Seanad Éireann - Volume 6 - 16 December, 1925

PUBLIC BUSINESS. - TREATY (CONFIRMATION OF AMENDING AGREEMENT) BILL, 1925—SECOND STAGE.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: I beg to move the suspension of Standing Orders, to [123] enable the Second Reading of the Treaty (Confirmation of Amending Agreement) Bill to be taken, and also to enable the Bill to be put through its subsequent Stages to-day.

Mr. PARKINSON: I beg to second.

Mr. FARREN: I want to enter my protest against the manner in which the business of this House is being conducted, particularly with respect to most important legislation. A Standing Order of this House has been specially prepared so that the business coming before this House would get proper consideration. According to Standing Order 55 at least three days must elapse between the passing of a Bill in the Dáil and its introduction here. I think it is hardly fair to this House, if it is to be considered a Legislative Assembly, to have its business done in this particular way. This is not the only occasion on which I protested against the manner in which business is being conducted here, and I have no option but to vote against this motion.

Motion put and declared carried.

CATHAOIRLEACH: The question is—“That this Bill be now read a Second Time.”

Mr. FARREN: In case there might be a conspiracy of silence, I will break the silence in order to register my protest against the Agreement which is embodied in this Bill. At the outset I want to say that it is with fear and trembling that I, as an ordinary individual, stand up to offer any criticism of the Agreement embodied in this Bill. In view of what happened in the other House to anybody who had the temerity to offer any opposition to this Bill, I must confess that it is with fear and trembling that I rise to offer my criticism of it.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I will try and protect you.

Mr. FARREN: I hope so, as I may need all your protection. I offer that criticism, not in any spirit of hostility to the Executive Council or the Government, but I offer it as a plain man giving [124] his honest opinion on the matter before us. There is a long history attached to this question of the Boundary, and I am not going to rake up past political events, further than to say that I honestly believe that it is not good in the interests of our country and our people that any set of Irishmen should agree that there should be any Boundary line between the people of the North and those of the South. No doubt the argument will be put forward that there has been partition. We will admit that. Partition was imposed on us by an alien Assembly, but this is the first occasion on which any body of Irishmen in this country are asked to agree to set up a border line between the people of this land. I must say, honestly and frankly, that I have a considerable amount of sympathy with the President and his colleagues in this particular matter because I believe that the position that came upon them was not altogether of their own making, but they were led into a position that might have been avoided. The position as I see it is this: under the terms of this agreement, we are going to admit that there should be a dividing line between the North-Eastern portion and the rest of this country. For the future welfare of the country I do not believe that that is a wise policy to adopt. No doubt the Minister in charge of this Bill here will talk about alternatives and other things like that. I am offering my opinion on the matter and I believe that it is a bad day's work for the people of this country to agree to set up a border line.

In connection with this particular agreement, apart from the fixing of a boundary, there is a further clause in the Agreement that provides that this State shall undertake obligations to pay sums that have been estimated between five and six million pounds. We were told that that agreement was arrived at as a set-off against the wiping out of our obligations under Article V. of the Treaty. I heard many people during the course of the debates on the Treaty, on public platforms, and in the Press, repeatedly say that there was never any serious intention on the part of this country to pay any money under Article V. We were told that [125] the counterclaim that could be put up, and would be put up, by this State, would nullify any claim which England had under Article V. Therefore, it appears to me that, apart from the national aspect of the matter, there is a financial consideration also involved to the extent of a sum estimated between five and six million pounds. Under the clause that deals with this question there is also an agreement that a bonus of ten per cent. should be added to the awards for compensation that have been granted through our courts. If there is going to be an agreement, there ought to be a fair agreement, and there should not be a take-all and give-nothing policy. The other parties to this agreement looked after their own pretty well, but I am sorry to say that I do not think that our own people have been looked after.

Under the Treaty which set up this State there was no hesitation on the part of the representatives of our people in giving guarantees that adequate representation would be given to the minority—and quite right—that they would be protected in every sense, and that they would be real citizens of our State. The undertakings they gave were honourably carried out, and ample protection was given to every man and woman in this part of the country, irrespective of political opinions and creed. Striking tributes have been given in the debates in the Dáil, on the public platforms, and in the pulpits, in regard to that, and it has been acknowledged that there has been no hostility shown in this State to people who differ from the majority either in religion or politics. But there is a minority in the North-East portion of this country, and I think I am not overstating the case when I say that they have not been shown much tolerance. They have not the rights of citizens. Everything that the human mind could devise to tyrannise over them has been done by the people in power there.

Under the terms of this Agreement which we are asked to pass there was not the slightest effort made, nor, as far as we are aware, a suggestion, that protection should be given to the [126] minority in the North-East. There you have a judiciary on which there is not one single representative of the minority from a religious point of view. I abhor the introduction of religious questions in matters of this kind, but circumstances sometimes compel one to introduce these things. That judiciary does not contain one Catholic, while in the Free State there is a majority of non-Catholics on the judiciary. In the North-East there is a sectarian police force, and no protection for the minority. The system of proportional representation was introduced in the North-East to enable the minority to get representation. At the first available moment they abolished the system of proportional representation, and deprived the minority of their rights. There has been a disgraceful system of gerrymandering going on in the North.

I say that when guarantees were being asked, and provision made for minorities, there should have been some guarantees secured by our representatives that the minority in the North-East would have some safeguards and that they would have the rights of citizenship. As I have said before, I have a certain amount of fear in attempting to offer criticism, more especially in view of the fact that I have never been anything but an ordinary citizen who tried to carry out his duties as a citizen. I have not taken part in fighting, or anything like that, but I have tried to be an ordinary citizen. I have never been a warrior, and I have never asked anybody else to be a warrior, but it is not because of that that I am not entitled to offer my criticism of any Bill that may come before this House, or that any member of the Oireachtas should not offer his opinion because he is not a warrior. I submit there have been many people talking who, from that point of view, had no right to offer criticism. The Front Bench, for instance, does not contain too many warriors—I do not mean the Front Bench here, but the Front Bench in the other House. I am surrounded by warriors of every type in this House.

That is what I want to say on the general question, but if I might be [127] allowed to offer a word of criticism of some expressions made use of in the other House in connection with this matter I would do so. I want to complain of the attitude adopted by the Ministers in the other House towards anybody who had the audacity to question or to criticise what they had done. Surely every Government ought to be subject to criticism by members of their Parliament. One Minister said that the opposition of the Labour Party to this measure was because of its difference with the Government on the question of wages on the Shannon scheme. That suggestion was worthy of the man who made it. It is worthy of the man who takes for himself £32 per week and refuses to give more than 32/- a week to labouring men. That is all the comment I have to make on that. The Minister for Justice, I understand from the papers this morning, made the statement that in the Dáil they were subject to a blizzard of words. I would suggest that he and his colleagues when they went to London got lost in the fog, because I am satisfied that if they had not they would never have signed the Agreement they brought back.

Mr. GUINNESS: I desire to give this Bill my whole-hearted support. The details of the Agreement have been examined and debated in another place with such an outpouring of criticism and eloquence that every conceivable aspect of the case for or against the measure has been fully ventilated and exposed. It is, however, a matter for observation that, whereas one day was sufficient to pass a corresponding Bill in the Parliament of Great Britain, and without a dissentient vote, we in this country who have obtained the lion's share do not appear to be satisfied, and some, apparently, view with suspicion this astoundingly advantageous bargain made by our representatives. The opposition in the other House came principally from the Labour Benches. I must confess that I feel puzzled by this attitude, as there is no section of society more likely to derive material benefit from the peace this measure assures than the [128] labour community of this country. My lord, after centuries of strife and enmity the hand of friendship is extended to us from across the sea and from over the Border. Are we going to hold back and refuse this gesture of peace and concord? I cannot conceive that the Celtic attribute of chivalry has left our shores. The spirit of goodwill stands at our door and knocks. Let us not refuse a welcome to this gracious visitor.

EARL of MAYO: We have all listened with interest to the protest from the Labour benches, which was to be expected. The protest has been put forward in a very moderate manner. Senator Farren began by making a blocking protest and then he said there should be no boundary line. As many people know, I was an anti-partitionist, but that matter was settled when the Treaty was signed in London. I resent very much one remark of the Senator when he used the word “alien.” He said he did not wish to be dictated to by an alien. I do not think a Scotchman is an alien; I do not think a Welshman is an alien, and I do not think an Englishman is an alien. They are subjects, like ourselves, of a Government which sees that order is kept in the country. I dislike that expression very much, and I think there are others who will agree with me. The Senator also said that in the North-eastern portion of the country not one single Catholic had been appointed to the judicial bench. Surely we are not going to introduce religious differences in a matter of this sort.

As to the Boundary Commission, it has disappeared and another page in Ireland's troubled history has been turned over. I never believed in this Commission. The report of the Commission and the evidence taken is relegated to and will repose among the archives of the Imperial Government in London for future historians to delve in and try to disentangle another page of Irish history. I have nothing whatever to say against the personnel of the Commission. I have no doubt that the Chairman, Judge Feetham, and Mr. Fisher, will have the most pleasant recollections of the way they were received in Ireland. In fact, [129] Judge Feetham has said so in a communication to the Press. As I said, I was not in favour of this Commission. I did not believe that it would result in very much. It was the product of the Imperial Government, disowned and even boycotted by the Government of Northern Ireland and welcomed, but with suspicion, by the Free State. This puling infant, dangled and borne about, has passed away, and I shall only shed a few crocodile tears and place a faded laurel leaf on the imaginary grave of this poor thing.

Having carried out the obsequies of this infant in a decent manner, I turn to a more cheerful subject. The President and the Minister for Justice have brought us back a very nice Christmas box. What is more, there is something in that box which is material to us all. The importance of the disappearance of Article V. of the Treaty seems not to be appreciated by many in Ireland. A number of disgruntled people, encouraged by a disgruntled Press, have tried during the passage of the Bill on the other side and the discussions here to make as much mischief as possible. Everyone has a right to his opinions, but as far as that section of the Press is concerned I should like to give all connected with it a third-class single ticket to Holyhead from Dun-Laoghaire or Greenore and let them muddle up their pens in inkpots in London where they will find many people as clever as themselves. The Prime Minister of England said the other day that the British Government claimed from the Free State under Article V. in respect of public debt and war pensions £128,000,000, and interest amounting to £27,000,000, a total of £155,000,000. I hope Labour Senators will note that. He also said:—

In consideration of this debt being wiped out the Free State bears full liability for material damage done in the Free State area since 1919 and undertakes to repay to the British Government a sum estimated at £5,000,000. The offer of the Free State was this: £150,000 down and an annual payment of £250,000 for sixty years from April next.

The 10 per cent. to be added to the awards for malicious damage under [130] the 1923 Act is estimated to come to £1,000,000, payable in 5 per cent. stock to be redeemed in 10 years. What is ten years in the life of the Irish Free State? Nothing. We practically start with a clean sheet. We can borrow money out of Ireland which we were not able to do up to this. Our National Loan was sought to be bought the other day on the Dublin Stock Exchange at above the issue price, but there were no sellers. That is what is in the Christmas box which I mentioned, and I congratulate the Ministers on what they have done. When we have passed this Bill and adjourned for our holidays, I shall feel that we have got a clean sheet to start with. I hope the Seanad will remember that with regard to domestic legislation the Ministers of Northern Ireland and the Ministers of the Free State can meet together in perfect amity and discuss those domestic matters which affect both Northern Ireland and the Free State.

Mr. O'ROURKE: As an Ulsterman who knows something of the system of Government run by the Orange lodges, I approach the question from a different standpoint to that of other members of the House. When the Treaty was signed there cannot be any doubt but that it would have been rejected by the Dáil only for Article XII., giving, as we thought, Tyrone, Fermanagh, South Down, and South Armagh the right of self-determination. England, with her usual treachery when dealing with this country, found a way to twist Article XII. Our representatives had a very difficult task when faced with the news that Feetham was carrying out the order of Sir James Craig, and making the new boundary to suit his wishes. No doubt we might have sent a stronger representative than Dr. MacNeill, but I do not consider that it would have made any material difference except that the crisis would have come twelve months ago instead of to-day. A stronger man would have broken with them at the first or second sitting, as he would have insisted on the proper terms of reference being carried out—the wishes of the inhabitants.

[131] I have read most, if not all, of the arguments put forward for the rejection of the Agreement, and I have considered the question from all points, but principally from the point of view of relief for the Catholics of the Six Counties, and I consider acceptance of the Agreement the only statesmanlike policy. I would ask Senators who are thinking of voting against it to consider the alternative if the Agreement is rejected. There is bound to be bloodshed on the Border if the new Feetham line is put into operation. This means a second pogrom in Belfast, and Specials will be told off to burn Catholic houses as they did in 1922.

If the Agreement goes through, as I believe it will, we can use a more effective medicine than lead to effect relief for our Catholic friends across the Border. It is not yet realised what these people had to suffer, and are still suffering, from the most bigoted and tyrannical Government of modern times. The only Government that is on a par with it has its headquarters at Moscow. The only difference is that Belfast, so far, has not executed any bishops or priests.

I might give the House some instances in order to give them an idea of what Government by the Orange Lodges means to Catholics. This goes on to-day the same as one or two years ago. Only last week Father Traynor, of Irwinstown, was held up by Specials at 11 o'clock at night after coming from a sick call. He was insulted, and every one of his pockets searched. He was told that if he did not conduct himself he would be put in jail. It is nothing now to insult a priest, but it is so recent that some may say that times have changed. We know they did the same with the late Cardinal Logue a few years ago. In the parish of Devenish, where four R.I.C. kept the peace in pre-war days, there are now over 300 Specials. Most of them are out raiding every night, and it is as much as a Catholic's life is worth to complain. The respected parish priest, Father Coyle, is raided and searched repeatedly. He has been searched 13 times in the one day, not that they expect to find arms on him. He is being [132] constantly insulted. Father Coyle told me about this himself.

Members of the House can hardly imagine the terrorism that prevails in a quiet country parish like this where 70 per cent. of the inhabitants wish to come into the Saorstát. I can assure the House that it is not an exaggeration to say that they are worse off than in penal times. Then, owing to gerrymandering, it takes three Nationalists to weigh down one Orangeman, and although Tyrone and Fermanagh have Nationalist majorities, all the public boards in each county have a majority of Orangemen. Enniskillen town has a majority of Nationalists. Nationalists always had a majority on the Urban District Council until Craig brought his system into law. Although Nationalists have a majority in the town, the Orangemen have a 2 to 1 majority on the Council. Some months ago sixteen houses built by money borrowed on the security of the rates were let by the Urban Council. One who did not know the Ulster men would think that they would let them to eight Nationalists and eight of their own set. No tolerance of this sort for the Urban Council. The sixteen houses were let to sixteen “True Blues.” The law is put in force to compel people to trade with men in the Orange Order. This is notorious. I will give a few instances. An extensive drapery in a town that, if Feetham was an honest man, would now be in the Saorstát, was raided repeatedly by Specials in 1922. The owner was told that he would have to clear out or he would be shot. This man came to live in Dublin, and his wife tried to run the business as best she could. When things got quieter his friends asked if he might come back home, but the answer was no—that it was too dangerous. Some six months ago he returned. He was home only a few days when some Specials called and told him he should go away at once as there was a murder gang in the district and that they would “do him in.” He replied that he did not believe that and decided to stay. After this the Specials put a guard on his house. If he wanted to go to the Post Office two Specials would go with him. No Nationalist could put up with such treatment, so [133] he left again. He is now living in this city and his trade is damaged. Why all this persecution of this man? I will tell you. A prominent man in the local Orange lodge, who was a rival in the drapery trade, worked influence with the local Specials to get this man out of the way. The result is that this Orangeman was relieved of all opposition for the past three years, and our Nationalist friend has to live in this city at great expense to himself. By every post he hears of his gradually diminishing trade.

Quite as glaring a case, but of another class, was that of a small dealer with an account in a bank with its headquarters at Belfast. He transferred his account to a bank with its headquarters in the Saorstát. His house was immediately raided and much damage and looting done by drunken Specials, who wanted to know from his wife where he was. The poor man went “on the run” and came into the Saorstát. Some of his wife's friends made representations to some of the local Orangemen as to why this man's house was raided and why he had to go “on the run.” After some time they were told that he might come back, and that all would be forgiven if he would transfer his account back to the bank in which he originally had it.

The Northern Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Archdale), when he came to Enniskillen to seek re-election some time ago, addressed a meeting of his constituents. He did not claim as his principal achievement an improved breed of cattle, or a better price for eggs or butter. No, his great reform was that he had reduced the number of Catholics in the employment of his Ministry to four, a statement that was received with loud and prolonged applause. I wonder how the “Irish Times” would take it if our Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Hogan, went down to Loughrea and told his constituents that his principal achievement during his term of office was that he had reduced the number of Freemasons employed at Merrion Street to four. The worst feature of the Specials was in districts where they met good-looking Catholic girls, with whom they desired to keep company. Some Catholic girls [134] would not be seen talking to them, and in revenge their homes were raided. In a number of instances the raids took place in the middle of the night, when those heroes went to the girls' rooms and stopped there while they dressed, making insulting remarks. It is hard to believe that we have such savages in this country, and that our people have no redress. The experience has been that to complain only made matters worse—perhaps the house would be burned.

A Special was fired at one night near a publichouse. All his comrades the next day were bragging that they would burn that house the following night. It was burned. The owner got a decree in the County Court for the full amount against the County Council. The County Council appealed to the Assizes, where the Court was presided over by an ornament of the Orange lodge. He promptly reversed the decree, holding that the burning was accidental, although he got no evidence whatever on the matter and would not listen to the applicant's counsel on the point. Any damage done by either party in the Saorstát has to be fully paid for by State funds, but our Catholic friends in the Six Counties have no means of redress. They bear all the loss. On the other hand, if an Orangeman's cow dies he must be compensated to the full amount of the loss.

A Catholic school in a Tyrone parish was burned, it is alleged, by the Specials. The parish priest got a decree for £1,100 at the County Court, but the Minister of Education stepped in and informed him that no money would be paid, but that he would give him one of the Protestant schools in its place. The parish priest had to accept the offer. This so-called school is only an old thatched barn situated in a district that does not require a school for Catholics. The clergyman has no redress whatever under the existing law, as the Minister of Education has power to do what he likes with everything concerning education. In this case Catholic property to the value of £1,500 was destroyed by Government servants, and not one penny compensation was paid. It may be denied that the [135] building was burned by the Specials. Well, the parish is about 60 per cent. Catholic; there are over 400 Specials there—every able-bodied man who is not a Catholic being a Special. The parish priest was told that the school would be burned, as it was too close to the Protestant school. Can any sane man claim that anyone burned it but a Special? The fire occurred after Curfew, when no man but a Special could be out of doors. The cases I have given all arise in territory that could rightly claim to come into the Saorstát. I have avoided giving you any case of the progrom such as the McMahon massacre, which is probably fresh in the minds of most Senators. What I give are grevious cases that could be multiplied, the type of case that does not get into the Press. The sufferers, as a rule, find that if they let the newspapers know the worst trial comes along afterwards. We hear a lot about goodwill and friendship. I would be very glad if we could have it with our Northern friends, but goodwill, to my mind, indicates goodwill on both sides. The Belfast brand of goodwill is to treat our Catholic friends as slaves, while we shut our eyes to outrages on them and proclaim a reign of goodwill with the Six Counties.

I have lived all my life in Ulster and claim to know the Ulsterman better than any member in the House, with one notable exception, our Chairman. The North of Ireland Orangeman is a peculiar individual. He is a cross of the three races—Irish, English and Scotch—and in the cross he has absorbed all the bad qualities of each race and very little of the good ones. He has no country or national sentiment. This was made clear in 1914, when Captain Craig, brother of the present Northern Premier, stated that if the English King signed the Home Rule Bill they would invite the Kaiser to come over and rule Ulster, where he would be heartily welcomed. This sentiment was received with acclamation. England's faithful garrison in Dublin must have been very much taken aback by this, coming as it did from what they thought was the city with greatest loyalty to the Union [136] Jack. The strange thing about it was that they took it as a matter of course in the North. If England was no good to Ulster, Ulster would then, by all means, throw England over and take on the Kaiser. Everything is looked at in Belfast from the financial angle.

Our people in the Six Counties have suffered terrible persecution in the past three years. The great question is: how are we to remedy matters? Scrapping the Agreement will not do it. I claim it can be done on the economic side. I may be asked what reforms are required so as to give our Catholic people reasonable security. First of all, Proportional Representation and units for Parliamentary and Local Government electors should be restored to what they were in 1914. All Specials should be disbanded. The police of each county should consist of the same proportion of Catholics and Protestants as in the county. All men who have been arrested for political offences and have lost a position in any Local Government body as a result, to be reinstated and paid for time out of employment. Full compensation to be paid to all people who have suffered during the pogrom and since either in loss of the bread-winner or loss of property. All political prisoners to be released. School managers to have the same control and right over the education of Catholic youth as in 1914. A fair proportion of the positions on the judicial bench to be reserved for Catholics.

If those reforms are carried out, we can then agree to perfect goodwill between North and South. Until we get an undertaking that these things are to come into force, it is useless talking about such things as goodwill, tolerance, etc. Article XII. of the Treaty was inserted to safeguard the rights of Northern Nationalists. We are going to agree to have it scrapped. We are honourably bound to see that those safeguards must be brought into force by another method. If this House and the Dáil are determined that our friends are to be properly treated, pressure must be brought on Sir Séamus by the tariff wall. We get about £6,000,000 worth of goods per year from Northern Ireland. Can we afford to accept these goods on the [137] same footing as in the past? I say decidedly not. Put a special super-tax of 10 per cent. on all goods from Northern Ireland, after giving the Northern Government a month's notice that the super tax is to come into effect unless the demands I have outlined are agreed to. All revenue received from this tax to be handed over to a committee of Ulster men to help to pay some of the malicious damages caused during the trouble. By this method you achieve two objects without substantial cost or inconvenience to the Saorstát. You make it plain to Sir Séamus that you mean business, and you bring relief in a small way perhaps to some of your countrymen.

If a scheme such as this is put in force, it will be necessary to set up an Advisory Committee of Ulster men who could be depended on to see that the funds were properly disbursed. I would suggest three nominated by the elected Nationalists of the Belfast Parliament—three men who spent six months in the ship at Larne—presided over by Fr. Coyle, P.P., Devenish. I think a committee such as this would not be fooled by soft promises of goodwill, etc., etc. It is possible that the serving of the notice about the super-tax would have the desired effect, without actually having to put it into operation. I suggest that our Northern friends might practise more goodwill to their Nationalist friends, sooner than swallow the nasty medicine of the super-tax. It may be argued that at present we tax goods coming across the border such as clothes, furniture, etc., and why does it not bring about the desired effect. The present tax is no use for such a purpose; it goes on all imports from all countries, and Sir Séamus has no hope that if he treats our Nationalist friends in a proper manner he will get any concession in the way of tariff. The super tax I suggest goes on specially for a purpose and comes off when that purpose is achieved. The feeling amongst some of the Nationalists in the Border counties of the Free State is to lift the rails, and trench the roads and cut the Six Counties off completely till justice is done. I consider this too drastic at present. It will be time enough to put [138] it in force after the super-tax has proved ineffective. I know a great number of fair-minded Protestants in the North look with horror at the outrages committed by the Government, but are helpless to move in the matter. If the super-tax is put into operation, no one will be more delighted than they, as they will feel that we are nearing the day when the Border will be done away with, and we will have a United Ireland.

I congratulate the Executive Council in having got Article V. cancelled, which puts the Saorstát in a very strong financial position when going to the money market to negotiate a loan, but the addition of 10 per cent. to holders of decrees for malicious damage, while our friends across the Border, who suffered much damage, have no means of redress, is rather a one-sided Agreement. I support the Bill.

Mr. O'FARRELL: We have listened to an excellent speech in opposition to the Bill from Senator O'Rourke, who has indicated his intention of voting for the Bill. He did not make use of one argument from the time he stood up to speak until he sat down—and he used quite a number in rapid fashion— that were not arguments against the Agreement. Instead of that grand spirit of goodwill, friendship and brotherhood that we were to have as a result of the Agreement, he advocates a recrudescence of the war. If that is the spirit in which the Agreement is supported in the Border counties by those who accept it I cannot see that glorious era of peace that has been so picturesquely painted by the Ministers in the other House. It is only in discussions of this kind, where political feelings run high, that one realises how far we yet are from what one might call an ideal state of democracy and how intolerant the majority is of the views of the minority. Everyone who spoke against this Bill in the other House was denounced as a theorist, a visionary and a hypocrite. The Minister for Justice was not on his feet for two minutes when he denounced the whole opposition as hypocrisy. He would not say that it was dishonest, but I think he almost implied that. He said it was hypocrisy.

[139] MINISTER for JUSTICE (Mr. O'Higgins): I am sorry for intervening, but the Senator is quite wrong in saying that I used the word “hypocrisy.” I was referring to the plea put forward on the first day against going on with the Bill—that the Dáil had not enough time to consider this Bill, and I drew attention to the fact that one Party, and many individual Deputies, had already issued to the public, through the Press, considered pronouncements about the Bill. I was dealing not with the attitude of the opposition to the Bill, but simply with the contention that was put forward that it was premature to go on with the Bill because the Deputies had not had time enough to give the Agreement consideration.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I accept the Minister's explanation in that respect, but surely there were sufficient other declarations made by the Minister himself, by the President and other Ministers which were quite equivalent to accusations of hypocrisy against anybody who had the temerity to criticise the Agreement in the ordinary Parliamentary way. The Ministers started thumping themselves on the back from the time they left Euston until they arrived here, and they seemed terribly chagrined because everyone else did not join in the thumping.

I do not see any use for a Parliament or an Opposition unless we have criticism on the part of the Opposition to the actions of the Government, even though the Government may think they have done admirably. In this respect, too, as one who listened to part of the debate, I must say that the attitude of the Press has been deplorable. Not one single speech made against the Bill has been reported in a proper or intelligent manner. There has been reported from the opposition speeches only the merest excerpts, and these only when Ministers interrupted. It was only to show the aptness of the Minister's interruptions that the reports of the speeches of the Opposition were given at all. The reports of them were the merest travesty, while the most childish and obvious tosh uttered by anybody in support of the Bill was set [140] out in leaded type on the top of our two daily papers. In fact, the two Dublin papers must have wasted all the type they had for the last few days in recording in inch-long letters the words of wisdom dropped from those who were supporting the Bill.

Mr. HAUGHTON: I am afraid my friend does not read the “Cork Examiner.”

Mr. O'FARRELL: I dare say the “Cork Examiner” had it right. Where there is a small Opposition, where the opposition that there should be is absent, and the only hope of the constitutional Opposition is to educate the public on matters of public importance, if they have a Press deliberately setting out to try and stifle their expressions of public opinion, then we cannot hope in the very near future to have a proper, well-educated and democratic community, or a properly constituted legislative assembly. Of course, the Press on this occasion happens to favour the Government. To-morrow they may do otherwise. I have heard them roundly denounced by the President on more than one occasion. He now seems to take the views written by editors over-night, as being the views of the whole community. It does not suit him to accept the views on every occasion, but on this occasion it does. Of course anything is sufficient for an immediate difficulty.

As I have stated, the general accusation has been one of hypocrisy and insincerity on the part of the opposition. I do suggest that the Pact itself is a true indication of where the hypocrites are. In this respect I do say, apart altogether from the merits of the general Agreement, that the Nationalists of Northern Ireland have been scandalously misled, and have been scandalously treated. For fully four years they have been encouraged to put their faith in the political leaders of the principal party on this side of the Border, men who have dubbed themselves the trustees of the Nationalists of the North.

Those Nationalists of the North have been encouraged to refuse to recognise [141] the Northern Parliament. They have been encouraged to indulge in the policy of abstention. They have been generally encouraged to act as rebels to the State within which they live As a result of that policy, followed to its logical conclusion by those unfortunate and misled people, they have lost many of their citizenship rights. They have had the institutions in which they had a majority closed down; they have had proportional representation taken away from them in respect to local authorities; they have had constituencies gerrymandered in such a way that even where they have a majority representation. Now, after those four years, and after all the sacrifices those people have made because of false pledges given to them by Ministers, for propaganda purposes, they are left to make the best terms they possibly can with those whom they have antagonised by reason of what they considered were patriotic purposes.

I realised, and a great many people with ordinary common sense and no great statesmanship realised, that the ultimate result would be the stabilization of the present Boundary from a political point of view. I believe the Ministers thought the same, too, but they wanted to play up to the extremist elements in this country. The Minister for Finance evidently has been talking confidentially to Lord Birkenhead, according to the noble Lord's speech in the House regarding Irish financial affairs. It would seem, too, as if they had been confiding to him their difficulties in regard to the question of the Boundary. Lord Birkenhead, in moving the adoption of this Pact, which he did with a splendid spirit of victory, stated —I am quoting from Hansard—the following:—

“I was not at that time a member of the Government; I was not at all in the counsels of the Irish Free State. Had they consulted me as to whether they should insist upon immediate effect being given to Article XII. I should most strongly have advised them not to take that step, but I suspect that they were not their own masters. I suspect that those extremist forces in Southern Ireland [142] which have always existed and which always will exist, though they may be gradually reduced alike in numbers and in influence, were too strong to make it possible for the Free State Ministers to postpone further their demand that Article XII. should be carried out.”

I think he is quite correct in his assumption and it is possible that it was after a consultation with our own Ministers that he took it upon himself to make that statement. They wanted to play up to the extremist elements in Ireland a year ago, or eighteen months ago, and they insisted on this Boundary Commission being set up, although in their hearts, they knew perfectly well they were not going to get anything as a result of the Commission's deliberations. They knew that the Nationalists would have to fight their own battle, yet for eighteen months they allowed the Nationalists to remain under a mistaken assumption.

Now, after everybody else has got something, the Nationalists whose position caused the whole trouble have got nothing at all and they are left to fight their own battle. Senator O'Rourke, in that splendid address that he has given, has indicated what their prospects of success are going to be. Perhaps it serves them right for having put their faith in politicians. Politicians, too, seem to have lost all sense of responsibility in regard to their public statements. A few months ago the Minister for Finance went up to Monaghan and, in an election speech in support of Senator Toal. he declared to a cheering audience that he was abundantly confident that the report of the Boundary Commission would be eminently satisfactory to the Nationalists in Northern Ireland and in the Border counties. He was convinced on that point; he knew that for a fact. The same Minister went up a few weeks later and, in all the moods and tenses, and with all the adjectives that the Free State Minister for Finance can manufacture, he denounced right, left and centre the same Boundary Commission for having acted traitorously towards the Nationalists and towards the terms of reference under which [143] they were appointed. During the debate in the other House attention was drawn to the fact that some time ago the Minister, in reply to Mr. Dillon, who stated Ireland might have to pay £5,000,000 a year under Article V., stated that, in his opinion, Ireland would not have to pay anything. This was quoted in strong contradiction to his latest statements. Somebody asked: “Which are we to believe?” and the Minister for Industry and Commerce shouted across the House, “Both.”

So that you are to believe two absolutely contradictory statements. The Minister made statements for which he does not want to accept responsibility now, and he has asked in the House, “What else could I say?” It was really a statement that suited the particular occasion, and he felt justified in saying it and in unsaying it again at a subsequent date. So that one has reluctantly to come to the decision that there is absolutely no use in trying to pin Ministers down to any particular statement, because you will find if you wait long enough that you will get over a dozen statements that will be directly contradictory.

Before the Boundary Commission was set up it was quite evident, I think, that the Nationalists of the North would have been able to get infinitely better terms than they will get now, because now they have nothing to bargain with. It was, I think, an absolutely cruel thing for Ministers to deceive them for so long. Instead of telling them to be loyal and good citizens of the State which was to be theirs for the future and try to make the best terms they could, Ministers said that they had this particular Article of the Treaty in their possession and were going to use it on behalf of these Nationalists. Instead of that, for propaganda purposes, to play up to the extremist element, they went out on this wild-goose chase, and it has ended with disaster for the Nationalists on the Border. But in any case, it puzzles me to know why these people want to come in. What on earth do they want to come in for? I cannot see that there is anything very attractive for them here. Mr. Churchill described [144] the conditions in Ireland in a debate in the House of Commons—

EARL of MAYO: On what date?

Mr. O'FARRELL: On the 8th December. He said:—

They have lowered the salaries of their teachers, they have reduced their old age pensions, they have not followed out our later developments of unemployment insurance, or of pensions for widows, or of pensions at sixty-five years of age. Their unemployment fund is heavily in debt, much more heavily than ours, and, generally, they have accepted a lower standard of State service.

That is a very simple, a truthful and not a complete statement of our economic conditions as compared with those of Northern Ireland and Great Britain. So that for these reasons it baffles me to know what attractions there are to be held out to anybody across the Border to come in, and I cannot see why these people should be so enthusiastic about coming in. But I certainly do feel for and sympathise with them on account of the treacherous manner in which they have been treated, and I sympathise with them for the fools they have been for allowing themselves to be made the play-things of politicians on both sides of the Border.

A good deal has been said, and some nonsense has been talked here to-day, regarding the wonderful bargain we have had in respect of the elimination of Article V. We never heard until a couple of weeks ago that there was the slightest likelihood of having to pay anything under Article V. Why was it inserted at all in the Treaty? Here is Lord Birkenhead's explanation as to why it was, and he was one of those who negotiated and signed the Treaty. He said:—

If anybody says to me: “How did you, then, who were one of the signatories to the Treaty, ever come to make yourself a party to Article V?” the answer, I think, is not particularly difficult. At the time we signed Article V. two considerations were present to our minds, and the first may serve as a reminder how fallible is human anticipation. I and my cosignatories [145] were so little able to anticipate the future with accuracy that we thought that, unless Article V. were included in the Treaty there might come a moment in which the immunity of Ireland in relation to and comparison with the taxation in this country might possibly attract British capital and British factories to establish themselves in Ireland to the prejudice of the commerce of this country. We were most greatly deceived in this apprehension.

So that that is the reason why it was inserted in the Treaty. Mr. J. H. Thomas, who was Colonial Secretary, and was one of those eventually responsible for putting the Boundary Commission into operation, gives it as his opinion:—

As one who knows something of the Irish temperament in this matter, I quite frankly told my friends—

—that is, his friends in the British Government—

and I think it was the view of all of us who were connected with it, that when we got down to brass tacks and attempted to estimate any value so far as pounds, shillings and pence were concerned, in the case of Article V., we must write it down as nil; and I should have no hesitation in saying that that must have been the view of anyone who had gone carefully into the question and made anything like a calculation.

That was the view of a British Minister, and the reason for the insertion of the clause at all has been stated by Lord Birkenhead. And yet we are asked to rejoice at the wonderful victory that has been secured in our getting out of this terrible load of prospective taxation at a cost of over £15,000,000. The total amount payable was stated definitely by Mr. Baldwin when he said:

Those amounts are calculated as something over £5,000,000, and the representatives of the Irish Free State offer to discharge that obligation by immediate payment of £150,000 and an annuity of £250,000 for sixty years from the 1st April next. That offer has been accepted by the British Government.

And well it might. That means that in [146] the aggregate we pay £15,150,000 in the next sixty years.

The PRESIDENT: Give me a cheque for £5,000,000 now and I will settle it up.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I wish I could, but if I could I do not think I would put it to that particular use. Then, in addition to that, we have agreed to increase by ten per cent. the awards that have been given for malicious injuries committed since the 11th July, 1921, and Mr. Baldwin states:

The Free State representative estimated that the cost to the Free State Government of this Article would amount to approximately one million pounds, payable in five per cent. stock redeemable in 10 years. We believe that this increase will provide a substantial measure of relief to those who have suffered.

A million pounds at five per cent. means another £50,000 added to our annual commitments, so that for the next ten years at all events, we have £300,000 added to our liabilities. At the end of that time we must pay £1,000,000 in hard cash if those who hold the bonds decide to realise them, and then for the next fifty years we have to find an additional quarter of a million pounds a year. I wonder where the money will come from? Will it mean another cut in the Old Age Pensions, or are we going to increase the Income Tax again in order to get us back to where we were a year ago?

The British Government have expressed a great desire for peace and prosperity in Ireland. I believe that that desire is a genuine one. It does not pay Britain to have a warring Ireland with trade going smash and with the agricultural industry going adrift, because whilst England is our best customer we also are one of her best and nearest customers, and the one on which she relies most. If there was that genuine desire for peace on the part of Great Britain, is it to be suggested that they would allow war to develop along the Border, that they would throw up the whole thing and say, “The Boundary Commission Report, whatever it is, will have to come [147] into operation, and we will send our Army to enforce it,” for the sake of a quarter of a million pounds per annum? Would a great Empire, a great, wealthy nation like that, that has made these great sacrifices, according to those who signed this Treaty, declare war if the Free State representatives stood fast and said: “We are giving up enough. We are giving up the self-determination rights of at least a hundred thousand of our people. We are giving up a claim to that territory which we think should be ours. We are giving up everything in respect of the Council of Ireland, which also gave us additional powers, but we are not going to pay any more money, money which we cannot possibly afford to pay”? Would England, when faced with that, say, “Nevertheless you are going to pay this £250,000 a year or there will be war”? Well, if they took up that attitude, their professions of peace would be absolutely false, and I do not think that the British Parliament or the British people would support them in such an attitude.

Sir James Craig deserves to be congratulated, because from the beginning he said “Not an inch,” and he stuck to it like a man. Our Ministers are particularly strong at home, but remarkably weak away. We know that a coward amongst men is generally a bully at home who beats his wife, and our Ministers are particularly good at brow-beating the very slender opposition in the other House and in trying to stifle any criticism that develops here in a manner that is not very dignified, and not very becoming to Ministers. But Ministers are only three days across the Channel when they are feeding out of Mr. Baldwin's and Mr. Churchill's hands. It is a pity that they do not show some of that fine, strong, rough-and-tumble statesmanship on the other side that they show at home. One cannot imagine the Minister for Justice, when he puts on that carnivorous expression of his when he is about to devour an opponent, so meekly bending the knee to the blandishments of Mr. Baldwin, or even the financial finesse of Mr. Churchill, on the other side.

[148] At all events, the one remarkably astute part of that Agreement was the decision to increase by ten per cent. the awards already made by our Judges under an Act of the Oireachtas. One inevitable result of that will be to gather a body of powerful influential support throughout the country for this Pact. All of what are known as the Southern Loyalists are bound inevitably, because of that alone, to support this Pact. Members of both Houses, staunch followers of the Government, are personally interested in this. I do not say for one moment that there is any person in this House or in the other who will allow that to influence his vote, but certainly there are people, while human nature is what it is, who, when they see that they are going to get additional thousands of pounds from the taxpayer, apart from any other political consideration, apart from any consideration of the justice of the settlement, will give a solid vote to the Minister and present him with an illuminated address to-morrow for making such a magnificent settlement across the Channel on their behalf.

When they were passing the Union they had also to make some settlement of this kind. Financial considerations are just as powerful to-day as they were in 1800, and Ministers are not blind to that fact. They see that man's avariciousness penetrates and enters into everything and that if they want to get support from influential sections, those who can influence and perhaps, to a large degree, blind the public, they are not going to fail to make whatever arrangements they think necessary to bring about that state of affairs. I suppose those who will gain by this will, for quite different reasons, glorify this Pact. One would have imagined when Ministers were making this arrangement that they would at all events have thought fit to do something for those poor victims on the other side of the border. Everybody knows that the awards made in cases of murder and in the destruction of property were absurdly low in Northern Ireland, lower proportionately in many cases than in the Free State. Why did they not try to make some such arrangement there?

[149] One would have thought that the representatives of the MacMahon family, who were slaughtered in the most horrible manner, would have got the same justice and the same measure of consideration as those who were barbarously treated on this side. Not one single thing has been done to protect the minority on the other side, financially, politically or otherwise.

Everything has been given away and we have been told that there has been the grandest spirit of goodwill—they have actually wept on each other's shoulders—and of the wonderful way in which Sir James Craig shook Mr. Cosgrave's hand, told him he was quite prepared to sign this Agreement and that the spirit of peace and amity was almost overwhelming. I cannot imagine how he could have done otherwise. He has been presented with loving-cups since he came home; religious services of thanksgiving have been held in the Protestant and Presbyterian churches all over the North of Ireland. He has been presented with a foot-rule cut up into thirteen parts, none of them an inch—“not an inch.” Everything symbolises the importance and the glory of his victory. Why should he not be in a spirit of rejoicing? But where is the cause for rejoicing with those who hoodwinked and fooled the Nationalists of the North for the last four years and who come back to tell them baldly, shamelessly and bluntly: “You can look out for yourselves now. We have now nothing for you”—men who have burdened this country for the next sixty years with £250,000 a year for an imaginary liability which they knew well England could never prove and would not have gone to the expense and trouble of proving because even if she could prove it she would not be able to collect it?

We have heard talk about destroying credit. Previously our liability was visionary, but to-day it is a real one, and I challenge the Government to come out and prove it if they want to float a loan for the Shannon scheme. They estimated that they could get a loan at 5½ per cent. Let them prove the splendid value of their Agreement by getting a loan now at 5 per cent. [150] Surely if they have improved the credit of the country, they must have increased it to that extent for quite a good commercial undertaking like the Shannon scheme. They talk about alternatives. My alternative is that they should not have paid one single penny. I did not care very much about the Border, because everyone could see it was used as propaganda the whole time. The Government were playing up to the Irregulars. The Irregulars were goading and driving them along. They had no responsibility, and they could tell the people on the Border: “We do not recognise the Border, and there is no Border; you see that you get your rights.” The Government played up to them for vote-catching purposes, and we see the result to-day. I do say when they had decided to make the Border permanent they might have tried at least to get some sort of protection for the people they fooled, their dupes, on the other side of the Border, and they should not have debited this country with a quarter million for the next sixty years.

They tell us that they have not got enough money and they cut down the Old Age Pensions and teachers' salaries. They made an organised, systematic attack on the standard of living, and have generally brought us down to the level of potatoes and salt. To say that they are making a good bargain when they debited us with that amount is absolute humbug. Let us say they have made a bargain, and that it will probably have to be accepted, but let them not try to fool the country and say they have made a magnificent bargain. We may hear fifty speeches on the Second Reading here glorifying the whole thing. We will have sarcasm poured out on those who opposed the Bill. We will have all these words to-day to which Ministers subscribed so ably in the other House. That will not add to the usefulness of this Agreement. Senator O'Rourke, although he is supporting the Bill, does not hold out much hope of peace. He said in effect: “Now I am secure in my citizenship of the Free State. I am free to sit as a Senator in the Free State. Put on super-taxes; tax them out of [151] existence and generally blockade them in every way.” That is the new spirit of peace. I read a paragraph yesterday in the Belfast “Telegraph,” and I am sorry I did not bring it, because it expressed very largely the opinions of a leading Northern politician. It is illuminating to read his criticisms of the Free State Government and its policy generally. It did not hold out much hope of that hand of peace which we have been looking for so long.

The war between North and South has been got up by politicians. We in the Labour movement have done our best to try and smooth it over. We have kept our organisation intact across the Border, and if we thought this Agreement would bridge the differences that have existed we would say at all events that that was one step in the right direction. I doubt it very much, because the Nationalists who have been fooled will now become enraged and they are not going to settle down to that state of peace which we expected. I think they might have been given more consideration. For that alleged peace we are now to burden ourselves with a quarter of a million for the next sixty years. For that reason, as well as for the general betrayal of those who were misled, I intend to vote against this Bill.

Colonel MOORE: On a point of order, I desire to ask why it is that the fact that we were to meet at 11 o'clock was not mentioned on the Order Paper? I was told that it was not definitely settled the last day when we were going away, and there is not a word of it on the Order Paper. It is only by chance I am here at all. Moreover, the Bill was only passed in the Dáil at 12 o'clock last night.

CATHAOIRLEACH: We have disposed of that under the Standing Orders in your absence.

Colonel MOORE: Is there any explanation of why it is not on the Order Paper?

CATHAOIRLEACH: I do not know whether the Order Paper states the hour at which the Seanad meets. [152] What I am responsible for is for stating on Monday that the Seanad would meet to-day at 11 o'clock.

Colonel MOORE: Senators are not here.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH: I think that statement was published in the Press.

Colonel MOORE: I saw nothing about it.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I have said that my statement was published in the Press.

Mrs. WYSE-POWER: It was said on the last day that we would probably meet at 11 o'clock. Had I not telephoned I would not have known that the Seanad was meeting at 11. It was not on the Order Paper.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I am not responsible for the Order Paper.

Colonel MOORE: I do not know who is responsible, but we should have got notice.

Mr. LINEHAN: I desire to say that while I am not in favour of the suggestion that this Agreement is a very good bargain for the country, I see no other course open to me than reluctantly to vote for the Bill. We had partition imposed on this country by the original Treaty of 1921. There are two Articles in that Treaty with which I will deal. Under Article XII. this Boundary Commission was to be established, and the opponents of the Free State were given two seats on that Commission and the Free State was to have one seat. It was quite obvious from the start that the decision of that Boundary Commission, constituted as it was, would be a decision hostile to the Free State. Matters were made worse when the representative of the Free State on that Commission practically agreed to the Report of the majority. We are all more or less responsible for this clause in the Treaty because we agreed to the original Treaty when it was signed in 1921. I am one of those who believe that any agreement come to should be carried out both in the letter and in the spirit. The time to object to a clause of an [153] agreement of any sort or to arbitration is before that clause is passed and inserted in a Bill. I do say that this Article XII. of the Treaty has not been carried out either in the letter or in the spirit when the wishes of the inhabitants were not ascertained.

As regards Article V., I hold that there is no liability whatever on the Free State. There is certainly, in the first place, liability for a certain amount of the war debt and for the pensions, and then after that we have our counter-claims for a share of the assets of the entire British Empire, which is practically admitted owing to the over-taxation of this country for a prolonged period; but, putting aside that altogether, we have under this clause a different arrangement from that which applied under Article XII.— that is to say, that there is no provition with relation to arbitrators to decide the matter to have two of them appointed by our opponents and one by ourselves. That is to say, Clause 5 says in default of agreement a Commission shall be set up by the appointment of one or more persons being citizens of the British Empire. There is no provision whatever in that clause or anywhere else in the original Treaty for appointing an umpire to decide in case the arbitrators disagree, so that this clause could never have become operative, and we are now going to pay at the very least £5,000,000 as our supposed liability under this clause.

Now, on the main question of bringing about peace between the North and the South of Ireland I am heartily in favour of anything that would have that effect. I was sorry to hear the speech of Senator O'Rourke because I do not think it was tending in that direction, and I would say to the Government of the North, not by way of any menace or of putting on any pressure, that they ought to see the desirability of re-instating proportional representation in the North as soon as possible and to comply with other reforms that would give fair play to the minority there. I think they will find in the North, if they do that, as we have found here in the South. the benefit of having a minority representation [154] in the representative bodies in the Northern area. I see no alternative but to support this agreement, but I do not wish it to go forth that by adopting it we have received a wonderful gift from the British Empire by the terms of this Treaty. We are getting no great Christmas box from it. We are not getting the lion's share and we are not getting the mouse's share, but I am compelled to vote for this because I see no other alternative.

Colonel MOORE: I think one would like to hear from the Ministers what they have got to say.

CATHAOIRLEACH: You cannot be making these suggestions. If the Ministers wish to speak, they can if they choose.

Colonel MOORE: They can pile up all the arguments at the last moment.

CATHAOIRLEACH: You cannot be making these suggestions. Ministers can speak when they choose.

Colonel MOORE: I challenge them to come forward and take the matter up, for we should know.

CATHAOIRLEACH: As a matter of fact it is necessary that this should be done.

Mr. DOUGLAS: Unlike the last speaker, I am prepared to support this Bill, not because I see no alternative, but because I am absolutely convinced that the steps taken in London by the President and his colleagues were wise and were the very best possible steps that they could have taken under the circumstances. I doubt if there has been before this House a Bill which I for my part am prepared, as far as the Bill itself is concerned, to support with more honesty and with more satisfaction. Now, if it is the desire of Senator O'Farrell or of any other Senators in this House to say that up to the time that Dr. MacNeill resigned a bad policy had been carried on by the Government, or if it is their desire to say that the situation [155] was then as unsatisfactory as it could possibly be, I am prepared to agree, but I am unable to see why we must condemn a wise step because some of the steps previously taken were unwise.

What was the aim of Article XII? Let me say that I do not, for my part, regard the settlement of Article XII. as a sop for the acceptance or rather settlement of Article V. or vice versa. In my opinion there was nothing that the Free State could have done when they found themselves in the impasse created by the complete failure of the Boundary Commission except to endeavour to reach an agreement which would end all the outstanding matters, and the outstanding matters were the provisions of Article XII. and the provisions of Article V.

The one chance of getting good out of an extremely difficult and almost impossible situation was to endeavour to settle both, and that, I think, is a totally different thing than to suggest that the British gave a sop in order that we might agree not to have the report of the Boundary Commission, which everybody knows was unsatisfactory, from our point of view. Now, what was the aim of Article XII? Its aim was not to partition Ireland; its aim was to endeavour to find a way to avoid partition and it seems to me that this Bill and the provisions embodied in the Agreement should be regarded entirely from the point of view as to whether their acceptance or rejection would make partition more permanent or not.

It is my honest and sincere belief that to have this Bill rejected by this House would, beyond doubt, tend strongly to increase partition, both the actual geographical partition, and what I regard as far more important, the partition in mind and thought between the people that live in our area and the people that live in the area of the North-East. The first step towards permanent partition—if it is to be permanent—I venture to say, was the so-called Ulster boycott. I opposed it. I believed then, and I believe now, it was a mistake all along. The policy right up [156] to the time of the Treaty, whether unavoidable or not, tended to alienate the minds of many people—who were sympathetic to us in the Northern area. The Treaty was followed by civil war.

That, in my opinion, was the real cause of the breaking of Article XII. The intention of Article XII. was to include in the Free State the area known as North-East Ulster. The policy was to include North-East Ulster in it, and they were so included until such time as they took steps to vote out. During that period was the time to use every possible effort to end partition and those who were responsible for civil war in the South and for the many things that happened in this country, in my opinion—and I challenge anyone to deny it—are the persons most responsible of all for the continuance of partition since then. Miss McSwiney said the other day that she is prepared to blow up every bridge in Ireland for the sake of unity, and, in my opinion, if you defeat this Agreement you will in effect be blowing up what may in fact prove to be a very effective bridge between the North-East and the Free State. It is rather amusing to find Senator O'Farrell, who was less convincing than he usually is, quoting Lord Birkenhead and Mr. Churchill when they suited him.

Mr. O'FARRELL: They are our friends now, you see.

Mr. DOUGLAS: I am very pleased to find that Senator O'Farrell thinks they are his friends and it is my belief he is probably right.

Colonel MOORE: The friends of the Ministers.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Rather.

Mr. DOUGLAS: I thought Senator O'Farrell said our friends. I was glad he placed himself side by side in this matter with Ministers, and I apologise. I think from the Nationalist point of view, from the point of view of the nation, and not from a sectional [157] point of view, he will find it much more difficult to oppose this Bill. The position with regard to the Boundary, even if it had been possible to draw a line which would have been consistent with the wishes of the population, was always one of some considerable inconsistency. Our claim when we claimed self-government and independence was for the whole of Ireland, and we denied, and I think rightly denied, though we were unable to enforce it, the right of a minority to cut themselves off. We then found ourselves in a difficult position in so far as the North-East area which we had, more or less, to accept, denied the claim of their minority to cut themselves off. In other words, the argument we used against partition was the argument that the Ulster Parliament used against us, and the two positions were more or less impossible.

I should like, in referring to the Boundary, to follow Senator O'Rourke. It has been my lot in the past five or six years to be closely in touch with a large number of the minority in the Northern area. I do not know whether the particular cases cited by Senator O'Rourke are or are not correct. I do not question his statement. I find that the situation, as far as the minority in the North is concerned, is eminently unsatisfactory, and one which I do not believe anyone in this House is prepared to stand over and justify. I have been for a very considerable period in touch with the North, and large sums of money have been distributed, through me, coming from America, through the South and going to the minority in the North.

If Senator O'Rourke could convince me that the refusal to pass this Agreement was really going to help the position of the minority in the Northern area, I would oppose this Bill, but I am absolutely convinced that the one way to make their position utterly impossible would be either to reject this Bill, or following its passing, to carry out a policy such as Senator O'Rourke seems to suggest. He wants to go back to the old days, to the spirit of the boycott. I am perfectly convinced that that is the way not only to make partition permanent, but to make the lot of [158] the minority utterly impossible, and the minority would then be smaller. This Agreement gave up the Boundary Commission when the Boundary Commission had proved a fiasco. It gave up our claim that if there had to be partition, the minority, or rather the majority, in Border areas should be entitled to self-determination, as soon as we found we could not possibly get that determination for them. Instead I think it makes goodwill possible, though I do not think it creates, goodwill. It makes for goodwill and makes possible a reversal of the policy of aggravation on both sides.

Senator O'Farrell gibes at Ministers for quoting the Dublin Press. Then he quotes the Belfast “Telegraph” to show exactly what the feeling is in the North. Senator O'Rourke says that there are a number of fair-minded Protestants in the North, and I am perfectly satisfied that there are a very large number of Protestants there who want to see an end of partition. They are in this position, that the political feeling between North and South has made it very difficult for them to express themselves, very difficult, indeed. I say if this Agreement allows the minority—there is a minority of persons who are very largely Protestants, who in the past have belonged to Unionist families, a very large number of them —to come out openly, and I think it will, and express their views, then we shall have started on the path to end partition.

I also believe that if you were to reject this Agreement you would be putting off the chance of their doing so by at least another generation. In the course of my business I am in Belfast three or four times a year. Two years ago, in addition to our Chairman, I was roundly denounced in the Belfast Press because I was accused of having tried to end partition; in a club there largely Unionist I was insulted; described in the extremely picturesque terms of being worse than a Catholic. During the last year, and I would say it even if I were in Belfast, I have noticed an enormous difference. It may be said to be due to [159] economic conditions, but, whatever the conditions there, there is a different spirit growing that has not yet fully expressed itself; but it is there, and it is my honest belief that this Agreement will give it a chance. Already I have had three or four letters from business men in the North, every one of whom agrees with this Agreement, and one of them says: “In spite of what took place in the North every one of us is determined that there will be a different attitude towards the South in the future.”

This brings me up to the question of Article V. and to finance, and I want to make a point with regard to that Article as to the situation which it leaves in the Free State in reference to partition. I have a very strong suspicion that the business man in Belfast will be inclined to look with more favour to coming into a State which has only got £15,000,000 of a debt, than he would of coming into a State which has £15,000,000 plus as much as Britain, at some time in the future, might be able to add. Personally, and for that reason, even though we might not ever have paid one cent. under that Agreement—and I do not think that we would—I suggest that from the point of view of ending partition it was good business to put an end to Article V. Because the settlement of Article 5. and the ending of it makes it easier to negotiate, as I think we may do before long, with our friends in the North-East area.

Mr. FORAN: Will the Free State go into them?

Mr. DOUGLAS: Senator Foran asks will the Free State go into them. I had rather that it did than have permanent partition, but that will never happen; the tendency, rather, is all the other way. Senator Linehan tells us that Article V. and the Commission to be set up would never have operated. Does Senator Linehan think that we would stand well with the finance of the world by persistently refusing to appoint a Commission or agreeing to a Commission to decide on the terms of what we should pay under [160] Article V.? If we refused this Agreement, could we go on indefinitely refusing to ascertain our liabilities without injuring ourselves very seriously? I agree with him that we could always have refused to appoint anyone, but I ask any member of this House does he think the credit of the Free State could have been maintained by continuing to do that. Once a Commission was appointed is anyone here perfectly certain that it would have been £3,000,000 or £5,000,000 that we had to pay? I believe, justly, that it should have been nothing, but we have now learned that when Commissions are appointed it is by no means certain that justice is the only consideration.

Senator Linehan says we should have a share of the assets of the British Empire. What are the assets of the British Empire? Is there any joint exchequer? The assets of the British Empire consist of such assets as we might claim on our previous share with Britain, a share we do not want to claim, because we have all along denied that our relationship with Britain was justified or right. Some body here, I think it was Senator Linehan, but I am not sure, questioned the provision of a ten per cent. increase in compensation payable in compensation stock. In my opinion no Senator in this House or any person outside need have the slightest compunction in voting against this Agreement if their only reason for voting against it is that they think they will not get the 10 per cent.

The Government would have to go out of power or pay the ten per cent., and it is by no means only the wealthy people who are involved. I have a fair knowledge of many of the poorer people who are getting compensation, and I can assure you that they are just as keen on this 10 per cent., and what is more, they are in much more need of the 10 per cent. than the rich people. In connection with the provision under Article V.— and with this I will conclude and apologise for having detained you so long—I would like to refer to some figures which I found the other day [161] with reference to the National Debt. the public debt of some countries in Europe, not altogether unlike to us, either in size or position.

The utmost national debt we will have if this Agreement is passed will be £20,000,000. I find, taking the figures from the Stock Exchange Year Book, that Denmark has a national edbt of £1,201,000; Holland, £3,438,000 —in each case I am quoting in pounds; Belgium, £434,000,000; Greece, £284,000,000; Norway, £78,000,000; Sweden, £98,000,000; coming to the British Commonwealth, the Union of South Africa has a debt of £199,000,000; New South Wales, £210,000,000; Queensland, £88,000,000; South Australia, £62,000,000; Victoria, £118,000,000; Western Australia, £53,000,000; New Zealand, £220,000,000 and Canada about £450,000,000. I want to make one point with regard to these figures, and it is this, that I believe it is essential and it should be a definite part of the Government policy to borrow at an early date and to spend the money definitely in development.

I find that in New South Wales, of £210,000,000, £146,000,000 was spent on productive works; that in Queensland, of £88,000,000, £63,000,000 was spent on productive works, and I could continue giving those figures. I was rather puzzled to find—these figures are of course a year old—that, of £14,000,000 attributable as debt to the Irish Free State, the amount spent on productive works, as given in this book, is nil. It seems to me—I come back to my argument again—that by borrowing wisely and carefully and making reasonable expenditure in this State on productive works, you could do a great deal not only to help the Free State, but also to end partition. I want to support this Agreement, and I want to support it because I believe that, taking the circumstances as we found them when the Boundary Commission proved a fiasco, and starting from there, there is no doubt whatever that this Agreement is a wise one and that the Government deserve credit and support for having entered into it. Secondly, I want to support it, because I believe it is a step towards ending [162] partition and creating a better feeling; not because I think it has necessarily created it already, but rather that it makes it possible. Thirdly, I support it because I believe it creates a financial position which not only will help ourselves, but also will make it very much easier to bring gradually but surely partition to an end in this country.

Mr. DOWDALL: With the last speaker, I support this Bill, because I regard it in itself, no exterior considerations being taken into account, as a good settlement and a good bargain. I regard it not only as a good bargain materially, but also in spirit, because it opens up avenues to peace. The Executive may, perhaps, be open to just criticism on the question of the appointment of their Boundary Commissioner. The Commissioner may be open to criticism for the manner in which he executed his task. But those things are behind now. If the Feetham line were, as was generally anticipated it would have been, and as I believe it would have been—as it was forecasted in a London paper—we would inevitably have paid for it in bloodshed and turmoil along the Border, perhaps throughout all Ulster, certainly in Belfast, and it might be throughout the Free State generally. That would have been vastly more costly in one month than the whole of the amount we are to pay under this Agreement spread over 60 years. It is said that this Agreement stereotypes and fixes partition. Partition was there and would continue to be there whatever line was arrived at by agreement or by majority at the Feetham Commission. When the civil trouble broke out here in 1921, partition, so far as it has ever been stereotyped, was stereotyped, and the only chance that the then Government had was taken away from it by the people who now accuse the Government and the Oireachtas of selling the country. All I can say is, that it was better to sell the country than to burn it.

The second attack on the Government is made because we have to pay a sum of £5,000,000, spread over 60 years. When the Treaty of 1921 was [163] come to we agreed to abide by a certain contingent financial liability, if such existed. It is well to cast our eyes back to 1914. Every elected representative of Ireland supported the war under which this liability arose and for the national credit—when I say credit, I do not mean credit from the banking point of view, but rather the good name of the country and our own self-respect—and in order to keep our bond and our bargain, we were responsible for that liability, if it could be proved that our set-off was not greater than the liability. I have had something to do from time to time with British Treasury officials, and people who tell me that the British Treasury officials would not be able to sustain their claim are, to put it rather mildly, speaking without sufficient knowledge. The British Treasury official is usually very effective and is usually able to make a very good case for whatever contention he puts before a responsible tribunal. If I have to go before an arbitration tribunal, I prefer to arbitrate before two principals than to go before a delegated commission. The Feetham Commission has been criticised, and I do not want to set up another such body. I see the Minister for Finance here, and I suggest that this £5,000,000, which is to be paid at the rate of £250,000 per year for 60 years—making, with interest, £15,000,000—should be raised by loan and paid off straight away. Let that £15,000,000 percolate through Irish financial channels, and let the Irishman be the investor rather than have a sinking fund and interest for a certain number of years. The Minister for Finance may have some idea of a more advantageous contingency arising, which we can avail of, but I think it is better for the stability of the country that such an investment should be placed in Ireland.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Who will subscribe to it—the supporters of the Bill?

Mr. DOWDALL: In a small way, I will subscribe myself.

Mr. O'FARRELL: It would be a small way.

[164] Mr. DOWDALL: Yes, it would be a small way, and each individual would subscribe in a small way.

Mr. FORAN: What of the Shannon Scheme?

Mr. DOWDALL: The Shannon Scheme has nothing to do with this.

MINISTER for INDUSTRY and COMMERCE (Mr. McGilligan): It has quite a lot.

Mr. DOWDALL: We were told by Senator O'Farrell that he does not mind much about the Border, but it is the Border that is really in the minds of the people who really object to this. That Border existed and would continue to exist even if we had an agreed finding on the Feetham Commission.

Colonel MOORE: It seems to me this is rather sharp practice. This Bill was passed last night at 12 o'clock and it has not been circulated to any members of the Seanad. It is now launched on us.

CATHAOIRLEACH: This was all disposed of this morning and cannot be gone into.

Colonel MOORE: I have a right to make my statement.

CATHAOIRLEACH: This was all disposed of this morning. I had nothing to do with it. The Seanad this morning passed a resolution suspending Standing Orders for the purpose of taking this Bill straight away. That is disposed of, and I cannot allow any further discussion upon it.

Colonel MOORE: I am not making any reference to the Standing Orders but to the action of the Ministry in pressing forward this most important Bill at a hurried pace, first through the Dáil and then through the Seanad. Moreover, instead of rising and defending this action three Ministers come and sit down, make no answer to the statements made, but simply try to pass it as quickly as they possibly can without any further explanation. There are a number of reasons why I wish to oppose this Bill. It tears up the Treaty made with Great Britain at the cost of so much blood, destruction and money. The Treaty [165] would never have been accepted but for Clause 12. Lord Birkenhead has said in the House of Lords that it was forced on them and that they could not have the Treaty without it. It is very clear from that that neither Griffith nor Collins would consider the present Bill an acceptable one. It was not acceptable then, and would not be now. If this Bill is passed without a referendum I do not believe the people of the Free State will consider themselves bound by the Treaty or any part of it. Personally, that is my feeling, that the Treaty is practically torn up by this. The Bill hands over the lives and liberties of our fellow-countrymen, against their will, to a cruel, bigoted and barbarous faction, from whom at present they are suffering every sort of tyranny. This Bill agrees to pay to the British Government a sum which was first estimated at £4,000,000. That was just to prepare the way, I suppose, just to get us accustomed to having to pay something or other. Since then it was put up to £5,000,000. To-day I heard of £6,000,000. I do not know what the sum is. The Pact with Great Britain was arranged in a secret and underhand manner, without sufficient inquiry or consideration. Senator Douglas has said that permanent partition and the necessity for having Article XII. was due to the civil war in this country. That seems to me an extraordinary view for any person who has followed at all the actions of the Northern people.

Mr. DOUGLAS: On a point of order, I did not say that Article XII. was due to the civil war. I said the necessity for the Boundary Commission, arising out of Article XII., was largely due to the civil war. That is a different thing.

Colonel MOORE: It is exactly the same thing. Article XII. was put in, and Senator Douglas implies that if there had been no rebellion in this country within the next year, before the Ulster people rejected the option of coming in, there would be no partition. That, I think, is obvious. I do not know what his argument was. How anyone who has followed the whole question of partition—of the Home [166] Rule Bill, of Lord Carson's definite statement and challenge to the whole British nation and to the English Parliament, that on no condition would they allow these counties to come under the Home Rule Bill; of Sir James Craig's statement repeated afterwards, “Not an inch”—how anyone can make such a statement here I cannot understand. However, there it is. Senator Douglas talks of a bribe to England. He does not use the word “bribe,” but says we would never have been obliged to pay anything under this Article, but that it is as well to pay the £5,000,000 to conciliate England financially.

Mr. DOUGLAS: If the Senator wishes to use those arguments, he should not attribute them to me, because they are utterly different from what I stated. It would be much better if he himself stated the arguments he wishes to demolish, without attributing them to me.

Colonel MOORE: Senator Douglas is accustomed to make so many arguments this way and that way that it is really impossible to make out what he does mean. If he does not mean what he said just now, that those £5,000,000 were to be paid to propitiate the British Government and in order to induce them——

Mr. DOUGLAS: I find myself fundamentally differing with Senator Moore.

Colonel MOORE: Senator Douglas also says that we could not refuse to pay this money or to go to arbitration. I can give a very good example where the British Government adopted exactly the same plan. Some Senators may remember the Jameson Raid, when British troops invaded the territory of the South African Republic, and were eventually defeated. Some damage was done, and the South African Government claimed compensation. The case was inquired into, and it was not denied that compensation was due to them. Even the British Parliament said that that was so. A sort of settlement, more or less, was reached, but the British Government did not pay the money. They left the matter over, and haggled about payment. They went on as we might have done, and later [167] they brought off the South African war. That compensation was then cancelled and the British paid nothing. If the British Government can do these things, I do not see why our Government could not do them, where advisable, as I believe it is in this case.

Senator Douglas made another statement which, like his other statements, was self-contradictory. He referred to the debts of other countries, some of them Dominions and others independent countries, and said that as they have very heavy debts it would be wise for us to add to our debt by five millions. Later he talked about debts being necessary to enable us to build up industries and he also said that a great part of the debts raised in the Dominions was for industrial purposes. Handing over £5,000,000 to Brtain will not help us to borrow for industrial purposes. This Bill, however, is a much more serious matter than a squabble as to what one Senator may have said or what another Senator may not have said, and what Ministers may say, although they say nothing. It is a matter which affects the whole history of the country.

Whatever struggles this country may have had over a period of 700 or 1,000 years, nobody ever proposed partition. Ireland was a united country before the Saxons partitioned England, and made separate kingdoms there, before the Franks broke up Gaul and before the Visigoths went to Spain. Ireland was a united country. Although there may have been separate Kings, they were all in feudal allegiance to the High King. When the English came there was no attempt to partition Ireland. John claimed to be Lord of Ireland and not of a part of it. Later, when it was the object of Lord Carson and others to prevent the Home Rule Bill going through, it is true that the question of partition was raised. All the Nationalists of the country staunchly resisted it. The “Independent” newspaper, now so fond of partition, led the outcry. There was not a day on which they did not denounce the old Parliamentary Party.

Again and again Ministers, or the Party to which they belonged, were [168] loudest in denouncing partition, but it is a great victory for them now to partition the country. I would like to know what authority these Ministers have to make a partition arrangement of this sort. They have no authority so far as I know. Partition originated in the 1920 Act which was passed without the assent of a single Irish member, north or south, and in my opinion it had no validity whatever. It was a repeal by members of one country of the Act of Union, which was a joint agreement between the two countries and which could not be changed without the joint assent of both countries. There were alterations in the Act of Union from time to time, but they always had the consent of the Irish people. On that occasion, in 1920, their consent was not asked, and I believe that that Act was entirely unconstitutional. It was to a certain extent engineered. There was no right to do that without the consent of the Northern people. They were not asked their opinions upon it and it was done secretly, behind their backs. When a deputation from people living across the Border came to the Dáil, asked to be heard, and said: “We are not represented here and we want our case put forward here,” President Cosgrave refused to hear them. I wonder very much if Sir James Craig would have refused to receive a deputation from North Monaghan or East Donegal who wanted to go into the Northern Parliament. Sir James Craig does not look at matters in quite the same way as President Cosgrave. I say that the Dáil has no mandate for this Agreement. The Constitution of this country is said to be dependent on the Treaty.

The Treaty has been torn up. Where does the Constitution come in? That also has been invalidated. The Minister for Finance stated in the Dáil that if this Pact had not been made there would eventually have been war. He was asked if any such threat was made and he admitted that it had not, but he said it was his interpretation of the facts. His interpretation of the fact is one thing, but the facts are quite another. It raises the whole question of the attitude of the Ministry towards [169] England. Their continuous line of action ever since they came into office with regard to the English Parliament has been one of fear and terror. The Constitution was drawn up by a very important Committee, including lawyers, some of them old Unionists. They took this Constitution over to England, and under threats they put in the oath and the right of appeal to the Privy Council. That is consistent with the general attitude of the Ministers. Anything that the British Government said to them was answered by “Oh, if you say so we must do it.” That was their line of action whenever they went to London. I stated in this House on one occasion that the Ministers were but as putty in the hands of the English Ministers, and the Minister who was present then scorned that; but we have the fact now before us that they are but as putty in the hands of the British Ministers.

Similarly, when there were certain Irish prisoners in the hands of the British Government when the Treaty was made, we were in the position of demanding an amnesty for them, but nothing practical was done in that matter. I appealed again and again to have some action taken in the matter, but nothing was done. Finally a few Senators and some other people came together who had nothing to do with the Government. Our position was weak, but we made the attempt to get these prisoners out and we succeeded. The position of the Ministers was a thousand times stronger than that of any half-dozen individuals in the country, and if we got them out, the Ministers could have got them out very much easier. Some of the Senators may remember that when an Amnesty Bill was brought in by the Government it was held up in order to get some assurance from the British Ministers that our own prisoners would be released. The Ministers asked us to pass the Bill, as they said its passage would have a splendid effect on the British people, would give a good example to the British Government and aid in the establishment of friendly relations. What happened? The British Government did not let the prisoners out [170] because our Government did not put their foot down and say, “We must have our prisoners out.” I am not going to deny that our Ministers were faced with a very serious situation when it was known what was in this Boundary Report. Ministers in every part of the world are constantly met with serious situations, and it is part of the business of every Government to meet these situations. The good statesmen are those who manage the business well, and who by tact, courage and good diplomacy manage to carry their way.

All over the world there have been instances where clever statesmen carried their way in that manner. The British Ministry are perfect at that sort of thing—sometimes by telling untruths and sometimes by breaking Treaties, but they nearly always manage to get their way. The only time they do not get their way is when they are met by determined opposition. Can anybody say that our Ministers have acted with prudence and skill in the conduct of this affair? They say that they have, but they claim victories whenever they are defeated. On the contrary, it seems to me that they have acted in a most blundering and cowardly way. They dashed over to London secretly and begged everyone not to say a word of criticism. What would the English Government have done in the circumstances? That is the test. Whenever a big question arises that concerns the British Government, when, for instance, there is danger abroad and complications, what do they do? Do they dash across to other countries and make arrangements behind the people's backs? Not at all. They consult with the leading men in the Opposition, with the leading men of all parties, it may be the Liberal Party or the Labour Party, and say: “This is our position; what do you suggest we should do?” English members are very loyal to their Ministers, and when they make an arrangement they stick to it.

I consider that the Ministers, before they dashed off to London to make a private arrangement behind the back of the country, should have consulted the people as to what they should do. [171] They love doing these things in secret and putting them forward as a fait accompli, and saying: “There it is, good or bad, take it; if you do not, there will be revolution.” It is true that this was a serious complication. but it was due to their own mistakes from beginning to end, and we are here to criticise their actions. The first thing they did was to appoint a member of the Cabinet as a plenipotentiary. That was extremely wrong and foolish and has turned out to have been very unwise. It implicated the whole Cabinet in this decision. That is not what the English Government did or what Sir James Craig did. The Government kept the whole thing secret. They allowed their plenipotentiary to do what he liked. Apparently he did not tell them a word about it. They say he did not, and I believe he did not. They did not know what the line of action was. They appointed a person who turned out not to be suitable.

Nobody in this country respects Deputy Dr. MacNeill more than I do. He is a great man, of whom this country has a right to be proud. I worked with him for twenty years in different capacities, and I would be the last person to say a word against him. But he was not suitable for that particular position, and you have to get a suitable man for a particular position. The other side appointed two hard-faced lawyers who were prepared to do anything; they were well paid, with great expectation for future promotion; people who had no consciences and who did not care a rap what they did. I remember thinking at the time that Judge Feetham would want to be a super-man not to decide partially, owing to the atmosphere that he came into and what he was told by English Ministers who signed the Treaty as to their view of the facts. We ought to have appointed some hard-faced lawyer who would have looked after our side of the matter and broken off at once if he saw any cheating or wrongdoing going on in the Commission.

Sitting suspended at 1.35 and resumed at 3 p.m.

Colonel MOORE: When we [172] adjourned I was saying that the person appointed by our Ministry was not a suitable person, and that they must abide by the results of their bad choice. I confess that I would not like to see a Feetham representing the Irish Free State, but we might have found some person capable of meeting and exposing such people. Moreover, our representative ought not to have been a plenipotentiary. He ought to have been responsible to the Cabinet and consulted with them. As the Executive Council did not adopt these methods, they must bear the responsibility for what has happened.

Now, we come to the question of what should have been done. Ministers have asked what should have been done, and in the Dáil the other day they repeatedly stated that no suggestion had been made to them. That statement with regard to the preliminary stages is not correct, because although they never asked for advice they were privately advised what they ought to do. They were told to my own knowledge by one of the leading members of the Dáil in a written statement what they ought to have done. They were advised in this way: When Lord Birkenhead and Mr. Lloyd George made public statements as to what they considered to be the proper view to be taken and the interpretation they put on Article XII., the first thing that the Free State Government ought to have done was to say, “The two parties to this Treaty are not in agreement. Certain representative who signed the Treaty have made certain statements as to Article XII. with which we are not at all in agreement.” I believe the lawyer's phrase, for that is that they were not ad idem in the matter. Therefore, the arbitration could not go on until they were.

That was the proper and wise course for men to pursue who could see that the whole atmosphere into which the Commission was brought was adverse to a fair decision. Anybody could have known, considering what Ministers in England were stating, that the atmosphere could not lead to a satisfactory conclusion. Judge Feetham coming from the other side of the world was bound to be influenced by [173] that. The Government did not accept that advice; they preferred their own way of doing things and carried on in secret. They are suffering as a result of their mistake. They had a clear reason for adopting a different line of conduct. They did not adopt it, and they must take the responsibility.

Now we have to consider what they should have done in the circumstances when they found that the Treaty was being broken and perverted from its proper purpose. What steps could they have taken then? They have been constantly saying that nobody gave them any advice in the matter; that nobody has offered any alternative. I do not think that any Government has a right to say to its opponents: “Give us an alternative”? A Government takes up office to do certain things, and it is for the Opposition to criticise. Nevertheless, I will risk a statement as to what ought to have been done by men of prudence, wisdom and courage. If they had not the sense to invent a plan themselves, they should have adopted the methods of two very shrewd men—Lord Carson and Sir James Craig. Lord Carson challenged the whole House of Commons at a very critical moment and said he would not yield one inch of the Six Counties; that he would insist on that. What was the result? He had his way. What did Sir James Craig do? Sir James Craig said he would not give an inch, and he did not give an inch. The President could have gone over and said what Ministers have already stated: “We do not consider that Article XII had any reference to Free State territory.” That was the position of the Government, I understand. The Minister for Justice stated publicly that Free State territory did not come within the scope of the Commission; that they could not alter it in any way, whatever they might do with the Northern counties. Ministers could have gone over and said: “That is the position that we intend to take up. We think that this arrangement has been broken; it has been perverted from its meaning, and we decline to accept this interpretation. We will adopt Sir James Craig's phrase, and we will not give an inch.” Our Government [174] had just as much right to say that they would not go into the Commission as Sir James Craig had.

One must always look forward and see what would be the result of any particular statement made. I do not merely throw that out without any responsibility, without considering what the consequences would be. Suppose the President had gone over and made that statement; suppose the English Government said, “Very well, we will put the Feetham Boundary into operation,” the President could very properly have said: “If you do that what will be the result? Suppose, as a result of that, Northern troops or British troops cross the frontier, the result will be war, and those troops will have behind them our Nationalist countrymen in Tyrone and Fermanagh and they will have in front of them our own troops. We are not going to cross the Border and make any attack on them; we have no such intention, but if they cross the Border they will have to take the consequences.”

If they had crossed the Border, what would have happened? We could appeal to the League of Nations to do what they had done with Greece. The Greeks crossed the Bulgarian frontier when there was trouble. Now they have been ordered out and made pay a heavy fine. That is the worst that could have happened. I do not suppose that anyone imagines that the British Government would permit Northern troops or British troops to cross the Border merely to gain a little patch of Donegal for the sacrifice of a little patch in Tyrone. Is it possible that Sir James Craig or that the English Government would allow the whole country to be plunged into a state of revolution for any such thing? Nothing of the sort would happen. What would happen is, that the whole Feetham judgment would have fallen and matters would remain as they are.

After all the mistakes that were made previously I quite admit that it was impossible to get a proper boundary, but, at all events, we would have been saved sacrificing honour, principle and practically everything that we stood for in this country. I admit that we would not have got territory [175] that we claimed, but we would stand fair and square. As we are now we have lost everything that we declared for. It is possible that the President may get up and say that Sir James Craig would not be responsible for his own auxiliaries or that his police might have raised trouble. If they did they would have to suffer the penalty and the advantage would have been with us.

In the Dáil some Deputies stated that we have sold our case; sold our fellow-countrymen in the North for a mess of pottage. Unfortunately we did not get our mess of pottage. Not only did we not get our mess of pottage, but we are to pay five millions. In addition to that, we have sacrified our principles, our honour, our money and our people.

When this Pact was first published I went to Leinster House. I met one of the Ministers, and I said to him. “What do you think of this Agreement.” His answer was: “It is the greatest victory gained in this country in 100 years, and a war would not have gained us so much.” I can only say that Redmond might have gained the same victory very easily at the Buckingham Palace Conference. In 1916 we could have gained the same victory. Griffith could have gained the same victory at the time the Treaty was drawn up. These good Irishmen would not attempt to claim this as a victory. They would have considered it a defeat. It is very easy to say we won a great victory. Every single thing that the present Ministers stood for has been sacrificed; yet they have the audacity to get up and claim a victory.

Coming to Article V., it is difficult to say why it was interfered with. We were in a more difficult position than we were at any other time, and that was the time when we were pretty weak and face to face with a very disagreeable situation that Ministers went over and raised a question on this Article. This Article was not between the North and the South of Ireland, but between England and Ireland. I cannot imagine a worse time for raising such a question. In my opinion this question should have been raised [176] when we were strong; not when we were weak. Whatever may be said about the unscientific way in which Article XII. was drawn up, Article V. was drawn up in a still more unscientific way as it was impossible to interpret it correctly. As that Article is drawn up arbitrators can decide practically any way they wish. It is practically impossible to insist on getting fair play. Whatever they might have done with regard to Article XII. they could do ten times worse under Article V. according to who the arbitrators were. That is where the difference comes in. That was referred to by Senator Linehan.

I think I raised the matter in a letter some weeks ago before what I suspected became public. That was before the award came on, and I gave my opinion on the matter. Article V. differs from Article XII. in this that no machinery is laid down for appointing an arbitrator. The Article merely states that in case of non-agreement an arbitrator will be called upon to decide. The Article says nothing about who is to appoint the arbitrator. Ireland has just as much right to appoint the arbitrator as England. According to the Constitution, England and Ireland are two equal Nations, equal in status, if not in strength. The English Government appointed two out of three of the arbitrators on the Boundary Commission. Ireland has just as much right to appoint the arbitrator in this case as England, and in view of the Feetham affair a great deal more. A dispute would then have arisen as to who was to appoint the arbitrator.

It has been stated by some people that we could not have gone as far as resisting the appointment of an arbitrator. I do not agree with that. I think we could have said, “We will appoint our own arbitrator.” I am very much mistaken if we could not have found a few Judge Feethams in this country who would decide just as we wished them to decide, and just as Judge Feetham has decided as the English Government wished him to decide. We had our choice. We could have looked round, and we could have appointed our own arbitrator [177] with perfect certainty that we could succeed. We would be just in the same position, as Senator Douglas pointed out, as the other party that refused to appoint an arbitrator.

Mr. DOUGLAS: On a point of order, I made no reference to refusing to agree to appointing an arbitrator. I stated that we could refuse to have any Commission, but that we would injure ourselves by continuing to do so.

Colonel MOORE: It is very hard to know what exactly Senator Douglas means. We will say that he did not say anything of the sort. The fact is that if we said we wished to appoint a certain arbitrator and if the English Government said they wished to appoint a different one, we would be in just as good a position. We could have retained that position until they withdrew or agreed to our arbitrator, in which case we would appoint another Feetham. That would have paid off our National Debt and enabled us to start two or three Shannon schemes, as well as putting us in a very strong financial position. When the Minister for Finance went over there I do not know whether this matter was settled over his head. He seems to have been called over after four days and after it was settled. As I say, the Minister for Finance was called in at the last moment, but practically the whole thing was settled then. What does the Minister for Finance say when defending the Agreement in the Dáil? He talks only about overcharges and over-taxation in the past. That seems to have been the only idea in his mind on the matter. I do not know whether there was any committee formed to go into this question, I think it was stated that such a committee was set up. However, I am not sure about that. At all events, judging from the statement made by President Cosgrave in the Dáil, he had no idea at all in his mind. He did not know what he was going to claim. When further questioned he said he had nothing in his mind with regard to this matter except a big nought. I do not know whether that represented what he had in [178] his mind on this matter. I do not know which it meant in plain English.

It has been notorious for the last thirty-five or forty years that this country has been over-taxed. Not very long ago Lord MacDonnell stated that the amounts paid in over-charges might be described as equal to the ransom of an Empire. A sum of £300,000,000 was mentioned. £3,000,000 a year was the figure at which over-taxation had been put in the reports of the Financial Relations Commission. But that side of it is only one point, and a very small point. We have also other things. If we had to pay some of the costs of the war, then we were entitled to a share of the assets. These assets will be very great. There were railways and hutments in France, and there were stores in France of every description. These are still being advertised in the papers. I bought some of those stores the other day. I got them pretty cheap. I remember that at one time these assets were put down at £1,000,000,000. What the figure is now I do not know. We are entitled to our share of these assets, but the Minister for Finance never thought to make a claim for these assets.

If there is a charge on the one side, then surely there must be a credit taken on the other side. Now all that money has been pouched by the British Government. Some of it, it may be said, was used for paying off debts before the Free State was set up. That would have to be deducted, but even after that was done, there were enormous assets still in 1921, and of these we get nothing. But in speaking of that matter I am only beginning. We are entitled to our share of all the assets of the Empire. Ireland went into partnership with Great Britain about 125 years ago, and at that time the Empire was only at its very beginning. During those 125 years Ireland had a great share in the building up of the Empire. Senator Douglas said —I am always quoting Senator Douglas——

Mr. DOUGLAS: You must not misquote me.

Colonel MOORE: I think he will hardly deny this: that he said we could [179] not fairly claim any of the assets of the Empire, because we always claimed we were not in the Empire at all or in the United Kingdom. He does not deny having said that.

Mr. DOUGLAS: I do not admit any of the Senator's misstatements, but I think it is better to let him go on without interruption.

Colonel MOORE: At any rate, we were not allowed to have any choice, and we were forced into the Empire, and the money, brains, and everything that went to build up the Empire were to a great extent—perhaps a larger proportion than they ought—given by Irishmen. There would have been no Empire but for Ireland. Had the Duke of Wellington been defeated in the Peninsular War there would be no Empire. Half his troops were, according to the Duke himself, Irishmen. Therefore I ask, where would the Empire be without Ireland? Now, after being in the Empire all these years and having given money and brains to build it up, we have a right to claim our share of the assets.

I am not going into a list of the assets. It would take a great deal more clever person than I am to calculate what the assets of the Empire are. There is India and there are all sorts of places all over the world owned by the Empire or the United Kingdom. These have now been handed over to England. I might, as an instance, mention the shares of the Suez Canal. They were bought some years ago for £3,000,000. Now they are worth, or during the time of the war they were worth, £15,000,000. There are unnamed assets which would take very clever people to calculate. They are huge. I have been told that they are so huge that we could never get our share. Is it right that because the assets of the Empire are so enormous that we should get none? Not only that, but we are to pay £5,000,000 in order to get out of the partnership; that is our share of debt.

Is there anybody in the world who could maintain such a position? Unless the British Empire was bankrupt in 1921 Ireland is entitled to her share [180] of the Empire assets. If the British Empire was then bankrupt, no doubt we would have to bear our part of the debt; but, seeing that the Empire was not bankrupt, I contend that we should not pay anything. If the Empire assets amounted to only £100 we would be entitled to claim our share of that amount. Instead of £100 the assets of the Empire run into hundreds and thousands of millions. Our position is that not alone do we not claim any part of those assets, but we pay £5,000,000 to the Empire. God only knows why we do that; I do not.

Apart from the question of finance we have the important question of our thirty-two counties being divided. We are having six of the thirty-two counties clipped off, an action which is absolutely unconstitutional. Naked we came in and naked we go out. We are in a worse position than we ever expected. We have lost six counties and £5,000,000. That is the situation the Ministry have brought about.

The way in which our Ministers went over to London to settle these great financial questions was perfectly astounding. I do not suppose the Ministers themselves would claim to be great financial experts. I do not know that we have any great financial experts in this country. When they got over to London they were put in with the greatest financial experts in the world. They went in blindly, and they had no consideration or thought for any useful suggestions that could be put forward by people in this country. They did not look back upon history, and they did not study the problem as they should have. They went to London, and in a day or two they returned saying: “We handed over £5,000,000 to the British Government to get clear of this matter.”

When there was a Financial Commission set up some thirty-five or forty years ago in connection with the Home Rule Bill, it took three years to consider matters. There were at that Commission the greatest financial experts in England, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As I have said, the Commission took three years to consider matters, and it did not even agree then.

[181] The PRESIDENT: That is the worst of it, but it is decided now.

Colonel MOORE: President Cosgrave decides in four or five minutes what the Financial Commission could not decide in three years. That is the way that our financial relations with England are settled. In ten minutes they came to a decision across the water without knowing anything at all in regard to what they were doing.

I can give the Seanad an instance of a similar position in connection with other countries. The same sort of question arose between Austria and Hungary at the time when there was a division between them. They spent at least ten years adjusting finances. and I am not sure if they had then settled the matter. They were all the time deciding about a decimal fraction. The argument was confined to what proportion of money should be paid and a decimal fraction caused a lengthy delay. Here in this country we do not go into decimals at all; we go into figures wholesale; we only stop at millions. In a few minutes, without anybody being consulted, and without any financial expert being asked to give advice, this matter was settled in London.

Some gentleman from the North of Ireland said, perhaps, what I would not like to say. He referred to three blind mice going over to settle this question. It seems to me that the attitude adopted by the President, as he explained it in the Dáil, was the worst possible one he could adopt. Instead of putting forward a counter-claim, he goes over to London in forma pauperis, saying: “I am a beggar, a poor man.” In India they would call him a protector of the poor. This is what the President said: “We are protectors of the people; we are poor people and you must not charge us too much.” They said to him: “How much will you pay?” They probably had some further questions, and then they asked the President: “Would you be able to pay £5,000,000?” The President said: “Oh, all right; whatever you say— whatever your honour says.” That is their method of doing business. I do not think that for the head of a great [182] State that was a proper position to take up, especially when a counter-claim could be made. That counter-claim would amount to a huge figure, and I think in the circumstances the Free State Ministers had no right to adopt the attitude they did adopt.

When one sometimes considers the methods and the follies of Irish Ministers, one is inclined to laugh, but the smile fades away when one realises what the effect of this method of financial adjustment will be. For months we were discussing the scheme advocated by the Minister for Industry and Commerce; we were debating how much he could pay for the Shannon scheme and how much he could get off; we went into every detail of what it would cost. I have no anxiety to find fault with him about that matter. He took plenty of time to consider the Shannon scheme, and he estimated it would cost £5,000,000. That estimate was decided; we are now about to hand £5,000,000 to the English Government without consideration.

That is the way in which this country is slowly being ruined. It is no wonder that many of the people are poverty-stricken. Let the Minister go through the country and see the state of poverty existing in many areas. Now we are told that £5,000,000 are to be handed over. The Minister for Finance does give a reason why that should be. He explains the method by which the English Government made their estimate. At all events, there is some sense in that. He says that the English Government estimated the direct taxes of England and Ireland, made certain deductions, which he does not explain, and the wind up of it was that Ireland would pay about 1.5 per cent. of what England pays. A decimal, I may say, was disputed for years in another country, but it occupied only a few minutes over there, and the Minister says it is better to pay than be in the position in which we were with regard to the frontier. If we were in the same position with regard to it as we were with regard to the frontier, I quite admit that it would be a very good way to get out of it. In a lawsuit it is often better to [183] settle than to go ahead. But we were not in that position. We were in a very strong position. We could have appointed the arbitrator, and the other people would not have the right to appoint him; certainly they would have no more right than we had. This shows the policy of panic. Ministers dashed over there. They were shamefully betrayed by Judge Feetham, and they go over in a panic and say: “All is lost and we must surrender everything. Anything you like to ask from us we surrender.”

The President has been asking for some alternative. I think the real alternative would have been, since we were betrayed on the question of the frontier, to say: “We have now been palpably betrayed on the question of the frontier, and we decline to enter with you into any Commission whatsoever.” The position then would have been a very strong one. Ministers should have said: “This Boundary Commission is a palpable cheat and we will not go into a Commission with anyone who treats us in that way.” I do not think Ministers would have the courage to make any such claim. They are always bowing down. When the President came back he chose that as the time to say that the British Government have always been loyal to their agreements with this country. That was a nice thing to say after the Feetham affair, which was evidently a put-up job, as everybody knows, from the beginning, and the President, at the very moment he was cheated and robbed, says that the British Government have always been loyal to their agreements with this country. Well, any countryman at a race meeting who is cheated by the pea under the thimble or the three-card trick probably goes away a sadder and a wiser man. President Cosgrave, with the thief's hand in his pocket, comes away no wiser than he was before. He believes that the people who cheated him were honourable and straight men who had been always loyal to their agreements with this country. The next time he goes over he will be treated in the same way, and still he will come back and [184] sing little hymns of praise to the honour of the British Government.

If Ministers spent a little more of their time in studying the history of British diplomacy in Egypt, in India, in South Africa, and in Ireland; if they could mention one occasion on which the British Government ever kept its promise to its own disadvantage in any one of these countries, there would be something to say for them. I think they will find it very difficult. I do not know of one such case. I know that sixteen times they promised to clear out of Egypt. They promised they would get out some forty years ago. They are there still, and they do not intend to move. Were the British Government loyal to Mr. Redmond when they made the agreement that the Home Rule Bill was to be put in force except in Ulster, and when they broke it—admittedly broke it? They did not deny it. If when Mr. Redmond walked out of the House of Commons as a protest, he had crossed to Ireland and set up a Home Rule Parliament in the Mansion House the next night he would not have been betrayed. But he was betrayed, and instead of the Home Rule Bill that was promised we got the 1920 Act. If he had had the courage to cross over here and do that the position would have been quite different. That was the turning-point in Mr. Redmond's fortunes; this is the turning-point in the fortunes of the President and the Ministry, perhaps the turning-point in the fortunes of the Free State.

Lack of courage and lack of foresight are the things that have brought down and ruined hundreds of Irishmen before now—exactly what President Cosgrave has been guilty of. Parnell took an opposite view. Near the end of his life he was thrown over by his own countrymen and they were betrayed, like everybody else has been. If the President had only remembered to do what Parnell did, and what everybody did who gained anything from the British Government—defy them and stand up for his rights, he would soon gain popularity on the other side and honour in his own country. Parnell was successful as long as he took that line. He [185] continued it until he was deserted by his followers, and then came the thirty years in the wilderness. Redmond was successful until, overcome by the great difficulties of the war, he agreed not to demand the Home Rule Bill until after the war. That was his ruin. Sinn Fein, in 1920, took another attitude. It defied the English Government; it laid down its programme and turned the 1920 Act into the Treaty, which was something a good deal better. Anybody who does not adopt that line, but goes over asking for favours, admitting everything that the other side claims, is bound to be ruined. I have no doubt in my mind that this Agreement will be a grave injury to the country. I shall vote against it, and I believe firmly that as the years pass by it will seen that this has been as great a disaster as some of the other betrayals that we have had.

The PRESIDENT: I would like to correct one thing that the Senator said. Any testimony which I paid to the British Government for keeping faith with us was in connection with the Treaty, and had nothing to do with the ráiméis that the Senator has mentioned.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: I am doubtful whether any observations of mine can improve the situation, but after hearing Senator Colonel Moore, the non-compromiser and the man of iron, the denouncer of partition, I am tempted to answer him by a letter of his own which, like his speech, is surcharged with political wisdom. It appeared in the “Freeman's Journal” on the 12th June, 1916. Before proceeding to do so I must acknowledge my obligations to a pamphlet entitled:— “Ireland's Path to Freedom—Why Lloyd George's Proposals Should be Accepted,” where this letter was preserved along with a number of others, including one from the Rev. Michael O'Flanagan, all urging the acceptance of Lloyd George's partition proposals. Evidently the Senator did not then expect the miracle of the Treaty of 1921, for his whole letter is an effort to reconcile our people to the policy which accepted the Land Act of 1870. He points to the failure of Dan O'Connell [186] and the men of '48. He stresses the danger of rejecting half measures and the wisdom of accepting what is possible for us to get. I hope I will flatter him by reading a few passages from it:—

“I am addressing this letter to the young men of Ireland. The history of the last fifty years is more familiar to me than to them, and now I want them to consider very carefully the grave peril in which we are placed. I want to warn them not to permit themselves to be rushed into a step they will live to regret by fine phrases and bold flourishes. Ireland has been cursed by big talk, fine writing, and mighty aspirations. Let us review the situation like sensible men, and consider not the full measure of our desires, but the measure of our possibilities. Every Nationalist wants a free and united Ireland, but is there anyone, even amongst those who are shouting so loudly, who is prepared to march an army to Antrim to enforce it on recalcitrant Orangemen? I do not believe that we shall ever get a United Ireland if our first act of freedom is to coerce our fellow Northern countrymen.”

So I will leave the conciliationist Colonel Moore of 1916 to answer the implacable Senator of 1925.

Colonel MOORE: Might I just say one word? That is quite in order with my acceptance of the Treaty. I accepted the Treaty for conciliation, and moreover what I accepted then as a temporary thing was only to last to the end of the war. It was the proposal that Home Rule should be put into force for the whole of Ireland, but that the question of enforcing it in the Six Counties should be left over for decision by the Dominion Premiers. That was quite a different proceeding. This is permanent partition and nothing else.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: It was just as permanent then as it is to-day, and it would require fresh legislation to remove the partition in the Lloyd George proposals just as it will require legislation to remove this. When I took my [187] stand in isolation here a few weeks ago to challenge the acceptance of the Feetham boundary, after it was happily exposed by the “Morning Post” on November 7th, I did not receive much encouragement, and the stony silence of Senators on that occasion contrasts strangely with the anxiety to talk to-day. My action was then attributed by some to a desire to save my own skin—to save the particular part of the country where I live from being brought into the Northern area. My part of the country was never in danger, but other and richer parts of Donegal were, and I do not deny that my principal object was to save my native county from being eviscerated as outlined in the “Morning Post” report. I admit going to the President as a member of one of the deputations and telling him that if there was to be a boundary at all the present line was one thousand times better than the forecasted line or any line that would take in Free State territory. I said this not from the point of view of Donegal selfishness but from the point of view of ultimate national unity, because those who know most about the Border—and they are the people living on it—who have studied the matter on the spot, have only one opinion about it, and it is this—that once Clause 12 was interpreted on the lines of mere rectification and that it was impossible to bring Tyrone, Fermanagh, Derry City and Newry into the Free State, then the present Boundary was the best, as it was the Boundary that would cause the greatest amount of inconvenience and the greatest amount of irritation, and that it would eventually make even those who are now most in favour of partition sick of it and make them desirous of ending an unreal and an impossible position.

That is my own view, and I formed it long before the “Morning Post” disclosed this line, and long before the Boundary Commission ever sat. And if I voted in this Seanad for the Bill setting up the machinery of a Boundary Commission, I did so because I thought that with a Labour Government—supposed to be friendly to Ireland—in [188] power at Westminister the threat of a Boundary Commission could be used as a lever to bargain with Sir James Craig. But I took care to point out that no solution by a Boundary Commission would be satisfactory, and that it would leave behind it bitterness, disappointment and difficulties.

I would remind the Seanad that on that occasion a resolution was passed by this House affirming the opinion that the interests of this country as a whole would be best served by an agreed solution. I will read the resolution:—

That this Seanad is of the opinion that the interests of the country as a whole would best be served by an agreed solution of all outstanding problems affecting the relations between the Free State and Northern Ireland.

I may mention that on that occasion that resolution had the support of Senator O'Farrell who has spoken so bitterly against the settlement to-day. That I will deal with later on. I hope he does not regret supporting that resolution, which voiced the opinions of the vast majority of Irishmen, because everyone who was not a dreamer and a theorist must have realised, after the civil war and the tragic events which preceded and followed it, that is was only by bargaining and only by mutual goodwill that anything could be done to alleviate the evils of partition and bring relief to the suffering minority of the Six Counties.

I said here on the last occasion that Clause 12 of the Treaty contained the machinery for the alleviation of partition. So it did, but that machinery was delicate and was knocked out of gear when De Valera drove through it the iron ram-rod of revolt. He was warned of the danger which his rejection of the Treaty meant to the Catholics of Ulster. He was told in December, 1921, during the Treaty debates in the Dáil, that the Coalition Government were willing to appoint a man of a very different type from Judge Feetham, a man who would do justice to the Catholics of Ulster, and who would interpret Clause 12 in a [189] very different way. But the lives and fortunes of the Catholics of Ulster counted no more with him then than did the lives of the sixty prisoners under sentence of death whom the rejection of the Treaty would send to their doom. What about them? Instead of coming to the rescue of the Nationalists of the Six Counties, with all the resources of the victorious young manhood of a united Ireland, and with all the friendliness and power of the Coalition Government in England which had passed the Treaty and, I might add, in spite of intense provocation, stood by it, he deliberately split the country and plunged it into an inferno of civil war, in which the houses of Protestants were burned in the name of the Irish Republic, and in the name of the great Protestant patriot, Wolfe Tone, whose life's aim was to do away with sectarianism and unite all Irishmen in a common fold. That was De Valera's contribution to a united Ireland. That was his invitation to the Protestants of the North to join their Southern fellow-countrymen for the common good of their native land.

The welter of confusion in which he engaged, in addition to costing the ratepayers millions of money, utterly defeated all hopes of an equitable boundary settlement and drove the sensible business men of the North —who wanted no boundary, but who wanted to come in and who were preparing to come in— back into the arms of the bigoted fanaties and Orange reactionaries. When I hear people talking about the betrayal of the Nationalists in the Six Counties and of the Catholics of the North being sold, I reply that the time they were betrayed was when De Valera first launched his first thunderbolt against the Treaty, and the time they were sold was when he lit the torch of civil war in Ireland. And now this architect of their misfortunes is again attempting to exploit the plight of these Nationalists and use them as pawns in his game to bring about the downfall of the Free State.

We have the spectacle of every enemy of the Government in this country, disgruntled politicians, disappointed [190] professors, and soured Labour leaders consorting with him at the Shelbourne Hotel and herding with the wreckers of the country's peace, including gentlemen who advocated the robbing of banks as sound national policy, who were there. I suppose, for the purpose of giving expert financial advice on the effect of the dropping of Clause 5. They all thought their chance had come to strike a deadly blow at the Free State and to avenge their private and public enmities in the name of the Nationalists of the Six Counties. There never was anything more dishonest, there never was anything more discreditable than this attempt to make the fate and fortunes of the people of the Border the gambling counters of jealous and disappointed politicians, reckless and regardless of their country's interest. The Catholics of the Six Counties are not going to stand for that, nor are they going to allow themselves to be used as foils to wreak the vengeance of the Labour Party on the Government.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Are you speaking for them?

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: Have you any mandate to speak for them?

Mr. O'FARRELL: More than you have.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: Have you got a single resolution or telegram from any Trades Union in the Six Counties asking you to oppose this settlement?

Mr. O'FARRELL: I have not fooled them as the Senator did.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: We will see about that.

Colonel MOORE: A deputation came here but it was not heard.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: I listened to you, sir, very patiently for over an hour. Take your medicine now. Everybody can see that it is not the London Agreement, but the Shannon scheme, that has aroused the hostility of the Labour Party, and that has lashed Senator O'Farrell to the fury we witnessed this morning, when he denounced Ministers and accused them [191] of being cowards and bullies, and talked about the manner in which they scandalously misled and scandalously treated the Catholics of the North. Let me tell Senator O'Farrell that if the Catholics of the North have no reason to be grateful to the Free State Government, they have still less reason to be grateful to the Labour Party for anything in connection with the Boundary business. There are some of them to-day who are now pointing to the fact that De Valera's ally, in creating the situation which confronted our Government a fortnight ago, was the statesman whom Senator O'Farrell quoted so approvingly, the Right Hon. J. H. Thomas, as I will show in a moment. Senator O'Farrell accused the Government of going on with the Boundary Commission in order to play up to the Irregulars.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I repeat it.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: Yes, he repeats it. What were the Labour Party doing in the Shelbourne Hotel? Was that playing up to the Irregulars? Why did he not discover that they were playing up to the Irregulars when he voted in October, 1924, for the setting up of the Boundary Commission, and when he approved of the Government doing the very thing that everyone since has condemned them for, doing what everyone has been unanimous in condemning them for—that is, for agreeing in advance to accept the findings of the Boundary Commission?

It was to yield to the pressure from the deputations from the Border that the Government consented to go on with the Commission, and one of the reasons that impelled the people of the Border to press for a Boundary Commission and to hope, notwithstanding all that happened, that some good would come of it, was the fact that there was a Labour Government in power in England, that, it was thought, could be trusted to appoint a man of international reputation and outstanding probity as Boundary Commissioner; but, instead of getting a Canadian or South African statesman who would understand racial problems [192] and who would be big enough and strong enough to give an impartial and just verdict, the great Labour Colonial Minister, the great champion of democracy, scoured the British Empire until he secured the services of an obscure judge on the look-out for promotion, with the result which we all know. It was a case of God sending us meat in the Treaty and the devil, or I should say, Mr. Thomas, sending us a cook in Mr. Justice Feetham, and while the plot was being hatched in England and hatched under the eyes of a Labour Government to make Article XII. abortive and to cheat the minority of the Six Counties of their rights, not one member of the Labour Party here who now are weeping so copiously over Article XII and the down-trodden Catholics, not one of them took the slightest interest in the Boundary question or despatched from their ranks a single missioner to upset the designs of Sir James Craig, who, according to one of the Six-County M.P.'s, was constantly closeted with Mr. Thomas in his room in the House of Commons.

Judge Feetham and his report were the gifts to Ireland of a Labour Government representing English democracy and are responsible for the situation which brought about the present settlement—a responsibility in which the Labour Party here must share. Setting up a whine as they are now over Clause XII. after it was cooked to a frazzle by Feetham, the Labour Party's cook will deceive nobody, and least of all the Nationalists of the Six Counties. No doubt, a few of them blinded with rage and disappointment, for which no one could blame them, have rushed into the arms of their new friends; but the bulk of the hardheaded and sensible people of the North have stood aloof. They know how little any cause can gain from the scratch alliance of political freaks that assembled at the Shelbourne Hotel. They have not failed to notice that after four days' debate in the Dáil, several conferences at the Shelbourne Hotel, and a public meeting in the Rotunda, not a single constructive alternative has been put up by the opponents of the settlement. And they [193] know the reason why—because there is no alternative but one, and that is to have the whole country convulsed by a return to the conditions of 1920-21. And they know what the outcome of a return to those conditions would be and they are shrewd enough to know that a prosperous and powerful Free State, as this settlement gives us the chance of becoming, is a better guarantee and a better security of fair-play and justice to them than a crippled and defeated Free State which would emerge from another conflict.

I know that by this settlement idealism has not been achieved. As a Donegal man I regret the handcuffs placed on Tyrone and Fermanagh, Derry City and Newry. These fetters were placed there long before the Free State came into being. Criticisms may be levelled at our Government for failing to remove them, but could the critics and detractors of the Government do any better? I do not want to hark back to old controversies and discuss here the cause and responsibility for partition, because to my mind it is as futile now to discuss who was responsible for partition as it would be to discuss who lost the Battle of Kinsale, or who poisoned Owen Roe.

But a dishonest attempt is now being made to put the blame for partition on the men who made the London Agreement, and there is a great deal of dishonest propaganda about the dropping of Article XII and the Council of Ireland. But the acme of dishonest criticism is reached in the attacks against the settlement over Article V. Only a couple of weeks ago our obligations under it were to be staggering—it was a millstone of 19 millions a year round the neck of the country. But when we have got rid it, we are told now that by means of Clause V. we could recover hundreds of millions from England on the Irish counter claim. Now, I would remind Senator Moore, when he talks of the counter claim, of two or three very important facts: that when the representatives of this country accepted Lloyd George's Budget of 1910, and their acceptance was endorsed by two general elections, the case for a counter claim was to a great extent given away. I do not think Senator [194] Moore is the man to take the matter up. He accepted the financial arrangements of the Home Rule Bill, 1912, by which every penny of taxation that was paid in this country was sent over to the English Treasury to return us merely the cost of our services, retaining something like sixteen or seventeen millions a year.

Colonel MOORE: I had nothing more to do with it than the Senator. I was not a politician or in public life then, and I had no more to do with it than President Cosgrave or anybody in the Seanad.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: Your letter in favour of accepting Lloyd George's proposals was an acceptance of the 1912 Act. Now I do not want to conceal the fact that I do not regard this settlement as ideal—as an Ulsterman I do not deny that it is repugnant to me, and that the Government deserve no gold medals for the manner in which they handled the boundary question from the start. I took exception to their action in agreeing, in advance, to abide by the finding of the Commission, although Senator O'Farrell said the Government were right in doing so. I have warned the Government during the course of the Commission as to what I feared, and I might now exaggerate my own patriotism and swell out in condemnation that my warnings were unheeded. But I cannot overlook the fact that a very tangled proposition confronted our negotiators and whatever they did would be attacked. Critics are universal; constructors are few.

As I said I do not pretend that everything done was ideal, but I submit that honest Irishmen have done what they considered to be the best in a very ugly situation. We must remember the fact that Irishmen are not dealing with ideal situations. They live under a conquest seven and a half centuries old. They live under a plantation three and a half centuries old. The British Government, which corrupted and destroyed our Irish Parliament in 1800, created in 1920 a new pale by giving six counties a separate Parliament, and were able, by their power and their armies, to enforce it [195] long before the Treaty of 1921. When our plenipotentiaries went to London partition was a fact, and the Parliament of the new pale functioning. Overwhelming and crushing forces had imposed it on us, and all our men could do was to attempt to bring relief, to devise some means of rescue to those wrongfully brought within that pale. In Clause 12 they thought they had the means of rescue. If, when they tried to come to the relief of the storm-tossed barque of the Catholics of the Six Counties, they found that the steel hawser of Clause 12, eaten with the rust of four years and the fire of civil war, snapped in their hands, are they to be branded as betrayers if they return to port to wait to effect that rescue in calmer waters and by means of the silken hawser of peace and goodwill?

Mr. FANNING: At a very early stage in this discussion one Senator remarked that probably fifty speeches might be delivered before this discussion was closed. I should certainly like that one or two members of this House would join with me in an appeal to avert that calamity. What is all this Boundary business about? It is merely a question of acreage in so far as I can grasp the speeches for and against it. If the Boundary were pushed nine miles or fifteen miles further North, you still have the boundary, and the proposition would remain unsolved. It is only for me to say that a solution of this question can only ultimately come about by ordinary peaceful methods, and not through embittered speeches or various attempts to kindle old fires that have been burnt out or which some people are willing to hope had been allowed to burn out. There is evidently a section of the community that has yet refused to lose sight of them, and they still persist in kindling the old fires of prejudice. My interference in this discussion will not take many minutes.

Under extreme difficulties the Irish plenipotentiaries crossed over and they ultimately, working in harmony with the representatives of Ulster and the representatives of England, have arrived at a decision. That decision [196] was referred to their respective Parliaments. It has been honourably ratified in the other two assemblies, and in our Irish assembly every phase and aspect of the case has been threshed out at great length by the men who stand directly to reflect the voice and hopes and wishes of the people over every part of Ireland from Lough Swilly to Queenstown Cathedral and from Galway to Balbriggan. It has been argued out at great length. I spent a great deal of time in the Dáil listening to the debates, and there is not an aspect of the case that has not been fully discussed by the men whose lives are spent in the various areas which they represent. They honoured the signatures of the Irish plenipotentiaries by more than a three-and-a-half to one decision. That is good enough for me. The matter has been placed before the Dáil, before the representatives of the Irish people from all over the country. I think this is nothing more than a waste of time. I have sat here to-day, and it is like a man sitting on a gate in the moonlight listening to the corncrake. The one old speech has been delivered over and over again by the opponents of this measure. I will not intervene at any greater length than to state that I am distinctly and definitely in support of this motion.

Mr. KENNY: The other House has been warned very broadly, but one like myself coming up from the provinces is almost bound to intervene and say something. I suppose my experience is much the same as that of other members of this House. You get bombarded with correspondence; you are met in the streets as you walk along your town or village in the country and you are asked questions because you are supposed to be in the know as to the position of the question. Some speakers advocated extreme views, some charged the Government for having got into a muddle which they should not have got into with regard to the Nationalists of the North, and there are all these points of attack. That is what happens in the provinces, and this arena here is the only one where a member of the [197] Senate can reply and justify the attitude that he will take up when he comes to vote for this measure. As the last speaker said, the Boundary is settled. They cannot solve the Boundary question. This Government has no responsibility for the Boundary. It was a heritage handed down to us by their predecessors, the Irish Nationalist Party. They accepted that Boundary under certain circumstances. Members will remember that it was a matter of controversy at that time as to whether the acceptance of it was to be of a permanent or a temporary character, until controversy was so long-drawn-out that in the end people accepted permanent and temporary as interchangeable.

The war debt also was a heritage handed down. Mr. John Redmond, the leader of the Irish Nationalist Party, accepted full responsibility for the war in the name of the Irish people whom he led in the House of Commons. Now, it is no part of the disposition of the present Government or any member of either House associated with them to repudiate honourable terms of that sort entered into by Irishmen, their predecessors. possibly with the very best intentions and under conditions which prevailed at the time in the country that they represented. I would rather like to give a little of the inner history of the Treaty. I was present amongst a group of men in my own city when the late Michael Collins discussed the Treaty, the various clauses of it, and all that led up to it. He said that at one stage as regards Clause 12 and as to the possibility of that clause, Mr. Winston Churchill and Mr. Lloyd George took a map that was on the table and said: “There is the text of the clause, the principal factor in the decision will be the people concerned. In that view of it inevitably large tracts of territory—Derry, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Newry— must be included in your State. If the Six-County area is denuded of these tracts, it probably will be impossible for them to carry on and they must enter into friendly relations with you and make for unity eventually.”

Now, that was really the feeling of [198] the Government at the time and that was supposed to be the intention of Clause 12—to bring pressure to bear on them and on parties, North and South, to bring them together, to club together in their political and commercial interests and to form one Government. We all know that very soon afterwards, as soon as Michael Collins had died, the English signatories of the Treaty put an entirely different construction on that clause, and that the House of Lords ratified the new interpretation of the clause. It will be within the memory of some of the members of this House that at the time the House of Lords registered a decision and confirmed the new in terpretation of the signatories to this clause, I raised the point here by way of resolution, by way of a set-off and to counter this resolution, that we should pass a resolution setting out what our signatories' interpretation of Clause 12 was. Well, our Government here at that time thought that they would be in a stronger position— possibly they were right—that if they absolutely ignored the interpretation which was put on Clause 12 by the English signatories or the action taken by the House of Lords confirming this interpretation.

Possibly they were right. Time alone will tell. But it strikes me, in the light of what has happened, that had we passed a resolution such as that it would have clarified the air; it would certainly have raised the question which has brought about all the trouble that has been raised. I come to another point: it does not matter, and that is our experience, what Treaty or what arrangement or what compact— I say it with regret—the English Government enter into, not only the present but past Governments—or what writing we have from them over their signatures, or what treaties printed which are given the force of an Act of Parliament, we cannot depend upon the honourable carrying out of these treaties or contracts. The letter of the Treaty or the compact would seem not to be ambiguous and only to admit of one interpretation, and yet time and again we have found that they were broken and that compacts, agreements [199] and treaties set out in cold print were not worth the paper they were on. The latest instance is, of course, the Boundary.

Here we have an assurance, and I take it as being a stronger and better one than anything you could have in writing or under signatures, if we accept the assurance. We have an assurance that an entirely new spirit has animated the discussions at 10 Downing Street, the spirit of amity and goodwill, a desire to avoid friction, mutual aid, and a spirit of friendly comradeship, and we have it that it was in that spirit that this particular Agreement was conceived, and, we hope, will be carried out, and I think that if all the parties to the Agreement and all the signatories to it are sincere that that is a better assurance and security than we have ever had before. The English-man's word is supposed to be his bond. We find that his writing and his print are not his bond. You eliminate these two and we have only his honourable word. That is the only thing we have here in this present Agreement. Well, now, how can you judge whether they are sincere or not? These promises are very little things, and we can only apply one test to these promises, and that is to see how they will crystalise into facts. At present we are told that in earnest of their sincerity certain matters have been set on foot in the North of Ireland, the disbandment of their “Specials” and the revision of the cases of the political prisoners. That is all very well, but there are many other disabilities under which our countrymen are labouring in the North which are understood and which are amenable to and open to immediate redress—the P.R. system, the gerrymandering, and the fact that it is almost impossible for a Catholic to get any position of importance or any official position under any of the public bodies in the Six-County area. This condition of things may arise from accident. The attitude of the North is that our nationals up there have no grievance. But these things are hard to explain away.

The peculiar position is that when [200] we speak of the Unionists in the North it is a misnomer. I would prefer to call them anti-Unionists. Unionists here are Unionists in the sense that they wish for the union of the whole of Ireland. As good Irishmen, they have thrown their fate and fortunes into the hands of the Irish Free State. We are all glad they have done so. But the Unionists in the North are dis-unionists; they do not want to come into the Free State. They are anti-Unionists, and the Nationalists in the North are now the Unionists who want to join in union with their fellow-countrymen in the South. Nationalists in the North, so far as I know, are not so much concerned with the Boundary, and whether it is nine miles or fifteen miles from the present Boundary. But they are concerned with the restoration of their civic and political rights. They do not want any special concessions. They only want equal rights and privileges with the other citizens of the Northern area. I think that is a very fair claim. They want recognition there of the same character as, be it said to their credit, the Free State Government has given to the minority here.

That is not very much to ask, and I am sure it is a claim that will be endorsed and supported by the representatives of the minority in this Seanad. It is a consistent and proper claim to make, and I would like to have it on the records of the Seanad that we have put that aspect of the position before the Seanad and that it has received the concurrence and the approval of the Seanad as a whole. We do not compromise ourselves in any way by doing that. We do not affect the position of this Bill; we do not retard it in any way, but rather help the Government than otherwise in their efforts to achieve what they set out to achieve by this Agreement. I believe that the Government are acting wisely in not allowing any extreme course to be taken with regard to this Agreement or any amendments or additions which could be used as an argument against the harmonious working of the Agreement. As I say, the new spirit is worthy of a trial. We have many alternatives later on if we [201] find that these pious aspirations, hopes and professions of amity and friendship in the preamble of the Bill were merely put in for window-dressing.

Now I come to the alternative that if we do not accept this Bill it would naturally follow that the Feetham award would be enforced. There are so many uncertain elements with regard to that, particularly in the light of the Boundary Commission award, that it is very dangerous territory to enter upon and a very dangerous course to take. The matter has been raised here about arbitration under Article V.—that if the two Governments could not come to any agreed decision an arbitrator should be called in. While we might appoint ours, they might appoint theirs, but eventually there must be some finality reached, and the finality that would be reached would certainly be agreeable to the British Government. The British Government would have to be an agreeing party to anything done, whether by arbitration or by settlement of the accounts between this State and the British Government. Whether arbitration or whether the Government itself ultimately decides this matter the question of the payment of claims will crop up. We largely base our counter-claim on the findings of the Financial Relations Commission of 1896, but Senators know that when these findings were sent into the House of Commons the objection was raised that the terms of reference were not wide enough and that many factors that should have been brought into consideration were not considered. The Government decided to set up another Commission with wider terms of reference, but no person could be found in the United Kingdom to volunteer to act upon the new Commission, because on the Commission that had sent in its findings were men of the highest financial and commercial standing.

There were no men more highly qualified for the purpose than the men who composed the Financial Relations Commission of 1896. Its findings were never accepted by the Government; they were set aside and pigeon-holed from that day to this. There is the possibility that when our claim of 300 [202] millions up to 1896 came forward, the arbitrator might say, “This claim will not be admitted. It was wrongly founded, and I am not in possession of all the facts. Therefore it was never accepted by the British Government, and I must rule it out.” The country is already honourably committed to the war debt, John Redmond having accepted responsibility on behalf of the Irish people. That is an honourable obligation, and without a dishonourable repudiation we could not get out of it. I simply instance these things as showing that in setting up a claim under Article V. we could not tell how we might fare, and with the dice loaded against us, as I think they would be, we might be mulcted in very big obligations. By this Agreement you get out of that risk. It might be a good or a bad arrangement. Any man sitting down to work out and allocate the claims of the British Government with the counter-claims of the Free State in a matter of this sort, would, according to his bias, put everything in his favour on one side, eliminate anything against him on the other side, and thus bring out figures suitable to himself. Similarly, if an English business man were asked to do the same thing, he would bring out an entirely different total. The method of solution under Article V. was so uncertain, and so liable to weigh heavily in certain circumstances against the Free State, that I think it was a very dangerous course to hazard. For all these reasons, while not in any way wishing to absolve or excuse the Government for the course they have taken, but wishing to give them credit for acting according to their lights in the best interests of the country, I am resolved, no matter what various sections of my constituents may think, to support this Bill.

Dr. GOGARTY: I move that the question be now put.

CATHAOIRLEACH: Senator Toal, who is a new member, wishes to speak, and perhaps the Seanad would agree to let him do so?

Mr. TOAL: I desire to say that I have listened very attentively to the discussion that took place here to-day [203] in the hope that some practical suggestion might be put forward that would to some extent relieve our fellow-countrymen across the Border. I am sorry to say that no practical suggestion was forthcoming, nor was there any hope of relief for the unfortunate people who have been thrown under the sway of a hostile Government. I feel that most Senators, as well as Deputies, have approached this question from what I might call the Souththern point of view. I live, I might say, in the Six Counties, or on the very border, and the parish to which I belong is cut in two. I am separated from my clergymen and I have to go a round of about 14 miles, unless I cross the border, when going to church. I know the difficulties of the border question and from what I heard here I realise that most of the Senators do not understand the trouble that we, who are on the border line, are up against, and that our people across the border suffer. I never thought that partition would settle this question. I always had a horror of partition, but I realise that it was the weakest link in the Treaty chain, and I had hoped that our Government would try to avail of Article XII. and, as far as in them lay, secure all the advantages possible for our countrymen. I am sorry that I must say to-day that I am greatly disappointed at the action of the Executive Council. In the first place, I think that they made a huge mistake in not satisfying themselves that the man that they were to appoint to act on that Commission was a man who thoroughly understood the situation, and understood what Article XII. meants. The Executive Council should have thoroughly understood what it meant, and they should see that a man that was agreeable to their views was appointed to act as their representative.

I feel that if that had been done and the terms of reference had been properly devised for our representative on the Boundary Commission, that the farce that went on for twelve long months would never have occurred. We had great hopes and we were led to believe that we could trust England, [204] that we could trust the Boundary Commission, and that we could trust the Chairman, a High Court judge; that we could trust our own representative on that Commission, and that he would see that the Catholics and Nationalists of the Six Counties were not let down. I regret to say that we were sadly disappointed, after having every belief that it would be the other way. We were informed that everything was going well with that Commission, and that there was every prospect that justice would be done. We were very sad and disappointed when we found that the first intimation we got as to the result of the Boundary Commission was in the “Morning Post,” and that showed that everything was wrong.

You can realise the position of the people on the border and the people across the border when the news was made known to them. Let us realise the position that the people of Tyrone, Fermanagh, Derry City, and elsewhere were in before the trouble arose. They had their own civic rights. They were in possession of their own affairs there. They got encouragement to come in and make a fight for Irish freedom. Where are they to-day? Deserted and without any kind of hope. I know the position, because I have lived all my life amongst them. I feel this because I have been with them in the land struggle from 1879 onwards, and I have been with them in every stage of that struggle until the present day. I know the stuff they are made of. I know what they contributed to the position we hold here to-day. It is very sad to find those people, who looked upon us as friends, in the position in which they are.

I always held that the Boundary Commission had no right or authority to interfere with the Free State territory. That is the position I took up at my own Council. I refused to touch the Boundary Commission. I was delighted to see a few weeks ago that that was the position that President Cosgrave took up. I wonder how it entered into the mind of the Commission that they had a right to interfere with Free State territory? What right had the Six Counties to take territory from the Free State? Not long ago [205] these people threw over the three counties. They refused to have anything to do with them. They drafted a covenant and they said to the three counties: “Go your own way.” What right had they to claim any of our territory? It is all a sad history and it is too bad that nothing can be done for these unfortunate people.

When this crisis arose, and when our representatives had to go to London, could they not have made a case for the Nationalists in the Six Counties? Could they not have pointed out the position they were placed in by the English Government? They lived under English laws in the past, before any trouble arose in Ireland. Would it be an unreasonable demand for our representatives to make in London that the civic rights of these people should be restored and that they should be placed in the position they were in before this struggle arose? Then they could say “We will consider the case.” I feel that no effort was made on behalf of the unfortunate people across the Border.

Now, sir, we come to Article V. of the Treaty. We are told here that we have got great advantages by the cancellation of Article V. I am not competent to deal with that Article. I have been always led to believe that we were overtaxed in this country to a considerable amount. But I believe there was not much in it. What I do hold is that if there is anything in it, and if we got anything under it, that money belongs to and should be applied to the relief of our countrymen across the Border, because if the Boundary Commission had gone on and had been satisfactory no demand would have been made to wipe out Article V. Therefore, I hold that the bargain made over the Six Counties and the advantage we got in respect of Article V. was because of our rights under Article XII. Consequently I hold that something should be done for the people across the Border from the money we gain over this Article V.

I was waiting to see if any constructive suggestion would be put forward at all. Could we not arrange to start manufactures on the borders of Donegal and Monaghan? Could we [206] not start factories there and apply this money that I hold the other portions of the Free State have no right to? I hold that money should be applied to the relief of the people who fought with us in the struggle and now are left out in the cold.

There again, there is the question of compensation. We in this Agreement have agreed that ten per cent. should be added to the awards that have been made in the Free State. Now would it be an unreasonable thing that a similar application should be made on behalf of the people across the Border? It is well known— and you have got cases quoted here to you to-day—that people have suffered the loss of all they had in the world, that they were thrown out on the roadside without any compensation whatever. Is there to be any consideration for them at all?

There is no Senator in this House who will go further to secure conciliation and friendship amongst brother Irishmen, no matter to what side they belong, than I would. I think there is no one here who would be more inclined to go further in that matter. I stand here to-day a living example of what conciliation and friendship and brotherhood can do. Some months ago when the results of the Seanad election were made known, there was surprise at seeing a Northern candidate getting to the top of the poll. I will tell you how that happened—it was with the hearty co-operation of every class and creed in my native county that I was returned at the top of the poll.

I am a strong believer in conciliation, but there is a difficulty when there is a barrier separating the people. There can be no co-operation or friendship or lasting peace as long as we have a Border in Ireland. I do not know what put it into the mind of any man to think that partition would ever settle the Irish question. I am glad to observe that some of the Senators who spoke to-day are men who took part in deliberations some years ago when we were trying to arrange this very troublesome question. We discussed the matter then for twelve months, and never once was it [207] put forward that partition was the solution of this question.

I say without fear of contradiction that as long as England keeps her finger in the pie and prevents the Irish people from coming together, the Irish people of all creeds and classes, we will have trouble in this country. If the Irish people were allowed to come together, to exchange views and to meet in friendly conference and in business transactions, the barrier would soon be broken down. I fear what is being done to-day will not tend in that direction. There is no Senator who feels his position more keenly than I do. This is the first time I have ever spoken in this place, and I can assure you I feel very much embarrassed in saying even one word against the Government. I have been a supporter of the Government, and I gain no benefit by saying one word against them. I have not been at the conferences that have been mentioned, and I have not taken part in any way against the Government; but I feel conscientiously bound to vote against this Agreement here to-day.

Sir THOMAS ESMONDE: Would I be permitted to speak?

CATHAOIRLEACH: I must put the question.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Is it not rather early in the discussion to accept a motion that the Question be now put? We have been only four hours discussing this matter, and in the other House they occupied four days in discussing it. There should be some rights left with the minority here. They should be protected in some way. In this matter the majority can carry a motion of this kind, but I submit that the minority should have some consideration.

CATHAOIRLEACH: If I thought the rights of the minority had been invaded, I would intervene; but I think the minority have had a very good show to-day.

Mr. O'FARRELL: There are many Senators remaining who would like to speak.

[208] CATHAOIRLEACH: I would not like to assume that. I am quite satisfied that probably there may be some Senators who would like to speak; but, on the other hand, I have to bear in mind that this is a Bill of three clauses, and it is a Bill that has been publicly discussed and reported for over a week. Frankly, I must say that although the speeches were quite interesting, I did not hear any new topic introduced in the course of the debate.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Who is to be the judge of that?

CATHAOIRLEACH: I cannot say that there has been any infringement in the circumstances on the rights of the minority, but that is still a matter for the Seanad.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I would like you to take me as strongly and vehemently protesting against this prevention of the right of free speech. I think it is a positive disgrace that after four hours we are told by the Cathaoirleach that he has not heard anything new; that he does not think anything new is to come from the minority, and he means to allow the majority to turn down the minority. What about the speech of the last Senator? Is it not a human tragedy to hear that speech?

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: What about the Labour Party's accusation of his fraudulent return?

Mr. O'FARRELL: I ask to be protected from the attacks of this Eloquent Dempsey.

CATHAOIRLEACH: You are not quite in order, Senator. Under the Standing Orders this motion cannot be debated.

Mr. O'FARRELL: It is for you to protect the rights of the minority.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I hope I have always done that here.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I must say we have been treated shamefully.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I hope, Senator, I have always protected the rights of the minority. In view of what has taken place during the last week, the natural interest that was [209] taken in this matter, the publicity which the discussions in the other House received, and the fact that the discussion to-day has largely been in the hands of those whom, perhaps, Senator O'Farrell rightly described as the minority——

Mr. O'FARRELL: Here, but not outside.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I cannot say that this motion infringes on their rights. However, it is a matter for the House to say.

Mr. O'FARRELL: We know what the House is going to say.

Question put—“That the motion be now put.”

Colonel MOORE: I should like to ask, is it because this was discussed in [210] the other House it cannot be discussed here?

CATHAOIRLEACH: You do not quite follow me. One of the considerations entering into the question is as to whether a motion of this kind is or is not an infringement.

Colonel MOORE: It was discussed largely in the other house, but it must not be discussed here.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I have already told you that this motion cannot be debated.

Colonel MOORE: It was debated by yourself.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I have not debated it, and you have no right to make that statement.

The Seanad divided: Tá, 27; Níl, 19.

John Bagwell.

Henry L. Barniville.

William Barrington.

Sir Edward Bellingham.

Sir Edward Coey Bigger.

John C. Counihan.

J.C. Dowdall.

Sir Nugent Talbot Everard.

Michael Fanning.

Oliver St. John Gogarty.

James Perry Goodbody.

Right Hon. Earl of Granard.

Mrs. Alice Stopford Green.

Sir Henry Greer.

Sir John Purser Griffith.

Henry Seymour Guinness.

Benjamin Haughton.

Major-Gen. Sir William Hickie.

Arthur Jackson.

John MacLoughlin.

Rt. Hon. Sir Bryan Mahon.

Rt. Hon. Earl of Mayo.

James Moran.

Stephen O'Mara.

Bernard O'Rourke.

James J. Parkinson.

William Butler Yeats.

Níl

T.W. Bennett.

Mrs. Eileen Costello.

Dowager Countess of Desart.

James G. Douglas.

Michael Duffy.

Sir Thomas Henry Grattan Esmonde.

Thomas Farren.

Thomas Foran.

Rt. Hon. Andrew Jameson.

Sir John Keane.

Patrick Williams Kenny.

Thomas Linehan.

Francis MacGuinness.

James MacKean.

Colonel Maurice Moore.

Joseph O'Connor.

John Thomas O'Farrell.

Mrs. Jane Wyse Power.

Thomas Toal.

Motion declared carried.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Is that a sufficient majority to closure the discussion?

CATHAOIRLEACH: Oh, yes; it is a clear majority.

Question put—“That the Bill be read a second time.”

The Seanad divided. Tá, 38; Níl, 7.

T.W. Bennett.

John Bagwell.

Henry L. Barniville.

William Barrington.

Sir Edward Bellingham, Bart.

[211]J.C. Dowdall.

Sir Nugent Talbot Everard, Bart.

Michael Fanning.

Oliver St. John Gogarty.

James Perry Goodbody.

Rt. Hon. Earl of Granard.

Mrs. Alice Stopford Green.

Sir Henry Greer.

Sir John Purser Griffith.

Henry Seymour Guinness.

Benjamin Haughton.

Major-General Sir William Hickie.

Arthur Jackson.

Rt. Hon. Andrew Jameson.

Sir Edward Coey Bigger.

Mrs. Eileen Costello.

John C. Counihan.

Dowager Countess of Desart.

James Green Douglas.

[212]Sir John Keane, Bart.

Patrick Williams Kenny.

Thomas Linehan.

Francis MacGuinness.

James MacKean.

John MacLoughlin.

General Sir Bryan Mahon.

Rt. Hon. Earl of Mayo.

James Moran.

Joseph O'Connor.

Stephen O'Mara.

Bernard O'Rourke.

James J. Parkinson.

William Butler Yeats.

Níl

Michael Duffy.

Thomas Farren.

Thomas Foran.

Colonel Maurice Moore.

John Thomas O'Farrell.

Mrs. Jane Wyse Power.

Thomas Toal.

Motion declared carried.

CATHAOIRLEACH: May I say that of those seven who voted against the motion, three have spoken in the debate, and I shall be very pleased, indeed, to give an opportunity to the others if they wish to speak on the further stages.

The Seanad went into Committee on the Bill.

Question put—“That Section 1 stand part of the Bill.”

The Committee divided: Tá, 34; Níl, 7.

T.W. Bennett.

John Bagwell.

William Barrington.

Sir Edward Bellingham.

Sir Edward Coey Bigger.

Mrs. Eileen Costello.

John C. Counihan.

Dowager Countess of Desart.

James G. Douglas.

J.C. Dowdall.

Sir Nugent Talbot Everard.

Michael Fanning.

James Perry Goodbody.

James McKean.

John MacLoughlin.

General Sir Bryan Mahon.

Rt. Hon. Earl of Mayo.

Rt. Hon. Earl of Granard.

Mrs. Alice Stopford Green.

Sir Henry Greer.

Sir John Purser Griffith.

Henry Seymour Guinness.

Benjamin Haughton.

Major-General Sir William Hickie.

Arthur Jackson.

Rt. Hon. Andrew Jameson.

Sir John Keane, Bart.

Patrick Williams Kenny.

Thomas Linehan.

Francis MacGuinness.

James Moran.

Joseph O'Connor.

Stephen O'Mara.

Bernard O'Rourke.

Níl

Michael Duffy.

Thomas Farren.

Thomas Foran.

Colonel Maurice Moore.

John Thomas O'Farrell.

Mrs. Jane Wyse Power.

Thomas Toal.

Motion declared carried.

Sections 2 and 3, the Schedule and the Title put and declared carried.

The Seanad went out of Committee.

Bill reported without amendment.

Question proposed—“That the Bill be received for final consideration and do now pass.”

Mr. O'FARRELL: I beg to oppose the final consideration of this Bill.

Senators need not look alarmed. I am not going to keep them many minutes. I want to clear up a few misunderstandings that have been created in the course of the debate. I am sorry none of the Ministers thought the House of sufficient importance to intervene in the debate. In the other House they had not, behind them, any Eloquent Dempsey to reply to the opposition, but they are a little more [213] fortunate here. I think they are unfortunate that one Senator who is here is not in the other House. He certainly would be more in place there in respect to the type of speech he would deliver for the benefit of his audience. I want to make it clear that as far as I am concerned my principal consideration is the deliberate manner in which the Nationalists of the Six Counties have been misled for four years. I have stated that already, and I re-state it. They had come to understand that there was something for them in Article XII. of material value, that they should look upon Free State Ministers and their party as their trustees, and that they were not going to be willingly let down.

Yesterday the Minister for Finance stated that a month after the Treaty was signed he and his Ministry realised that there might be a different interpretation placed upon Article XII. Their doubts began to arrive at that particular time, even as far back as that. Through various devices these unfortunate people were allowed to be tricked. Why did not the Government tell them to be loyal citizens of Northern Ireland, to go into the Northern Parliament to fight their battles there, to try and discharge their functions and to do everything that was conditional on citizenship of that State? They did not do that. They kept on: “Fire away; ignore the laws of the land; be rebels and we will rescue you from outside.” When they came to negotiate this final settlement, in that awful state of panic in which they did it, surely they might give one thought to those people they misled. We have heard a sincere and tragic speech delivered by Senator Toal this evening. I prefer to accept his speech as representing the real feeling on the Border than the Eloquent Dempsey speech of Senator MacLoughlin and his colleague, Senator O'Rourke, who says, “Fight like the dickens, but I am on the safe side of the fence.” Senator MacLoughlin came here with a different kind of speech two weeks ago, because at that time his beloved Buncrana was in danger.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: That is a lie.

Colonel MOORE: Is the Senator in [214] order in using such an expression towards another Senator?

CATHAOIRLEACH: It is not an expression I would like to encourage. I notice it has been used. It is not a nice expression, and I hope Senators will abstain from using it. I do not want to be asked to determine whether it is in order or not.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: I withdraw it.

Mr. O'FARRELL: It all depends on the company you keep. Senator MacLoughlin wanted to move heaven and earth because his part of Donegal was, as he thought, going into Northern Ireland. He then pleaded not only for the people of Donegal, but for the people on the other side of the Border. In fact, that was the great excuse for his speech. His support of those people compelled admiration everywhere, and I think he was greatly taken aback because no other Senator thought fit to follow him. I am sure no one felt able to follow such an eloquent speech. He came then like a lion, and to-day he comes here like a sucking dove. There is nothing but peace, he says, along the Border, and anyone who talks about the past to those who have been hoodwinked is only an impostor, a visionary and a hypocrite in the words of the Senator. I do not know how many Senators have read a book by Patrick MacGill known as “Children of the Dead End.” In that book there is a character known as Farlie McKeown. Whenever Senator MacLoughlin speaks in this House I always think of Farlie McKeown. He has played a loud, ineffective and inglorious part in this whole affair, and it would be well for the citizens across the Border not to be led by those eloquent politicians who mix up trade and politics, making one support the other, in order to bring grist to their mill. If they had not their own interests at heart they would be good citizens of Northern Ireland.

The extraordinary thing that strikes one is, that the Minister for External Affairs seems to be eliminated altogether. You always find the Foreign Minister a prominent figure [215] in such matters, but our baby Minister seems to be left at home. He is never allowed out at all. I do not think he has taken part in the debate in the other House. If he did, he took a minor part.

With regard to the other important person, the Minister for Finance, the thing I am interested in is, that he arrived only in time to append his signature. The two people who should be the principals after the President himself were practically absent. That brings us back to what the Earl of Mayo is pleased to call a Christmas Box. A Christmas Box is brought to a number of wealthy people in this country. We are informed it is brought to a number of poor people, too, but surely we do not want a number of foreign Ministers to do justice to our own poor. If we thought we were treated unjustly we could voice our grievances without the aid of foreign Ministers. Of the £1,200,000 Sir James Craig is getting immediately to clear off his liabilities, why did they not try to get some to compensate those people for what they have lost, for their husbands, their children and their homes?

Where was the great haste about the arriving at this settlement? The same happened about the Treaty. Unfortunately those things always come on at the season of good-will—at Christmas. Four years ago in University College people were engaged hammer and tongs discussing the Treaty. That was in 1921. Just at this season it was rushed again. They had alredy agreed to put back the Feetham award. What difference would a few days make? We were told this was a national question, and I agree, but if it were, was it not the bounden duty of Ministers to come along and consult with the different parties and organisations represented in the Oireachtas? If they wanted to get their support in carrying this through, could they not at least have consulted some of the principal representatives of the various groups in the Oireachtas, or are they worth considering at all? If they are not, I withdraw the suggestion. The Senator from Donegal quotes a letter written by [216] Senator Moore in 1916. I wish he would quote what the various Ministers said in 1916, and even speeches they made in 1924 or 1925. He would find they have contradicted all the things that they say now. I would not like to quote the Senator's contradictory speeches.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: Try it.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I have more respect for this House.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: You cannot have much respect for it when you accuse the Ministers of being men who would beat their wives.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I did not accuse the Senator of beating his wife. I do not know if he is married. He said he understood Article XII. could always be used as a good bargaining proposition in favour of the people on the other side. So we all thought. That is the hope I had, that it would be able to get them back many of the rights they had lost. It is an extraordinary and appalling thing, and it seems as if the Ministry made no attempt to use it as a bargaining proposition. I do not know if they did, but they have never said that they did. If they did, then they must have failed, and I think they ought to enlighten the public, and give some sort of assurance that they did their best for their fellow-Nationalists on the opposite side of the Border, and that they failed. But let them not leave the country under the impression that they did nothing at all to try to help. Judge Feetham has been referred to as Labour's gift to the Free State. Well, I do not know much about Judge Feetham, but he is certainly just as good as the Free State Government's gift to the Free State on the Boundary Commission. Senator MacLoughlin can talk loud, but he talked very differently to me when he was in despair over the proposed transfer of his little town. Mention has been made regarding the conference with the Republicans in the Shelbourne Hotel. I was not there, nor have I had any responsibility for it, but I am glad it took place, for it has given the Republicans no opportunity of saying that they had not their attention drawn to [217] the fact that the time had arrived. They have failed to take advantage of it.

We are prepared to show in every possible way that they are failing to discharge their duties to their constituents; that they are making a humbug of public life in Ireland, and that it is through their stupidity, their absolute lack of statesmanship and lack of moral courage, that the Government is able to blunder through with all its stupid mistakes. They can always say, “Well, what is your alternative? We have given away the country if you like, and what can you do now? You can only throw us out, and you have nobody to put in our place. You have only a few small groups, and there is no chance of having an alternative Government. You do not want to obstruct trade and commerce in the country by a general election. Republicans might get in, and you can do nothing but take or leave it.” The funny part of the whole matter is that when the whole thing is done they ask you for an alternative. Senator Fanning seems to think that this debate is waste of time. Well, if that is so all Senates are waste of time, material and personnel. He was elected to help the liquor traffic in this House, a very narrow issue, and I daresay he is very anxious to get to work on the beer. Well, it is a very important subject, a very important commodity, but some of us take our responsibilities in a wider and more varied way, and we feel that if we can save for this country over £5,000,000 that are going to be paid to England, there will be more beer, and you might be able to take a large sum off the heavy taxation on the beer and the whiskey. So that we are talking material things when we are discussing this.

This Bill will be passed by this House this evening. I do not know what the effect of a referendum in the country would be on it. The country, I agree, is absolutely inept, and has no moral or political sould at the present time. It is worn and tired out with politics, with fratricidal strife, and I do not believe you would get a fifth of the whole to come in and vote any more than you [218] did at the Seanad elections. But when it is passed I believe it is the duty of all parties to try for the sake of the country and make it successful. We believe that the Nationalists on the other side have been treated very badly, but we believe they will get a fair show if they will only make up their minds to do their part by the State of which they are going to be citizens in the near future. I had a lot of experience in the North of Ireland in the discharge of my duties, and I am one of those who realise that all the fault is not on the other side.

If you want to get a real, true bigot, get a Northern Protestant and a Northern Nationalist and you will find it extremely difficult to judge which is the greater bigot. I have found that in religion and politics they are absolutely impracticable. They make up their minds in the cradle and they never change them until they go down into the grave. They were raised on stones, showers of stones, and, more recently, revolvers. They are born and bred in that atmosphere, and it is almost impossible to get it out of them. I agree that once the illusion before these unfortunate people is taken away from them, that they will turn their eyes in another direction and they may be able to form new parties and new interests, new economic and social policies which will be far more beneficial to them and more likely to take away the stock-in-trade of the professional politicians. If this settlement does that for us, dear as we have paid, it will be a good one. A far more economical arrangement could have been aimed at before the Boundary Commission was set up without having to give away this £5,000,000.

But, as far as I am concerned and the Party I represent are concerned, it has been our policy in the past to try to bring about negotiations for settlement. We did send commissioners to the North, Senator MacLoughlin notwithstanding, before the Boundary Commission was set up, and tried to do our best in a hundred different ways, but we were sneered at when we did give any expression of opinion at all by the politicians on this [219] side. We failed, but it certainly is not going to be our policy to create any bad blood between the two Governments or the Nationalists and the Northern Government. It is our policy to see that the best possible relationship shall be maintained and if that unity which has been withheld so long comes as a result of this unfortuate, lop-sided Agreement, it will be one good thing that will have to be said in its favour.

Colonel MOORE: I think it is extremely unfair for the Senator to attack the Northern Nationalists who have suffered more than all the rest of the people together, owing to bigotry and tyranny of every sort. They were robbed of their lands and driven to the hills, and they have been suffering unceasingly. Then because they resent these things and fight their own battles, the Senator attacks them and says they are just as bad as the Orangemen who persecute them. That is a perfect scandal, and I must repudiate it. As to the hopes for the future, I see no sign of their realisation. I went up to Derry in June, 1914, and I did bring about a certain amount of amicable feeling between two parties who were at arms length. I was congratulated at that time for preventing trouble when people were at each other's throats. I cannot see much hope of good feeling now. If I could, I would say this measure was a good measure. Although one might dislike it technically, I would say that on the whole it would be worth while. But I see no such hope. If the prisoners were released immediately and the disabilities that are imposed on the Nationalists of the North done away with I should be glad, but I am afraid we are in for a very bad time.

The PRESIDENT: I have listened to many speeches in my life, but I do not think I have ever listened to so much drivel as Senator O'Farrell has spoken here. Examining the speech from the point of view of a contribution to this matter, I find that very strong language has been indulged in, that abuse has been poured on the Executive Council. They are spoken of as [220] politicians, while the Senator's recent bed-fellows are referred to as statesmen.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Who are they?

The PRESIDENT: The Irregulars.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I do not know what you are talking about.

The PRESIDENT: The Senator has not repudiated the meeting which took place between his Party and the Irregulars. “Statesmanship” was the term used when the Senator referred to the Irregulars.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I make you a present of that.

The PRESIDENT: “Politician” is the word used in the other case. While he adheres to a statement made by Senator Toal, that the money saved by this should be distributed in the North, he asks what attraction there was for them to come into the Saorstát. Let us examine the contrast between the various parts of the speech. After speaking for an hour, the Senator could contribute nothing of a constructive character, except the last few words. Knowing that this Bill is going to pass; not being certain that the people of the country are against it, and being unable to do anything to prevent it coming into operation, he hopes it is going to be a success. That, at any rate, is a confession of absolute failure as far as the Senator is concerned. I, too, hope it is going to be a success, and that the Senator's hopes will be realised. I would remind the Senator that the Nationalists of the North were not misled by the Executive Council; that the Executive Council were not hypocrites, and that they did not advise these Nationalists to be rebels. The Executive Council was not in a panic, and hoodwinked nobody in connection with the matter. The Senator has not taken time to look up the speeches made, but his friends have had time, and they have quoted them against the Executive in the Dáil. What do they prove? That whatever individual opinions we might have, any indication given was that the last ounce was going to be [221] taken out of the advantages, if any, that there were in Article XII. of the Treaty.

Colonel MOORE: What about the Minister for Finance's speech in Monaghan, when he said that we were going to have a splendid settlement?

The PRESIDENT: If the Minister for Finance made a speech that Senator Moore would like to quote against him, then the Minister for Finance could be saddled with some of the responsibility for the failure of Article XII. and the Commission, but the fact is, that the Minister for Finance, from the moment we appointed a representative on that Commission, showed everybody that we had confidence in its having a useful result. We were discharging our duties as trustees. Where did we neglect them? We certainly did not succeed in getting the Commission to make the award that we would have wished for on behalf of those for whom we are acting as trustees, and all the budding Ministers that I have heard, either here or in the Dáil, who attacked this Agreement, have not shown any way by which an Executive Council of this or any other time could get the Boundary Commission to bring in a report in accordance with the wishes of the people here. Still we are charged with having hoodwinked the people of the North. When is it alleged that the Executive Council advised the Nationalists of the North to be rebels? What is the date on which that particular statement was made or the advice given which would justify that statement? It is one thing to get up here and glibly make charges in order to mislead the public outside, but it is another thing to prove them. Where is the proof? We are entitled to get it.

Colonel MOORE: I do not know that any Senator said that.

The PRESIDENT: I wrote down the word “rebel” here as used by Senator O'Farrell. Where is the proof of it?

Mr. O'FARRELL: I repeat that.

The PRESIDENT: The Senator repeats it. So can a parrot. That is all [222] a parrot does—simply repeats something said. These are serious matters. This is a young State and there is an attempt made to undermine the confidence that the public should have in the Government of the State. Wild charges such as these are not going to make for stability, for progress, for confidence in representative institutions. If that is the only contribution that can come from a Senator, who can speak for an hour without a single constructive suggestion, then I say that he is a poor representative, and poor representatives are not long tolerated by the people.

Mr. O'FARRELL: You are a good judge.

The PRESIDENT: An excellent judge. An attempt is made in the course of the Senator's speech to associate the negotiations that have taken place with incidents that surrounded the first Treaty, which made it possible for the Senator to be in this assembly. He, standing outside—the wise man looking on—would never have done hasty things or dangerous things, and he would never have taken the risks, but would have seen that everything was perfect before he would have allowed himself to put his name to a document of such importance. Treaties were not made by men of the courage or the timbre of the Senator They were not made by cavillers. They were made by statesmen, by men of sense, by men of courage, by men of vision, by men who could carry out things that they put their hands to, and not seek to get the last ounce out of ten or eleven Articles of a Treaty and to evade the others. The Senator told us here to-day that if a certain sum were decreed against this country it would not be paid and that he would go with a light heart and say we would not pay. It might be all right for an individual to do that, but a State could not do it. A State has got credit, and it must maintain its credit. If representatives of the State put their names to a document they are pledging the honour of their people, and they must discharge the obligations they incur when they put [223] their names to a document of that kind.

Colonel MOORE: That is not the way that the English Government act.

The PRESIDENT: We are discussing in this business the signatures of our Treaty makers. Any such allegations as those made by the Senator have no relevancy to it. If the Senator means that because another country has not always honoured its bond that that is an excuse for us, I repudiate that. We were told that we would get advice. Certainly some of the speeches that we have listened to here were speeches that convinced me that the people who had made them had in their minds a prejudice against the Executive Council, and that if someone else signed this instrument, and if someone else were responsible for bringing about this Agreement, it would have received a much more favourable reception. An important instrument such as this should be considered on its merits and on the necessities of the case. Is that the reception it has got? I did not hear it discussed on the merits, because if an instrument such as this is discussed on its merits there ought to be alternative suggestions.

Mr. O'FARRELL: All we have got is abuse.

The PRESIDENT: In introducing this measure I was careful to avoid any abuse. Immediately I sat down I got showers of it. I am nothing the worse of that. I am not impressed by the force of the arguments brought to bear against this instrument. I am satisfied, however, that while certain people have criticised this Agreement and its financial provisions, there is a barometer outside the Oireachtas which registers the credit of the country in an unmistakable fashion. I have to admit that the barometer's return since this document was signed is very good.

Mr. FARREN: It is possible to engineer it. It was against you before.

The PRESIDENT: I know that, but I would like to tell the Senator that [224] it costs a considerable amount of money to engineer it.

CATHAOIRLEACH: Order, order. You do not imagine you are going to put the President out with these interrptions.

Mr. O'FARRELL: We are only putting him straight.

CATHAOIRLEACH: The President must be allowed to continue.

The PRESIDENT: I was dealing with the credit of the country as evidenced on the money market. Of course, it may be a bogey, as a Senator says, but I would like to be informed of a better method of understanding what our credit is. We have two issues on the Stock Exchange. One is National Loan and the other is Compensation Stock. Last year Compensation Stock stood at 90, while yesterday I think it registered 95.

Mrs. WYSE POWER: It was going up during that time.

The PRESIDENT: Yes, it was going up and it has not reached such a price except once in twelve months. I will put it to Senators that any indication of weakness in this case is a matter for rejoicing with some people. They may not admit it immediately, but the one desire at this moment is to discount that document and whatever will assist in discounting it, whatever will lead to a change of Government, is regarded as satisfactory. Even in the concluding words of the Senator's speech there was evidence of bias against the Executive Council.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Why not?

The PRESIDENT: Is it on the document alone? It is the document I am concerned with, and the other sins, imperfections and infirmities of the Executive Council ought to be dealt with on the merits, on whatever occasion may arise for dealing with them. This particular instrument, and everything that concerns it, is the matter that we ought to concentrate on now. We have heard as an argument against this Agreement that there was nothing in Article V., and that as a matter of [225] fact we should probably have got some money. As I explained in the Dáil, the case for the Executive Council on behalf of this State is ability to pay. Nothing else. Scrap this document. Every case you can make in respect of your counter-claim is to the good. We have not damaged a single claim. They are all available for exploration. Take them up and get what you can. We have not damaged the case for bringing this matter to the League of Nations. What is the suggestion that comes from Senator O'Farrell—that the Minister for External Affairs should have been brought over to London? Let us examine that.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I said it was remarkable that he was not brought over and that if you had a man who was not fit you should put a man there who is fit.

The PRESIDENT: He was not brought over, therefore he was not fit! Obviously that is prejudice against the man. Why should I bring the Minister for External Affairs across to London to deal with matters and affairs that affect the whole country? After all, you have to admit that Ulster is in Ireland. Is it contended that the Minister for External Affairs should be involved? Has the Minister for External Affairs to be brought to London to deal with a matter that affects Ireland?

Mr. FARREN: Why not?

The PRESIDENT: What external affair is that? What external affair is Ulster? Senators who criticise this proposal in that fashion ought to examine their consciences; they ought to examine their political and industrial consciences. I will just figure it out this way: I am a manufacturer in the North of Ireland; I am a business man in a big way, and a proposition for unity is put up. I look at the industrial side of the Saorstát and I see in the Parliament of the Saorstát, in both Houses, quite a number of trusted leaders of the Labour movement. I ask myself are there any industrial infirmities down there. I also ask myself is it a place that is remarkable for disputes, [226] for strikes, or anything of that sort. From my examination of the matter I would find that there are more industrial disputes in a country that is less industrially developed than in the North of Ireland. There is a little weakness there, and Senators should concern themselves a little bit with that particular weakness for industrial disputes that exists in the country.

Mr. FARREN: If we had not a Government offering 32/- a week to workmen——

The PRESIDENT: Ah! Now we are getting at it; now we are coming to it. Is that the matter that is in dispute, or is it the Agreement? I think, in view of that interjection, that I need say nothing further to recommend this Agreement to the country.

Mr. FARREN: I do not intend to inflict anything in the nature of a second speech on the Seanad, but in view of what the President has said, I think it is necessary to make a few remarks. The President has been unjust to the Senators on those benches. I initiated the discussion this morning, and I endeavoured to put our point of view forward without offence to anybody. I stated definitely that I had a considerable amount of genuine sympathy with the President and the other members of the Executive Council. The President has repeated here what was formerly said by Senator MacLoughlin and what I endeavoured this morning to contradict emphatically. I emphatically contradict it now, whether that statement comes from the President of the Executive Council, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, or Senator MacLoughlin.

The PRESIDENT: If I might intervene, I would like to mention that I did not say it. I was simply speaking, and 32/- a week was mentioned. Then I asked if that was the matter in dispute.

Mr. FARREN: The President declared that that was the position. I want to state that our criticisms in regard to this matter have not been influenced by what has happened as to [227] the Shannon scheme or in relation to any other industrial dispute in this country. I state that emphatically.

While we are considering this matter, even though we may be only labour men, ordinary workmen, we are entitled to make up our minds on questions of high political importance that affect the destinies of our country without being abused and told we are looking at the thing through strike glasses. That statement is unjust and undignified, coming from the President of the Executive Council. Senator O'Farrell has endeavoured to put our point of view forward. I endeavoured to do so in my own way. I rose to speak this morning in fear and trembling, afraid of the tornado of abuse that I knew was bound to come on my unfortunate head for attempting to intervene in this matter

If I may, I would like to revert to one or two remarks made by Senator MacLoughlin. He was gibing at a Labour Minister in England being responsible for Feetham. We hold no brief for Mr. J.H. Thomas or any other English Labour Minister. As far as we are concerned, English Ministers, whether Labour, Tory or Liberal, have always proved themselves rotten in their dealings with this country.

As regards all this talk about unity, and all that we have heard about the good feeling and the goodwill that is going to be brought about, I want to say that Mr. Pollock, in the Northern Parliament last week, when this matter was under discussion, was quite honest and frank. There was no ambiguity in his statement. He said that when the Union Jack floats all over Ireland, then there will be union. That is his point of view. He is entitled to that opinion. There is no use in talking here about unity and everything like that. As far as we are concerned we have offered our criticisms on this matter as we believe we are entitled to. We have no motive other than honestly giving expression to our opinions, and we offer no apology for expressing our views.

Mr. JAMESON: Judging by the few remarks the President has made, he [228] has come more or less to the same conclusion as a good many of us who are sitting on those benches and who have not been saying anything. That conclusion is that the tone of the debate here has, to a considerable extent, taken a personal touch. I think it is a pity that those who spoke against the Bill should have turned it into a more or less personal matter against the Executive Council. Probably their opinions have been formed from other matters that have nothing whatever to do with the Bill before the House. It would have been better, I think, if in this debate we had kept ourselves purely and simply to the pros and cons of the Bill itself.

A good many Senators have been sitting here saying nothing. Possibly I would have been better off if I had remained in my seat; but I think it is hardly fair to let the debate end on the note that it seems to end on. I think the right note was struck by Senator O'Farrell in his last remarks. They were the sort of remarks which the Seanad expect from Senator O'Farrell. He is always sound in his judgement, and when he speaks we always listen to him with respect and pleasure. His concluding remarks had a good tone. They were remarks which, I hope, were listened to more than some of the utterances that were made during the debate. The Senator says that he hopes the Nationalist element in the North will face the future, and take their share with the other elements that exist in the North in helping forward the country in which they live. That is the right note, and I believe it is the proper spirit in which to take this whole Agreement.

What of the money involved—what of the £5,000,000? If we talk about whether £5,000,000 are going to make or mar the Free State, we are talking nonsense. As Senator Douglas and one other Senator said, we will be borrowing money before long to help on our factories and other great projects for the benefit of the Free State. It is not a debt that is going to kill us. What we want is a good spirit between the North and South, and also a good spirit with Britain.

We people who carry on business and [229] try to build up an export trade for the Free State know what it is to go both to the North and to Great Britain trying to sell our goods. We are faced with the statements of Englishmen who land in Ireland, and who see notices stuck up recommending a boycott of English goods. Those notices tell us to buy French goods and German goods, but to boycott British goods. I can tell you personally that our representatives have been handed those notices, and have been told that there was no sale in Great Britain for Irish goods. The sooner that comes to an end the better, and the sooner we people in Ireland realise that our customers are the people in the North and the British, the better for the Free State.

The Free State cannot exist without trade, and cannot, like a dog, live on its own tail. This Bill undoubtedly gives us, who are trying to push a trade all over, not only in Great Britain, but in the Colonies, an opportunity. We are met in the Colonies exactly with the same remark, that we are enemies of the British and of the British Empire. And what answer have we to give?

Now we have an answer. We have the declared statement in this Agreement that Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Free State are to work in amity together for the common good. And that, I believe, leaving everything else we have been talking about out of account, is the one great thing that our Government, the Executive Council, have done. If they had done nothing else, it would have been a wonderful achievement. It took men of great courage to do it. Anyone who has been listening to the debates of the last couple of weeks here and in the Dáil knows that.

The Executive Council knew well before they entered into that Agreement that they would have to face what they have been through during the last two or three weeks. They knew it well, but they knew that it was wiser and more patriotic to face that and let the abuse be levelled at them as individuals, than to let that one great opportunity go of making a peace between the North and South of Ireland, because that is [230] what has been done. I do hope, when it goes out what the Senate has done, that the little personalities that arose in the debates may be completely forgotten. I do hope that the Senate will endorse this Agreement which, in the opinion of the vast majority of the people of the Free State, will open the door for amity amongst the people and make for better conditions all round.

Mr. FORAN: I have been listening very patiently all day to the debate on this Bill, and up to now, up to the speech made by Senator Jameson, I have not heard one single advocate in favour of this Agreement giving any real argument in favour of it. I have not heard one single speaker, from the President down, doing it. I thought it would have been the duty of the President to come to this Seanad and explain the ramifications of and the advantages which he alleged in the other House are contained in this Bill. The President lashes out in a tirade at Senator O'Farrell for having the temerity to question the action of the Executive Council all along in these negotiations.

All the Senators who spoke here to-day finished up by saying that we have got to make the most of a bad job. And it is the considered opinion of the Labour Senators here that a very bad job has been made of these negotiations. I venture to say that if we took in a haphazard way a small number of men without any special qualifications whatever—let them be Cabinet Ministers, ordinary citizens, and so on—and sent them to London, they could not have made a worse bargain than has been made by our present Cabinet. Why do I say that?

The Cathaoirleach will agree that when men like Lord Carson and Lord Birkenhead publicly state that the financial clause in the Treaty was so much eye-wash they knew what they were talking about. Our Executive Council comes back here to this and to the other House and tells us that in accepting this Agreement we have to pay five million pounds for this eye-wash—five million pounds that will be more like fifteen millions. That is [231] what it amounts to. You have had it on the authority of the two greatest fighters for Northern Ireland, Lord Carson and Lord Birkenhead, that it is eye-wash, and in return for that the sum of five millions, or what in reality will be fifteen millions, will have to be paid out of the empty Free State Treasury. That is a lovely bargain. That is a gift from Santa Claus.

Senator Jameson gets up here and says: “What is five millions—nothing at all.” Now, we have been discussing a scheme here which every one of us hopes is going to benefit industry and trade and bring about a real spirit of prosperity in this country, and we are told that the country could not afford more than thirty-two shillings a week for the labourers—we are told that the country cannot afford to have this scheme carried through unless the people who are going to develop that scheme are to work under coolie conditions for a starvation wage. Senator Jameson voted for those conditions of wages, for he and the people he represents here are going to get the bulk of these fifteen millions which this will ultimately amount to. He talks of this being a very good bargain. We on these Benches say it is a very bad bargain, and I will prove it.

Mr. Thomas has been mentioned as being the arch-villain in this whole matter of the Boundary Commission. Mr. J.H. Thomas was once Colonial Minister. He was Colonial Minister in the late Labour Government in England, and we are told that it was he put up Judge Feetham and we allowed him to appoint a second representative. We appointed, or at least the Executive Council appointed, a representative. They did not come to this House or to the Dáil to ask for a suggestion as to who should be appointed at that time, and I venture to say that had the Executive Council come here the representative they appointed would not have been acceptable to this or to the other House. They ask for an alternative now when everything is lost, when all has gone, when the country is in a quagmire. It is then we are asked for an alternative, when the harm is done.

[232] Then when we come here and question this thing, as we have a perfect right to do—and we make no apology to the President or to the Executive Council for our criticism—we are charged with insincerity. We say our criticism is honest and sincere criticism, and we are prepared to administer it whether the present Executive Council is there or not. In our opinion, when our representative on the Boundary Commission resigned, that was the time when the situation could have been saved, if the Executive Council had not hung on like limpets.

What is responsible for all the conditions of panic and all the other things created by this scare? The “Morning Post.” Nobody in this country, from the President down, has seen the findings of the Boundary Commission. Not one. The “Morning Post” published the forecast. The British Prime Minister says that no person outside himself has ever seen the actual findings of the Boundary Commission. Notwithstanding that, our mighty men of the Executive Council flee across to London. They were so excited that they made no previous arrangements and they called to Downing Street. They had to go down to Chequers to see the Prime Minister. That is another example of how the Free State negotiations were carried on.

We have here to-day three representatives from the North speaking on this question. Two of them say that it is a bad bargain, but that we had better make the most of it. Senator Toal has the courage of his convictions, and I venture to say is more correctly representative of the people in the North of Ireland than the other two are. He made a heartfelt appeal to the Senate and I am sure everybody recognises the ring of sincerity in that appeal when he spoke of the sufferings and the prospective sufferings that are going to be imposed on our people in the North of Ireland. Now, if we were to contrast the condition of our people in the North, our friends who are now thrown over to the wolves, with the position of the people who are known as Southern Unionists, what do we [233] find? Safeguards were secured for the Southern Unionists all the way through. They are secured under this Agreement. Our courts made certain awards. The Executive Council reviewed them and allowed what they consider fair and just in each case, but in order to placate the Southern Unionists the awards of the judges and of the Executive Council are discredited as not allowing enough, and a further ten per cent. is added. Contrast that with the people Senator Toal spoke about this morning who have no rights at all, on whose behalf no voice was raised, as far as we know. But the interests of these other people have been discussed. You, sir, on one very memorable occasion in this House ruled a certain motion out of order, a divorce motion, on constitutional grounds. It is a pity that you are not in a position to rule this motion out of order, for this permanently divorces not individuals but tens of thousands of people who want to be citizens of this State. If that could have been done we might have saved a great deal of turmoil and trouble.

CATHAOIRLEACH: Why did you not suggest that at an earlier stage?

Mr. FORAN: I depended on your astuteness in the matter, but there it is. By our own voluntary action we are permanently divorcing tens of thousands of people from us who want to be here, and who should be here by every law, human and natural. These are the reasons why we criticise the Executive. We believe that we can justify these criticisms at all times, and we make no apology for putting them forward.

EARL of MAYO: There has been a suggestion in this debate which makes me, at all events, feel that I am some miserable creature, not worth anything at all because I am Irish—the suggestion that there is no trade in the country, that we are in debt, that we are likely to be more in debt, and that things are looking dreadful.

Senator Jameson referred to the difficulty we have in selling our produce. I have been travelling backwards and [234] forwards between this country and England rather often lately. I met a man at Euston Station the other day who said, “This is the first Christmas since the war that we have been able to get our big traffic through to all the big cities in England, including London.” He said one firm, Sainsburys, who have depóts all over London and in every big town, derive every bit of their produce, good, bad and indifferent, from this country. I think I have answered that suggestion. Senator Foran said that the country was in a quagmire. I deny that altogether. The country is not in a quagmire. I have travelled over with the largest cattle buyers from the other side and they told me that the market is cleared every time in Dublin, and that the only complaint they have is that the finished beasts—and it is an agricultural country I am talking about—are as dear as ever they were, but that they have got to buy them.

I do not like to hear this country run down by anybody. As I have often said, we have been through a war, a rebellion, and a civil war, and it is quite extraordinary how the country has recovered. No country can go through these terrible things without suffering. What did the President say just now? He said that there were two indications, one was that the Loan had gone up above the issue price, and the other was that the Bonds that bear 5 per cent. interest are above the issue price. That is the greatest barometer that you can have of any country's credit. There is plenty of money in the banks. You may say that there ought not to be so much, that it should be taken out and spent. We have only got over our troubles a few years. It will take years to settle down. I do not believe that Ministers—I do not care what Ministers or what Party is in—can settle everything pat in a few years, or between Saturday and Monday. I repudiate that altogether. I dislike hearing people say that this country is a poor country and that we are not recovering. We are recovering.

Question put.

[235][236] The Seanad divided: Tá, 35; Níl, 7.

Thomas Westropp Bennett.

John Bagwell.

Henry L. Barniville.

William Barrington.

Sir Edward Bellingham, Bart.

Sir Edward Coey Bigger.

Mrs. Eileen Costello.

John C. Counihan.

Dowager Countess of Desart.

James Green Douglas.

J.C. Dowdall.

Sir Nugent Talbot Everard, Bart.

Michael Fanning.

Oliver St. John Gogarty.

James Perry Goodbody.

Mrs. Alice Stopford Green.

Sir Henry Greer.

Sir John Purser Griffith.

Henry Seymour Guinness.

Benjamin Haughton.

Arthur Jackson.

Rt. Hon. Andrew Jameson.

Sir John Keane, Bart.

Patrick Williams Kenny.

Thomas Lenihan.

Francis MacGuinness.

James MacKean.

John MacLoughlin.

Gen. the Rt. Hon. Sir Bryan Mahon.

James Moran.

Joseph O'Connor.

Stephen O'Mara.

Bernard O'Rourke.

James J. Parkinson.

William Butler Yeats.

Níl

Michael Duffy.

Thos. Farren.

Thos. Foran.

Col. Maurice Moore.

John Thomas O'Farrell.

Mrs. Jane Wyse Power.

Thomas Toal.

Motion declared carried.

Dr. GOGARTY: I move:—

That it is hereby declared that the Bill entitled the Treaty (Confirmation of Amending Agreement) Bill, 1925, which has this day been passed by the House, is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace and safety, and that accordingly the provisions of Article XLVII. of the Constitution of Saorstát Eireann shall not apply to that Bill.

The reason for that arises from an aspect of the Bill that has not been urged in the very many speeches that we have heard for and against the Bill. When the Treaty was obtained two of the most important Articles of the Treaty were suspended—that is to say, the Article which dealt with territory and the Article which dealt with money. They were suspended for four years, and were subject to any vicissitudes that the struggling State might undergo. It is high time that this Treaty, which has now for the first time given us the full measure of our liberty, should be put into effect without any more delay being caused by any disaffected people or any of those people who are more or less warned off, trying by frivolous methods to put off the day when we should get on with the work.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I should like to ask your ruling, A Chathaoirligh, as to whether it is possible or proper to accept a motion setting aside an Article of the Constitution without previous notice?

CATHAOIRLEACH: It is not doing that. The motion is under the Constitution itself. The Constitution provides that a motion of this kind may be made by any Senator. The Senator is obeying the Constitution. No constitutional question arises at all, because the Constitution expressly provides that if a motion is carried to the effect of the motion that Senator Gogarty has moved, then the Bill comes into direct operation.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Would you kindly refer to the Article of the Constitution?

CATHAOIRLEACH: It is Article XLVII. It is quite clear. I have a distinct recollection of it. You see Article XLVII. makes certain provisions for what is to happen, and then it winds up:—

These provisions shall not apply to Money Bills or to such Bills as shall be declared by both Houses to be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety.

[237] Therefore any Senator moving this motion is not upsetting the Constitution. He is acting upon it, taking advantage of it.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Is it not necessary to give notice? It is a very important motion, you will agree.

CATHAOIRLEACH: It is, but I think the intention was that it should be moved at the same time the Bill is being moved.

Mr. O'FARRELL: It is not one of the items in Standing Orders that can be moved without three days' notice. I think this is one of the matters that cannot be moved without previous notice.

CATHAOIRLEACH: Well, Senator, in view of the fact that we have suspended Standing Orders for the purpose of putting this through all its stages——

Mr. O'FARRELL: The Seanad can trample on its own Standing Orders if it wants to. We only suspended the Standing Orders for one purpose, and I ask that some sense of dignity or semblance of responsibility should be left in respect of our Standing Orders. This motion prevents a referendum on the Bill. One can fancy that there might be quite sufficient people in this or the other House who want a referendum and this motion will cut them out. That shows the great importance of the motion. For that reason I do not think that it should be taken without previous notice being given.

CATHAOIRLEACH: I think, if my recollection is right, that on a previous occasion a motion of this kind was passed by the Seanad without any notice.

Mr. O'FARRELL: That was because nobody objected to it. Otherwise I contend that you should rule that notice must be given.

CATHAOIRLEACH: That is a different question from your first contention, that this was contrary to the Constitution. I hope I have answered that. The other point is a more doubtful one and I think if you press the [238] matter that I would be bound to rule that unless the Standing Orders are suspended the motion cannot be moved now.

Dr. GOGARTY: I move the suspension of the Standing Orders to enable this motion to be considered.

Mr. MacLOUGHLIN: I beg to second that.

Colonel MOORE: I must strongly oppose the motion inasmuch as this is perhaps one of the most important motions that could be brought forward. It is laid down in the Constitution that under certain circumstances an appeal to the people can be made. There is a clause unquestionably which makes certain exceptions in certain cases, but it seems to me quite clear that that exception ought not be made unless for very strong reasons and under very exceptional circumstances. It suggests that this action should only be taken when some great national matter might be in grave danger. For instance, if there was an invasion or rebellion or something of that sort, that should be put down at once, it would be necessary to pass some measure immediately, but no such thing arises now. No such thing will happen in the next two days. We can assemble here in a few days' time and go into this question, but to say that we must pass it now seems most unreasonable.

I must strongly oppose the suspension of the Standing Orders for the purpose of rushing through a motion that prevents the people from giving an opinion on the subject of the Treaty and the Constitution. This Bill is a revolution, an actual revolution. It changes the whole position of this country in regard to the Treaty, and it is of the greatest importance that it should not be rushed in this way. I appeal to Senators to have a little sense of discretion and not to rush pell-mell into this subject and prevent people from being heard. It is possible this may be agreed to the next day, when Senators have an opportunity of considering the matter, but I think this motion should not be passed in this way to-day.

Question put:

[239][240] The Seanad divided: Tá, 31; Níl, 7.

T.W. Bennett.

J. Bagwell.

W. Barrington.

Sir Edward Bellingham.

Sir Edward Coey Bigger.

Mrs. Eileen Costello.

Countess of Desart.

J.G. Douglas.

J.C. Dowdall.

Sir Nugent Everard.

Michael Fanning.

Oliver St. John Gogarty.

James Perry Goodbody.

Mrs. Stopford Green.

Sir Joseph Greer.

Sir John Purser Griffith.

Henry Seymour Guinness.

Benjamin Haughton.

Arthur Jackson.

Rt. Hon. A. Jameson.

P.W. Kenny.

Francis MacGuinness.

James MacKean.

J. MacLoughlin.

Sir Bryan Mahon.

Earl of Mayo.

James Moran.

Stephen O'Mara.

Bernard O'Rourke.

James J. Parkinson.

William Butler Yeats.

Níl

Henry L. Barniville.

Michael Duffy.

Thomas Farren.

Thomas Foran.

Colonel Maurice Moore.

John Thomas O'Farrell.

Thomas Toal.

Motion declared carried.

Dr. GOGARTY: I beg to move: “It is hereby declared that the Bill entitled the Treaty (Confirmation of Amending Agreement) Bill, 1925, which has this day been passed by the Seanad, is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace and safety, and that accordingly the provisions of Article XLVII. of the Constitution of Saorstát Eireann shall not apply to that Bill.”

Mr. DOWDALL: I beg to second.

Mr. O'FARRELL: I beg to offer my brief and emphatic protest to this motion, the net result of which is to deprive the citizens of the State of something to which they are entitled under the Constitution. This is a motion which should only be passed in very extreme circumstances. The Senator who has moved it has not thought fit to give any reason why it should be adopted; neither has the seconder.

Dr. GOGARTY: I have no other reason than that I do not want ancient history to be repeated.

Mr. O'FARRELL: Evidently the Senators are more concerned with the convenience of members rushing to their dinners than that there should be parliamentary procedure upon a matter that concerns the whole of the people of this country and the people of the neighbouring State as well. If Senators take their duties so lightly, we cannot help it. But it does not go to make for the confidence of the community in the State.

Dr. GOGARTY: I am not taking my duties lightly. I am merely trying to prevent the endless reiteration of history, which does not give additional information to the House.

Mr. O'FARRELL: It was the duty of the Senator moving this motion to show the reasons why it should be looked upon as an emergency matter and why the community should be deprived of a referendum to which they are entitled under the Constitution. It is an extraordinary thing that the House does not think it is necessary to comply with that very important proviso. I would warn Senators who may be in the majority now that to-morrow they may be in the minority, and this is a very serious and dangerous precedent to make. It is a mean advantage they are taking and it is not justified. In the calamities which this country has suffered the rights of the minority have been trampled upon. Senators have got into a state of carelessness as to the rights of the minority, so that Senator Gogarty does not think it worth his while to justify his motion [241] by which three-quarters of a million of people are deprived of the referendum. We heard of a plot, a plot of which no details could be given. I suggest it is a mere frame-up. They can always discover a plot when it suits them. So could the British Chief Secretaries when they wanted to imprison persons. They could always discover a plot, only then it was a German plot, and our own Ministers have now borrowed their example.

The Minister for Justice went down to Dungarvan, and discovered a gigantic plot in connection with the Shannon scheme. Now we have a plot in connection with the Treaty. I think we should have some indication of the nature of that plot before we are asked to adopt a decision. Let me say I am not quoting this, as the President said, because I rejoice the Government made this mistake. I would probably rejoice in the mistake made by the Government if I belonged to a party that had visions of office and longed to replace them. I do not belong to such a party, but I, certainly greatly and deeply, deplore the mistakes of any Government that are made through good intentions or through bad statesmanship because they afflict my country and because I believe that it is bad for my own people. I tried to avoid personalities and I do not think I have greatly indulged in personalities as far as the Executive Council is concerned except that one cannot divorce the personnel of the Executive from something they did. I tried to deal with the various points of the Agreement, and the President simply answers all that I said [242] by saying that he never listened to such drivel in all his life. I would like the House to say whether this is the kind of statesmanship with which the President of the Executive Council is going to answer reasonable arguments. If that is the sort of statesmanship I do not see why we should bother our heads by discussing these things at all.

The only argument that counts is the torch and the land-mine. Unless you can create trouble and bring ruin upon the country you are not worth listening to. It is useless to talk. The President would describe it as drivel, a section of the House would laugh, and that is the end. If anybody looks at the records of this debate and sees the replies that are made, he will see that there has been no reply except vulgar abuse, such as was indulged in in the other House. Ministers dropped to the vernacular of the tap-room; it is time, in the interests and dignity of the State, that they should raise themselves a little above that and not be so sensitive to genuine ordinary parliamentary criticism. If they do that in future there will be better prospects of doing our business in a statesmanlike parliamentary way of which we need not be ashamed before any country in Europe.

Motion put and declared carried.

CATHAOIRLEACH: With regard to the business of the House, I think it is the wish of the House that we shall not go on with the Agenda now but adjourn till to-morrow. That seems to be the general wish.

The Seanad adjourned at 7 p.m. until 3 p.m., Thursday, 17th December, 1925.