Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 11 May 1938

Vol. 21 No. 2

Agreement With United Kingdom (Capital Sum) Bill, 1938— ( Certified Money Bill )— Second Stage.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a second time."

Ceann de tri Billi an Bille seo a tugadh isteach chun an comh-aontú a deineadh le déidheanaighe idir Rialtas Shasana agus Rialtas na hEireann a chomlíonadh. Is dócha go bhfuil sé i lámhaibh gach Seanadóra agus do bhfuil sé léighte aca. Bhí a lán cainnte ins na paipéaraibh nuachta fén socrú seo agus freisin bhí díospóireacht fhada ina thaobh sa Dáil agus dá brigh sin is dócha go bhfuil na téarmaí agus gach adubhradh ina thaobh os cóir aigne gach aoinne. Mar sin féin, b'fhéidir gur cheart dom cúpla focal a rádh ina thaobh. Ar an gcéad dul síos tá trí comh-aontuighthe ann. Baineann an chéad cheann le na cuanta agus le na longphoirt; baineann an dara ceann le hairgead agus baineann an treas cheann le tráchtáil. Maidir leis an treas cheann is dócha go mbeidh a lán tagairtí do na neithe atá ann i gceann tamaill agus ní dóigh liom gur gádh dhom mórán a rádh ina thaobh ach an méid seo; dheineamar ar ndícheall chun ár gceart a chosaint agus chun déantúsaí Eireann a choimeád beo agus a chosaint ins gach slighe in arbh fhéidir é.

Baineann an chéad chomh-aontú, mar adubhairt mé, le na cuanta. Cuireann sé ar ceal Airteagal 6 agus Airteagal 7 den Chonnradh a deineadh i mbliain a 1921. Táimíd lán-tsásta go mbeidh na hAirteagail sin ar ceal. Indeireadh na bliana gheobhaimíd ar ais na cuanta agus na longphoirt agus beidh an chuid seo d'Éirinn inár seilb amach agus amach. Baineann an dara cuid den chomh-aontú, mar adubhairt mé, le cúrsaí airgid. Bhí aighneas idir Rialtas Shasana agus an Rialtas annseo i dtaobh na mblianachtaí talmhan. Ní gádh dul isteach sa cheist sin anois. Ní rabhamar ar aon aigne i dtaobh ce 'ca is ceart no nach ceart an t-airgead sin a thabhairt do Rialtas Shasana. Bhí an Rialtas annseo deimhnitheach de gur le muintir na hÉireann an t-airgead sin ach bhí a mhalairt de thuairim ag Rialtas Shasana. Agus chuireadar diúitéthe pionósacha ar thorthaí a bhí ag dul anonn o Éirinn go Shasana. Tá sin thart anois agus tá an t-aighneas socruighthe ar dheich milliún púnt a thabhairt do Shasana. Is chun ughdarás a thabhairt don Aire Airgeadais an meid sin airgid a thabhairt dóbhtha atá an Bille seo os bhur gcóir.

As I have been saying, this Bill is to implement the Agreement that was made recently with the British Government. It is one of a series of six Bills which are being introduced for that purpose. The Agreement itself has been circulated to Senators, and I have no doubt whatever that you have all studied it carefully and, with the public discussion that has been on it, I think there is not likely to be much new that we have to discover here in the matter. As you will see, the Agreement falls into three parts. I take the third part first, because it is of a special character. It is not of the same type as the other two at all. It is a trade agreement, such as might be made between any two countries up to 1932. After 1932, the British Government changed their policy with regard to free trade and began to make trade treaties with other countries. This is a treaty of that sort, and it could have been made by us if there were no questions of political, financial or other dispute. It stands on its own feet and is to be judged by itself, purely as a trade agreement. No doubt, both parties would prefer an agreement that would be more satisfactory to themselves. The trouble would be to get the other side to agree. The Agreement has been reached by the ordinary bargaining processes, each side getting what it could and giving as little as it could. In the main, we have got free entry into the British market, with certain limitations, free entry for our goods. The British, on the other hand, have got certain privileges for their manufactured products coming into this country. We were anxious to give what facilities in that respect we could in return for the advantages which our agricultural and other produce was to get in their markets, but there was one fundamental matter which had constantly to be kept in mind, and that was, we would not impair our own right to protect our industries, to give reasonable and adequate protection to our industries. I think that in the Agreement that right has been reasonably preserved but, as I have said in Irish, the details of this will come up, perhaps more fully, in the discussion on the direct trade Bills for the implementation of this Agreement.

The other two Agreements are of a different character. The first is the abrogation of Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty of 1921. You have to read these Articles to see the danger contained in them for this country in time of war and also to realise that as long as they provided for British care and maintenance parties in our ports, even during times of peace, they were naturally resented by our people. At the end of this year, we are to enter into full possession of these defences and the claims which the British might make under the Articles 6 and 7 of the old Treaty can no longer be made. We have got the ports without conditions of any kind. Of course, we mean to defend these ports. We have no intention whatever to let them run into disrepair. We mean to modernise their defences and in every way make them valuable for the general defence of this country. But, as I said in the Dáil, this is not the place or the time to go into questions of our national defence policy. There is no doubt that to defend this country adequately or reasonably will require more money than we have been spending on defences up to the present and, consequently, when one is considering taking over the ports and taking over the defences of our country as we would be doing when the country is ours and in our own possession, there is no doubt whatever that that will mean a certain extra burden on our taxpayers—that is, if the policy we believe ought to be the national policy is carried out. That policy, however, will be determined by the national Parliament and will be determined in the national interest.

With regard to the second Agreement, as you see it provides for the ending of all the financial disputes, the settlement of all financial claims by a lump sum payment of £10,000,000. That does not include the annual payment of £250,000 which has been made since 1925 and which was not questioned by us when we came into office. It was paid on foot of an Agreement, the terms of which were ratified by Parliament. The British claims under the Agreement which had been made with the preceding Government amounted in capital values to something like £98,000,000. They claimed a capital sum of £78,000,000 on foot of the land annuities and the bonus on excess stock. There was a claim of roughly another £20,000,000 on the head of pensions, local loans and so on. The whole financial dispute is being settled for a sum which is half the latter sum. I said in the Dáil that our view is that no money at all was due to Britain, and that, in fact, if we were to get down to bed-rock and try to settle things purely on the basis of justice, that money should not be paid by this country at all. However, the fact was that close on £5,000,000, or something averaging about that amount, was being collected by way of special duties on our produce and that there was no doubting the ability of the British to continue collecting that for a considerable time. This settlement is one by which that is ended on a payment of what amounts to two years' purchase of the sum collected in these duties. As you are aware, the Agreement has been welcomed, regarded as satisfactory by the majority of our people, I think, and, perhaps, it is unique in a sense that it has also given satisfaction at the other side. That is the sort of Agreement that one feels sure is going to last, an Agreement which has behind it the support of the majority of the people in both countries, and when I say the majority, I do not mean a bare majority, because I think the considerable majority in both countries are in favour of this. A Chathaoirligh, I unhesitatingly recommend this Agreement, and I recommend the Seanad to pass the series of Bills, particularly the Bills just now before you, the purpose of which is to implement this Agreement.

A Chathaoirligh, the merits or the demerits of these Agreements will only show themselves in time, but, on the old principle of "modladh gach aoinne an t-ádh mar a gheobhaidh," we should congratulate ourselves on the things that to-day stand superficially over them. It is a matter for congratulation for the whole country that, when presenting Bills concerning an Agreement of this kind to an Irish Parliament, a Prime Minister who has such a nose for major items of difficulty between our people and Great Britain should be able to say "these Agreements end for all time all the major items and disputes between our two countries with the exception of one." I think that is a matter on which the nation as a whole can congratulate itself. When they are handed to us with the assurance and the certificate from the Minister for Industry and Commerce that the old differences in the past, going back for a number of years, have been differences on matters of tactics, and not on principles, why we feel wrapped, as it were, in cotton wool against any shock the immediate future may have for us. Our people, with these certificates in front of them, can now lift up their heads without any imagined terror of one kind or another either dominating their minds or their hearts. They are certainly favoured most by feeling and by living in full Christian neighbourliness with a neighbouring people, and I think our people and the ordinary people of Great Britain have been thirsting for a long time to be freed by their leaders, on both sides, from being in the position in which they were in the past, afraid either to voice their own natural instincts or to carry on their business in their own way. I think particularly in that respect that we have tremendous ground for congratulation that we have a Prime Minister presenting in that spirit an Agreement between the two countries to an Irish Parliament here. There are, however, warnings thrown across our path. This is "an ghrian tar eis na fearthainne," but what matters is not the sunshine, but what we are going to do in the sunshine. Statements have been made in the Dáil by the Prime Minister and by some of his Ministers that certainly show definite shadows across the path that our people of necessity must tread if they are going to make an economic success or a social success of their country in the new circumstances. The country is in a very difficult economic condition at present, and I have noticed that Senators who would not normally regard themselves as closely affiliated with the thoughts in some of our minds, have been emphasising recently that agriculture is the basis and the backbone of our security. To my mind, it is the very humus from which our economic well-being must grow, from which our national character must come.

When we realise what requires to be done for agriculture at the present time, and the opportunity there is for doing it at the present time, then some of the statements that have been made in presenting these Agreements to the Dáil strike me with a certain amount of dismay. They strike me with a certain amount of dismay for various reasons. We have got rid of a certain amount of shibboleth that has been dominating our political life for quite a number of years. But there is the danger that other shibboleths may arise to-day, and arise directly out of these Agreements, or the manner in which they are being presented, and that they will create political confusion for us and destroy some of our political energy.

I do not want to speak about things of the past, because we are all concerned with what we are going to do to-day and to-morrow. There is a certain financial Agreement made, and it leaves a certain amount of money available in the Treasury. That money will be allocated in particular ways to-day, within the next few days, or during the next few months. The allocation of that money to particular lines of policy is going to indicate how moneys to that extent are going to be spent for years to come and I submit that money is necessary to be applied to the real foundations of our economic strength. If that money is not applied forthwith, then we are going to have the real foundations of our economic strength starved.

The Prime Minister draws attention to the fact that the ports have been taken over, that they are going to be modernised, and that the money to be spent on the Army is going to be considerably increased. He more or less indicated in the Dáil the broad outlines of a defence policy. When we are considering defence, we have to ask ourselves are we afraid of invasion. If we are afraid of invasion, then the most absurd thing we could do to-day with moneys we might have for defence purposes would be to spend them on the ports at Berehaven, Cobh, or Lough Swilly. If we are not afraid of invasion, then it would be twice as silly to spend money on these things. The ports are being made to occupy a particular position in our national defence scheme for the future that I do not think they should be allowed to occupy at all. We might as well base a defence scheme on the Martello towers around our coasts as base it on the ports that are guarding these harbours that we have in front of us at the present time. Already some people in the Prime Minister's own constituency have raised the question: Are we going to be defenders of the Empire? Are we going to be dragged into the whirlpool of the next European war? Why can we not have our neutrality?

In the first place, one of the points I want to make is, that money that is available to-day should be applied to the improvement of our agricultural industry and we can very easily wait to see what amount we are going to spend on a defence policy and, secondly, now is the occasion to clear our own and the national mind of any danger of shibboleths arising in the future to bedevil our political and social life with the cry that we are the defenders of Great Britain. It is necessary that we ask ourselves, in view of the prominence that is being given to this defence scheme and in view of the threat in that promise that money is going to be withdrawn to-day from directions in which it is urgently needed—it is necessary that we ask ourselves, in a plain way, what is likely to be the situation here if Great Britain were at war to-morrow? We, as a people, are going to be interested in seeing that there is safe transport for the agricultural produce that we have to send to our natural market there. That implies immediate and full cooperation between our military forces and the naval forces of Great Britain, in order to make free the transport across the Irish Sea from here to Great Britain of our produce.

That involves shoulder to shoulder cooperation, in complete trust and in complete harmony. It involves inviting the British naval forces to take advantage of the protection we can afford in any harbours on the east coast. It involves inviting them to enter our territorial waters for the purpose of improving the defences that are necessary for the transport of shipping across the Irish Sea. I do not think there is anyone in any part of the country who will deny that on the outbreak of war, if Great Britain was at war with a powerful neighbour, that that would be the first concern of our people and that would be the reaction of our people.

There is a corollary to that. While we are concerned principally with the protection of our east coast for that purpose, we are also concerned with our other ports at Limerick and Cork and throughout the country, and that involves an immediate and hearty invitation to the British naval forces to take advantage of the safety of our harbours, wherever they are, in order that they may assist on the sea in protecting our shipping. That involves inviting them and giving them facilities in Berehaven, Swilly and Cobh. The change that takes place as a result of this Agreement is that, instead of sheltering in front of ports guarded by English soldiers in English uniforms, they will be sheltering in the front of ports that will be Irish ports and that will be manned by Irish soldiers. That is the only difference. But, does that end the nature of the service that these ports are going to give to Irish defence?

I do not believe that we are in danger of invasion in this country. I do not believe that we are in danger of naval bombardment in this country. I do not believe we are seriously in danger of aerial attack in this country. We might have an isolated attack on Dublin for the purpose of retaliation or terrorisation. I have been trying to ascertain any possible enemy in Europe, any powerful nation that Great Britain may have against her, capable of sending an air fleet any considerable distance, and I have come to the conclusion that our danger from aerial bombardment in any force is very small and I think it would be a crime against even the defensive strength of this country that we should plunge ourselves to-day into expenditure, or keep aside for future expenditure sums of money that might now be available and that should be applied in other directions. That is about as much as I need say on that point.

I would like to differentiate between two aspects of our defence. First, there is that aspect that would mean co-operation with the British Navy to protect our coasts and to protect ships, whether the ships of Great Britain or trans-Atlantic shipping coming into our ports. That is one aspect of our defence. The internal arrangement that would be required here during a European war is entirely a separate thing. I believe that the assistance we need give to protect naval forces operating around our coasts would be small and the problem of organising that is small. I believe the problem of organising the internal national defence, unconnected with assistance to naval forces, is a small and a comparatively unimportant matter, too. I believe it is a matter that could be organised in a very short time or almost at once in a country that was economically strong and politically sound. Therefore, I shudder when I consider some of the words uttered by the Prime Minister on the defence question and I appeal to him and to every person in the country to look at the matter critically and consider whether economic well-being and economic strength is not the only thing out of which real defensive strength in this country can grow.

I believe our defence problem, whether it is co-operating with naval forces belonging to anybody else or ourselves, is a small problem and internal defence is a small problem too. But the problem of economically reconstructing our agricultural industry, and from that industry feeding the rest of the country with economic strength, is not a small problem, and before any money available as a result of this Agreement should be ear-marked for anything, the assistance that agriculture requires, on the one hand, to-day, and the assistance an over-taxed people require, on the other hand, should be seriously looked at. The financial returns before you show that the expenditure on supply services last year was £6,000,000 more than it was before the present Prime Minister came into office. In fact, to the increased expenditure has to be added another £2,000,000, because the £2,000,000 in the supply services for 1931-32 was not spent on the matters for which it was ear-marked at the time; that is, the payment of pensions and local loans and such matters as the Prime Minister has referred to. The position is that £8,000,000 more was spent on additional matters as compared with the year 1931-32.

The Budget shows a certain margin. You all know the position of agriculture to-day. Not only was there the additional taxation which that increased expenditure implies, but the rates bill for the various county councils presented to the farming community was increased over the 1931-32 figure by £661,000. Agriculture is being called upon to-day to support our newly-established industries. It is being called upon to pay a reasonable and an increased wage to agricultural labourers. They are being warned that, if and when, the North comes in we here will have to bear substantially increased burdens.

The community that you are calling upon to-day to pay additional wages to their workers—and without the payment of additional wages to agricultural workers we cannot have any economic strength in the country agriculturally or industrially — are being asked to-day to pay substantially higher rates and taxes than they were asked to pay in the past. The community that have gone through the distressing circumstances of the last six years and that are being asked to bear a substantial portion of our taxation, are being invited to-day to consider the next great step—the inclusion of the North in a complete and united Ireland, thus bringing additional burdens down on top of them. That is the position at a time when the farmers in the North whose taxation they will be relieving are at present being relieved of their rates on agricultural land while our farmers here are not. To my mind, there is one outstanding way in which agriculture can be assisted without the additional organisation of Government machinery and control directing them, thereby breaking down their initiative and undermining their own feeling of responsibility towards their industry, and that is by the derating of land. We are told that certain moneys have to be marked for a new defence policy. The Army to-day is costing about £460,000 more than it did it in 1931-32. In that year, two months before he took up office, the Prime Minister said that by removing the causes of dissatisfaction amongst our people the cost of the Army could be reduced by £500,000. At a time when not only has the cost of the Army not been reduced by that £500,000, but when it is costing £460,000 more than in 1931-32, we are told that, with the exception of Partition, the dissatisfactions that the people were labouring under are being removed. To take money for additional defence purposes without facing up to the position in which our farmers find themselves by reason of their overhead charges would, I think, be to strike a blow at the defensive as well as the economic well-being of the country. Therefore, I think that the derating of agricultural land should be faced up to before any consideration is given to any expenditure in connection with defence.

There are other matters in connection with the farming community that require to be attended to. There is the question of the very considerable increase in taxation that is taking place and is showing up visibly. I want to point out that with the money available as a result of that taxation, there are burdens grinding sections of our people and steps ought to be taken immediately to remove them. In 1936 the bread consumption of our people fell below the figure for 1931-32 by 18,000,000 2 lb. loaves. That is a serious reflection. It is an additionally serious reflection when I say that the smaller amount of bread consumed cost our people £418,000 more, so that while consuming 10 per cent. less of bread in 1936 than they did in 1931-32, they paid £418,000 more for it. That refers to the year 1936, the last year for which I have the figures. If the 1937 consumption is the same as for 1936, then when you take into consideration that the price of a 2lb. loaf for every one of the quarters reported to us by the Statistics Branch of the Department of Industry and Commerce has risen by ½d., it means that if our people consumed bread last year and consume it this year only at the 1936 level which, as I have said, was 10 per cent. below the consumption figure for 1931-32, then, in addition to the £418,000 more than they paid in 1936, as compared with 1931-32, they will have to pay £350,000.

What I ask is that that piece of grinding taxation on our people be taken off them at the present time. Government policy has resulted in that artificially increased price for bread, so that £769,000 more will have to be paid by the people this year for bread, even if they eat 18,000,000 fewer loaves than they ate in the year 1931. That is an appalling consideration of what the cost of bread means to the poorest classes in our community. The cost of bread is not the only thing that I ask the House to consider. The price of butter has gone up. As a result of the recent increase in the price of butter, £350,000 more will have to be paid by consumers this year than they paid last year, assuming that the amount of butter consumed in each year is the same. That additional taxation is going to fall unreasonably and inequitably on the poorest of our people. Take bacon. Not only did we consume less bread, but our people consumed less bacon. For the year 1936, the last year for which we have official figures dealing with consumption, the consumption of bacon was down by a quarter of what it was in 1931-32. It was down by 216,000 cwts., while the cost to the people was increased by £139,000. If that increase in cost is going to continue, it will mean that the consumption of the reduced quantity of bacon —that is the consumption of three-quarters of what was consumed in 1931-32—our people are going to have to pay an additional £850,000. That is an appalling thing to contemplate when you consider what bacon, bread and butter mean to the poorest classes of our people, as well as the additional taking of money out of the people's pockets, over and above what is implied in the increased taxation as shown in the revenue accounts presented to-day. I say that if our people are to have any strength or any growth they will have to be relieved in their homes—the poorest of our people—of all these taxes which are falling increasingly and inequitably on them.

If the moneys that are available to the Treasury to-day as a result of the Agreement are not used in part to relieve the people of these taxes on their food—the poorest of our people— as well as to relieve the farmers of their overhead charges, thereby relieving those who are in the gravest difficulty in this country to-day, because the farmer is the foundation of all our stability and strength, economically and defensively, then there will be nothing to congratulate ourselves upon in the future so far as these Agreements are concerned.

There is material in these Agreements that will enable our people to go ahead and to improve their position here, principally as I say because we are told by the person from whom it is most valuable to have the telling —I refer to the present Prime Minister and to his particular outlook upon these things—that all our big questions with Great Britain are now solved except Partition. The Minister for Industry and Commerce said that our differences in the past were not about objectives, but simply the tactics of those who were concerned with to-day and to-morrow. I say that every single one of our people is more concerned with to-day and to-morrow than he is about the pros and the cons of yesterday, but the people who saved this country and saved its freedom for us were the people who thought of to-day and not of yesterday. We have the chance, as I say, of thinking of to-day and thinking of to-morrow. That is why I plead that no highfalutin' policy of defence should prevent the moneys that are available in the Irish Treasury from being used sanely and sensibly. That is why I also plead that, in facing the problems of defence, we look frankly, fearlessly and straightly at things: that we examine our defence problem from inside Ireland, and consider it without being driven in any direction by any bogey about invasion or of subserviency to another country. What I suggest is that we should look at these things frankly, and take it out of the power of any group in this country to say that our defence policy is a policy organised to defend Great Britain, or is a policy that is going to drag us into the next European War. We have the opportunity of dealing with our resources to-day. I have been driven to make the remarks that I have made upon these Agreements by the shadows that I have seen cast over the situation by some statements made in the Dáil with regard to a defence policy.

The Bills before the House, and the Agreements contained in them, have given the country an opportunity of breathing a sigh of relief. We are a liberty-loving race. I think it is true to say that the spirit of dissatisfaction so evidenced throughout the country over the past four or five years was due as much to the loss of liberty which the farmer experienced as to the loss of cash following the loss of his markets. This Agreement, the Prime Minister has said, is unique. We, too, may say that the Agreement is unique, and in more ways than one. I think it is the first Agreement that our Prime Minister has signed with England, and that is a very vital point indeed. Senator Mulcahy has stressed it, and I should like to stress it. Secondly, this is the first Agreement made with England which has been accepted by all the leaders of our people. Now, I feel that the fact that we have made the Agreement and accepted it, as well as the manner of its acceptance, is a demonstration of this: that our people are passing out of the period of their adolescence in Statehood into a virile, full-grown nation, and are entering on what we all hope is a new life.

Senator Mulcahy has indicated that it is better not to speak and not to think of things that have been. It would be great if we could all feel like that, but the truth is that the people in the countryside, the farmers, even to-day, cannot help thinking of the things that have happened. Now, in the days when Senator MacDermot, or Deputy MacDermot as he then was, was urging on the Government the advisability of making peace with England by the payment of a lump sum, I think he would have been very daring had he suggested that we ought to pay Britain something like £35,000,000 or £40,000,000 of a lump sum and to have done with all the economic trouble by that means. My view is that we would have been better as a nation, more virile to-day, if we had paid £35,000,000 or £40,000,000 five years ago instead of getting off with a payment of £10,000,000 to-day.

The Prime Minister has urged, and probably from his point of view rightly so, that the settlement could only have been made now—that the circumstances were not propitious; but during these five years we have lost certain things. In the British House of Commons, Mr. Chamberlain talked about what they hoped they had gained, but in these five years we have lost from rural Ireland those intangible, those imponderable things which you cannot buy for hard cash, and because we have lost these things —it is not any pleasure for me to state it here—I feel that we cannot get the full fruits of this Agreement if we do not fully realise the losses we have sustained.

The Prime Minister, in the Dáil the other day, expressed a new thought. He said that he thought that it would be a disaster—a national disaster—if we were to go back simply to grass; and he said: "If I thought—though I think on the whole the Agreement is satisfactory, and there are things in it I want—that we were going back again to grass, simply going to be a ranch and maintaining only the people a ranch could maintain under world conditions, then I should prefer to scrap that Agreement and that my name never appeared to it." Now, it is rarely, I think, that we get the Prime Minister venturing into a discussion on things pertaining to agriculture. I think that, on the whole, he leaves that to the Ministers of his Cabinet, but when we have got him here I think that it is very important, in fact vital, to our future life here, that that statement of his ought to be examined, and that he ought to think over it and its consequences, and see what our national policy in the future is going to be. When I speak of national policy, I am thinking in terms of agricultural policy, but there can be no national policy which does not first take that into account, because there can be no nation except a nation that is built on the industry of agriculture. The Prime Minister spoke of going back to grass. I do not know if he is aware that, according to the figures we have, we had approximately 3,700,000 acres in 1931, and that in 1937 we had approximately 3,679,000 acres. It seems, on those figures, that we have approximately the same area of grass in 1937 as we had in 1931. I want to urge that in this country grass, and good grass, is our country's greatest possession——



——and that the proper cultivation of our grasses and the proper management of the grass lands of this country can do more to build our country up than any other type of cultivation in which our people will engage. I myself think that in the past there has been a great deal of misunderstanding about the use which the people of this country ought to make of their own country and their own land. Up and down the country you hear all these declarations against ranching. Now, I know awfully little about ranching. There are no ranches in the county where I was brought up. Probably, there might have been ranches there some centuries ago.

What is the definition of a ranch?

I do not know, and probably I could make as good a shot at giving a definition of any type of farming as quite a number of other Senators. I want to put this, however, so that the Prime Minister may hear it and perhaps try better to understand the question: that in my view the farmers in the small farming counties can only live by the large counties making good use of their grasses. Some years ago, looking into the figures for my own county, I discovered that out of 19,000 holdings 13,000 are of £10 valuation and under. I say—and I think we ought to try to find out whether this is a fact or not —that we can only keep our people on these £10 holdings by continuing to a very great extent the type of farming that was being carried on on the better lands in other counties where the farms are much larger. We have now the experience of a few years of sub-division of lands here. We have figures from the Land Commission quite recently which would indicate that, approximately, £900, and in some other cases £700, are requisite to take a congest from Connemara and settle him in Meath. For the settlement of a landless man in any of these counties the figure would be somewhere around £300. What I want to urge is this. You are taking these men now into these new homes. You are breaking up big farms and putting them on 25 acres. On these farms, these men can only live by going into the same type of farming which we understand and which we have practised in the small farming counties. What are they going to do? They are going to keep their four or five cows and their few pigs and their poultry—just as we are doing in my county and just as they are doing in Sligo and along the west coast and down in Clare and Kerry and so on— but the situation in this country for some time past has been that the maintenance of our people in dairying has entailed a very considerable drain on the Exchequer and on the butter consumers in this country, as was demonstrated from the figures given by Senator Mulcahy to-day. Are we going now to bring up more men and put these people into competition with the men who have been there on small farms of bad land for generations and who have held their own there? Are we going to put these congests into competition with them merely to provide an answer to this cry: "Do away with ranching"? What are the consequences, if we do? In the first place, I do not know whether or not we have a market for this increased quantity of butter that we are going to produce. Perhaps the Minister for Agriculture can answer, but that is the first thing to be discovered. If that market is to be kept as it has been maintained for some years past at a cost to the Exchequer and at a cost to the consumers of butter in this country, it is going to be a very expensive policy for us to pursue. How is that going to affect us? Take your 20 acre or 30 acre farm such as you have in my county and compare that case with that of a man with the same area in County Meath. The position is this, that a cow in County Cavan will give you 400 gallons of milk, whereas the same cow on a farm in County Meath will give at least 500 gallons. Whereas you are going to have increased productivity on one type of farm or in connection with one type of agriculture, the condition of the small farmer in other parts of Ireland is going to be worsened and I say that it will mean that the lands that were won hardly by our forefathers in the past will have to be abandoned to the heather, the furze and the rush.

When the Prime Minister speaks of ranching I should like that that aspect of that policy would be considered, and in conjunction with that it ought also be considered that land is only of value if you have experienced farmers to work it. Land is not a commodity with which the uninitiated can experiment with success. You can destroy soils, as you have destroyed soils in this country in the past few years. I have been on some of the best land of Meath myself and I have seen where only four barrels of wheat to the acre were reaped, and that is what I call destroying soil; but if you look to see where we are going to get the men in the future to work this land on which we hope to build up our greatness, look to our national schools, look to the falling averages and see whether we have got this new material for these new farmers you are trying to create by the cry, "Do away with ranching." I should like that, at another time, all this would be considered, as it must be considered. It must be considered because it is pressing itself very forcibly before the minds of a great many thoughtful people. However, I go on from that point to the position in which a great many of our farmers find themselves to-day. With Senator Mulcahy, my view is that great good can come from these Agreements, and I hope for great good; but I am convinced that the people of this country—a great number of them—can get no benefits whatever from these Agreements unless we realise the sorry plight in which these farmers find themselves to-day. In fact, while the economic war created very serious problems for us and the Government, this settlement will create other problems just as serious if they are not realised and tackled very quickly. Everywhere—I believe, in every townland in this country—you have farmers whose plight, as a result of years of depression, is very serious indeed, and you will see these farmers living side by side with other men who by some means or other were able to conserve their capital or who are still able to draw on capital that they collected from their industry in the past and who can keep their farms fully stocked and their machines going and they themselves fit and well. As I heard a Cork man put it the other day, we must put heart in our people and heart in the land, but you cannot put heart in a half-broken farmer unless you can provide for him the means by which he can get back the hope that he can have something for his labour and make his land pay. We are not going to get from half-broken farmers and half-stocked land in this country productivity to the full, or anything like it, and I urge very seriously that the first responsibility of the Government now is to put the man, who is a decent, trustworthy, reliable and good citizen, back on the road where he is able to have enough capital to stock his land to the full, to get the machines that he wants and to enable him to feel that he is going to get something for his labour if he is putting labour back into the land. As I say, side by side with him, you have the man who already has capital and who will now be getting the increased prices as a result of the Agreement, and the result will be that the other man will grow dispirited and jealous because he will feel that he is one of those who have been broken or half-broken as a result of this struggle and that now he will not be in a position to take advantage of the improved conditions. There are thousands and thousands of these good and worthy people up and down this country who demand the consideration of the Government and who expect that the Government policy will be applied in such a way to them as will give them a chance.

Now, I have seen it urged here and there that the Government ought to provide credit immediately for agricultural purposes. I have seen that proposition opposed here and there and, strangely enough, opposed by people in rural districts. I know that it will be urged that, if capital be provided to-morrow to enable farmers to restock their lands, you are going to inflate the prices of cattle and that, in some ways, you may do more harm than good; but even if that were the case, I hold that the man who will buy dear stock, who will take the risk of buying dear stock, the man who will have the courage to do that and face that situation, will be a much better and more valuable citizen than the man who is going to do just a few days' work on his own land and then be wanting a few days more on the roads—perhaps a couple of days on his own land, and half of it let to his neighbour who was able to weather the storm. I realise that to ask the Government now to provide the necessary credits for the restocking of the land is to ask them to do something to which very strong objections may be raised. But I have some experience of this matter. Before I was deemed unworthy to serve on a certain board, I had six or seven years' experience of the demands of the farmers for credits. Their demands to-day are 100 per cent. greater than they were then. The land cannot be worked to-day unless we make available the credits for the men who want to work it. No value can come to the country out of the Agreement unless the Government realise that that is the first essential. You must oil the wheels if you are to get the men who work.

I pass on to a subject to which I think that, coming from a Border county, I ought to make reference. The Prime Minister said in the Dáil that, in so far as this Agreement omitted any reference to Partition, it was a poor Agreement. Whether the Prime Minister believes it or not, there is no doubt that a considerable section of nationalist opinion in the Six Counties believed he was going to release them from the bondage of Partition. I think that this Agreement will put the position of Partition on a much more stable basis than it has ever been before. Nationalist opinion in the Six Counties will realise that, as between the two Parties in the State, each is as incapable as the other of doing what all of us want to do—achieving the unification of the country. It may be rash to urge it now but it seems to me that, as a result of this Agreement, there is necessity for a re-orientation of the whole attitude to Partition both here and in the Six Counties. Few of us, I think, will want, in assessing the responsibility for Partition, to avoid putting a share of it on England. I and a number of Senators believe that she played her part in creating that problem.

Not a part—the whole.

The problem we have to face is: how to solve the difficulty. There is a body of opinion in the northern counties determined to remain separate from us. Whatever they may feel about the matter, all of us here have reached the stage when we feel that a united effort must be made to win back the remains of the province of Ulster and to unite it with the rest of Ireland. I think that we must go about that in a thoughtful but determined way. It is essential now that nationalist opinion in the Six Counties should take a rather different point of view, and adopt an attitude different from that which they have been adopting in the past. If we hope for the day when the people in the Six Counties will rejoin us, none of us want to see a position when these people in the Six Counties—the Nationalists and Unionists—will come here with the relationship between them what it is to-day. So far as we can alter the conditions, we ought to say to the Nationalists of the North that we desire that they should realise that their neighbours with whom they live side by side will some day reach the point when there will be a desire, and when it will be essential for them to rejoin the Motherland, that they ought to be prepared for that day, that they ought to face up to the position and realise that good relationship and good fellowship can provide a road towards unity that another spirit would not give them. For our own part, I believe the Prime Minister ought to make an effort to get all Parties to come together and help towards the solution of this problem. We have a minority here, and there is a minority in the Six Counties. We have some of our minority in this House. We are very glad to have them here. They are men who have given valuable service to the country in the past. They have made a valuable contribution to the nation, and they are clearly anxious to make a further contribution, as they are able to do. I believe that the minority in this country ought to be invited into a common effort to reunite the whole country. I believe that Nationalist action in the North should be urged to show an united front.

Something else must be done. We had the extraordinary position a few days ago when, in order to save the peace of Europe, the British Ambassador at Prague urged on the Government of Czecho-Slovakia how essential it was they should make the maximum concessions to the Sudeten Germans. The German minority in Czecho-Slovakia hope to have the help of the British Ambassador and the French Ambassador in winning their demands. Surely it is not impossible to expect that the British representative would urge on the majority in Ulster that the minority should be given the consideration which they have not, so far, been given. We have not treated our minority here as the minority in the North have been treated. If they have reacted unfavourably, they have been given great cause, and if we are to help now, in the new conditions, towards a solution of the problem which faces all of us, we shall have to take all the factors into account and be neither fearful nor rash, but wise and courageous. We have an opportunity to concentrate on this now, but I urge again, as Deputy Mulcahy urged, that there can be no life for us here, no real progress, and no development unless we realise that the people on the soil here should be given the chance to which they are justly entitled and which they have not been given up to now. This Agreement gives us the opportunity. It frees us. It takes the chains from our limbs and, because of that and because of our hopes from it, we welcome the Agreement.

Being a person of great natural timidity, I feel considerable alarm on rising to address the House at all after the scathing remarks of Senator Quirke about persons who are not attached to any Party. I am supported, however, by the presence of the individual who is to blame for my being here. If I am out of place, Senator Quirke can take the matter up with him instead of with me.

We have been listening to Senator Baxter talking with great knowledge on a subject of great importance to this country—a subject on which he is an expert, the subject of agriculture. We have been listening to Senator Mulcahy talking with equally expert knowledge on the subject of defence. I propose now to make one or two very amateurish remarks on both these topics before I go on to make some general observations on the economic and political aspects of the Agreement before us.

With regard to agriculture, I was greatly interested in what Deputy Baxter said of the part that is played in our agricultural economy by grass lands. In reading through the speech— the noble speech—of the Prime Minister, which concluded the debate on this Agreement in the other House, I found in it just one flaw. That was what I conceived to be an unjust and ungenerous allusion to the people whom he described as "ranchers." I should like to draw from him, or from somebody else, a definition of just what a ranch is and of just what a rancher is. I will admit that, during the course of what is called the economic war, there were some movements of which I violently disapproved and of which I expressed my disapproval, for the withholding of payments that were legally due. I do not want to say anything now to justify such action as that, but I do say that the Prime Minister ought not to hold up the larger farmers, in general, as traitors to their country because they resented being tumbled into bankruptcy by the policy which is described as the "economic war." That hundreds of them were so tumbled into bankruptcy without any fault of theirs is beyond question. Is there a single person here can deny that? If the quality of their patriotism seemed then to be somewhat less pure and less exalted than that of others during the course of the economic war, I think that, at this time of general rejoicing and general congratulation, they might be spared from harsh reflections.

As regards defence, that is a very technical and very delicate subject, on which I propose to say no more than this—that I hope the Prime Minister will devote much more attention to realities than to technicalities. I noticed in the Dáil what seemed to me to be a certain disposition on his part to give too much weight to technicalities. I noticed him laying stress, in replying to Deputy Dillon, on the right of the member-States of the Commonwealth, and still more on our own right, to adopt a position of neutrality in the case of war. I noticed, also, that he made an allusion to the fact that he once put me right for having dared to suggest that there should be such a thing as consultation with the nations of the Commonwealth upon general questions of foreign policy. Technically, I am perfectly well aware—I am sure that Deputy Dillon was perfectly well aware too— that we have an absolute right to decide our own foreign policy and that, at any rate, we are not alone in the Commonwealth—assuming we are in the Commonwealth—in taking the view that in a time of war it would be open to us to be technically neutral. The question we have really to consider is not what the technical situation would be but what the real situation would be. As to that, I am not going to make any prophecies to-day. I shall urge only that we should think more and more about realities and less and less about technicalities. If it is consistent with the national dignity of, say, France, to consult with England about questions of defence and questions of foreign policy in general, if it is consistent with the national dignity of Italy to consult with Germany about mutual defence and mutual foreign policy, it ought not to be inconsistent with the fullest extent of Irish independence to make such consultations as prudence and common sense might indicate were desirable for the sake of our own safety and our own trade.

As to the Agreement in general, I think it is an excellent Agreement and that the Prime Minister and his colleagues are to be congratulated upon it. They have, indeed, received pretty general congratulations upon it, and even those who are disposed to criticise, and whose duty it is to find such flaws in it as they can, have, I notice, shown a disposition to put forward some almost proprietary claims in regard to it. In other words, they have said: "Why, this Agreement is our policy." If we are along that line of country, I am not above putting in a certain modest degree of proprietary claim myself, because I think I was the earliest and most persistent person in the Dáil who urged that this financial dispute should be settled by the payment of a lump sum. I even think that on several occasions I mentioned the actual figure, by coincidence, of £10,000,000. I also urged that the thing could be done without any sacrifice of principle whatever, and when I read people now on the Opposition Benches in the Dáil accusing the Government of having sacrificed principle in entering into this Agreement, even although they approve of it, I feel a certain amount of indignation, because I think we all concurred in urging on them that the thing should be done, and in saying that the businesslike thing was to accept the conflict of principle between ourselves and the British Government as irreconcilable, as something that could not be got rid of and to treat the matter in a business way and make a bargain, allowing all concerned to keep their own principles intact.

That is what has been done, and I do not think the opponents of the Government, or such of them as urged that course, can now be heard to say there has been any sacrifice of principle. On the other hand, apart from the fact that they are so barred, I think we should as quickly as possible get out of the habit of trying to tie our statesmen down by a narrow insistence on consistency on every occasion. No statesman is worth his salt who is not occasionally prepared to forget, and to depart from, some of the things he has said in the past.

Even the Republic.

The most fatal thing for a country is that its leading figures should be tied to the corpse of a dead policy. Do not let any of us on any occasion encourage the habit of so tying up those who are responsible for the conduct of affairs in this country. In particular, it has been a deplorable habit in the past for many generations to suggest that anybody who makes an agreement with England about anything is sacrificing some principle. I think there should be the greatest hesitation before bringing forward any such charge. But while there has been no sacrifice of principle, I do think there has been a change of attitude, a change that is rather a matter for congratulation than for scornful comment. If the Government have been willing, ever since August 1932, to settle the financial dispute with England by the payment of a lump sum, they have concealed their sentiments extraordinarily successfully. I could bring forward hundreds of quotations to prove that, to prove that they gave quite contrary indications both to Parliament and to the country. It is enough to mention that, less than a year and a half ago, in answer to a question of mine in the Dáil, the Prime Minister declared that not only had he made no offer of any sum in settlement, but that he would regard such a compromise as tantamount to unconditional surrender. I say that, not to taunt him, not to suggest that he has departed from any principle, because I do not for a minute consider that he has departed from any principle, but just to indicate that there has been a change of attitude and to argue from that that changes of attitude are good and ought to be encouraged so long as they do not involve a sacrifice of any fundamental principle.

The complaint is sometimes made that the position taken up by the opponents of the Government was what made it difficult to bring the so-called economic war to an end by the payment of a lump sum, or by any other arrangement, but I suggest that the attitude of the Opposition might have been a good deal different if the Government had allowed them to know, even by private communication, or had given them the least hint, that they were at all times willing to settle the dispute by the sort of bargain with which it has finally been settled, by a compromise of the kind that now has been arrived at. Certainly, speaking for myself, I know that at certain times, when hot and strong in opposition to the Government, it would have mitigated my opposition very considerably if I had known that the Prime Minister knew the meaning of the word "compromise" and was able to distinguish between compromise and unconditional surrender.

This brings me to the much discussed question of whether this Agreement could have been arrived at earlier, a question which is of more than academic interest because, if we are to act wisely in the future, we must learn from the lessons of the past. I think the answer is that if the issues at stake had been purely financial and economic, the settlement could certainly have been reached long ago. It was our political attitude towards the British Commonwealth that raised the difficulty. British public opinion is, as a rule, indifferent and apathetic about Irish affairs to a degree that has to be seen in order to be believed, but I think that, even so, it would have revolted against such concessions as have now been made to us as long as we were regarded as political and international enemies. It has taken time for them to grow accustomed to our discarding the Treaty and to our removal of the King from our internal Constitution. If we had been willing to call Dr. Douglas Hyde Viceroy instead of President, I dare say this Agreement could have been arrived at much earlier. It may be that we shall have to do so yet, if we are serious about wanting to end Partition, but that is a matter in which no Government can afford to run ahead of public opinion. As far as the British are concerned, they have made it plain that they are quite content to acquiesce in our retention of the King for external use only. I cannot get it out of my head that it would be more in accordance with our national dignity to accept the King as King of Ireland, just as Wolfe Tone was willing and eager to do, so long as it involved no subordination to England, rather than, regarding him as King of England, to adopt him as our organ for international affairs. That, however, is perhaps an almost metaphysical question and one which the Irish people only can decide and a matter in which no one generation can bind future generations.

This Agreement is immensely important, not only for what it contains, but for what it implies. Deputy McGilligan pointed out that the Prime Minister abstained from calling it a victory and I think the Prime Minister was right. It is not healthy that one party to an agreement should raise whoops of triumph over the other party. The Agreement is a victory of reason and conciliation and goodwill over bitterness and hostility and, as the Prime Minister said, if it is a good Agreement, both sides ought to be pleased with it. I am sorry, although I suppose it was inevitable, that the Minister for Industry and Commerce should have talked in the debate of our having won the economic war, and I am sorry that Deputy Hugo Flinn should have rhapsodised about the "unbelievable" revelation that we can resist successfully any economic attack that could be made upon us by our powerful neighbour. Moderation in war is imbecility and if England conceived herself to be waging economic war upon us during the last five and a half years, she has certainly been guilty of that imbecility to a very marked degree. To collect an annual sum which, legitimately or illegitimately, you claim to be due to you is one thing. It is quite another to set out deliberately to ruin and to bankrupt the supposed debtor. If England had wished to do the latter, she could have put an embargo, not a tariff, on all our produce and the results would have been catastrophic. Had she done so, she might have beaten us to our knees, but she would have sown a rich new crop of Irish enmity and hatred.

When we exult in having withstood, not without great difficulty and not without great suffering on the part of some of our people, the pressure that has been put upon us during the last five or six years, I think it is good sense and good patriotism to remember that there has been no revelation during those years so unmistakable and so complete as the revelation that the British market is essential to us, and this can be said with even greater force if we think of the North and what the North produces.

I quite agree that we are also of great economic importance to Britain and that our food supplies might be essential to her in time of war. So much the better—that there should be inter-dependence and not mere dependence. But let us not deceive our people by frantic boasts of our ability to come successfully through a real economic war with Great Britain. The fact is, we could not, and it is a very misguided form of patriotism to pretend that we could. We ought to see that without its making us feel the slightest inferiority complex. It does not involve any notion of subjection, political or otherwise; it does involve an identity of interests which no tub-thumping on the traditional anti-British and so-called anti-Imperialist lines ought to lead us to forget. Deputy McGilligan said that our representatives went to London as "broken men," with not one, but with three swords of Damocles hanging over them—the Banking Commission Report, the next general election, and national bankruptcy. That is to go to the opposite extreme from the Minister for Industry and Commerce and Deputy Hugo Flinn. If such were their frame of mind, our negotiators in London have certainly displayed superlative gifts of diplomacy in bringing back so good an agreement as they have brought back.

The Prime Minister says we can now concentrate on ending Partition. With that appeal I am in cordial and even passionate sympathy. I see by the papers that not everybody in the country is in sympathy, however. Miss MacSwiney is still blaming England for the fact that we do not declare a Republic. I cannot help recollecting that at the time when the present Constitution of this country was passing through the Dáil, in dealing with the clause by which we declared ourselves an independent and sovereign State, I actually proposed an amendment substituting the word "Republic" for the word "State," but not one solitary member of the Dáil was found to support that innocent suggestion. That being so, where is the ground for Miss MacSwiney's complaint about the behaviour of England? Assuming we were a 32-county unit to-morrow, is there any reason to suppose that under those circumstances an amendment in the Dáil to substitute the word "Republic" for the word "State" would have any greater success than on the last occasion? I see no reason to suppose anything of the kind. Is it not, therefore, a little unreasonable of Miss MacSwiney to lay the blame for our not being a republic on the base, bloody and brutal Saxon?

Within the walls of Parliament we, apparently, are all agreed that the question on which we must concentrate to-day is the restoration of the unity of Ireland, but such concentration surely necessitates an agreed policy and line of advance. What is to be the basis of that advance? I could repeat in this connection a great many things that I have said before on this subject, but I prefer to take a passage from the admirable speech made in the Dáil by the Minister for Finance on April 29th. I can pay it no greater compliment than to say that, allowing for his superior eloquence, it reads almost like an extract from a speech of my own. He said:

"When we talk of union, we do not think of Ireland merely in terms of territory; we think of it in terms of human beings, of those in the North who differ from us about a great many things, who hold their views and their ideals just as strongly as we do. We will have here on our side to cultivate an appreciation of the fact that those who hold those ideals are as strong and as tenacious in regard to them, as courageous in upholding them, and as valiant in defending them, as we have shown ourselves to be through the long years of our history. We are not going to bring them in either by threats or by coercion. There is no use talking about what may happen, in what ways we may sweep out the Border. The Border exists, and exists to some extent in the hearts and minds of our own people. We have got to bring those hearts and minds together in a willing co-operation. I am glad to have signed these Agreements, because I think they bring that day of co-operation and that day of sentimental union amongst all Irishmen nearer."

Those seem to me to be admirable sentiments, and I should only add to them the reminder that the Prime Minister himself said that, whatever responsibility Great Britain may have had for the creation of Partition, having once knocked Humpty-Dumpty off the wall it does not follow that you are very easily able to join the pieces and put him back sitting on the wall again. Whatever the origin of Partition, Partition is essentially an Irish question now, and I am sure the Prime Minister has discovered, if he did not know it before, in the course of his recent visits to England, that no hand would be raised from that side of the water to prevent the people of the North and South coming together of their own free will. That, even if we do not think it enough, is something—something to recognise and something to be thankful for.

Within the scope of this debate I cannot go into all the implications of the pregnant words that were used by the Minister for Finance, but I do suggest that if they represent the feeling of the Fianna Fáil Party as a whole, it is false to say that the Government have no plan for Irish unity. They have the best of all plans —if those are their sentiments— namely, the preparation of public feeling throughout the Twenty-Six Counties for such concessions to the Northern Unionists as will enable their traditions and loyalties—other than the evil tradition of ascendancy— to be satisfied within the framework of Irish self-government.

Senator Baxter has mentioned Czechoslovakia. I would describe the lesson to be learned from Czecho-slovakia differently from the way in which he described it. There is a Germanic population in that country which in ages past has intruded itself into the ancient Kingdom of Bohemia and forms there about the same proportion of the total population as the people of British stock would form in this country to the total population if we had a united Ireland. The immense embarrassments that the Czechoslovakian Government is struggling with as a consequence of the Sudeten Germans being incorporated in Czechoslovakia against their will are visible for all of us to see. We should not enjoy a moment's political repose or political security if 25 per cent. of our people were constantly clamouring for reunion with England and if, as would be sure to be the case, they found politicians and parties in England to support their claim. The Ulster Unionists must, therefore, be brought in of their own free will, and far from turning up our noses at the political conceptions on which the British Commonwealth is founded, we ought to be grateful to Providence that they do supply a principle and a method by which real and complete independence for the whole of Ireland can be reconciled with the satisfaction of that pride and affection which is most genuinely felt by a section of our population when they look out not only upon Britain but on Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. While I say this, I wish to emphasise once again that I realise the impossibility of a Parliament or a Government running ahead of the public opinion of the country. So far as Deputies and Senators and members of the Government agree with such ideas as these, it is, therefore, for all of us to do what we can to lead the minds of the people of the country in that direction, which I believe to be the only one that can take us to a united Ireland.

Those of us who have their roots in the Six Counties— and, as in my own case, roots that reach deep, through kindred dust of many generations—cannot welcome, without a poignant sense of incompleteness, any Agreement between Ireland and Great Britain which fails to restore our own part of Ireland to the national unity, our own portion of Ulster to the reintegration of the province as an historic entity. For this reason I share with my kinsfolk in the North, and the Irish race throughout the world, their profound disappointment that wisdom has not yet been allowed to say her last word on the matters at issue, and that we must leave to another day the rapturous joy of the moment envisaged by the Taoiseach, when he himself, as I fondly hope and pray, will gather us all together to hear him announce that our country, whole once more and unpartitioned, has entered at last into complete possession of her independent sovereignty.

But we are realists; and we recognise that "half a loaf"—and in this case we may talk of three-quarters of a substantial loaf—"is better than no bread." Three-quarters of Ireland is ours to do what we want with it, without external interference—to make or to mar, according as our own wisdom, or want of it, decides. We have it in our power to render this part of Ireland so goodly a place of abode, so progressive in the right direction, that our separated compatriots, when the hour of reunion strikes, will gladly join up with us; that the men and women of Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht, whatever their racial origins or religious affiliations, shall have henceforth but one cause of rivalry: to show which of them loves Ireland best.

To hasten that day we must show a spirit of union and mutual toleration among ourselves, and seek out, now that the chief thing which kept us wrangling for the past six years has been got out of the way, the things on which we can unite; and, when we come to those on which we must divide, to bring right reason and tolerance to our discussion of them. Already a splendid lead has been given in this direction when the three great Parties in the State, in their common search for a worthy President, turned instinctively to a man who had devoted his life to a cause which they all agree on, recognising as fundamental the preservation and restoration of the native tongue. I hope we may continue on these lines, and that should not be too difficult, since, broadly speaking, we have all the same great end in view, the termination of Partition. Now that the rocks which impeded our vision of it have been removed by the Constitution and the present Agreement, there should be no great difficulty in advancing together for its attainment.

I am glad to think that Seanad Éireann will play its part—and no insignificant part—in the advance to the final goal now so clearly in sight. In a way, it may be said that the constitution of the Seanad is an anticipation of a reunited Ireland. Those of us who represent the Universities, and we form a tenth of the total personnel of the Seanad, had the honour to be sent here by the suffrage of graduates in two constituencies which know, thank God, no internal "boundary line." I am sure I can speak for my five colleagues as well as for myself when I say that we are proud of this fact, and that we accept joyfully and thankfully the responsibilities imposed by it.

And now, having spoken as a University representative, let me speak as a woman. We women welcome the Agreement, not only for what it contains, but for what it implies. All wars press heavily on the women of a country, and the crush of an economic war falls on them with peculiar weight. And here I might say that if the women of our country-sides had shown less grit, less dogged determination to "stick it," we might not have been able to stand out for so good a settlement as we are getting to-day. I do think that some tribute should be paid to our women for their spirit of heroic endurance, and since this was not done in the Sister Assembly, let us praise them now.

In proportion to the greatness of the sacrifice is the joy of the relief, and we women feel that joy all the more intensely since the conditions on which the economic war has been ended are honourable to both parties, and especially because they have been arrived at as the result of free, frank and friendly parley between two neighbour nations.

In my native village—and Senators will have already surmised it lies nearer to the defences of Lough Swilly than those of Berehaven or Cobh—we set great store on "neighbourliness." The greatest praise one woman can get from another is to be described as a "grand neighbour"; while if anyone wishes to establish a special claim on our motherly interest and benevolence let him come to us as "a neighbour's wain" ("wee-un"). We rejoice then that for the first time in their mutual relations, Ireland and Great Britain are trying to be "grand neighbours," and that the people of each may make an appeal to the other as "neighbours' wains." But this "neighbourliness" has its own safeguarding reticences. And whether the "neighbours" face each other across a village street, or across the Irish Sea, it is well to remember that the fine flower of "neighbourliness" is best conserved if we keep our hens out of each other's back gardens, and are not always running into each other's houses to borrow each other's beetles. While if it is to come to its full blossoming each bean a tighe must beware of trying to “run” the other's family and household. These working maxims of homely wisdom, which have been tested and found good between village “neighbours” have also their application as between adjacent peoples.

An interested listener to the debate on this Agreement in the other House must have thought of some of the speakers as suffering from the complaint so poignantly expressed by the old king in the Gilbert and Sullivan opera, whose chief "grouse" was that he had been left by a too attentive entourage nothing to grouse about:

"They give me this, and they give me that,

And I've nothing whatever to grumble at."

I am not in that position. I have something to "grumble at" and I'm going to end up with a grumble. I have to deplore that the Prices Commission which will have such an important rôle to play as a consequence of the Agreement we are now discussing has been deliberately deprived of the assistance of a woman in its delibertions and decisions. I say "deliberately," because when the Commission was first set up under "The Control of Prices Act," of 1932, it was made obligatory under the statute that at least two of the members of the Commission should be women. In the 1937 Act this provision was modified. There was no mention of women, and that the intention was to shelve women became apparent when a woman who had served on the first Commission with outstanding competency, devotion, thoroughness, and energy, was quietly dropped from the personnel of the reconstructed Commission. I am convinced this was a great mistake on the part of those responsible, and if it can yet be rectified I think that for "the common good and the observance of prudence, justice and charity," the rectification should be made and a woman's wisdom, practical outlook, and tested experience again made available for the weighty deliberations of the Prices Commission.

I have no apology to offer, and no hesitancy whatever in supporting the others who believe that the request of the Prime Minister, that this Bill and the other Bills to implement the Agreements should be passed through this House, and as speedily as possible, should be acceded to. There are so many aspects of this Agreement, and its possible effects on this country and on individuals, that the temptation to make an exceedingly long speech is probably great for every one of us who intends to speak. I do not propose to deal to any extent with many of the aspects in which I am particularly interested, but I was impressed by the fact that the British Prime Minister, Mr. Chamberlain, said that he expected more from what was not written actually in the Agreements than from anything that was written into them. I am inclined to think that if we examine the position we will find that the same thing applies to us. Now, to my mind, any agreement—even if there had been more in it that I could find fault with than there is in this—which would enable the present Prime Minister to say that he was satisfied that it removed from the field of dispute between Great Britain and ourselves all major issues except Partition, and knowing the extent to which his word, given solemnly as it was then, will be accepted, marks an enormous advance in our position in this country and that it will also have a profound effect on the one subject, namely, Partition, which was not dealt with and could not be settled now. I would like to say a word about that later.

I assume that while there may be minor difficulties which can, in the friendly spirit that can now be created, be removed, it will now be possible for this State to co-operate in a friendly way with the British Commonwealth of Nations, take part in its deliberations and assist it as an associate with that Commonwealth. I believe that one of the greatest things that can come from the Agreement is that our major Parties—and I do not place importance on agreements between Parties—will be able to view the constitutional position of the State from the same standpoint and, therefore, we can have continuity in our external relations with Great Britain, with the Commonwealth and with other nations, which I believe is of the greatest possible importance. As to the first part of the Agreement, I was a little puzzled by one reference of the Prime Minister to it, because I had carefully read his speeches in the Dáil, in which he assured us that the Agreements must be taken together, and I rather thought to-day that he seemed to think the Trade Agreement might be regarded as something separate. At any rate, I am taking it as one Agreement, because I doubt very much if any one part of it could have been made without the other parts.

I am not one who ever placed, probably because of my bringing up, the same importance on ports and defences as others, and, consequently, I am quite content it should be as it is now, and I was not unduly worried before. The first part of the Agreement, I understand, leaves us in the same position as any other independent nation associated with the Commonwealth; that is, that we can spend money or not on defences as we think fit, and we can make agreements with Great Britain or not as we think wise or fit; that we will not spend more on defence than we can properly afford. I could see a danger, particularly in the present world, that we would foolishly attempt to spend so much money in defence against a possible occasion without realising that alone it is quite impossible for a small country of this kind so to defend itself against every combination that you can conceive of, and I was glad that Senator Mulcahy took that line.

I do not know how far this will prove to be of great financial value. If we are wise and if we do not consider that we have to spend millions per year on armaments, not as part of the Agreement but as a result of the situation following it, then it may be of considerable financial benefit. It could easily be that it would lead to expenditure which would mean that, as far as the average person is concerned, he would feel very little, if any benefit at all, and if—I do not think I should expect it to-morrow, though I hope it will occur—in a short and a reasonable time this Agreement does not lead to some reduction in taxation and in the cost of living generally, then I think you will find it difficult to persuade the ordinary citizen that it is only as good as it was made out to be.

I am not competent to speak for agriculture. I am not competent to criticise or to agree with Senator Baxter and, even though we accept everything he says, I think there can be no question as to the value of the Agreement to the agricultural part of this community. I happened, a few weeks ago, to turn up some volumes of the last Seanad to look up a reference and I found myself reading some speeches made a few years ago, some by Senator Quirke and some by others of my friends, and I was so fascinated reading them that I went on—and I am not going to quote them. When I realised that these Senators would support this Agreement enthusiastically, I felt profoundly thankful that we could have a change in the position and support for an Agreement as satisfactory as this.

I do not think there is anything whatever to be gained by discussing what might have been done three years ago, who was responsible for particular actions, or all the other matters relating to the last ten or 12 years. I can conceive a discussion in this House lasting a week and I do not believe there would be one single person, even those without Party affiliations, who would change their minds at the end of it. Therefore, I can see no gain, but I can see a great deal of loss in that, and I was personally pleased at the way in which this debate was dealt with by Senator Mulcahy, whom we might regard as speaking for the official Opposition in this House.

It has been suggested that, because you are in favour in general terms of an agreement, particularly an international agreement, it is a mistake to criticise it. I disagree. I believe it is wise to criticise the details of an agreement of this kind. I further believe that it does not weaken the position of the Government, but rather strengthens them when they have to make further agreements if there is a frank expression of certain disagreement with particular details. But such criticism has to be made in the frank recognition, as the Prime Minister said, that when two nations or two people get together and make an agreement neither gets all he or it wants.

Now, there is one section of this Agreement that I definitely dislike, and I particularly dislike its phraseology. That is Article 8. I do not object to the principle which is to underlie our tariffs in future, as provided in that Article. I recognise that it would be almost impossible to make a trade agreement without having some such principle provided. In any case, it has been my opinion for some time that if the agricultural community in this country were to depend mainly on Great Britain for the sale of their produce, that it would be quite impracticable for industrialists to maintain prices for goods which had to be supplied to the farmer at a level substantially higher than was in vogue in Great Britain, the country in which the farmer had to sell his produce at a price which would pay him. I, therefore, do not want to be taken as holding the opinion that the Agreement could have been fundamentally different as far as the general basis on which tariffs on British goods could be maintained in this country is concerned. I do feel, however, that the wording of this Agreement is inconsistent with the independence of the country and, in the same manner, with the independence of Canada and Australia, who signed somewhat similar agreements. This is an international Agreement. It is quite right, to my mind, for us to agree to revise or alter our tariffs according to these principles on which revision is to take place, but when I read Article 8 I find that in this Agreement we have had to go further. We had to say the internal method that we would adopt for doing it. That, I think, is objectionable, and the fact that there is something similar in Canada or Australia, or the fact that I believe in association with our membership of the British Commonwealth of Nations, does not alter the fact that I hope that, in future agreements, that method will not be adopted, and that if a Government, with the support of Parliament, agree to carry out a certain line of policy, their word should be good enough that they will do it, without having to put in the Agreement that they will do it and the internal method by which they will do it. In this Article, we agree to act on the recommendation of a commission, the members of which have been appointed for a definite term and cannot be removed, within the term for which they have been appointed, except for very special reasons which are not likely to arise.

Now, as I examine this Article and compare it with the Agreements at Ottawa, I find a certain amount of similarity, but I also find certain differences. I notice, for instance, that no such provision occurs at all in the Agreement of Great Britain with South Africa, but that it does occur, in almost similar terms, in the Agreement with New Zealand, and, with a certain difference to which I shall draw attention, in the case of Canada and Australia. We find that in Article 8 of this Agreement it is stated that tariffs will be adjusted where necessary to give effect to the recommendations of the Prices Commission. When we turn to Canada and Australia, we find that the report of the Tariff Commission—the Tariff Board they call it, I think—will be placed before Parliament and Parliament will be invited to vary the tariffs in accordance with the report of the commission. To my mind, that is a much preferable method, and, not only more democratic, but one which maintains the supremacy of Parliament. I know that it can be said that there is not an awful lot of difference in the result and that a Government will have to command the support of the Dáil or Parliament. Nevertheless, I suggest that that method is preferable to the one adopted here, and I suggest that this form of Agreement that we have here is one that, between the Nations of the Commonwealth, might very well take a different form in the future. As this State was, in previous conferences, the leader in the removal of forms and phrases which were antiquated and not fully consistent with independence, I confess that I was disappointed when I found this wording here in this Agreement, even though the substance of it might, quite properly, have been included in the Agreement.

When I come to Section 2 of Article 8, I find myself in still more objection. We find there that, in regard to any new duties which may be imposed by the Government after the date of the Agreement, a similar procedure shall be followed at the request of the Government of the United Kingdom; that is, that they shall be sent before the Prices Commission. Now, the Government that is to impose these tariffs and that has agreed to the principle in Article 8, presumably, will honourably carry that out and impose the tariffs within the terms of Article 8, which are fairly wide; and to say that the Government which, after all, is responsible to Parliament, shall, at the request of the British Parliament submit its own actions—made after this Agreement and not before it—to a body or commission of three non-elected persons, seems to me to be undesirable. It means, in effect, inviting the commission to approve or disapprove of Government action. While I look upon this more as a student concerned with the development of affairs inside or in connection with the British Commonwealth of Nations, nevertheless I believe that it is right that, in Parliament, one should criticise these things frankly, although possibly no one else will agree with me or consider that these are matters of very great importance.

With regard to the more practical side of this Agreement, Article 8 is causing a great deal of uneasiness, and a very great deal of dislocation in trade. I do not know how that can be remedied, but I think that the Department of Industry and Commerce do appreciate some of the difficulties. Most, if not all, of the tariffs will at some future date be revised by the Prices Commission. That revision, when it takes place, must provide for the abolition of quantitative regulation and the introduction of a new tariff to take the place of the present tariff, plus the quota. Now, I speak with a fair amount of knowledge of one aspect, at any rate, of manufacture, and I say that there is nothing more disconcerting and more likely to injure efficient production than what is known as hand-to-mouth buying. If a manufacturer is faced with the position that the buyers in the country will only buy a fortnight's or a month's supply at a time, because they do not know when a possible change will take place—in some cases there may be no change, or there may even be higher tariffs as a result of investigation—while there is this uncertainty, you are unfortunately up against that hand-to-mouth buying, and up against that fearfulness of something which generally looks much worse when it is ahead than when it actually arrives. I hold that, as soon as the request is received—I think it is under Article 12 —it should be possible for the Government to issue a list at the earliest possible date announcing the commodities which will first come under review by the Prices Commission, the order in which they will be taken, and the approximate date. I admit that, in connection with the particular commodities that would be taken first, the gain would not be very much, but it would be a great help for those industries which would not be taken among the first, and it would enable trade to go on without fear and without this hand-to-mouth buying. That kind of hand-to-mouth buying is bad for the manufacturer, and it is definitely bad for the workers, because it injures the workers through short time and insufficient work. At any rate, I think it is one of these things which might be very carefully considered.

In dealing with the general trade position as a result of this Agreement, I do not want to say very much. I am a member of the Council of the Federation of Irish Manufacturers. They have been represented in the Press as being in a panic and in a desperate state of mind, and there have been all kinds of suggestions that they think they are going to collapse. I should like to say here, in the hope that it will get publicity, that since this Agreement became public I have met a very large number of the members of that federation, and I have not met a single one who, if he were in this House, would not vote for that Agreement. Now, that does not mean that there is not a certain amount of perfectly genuine uneasiness, but if you think that, because of the kind of public jibe which is common against the Irish manufacturer, to the effect that he is a backyard man, that he is incompetent, and that his only object is to make large profits under tariffs, no matter what the actual cost to him is —if you think that Irish industries are going to collapse and put up no fight, even if this Agreement does hurt them in certain respects, I would say definitely that the Irish industrialists of this country are not going to close down in a hurry and are not going to stop trying to serve the public. I think that they should be regarded with a certain amount of sympathy because, while this Agreement was being considered, they had a long period of bad trade and uncertainty, and now for many of them, there is to be another period—how long it will be, I do not know—of uncertainty.

From the various statements which have been made in the Dáil and elsewhere, I think I understand pretty well the effects of this Agreement, and I have not got a large number of questions to ask the Prime Minister. One thing, however, about which I am not very clear is this. It seems to me that it is possible for goods, under Schedule 5, Parts I and II, to come before the Prices Commission, but as far as Part I is concerned a reduction has already taken place—in some cases a very substantial reduction—and I take it that we may assume that, as far as Part I is concerned, they are not at all likely to come before the Prices Commission at an early date, as, if they were, it would have been absurd to have dealt with them in London. I had intended to say what I thought about the speech of the Minister for Industry and Commerce where he said, "We won the economic war," but now all I have to say is that I agree entirely with what Senator MacDermot said with regard to that statement. Now, the Minister for Industry and Commerce adopted two attitudes with regard to this Agreement. Some of the Articles in it, he said frankly, would not have been there if he could have helped it, but that they had to make an Agreement. Well, when he says that, for my part I have no criticism to make. I recognise that an Agreement was desirable and there is nothing more unsatisfactory than to go whining and crying because a particular thing, that had to be done, specifically affects you. If he said that the reductions had to be made in order to get the Agreement, I would not criticise. On the other hand, however, in his speech with regard to Schedule 5, Part I, he does not say that. He says that the new rates were all very carefully considered and that they had good reason to believe that there would be adequate protection. Might I draw the Minister's attention to the fact that on one of those articles which he so describes a duty of 40 per cent. was fixed on December 8th last, and that in this Agreement it is reduced to 20 per cent., after very careful consideration, as he says, and being satisfied that there was adequate protection? Now, I am interested in that industry and if, as I believed was the case when I saw the Agreement, that was one of those things that had to be done, I would have nothing to say, but when I find that that is not the attitude of the Minister, I am inclined to criticise him definitely by saying that he did not give adequate protection.

I am satisfied that if our industries are to be maintained and not hurt under this Agreement—after all, this Agreement does change the whole position in spite of certain speeches— it means that the future protection will be in general terms, according to the principle laid down in Article 8, except for a time for industries not fully established, whereas previous to this Agreement industrialists were under the impression that the policy was one part of a policy of self-sufficiency. The two points of view are totally different. I have said before that I think that on the whole the new one is the best and wisest for industries in the future, but in the transition period they will have to be carefully watched. Under some of the particular clauses which, I am glad to see, were provided here, notably Article 10 (2) and Article 14, I think, the position will have to be watched continually, and not left over for three or six months to see that a situation does not arise which would be almost irremediable.

There is one thing, speaking in general terms, that I would like to draw the attention of the Government to, and it is this: that if our industries here could be managed so that they could obtain a certain amount of export trade in the British market it would, I think, be the best and the most effective method of counteracting the loss of trade which pretty well must come under this Agreement, if it means anything, and if Britain considers that it was a success. I do not see why that should not be possible, but if it is to be possible either of two things will have to happen. Either the essential costs of production, which include wages, and a great many other costs, will have to be reduced. I should like to say that wages are by no means the greatest increase of the costs of production that we are facing here. But either the essential costs of production will have to be reduced, or there will have to be something like a margin for such portion of the goods as are intended and suitable for an export trade; either that, or the Government may have to consider whether something in the way of a bounty for a certain percentage of the trade would not be good policy. Shall I put it this way: tariffs are being reduced in certain industries. That should mean that more British goods will come in here. It may mean that with more goods coming in here, particularly in the case of the industries which are almost a closed market at the moment, the actual yield on the lower tariffs for that particular class of goods may be higher. Would it not be possible to earmark the difference of such increased yield to be applied to assist industry to get into the British market.

One of the industries of which I have some fair knowledge is the linen industry. Prior to 1932 the linen industry in the Twenty-Six Counties competed with the linen industry in Scotland and in the North of Ireland freely in the British market, and got a fair share of its trade. We know what happened in the economic war. I do not want to go back on that. The British market was, to a large extent, lost. Now the position is that, whereas in 1932 the wages paid here and most other costs were the same as in the Six Counties, now there has been a sufficient increase in the cost of production as to make it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible without some assistance, to get back that trade again. I would much prefer to see the linen industries in the North getting a share of their trade here, rather than to see them getting the whole of the export trade and keeping it for themselves. I think it would be well if some of us had been consulted beforehand on this matter. We might have had some suggestions to make on these lines. At any rate, I think that if you are going to meet the situation, it is a good thing for the country and for the industries if attention is specifically drawn toward the possibility of an export trade.

There is one other matter that I would like to refer to, partly because my attitude is perhaps a little different from that of some other members of the House, though I confess that, to a certain extent, Senator MacDermot expressed my views. What I refer to is the problem of Partition. To my mind the whole Agreement should be accepted as a very welcome and, on the whole, satisfactory ending to an unfortunate and unhappy period and we should endeavour to start afresh: that for the future differences of opinion between the Parties should be on the various issues, whatever they may be, rather than differences of opinion as to what happened in the past. If there is one subject on which, to my mind, we need to make an entirely new approach it is on that of Partition. Probably no one here would deny or doubt the responsibility that Britain has for the present situation, but I suggest that it is just as much good talking about who is to blame for Partition as it would be to talk about who started the civil war, or indeed who started any war at any time. By going along that line you would get absolutely nowhere. The first thing to my mind, if we are to deal effectively with Partition, is that there should be agreement amongst all the Parties to have it removed entirely from Party politics, and that any politician would consider it infra dig. to try to make a Party point out of the question of Partition. To my mind you have got to accept it, whether you like it or not, that Partition cannot be ended without the consent of the majority in the Six Counties.

My business takes me to Belfast several times in the year. I meet there business acquaintances in trade. They are, if I may say so, non-political Unionists. They have the view of Unionists who are not very much interested in Party politics, but they are all under the suspicion that if we could by any trick, either through England or some other way, coerce them against their will into an united Ireland, that we would do it. I believe that a good deal of the apparently increased determination to maintain Partition is due to that suspicion. If it were acknowledged as the open policy of the Parties here, the Party who form the Government to-day or the Party who may form the Government in the near future, that they do not want and that they do not believe it is possible to achieve the ending of Partition by coercion— if that was finally and definitely believed by the majority in the North as it would come to be in time—then, I think, you would have a changed position.

At the present moment it is very difficult indeed for independent-minded people in the Six Counties to express themselves freely. There is plenty of goodwill on this side of the Border towards the majority in the Six Counties. I know that there is also plenty of goodwill, far more than we realise here, inside the Six Counties towards this part of Ireland. The speech of the Minister for Finance, read to the House by Senator MacDermot, shows one what an Ulsterman can say when he is in a wise, a sane and conciliatory mood. Some of his other speeches show the contrary. He, probably more than anyone, knows that the kind of speeches which he sometimes makes, and which he has regretted, are made by the leaders of the majority in the Six Counties. I want to suggest that they are just as capable of making the same kind of conciliatory speech that we had read to us here to-day: that goodwill does exist, but that you cannot see it, because there is definite mistrust and suspicion.

I believe that the second step towards creating a situation which would make Partition impossible would be a frank, open and definite attitude on the part of the two major Parties towards the British Commonwealth. As long as it is thought that if you once got the Six Counties in here they would find themselves forced against their will outside the British Commonwealth so long will you find it exceedingly difficult to get them to come in. I met at the show a business friend of mine whom I know to be a Unionist in politics. We discussed the Agreement which had just been made. He told me that during the last five or six years opinion had been hardening in favour of Partition, but he said—the Prime Minister will forgive me for putting it this way—"Look at the way de Valera is behaving." He said: "Look at the way he sat on Deputy Corry. If that goes on for a few years we will begin to see the whole position." My friend does not know Deputy Corry as well as we do, but he was definitely impressed by the way that he was repudiated by the Prime Minister. My view is that in a short time you could change the situation by a frank and open policy, but if we are going to have a number of minor difficulties with regard to the Commonwealth, then I fear there is going to be more uneasiness in the North.

There is another matter. If we know that we are not going to attempt any coercion, why would it not be possible for the Prime Minister at some not very far distant date to have conversations with Lord Craigavon, not to discuss Partition because that would be useless, but to discuss what could be done to co-operate under present circumstances? I think a good deal could be done, and I am sufficient of an optimist to believe that if that could be brought about we would find the Prime Minister speaking in just as high terms of Lord Craigavon as he did of Mr. Chamberlain, and that while nothing might have been achieved on paper affecting the position of Partition, I think that a great deal of what Mr. Chamberlain described as "intangible benefits" would have been achieved. There is another suggestion, and I have discussed this with Ulster people. They have said that the time was not ripe, but would it not be possible to set up an Advisory Council consisting of representatives of the Government, of the Opposition and Labour on both sides with no legislative powers, good, bad or indifferent to meet alternately in Dublin and Belfast—probably not in public—and make recommendations to both Parliaments and both Governments, if it should agree. A meeting such as that would be of great benefit. At any rate, I do suggest that the policy with regard to Partition should be to recognise that we here cannot and will not coerce the Six Counties. Consequently, we cannot and will not try to get Great Britain to coerce them. Therefore, our policy is, so far as we can, to co-operate with them. We shall get rebuffs at first but, ultimately, I believe we shall succeed. That does not mean that we should proceed to do something stupid. I notice that the Northern Council for Unity, which is largely made up of the Nationalist minority, recently suggested that some special treatment should be given to Northern industries. That is an idea worth exploring—to see whether we could not buy things we cannot obtain at home from within the Six Counties. The Government might, in certain matters, definitely give a preference to these goods. That does not mean that we should do anything stupid. As soon as this suggestion came from the Northern Council for Unity, the Editor of the Irish Times, in the innocence of his heart, wrote a special leading article suggesting that linen from the Six Counties might come in free. He waxed quite eloquent about the glories of Ulster's linen manufacture. He appeared to forget—possibly, he did not know—that there are four linen factories in the Twenty-six Counties and that they are as old as most, if not all, of those in the Six Counties. Supposing this suggestion were to be adopted, either of two things would happen. By arrangement with Labour and with the Government, the four linen factories in the Twenty-six Counties would cut their costs and their prices and keep the trade. The result as a gesture would not be impressive. If the other thing happened and if the costs were higher, the four linen factories in the Twenty-six Counties would close down. The result would be that our friends in the Six Counties would form the opinion that the Irish Government were quite prepared to sacrifice their industries for political exigencies. If I understand them aright, that would be the last thing to impress the people in the Six Counties, which is the most industrial portion of the country. I give that as the kind of rather foolish suggestion that might be made though, speaking from the point of view of the linen trade, I think that if we could, to adopt the words of the Agreement, secure “reasonable competition” on the same terms inside Great Britain, we should not worry too much about the particular tariff. I have possibly taken up too much of the time of the House. I can only apologise and say that, so far as the Agreement as a whole is concerned, I believe it is good. So far as its effect on manufactures is concerned, I believe that it need not unduly injure them but that the position will have to be carefully watched.

In speaking in this debate, I am afraid my natural timidity is put to even a greater strain than that of Senator MacDermot as, instead of throwing bouquets, I regret to have to strike a jarring note. I regard the present occasion as a rather sad one. It is, I think, unfortunate, that so shortly after the re-birth of this House it should be asked to assist at a funeral ceremony. This Agreement is, in my opinion, the death certificate of the policy of self-sufficiency. Ministers, I think, realise that the end has come. In the other House, I noticed that these Bills were dealt with in an atmosphere of subdued mourning. The Minister for Finance was almost plaintive in his regrets. He made public confession of his sins of the tongue and appealed for a general absolution. Before I should be disposed to wash out the offences of the Minister, I should recommend that he spend a couple of months in a sanctuary in my county where the spirit of atonement is fittingly tested. If the Minister would not deserve this penance for his sins of speech, he would certainly deserve it as a winner of the economic war. Five years ago, the Minister announced that they had won the war, whereas his colleague, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, merely claimed that it was won last week. It is dangerous to have Ministers winning wars in this reckless fashion, particularly as their victories carry very heavy indemnities—in this case more than £10,000,000. For myself, I refuse to don the white sheet or speak with bated breath of those responsible for this Agreement. I am going to say what I think of this Agreement from an independent point of view, irrespective of the manner in which the Agreement has been received in the Dáil by the Party with which I am associated. A Government must take responsibility for its acts, and it must not expect to escape criticism by belated expressions of penitence. Agreements with other countries must be judged on their merits—and judged critically. The merits or demerits of an agreement are not altered by the fact that it was made by Mr. de Valera instead of by Mr. Cosgrave, or by Mr. Cosgrave instead of Mr. de Valera. The Agreement which is implemented in these Bills was made by Mr. de Valera and his colleagues. In one respect, I regard it as the most mischievous Agreement which has ever been made on behalf of this State. Why do I say that? Because, for the first time, the British Government are given power to inter-meddle in the affairs of this State. That is the biggest sacrifice which has yet been made. I notice that the Long Title of these Bills refers to the Agreement, but the Agreement is not fully recited, nor is it scheduled. Perhaps our negotiators did not desire that their names should ornament the Statute Book in such a connection. If that be true, I think their discretion is greater than their business acumen.

The duties which are being reduced by these Bills are being so reduced in pursuance of the Agreement arrived at in London. Although I have had a modest share in the industrial revival, I have never been attracted by the chimera which is called "self-sufficiency." I believed and still believe that nascent industries—suited to the country—should be helped to vigour by moderate protection. I believe and still believe that the policy of extravagant tariffs injured rather than aided the industrial progress of this country. But we had six years of hothouse stimulation of industry, some of it by no means suited to this country, and now the industries which were the subject of hothouse treatment are to be dragged out and exposed to a strong East wind blowing straight from the shores of Britain.

It is, in my opinion, indefensible for any Government, after rushing up tariffs to astronomical heights, to come along with measures like these for the sudden abolition or reduction of tariffs. It is not fair to the people whom they induced to put their money into these industries, and it is not fair to their employees. Tariffs should not be rushed up nor should they be rushed down. Of the two courses, the rushing down of tariffs is, in my opinion, more dangerous than their rushing up. Protection should be a gradual process. Only in that way will it ever justify itself. Of course I shall be told that quantitative regulation will save our industries from destruction, for the present, and that when quantitative regulation disappears the Prices Commission will have power to recommend higher tariffs, and that the Prices Commission is a body of our own choosing. Let us not forget that the Prices Commission will be acting in a judicial capacity and that there will be ever present the threat that if they do not give effect to the spirit of the Agreement, the British Government will denounce it as they are free to do on six months' notice. The Prices Commission will be forced to provide that "full opportunity for free competition" to British manufacturers to which the Agreement alludes. How they will reconcile their action with affording "adequate protection" to industries I do not know. The British Government will have the whip hand, and I have too great respect for the commercial capacity of the British people to believe that they will not use the whip—perhaps gently, but none the less effectively. After all, this provision was not inserted in the Agreement for fun. The British Government believe that they will get as much out of the reduction of the tariffs as will compensate them for the loss of the land annuities, and I am convinced that they eventually will. Not alone are the British Government getting an opening for their manufactures in competition with our manufactures, but they are getting a monopoly of our coal supplies and a preferential rate of 3/- a ton. That should be worth about £375,000 a year to them. Moreover, we are placing duties on silk and artificial silk for no other reason that I can see save to deprive Dublin shops and shops in our Border towns of the advantage which they had over Belfast and Six-County towns in this connection.

The objection in principle to these implementing Bills is, however, greater than the objection in practice. We are giving the British Government the right to say what tariffs our Prices Commission are to enquire into and we are continuing their right in respect of every new tariff which will be imposed. That is an innovation which destroys the exclusive jurisdiction of our Government conceded under the Treaty of 1921 and which has up to now been jealously guarded.

The reply of course will be that Canada, New Zealand and other countries have agreed to the concession of this right to Britain. How does this answer square with the claim that we are a mother country and that we are not on par with Canada or New Zealand? Under the last Government the Free State (as it was then called) was not content to accept exactly the same position as the other Dominions. It was always a bit ahead of them. So far ahead that Mr. Winston Churchill on one occasion expressed the fear that the late Mr. Kevin O'Higgins had burst the British Empire. I should have no objection to the Government guaranteeing to Britain a certain amount of trade in return for worth-while concessions of a similar nature—but I do object to this sacrifice of right on the part of our Government and to this intrusion of the British Government in our internal affairs.

Under the Agreement which these Bills propose to implement we get less commercial advantage than we had in 1932 and we give the British the run of our markets, a guarantee against the imposition of tariffs on a long list of articles, preferential tariffs, the right of interference in our affairs, a monopoly of our coal supply and other advantages. Is that not generous compensation for wiping out the land annuities after we had paid them £10,000,000 plus £250,000 a year and a probable £350,000 in respect of coal— to last as long as the Agreements last. Of course, we have been told that never was a penny of the land annuities to be paid—not even if the skies were to fall. The last Governor-General when a T.D. predicted that John Bull would perish of starvation before Britain was paid a sixpence in respect of the annuities. The Minister for Finance proved to his own satisfaction that Britain owed us £400,000,000 at least. Senator Colonel Moore, for whose expert knowledge of finance I have always had the greatest respect, proved equally conclusively that we were entitled to a big slice of the assets of the British Empire inasmuch as several members of the Fianna Fáil Party in their more callow days had helped to build up that Empire. Having satisfied themselves that Britain was our debtor to an extent almost incalculable the Irish delegation went across to London, sojourned for a while in the Piccadilly Hotel and agreed to pay Britain £10,000,000 next November to induce her to forget all about the economic war.

In my opinion this Agreement could hardly be worse. It is particularly to be deplored inasmuch as it would be virtually impossible for any future Government to improve on it. It is most disappointing to credulous people like myself who believed that Fianna Fáil would make an effort to redeem the lavish promises made during the past ten years. When the Taoiseach—I regret to see that the prospect of my speaking has driven him from the House; I hope it will not drive him to abolish the Seanad as at present constituted—and his retinue of Ministers and civil servants braved the terrors of the Irish Sea in order to beard the British lion in its den, I had hopes that they would bring back a 32-County Republic. My hopes were based on the criticisms which were levelled at the men who brought back the 1921 Treaty. These men were denounced by the present negotiators because they failed to bring back a republic. They went across in 1921 when Britain had emerged victoriously from a world war. She had nothing to fear from Germany or Italy or any other power. On sea and land she was dominant. She had at the head of her affairs the ablest Government of recent times, representative of all Parties. Ireland's negotiators went across hot from a fight which antagonised English opinion. They had not the assistance of a Civil Service and they represented a country which was war weary and pining for peace. Their task was a stupendous one—to induce Britain to make the biggest sacrifice since the loss of the American States. The step from the present status to a republic would be but a small one. Thanks to the work done by O'Higgins and McGilligan at imperial conferences— work which was derided at the time— Britain has now grown accustomed to the exercise of sovereignty by this country. But in 1921 the idea of separation was revolutionary to the British mind. Griffith and Collins went to London and fought Ireland's claims against the ablest intellects in Britain, then at the peak of her power. The Settlement they brought back represented the last ounce which it was possible to extract from Britain at the time. When they returned after their battle there were no Ministers waiting for them at Dun Laoghaire. They were denounced as "traitors to the Republic." Some of those who denounced them travelled the same road a few months ago to a Britain palpitating with war fears, a Britain which had been flouted by nations who stood in awe of her in 1921, a Britain which is busily preparing for war and which regards war almost as an immediate contingency. These latter negotiators had the aid of a well-organised Civil Service. At home they were backed by a well equipped and disciplined Army. They met British representatives picked, not from all Parties, but from one Party —and what do they bring back? This Trade Agreement and the control of a few obsolete forts which may cost the country millions to modernise and maintain.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

The Senator must address the Chair and not the opposite benches.

Excuse me, Sir, I had forgotten. These forts, no doubt, were handed over unconditionally, but it is quite evident that they were handed over in consequence of the Prime Minister's repeated assurances that they would not be used to attack John Bull in the rere.

The men who denounced Griffith and Collins because they did not return with a republic have themselves returned without a republic. They have not even succeeded in wiping out Partition although the Irish Press assured the world that no settlement would be arrived at in London unless the British were prepared to deal with Partition, and although we were assured by their orators at election times that the Fianna Fáil Party had an immediate cure for Partition. We had also an assurance from them in Donegal that the grievances of the Foyle fishermen would be redressed and that a Fianna Fáil Government would establish jurisdiction over the waters of the Foyle. There is not a word in this Agreement about either the Foyle or Partition. It is as silent about them as it is about the republic.

What makes me particularly sad is the manner in which the Party which describes itself as republican has dropped all talk about a republic and has turned its back on the road which was leading us out of the British Empire. Instead of bringing us out of the Empire the Government by this Agreement are now going to erect fortifications to wall us into it. And having got us securely penned inside they are providing every facility to enable the British Government to fleece us. Of course, I never expected much from this Government, but I certainly did not expect that they would make me, in my old age, a prisoner of Empire and compel me to pay for the privilege of imprisonment. Unlike members of the Government, I do not claim the gift of prophecy, but my experiences of politics will seriously mislead me if the Agreement does not, after a short period of operation, prove the undoing of Fianna Fáil. Industrially and politically, they have let the country down with a bang.

One of the great French commanders in the war, Marshal Franchet D'Esperey, had the facility of putting things which had passed behind him and saying: "C'est I'histoire." I find that Senator Mulcahy has exactly the same facility and I follow him by putting the happenings of the last six years and the difficulties of agriculture and industry on one side, and welcome this Agreement as a tremendous step forward. So far as agriculture is concerned, there is a considerable amount of ground to be made up and I hope that the suggestions which Senator Baxter has made will be exploited to the full. It must be our largest and most important pre-occupation. There are only two other matters to which I want to refer. One is this question of defence and here I find myself in disagreement with Senator Mulcahy. It is my opinion, for what it is worth, that our safety in any great war in Europe— and I feel perfectly certain that, sooner or later, some such war will come about—is interdependent with the safety of England and for our own defence, if for no other reason, for the defence of our homes and our markets, we must make such preparations as our finances allow to co-operate with the British people. If they go down, we will go down, because I am quite convinced that any foreign enemy who is able to defeat England will not leave a small neutral country on one side, without, at any rate, controlling its independence. We see it all over Europe and an enemy is not going to give any quarter to a small unarmed people beside a bigger defeated people.

In that connection, the ports have been mentioned as a primary consideration. I regard the ports as a secondary problem. Your first problem at the outbreak of any big war will be your air. As the years go on and, in fact, at present, the range of the big bombers and fighting machines is getting greater and greater and any attack on England will attempt to cripple the British supplies from this country, and you will have heavy bombing attacks on this country against which provision must be made. You can only do that by having adequate pilots and machines in reserve to meet the situation. The ports, I think, are definitely a secondary consideration because they will begin to operate only if there is a prolonged war and, as a matter of fact, the question of the ports was a secondary consideration in the minds of the British military when the Treaty was signed. I believe that if the delegates had insisted on those clauses being taken out of the Treaty at the time, the British Government would have given way.

I want to say one word about the question of Partition. I think the difficulty at present, outside the cast-iron personnel of the Northern Government who have been in power for very many years, without in any way changing their opinions, is the fact that in the process of building up the present Constitution and the present status of Éire in the British Commonwealth of Nations, we have done, possibly perforce and possibly without considering the issues sufficiently, many things in the last 15 years which put the end of Partition further away. I think that if we really mean to do what the British have suggested: "Let the Northern Irishmen and the Southern Irishmen come together and settle this themselves and we will not lift a hand," I think that people of all Parties should consult with the Government as to the points in respect of which we can modify, without loss of dignity or nationality, some of the things we have done and put in others which would placate or compromise with Northern feeling in respect of the development of this country. One of the greatest soldiers in the world said to me during the war: "Compromise, compromise. My whole life is one great compromise in order to keep things going." Our people have gone over to England. They have made a compromise with Britain and the British have made a compromise with us, and I see no reason why, by consultation with the Government, who can say to the people: "This we can do and this we cannot do," we cannot arrive, if not at a final settlement, at any rate, at some kind of compromise which would bring Partition nearer to an end.

I hesitate to intervene in this debate, because I feel it is very much a debate of an academic character. There is no question of the Agreements not being approved, and, I hope, without a division in this House. That being so, all these various measures will follow consequentially, because none of them can be amended without violence and prejudice and actual dislocation of the Agreements themselves. In so far as there can be any constructive proposal made at this juncture, I would like to join issue with Senator Mulcahy in his rather absolute and assured attitude towards this problem of defence. He suggests that the Government should face the problem frankly and take certain action. I think he implies the action of the non-defence of these ports. I think if you face the problem frankly you will be very puzzled what to do. It is a very confused problem. We cannot escape entanglement if there were a European war, and I think that any body of experts would advise that in the interests of our own sovereignty and security here it would be a wise insurance to defend these ports. I think it would be very unlikely that that defence would not stand to our interest in time of war. I think there would be a very grave risk taken by their abandonment and I do not think that any body of experts, without any political prejudice whatsoever, would advise their abandonment.

There was no suggestion of abandonment.

Then, what was the Senator's suggestion?

I referred to statements by the Prime Minister in the Dáil, which showed that not only were these ports going to be maintained and modernised, but that we were to have to face a very large increase in expenditure for defence purposes. The whole of this scheme seemed to centre around the fact that, now that they had got the ports into their hands, they could start with defence.

I understood that the Senator objected to the forts being modernised and put in a state of defence.

If we have a defence problem here, I object to putting substantial sums of money into ports at Loch Swilly, Berehaven, or Cobh, as much as I would object to substantial sums being put into the reconditioning of the Martello towers. There is something else that could be done with the money that might be put into the defence of these ports.

I think I can see the Senator's point of view. I will leave it at that. I do not want to indulge in a post-mortem on the past, but I would say that I feel very great sympathy for Fine Gael at the present time. I have never been actively identified with the politics of either Party, but I do think that Fine Gael, having honourably held by an agreement, and having advocated these approaches to Great Britain on the lines on which they were undertaken, have behaved very well in doing all they could during the period of the negotiations not to embarrass the Government, and in accepting the settlement in the spirit in which they have accepted it. As far as political credit is deserved, I think that Party has played the game, and, in rather unfortunate circumstances, has not reaped the reward to which it might otherwise have been entitled.

People who in public life play the game do not want sympathy.

They definitely do not want it—I am sorry—but I think I am expressing the feelings of a great many people in the country when I say that the Party is entitled to sympathy, whether the members of the Party want it or not. With regard to the future, a distinguished citizen of this country said to me recently that, now that we have got the Agreement, what are the Party politicians going to do, as there seems to be no difference between them? I suggest that as time goes on we will find that there are very acute differences. Having got this Agreement and all the goodwill it involves, which we value, having paid a tribute to the statesmanship and diplomacy of our Prime Minister and those who went to London, I do feel that people will begin to look for material domestic benefits from this Agreement and I am somewhat alarmed.

In a statement I received this morning, the financial paper connected with the Budget which will be presented to-morrow, I find that, in spite of the settlement on the lines we know, the Estimates for next year are £2,500,000 greater than that for last year and the bounties are increased. There may be some explanation; these Estimates may have been prepared before the Agreement was made and they cannot be altered, but there is that serious growth of expenditure. I do feel that anybody in search of the possibility of healthy division between the two Parties will find that in the different attitudes towards public expenditure and the great need all over the country for relieving the burden of expenditure from the backs of the consumer.

Another point is with reference to what Senator Douglas has said. There again there is a sharp difference of opinion between us. There always has been on matters relating to economic policy. I have always felt that the position was rendered more complex by the deliberate policy of subsidising exports by means of bounties. I would be much happier with regard to the attitude of Senator Douglas and those he speaks for with relation to our economic policy if I did not feel that in their minds they had the attitude that under no circumstances can any industry be allowed to collapse, that they must be carried one and all on the backs of the consumers.

As one who, as a private citizen, has taken a fairly active part in discussing the policy involved in the economic war, I feel it is my duty to make some contribution to this debate. I rejoice that the economic war has come to an end. But I do say outright that we would be better off to-day if we had never raised the issue that was raised in 1932, but had gone on paying these moneys in dispute; and, equally, the English would have been better off to-day if they had freely forgiven us every penny of the money that we then claimed. I agree with the estimate that, if we assumed that we could, by a more diplomatic approach, have got half the capital sum then claimed knocked off—if we had made that approach in 1932, I agree with the estimate that, in that case, we may assess the net loss in this economic war at some £50,000,000. In that aspect of the matter I have a personal grievance, of which I hope Senators will see the humorous aspect. Some five or six years ago I made a sporting offer to a member of the Government that, in return for a modest commission of 1 per cent. on the saving of the nation, I would undertake to teach them all the economics that they would learn in the course of one or more years of economic war. Unfortunately, that public-spirited offer was not accepted and I reckon, in American language, that I have been put back some £500,000 in my personal resources because they failed to take me at my word.

There is one aspect of the recent negotiations which I am glad to be able to congratulate the Prime Minister on, and that is that he has successfully refused to mix up economic considerations with constitutional considerations. That is quite apart from my own personal opinion about recent constitutional changes. I think, whatever may be our personal attitude to the question of the Constitution, for example, whether we would give loyalty to the King or withhold it, there is everything to be said for the point of view that you should not mix up such considerations with such materialistic considerations as enter into commercial treaties. For reasons that are quite adequate, I voted for the Constitution, although I voted against the authors of the Constitution at the last general election. One of my reasons for supporting the Constitution was that I remembered an advertisement connected with Pear's soap that I used to see in my youth. That advertisement had a picture of a baby struggling to get some soap that slipped from its grasp. The wording of the advertisement was: "He won't be happy till he gets it." I felt that the predominant Party in the country, and the leader of that Party, had their hearts set on that new Constitution, and that it was good citizenship for me to put no obstacle in the way of their achieving that constitutional change, hoping and believing, as I did, that when that Constitution had been enacted, that then the statesmanship that we even then hoped was latent in the character of our Prime Minister might somehow manage to emerge— and we have not been disappointed in that hope.

After six years in the wilderness, and six years of economically riotous living, I rejoice to welcome the prodigal home, but I regret it is not possible to sacrifice any fatted calf in celebration of that event, because the animal that I had in mind to sacrifice was sacrificed in a different cause some three or four years ago. A Young Ireland poet, writing about 100 years ago with reference to the success of the Irish Volunteers in achieving legislative sovereignty, said: "The chain is broke, the Saxon yoke, from off our necks is taken; Ireland awoke, Dungannon spoke, with fear was England shaken." Apropos of that, I would like to say that we are glad to have exchanged what has been regarded as a yoke of subjection for a yoke of comradeship and friendship between two neighbouring nations. But there is also this aspect of the matter, that that famous convention of the Volunteers was held in a town that I happen to know very well, and I know that the memory of the place in which that meeting was held has almost disappeared from local tradition.

One of the problems of the future is the problem of relating the present and the past of Ulster to historical traditions, some of which bind them to us and to the Irish nation as a whole. On this question of Partition, the minority here have every reason to desire the reunion of all Ireland, if it can be obtained on the basis of consent. I think we have even more intimate and personal reasons for so desiring that than even the majority have here. After all, we are but a small minority. The bulk of our co-religionists are outside our political fellowship and it is a sad business for those of us born in Northern Ireland to realise when we visit that country the extent to which its particular conditions and local circumstances, and the absence of that fellowship and political unity—the extent to which these have altered their outlook in life. We are still good friends, but the point is that, owing to the difference of political conditions, we have not so many interests in common as we would like to have and retain.

The fact is that one does not feel quite so much at home in the Six Counties as one does in the Twentysix Counties, and I am sure that most members of the minority here would like to feel at home in the Thirty-two Counties. There are obstacles to reunion, and perhaps the best contribution one can make to the removal of those obstacles is to try and explain as clearly as may be what the objective nature of those obstacles is. At the same time we should remember that times change and time also changes things which at first sight may appear unchangeable. I would remind you of the time about 140 years ago when Bank of Ireland notes were not acceptable in Belfast because at that time Belfast was the centre of Republicanism and Bank of Ireland notes were supposed to be tainted with Imperialism. Well, I imagine that Bank of Ireland notes are as popular in Belfast to-day as they are in any other city in the Thirty-two Counties.

I would remind you that there existed in the Ulster of the past, and that there still exists in the Ulster of the present—although it has been driven underground and has been inarticulate for perhaps a generation—a liberal tradition, a tradition of liberal thought, which goes back in some respects to the United Irishmen of 1798. Certainly, in so far as the United Irishmen were a movement of protest against social tyranny and agrarian monopoly that Ulster tradition is in direct descent from them, and I should like to believe that, when I speak in this Assembly, you hear the authentic voice of that Ulster tradition. On the face of it, it is true that, if you consider only the Protestant community in Northern Ireland, that Government governs its people with, practically, the complete consent of 100 per cent. of the governed, but that does not mean that 100 per cent. of the Protestant people of Northern Ireland share in the political ideals which alone are articulate in that area. As I said before, the liberal tradition survives. It is perhaps largely inarticulate but it is capable of development and growth, and I think that one hope for the future is that in a happier environment and with better relations between North and South, that tradition could develop and grow. It has been said that "every little boy and girl who comes into this world alive is either a little Liberal or else a little Conservative." Well, I believe that the Ulster Protestant is far more inclined to be a Liberal than a Conservative, and I rather think that our Premier, if he were in England, would find himself lined up in the same Party as Premier Chamberlain.

There is, then, no principle of ascendancy in the relation of the Protestant Government up there to the Protestant community, but, of course, that does not get over the fact that the relations between the community as a whole and the minority up there are not as satisfactory as they should be. Now, I wonder in what way the minority down here can contribute to making those relations happier and to furthering the ideal of a reunited Ireland? The minority down here frequently have had occasion to recognise not only the justice but the generosity of the treatment which has been handed out to us by the governing or majority Party down here, and we are not aware of any grievances which affect us as a minority which do not equally affect other people who find themselves in the same position as ourselves, whatever religion they belong to. However, one of the most cherished and attractive qualities of the national tradition is the quality of hospitality and kindness to strangers, and I sometimes wonder whether there is not associated with that kindness, which we all recognise, a certain tendency to regard the minority down here as not fully members of the national family but only strangers and guests sojourning within the national gates. If that be so—and the feeling perhaps exists both on the side of the majority who have a more direct relation to Irish national tradition and on the side of the minority—I think it is desirable that we of the minority down here should feel ourselves, as much as may be, part of the national household. We claim that we have contributed to the spiritual content of what you might call the Irish national being, and we claim the right to contribute to that in the future, but we also claim—and this right is not universally admitted —that our culture and our tradition should be regarded as Irish, equally with that which derives from a Gaelic origin. The poet has expressed an ideal which, I think, is widely held by all good Irishmen when he said: "Till like the rainbow's light, thy various tints unite, to form in Heaven's sight, one arch of peace." We want to create a rainbow arch of unity and peace, and I think we are all "rainbow chasers" in that sense. In connection with that aspect of the matter, however, may I, with all due diffidence, suggest that Caitlin Ní Houlihan's colour scheme is rather deficient in some of the primary colours, and in precisely those colours which we of the minority would like to contribute, so that we may eventually create one arch of unity and peace which will attract all our fellow-countrymen.

I should like, Sir, to express appreciation of the words of the last speaker, and, although he is a new recruit to this institution—because I regard the Seanad as only having been in a state of suspension—I think it augurs well for the debating deliberations of this House that we should have his mentality represented here. Senator Sir John Keane, in the course of his remarks, said that differences of opinion are the cause of half the trouble, or most of the trouble, in the world. I have no doubt that all the trouble in this country would cease if everybody would agree with the Taoiseach, but he would be very lonely.

Most people do.

The Senator would never do that, anyhow.

I do not know who was the gentleman who interrupted me, but I should like to give him a little advice. In the words of one of Gilbert and Sullivan's operas, somewhat paraphrased, I suggest: "If he will stick to his Party and back MacEntee, some day he may be ruler of our new Navee." I am sorry, Sir, that the Taoiseach is not here, because I think he must be feeling considerably bored by the process of being festooned and garlanded with bouquets for the last week or so, and that he might welcome as a change a few honest-to-goodness brick-bats. I am sorry he is not here to appreciate a few of that type of missiles that I propose to project at this Agreement. We are told that this Agreement marks a memorable event, and probably it does, and it is not unusual to record in some enduring form, either in stone or on canvas, such happenings for the edification and enlightenment of posterity. Now, whether the appropriate title for the subject to commemorate this Agreement would be "The Rake's Progress" or—to use the phrase that Senator Johnston used—"The Return of the Prodigal," I think that might furnish a theme for an extremely interesting radio debate between Miss MacSwiney and Deputy Dillon, but, as Senator Johnston pointed out, the fatted calf being missing, we may have to drop that particular title. However, I would suggest as a happy alternative, that the subject be treated as a problem picture for the next Academy exhibition, with the title of "The Artful Dodger," and leave the visitors to the exhibition to puzzle out for themselves whether it was symbolic of the British Premier dodging the responsibilities of his Government for Partition or of Fianna Fáil dodging its commitments to the republic. However, I make that suggestion to the Government representative, who may perhaps pass it along. If I had been asked if I would have signed this Agreement, I would probably—after, of course, drawing up a Document No. 2 and discovering that it would not be acceptable to the British—have answered "yes," because the Taoiseach and his colleagues might have brought back a much worse agreement, and yet found it greeted with satisfaction, not because of its intrinsic merits, but because the Government policy for the last six years has driven the people of this State, and especially the farmers, to that state of desperation that anything—anything at all—that would bring some relief to them would have been welcome.

This Agreement, undoubtedly, marks a definite turning point in our internal economy and in our relations with Britain; whether for good or evil depends on how far we appreciate and comprehend the commitments and implications of these several Agreements. I believe that, if we are alert to these things and keep our heads, we can use these Agreements to considerable material advantage of the people of this State and escape what is, I think, a potential lurking danger in a certain aspect of this Agreement, and that is the danger of being used as a tool or a pawn in the game of international intrigue which is being played at present as a prelude to another major European conflict.

Now, what are the definite concrete results of these Agreements? I think they can be summarised in this way. On our side, we get back to the position in relation to the British market which we held in 1932, with this difference: that in the interval vast numbers of our farmers have been needlessly beggared and look back over the last six years, not as having been participants in a patriotic enterprise for some high national ideal, but look back over a vista of broken fortunes, broken lives and broken Governmental promises for as foolish and futile a gamble as any Government ever engaged in. We are told that we are cancelling the payment of the land annuities for a sum of £10,000,000. I consider that to be a delusion. To that £10,000,000 you must add, if you want to know what the cost has been, the £56,000,000 that the economic war cost. That will give you the immediate and the direct cost arising out of the economic war. When you add these two figures together you get a sum of between £60,000,000 and £70,000,000. That is what the cancellation of the land annuities has cost. I said before, and I say it again, that if six years ago this question had been settled for £50,000,000, you would still be £16,000,000 or £17,000,000, at the lowest computation, to the good, and any obstacles that have stood in the way as regards a settlement of that kind were of Fianna Fáil's creation.

The definite advantage on our side is that we have secured renewed access to the British market. Let us see what the British have secured. They have secured three things in my opinion. They have penetrated our fiscal armour, and have secured access to our markets which will mean a vast annual trade to them. Mind you, I am not arguing that you can have a one-sided bargain; that we can get everything that we want and not concede anything. With regard to trade, it is quite obvious from the statement of Mr. Chamberlain, the British Premier, in moving the requisite resolutions in the House of Commons, that he was conscious of the trade value of the market here to Britain. He said, referring to the special duties:—

"The continued exaction of these duties from Éire was gradually impoverishing that country and gradually reducing its potential value as a customer of our own."

And he added this which, I think, we should not overlook:—

"And, finally, surely we should recollect that in this case we are dealing with no foreign country. We are dealing with a country which is a partner in the Empire, and we should deal with it, therefore, on terms of partnership rather than on terms of competitorship."

They have gained in regard to trade. They have secured a gain in the matter of defence. They have secured that the Atlantic ports in our territory, will be modernised and equipped at the expense of the people of this State to avert attack on Britain from the west, and that such attack will be resisted by Irish lives. I will interpret that in a moment. I want to refer to the third gain to the British. They have secured what seems to me to be something remarkably like the acquiescence of the Government of Éire in British policy—in the method of the present British Government to stabilise Partition.

I do not want to make these allegations without indicating the grounds upon which I base my contentions. As to the matter of defence, the British have secured that the forts here will be modernised and equipped at the cost of the Irish people and defended by the Irish people to avert attack on Britain I quote again from Mr. Chamberlain's speech:

"I would remind the House that, again in the course of the speech to which I have referred, Mr. de Valera repeated what he had said on more than one occasion before— namely, that the Éire Government would not permit Irish territory to be used as a base for any foreign power for an attack on this country, and further announced his intention to put these ports into a proper state of defence so that he could implement that assurance."

The Taoiseach, speaking in the Dáil on the 27th April, said:

"In providing for our defence of our own interests, we would also of necessity be providing to a certain extent for British defence of British interests. We are getting the ports unconditionally, and this Government at any rate intends to defend them, and to see that they are not used by any foreign power that might covet these harbours as a basis of attack either against British trade or against Britain herself."

Later he said:

"Obviously, to meet such a situation one should plan on the idea that there was one ally that we were bound to have, not because of her love for us, but for her own sake, and that ally was bound to be Britain."

I am not commenting adversely on that, but I am trying to present the fact, which I think has been largely obscured, that the British have secured—it may be that the inevitability of circumstances made this necessary as part of this Agreement— that attack on them from the Atlantic seaboard will be warded off at the expense of the people of this State, and, if necessary, with the lives of the defenders of this State.

Now, to come back to my third allegation with regard to Partition. There has been a good deal of comment here this afternoon on the matter of Partition. I am glad of that, even though I disagree very considerably with the approach which many Senators seemed to indicate they would like to see made to the question. The Taoiseach may be able to dispel the impression that I have gained in considering this matter, but I repeat, lest what I have said may have escaped his attention, that the British have secured in this Agreement what seems to me to be remarkably like the acquiescence of the Government of Éire in the British Government's efforts to stabilise Partition. I will state the grounds upon which I make that comment. Mr. Chamberlain, in the House of Commons, in his allusions to Partition, made this important statement:—

"On our side we took the view that the question of Partition was not one for us, but one which must be discussed between the Governments of Southern and Northern Ireland. (Cheers.) As to any question of our putting pressure upon Northern Ireland to come to an agreement that did not commend itself to them, we could not think of such a thing."

And here comes this significant statement:—

"But when we had made that perfectly plain the subject of Partition was put aside, and we proceeded to the discussion of the other three subjects that I have mentioned."

"We made that perfectly plain and the subject of Partition was put aside." I do not understand the meaning of the English language if there is not there in these words a clear indication that there was no attempt there of a heroic stand against the Partition idea. No words could be plainer than the words used by the British Government which, in effect, were: "There is nothing doing on this, and if you do not agree to our view, whether you accept it or not, you might as well go home." That may be an unfair interpretation to put on it, but I have not finished my quotations yet. The British Premier referred to the representations that had been made by the members of the Northern Government to the British Government, and said:—

"We have listened to what they had to say on this subject with very great sympathy. We were extremely anxious that Northern Ireland should not suffer in any way by an agreement which was made primarily to restore good relations between this country and Southern Ireland."

You will notice that the British Premier continually used the language of Partition when referring to this country. He speaks of Northern and Southern Ireland. He went on:—

"We were able to meet in a very considerable degree the suggestions which they made to us, and the various concessions which we agreed to were recapitulated by the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland in a speech he made in their Houses of Parliament."

As regards the various concessions that they were able to make, I want to quote one statement from a speech made by Lord Craigavon, the Northern Ireland Premier. It indicates the concessions which the British Government were making to the Northern Parliament simultaneously with their negotiating this Agreement that we are now discussing. This was the statement made by Lord Craigavon:—

"Should Northern Ireland revenue prove insufficient to maintain their social services at the United Kingdom level, Britain has agreed that it would be equitable that means should be found to make good this deficit in such a way as to maintain the parity of social services."

What does that mean? If it means anything, it means that if the Partition position were tottering to ruin of its own internal financial weakness, the British have agreed to see that the position will be stabilised by further financial aid. I could understand the difficulty of the Taoiseach and his colleagues in securing from the British Premier an undertaking to bring pressure to bear on the Northern Government, but I do think that, in view of the issues involved, it would not have been too much to expect, if they would not bring pressure to bear on the Northern Parliament to undo Partition, that they would refrain from financial contributions to maintain Partition.

Several references were made here to the statement of the Taoiseach in the Dáil—that these Agreements, as a whole, will remove all the major items, except one, which are in dispute between the two countries, and that the whole Irish race can now concentrate upon that one issue—Partition. The Taoiseach seems to overlook the fact that this concentration game is one at which both parties can play, that the removal of these other issues not only from the field of dispute here but also from the British field leaves them and their subordinate Government in North-East Ulster free to concentrate upon how to circumvent and obstruct our efforts to undo partition. This reference to "concentration" is, to me, a very interesting one. It recalls to my mind a passage from a book which I am reading at the moment, the subject matter of which must be familiar to the Taoiseach, because the introduction informs us that the Taoiseach, when he was preparing to act as President of the League of Nations during its consideration of the policy of Japan in Manchuria, used part of this book in manuscript form. The title of the book is "The Menace of Japan," and it is written by Taid O'Conroy. The passage I want to quote has reference to a particular sect in Japan, and it is apropos of this policy of concentration in which we are now asked to indulge. This particular passage says:

"The sect asks that its believers spend certain times in concentration. This is achieved by sitting in small cold rooms, bare of any furniture. The concentrator sits on the ground in orthodox Buddhist fashion with his right toes high up on his left thigh; and his left high up on his right thigh; the hands are folded deeply. He takes up this position opposite a blank wall and stares at this for some hours. Gradually, in this manner, his mind is relieved of all thought, and after repeating this process, involving the eradication of the imaginative faculty, for several years, on and off that is, he presumably develops into a fairly efficient soldier."

I do not know if part of the negotiations in London recently took the form of the British Premier and the Taoiseach squatting in Buddhist fashion in a small, bare room in Downing Street and staring with concentrated visage at the blank wall of Partition until all appreciation of the perspective of this problem was eradicated from their minds. In any case, the process seems to have eliminated from the mentality of the Taoiseach any positive approach to a solution of this problem. Here is his present viewpoint, as stated in his speech winding up the debate on the Agreement in the Dáil:

"I recognise that it would serve British policy very well to-day to have a reunification of this country. I also recognise that they have to proceed slowly about it and that they have to try to convince the people who are standing out against the unity of this country—that they have to convince them as they are convinced themselves."

I have indicated how that process of convincing is proceeding—by the assurance of subsidies and adequate finance from the British Exchequer to maintain the Partition position. This idea, which has been bruited about for a considerable time by members of different Parties, of leaving this question of Partition severely alone and allowing the healing power of time to solve it—that, to me, is a viewpoint that is grotesquely childish. Every day that passes increases the opportunity of the vested interests that have grown up on both sides of the Border to harden their outlook and entrench their position. I do not believe that the British care two jack straws how long Partition lasts so long as they are not worried about it. I say that we shall fail to appreciate the factors essential to the solving of this problem unless we pin the responsibility for it on the right shoulders. The only legal basis of existence that Partition has is one created by the British and upon them the whole and absolute responsibility for it rests. They hold the key position. For Mr. Chamberlain to say to the Taoiseach "This is not a matter for discussion with me but one for discussion between Northern and Southern Ireland" is just an indication of the astuteness, foresight and brilliant political strategy which those who originally instituted Partition are capable of. They created Partition. They divided this country and they did that without any request from here. Anybody who knows the origin of Partition knows that not a single Irish representative voted for it, that it was a proposal originally put forward to spike the movement for Home Rule. It is, however, serving its purpose in keeping this country divided. I am not sure that, in these Agreements, we have not relinquished any lever we might possess to bring pressure to bear upon the British to co-operate with us in bringing to an end this national injury and national humiliation.

Before I come to the Trade Agreement, I want to say a few words about another matter. The Taoiseach was clear and emphatic in his declaration that the ports were to be modernised. Beyond indicating that this will involve a considerable burden, the Taoiseach has not given us any indication of what exactly that burden will be. I cannot imagine that the representatives of Éire in these negotiations concluded this Agreement, involving the modernising of these ports, without having some sound advice from their experts as to what cost would be involved. I could not imagine anything more shortsighted than to enter upon a commitment of that sort without knowing what it was to involve in cost. I think that it would be only fair that we should have—I shall not say the precise sum, but some indication of what the national burden is to be. We are also entitled to know whether the Government contemplate embarking upon the building of a navy for this State, and if so, what the cost will be. If we are going to modernise these forts as naval bases, and still refrain from taking to ourselves a navy, for what end are these forts being so modernised? If, during war, a hostile fleet hoves in sight, how are we to deal with it? Is the Muirchu to be mobilised to chase it away? Is it not as clear as daylight that these ports are to be equipped, modernised and fortified for a certain purpose? I have not heard from any Government spokesman that we are contemplating having a navy of our own. Is it not as clear as daylight that these naval bases are being so adapted for the use of a navy other than ours? Is there any man, woman or child who will not answer right off the question: "What navy is that going to be?" Is there anybody here has any doubts as to what that navy is going to be? I do not want to be taken as making capital out of this matter. Under the new condition of things, it would, I think, be childish, ungracious and unwise, if war broke out, to deny to our partner in Empire and our ally the sanctuary, security and use of these ports. I see nothing demoralising or humiliating in that. It is rather the reverse, but I think we must be allowed a little time to recover from the shock of hearing the leader of Fianna Fáil broadcast, in effect, to the world: "Only over our dead bodies shall the soil of our Empire partner and ally be assailed." Had a similar declaration been made some time ago by the responsible spokesmen of Fine Gael, the trumpet blast that overthrew the walls of Jericho would have sounded like a feeble, frightened whisper compared with the howls of execration and fury that would have emanated from the Empire's new defenders in the ranks of Fianna Fáil.

With regard to the Trade Agreement, there is one Article to which I want to draw special attention because I think there is a looseness in it which may have curious results if it is not attended to. Article 16 says:—

It being the intention of the Government of Éire that coal, coke and manufactured fuel of United Kingdom origin shall continue to be imported into Éire in not less than the proportion which such coal, coke and manufactured fuel formed of total imports of those products into Éire in the year 1937, they undertake to abolish the present control by licence of the importation of coal and to admit into Éire coal, coke and manufactured fuel of United Kingdom origin free of duty and to charge a duty of not less than 3/- per ton on coal, coke and manufactured fuel of other origin.

I want to call attention immediately to the fact that the coal, coke and manufactured fuel of this country are of other origin than United Kingdom origin, and that imposes on the Government of Éire the task of imposing 3/- per ton on coal, coke or manufactured fuel of Irish origin as against United Kingdom origin. I am sure there is an omission there, but this Agreement is brought to us for approval and I do not know how, in calling attention to this matter, we can effect a change. It is an Agreement which must be approved of here. Whether it will require another gentleman's agreement to alter that, I do not know, but it is an important fault. Remember that it is not optional but mandatory on the Government to impose this duty, if my reading of the Article is correct.

In regard to the Trade Agreement as a whole, the Taoiseach, in submitting the resolution for approval of the Agreement to the Dáil, said that these three Agreements were a related whole and must be accepted or rejected as such. Later on in the same speech he said that the Trade Agreement was of a different character from the other two, that it had no relation to past disputes and that it was an Agreement which might be made at any time between one independent country and another. It may be that the particular circumstances under which this Agreement as a whole was negotiated did not permit of the Trade Agreement being contracted separately. That, I think, is regrettable. I think it would have been infinitely better to have had it as a distinct and separate proposal and to have been able to dispose of the various matters in the other two Agreements, and then examine this Trade Agreement on its own merits without being compelled to carry it into effect, willy-willy, in order not to endanger the other Agreements. The Minister for Industry and Commerce, speaking in Drogheda last Monday, said that this Agreement will help industry. I certainly hope his prediction will be realised. It will certainly create a new situation and a new atmosphere for industrialists. I am not yet certain that on the whole it will be an improved situation or an improved atmosphere. It introduces an external factor and influence in the determination of fiscal considerations here which has hitherto been absent, and how far the operation of that external factor will be a decisive or controlling factor remains to be seen. It is a factor from which I almost begin to detect a change in the Government mind towards industrialists, a veering round to a new orientation of outlook towards industrialists.

The Taoiseach said in the Dáil that he understood there were a number of industrialists in Éire who would be shivering if we overcame Partition. That may be true, but it was, I think, an unkind and rather tactless allusion to make. The Minister for Industry and Commerce also made a comment which gives one to think. He said:—

"There are, of course, some industrialists who think that every aspect of State policy should be subordinated to their demands."

Both of these Ministers, I have no doubt, would probably disclaim any idea that there is any suggestion of antagonism to our industrial development to be deduced from these comments, and I would readily accept such disclaimer, but I do not consider it unfair to regard that as indicating that industrialists will have to reckon with a much less favourable atmosphere in consequence of this Agreement. I am of opinion that this Agreement will be welcomed by doctrinaire free traders and hailed by them as foreshadowing the end of protection and tariffs. I hope that these critics of our economic efforts will be confounded by events in this respect.

One thing I want to make clear is that I have refrained from criticism of the industrial policy of the Government for the very definite reason that I regard it as the one feature of their policy which is least open to criticism. I have often thought that their activities in this direction were frequently motivated by political rather than economic considerations, and, consequently, I have sometimes thought they were lacking in sound judgment in some of their economic adventures, but I have never had the slightest doubt in my mind that if we are to have a sound balanced national economy in this State, our tariff powers would have to be used courageously, vigorously, wisely and continuously for a considerable period, that is, if we wish to hold our people in our own territory. To me, it is evident beyond the necessity for demonstration that agriculture alone cannot do that. It must be supplemented by industrial enterprise and it is quite vain to expect that there will be any appreciable development if our industrial pioneers are left unaided to face the onrush of outside competitors, who have the advantage of tradition, organisation and mass production to an extent which conditions, over which we have had no control, have rendered impossible here.

With these considerations in mind, I have deplored what I considered the calamitous tomfoolery of the economic war. All that the Government aimed at in industrial effort could have been secured with much more satisfactory consequences, had that freakish campaign been avoided. It gave an entirely fallacious impression to many minds of the real import of the use of our tariff powers. Farmers who have been ruined by one phase of Government policy came to believe that the assistance given to industrialists was at their expense and was in a great measure the cause of their difficulties. I verily believe that many agriculturists came to the conclusion that the industrialists were their natural enemies who were battening on the remains of a broken and dislocated agriculture. It is a surprise to me that the calamitous effect on the industrial possibilities of this country of the economic war were never appreciated by the Government. The initial period of a nation wide movement towards industrial development is one in which, if possible, the purchasing power existing in the community should be not only adequate for its normal requirements, but should also provide a sufficiency to meet some temporary increase in the price of commodities which may be inevitable in the early stage of industrial enterprise. To that end, it was imperative that in a country like this, agriculture should have been sustained in full vigour to maintain the availability of purchasing power in the community; but it was precisely at such a juncture that the Government embarked upon the extraordinary folly of cutting the farmer off from his natural market, driving him to his wits' end to meet the expenses of the barest existence and depriving him of any surplus resources which would enable him to be a willing and understanding co-operator in the industrial revival which was an essential part of sound national economy.

I want to conclude on a note of agreement with at least one Minister. I was glad to note the references which the Minister for Industry and Commerce made in Drogheda to the nagging critics of our industrialists. As a matter of fact, I think there must be telepathy between myself and the Minister for Industry and Commerce, because some days previous to these pronouncements I was making notes of points I was going to make on this subject, and one was: "Dissociate yourself from these nagging critics of industrial development." I was very glad to see that the Minister anticipated me in making that comment. I fully endorse his reference in that connection.

Our industrialists are being assailed with a vast amount of unjustifiable abuse and unsustained charges. Listening to some of these charges and comments from their critics, one would almost come to the conclusion that the industrialist is a public enemy No. 1, that his sole aim was to profiteer and fleece the community. I have no personal interest in any industrial concern, but I know sufficient of the matter to be certain that this kind of abusive criticism is unwarranted and hurtful, not only to the industrialists, but to general public interests. The man or the men who undertake the pioneering of industrial enterprise in this country undertake a heavy responsibility and they discharge a task which should merit the thanks, the goodwill and the gratitude of the community rather than this kind of ill-informed, superficial and, in my opinion. fallacious commentary and criticism that often is showered upon them. I hope in the new era that has dawned, with all the clouds except one being cleared from our skies, that these much-maligned men will also share an era of goodwill and that those who approach the consideration of this aspect of our national life will first acquaint themselves with what are the facts, and then they will be able to deal with the matter in an intelligent manner.

Táim ag aontú leis an socrú seo atá ós ar gcóir, mar ceapaim, chó fada agus théidheas sé, go mba socrú rí-mhaith é, agus go dtugann sé cúis na hÉireann céim mór 'un cinn. Tá ceannas mhuinntir na hÉireann fáighte anois againn ar an roinn seo den tír, gan cáin ná árdchíos ag Sasana orrainn. Sin dul ar aghaidh an-mhór, agus ba cheart dúinn a bheith rímhéadach as. Na cuanta a raibh seilbh tógtha ortha ag muinntir Shasana, beidh siad againn feasta, agus má bhíonn orrainn na cuanta sin a chosaint, is do mhuinntir na hÉireann a déanfar é. Nuair a cuireadh na hÓglaigh ar bun in Éirinn roimh an gcogadh mór, sé an rún a chuireamar romhainn, an tír seo a chosaint ar an namhaid a bhí in ár measc an uair úd, no ar namhaid ar bith eile a chuirfeadh isteach orrainn. Támuid ag leanúint ar lorg na nÓglach indiu, agus is cóir agus is ion-mholta an rud é sin a dhéanamh.

Tá cuid againn annseo, pe'ca bhí an ceart againn no nach raibh, a bhí sásta glacadh go sealadach leis an gConnradh a rinneadh i 1921 idir Éire agus Sasana, mar cheapamar go dtiubharfadh sé bealach dúinn, i gcionn ama, le saoirse iomlán na hÉireann a bhaint amach. Bhí lochtaí móra san gConnradh sin a tharraing cogadh eadrainn féin. Annsin, nuair a bhí an tír spíonta amach, agus na daoine a throid ar a son, roinnt aca go fuair faoi'n bhfód, agus an chuid eile aca dealuithe sgartha ó chéile, rinneadh fíor-dhrochshocrú le Sasana a chuir cúis na hÉireann go mór ar gcúl ó shoin. Nílim ag dul siar ar an scéal sin anois, mar "níl aon mhaith san seanchus nuair atá an anachain déanta."

Is iongantach an tigheacht aniar atá ins na hÉireannaigh, mar, tar éis dóibh céim síar a ghlacadh, bíonn siad faoi réir go luath arís iarraidh eile a thabhairt 'un tosaigh. Nuair a tháinic cogadh na gcánach gar de shé bliana ó shoin, sheas furmhór na ndaoine fód, mar ba dhual dóibh, agus mar gheall ar nár chliseadar san ngábhadh i n-a rabhadar, atá an socrú seo againn indiu. Ba iad na daoine a bhfuil baint aca leis an talamh agus atá ag oibriú na talmhan a bhí i dtús báire san gcath, agus ní raibh aon dream ortha seo ní ba dhílse na ní ba dhúthrachtaighe ná, mar adeir Raftaire, an fíle, "na buachaillí tuaithe gan Béarla." Deirtear go mba chóir an chreach a roinnt agus, nuair a bhéas sin dá dhéanamh, ba cheart cuimhneamh, ar an gcéad dul amach, ar an muinntir is mó a bhí caillteach san troid.

Tá aon rud mór amháin uirbheasach san socrú atá ós ár gcóir a chuireas mío-shástacht orrainn uilig, sé sin, nach bhfuil tada ann i dtaobh aondacht na hEireann. Ar an ábhar sin, beidh sé de dhualgas ar Éireannaigh san mbaile, agus i gcéin, mór-ghluaiseacht a chur ar bun a chuirfeas iallach ar mhuinntir Shasana leigheas a chur ar fáil san éagcóir a rinneadar. Tá fhios agam, dá dtagadh muinntir na Sé Conndaethe isteach chugainn ar maidin, go mbeadh sinne, san roinn seo den tír, dhá mhilliún punt san mbliain caillteach san scéal. Bheinn-se agus bheadh sibh-se, faoi réir an méid sin airgid a íoc, le haondacht na hÉireann a thabhairt 'un cinn. B'fhiú go maith an caillteanas sin a dhéanamh, mar thiubharfadh sé dul ar aghaidh an-mhór san tír, i n-a hiomlán. Nuair a bhéas Éire gan roinnt againn, agus tá dóchas agam go dtiocfaidh sin go luath, beidh teinnte cnámha le feiceáil ar na cnocaí, agus gárrtha buadha le cloisteáil ins gach uile bhaile mór agus sráid-bhaile agus baile tuaithe ar fud Éireann.

San am chéanna níor chóir dúinn a dhearmad go mb'fhéidir go dtiocfadh lá eile. Beidh sé de shaor-chead i gcomhnuidhe, mar dubhairt Parnell, ag daoine níos óige agus níos céimeamhla ná sinne a thiocfas 'nár ndiaidh, dul céim eile, más mian leo féin agus leis an tír é.

An Agreement has been made and common sense has prevailed over bitterness and hatred. We have heard this Agreement praised and criticised. We have heard complaints about various soldiers of the economic war and how they suffered, but, so far, nobody has put in a good word for the greatest body of people in this country. In the Great War there was a vast body of people who were known by the letters "P.B.I.," which, when translated, meant the "poor bally infantry." They were the people who had always to walk everywhere and had to bear the brunt of all the discomfort and the fighting. In our economic war I would say that the people who, after the farmers, had to suffer most might be described as the "P.B.C.," the "poor bally consumers." It is not by factories and industries alone that one can live. In fact, if I may distort the doctrine of my friend, Deputy Dillon, it is not on hats alone that a woman liveth, and a chapeau de Galway, served for breakfast, well roasted, is equally distateful as a nouvelle création de Paris, fried.

I think, therefore, the consumers of this country, and I say it at the risk of being called a doctrinaire free trader by my friend, Senator Milroy, will welcome this Agreement. I am by no means a doctrinaire free trader, but it must be remembered that tariffs can also be carried too far. It should be remembered that industries, and prosperous industries, existed in this country before the fantastic tariffs that the Fianna Fáil Government found necessary to impose during the economic war were ever even thought of. These industries existed before we had won our economic independence from Great Britain, and even in those days they prospered. The solid industries of this country are not going to be affected, as far as I can see, by this Agreement, and I think the industrialists are, to use a vulgarism, unnecessarily windy.

There are two types of industrialist in this country, and they should be distinguished very clearly. You have the old-established industries which have been there for generations. You have the newly-established industries, and again in those you have two types: you have the successful, the economic, the good ones, and you have, I am sorry to say, the bad ones—and some of the consumers of this country will not be sorry if they see the bad ones go to the wall. I think the good ones need have no fears as to whether they will survive the battle.

To give you an example of the mentality of some of these new industrialists, one of them said to me the other day that there was only one way to persuade the people of this country to consume Irish manufactured goods, and that was by Hitlerising them into it. I take strong objection, and I am sure so does everybody else in this country, to being Hitlerised into anything. On the other hand, I know the other type of industrialist, the man who, as far back as 1927, told me that he wanted a tariff, but that he did not want a tariff of any more than 33? per cent., and the man who to-day says exactly the same thing. That is the type of industry, the type of industrialist, worth keeping. That is the type of industry that will prosper, whether there is a reduction of tariffs or not.

Regarding the defence portion of this Agreement, I am in agreement with Senator Mulcahy. With regard to the ports, I do not know about Loch Swilly, but I can speak with knowledge of the southern ports, and I can say that they are obsolete. As far as I understand, they were very nearly obsolete in 1914. Whether they could ever be renovated on a proper modern basis without colossal expenditure is very doubtful. I think that Senator The McGillycuddy made a better suggestion, and that is, that we should expend what money we have to expend on defence in the air, and I am glad to find that, in this House at any rate, there is, besides myself, one other air-minded person. Senator Milroy was trying to find a suitable memorial to mark the occasion of the signing of this Agreement. The only one that I can suggest is the removal of Queen Victoria and the erection of a suitable memorial to the thousands of calves that gave their blood to prevent Ireland from marching into the Empire.

Ba mhaith liom cúpla focal do rá ar an gceist seo. Nílim chun a lán do rá ach níor mhaith liom an fhaill do leigint tharm gan mo thuairim do thabhairt. Dubhradh ná raibh fhios ag Seanadóirí anso cad iad na barúla poilitíochta atá agam agus creidim go mbeidh siad san derchadas chéanna nuair a bheidh críochnuithe agam. Ba mhaith liom moladh mór do thabhairt don Taoiseach agus don dream a chuaidh anonn go Sasana agus do bhain amach an socrú mór eifeachtach so chun an tír seo do chur ar a cosaibh arís. Deinim có-gháirdeachas leo. Is fuiriste locht fháil ar dhuine nuair a dheineann sé rud ach an rud atá déanta ag an Rialtas, agus ag an dream a chuaidh anonn go Lundain, ní rud beag é. Ceapaim go ndearnadar a gcuid oibre go rí-mhaith. Is fuiriste do dhaoine a rá gurbh fhéidir an socrú so do dhéanamh cuig bliana ó shoin. B'fhéidir gur fíor é sin ach dá ndeinti an socrú an t-am san, b'fhéidir go mbeadh crot eile air.

Maidir leis na feirmeóirí, do sheasadar an fód ar feadh sé bliana no mar sin agus uaireanta is fusa dul amach le gunna ná bheith ag féachaint ar do chuid agus do chothú ag dul uait mar a bhí na feirmeóirí i rith an chogaidh. Bhí cuid aca agus bhíodar beagnách scriosta. Is mar gheall ar ar fhulaing na feirmeoirí atá an socrú so os ár gcóir indiu.

Maidir leis an gcuid den chonnradh so a bhaineas le tráchtáil, is eigin dúinn bheith ana-chúramach. Tá déantus amháin sna Déisibh agus bhíos ag cainnt leis an dream gur leo é. Baineann sé le hiascaireacht, triosc agus longa do thriomú. Tá dhá áit den tsórt so i gCathair Chorcaighe, taobh amuich den cheann atá bPortláirge. Do réir an Chóaontuithe tiocfaidh iasc ó Shasana Fishing News, gheibheann muintir Shasana 75 per cent. den iasc a thriomuíonn siad ó Iceland agus tíortha iasachta eile agus ní dóich liom gur ceart an t-iasc so do leigint isteach gan cáin. Is dócha go bhfuil slí as an achrann ach smaoineamh air.

Maidir le teorainn na hÉireann sa Tuaisceart, ní dóich liom gur ceart dúinn bheith ró-bhuartha mar gheall uirthi mar ní dóich liom gur fiú dhúinn é sin. Muna bhfuil siad sásta teacht isteach linn, leig leo. Más féidir linn ár dtig féin do chur i dtreo, sé mo thuairim go mbeidh siad ad' iarraidh teacht isteach i gcionn tamaill, le congnamh Dé.

I rise to support this Agreement. Speaking as a representative of the dairy farming industry of the South, I wish to say that we welcome this Agreement. We think it is a good Agreement and, indeed, a very much better Agreement than was expected. It is a good Agreement because, not alone does it take off the tariffs, but it opens a market for the development of the dairying industry, which is the principal industry in the South of Ireland, and it is by the development of that industry that the prosperity of this country will be achieved and the problems of the various counties concerned eventually solved. With regard to the payment of a lump sum of £10,000,000, we also believe that that is a good bargain, because it means that the country will be relieved of having to pay a sum of about £5,000,000 a year for the next 40 years, which would have been the case were it not for the struggle that was made here and were it not for the Agreement that has now been made. We also believe that the Agreement is good for the reason that we have got back the ports, and even though the maintenance of these coastal defences will cost money, at least it will mean that that money will be spent in Ireland and circulated among our own people.

The effecting of this Agreement has proved that our national position is uncrushable. We hardened our hearts for this struggle in connection with the annuities, and no matter what has happened, the fact remains that we in this country have won the economic war. We knew that, if we did not harden our hearts and put up that struggle, the economic war could not have been settled without compromise on the national issue. Therefore, we fought, and now we can be satisfied that we have settled the economic war without any compromise of the national issue. Not alone has the national position not been compromised, but we must remember that, during the last few years, there has been a great national advance. All of us can see that a great national advance has been made in the last few years, and now the fact is that England has agreed passively to that advance by making this Agreement.

I think it was Senator Milroy who said that our delegates failed to bring back the republic, but the republic is here. We have preserved our own sovereignty, and, with the exception of one portion of this country, there is nothing to prevent us from proclaiming a republic, and it surprises me to think that people who themselves have played a great part in the national movement, and who have shared in all the struggles and sacrifices that were entailed, can fail to realise the position in which we stand to-day. I am not saying that this Agreement should not be criticised. It is only right that every man should use his power of criticism, but it is also only right that every one of us should be able to see what this Agreement does and what its effect will be on the future of this country.

Like so many other speakers, I feel a certain amount of diffidence in rising to speak, especially at such a late hour in the evening, but the opportunity is rather a unique one in which to give expression to certain views that I hold, and it may not easily occur again. The difficulty about discussing this Agreement is that one is continually torn between two opposing temptations. There is the temptation to go back to the dark and dreary past, and there is the temptation to go forward into a nebulous future; and unless one confines oneself altogether to a discussion of the economic aspects of this settlement, it is very hard to avoid falling into one or other or both forms of that dilemma. I do not propose to go back very far into the past or to delay very long over the past. There is one thing that struck me when I heard the Prime Minister moving the adoption of this Agreement in the Dáil. I could not help being struck with one or two echoes in the first speech he made on that occasion, which reminded me of phrases used by Arthur Griffith long ago when he was advocating the adoption of the Treaty. The Prime Minister pointed out that this was not the final settlement between this country and England, as Arthur Griffith pointed out about the Treaty, and he pointed out that it would be perfectly easy for anyone to draw up a better settlement than this is, but that the question was whether, having drawn up such a settlement, he could get it adopted or accepted. Arthur Griffith used practically the same language about the Treaty when he brought it before the Dáil many years ago, and the things that he said about the Treaty on that occasion very largely apply to this settlement also.

Obviously this is not a final settlement. It does not absolutely wipe out all the points at issue between this country and England—it is very doubtful if any settlement ever will— and, in the second place, given all the circumstances in which it was made, I think most people are quite prepared to agree that it is the best settlement that could have been got. We may quarrel with the circumstances. Many of us may say that the circumstances were brought about in a way that was unnecessary; that the economic war should never have been entered into; that the combination of political and economic disabilities under which this country was made to suffer with regard to England during the last five or six years was entirely without real reason and need never have been inflicted upon the country. There is no necessity, however, for us to go back on all that now. We must admit, and I think the majority of us are prepared to admit, that the circumstances being what they were, the settlement is very satisfactory and, indeed, an excellent settlement. May we hope that the time will come soon when everybody, no matter to what Party they belong, can join in recognising the unique and sterling service that was done to this country by those who brought back that other Treaty so many years ago? They brought it back under very different circumstances. They had to put it through under by no means the same favourable conditions as prevail nowadays, and I think it is perfectly fair and in no way a derogation of what has been done recently to say that if it had not been for the achievement of those men the present settlement with all that it implies would not have been possible. It has been said many times, in connection with the debates on these resolutions, that one consequence of the settlement is that the Treaty which was brought back by Arthur Griffith is finally gone. Those of us who supported the Treaty for so many years are perfectly aware of that fact. We recognise that the Treaty, except in so far as it exists as an invisible foundation, is altogether gone. But we have no regrets. I think it can be safely said of the vast majority of those, who supported the Treaty that in supporting it they regarded it as what it was called at the time, "freedom to achieve freedom," and if the present settlement is more universally acceptable, if it is possible for it to be put through with less division and with less strife —with far less strife than the Treaty —then those of us who were humble supporters of the Treaty settlement rejoice at that fact as much as anyone.

One great advantage of the new situation brought about by this Agreement should be that it gives a chance for a new foundation in our internal politics, of mutual loyalty and of a mutual recognition of that loyalty. The time should be passed, and it is one of the great merits of this settlement that it should make the time be passed, for political shadow-fighting in this country. I think it is fair again to say, without any derogation from anyone's achievements, that we should all be humble in these matters: that we should recognise, as has been frequently pointed out, that the real heroes in the struggle of the last five or six years have been the poor farmers and labourers in the country, the poor workers and the unemployed in the towns—that it was they who had to bear the real brunt of the economic war and have had to suffer its consequences in a way that is inconceivable to many of those more fortunately circumstanced.

The achievement of the Irish people as a whole, in the generation in which we live, has been a tremendous achievement. It is very unfortunate that in face of that heroism of the people, both in recent years and in former years, our political leadership has tended, I think, to bewilder them: that they have been, to a certain extent, led round in circles, not knowing in what direction they were really going, and that almost half a generation, a most precious and a most valuable generation, has been wasted on squabbles which, to many of us at any rate, were squabbles about names and nothing else. The problem for us now is to use this opportunity in order to put these squabbles behind us and to make this the foundation at last, and in a real sense, for a new development in Ireland.

One may even say that, as far as our political Parties are concerned, the difficulty will be in the future not to find a basis for agreement, but to find a basis for difference. Let us pray that we may not find a basis for difference any longer in this country on empty formulæ. I am very little inclined to agree with the view that political parties of the kind to which we have been accustomed in this country for the past 15 or 16 years are either a necessity or an advantage to us in our circumstances. I had great sympathy indeed with the Minister for Industry and Commerce when in a recent speech he pointed out that our political divisions had so poisoned and so bedevilled our national life that it was impossible to have any question, whether it was economic, social or educational, discussed without having it distorted and put in a false light by one Party wrangling with another. I was all the more pleased to see the Minister for Industry and Commerce saying that and holding that view, because it is a view that I have very often given expression to myself.

It is natural, of course, that there should be a certain amount of disappointment expressed on the question of Partition: a certain amount of feeling that it is a pity that this settlement should not have brought us the whole way towards the attainment of our ideals. To anyone with any political sense, or with any realism in his composition, it was out of the question to expect that Partition could be solved in a few weeks in interviews between Irish and English Ministers in Downing Street. It is far too old a question to come down like the walls of Jericho before the trumpet of the Prime Minister. The great mistake that we have made all along about Partition has been to take an emotional view of it rather than an intellectual view: to imagine that by feeling strongly about it, and by giving expression to strong feeling about it, we are doing something to put an end to it. The fact is that we will never get rid of Partition until there is first an ending to the divisions between the citizens of Ireland: until we get an united national front all over the country. Until we are all agreed upon a particular outlook and a particular plan for dealing with the Partition question, there is no chance of settling it. I quite agree with what has been said that the origin and the whole genesis and the responsibility for the continuance of Partition rests not in this part of Ireland nor, to any great extent even in the North of Ireland, but in England. Partition was created by English party politicians for English party purposes, and it is still kept in being not merely by English financial endowment but by the presence of English armed forces in the North of Ireland.

When we find ourselves in the position that responsible English statesmen, and responsible leaders of opinion in England, are able to assure us continually that the cure for Partition is to be found here in Ireland: that it is a matter for settlement between the two parts of Ireland, and when we find English people universally holding that view with complete honesty, we are faced, I think, with a problem which it should be our first duty to tackle. That is the problem of breaking down, I mean by way of propaganda, argument and information, the English mentality with regard to this Partition question; of getting it into the heads of English statesmen and leaders of English public opinion that the Partition of Ireland is a disgrace not only to Ireland but still more to Great Britain, and that, as the Prime Minister himself has said, there is no chance of a lasting or final settlement between the two countries until that disgrace has been removed. We ought to tackle the question no longer on an emotional basis, and still less perhaps using it as Party material for wrangling about. It ought to be possible for our best political intellects to get together and agree to a definite and, if you like, a long-distance plan for approaching this problem, a plan which will involve, on the one hand, an attempt to break down the resistance of the North itself to Partition, and on the other hand, inform first of all, our own citizens and, secondly, the people and the leaders of England, about the true facts in regard to Partition.

I say that there is a great deal to be done, and that we have hardly tackled the problem yet of breaking down the resistance of the North. I do not mean that we should contemplate using force; although in spite of all that is being said I do not think that any sane statesman ought to rule out absolutely and entirely the use of force in political questions of this kind. If an occasion arose when we could profitably and safely use force to bring about the unity of Ireland, then it would be our duty to use force for that purpose. I do not think there is any likelihood of that occasion arising, and I do not think that we should calculate on such an occasion arising in anything like the near future. We have other means of dealing with the problem. There are a great many things that we could do in order to get it into the heads of our fellow-countrymen in the North that they have nothing to lose but a great deal to gain by coming in with us. In that regard especially I would like to advert to the suggestions that were made about economic arrangements. I do not like the idea of this Council of Ireland that is so often put forward: that is a supreme council which would have authority over the Parliaments of both parts of the country; and still less do I like the idea of an arrangement by which the Northern Parliament would remain almost as it is. But I do think that we have made one great mistake, and I think that mistake has been accentuated terribly by the present Government. The gospel of a self-sufficient Ireland was first preached by Arthur Griffith. Nobody would have been more shocked or more astonished than Arthur Griffith would have been if it had been suggested to him that the Ireland that he meant was the Twenty-six Counties artificially created by the British Parliament. Let us make it clear to all that when we talk of a self-contained and a self-sufficient Ireland we mean, if we are nationalists in any sense at all, the whole of Ireland. Our economic measures should not be taken with a view solely to the benefit of the Twenty-Six Counties, but in so far as we can it should be our duty, and our highest interest, to arrange these economic measures in such a way that even Belfast people and the North of Ireland may get some advantage out of them. Of course, it is quite obvious that the northern manufacturers would only gain very slight advantages. While that may be so, at the same time, as Senator Douglas has pointed out, there would be an indication of goodwill, and it is not merely goodwill that is at stake. What is at stake is the principle of treating the whole of Ireland as a single economic unit. To my mind that economic method of approaching Partition is as important as the national or the cultural method or the political method can be. Unless we begin to recognise that sooner or later we will have to treat the whole of Ireland as an economic unit we will never, I believe, make any real advance towards the ending of Partition.

There are all sorts of other methods that we could try, but all ought to be on the basis of friendly approach to the North without in any way compromising our independence or even compromising their independence in the North at the moment. But every step like that would help to break down whatever differences of view exist and whatever ill-will may exist. There is one great advantage in the Agreement in that regard, and it is that the charge of disloyalty which is so constantly and glibly made against the minority in the North and against the Nationalists of all Ireland by the governing classes in the North can surely no longer lie once this Agreement has been put through. The whole relationship between the dominant class in the North and the minority there will be imperceptibly altered and the new peaceful conditions prevailing between this part of Ireland and Great Britain will surely bring about greater freedom of action as between all parties in the North.

The question of Partition is, of course, only one question on which we ought to try now when we have the opportunity to mend our hands. This Agreement, I hold, gives us no opportunities in fact that we did not have in 1921 or 1922 if we had all unanimously accepted the Treaty and agreed to work it as a basis on which we could advance towards further freedom. I do not think that the Prime Minister of to-day is in any one whit more advantageous position than he would have been in the year 1921 or 1922 if he had accepted that settlement then and stood in with his colleagues and the friends who had supported him up to that time; if he had worked with them loyally to use the Treaty for the benefit of the whole country. This Agreement gives us a chance to come together and to put behind us all the dreary waste of the last 15 or 16 years. Not merely are our farmers crying out for attention, although they are the greatest of our problems at the moment, but I would remind the House that there is a special problem that confronts us in particular, and that is the problem of trying to organise the whole State on a vocational basis. It is a policy to which we are practically committed, and to which, I think, we cannot help being committed nationally and economically.

On that, again, I am glad to be able to quote the Minister for Industry and Commerce with complete approval. He said in a recent speech that as far as he could see it was essential for our future economic progress that our industrialists and workers should be organised on a nation-wide basis in a series of vocational organisations. That problem has a special interest for us in this House, because we are supposed, at any rate, to be to some extent vocational representatives, and the reorganisation of this House is bound to be involved in the question of organising the country on a vocational basis. That is only one problem. Nearly every aspect of our national life will require to be overhauled and reconsidered in the light of the new appeasement and concord that we all hope this Agreement will bring. I sincerely hope that we will make a real and a thorough effort to put our political disagreements behind us. We are offered the chance in this settlement, and if we neglect it it may not easily come our way again during our lifetime.

Perhaps at this stage it would be well if the Chair would endeavour to ascertain the feelings of members with regard to the winding up of the debate. I understand that a sort of an agreement has been come to by the respective leaders of the various sections in the House, that if the debate is to continue it should be postponed at 9.30 to enable the Second Stages of the six Bills on the Order Paper to be taken as well as the Gárda Síochána Pensions Order. I am told that that procedure is necessary for administrative reasons. My point is that we should try to find out if there are many other members of the House who wish to speak. I am not suggesting that we should rush the debate or anything of that sort.

I take it that the House will be meeting to-morrow to discuss the Committee Stages of the six Bills?



If, therefore, there are other members of the House who wish to speak, perhaps the debate. could now be adjourned and continued to-morrow.

Mr. Hayes

The suggestion is that the debate would be interrupted now to enable the Second Stages of the Bills on the Order Paper and the Gárda Síochána Pensions Order to be taken; that, having disposed of that business, the Chair would ascertain if there are any other members of the House who wish to speak, and if no member wishes to speak, the Taoiseach would then have the opportunity of concluding on the debate.


I understand it is desired that all stages of the Bills on the Order Paper be taken to-morrow.

Would it not be more convenient if Senators were to speak now?

Mr. Hayes

The suggestion is that the debate should now be suspended for the purpose of allowing the Second Stages of these Bills to be got through, so that to-morrow they can be considered in Committee. Senators who may have questions to ask can then ask them. If, when that is done, and I presume it will take only a few minutes, because it is quite formal, the Taoiseach has sufficient time to conclude, well and good.

That would be the best arrangement. The people of the country are anxious to see this thing finished; the farmers, particularly, are anxious to have it finished.

Debate adjourned.
The following Bills were then read a Second Time:—