other hand, from the so-called republicans who would outlaw anybody not prepared to adore at the shrine of their particular tinsel god.

I anxiously waited to hear Deputy Dillon's cure for Partition. We have heard him, but the only proposals we have got yet are the proposals of Deputy MacDermot—that we are to abandon our independence, that we are to abandon the Irish language, and that we are to abandon the establishment of industries here for our own people. There are only two things left to Deputy MacDermot to say: One, that we should change the National Anthem from "The Soldier's Song" to "Dolly's Brae" and the other, that instead of saying "Up the Republic," we should say "To Hell with the Pope." That would about finish it. Then we will be fit to be recognised by the gentlemen across the Border. I am glad that this debate has taken place, so that we can clear the air of one thing and one thing only. We are told that the people across the Border will never come in while this is there, while that is there, and while the other thing is there. Deputy Cosgrave was here from 1922 to 1932 and did they come in? There was no economic war then or bad prices for cattle, on the one side or the other. None of the differences were there in these happy days which we hear so much about. We did not see anyone of these Johnnies from the North coming across the Border to shake hands with us. Then we are told: "If you would only accept the Commonwealth of Nations, they would come in." What did they do? Deputy Donnelly read a letter last night written by Lloyd George to Carson. That letter contained a very definite guarantee. The accuracy of that letter was challenged by Deputy MacDermot but I think Deputy MacDermot will admit now that that letter exists.

But not as quoted last night.

Exactly as quoted last night. How far were these people prepared to go in order to avoid coming into a mock Home Rule Parliament here? I will give you a few quotations:—

"Can King George sign the Home Rule Bill? Let him do so and his Empire shall perish as sure as God rules Heaven. Let King George sign the Home Rule Bill and he is no longer my King."

That is a quotation from Carson. Here is another from the Belfast Evening Telegraph of August 27, 1913. I want this quotation taken in conjunction with the next one:—

"Sir Edward Carson had the honour of receiving an invitation to lunch with the Kaiser last week at Hamburg."

The Irish Churchman, of November 14, 1913, had the following:—

"It may not be known to the rank and file of Unionists that we have the offer of aid from a powerful continental monarch who, if Home Rule is forced on the Protestants of Ireland, is prepared to send an army sufficient to relieve England from any further trouble in Ireland by attaching it to his dominions, believing, as he does, that if our King breaks the Coronation Oath by signing the Home Rule Bill, he will by so doing have forfeited his claim to rule Ireland. Should our King sign the Home Rule Bill, the Protestants of Ireland will welcome this continental deliverer as their forefathers under similar circumstances did once before."

That is the distance these people were prepared to go before they would even allow Home Rule to come into operation. Carson went over to meet the Kaiser so as to bring him over here to the aid of the unfortunate Protestants. A month after that, we had this item in the Irish Churchman, which is illuminating, showing what occurred at the interview. Then we have people coming along coolly and saying, “If you accept Dominion Home Rule, if you forget your language, if you do away with your industries, and if you have no more talk about republicanism or independence, the sweet palate of the Orangeman will be tickled and he will come in.” That is what these people say, but I have not heard the people in the North say they will come in under these conditions.

Deputy Haslett told us that, but for the economic war, the people in the North would have come in. That is the kind of trash we have dished out day after day and week after week. The Irish people are anxious for unity and I believe we shall see the North brought in but I have my own ideas as to how it is going to be brought in. I am not going to tell you what those ideas are. There is only one way by which it will be brought in and there is no use in talking of any other way. I had some experience of these gentlemen in the North. I remember being brought into Belfast Jail in 1918. A mob of these hooligans pelted us with nuts and stones up to the jail gates. If they had not been dispersed by horse police, they would have broken into Crumlin Road Jail and attacked us inside. I remember on the occasion of a hunger strike——

These reminiscences may be entertaining but they do not seem to be relevant.

I am just dealing with the type of people we are expected to prevail upon to come in here to a Dublin Parliament. These are the people for whom we are to abandon our independence and our industries. We all know very well that there has never been any sectarian distinction made in the Twenty-Six Counties. I am glad of that. Our Protestant neighbours have been working side by side with us and have been helped side by side, without distinction. But I am tempted to say, with Deputy Davin, that the Christian Front in this country would be better occupied if instead of talking about Spain——

That matter has nothing whatever to do with the motion.

I do not want to enlarge upon it.

The Deputy will not be permitted to do so.

I should like to point out that, in a debate on Partition, we should consider what kind of people we are inviting in, or, if we are to accept Deputy MacDermot's arguments, what kind of people we are to go up to. That is what his argument meant. I have very clear and very honest ideas on the whole issue. I do not know that I am too anxious to bring some of these people in here at all. I am anxious we should hold the thirty-two counties, but I should like to hold them without some of the fellows that are in the North.

Kill the vermin off.

If there had been 32 counties in the Free State from 1932 on, how many industries established here would have gone north of the Boyne? I do not know whether that point struck anybody here but it struck us in the South, because we keep an eye to business. I am speaking honestly and we know that industries which were brought over here would, if we had had the thirty-two counties, have gone north of the Boyne.

We cannot get over the fact that as far as the Irish people are concerned they feel very keenly on this particular matter. We all feel very keenly that if there is a possibility of getting the province which England forcibly severed from us and which England alone is keeping from us, every effort should be made in that direction. Let England withdraw the subsidies from the Six Counties and see how well off they will be. Let England enforce the Act of Parliament under which the Northern Government was established and see how long they would care to stop by themselves, even though directly associated with England. Anybody who studies the financial position there for the last few years and compares it with the financial position here will have his eyes opened from the point of view of how, in the Six Counties, they are being held and why they are so anxious to shout out: "A Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people."

The people of the North were never asked to stand up to their financial responsibilities arising out of the Act under which their Parliament was established. At the present moment they are separated from the Twenty-six Counties because they are being paid for keeping up that separation, and hanged-well paid at that. Anybody who studies the position will realise the truth of the statement made by Lloyd George which was quoted here last night. The Six Counties are being kept simply and solely as a jumping-off ground. The Pale that for centuries had its situation around Dublin and was made the base for British power and strength over the natives has been shifted to the North, and until the Irish people as a whole make some effort to end that condition of things I am afraid Partition will stop with us.

Without in any way doubting the sincerity of the movers of this motion, I had a feeling when I read it that it was a motion which was highly dangerous and which had possibilities for doing immense harm rather than good. Having listened to speeches made on the Government Benches, I am certainly forced to the conclusion that my worst fears were justified. No matter what the intentions were behind the speeches, anyone who sincerely deplores Partition and sincerely hopes for the ending of Partition cannot but admit that if the speeches which were made to-night, from the Government Benches, are fully reported and read and understood north of the Border, nothing but great harm can result.

Before we begin to end Partition we have got to bury the hatchet North and South, and whether the people in the North or the people in the South find pleasure in the ghoulish habit of digging up past injuries and stirring themselves into red heat in order to circulate those past ills as being the evils of the moment, no matter what the intention behind that, it can have no other result than to harden feeling between North and South and increase the bitterness between North and South which is the real cause of Partition. Very much harm will be done, surely, by the type of speeches that have been made from the Government Benches to-night. It is hard to realise that those are the same Deputies and that is the same Party that followed the old Cumann na nGaedheal Ministry around the country like a pack of blooded hounds and assailed them at every crossroads in the country, because they had not terminated Partition. If they did not terminate Partition, at least every man in the Ministry worked sincerely, tenaciously, bravely and quietly, to bring nearer the day when Partition would be ended, and not one of them, during their ten long years on the Government Benches, could be accused of ever uttering a word that would deepen the trench, or add to the bitterness of the relations between those of the North and the South.

I would say that to-night and last night were the first occasions in the history of this Parliament when Government Benches were used to inflame animosity between North and South and to add to the bitterness which every decent Irishman, be he a Unionist or Nationalist, regrets. It is surprising, when we recollect the campaign that was carried out, week-end after week-end, against the late Ministry, that we have to-night the depressing spectacle of the President of the Irish Free State telling us, clearly and for the first time in unambiguous language, that the job is hopeless, that he has turned his back on Ulster, and that he can see no hope, or no plan, or no prospect of terminating Partition. Was that the declaration of policy that he secured his majority on?

Let us be honest, one with another. One-third of the following that made that Party a majority was secured on the cry that that Party had a plan speedily to terminate Partition. When it was not done in the first year people said, with hope in their hearts, "Give them time; they are busy at other matters." When it was not done in the second year the few who still had hopes in the truth and the good intentions of those promises said, "Well, we will give them further time." Now, at the end of five years we have President de Valera standing up here without a plan, without a policy, merely standing up to assess the blame and to say who was responsible in times gone by. People are not interested in responsibilities of the past.

Oh, we are.

People want to know when Partition is going to end, and who is going to take the first step to end it, and the leader in the North, or the leader in the South, the first of the two who pockets his pride and makes some friendly gesture, is the man who is taking the biggest step towards ending Partition. Every one of us can be stiff-necked and proud. The cheapest and the easiest thing in the world is to be proud and stiff-necked. It is a far bigger thing to pocket pride, and it takes a bigger man to pocket pride than it does a man to stand on his pride. We had that utterance, that brief, grudging, reluctant statement, from the President to-night, and what did it amount to? That nothing can be done, that he is going to hold out for his pound of flesh. Theoretically, that is correct. He is entitled to do that, but does he or anyone else think that any unfortunate situation such as exists in this country is going to be ended either by the man in the North or the man in the South demanding 100 per cent. of his demand and expecting the other to yield? Surely any child would understand that if we want to make Partition permanent, it is only necessary to have the man in the North say ditto to the man here, to have each stand for 100 per cent. of his conditions and say that on no other basis will there be a termination or ending of Partition. That is not statesmanship; that is cheap politics; and that kind of speech will rank on a level with the "Not an inch" speech of the North which was quoted here by the President this evening. One speech is as bankrupt in real statesmanship, in real love of country, and in real nationalism, as the other. Each speech is as harmful as the other, and one speech must make ardent, decent Nationalists feel as depressed as the other speech did.

We had this motion received by Government speakers in a manner which was, to say the least, both unfair and uncharitable. Every statement made by Deputy MacDermot was distorted, twisted and presented in a most uncharitable manner by every speaker opposite, and not least by the President himself, who read into Deputy MacDermot's speech a statement to the effect that he stood for surrendering everything, even, it was hinted, religion, in the hope that some time, some day in the future, that would induce the North to join with the South. There is no Deputy more sensitive when it comes to quotation than the President, and there is no Deputy more ready to jump up and explain what he actually did say, or thought he did say, on every occasion on which he is quoted. If he is so very sensitive himself, he should extend a little generosity to another Deputy when he plays fast and loose with his speech 24 hours afterwards. There are sentiments expressed in Deputy MacDermot's speech with which I would not find myself completely in sympathy, but I believe those sentiments were expressed in an honest and sincere attempt to be helpful, and they should have been accepted by Government spokesmen, and particularly by the President, in a bigger spirit than the petty way in which they were treated to-night.

If Partition is ever to be ended, or if we are ever going to begin even to work towards ending it, we must begin by finding common ground. And what is common ground?—that every Deputy of this House, irrespective of Party label or constituency, feels equally strongly against Partition; that it is not an issue on which one group is for and another group against; that it is deplored equally all round; that we are never going to bring the end in sight by making it a political plaything and by taking advantage of every reference to Partition to inflame feeling against those in the North who have acted unjustly in the past and who differ from us in their religious and political sense to-day. We will only begin to work towards the end when we try to spread throughout the whole of the Free State a more tolerant outlook, a more charitable mind, and, above all, a more charitable voice in our references to the North. Every second Deputy may differ as to causes. Our concern should not be causes; it should rather be effects— and the evil effects are an agreed matter between us.

This motion charges the Government with not having given adequate attention to the question of Partition. The best spokesman to that motion was President de Valera when he stood up, and, in a few brief words, definitely admitted that no attention had been given to it, and that no attention is being given to it; that we had our rights, and that until 100 per cent. of those rights were recognised, things must just remain as they are. I would go further than what is expressed in this motion and say that, not only was it not given adequate attention, but that the outlook with regard to the termination of the boundary is far more hopeless to-day than it was six years ago, or ten or 12 years ago. If any of us were Northern Unionists and were living up there in the North, and if we were inclined to consider joining in under this Parliament, one of the first questions we would ask is: What type of Parliament are we going into? Are we going into a unicameral or a bicameral Parliament? Are we going into a Parliament of a country associated with the Commonwealth, or are we going into a separatist republic isolated and separated from every member of the Commonwealth? If any one of us was up there, and had a voice or had influence in Northern councils, he would ask himself those questions. Six years ago, ten years ago, the answer was obvious and the position was clear. There was no doubt, no insecurity, no instability and no vacillation. What is the answer to-day?

What was the answer then?

They were coming into a bicameral Parliament. They were coming into a Parliament associated with the Commonwealth of Nations.

But did they come?

What was the answer six months ago?

Will the Deputy answer that? Did they come?

Did they come? No, and one reason why they did not come is that there was an influential party of men in this country mouthing cheap insincerities about separatism, mouthing cheap insincerities about repudiating loans and mouthing cheap insincerities about tearing up the institutions of State. That is one reason that made them hesitate, but even to-day, not to speak of the man in the North, there is nobody in this Assembly knows what type of Parliament we are going to be in three months' time. We had ourselves engaged for many nights destroying a Seanad and we had speeches over there pointing out its uselessness and how futile it was. We had quotations dug up from known and unknown writers in order to bolster up the case for the destruction of the Seanad, and it was no sooner gone than we had a commission sitting to make suggestions with regard to its re-establishment. No sooner were suggestions made than we were told, not here but through the columns of the Press, that the majority recommendations would not be considered but that it was possible something might grow out of the minority representations. In other words, we do not know from day to day whether this country is to be governed by a bicameral Legislature or otherwise.

With regard to our position in relation to the Commonwealth, we are told that we are going to have a Constitution to make it clear that we are out of the Commonwealth and that we are going to have legislation to make it clear that we are in. How can you expect any sensible people to come in and follow that kind of drunken political gait, swerving from one extreme to the other, being open and candid with nobody, not understanding our own mind from one week to another or, if we do understand our own mind, not having the courage to say what is in our mind? If there was anyone up there in the North considering the question of coming in, even now, would they be able to say what type of State they were coming into? For any Government adopting that kind of day-to-day tactics, governed merely by political expediency, to think that they will ever induce or attract any outside unit to come in under such directorship is to hope, if they are hoping at all, for the impossible. On the economic side, we are as busy as can be erecting higher and higher barriers, as one week follows the other, between this State and our fellow-countrymen in the North. Whether they differ from us in religion or not, if we are ever to make this country one, we must recognise them up there as fellow-countrymen, and whatever barriers we throw up against the outside world some special privilege should be held out in order to show our countrymen in the North that we still have brotherly feelings for them and that we are not treating them as an enemy State.

Was that done prior to 1932?

The Minister will have his chance to talk about what was done prior to 1932. The Minister would not be very happy if he provoked me to speak too much about what happened prior to 1932.

Or prior to 1925.

I am trying to address my mind to what is going to happen subsequent to 1936 and it is that that matters. My point is that, if we have conditions here in the Free State, which are, from the point of view of the wage-earner or the producer, substantially worse than the conditions North of the Border, neither the wage-earner nor the producer, even if he be a Nationalist, will find it easy to come in. The policy prior to 1932 was: No. 1, not to say or do anything that would add bitterness to the bitterness that was already there, not by legislation or regulation to pile up further difficulties, not by ambiguity or by evasion to leave any doubt as to where we stood and where we intended to go.

You have supplied in the last five years a new bogey and a new catchcry to inflame passions in the North of Ireland. Years ago the old cry was: "Home Rule means Rome Rule," and the mob up there firmly believed that Home Rule would mean Rome Rule. The Irish Free State came into being; it was administered in a generous, tolerant, Nationalist spirit. It was not in being very many years before that cry died a natural death, before the Unionists and the Protestants here in the Irish Free State began saying to their friends in the North: "We are experiencing fair play; that old cry of `Home Rule means Rome Rule' was all a fraud; we are getting fair play down here." That was having its effect and, little by little, the fact that that old bogey had lost its power to arouse feeling up in the North, was bringing the end of Partition appreciably nearer. But that has been replaced by another cry and replaced by another argument that has far more substance and far more weight. The argument now is: "Go in there? What are you going into? What is the future of that country? Is it going to be a separate isolated State, living in splendid isolation and squalor, or is it going to be a State openly associating and trading with other countries?" That doubt is there. That doubt has not been dispelled by any action or utterances from Government Deputies either to-night or previously. I would prefer if more attention were given to actions than to utterances. Utterances from Government spokesmen have been definitely harmful as far as any prospect of bringing about better relations is concerned. If their actions were properly understood, the opposite might be the case.

What about the English aspect of it? Have you anything to say about that?

If I were speaking over there I would criticise them, but I am speaking from this side and I am criticising the Government here on a matter which is relevant to the motion. I say the utterances of Government spokesmen have been continuously harmful. If their actions were considered, and received the same amount of attention as their utterances, much of the harm would be undone because the position is this: that while they are inflaming feeling and exciting emotions by talking isolated separatism, they are giving more solid concessions to the British Government than the British ever dreamed they would get in this country, far more substantial concessions. While they deplore the occupation of ports here and there, we enter into an agreement to give the British a monopoly with regard to the airways in this country. That is good business, and if that good business were not associated with bad speeches we would be getting somewhere; but unfortunately the bad speeches carry more weight than the good business.

I believe that no Government is going to end Partition by pressing a button. It is not going to be ended by Ministers from here meeting Ministers from the North and coming back here in a week, or two or three weeks, with an agreement which will be satisfactory to North or South. I believe that the ending of Partition is a long, weary and non-spectacular job. In regard to a Partition debate, I do not criticise Ministers or members of Government for reticence or reluctance to speak. If there is anything doing now or in the future with regard to the North and the South, it is not the type of business that can be discussed in advance and plans published in advance. I do believe that if a beginning is ever going to be made it will have to be made along the lines of co-operation, extending in time to co-ordination, and that co-operation and co-ordination bringing in time a better understanding between not only the peoples of the North and South, but the political leaders of the North and South.

A little co-operation merely between two similar Departments would be all to the good even to-morrow—something like periodic meetings between the representatives of the Department of Justice and the police of the North, and the Department of Justice and police of the Irish Free State. That would be in the interests both of the North and South. Co-operation of something like a periodic kind between the Departments of Agriculture of the North and South would be all to the good in the interests of the North and in the interests of the South. Everyone of us knows that an enemy at a distance is a far worse sight than an enemy close by; it is possible that here in the South we are imagining those people up there to be a lot worse than they really are, and that they up there are imagining us to be a lot worse than we really are. If there were opportunities for contact, for doing common business, for getting to know one another better, away outside the zone of negotiation, I believe it would be all to the good. I believe that we are letting ourselves be carried away by bitter recollections with regard to wrongs in the past, and that by some kind of a seal of that kind on our lips, and some kind of activity in the direction of trying to bring about periodic if not continuous contact, in time we would be getting up to the point where it would be possible for North and South to discuss an adjustment of their difficulties without the whole atmosphere being biassed and prejudiced by bitternesses.

I had no intention whatever of intervening in this debate until I heard the speech of Deputy Corry. That speech, to my mind, was a disgrace to any national Assembly. It was a discredit to himself and a discredit to his Party. Utterances such as that to which he gave speech to-night could have no effect other than to make the difficulties of ending Partition greater than they ever were. Curiously enough there was one question that he put in the course of that very disgraceful speech which made me make up my mind to intervene in this debate, not because it was Deputy Corry that put the question; the question that he put was re-echoed by the three members who occupy the Government Front Bench at the moment. It was because of that ques tion that I intervened in this debate, and I will answer it in a few moments. He asked why was not Partition ended between the year 1927 and the year 1932, when Mr. Cosgrave's Government was defeated at the polls. It is that question I propose to answer very shortly.

I could understand and appreciate and sympathise with the utterances which Deputy Donnelly gave speech to last night and to-day. He is a Northern Catholic, having lived there and having had to fight his own battles. While I disagree with the tone of his speech and with many of the things that he said, I can entirely appreciate the point of view and the feelings which he has, and which have their roots in his past experiences. I recalled, when he was speaking, a statement that the late Professor Arthur Cleary once made, a statement which was profoundly true, a statement the truth of which can be gauged by the fact that Professor Cleary could not be accused by anybody of being either an Imperialist or an anti-Catholic. He said that he never understood a Northern Protestant until he met a Northern Catholic. We have got to recognise that that is the position; that Northern Catholics have their bitternesses, by reason of the fact that Northern Protestants have produced them, by reason of the fact that they have to fight their fight up in the North as a minority, and that every piece of Protestant bitterness in the North finds its counterpart, both politically and in a religious sense, in the heart and in the actions of a Northern Catholic. We in the South have got to recognise that we cannot understand that problem or appreciate it to its full, and the less we say about it the better.

Deputy Dillon said, and with this I entirely agree, that in his view three things were required if we were ever to hope to end Partition—time, patience and prudence. I would add one further requisite—silence; a discreet silence, broken only very occasionally, merely to show that we have not forgotten our brethren in the North and that we are doing our best to bring about that reunion which we all profess at least to want to see brought about in our own time.

I thought, like Deputy O'Higgins, that this motion by Deputy MacDermot was likely to cause trouble, not because I had any want of faith in the sincerity of Deputy MacDermot or his motives in bringing forward this particular motion. I believe that he brought it forward because he has a real interest in this problem of Partition. I believe that many of the things which were said to him from the Fianna Fáil Benches and by Deputy Davin, as well as the way in which they were said, were grossly unfair. I believe that it would, perhaps, have been better that this debate had never taken place, by reason of the speeches that we have had to listen to. Discreet silence is the best policy for the ending of Partition. The less that is said about it the better, even by those who wish most sincerely and most passionately to see the end of Partition. Discreet work behind the scenes is the way to end Partition. It is neither by the kind of talk to which Deputy Donnelly gave utterance yesterday and to-day—however much we may sympathise with his point of view—or by the appalling utterances of Deputy Corry, that anything will be done in the way of a solution of this problem. The less talk there is the better. It is by unobtrusive and effective work behind the scenes on the part of those who are charged by the people of this country from time to time with the responsibilities of Government, and on the part of those who occupy similar positions in Great Britain and Northern Ireland—private work behind the scenes, that never gets into the newspapers, that never gets talked about, and for which there will never be any thanks—that Partition is going to be ended, if it ever will be ended. That was the policy of Kevin O'Higgins, and the reason why the policy of Kevin O'Higgins was not brought to fruition, the reason why we, and this country, did not see Partition ended when Deputy Cosgrave went out of office in 1932—and this is the answer to Deputy Corry—was because Kevin O'Higgins was foully murdered in this country.

I was present at the close of the Imperial Conference in 1926, at a convention at one of the Inns of Court, when the late Kevin O'Higgins was standing beside me, when he and Sir Edward Carson met for the first time, and there took place what I can only describe as a most cordial meeting between the two men. I also know what the late Kevin O'Higgins said to me, and that was that his principal reason for going there was to meet Sir Edward Carson and to bring about a situation that, in the course of two or three years, he hoped, would bring about an ending of Partition and would bring about a conference that would result in the ending of Partition — a plan which the late Kevin O'Higgins had in his mind — and the answer to Deputy Corry is that if Kevin O'Higgins had not been murdered in 1927, I firmly believe that Partition would have been ended before 1932. It must be remembered that the late Kevin O'Higgins had fought the fight of this country at the Imperial Conference of 1926. His work has been forgotten—very conveniently forgotten —but, none the less, his work has been taken advantage of by the President and by the members of the present Government. The late Kevin O'Higgins had fought the fight of this country at the Imperial Conference in 1926, and he fought that fight single-handed. Then, having won that fight, and having laid the foundations, as Deputy Dillon has said, of a united Ireland, he bent his energies, his powerful intellect, his persuasive tongue and his magnificent courage to winning the affection of Sir Edward Carson and the Northern Unionists and the Northern Orangemen, and to persuading them, without any talk that it was good either for the North or the South, or for Great Britain or for the British Commonwealth of Nations, that Partition should be ended, and I believe he would have succeeded, had it not been for his death. The efforts of the late Kevin O'Higgins were consolidated by Deputy McGilligan and his colleagues in 1929 and 1930, but the fact remains that the late Kevin O'Higgins was laying his plans quietly for the ending of Partition when he was foully murdered in 1927. That is the answer to Deputy Corry's remarks— remarks which were re-echoed from the Front Bench of Fianna Fáil. The reason that the question of Partition was not entered into between 1927 and 1932 was because Kevin O'Higgins was murdered.

Sir, I am extremely grateful to Deputy Costello and to Deputy O'Higgins for the kind manner in which they defended me against certain accusations made from the opposite benches. I feel obliged to say, however, at the outset of these concluding remarks of mine, that I differ from some of the things they have said. A policy of silence is a good policy when you have confidence in the man at the helm, but if you are convinced that the man at the helm is steering on to the rocks, then a policy of silence ceases to be a good policy. It is because I fear that there is a great danger of the Government making the abolition of Partition more and more difficult that I think it is desirable to raise such a discussion as is suggested by this motion. The discussion has disclosed certain unpleasant facts. I am not sure that it is undesirable to have unpleasant facts disclosed. The psychology displayed by Deputy Corry and other speakers is an unpleasant fact, but is it not better that we should know it, and if the cure of Partition is to proceed, as I think it must proceed, by a process of education, then it is well that the more sensible and restrained members of the Fianna Fáil Party should see what is the psychology of the less sensible and the less restrained members of their own Party. They may thus realise the full implications of their philosophy.

Another statement with which I am in disagreement is that the outlook with regard to this question has become more hopeless in the last four or five years. In spite of the fact that I believe that a large part of the policy of the present Government has had a bad effect with regard to Partition, I, nevertheless, have the feeling that it was impossible ever to get rid of Partition without having had a period of Fianna Fáil Government. I cannot believe that, with all his abilities and all his genius for negotiation, and all his persuasive powers, the late Kevin O'Higgins could really have achieved a united Ireland so long as there was a large party in this country preaching the doctrines of Republicanism. I do not believe that, under these circumstances, there was ever a possibility of getting the North in. I believe that, before we can get the North in, the Fianna Fáil Party must be converted and educated, and I believe that that can be achieved more by the hard facts of administration than by speeches.

Now, Sir, in introducing this motion, I tried to make my speech as calm and persuasive as possible. What I was concerned with was not the use of a stick to beat the Government. I do, of course, think that the present Government are not paying adequate attention to this question, but what I wanted was to secure a friendly and dispassionate discussion of a vitally important subject. Unfortunately, the only response to my efforts has been a series of violently controversial and even personal speeches from Deputies on the opposite benches. I am conscious of the deficiencies of the speech with which I opened this debate, but I think it did deserve a better response than it has received from Deputies on the opposite benches.

Now, however, Sir, to come to the main subject: Deputies are inclined to complain—and not, perhaps, unreasonably at first sight—that we, who introduce a motion such as this, are not able to make a series of suggestions about things to be actually done at this moment. The answer to that reproach is that if a doctor is called upon to visit a man shut up in prison and to prescribe for his health, it is no use for him to advise that man to take seawater baths in the morning, to ride in the afternoon and to have plenty of fresh air and change of scene. It is no use making out a régime of that sort for a man shut up in prison. That is exactly the situation of the Government Party. They are shut up in the prison of their own philosophy, and the first thing one has to do before making practical suggestions is to get them out of that prison. It was to that my speech was directed. If the present philosophy were discarded it would be easy to produce suggestions. There is, for instance, one topic on which I did not touch last night, and that is, the topic of the Crown. It is useless to do so in the present frame of mind of the Fianna Fáil Party. But anybody with any sense of the realities of the situation must know that the Crown could be used with enormous effect for bringing about a better feeling between the North and the South, and that not as the intervention of a foreign monarch but through the constitutional action of the King of Ireland. I have no particular fondness for courts and kings, nor have I forgotten the attitude of George III and George IV in relation to Catholic Emancipation or of Queen Victoria in relation to Home Rule. I have no illusions about these things at all. But I deal with facts as I find them now, and if I had my way the person who would be elected as the new Head of the State would be the King.

I say that for this reason, because I believe if he were in that position he could do more than any other agency to solve the problem of Partition. But there is no use in making suggestions of that or any other kind until one has first succeeded in modifying the philosophy of the Fianna Fáil Deputies.

There was one heresy that I hoped this debate would destroy and that is, that the key to the whole situation is in the hands of the British Parliament. Deputy Donnelly appears to be as persuaded of that now as at the beginning. How does he propose to prove it? Not by quoting the actions of any contemporary statesmen or telling us what is being done to-day. He proposes to prove it by diving back into the history of 20 years ago and giving quotations of what British statesmen wrote then. I have never denied that the British have a tremendous responsibility in the matter of starting Partition; I do not deny it now. That is not the point. The point is about the maintenance of Partition. Does Partition depend upon the British? Going back to the utterances of 20 years ago gives very little help in answering the question. But as Deputy Donnelly has gone into these matters I must follow him. The Deputy quoted two letters—one from Lord Balfour to Lord Carson, and another letter from Lloyd George to Lord Carson. Deputy Donnelly was unable to give me the reference to the Balfour letter but I have found it. That letter was written in 1918. It was written in relation to proposals that were then in the wind for the reorganisation of the affairs of the United Kingdom on a Federal basis. It was suggested that by reorganising the United Kingdom on a Federal basis a way round could be found; that Ulster could be kept out of the first measure of Devolution, which was to be a measure for Ireland —that Ulster could be kept out until a measure of Devolution for the United Kingdom was ready. It was about that proposal that Lord Carson consulted Lord Balfour.

On a point of order, I do not think that is correct——

I am not giving way to the Deputy except on a point of correction.

Well, then, if Deputy MacDermot will allow me on a point of correction, there was no question whatever of Devolution in 1918. That was the time of the general election which returned Sinn Fein to power. It was in preparation for that election that that letter was written.

I am not talking about the general election here. I have before me the very book to which Deputy Donnelly referred and I am reading an account of the transactions which took place between Lord Carson and Lord Balfour. I assure the Deputy that that is the fact; that Lord Carson had written to Lord Balfour about these proposals and the letter of Lord Balfour in reply was this:

"I, like you, detest both Home Rule and Federation.

"If we cannot retain the broad outlines of the existing system (and the Irish question has been so grossly mismanaged since 1906 that I fear this may be impossible), the solution I should prefer would be to keep Ulster as she is, and to disinterest ourselves completely from the South and West of Ireland, except in so far as it may be necessary to prevent its coast line being used by enemy Powers. I fear, however, that this bold piece of surgery will find little favour anywhere——"

What does that letter mean? It means that Lord Balfour was prepared to assent to a Republic for Ireland excluding Ulster, and that Ulster so far from being set up as a separate entity on its own was to be retained as she was within the English system with representation only at Westminster. That is the letter that was read in order to prove to us that it was English statesmen who had invented and even forced upon Northern Orangemen the idea of two separate Parliaments here in Ireland. The other letter that Deputy Donnelly produced was this letter of Mr. Lloyd George written in May, 1916, a letter which has been used now thousands of times in order to bedevil the whole of this controversy. At that time the British Government were in a state of the greatest agitation about the war. There had recently been an Irish Rebellion and they were eager to come to some sort of settlement by consent about the Irish situation, and they were specially eager because of its effect upon public opinion in America. Mr. Lloyd George undertook negotiations with Lord Carson to get some settlement by consent. The whole pressure for keeping the Six Counties of Ulster separate came from Lord Carson. If Deputy Donnelly had taken the trouble to read that book, or, say, 20 pages of that book, with an unbiased mind, he would have seen there the spectacle not of an English Minister pressing Partition upon an unwilling Ireland, but of an English Minister striving madly to get a settlement that would get the Irish question out of the way and Lord Carson bargaining hard until he secured separate treatment for the Six Counties. It was Lord Carson forced this letter out of Lloyd George. In this letter he says:—

"We must make it clear that at the end of the provisional period Ulster does not, whether she wills it or not, merge in the rest of Ireland."

The "provisional period" was during the operation of the war and for 12 months afterward. "We must make it clear that at the end of the provisional period Ulster does not, whether she wills it or not, merge in the rest of Ireland." While Mr. Lloyd George is not very remarkable as an accurate grammarian, it is perfectly plain that his meaning was, that Ulster was not to be merged in the rest of Ireland willy nilly, whether she liked it or not. The whole of the episode related in this book makes it perfectly plain what the meaning was. I only regret that I have had to take time going into these past matters, because they were introduced by Deputy Donnelly, and really have very little bearing on the problem we are facing.

Yes, but they fix responsibility.

I have acquaintances amongst British politicians of various Parties and I do not know a single British politician, not of Ulster origin, who would not be enchanted to see Partition brought to an end by consent. I have already dealt with the suggestion made of British bayonets being used to force Northern Ireland in, and with the suggestion of British financial support being withdrawn, and I pointed out—assuming there is such subsidisation—that the only effect of withdrawing it would be to send Belfast, not to Dublin, but back again to Westminster. We shall never get anywhere with this problem of Partition unless we face it like men, realising that it is our problem and that no one can do the work for us. We have got to do it ourselves. No British statesman or anyone else can do it. I indicated last night what I thought were the limits within which the British could be of some help in the matter. The President and others have said that what I am advocating is an abandonment of all things dearest to our hearts, the surrender by the majority of their dearest ideals to the whims of a minority. I absolutely repudiate any such interpretation of my arguments. The way I put it is this: We have to make up our minds between two points of view. Stay just where you are and the only logical conclusion is this, that there should be large-scale migrations, that there should be permanent Partition with a homogeneous Unionist population on one side of the Border and a homogeneous Republican population on the other side of the Border, and that each of these entities should have its own narrow outlook and narrow philosophy. I am not asking that anything should be abandoned. I am asking that we should rise to the heights of our opportunities. I am asking that we should enlarge our vision. I am asking that we should realise that Ireland includes not only the Gaelic stock but about 1,000,000 who are of non-Gaelic stock. I am asking that we should realise that only by widening our philosophy and extending our vision can we ultimately grow to full stature. It is not an abandonment, it is not a surrender but a growth that I am advocating.

Deputy Corry accused me of being willing to sacrifice independence. I am not willing to sacrifice independence. I have been working for Irish independence all my life. It is as dear to me as it is to Deputy Corry, but I decline to define independence in exactly the same terms as he chooses to define it. He accused me of wishing to throw away the Irish language. I do not want to throw away the Irish language. I am glad that the Irish language should be revived. As we are committed to the experiment, I am quite prepared to acquiesce in the Irish language continuing to be compulsory in our schools. But I say that if we are to invite the Northerners in, it must not be compulsory in their schools. I would cease to give any advantage in the matter of obtaining positions on account of a knowledge of the Irish language. That is the distance to which I would go in order to enable the people of non-Gaelic stock to feel that they were being given a fair chance in their own country. As I stated last night, I am thoroughly in favour of getting every scrap of culture, every scrap of idealism that we can get out of the Irish language revival, and I welcome most wholeheartedly any interest that is displayed in Irish folk-lore, Irish music, Irish dancing and everything that is bound up with our past and with our traditions. But I do not want these things used to impoverish our own life and I do not want these things used to stunt our nation. That is the way I am afraid they are being used at present.

It has been also suggested that I am advocating the abandonment of our industrial revival in the interests of Irish unity. I have advocated nothing of the kind. I merely made the very modest and reasonable suggestion that in choosing what new industries to set up in Southern Ireland we should have some regard to the industries existing in Northern Ireland and, as far as possible, should choose to set up industries that would not be ruined by the abolition of the Border.

The President demanded, as he has so often demanded before, that we should produce some assurance that if we made such concessions, if, for example, we accepted membership of the Commonwealth, the Northerners would come in. That is an absolutely vain demand. You cannot expect sick people to act like well people. These people in the North are diseased. Orangeism is a disease just as I consider separatism is a disease. You have to cure the disease first. You cannot expect a sick man to act rationally and like a healthy person. You must have some faith in the ordinary probabilities of human nature. That sort of bitterness and that sort of hostility has to rest upon something. It cannot exist absolutely in a vacuum. What does it rest upon? As Deputy O'Higgins stated, it used largely to rest on the fiction that Home Rule meant Rome Rule, and that what that meant was religious persecution. That fiction is exploded. What is there left for it to rest upon? It rests upon the idea that we down here are the bitter, implacable enemies of the British Empire. There is much in history to excuse us for being the enemies of the British Empire, and these people think we are. I maintain that we have to disillusion them on that point. We must remove the real causes that would prevent any sensible Northerner from coming in.

If you put yourself in the place of the sensible Northern Protestant, you can think of plenty of objections. I stated some of them last night. Put yourself in the place of such men and decide to remove objections that would be valid, and you will make a beginning. You will only get rid of the Partition problem by educating and converting the Northerners. You will only educate and convert the Northerners by first getting hold of the best of them and converting them.

Various Deputies accused me of coming here and making anti-national and Imperialist speeches on this matter. They asked: "Why do you not go and talk to the people in the North and talk to the people of Westminster?" I have done so long ago. I was talking to the people in the North about this matter back in 1910. I fought an election, as Deputy Donnelly mentioned, in Belfast, and if he takes the trouble to look up the speeches I made during that election I do not think he will have much fault to find with my denunciation of Ascendancy. I was chided about my visit some months ago to Westminster. I am proud of my visit. I was delighted to get an invitation to go and address Conservative members of Parliament on the Irish question. I made no secret of it. To prevent misunderstanding, I went to the President and told him I was going. I regarded it as a completely private meeting. I did not know that there was going to be a word about it in the Press. As a matter of fact, apparently, there was somebody there who was connected with the Press because there was a fairly long report of it in the Irish Independent. If Deputy Davin had been as interested then as he affects to be now, he could have looked at that report, and I think he would have found very little fault with what was reported as having fallen from me on that occasion. Deputy Donnelly asked me what reception did I get from those who heard me—the Conservative members reputed to be so hostile to Ireland—and I answer that I got a very good reception. And, moreover, that any slight attempt made—and there was a slight attempt made by a representative of Ulster present—to throw cold water on the occasion, was a failure. I believe my visit did good, and that every other such visit will do good. I am glad to say that in two or three weeks' time I am going up to speak on this Partition question in Belfast University. I am only too glad to have the opportunity, and I am not ashamed to say that I shall go and talk to those people. My business, when I come to speak about Partition in this House, is not to point out all the vices and faults of the Northern Unionists, though I did say a great deal last night about bigotry and Ascendancy. My business, when I talk about Partition in this House, is to try and point out as best I can what we should do and where we are lacking, and when I go elsewhere my business is to talk on other lines. I believe in telling the truth wherever I am, and I believe most of all in telling the truth where it is most unpopular, because the truth, when told in the place where it is unpopular, is more valuable than the truth told in places where it is really unnecessary to tell it.

I believe that this motion, in spite of some of the speeches made on it, will on the whole have done good, because it cannot fail to make Deputies think about a problem which badly needs thinking about. It is, as I say, a question not of sacrificing things that are valuable and cherished. It is a case of taking a wide view of the nation as a whole, realising what Ireland has it in it to be and making up our minds that we shall raise Ireland just to that pinnacle.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 34; Níl, 67.

  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Broderick, William Joseph.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Costello, John Aloysius.
  • Curran, Richard.
  • Davitt, Robert Emmet.
  • Desmond, William.
  • Dolan, James Nicholas.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McGovern, Patrick.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Morrisroe, James.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Murphy, James Edward.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, The.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Rogers, Patrick James.
  • Rowlette, Robert James.
  • Wall, Nicholas.


  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Corbett, Edmond.
  • Corkery, Daniel.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Timothy.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Hugh.
  • Donnelly, Eamon.
  • Everett, James.
  • Flinn, Hugo V.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Geoghegan, James.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
  • Neilan, Martin.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Nally and Rowlette; Níl, Deputies Little and Smith.
Motion declared lost.