Dáil Éireann - Volume 7 - 20 June, 1924

THE BOUNDARY QUESTION. - DEBATE RESUMED.

Motion by Mr. Milroy; amendment by Mr. Johnson. Debate resumed on the amendment.

Professor MAGENNIS: Sir, we are all conscious that when the President spoke the interest in this question died. That does not necessarily suggest that the interest was killed, but that the expectations with which we all looked to the President's utterance were satisfied. There is, therefore, to that exent, no justification for my prolonging the debate. On the other hand, the problem which Deputy Johnson raised for the second time in his amendment, and the attitude developed towards the Boundary Question by Deputy Milroy, do constitute items of sufficient importance to [2820] make it worth while to prolong the consideration of the question. Deputy Milroy was careful to disclaim any intention on his part to cast blame upon the present Executive Council, either for the delay or for whatever consequences have arisen that might be attributed to delay. That is, he professedly declared, that while his motion expressed dissatisfaction with what had occurred in connection with the Boundary, it was not to be taken as a vote of censure. Deputy Johnson's amendment repeats most of the language of Deputy Milroy's original motion, but the first sentence which is common to both, is interpreted differently by the two Deputies, unquestionably. Deputy Johnson lays the blame explicitly and avowedly upon the present Executive Ministry, and announces that his purpose is to have a vote of no confidence in so far as regards the handling of the Boundary problem. Now, Deputy Johnson's discussion of the matter exhibits the usual vigour and the devotion to detail that characterises all his utterances in this House, and I feel that to follow him, as, of necessity, I must, if my purpose be to refute the position that he takes up ——

Mr. CORISH: May I draw your attention to the fact that there is no House?

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: There is.

Mr. CORISH: One Deputy has just come in.

Professor MAGENNIS: Deputy Johnson asked the Dáil to listen with some patience and care to what he had to say, and I not only listened with care, but with the patience that is not so much patience as profound interest, and have studied in the Official Report his speech at a later date. Now, there are more than two theses in his speech. Broadly speaking, he holds that the contribution of the Attorney-General to the debate on the Railways Bill on May 28th was an extraordinary pronouncement. These are his words:— “And that it constitutes a confession of a lapse of duty on the part of the Executive Council, whose Attorney-General made the confession.” He holds also that the Provisional Government made an agreement with respect [2821] to postponement of powers in connection with the National Council, that it acted ultra vires in doing so, and that the Provisional Government had no power to do what he declares the Provisional Government did. He also maintained that the function which was ascribed to the Council of Ireland in the Act of 1920, was handed over after the Treaty. These are mainly the points which I propose to traverse. He says: “What I have to say in the main is censure upon the Executive Council, because the Executive Council appears from the evidence tendered in this House by the late Attorney-General, to have failed to see that Article 12 of the Treaty is made obligatory.” Now, that is a very serious indictment of the Executive Council. If there be anything in the indictment, however, the consideration of dates will show that the criminal in the matter is the late Provisional Government, and not the present Executive. It is a question of dates. This alleged confession of the Attorney-General is in column 1498 of the Official Report of the 28th May, 1924. He says:—“The operations of the Council of Ireland provisions were by agreement postponed for a period of five years.... It was given effect to in a statute I will mention in a moment.” He mentions the statute. It is an Act called the Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act. The date of that Act and the date of the Irish Free State Constitution Act are identical—5th December, 1922. Consequently, what was done in the Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act was done by the Provisional Government. Deputy Johnson's case is that the Irish Provisional Government of the Free State could not do anything which he alleges to have been done on the confession of the Attorney-General. I read from Deputy Johnson once more: “I deny that the Provisional Government had any right, power or authority to enter into any agreement to vary the Provisions of the Treaty.” Of course, that is common case with us all. The Provisional Government had no right, power or authority to enter into any agreement to vary the provisions of the Treaty. He argues here very elaborately, as he argued on [2822] a former occasion in connection with the Railways Bill, that for the Provisional Government to operate, the members of that Government should have been constituted Privy Councillors of Southern Ireland, and have taken the Oath.

Mr. JOHNSON: I think the Deputy is rather mistaken. The powers were given to the Parliament of Southern Ireland. If the Provisional Government claims to have been the Parliament of Southern Ireland, then these qualifications were required. My contention is that the Provisional Government were not the Parliament of Southern Ireland.

Professor MAGENNIS: All right. I was about to read that statement of Deputy Johnson. Deputy Johnson presents it in a more accurate form as a dilemma, that either they were the Executive of Southern Ireland, or they were not. If they were not the Executive of Southern Ireland, then they could not operate as if they were. On the other hand, if they purported to be the Executive Government of Southern Ireland they did not satisfy all the conditions of the Act of 1920, and therefore they were acting irregularly. I think that is a fair paraphrase of the argument.

Mr. JOHNSON: All I want to say is that the Provisional Government were given certain definite powers. It was not an Executive answerable to Parliament as defined in the Government of Ireland Act.

Professor MAGENNIS: Perhaps I had better read it instead of paraphrasing it, although I claim that on consideration Deputy Johnson will see that I do him no injustice in my paraphrase. “I stated also that the Provisional Government had no authority to enter into such an agreement for the variation of the Treaty. The only authority that could be claimed for it lies in the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, which says that the Executives of the two Parliaments under that Act could come to an agreement for postponing the transfer of powers. Now, it is for the members of the Provisional Government who may be present, to say whether they claimed that the Provisional Government [2823] was, in fact, the Parliament of Southern Ireland under the 1920 Act, and had they conformed or not to the requirements of the Ministry to be set up under that 1920 Act. If they did not so conform, they were not empowered to act by agreement with the Northern Government.” These are the exact words of Deputy Johnson. Either the Provisional Government was or was not the Executive Government of Southern Ireland under the Act of 1920. He points out that it could not so operate because it did not conform to the conditions of one section, and therefore it had not the power. That is the Deputy's case. He has argued wholly in forgetfulness of a very important fact. Article 17 of the Treaty declares that for the purposes of the transition period following the Treaty, an Executive Government shall be set up.

Mr. JOHNSON: For administration.

Professor MAGENNIS: Yes, for administration. Article 18, which Deputy Johnson has completely forgotten and therefore ignores the consequences of, goes on to announce that the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty are to be ratified in Great Britain and Ireland. They were so ratified by the Irish Free State Agreement Act, and Deputy Johnson seems at any rate to have left that out of his calculations when he says in column 2379: “The only authority that could be claimed for it lies in the Government of Ireland Act, of 1920.” It was under the provisions of Article 17 of the Treaty, together with the Irish Free State Agreement Act, that it became a Government, and the Deputy will remember, perhaps, that in the judgment in the English Courts with regard to the Irish deportees, it was declared there judicially that the Irish Free State had come into being in April 1922, and the Acts about which we are talking are December, 1922, several months later. I quoted the other day, and I quote again, the Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act, and strange to say, Deputy Johnson, who has been so very accurate in the framing of his amendment, did not make a speech on his amendment. The words [2824] there are “Council of Ireland” as regards Northern Ireland. Now, these two concurrent Acts, both dated 5th December, 1922, both emanating from the same Legislature deal, the one with the Irish Free State Constitution and the other with “such provisions as are consequential on or incidental to the establishment of the Irish Free State.” And the express declaration of Section 1 of the Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act, is that:—

“Subject to the provisions of the First Schedule of this Act the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, shall cease to apply to any part of Ireland other than Northern Ireland.”

This Irish Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act deals with the modification of the Act of 1920, as for what is called for convenience Northern Ireland, in consequence of the Irish Free State Agreement Act and the Irish Free State Constitution Act.

Mr. JOHNSON: Is the Deputy arguing that the authority of the Saorstát is derived from the British Parliament?

Professor MAGENNIS: I am not, sir, arguing anything of the kind. I propose to show that the Deputy has been misled by passages which he himself quoted from two members of the Northern Government—Mr. Moles and Sir James Craig, the Premier. I am not at all arguing that any authority whatsoever in Ireland is derived from a British Act of Parliament; and no one knows better than Deputy Johnson that I am not likely to take up that attitude, even for the purpose of victory in a small argument.

Mr. JOHNSON: I am afraid I cannot follow you otherwise.

Professor MAGENNIS: I was trying to make myself clear. The difficulty is due to the intricacies of the question itself, and I am trying to follow Deputy Johnson. There are here two Acts of the date 5th December, 1922. One of them is really a ratification of the Irish Constitution. I will read the important clause—Clause 5:—

This Act may be cited as the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922 (Section 2), and shall be deemed to be the Act of Parliament for the ratification [2825] of the said Articles of Agreement as from the passing whereof the month mentioned in Article Eleven of the said Articles is to run.

This other Act—the Irish Free State Constitution (Consequential Provisions) Act sets out the modifications necessary in the Act of 1920, with regard to Northern Ireland; and everything in the First Schedule, which is the operative part of the Act, refers exclusively to Northern Ireland. The actual heading of the First Schedule is “Modification of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920,” etc. And then it deals with the “Governor of Northern Ireland,” “Privy Council and Great Seal of Northern Ireland.” “Council of Ireland,” and “Financial Provisions.”

Mr. JOHNSON: Those were not referred to in the Treaty, but the other part, the Council of Ireland, was referred to in the Treaty so far as concerns Northern Ireland.

Professor MAGENNIS: I am coming to that. I am dealing with the Deputy's speech as it goes on in its own sequence, but I want to clear the ground for the moment. The Council of Ireland is mentioned in the Irish Free State Constitution (Consequential Provisions) Act, Section 3. Section 3 of the First Schedule says:—

“The Constitution of the Council of Ireland, shall, if identical Acts for the purpose are passed by the Parliament of the Irish Free State, and the Parliament of Northern Ireland, be altered in accordance with those Acts.

“The appointed day for the transfer in relation to Northern Ireland of the powers, which by the principal Act, are made powers of the Council of Ireland, shall be such day as may hereafter be fixed by Order in Council not being earlier than the day on which any such identical Acts as aforesaid come into operation or the expiration of the period of five years from the passing of this Act, whichever may first happen.”

Now, that is a reference to the Council of Ireland and its appointed day and its Constitution. There are two things to be remembered in this connection—the Constitution of the Council [2826] of Ireland and the powers to be transferred to it. The Constitution of the Council of Ireland is set out in the Act of 1920, Section 2:—

“With a view to the eventual establishment of a Parliament for the whole of Ireland, and to bringing about harmonious action between the Parliaments and Governments of Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland, and to the promotion of mutual intercourse and uniformity in relation to matters affecting the whole of Ireland, and to providing for the administration of services which the two Parliaments mutually agree should be administered uniformly throughout the whole of Ireland, or which by virtue of this Act are to be so administered, there shall be constituted, as soon as may be after the appointed day a Council to be called the Council of Ireland.

“Subject, as hereinafter provided, the Council of Ireland shall consist of a person nominated by the LordLieutenant acting in accordance with instructions from his Majesty, who shall be President, and forty other persons, of whom seven shall be members of the Senate of Southern Ireland, thirteen shall be members of the House of Commons of Southern Ireland, and seven shall be members of the Senate of Northern Ireland, and thirteen shall be members of the House of Commons of Northern Ireland.”

That is the Constitution of the Council of Ireland. That is how it is set up, and that is the composition of it as a Council or Board. Then, under the heading “Legislative Powers.” Section 7, it is given powers with regard to private Bill legislation. And under the heading “Executive Authority,” by Section 10, its powers over railways, fisheries and contagious diseases of animals, for example, are given. But these are not transferred. There never was “An Appointed Day,” and they were never transferred. That is one of the mistakes I intend to read from Deputy Johnson's speech.

Mr. JOHNSON: No mistakes.

Professor MAGENNIS: Now, I will return to the point at which I was interrupted. [2827] Deputy Johnson says that the only authority that could be claimed for it lies in the Government of Ireland Act of 1920. The Provisional Government was not the Executive of Southern Ireland.

Mr. JOHNSON: I think the Deputy is misreading. It is quite subject, I see, to that interpretation—that in the sentence: “The only authority that could be claimed for it,” the word “it” referred to the Provisional Government. What is obvious to me, but what is not perhaps obvious to everybody, is that the “it” refers to authority in reference to the agreement.

Professor MAGENNIS: Do you mean the agreement to postpone?

Mr. JOHNSON: Yes, to that agreement.

Professor MAGENNIS: Then I misread it. In that case, as we are in agreement, I need not argue that further. Now, the whole thing at issue between Deputy Johnson and me is: What was the reason for this Council existing? Whether correctly or not, the authors of the 1920 Act claimed that it was intended to be an instrument of ultimate unification through the joint exercise of powers over fisheries, railways and such other matters as from time to time might be delegated to it by the votes of both Houses of the two Parliaments. It is said under Section 4 that that was ultimately to bring about Irish union, and on the day of Irish union there was to be a Parliament of all Ireland. Deputy Johnson says “Hear, hear,” in approval of that, and I think that is what his misled him to some extent, because he says here, referring to Article 12: “Many of us knew that there was contained in that provision an instrument would would ensure the essential unity of this country at some future time, that would ensure immediately the essential unity of the country and the predominance of unified Government over the whole country in respect of certain functions.” Now, the fallacy that is here, and in the passages quoted from Captain Craig and Mr. Moles is this: The provisions that are made for the Constitution of the Council of Ireland [2828] in the Act of 1920, contemplated two subordinate Parliaments, two provincial Parliaments with concurrent power of legislation remaining in the Supreme Parliament at Westminster. Once the Treaty was passed, and more particularly when the Irish Free State Agreement Act was passed, the Irish Free State came into being, and under Section 1 of the Treaty Ireland had Dominion status. The Parliament of Ireland was no longer a Subordinate Provincial Parliament, but a Sovereign Legislature. It is interesting to note, once again, that for the first month following the 5th December, 1922, Ireland and the Free State was historically and geographically the same, that is to say, the term Ireland was declared to be identical with the Free State, and the Free State was Ireland, but the powers of exercising jurisdiction were in abeyance for that month. At the end of the month, when the Six County people exercised the option given them under Article 12 of the Treaty, it was no longer in abeyance, and the jurisdiction was withdrawn. That is an important fact to remember. The arrangements which were made to allow of a delegation of authority for certain matters from two subordinate provincial Parliaments could not work. In the nature of things, it was impossible that they could work as between a subordinate provincial legislature of Great Britain in the province of the Six Counties and a Parliament that was sovereign. Now, that was not lost sight of by those who framed the Treaty, although by those who read the Treaty it has since been forgotten. Article 12 of the Treaty reads: “If before the expiration of the said month an address is presented to his Majesty by both Houses of the Parliament of Northern Ireland to that effect, the powers of the Parliament and Government of the Irish Free State shall no longer extend to Northern Ireland.”

By implication that is a declaration that it did extend, but after the exercise of its option this power was no longer extended. The provisions of the Government of Ireland Act, so far as they related to Northern Ireland, continued to be “of full force and [2829] effect.” That is the provision in the Government of Ireland Act. The provisions of the Act were to remain in full force and effect, and not as Deputy Johnson says in his speech, the powers of the Council of Ireland. The Article reads on: “The provisions of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920 (including those relating to the Council of Ireland) shall so far as they relate to Northern Ireland continue to be of full force and effect, and this instrument shall have effect subject to the necessary modifications.”

Article 12 expressly declares that there are necessary modifications, and the Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act makes the necessary modifications, but because Mr. Ormsby Gore, in November, in the debate upon that as a Bill, used the unhappy language of “variation of the Treaty,” there are some people in Ireland who ask us to believe that the Provisional Government assented to something being done in the Westminster legislature which varied the Treaty. It did not vary the Treaty, but it adjusted, as was necessary, the provision for the Council of Ireland to meet the new circumstances that had arisen, to wit, that instead of being a Council constituted by members elected by two subordinate Parliaments, it was now to be a Council, if ever it was brought into being, which would be constituted by the co-operation of a Sovereign Parliament and a subordinate Parliament. That is why the word “variation” of the Treaty is used.

Mr. JOHNSON: And would continue to have full force and effect.

Professor MAGENNIS: The provisions were to continue to be of full force and effect, but what is not being noticed is this: that in the Government of Ireland Act of 1920, where the constitution of the Council of Ireland is provided for, Sub-section 3 declares:— “The constitution of the Council of Ireland may from time to time be varied by identical Acts passed by the Parliament of Southern Ireland and the Parliament of Northern Ireland, and the Acts may provide for all or any of the members of the Council of Ireland [2830] being elected by Parliamentary electors.”

So that even in the Act of 1920, before the Treaty, by no prevision or divination, arrangements were made to vary the mode of composing or of selecting the membership of the Council of Ireland, namely, by identical legislation. The Article of the Treaty which decrees the power of the Supreme Parliament in Westminster with regard to its subordinate Parliament in NorthEast Ulster, is followed up by a declaration under Article 13 of the Treaty, which says: “For the purpose of the last foregoing article the powers of the Parliament of Southern Ireland under the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, to elect members of the Council of Ireland shall, after the Parliament of the Irish Free State is constituted, be exercised by that Parliament.”

Now, that is an interesting point on which I stop to dwell for a moment. It seems as if, notwithstanding that the Irish Free State is to be a co-equal member of the Commonwealth of free Nations, that here is power being given to it which requires confirmation or ratification in Westminster, but really the fact is that you have identical legislation. We adopted the Treaty and the Constitution, and the British Parliament, also, in the Free State Constitution Act, ratified the Treaty and the Constitution. Now, the whole point, therefore, in this argument of Deputy Johnson disappears, because he fancies that the powers of the Council of Ireland were handed over. They were not. There has been no “appointed day”; there never was an “appointed day.” As he himself mentioned there is power given under a later section of the Act of 1920 to postpone the “appointed day.” That being so, it was postponed.

Mr. JOHNSON: By whom?

Professor MAGENNIS: It was postponed as regards the Northern Ireland Parliament by the British Government, that is by the Supreme Parliament.

Mr. JOHNSON: It is only to be done under the 1920 Act by agreement between the two Governments.

[2831] Professor MAGENNIS: Exactly. There is the whole fallacy. I may tell Deputy Johnson a very ancient story of a Greek logician. A Professor of Law accepted a distinguished pupil to learn from him all he knew of law, on condition that when the pupil won his first case he was to pay an enormous fee. The pupil absorbed all that the Professor knew, but, instead of going into the courts to practise, he set up a rival school of law and took away pupils from his master. The master then, in a foolish moment, sued him on the contract for the fee, and the pupil's reply illustrates exactly what is in Deputy Johnson's mind, and what was in Captain Craig's mind. He said: “You are bound to lose in any case, because if you take me into court, then by the decision of the court, if you win, I have lost my first case, and under the contract, as I have lost my first case, I pay you nothing. On the other hand, if I win, then by the decision of the court, you have lost.” That is a very ancient illustration of a fallacy which turns up in modern times: that is to think of the Act of 1920 operating as in the Act as set out, and to think of its operating for somewhat similar services under specifically new conditions not contemplated in the Act of 1920. They cannot have it both ways. Arrangements for the Council of Ireland that would suit the two subordinate Parliaments, could not possibly be made without adjustment to suit a Sovereign Parliament. That is the whole situation. We now come to the section of the Act of 1920, in which the supremacy of the West-minister Parliament, in point of legislation over Ireland, is declared It is practically the last section of the Act— Section 75.

Mr. JOHNSON: We claim the Treaty renounced it.

Professor MAGENNIS: The section is: “Notwithstanding the establishment of the Parliaments of Northern and Southern Ireland or anything contained in this Act,” this may answer Deputy Johnson when he says provision is in the Act—“the supreme authority of the Parliament of the United Kingdom shall remain unaffected and undiminished over all persons, matters, [2832] and things in Ireland, and every part thereof.” And in an earlier section it is expressly laid down that the legislative authority of the subordinate Parliaments is exclusively with matters that lie within their domain, and there are reserved services.

Now, I think I have laboured that long enough. There is no confession on the part of the Attorney - General that the present Executive Council were remiss in any of these matters. There is, as one would expect, a legally correct statement by the Attorney-General that we had nothing to do with that strictly speaking. “The Provisional Government,” he says, “gave nothing away. They could not ... it was their business, not ours.” Now, I come to another question: that is the contribution of Deputy Milroy. He has, as I have already said expressly renounced any desire, although he had but lately joined the national group, to indict the Executive Council in this matter. But he complains of delays, and he spoke of quibbles. The President has already, by giving a minute diary of the proceedings in regard to this matter, proved conclusively that though there were delays they were unavoidable, and in so far as they existed at all, were wholly beyond the control of the Executive Council. But I desire to associate myself, absolutely, with what Deputy Milroy has said in respect of the consequences of those delays. Sir James Craig boasted that they were “digging themselves in.” These are the exact words. Deputy Milroy said “every move of the game has been directed to our disadvantage. There are over 4,000 special constables transferred to North Fermanagh. Unless we revert to the situation in 1918 we shall be dealing with a new situation which has been deliberately contrived in the intervals of these delays.”

I will read from a letter written to the “The Times” (London), but refused publication by it, by Mr. C.J. O'Donnell, an ex-member of the Liberal Party. He is an Ulsterman, and speaks with intimate knowledge. He says:—

“For many years West Belfast was worthily represented by Mr. Joseph Devlin in the Imperial Parliament—a [2833] serious offence to Orange intolerance. By the inclusion of two Protestant Wards, Shankhill and Woodvale, in the constituency, Catholic representation has been effectively wiped out in Belfast. Although 34 per cent. of the total population of the Six Counties are Catholics, they are represented in the House of Commons at the present hour by only two out of seventeen members. The Catholics of Tyrone have decided to take no part in the Local Government Elections this month (May) and this decision has been held up as another example of Irish cussedness. There is a more natural explanation. They know it would be waste of time to go to the polls because the electoral areas have been so jerrymandered by the Belfast Government that success is hopeless. By segregating and combining districts, by twisting internal boundaries, it has made sure that in the County Council of Tyrone the present Nationalist majority of six will infallibly be changed into an Orange majority of fifteen. In Fermanagh the reduction is from a majority of three to a minority of sixteen. In 1920, before gerrymandering in the two counties of Tyrone and Fermanagh, in which there is a total Catholic majority of 23,009 in the joint population, the Local Government representation gave 84 seats to the Catholics and 65 to the Protestants.”

This writer, by the way, always says “Catholic” and “Protestant,” when he ought to speak in political terms of “Nationalist” and “Unionist” —or “Loyalist,” as such a person would describe himself.

“So gerrymandering was resorted to, with the exhilirating result that the figures were twisted right round. At the most the Catholics can now secure 63 seats to 85 for the Reformed Faiths, in spite of their large majority in voters. In all unions, six in number, their representatives are now in a minority, whilst since 1920 they had majorities in four. In Omagh 463 votes are needed to secure the election of a Catholic, whilst 228 Protestants suffice for a [2834] Protestant victory. In Protestant Lurgan there was a Catholic minority of six. Not one can now be elected. The Ulster Catholics are manifestly right in refusing to take any part in such a malevolent travesty of representative institutions. Can one wonder that Catholics in Southern Ireland have resolved to strain every nerve in order to rescue as many as possible of their co-religionists from a Government that, openly and without subterfuge, loads the dice so as to exclude its Catholic subjects from their legitimate influence in even municipal administration?”

Deputy Milroy and Deputy McCabe, who seconded this amendment, both stressed these points. It does not matter how the delay has come about, whether it was by malignant influence of the stars, or whether it was by some upheaval of the ocean. At any rate, the delay has scored against us, and very naturally we view with dismay further postponements of coming to deal seriously with the question. I was very glad to notice that both these Deputies observed, as one would expect them to do, the strictest decorum in regard to their references to the consultation on the part of the British Government with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. In that they showed a marked contrast with Lord Carson. If I may say, in passing, apropos of that, there is a very interesting comment in the “London Star,” in which the high standing of the South African Judge, Mr. Feetham, who has been selected by the British to act as Chairman of the Boundary Commission, was dealt with. In the “Star” the fact that he was one of a brilliant band of Oxford graduates whom Lord Milner had brought with him to South Africa, was mentioned. The brilliant success and high achievements of Mr. Feetham in South Africa were dwelt upon, and several of his colleagues in that band were mentioned. It struck me as especially interesting that one of them went unnamed. Mr. Lionel Curtis, who also achieved distinction in South Africa, who is a noted writer upon Commonwealth matters, the author of the “Problems of the Commonwealth,” [2835] and who is in the very high position of Adviser on Irish Affairs to the Colonial Government, was not mentioned. I think it is a fair deduction that it was he who contributed this interesting paragraph.

In that connection, it occurs to me to dot the i's and cross the t's of one remark in Deputy Milroy's excellent speech—I mean excellent as regards those parts with which I heartily agree. He says:—

“It” (that is the application of Article 12) “will have to be settled in accordance with the spirit of the Treaty, and with the spirit of those who signed the Treaty.”

Now, I regard that as the most important contribution of Deputy Milroy to this discussion.

“It will have to be settled in accordance with the spirit of the Treaty, and with the spirit of those who signed the Treaty, or it will never be settled rightly. We are told it simply means rearrangement of the line of the frontier, taking in a little here and there to make the boundary more symmetrical. It means nothing of the kind,” so Deputy Milroy insists.

We have almost forgotten in 1924 what was the spirit of the time when that Treaty was framed, and that language employed. 1918 is so far away that it might be just as well centuries removed, so much has the interval of years been filled with incidents, events, struggles and contests that have preoccupied our souls. The language of the Treaty was dictated by a spirit, then everywhere prevalent. That spirit was incarnate, more particularly in President Wilson than in any other statesman of the time. When the language of that Treaty was used, we were all not only intimately acquainted with the utterances of President Wilson, Mr. Lloyd George and the others who were engaged in settling Europe and bringing about what they claimed would be a lasting peace, but we knew these utterances off by heart. There were very few who did not know them. Even Macaulay's Schoolboy could be outdone in this matter. There were very few [2836] who did not know President Wilson's fourteen points, and most people knew President Wilson's four points. The thirteenth of the fourteen points was a declaration with regard to Poland, and everyone of us interpreted it to refer equally to Ireland, though with diplomatic delicacy, President Wilson was understood not to refer to the doings and the practices of the Governmental and Constitutional advocates of an Associated Power. Article 13 of the Fourteen Points declared that an independent Polish State should be erected to include the territories that were inhabited by exclusively Polish populations, and under specific covenants, their political, economic and territorial integrity was to be guaranteed. The League of Nations was declared to be a necessity for this lasting peace in Point 14, and it was to be an association of nations to give those mutual guarantees to States, both small and great—guarantees of political and economic independence, and territorial integrity.

Territorial integrity was the dominating demand with regard to nationalities whose autonomy and whose aspirations to statehood had long been suppressed by greater Powers. Those who framed the Treaty and those who subscribed to it on our behalf were animated by that spirit and contemplated no other meaning for those words in Article 12 of the Treaty, so that those of us who are now inclined to read it with the conceptions of today make a historical blunder. Anyone who confuses rectification of boundary with securing for the Irish Nation such a share of territorial integrity as is consistent with the agreement to provide certain safeguards for a minority of settlers and their decendants in the North-Eastern corner are thinking of something else than mere rectification of boundaries.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE resumed the chair.

Professor MAGENNIS: It is almost 4 o'clock or I should inflict upon the House some remarks regarding a matter which has passed from our memories. This whole conception of the rights of nations—whether small or great—to be free to determine their [2837] own laws and way of life, to set up for themselves institutions that would be expressive of the civilisations which they value—that was declared to be the purpose with which the great war was fought. Those who met at the Paris Conferences to re-settle the map of Europe declared that they were carrying out, as part of the public law of Europe, the principle of nationality. The incorporation of the principle of nationality in the public law of Europe was their professed design. It had been the tendency, as everyone knows —it had been preached as a doctrine by Massini, it had been the sub-conscious tendency in Europe in the 19th century—for nationalities to struggle to make political States that would be co-incident also with geographical boundaries. When that discussion was going on at the Peace Conference with regard to the determination of what peoples should be allowed plebiscites to determine their mode of government and the rest, I recalled the famous speech of a Dublin lawyer at the time of the formation of the Irish Volunteers. In a golden outburst of what some people might describe as rhetoric he said:

“The Almighty has stamped upon our island in indelible characters her charter as a nation. The God that made our land an island never meant that she should be a province and, by God, she never shall.”

We had all the claims for identification of political and geographical statehood, but Mr. Lloyd George, Earl Balfour and the rest took upon themselves the character in the American satire:

“I do believe in Freedom's cause,

As far away as Paris is.”

They determined to make not an enclave, as was done in Europe, but to set up a province with a provincial legislature and, in the expectation of eventual unity, to give it certain powers. The reason I referred incidentally to Mr. Lionel Curtis is because has name occurs to me in this connection. Deputy Johnson, in the passage I read from his speech in the beginning, spoke of an instrument of “final unification.” Those who advocate federal union between portions of a divided land in which there are racial [2838] differences believe profoundly in waiting for time to bring about a union of hearts through a consciousness of mutual interests. They look to solutions of problems such as confront us in dealing with our Northern neighbours for inter-provincial union, so that it is not important really as Deputy Johnson put it—though I do not at all suggest he had the same intention—it does not really matter how you draw the boundaries now, the boundaries are of very slight moment in comparison with setting up that machinery that shall be as little as possible machinery with friction and that shall bring about ultimate unification. That is not our conception. We still adhere to what we have never abandoned—the claim that Ireland shall one day be a unit State. We have undoubtedly no objection whatsoever, as our signatories to the Treaty indicated, to granting to a Province, a legislature, or local administration, or for that matter, to creating it, but that that Federal Government, instead of being brought about by slow degrees, should be brought about now with the defeat of our national aspirations—that I agree with Deputy Milroy is not to be tolerated.

Mr. McGOLDRICK: I move the adjournment of the debate until Wednesday.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: The President has a statement to make as to the business of the Dáil.

The PRESIDENT: I have not got roneo copies of the programme, but I am in a position to give it as I hope it will work out. The revised programme contains 31 Bills. Of these seven are in the Seanad, having passed through all stages in the Dáil. The Third Stage of the Local Government Bill has been postponed until October, and the Pilotage Orders (Confirmation) Bill, and possibly the State Harbours Bill will be treated as private business and introduced in the Seanad. Of the remaining 21 Bills, five have passed their Third Reading, and should occupy little further time. That leaves 16 Bills, of which seven have passed Second Reading, and eight have yet to be introduced. I query the last statement [2839] on the sheet before me, because I think nearly all the Bills have been introduced. We estimate that by sitting up to 11 o'clock on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, something like 40 hours can be given to Estimates by Friday, 11th July. By taking the First Stage of the Appropriation Bill on that date and the Second Stage on Tuesday, the 15th, we can finish out the programme with possibly two Bills that may not get through their final stages. We could get through those if some facilities were given regarding one of them—the Dairy Stock Breeding Scheme.

Mr. JOHNSON: Is that one of the Bills not yet introduced?

The PRESIDENT: It is not introduced yet. We would take the Fourth and Fifth Stages on the 16th July. There are two Bills which may be introduced, but I do not see much possible chance of getting time—the Industrial and Commercial Property Protection Bill and the School Attendance Bill.

I will now give the programme for next week.

Tuesday, June 24th—1. Damage to Property (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill, 2nd Stage; 2. Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Continuation Bill, 3rd Stage; 3. Criminal Justice (Administration) Bill, 3rd Stage; 4. Finance Bill, 4th, Stage; 5. Local Government, (Rates on Agric. Land) Bill, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Stages; 6. Criminal Justice (Evidence) Bill, 3rd Stage; 7. Unemployment Insurance (Extension) Bill, 4th and 5th Stages; 8. National Health Insurance Bill, 5th Stage; 9. Local Elections (Postponement) Amendment, 4th and 5th Stages.

Wednesday, June 25th—1. Telephone Capital Bill, 2nd Stage; 2. Fisheries (Election of Conservators) Postponement Bill, 2nd Stage; 3. Agricultural Produce (Eggs) Bill, 5th Stage; 4. Report [2840] on Temporary Accommodation of Oireachtas; 5. Estimates. 4 hours. Sit to 11 p.m.

Thursday, June 26th—1. Indemnity Bill, 3rd Stage; 2. Military Service Pensions Bill, 2nd Stage; 3. Trade (Loans Guarantee) Bill, 2nd Stage; 4. Land Bonds (Guarantee) Bill, 1st Stage; 5. Estimates. 2 hours. Sit to 11 p.m.

Friday, June 27th—1. Damage to Property (Compensation) Amendment Bill, 3rd Stage; 2. Finance Bill, 5th Stage; 3. Estimates. 3 hours.

There is no necessity to read out the arrangements for the following week. According to that, the date of rising will be altered to July 16th.

Mr. JOHNSON: I can only say this, that the Minister is inviting a strike, and I do not want to strike. I am prepared to carry on until September if necessary, if the Minister wants these Bills, but unless he is prepared to carry on much longer than the 16th July he will not get these Bills and the Estimates. I think the Minister is trying this machine too much. He must take into account not only the Dáil, but the Seanad. He may make up his mind for certain he is not going to get these Bills through. He ought to say which Bills are absolutely necessary in addition to the Estimates. He cannot do this work, and it is well that he should face the matter immediately.

Major COOPER: Can the President say whether amongst the eight Bills to be introduced is included the Control of Prices Bill, which he promised to introduce before Easter?

The PRESIDENT: It will not be under that title, but it will come under the Trade (Loans Guarantee) Bill on Thursday. The beneficial effects which were anticipated to flow from the other measure will be found in that.

The Dáil adjourned at 4.10 p.m. until Tuesday, June 24th.