Dáil Éireann - Volume 8 - 01 July, 1924
TREATY OF LAUSANNE. - MOTION TO ACQUIESCE IN ITS RATIFICATION.
MINISTER for EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (Mr. Desmond Fitzgerald) Desmond FitzGerald
MINISTER for EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (Mr. Desmond Fitzgerald): I beg to move:—
I think I had better give a little explanation and a little historical statement about this. The Treaty as it stands effects, or purports to effect, roughly three things. One is a clear definition of a state of peace with Turkey, between the ratifying parties on the one side and Turkey on the other. It makes certain conventions with regard to the protection of the Straits, and it has also an arrangement which permits of the submitting of contract cases, and other similar cases, to a body known as a mixed arbitral tribunal.
When the Saorstát came into formal legal existence, the position was that the condition of war which had been declared on November 5th, 1914, had not been formally declared at an end, owing to the non-ratification of the Treaty of Sevres. Further negotiations for a Treaty had already been begun at Lausanne. These negotiations had been suspended but were recommenced in February, 1923. During the later stages of the negotiations we were kept informed of their progress, but it will be observed we were not consulted as to the initiation of these negotiations, nor were we invited to be represented by an Irish plenipotentiary at Lausanne. When the Treaty became due for signature, we were not invited to be signatories. It will also be seen that when we came into existence, a state of technical war might be held to exist and that a Treaty of Peace was already being negotiated to establish a state of peace beyond question, and to settle various legal questions connected therewith.
The Irish Free State, therefore, cannot in any way be held responsible for the existing circumstances, and for that reason the Executive Council do not propose to ask the Dáil to recommend ratification, as by doing so the Dáil might appear to be accepting post factum responsibility. At the same time, it might be held that a state of war exists between the Irish Free State and the Turkish Republic. A Treaty of peace has been negotiated and signed, purporting to be made on behalf of all the nations of the community. The negotiation of that Treaty has been very protracted, extending over a period considerably more than a year. That Treaty cannot be constitutionally ratified without the acquiescence of the Irish Free State. To start negotiations now for a new Treaty might easily lead to considerable complications in the Near East. The main feature of the Treaty is the declaration of peace, and as that appears to be the only aspect of the Treaty really affecting the Irish Free State, we think that we may safely acquiesce in its ratification. The two other main features of the Treaty are the Convention with regard to the Straits. Great Britain, under this Convention, would be bound, under certain circumstances, to take such warlike steps as might be decided upon by the Council of the League of Nations.
Ireland and the other nations of the Commonwealth are not in that position. The other point of the Treaty is that relating to contracts, etc., under the terms of which the Oireachtas might by legislation arrange that disputes would be referred to a mixed arbitral tribunal instead of to the ordinary courts. But as apparently none of our Nationals are affected this matter does not arise, and in any case would be subject to future legislation by the Dáil. The Executive Council will, therefore, acquiesce in the ratification of the Treaty on the clear understanding that unless the Oireachtas shall hereafter undertake such commitments by legislation the Saorstát incurs no commitments other than the definite establishment of peace; on the clear understanding also that in the initiation, negotiation and signature of any future Treaties the terms of the Imperial Conference Resolutions shall be rigidly adhered to; and on the assurance given that the existing form of Royal Title be used in the preamble, that steps are now taken to put Royal Titles used in the preamble, in accord with fact as brought about by the Treaty of December 6th, 1921.
 The Treaty is an extremely long document, going into many details, practically all of which are of no interest to this country, and do not affect this country in any way. Clause 1 declares a state of peace to exist. As I have said, it might be argued that at the present moment we are in a technical state of war with Turkey. On the other hand it might be argued that we are not. We propose to make it perfectly clear beyond all reasonable doubt, as we say in the resolution, that we are not at war with Turkey. There may be some question about the Straits Convention. Under the Straits Convention in this Treaty if the Council of the League of Nations decide that warlike action should be taken Great Britain is certainly committed to warlike action. Other members of the British community of nations would not be committed by any decision of the Council, but the matter might go before the Assembly of the League of Nations. Before we entered the League of Nations I wrote to the League of Nations a letter embodying a statement I made in the Seanad when I was proposing the League of Nations Bill. I may as well, perhaps, give the text of that letter:—
“Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that the Irish delegation to the League of Nations, at present in Geneva, is instructed to call special attention to two documents amongst those submitted to the League of Nations, viz.: the copy of the Treaty between Ireland and Great Britain, and the copy of the Constitution of the Irish Free State, with particular reference to Article 49 of the Constitution; and to say that the application of the Irish Free State for membership of the League is made subject to an authority obtained expressly in our Legislature, and such authority is governed by the terms of those two documents, and in particular by the aforesaid Article 49 of the Constitution.”
I do not need to remind Deputies that Clause 49 of the Constitution states that this country cannot actively participate in war without the express sanction of the Oireachtas, and, therefore, as we pointed that clearly out, and as our joining the League of Nations was subject to the acceptance of  that letter, we cannot be committed to any warlike action under this Treaty. The other tangible effect of the Treaty relates to the mixed arbitral tribunal, and as none of our Nationals are affected by that, future legislation that we indicate in the resolution, apparently, will never be required, and, of course, if we did find that certain of our Nationals were affected, the ratification of the Treaty would not affect us unless we passed definite legislation here to provide for the hearing of such case by the mixed arbitral tribunal. I do not pretend that the way this Treaty was initiated, negotiated and signed was in any way satisfactory. I do not pretend that we agreed to acquiesce in the ratification of this Treaty for any other reason than for the reason I have indicated, namely, that its non-ratification is creating a very unsettled state in the Near East of Europe, and that unsatisfactory state might easily lead to a far more unsatisfactory state. The ratification of this Treaty will tend to do away with that unsatisfactory state, and we hope, to establish fairly quiet conditions there. This Treaty cannot be ratified without our express sanction, because, as I say, it was without reference to us it was begun; it was negotiated in the name of the whole British community. If we refuse to ratify it, the only course I see would be that the whole negotiation would have to be begun over again, which would involve the British Commonwealth, and France and Italy and Japan, and Turkey as well as other countries in a secondary way. The negotiation of it took over a year, and I feel that, on the whole, it is better to recommend that we acquiesce in its ratification than that we should run the risk that would be inevitable in postponing some such Treaty being made for another year or more, that the negotiation of another Treaty would take.
Major COOPER Major COOPER
Major COOPER: I agree that the ratification of this Treaty is necessary, and I shall vote for it if it is pressed to a division. There was one thing the Minister said that I cannot allow to pass without comment and contradiction. He said that the only feature that affected the Irish Free State is the  conclusion of peace. I did not follow the proceedings at Lausanne very closely. But I do know that great and deep consideration was given to one question, and that question is embodied in the Treaty, and that is the question of the custody of the graves in Gallipoli. That is a feature that affects this country, and very many people in this country, most deeply indeed. From the slopes of the beaches at Sedd-ul-Bahr, where the Dublins and the Munsters were dashed to death, to Kiretch-Tepe-Sirt, where the Tenth Irish Division was bombed out of existence without being able to make reply, the slopes of the Gallipoli beaches are enriched with Irish blood, and Ireland's glory never shone more brightly or more gloriously than there. There were men of every creed and class there, men who a year before had joined in the Volunteers with General Collins and other men of very different opinions. They fought, lived and died side by side like brothers, and now the Minister tells us that the details of this Treaty are of no interest to this country. Is it of no interest to an Irish mother to know whether her son's grave is exposed to the jackal and coyote? I am more concerned with peace with Turkey than any Deputy in this Dáil, because I am the only Deputy who fought against Turkey, and while I thank God that peace has come, because I know what war is, I say we have a vital interest in this Treaty; and, that we should have been represented at Lausanne. Though I would not stand in the way of peace, I will not allow the Minister to say that it is no concern of ours.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: I am not rising to make any opposition to this Resolution, because I think that the form of words adopted by the Minister, the definite form of words, does preserve the dignity and freedom of this State. I think it would be a good thing if, in future, in spite of the expense that might be involved, that before resolutions like this are circulated to Deputies that a little more time should be given for their consideration and that with the Resolution should be circulated the Treaty in question. The Minister has stated that we are only concerned with the declaration that beyond  all reasonable doubt war does no longer exist. Deputy Cooper has already referred to one matter in the Treaty where members of this Dáil are concerned beyond that simple fact. But there may be others. I remember reading the Treaty of Versailles, but I did not read this Treaty of Lausanne. I do think it would be more in conformity with what should be expected in this House that the Treaty should be circulated to Deputies. I would suggest to the Minister, without implying any unnecessary criticism, that in future when we are asked to ratify a resolution of this kind that some notice should be given in advance, and that with the resolution should be circulated the Treaty in question. I agree that the form that this resolution has taken has not been exactly the wisest and best, but we need not go into that so much now. We are asked to accept the fact, post factum, and we are asked to support action that has been taken as to its general purport, though all the details of that action are not such as we would agree with. In that connection I have been reading lately the correspondence that passed between the Canadian Government and the British Government in regard to this very Treaty. It has taken up more or less the line that has been taken up by the Minister for External Affairs in this regard. I do not know whether priority of time may be claimed, but the two protests have been going on side by side. The correspondence itself is of a very energetic kind. Perhaps the energy is owing to the fact that it was conducted mainly by telegraph, and one can afford to be a good deal more energetic by telegraph than in the case of diplomacy conducted in the form of a letter. I have also before me the statement made by the Canadian Premier in this matter, Mr. McKenzie King. He puts the position in regard to dignity and independence so succinctly that I think I can quote it with advantage in this House. He stated in the debate, a debate which he himself initiated, that “We take up the position that not having been invited to the Lausanne Conference and not having been represented there, not having for the reasons I have mentioned signed the Treaty, the Treaty does not impose obligations on Canada. The parts of  the Empire in which it does impose obligations are the only parts that should be expected to sign and ratify it. As we do not regard the Treaty as imposing obligations on Canada we did not feel it was necessary to submit the Treaty to Parliament for approval or in its name to signify concurrence in its ratification.”
That, I think, states the position here, subject to what the Minister has now stated. I think the position is satisfactory, and I hope that due publicity will be given to the Minister's statement in the newspapers. It was a very proper statement and a very accurate statement, and it states clearly the strong position we now hold with regard to independence under the Treaty. The position is that if the Free State in its Parliament and Oireachtas did not confirm this Treaty the negotiations would have to be opened up again as it were from the beginning. We know that statement to be accurate, but we forget sometimes exactly what has been achieved, and I think that a statement of that fact will serve a very useful purpose. There is one other advantage that I would like to draw attention to which, I think, is a matter of particular importance. The Minister referred to Article 49 in the Constitution, which states that the Irish Free State shall not be committed to active participation in any war without the consent of the Oireachtas. In the form of words used it has been implied that although Ireland may not be committed to active participation that she actually is, nevertheless, in a state of war, although she actively may not participate in that state of war—that, for example, if between any European Power and Great Britain a state of war broke out, that we in the Free State might decide to have no active participation in it, but that nevertheless a state of war would exist. Now I come to the resolution, and I wish to mark what I think is a very important matter, or, rather, an important stage in our national journey. In this resolution it is stated that a state of war cannot be superseded by a state of peace except by a resolution of this kind. Consequently, the obverse becomes  equally true, that if we find a state of war existing, and that a resolution like this is necessary, as the Minister has stated, in order to end that state of war and bring about a state of peace, once the state of peace has been created a resolution of this Oireachtas of the Free State will, by converse reasoning become equally necessary in order to create a state of war and to end a state of peace. I think upon those lines an important stage has been marked, and, therefore, I welcome this resolution by the Minister for External Affairs. I think it points the way out of a very difficult situation, but I also think that it preserves the national dignity. I think, further, that it marks a definite stage of progress in the two matters I have mentioned. In his opening speech the Minister said something in regard to the amending of the title of the Crown by which this Treaty was signed. I would like him, if he could, when closing this debate, and before this resolution is accepted by the House, to give a little fuller information in relation to that matter. This Treaty has been signed. The only fault in it is that these are matters that we have taken over—a heritage—and they can only be rectified by degrees as we go forward, recognising that everything cannot be made right within one twenty-four hours.
One of these important matters is that the signature to the Treaty has been given in the name of Ireland. One of the main objections we would have to it, an objection that we could not be expected to have at the time, is that it has been signed in the name of Ireland, although the Parliament of the Free State has not yet passed the Resolution confirming that signature. That, as I say, is a matter on which I would like to have fuller information from the Minister to make it perfectly clear that in all future Treaties the matters referred to by Mr. McKenzie King will be regarded as absolutely essential. No matter how laborious the method may be, or no matter how cumbersome it may be to people not only outside the Free State, but even to people within the Free State, I hope that in future no  Treaty will be brought before the Oireachtas in the expectation of its confirmation that does not preserve in the first place the representation of Ireland at the Conference that came to that conclusion, and the independent signature of Ireland's representatives in the document so agreed to.
Mr. BAXTER Mr. BAXTER
Mr. BAXTER: I must express my surprise at the apparently safe passage which this Resolution is going to get through the Dáil. I am sure the Minister is congratulating himself, and I have no doubt the British signatories to this Treaty will rejoice, if the opinion of this House and of the country is expressed that we are so much in accord with what was done at Lausanne as to acquiesce in the ratification of this Treaty. That is not my point of view upon the matter, and I am just going to express my view upon it. I wonder if it is to be argued that the inclusion of the words in the resolution, “unless the Oireachtas shall hereafter undertake such commitments by legislation”—that is the strong point of the resolution—makes for the acceptance of it. If it is, I want to ask the Minister will these words be included in the Treaty. Are they or shall they be included? I take it that this resolution means the ratification of the Treaty or acquiescence in it. I cannot find out when the negotiations started, what mandate these people had, and whom they represented. I have yet to learn what authority there was from anyone in this country to declare war with Turkey, or to negotiate a Treaty of peace. I do not think any such authority was ever given by the people of this country.
Under these circumstances I cannot see why we should be called upon to acquiesce in the ratification of a Treaty that will make for peace with Turkey. We were not consulted about any declaration of war, and neither were we consulted in the negotiations for a Treaty of peace. If we acquiesce in the ratification of this Treaty I take it that we would be bound by the words in the Treaty, and that our action would not be governed by the words of the resolution. The Treaty will be a binding document. From my point of view I do not think the people of this country  gave to the representatives of the British Empire a mandate to negotiate a Treaty on their behalf with Turkey. If we acquiesce in the ratification of the Treaty, and agree to its terms, even though our signatures may not be on it, at a later stage, if that Treaty is broken, will not this country be at war again? I agree that we may not be committed to any act of war, and may not be called upon to take up arms and fight these people, as no matter what any Treaty may demand, the will of the people will decide what action is to be taken. If the Treaty were broken would we not be at war again, technically? Although we may not be disposed to take any action that would really mean an active war for us, the other people would be in a position to make war on us. We would then be called upon to defend ourselves, and be drawn into the conflict because we left to the people of another country the right to negotiate a Treaty, and later acquiesced in the ratification of that Treaty. That is something I do not feel in a position to agree with. I recognise the difficulties that will be created by refusing to ratify this Treaty—that we would still be, technically, at war with Turkey. If peace is to be made with Turkey it seems to me that it ought to be possible for this State directly to negotiate peace either through Notes or, if necessary, by having a representative there. That is the only way the sovereignty of this State, and its right to make a Treaty, can be maintained. If the Dáil accepts the resolution and agrees that a Treaty made between the representatives of Britain and other peoples at Lausanne, is to be accepted, it seems to me, the Dáil is agreeing that the people of another country can make a Treaty, in which our interests are concerned, and that it can be brought to the Dáil at any time for acquiescence. That is not a position I am prepared to take up.
Mr. JOHNSON Mr. JOHNSON
Mr. JOHNSON: I am not able to follow the arguments of Deputy Baxter, though I think his desires are in accord with my own. I notice that the Minister mentioned the date, November 5th, 1914, as the date on which war was declared against Turkey by the British  Crown. At that time, as a matter of fact, without the desire of Deputy Baxter or other members of the Dáil, the majority of the people of Ireland had not decided up to that date to renounce their association with Britain, and were largely represented in the British Parliament. Even Deputy Baxter will agree that, technically, Ireland was at war with Turkey. A change in relationship has taken place since that date. It seems to me that the case the Minister has made is very satisfactory. War was declared on behalf of, and with the legal acquiescence of, Ireland, in November, 1914. International procedure seems to require that there should be some form of declaration of peace. If there had been an absolute separation of Ireland from the British Commonwealth, no doubt the international arrangements would be such, that Ireland could make formal peace with Turkey independent of anything that had been done by any of the other powers that were at war with Turkey. Whether we like it or not, that situation has not been arrived at, and consequently it seems that some other method is necessary. When the war was begun in November, 1914, it was a war entered into on behalf of Ireland, and, as has been pointed out, very many Irish soldiers entered into it. Consequently, the method of notifying Turkey in the formal way adopted by the Resolution seems to me to meet with acceptance.
I do not accept as a corollary at all the statement of Deputy Baxter, that if at some future date the present Treaty were broken, it would automatically make Saorstát Eireann a formal enemy of Turkey. The alternative position should be looked at. We do not know the effect of non-acceptance of this Resolution, or of any such resolution, or perhaps more important, the non-approval of the state of peace, and what it is going to result in for the eastern portion of Europe. I do not know very much about the terms of this Treaty. I do know that it has been looked upon by publicists throughout the world as a diplomatic victory for Turkey, and that there are many people in England who would not be averse to failure to ratify  the Treaty. Large numbers of people are rejoicing at the delay that has taken place in doing so, and they seem to suggest—not in so many words but there is a certain current which seems to underlie their views—that it would be a very good thing for the Powers, outside Turkey, if this Treaty were not ratified. I do not think we ought to take any further steps, having arrived at this stage, which would even possibly lead to non-ratification of a Treaty of this kind which would mean the creation of a situation in Eastern Europe that would mean war. If we could, by safeguarding our position, as this Resolution seems to safeguard it satisfactorily, secure that the risk of war is avoided, then I think we would be very wrong in failing to realise what the responsibility would be of our refusal to accept the Resolution.
What we are asked to do is to approve of the Executive Council notifying that it will acquiesce in the ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne, on behalf of those Powers that were technically at war since November, 1914. In the resolution we also say that we agree that any such acquiescence must be accompanied by a proviso—and we are informing the ratifying Powers— that our position is that we only entered into a formal state of peace. That is the whole of our proposal. We recognise that, as a matter of fact, the Free State of its volition, having arrived at a stage of conscious and actual nationhood, formally set down in writing, and accepted by the Powers of the world through the League of Nations, has never considered itself at war with Turkey. There is, technically, as a matter of international relation, a state of war still existing. We want to remove that former state of war and notify everybody that we are not only actually at peace but formally at peace. I think the proviso here notifying not only the ratifying authority, but also whoever will read the proceedings of the Dáil and the decision of the Dáil in this matter, that our position regarding a possible outbreak of war between Turkey and any other Power will not involve the Free State, unless the Oireachtas, by a formal decision, enters into that state of war. I think the  position of the Free State is made secure and that the Dáil should agree to this resolution.
Mr. FITZGERALD Mr. FITZGERALD
Mr. FITZGERALD: First of all, I want to explain that I think Deputy Cooper did not understand the point of view I was taking. I was considering the difference between our agreeing to this Treaty and our not agreeing to it. I recognise that there are many Irish people who are deeply interested in the graves in Gallipoli. I recognise that so much that I have made certain arrangements about our relations with the Imperial War Graves Committee. I was considering solely the difference, whether Ireland were an international person who acquiesced in this ratification or if Ireland were not. As a matter of fact, those graves in Gallipoli are, I think, administered by the War Graves Commission, and although this Treaty does consider this matter, actually, if Ireland were entirely outside this Treaty these graves would be still looked after, and not left to the coyote and the jackal. Although that is the fact, I quite agree with the Deputy that I should have made it clear that there were other matters of interest to us in the Treaty, inasmuch as it puts an end technically to a state of war in Europe. That is of interest to us independent of our share in it.
I think Deputy Baxter has not quite noticed the clear connotation of the words of the resolution. If he looks at it clearly he will see that the resolution does not, in any way, say that we are in a technical state of war at present. I think it could be argued two ways. There are various opinions. It may be held on one side that once war is declared war exists until it is formally declared that it ceases to exist. On the other hand it may be held that war only exists so long as an active state of war is there and that at the end of any period of time, when peace has existed, peace exists technically as well as actually. That has been held but there has never been any definition as to how long it requires a state of peace to exist before it—a technical state of peace can be said to exist. Therefore, if the Deputy reads the resolution he  will see that it is so worded in order that peace may be established beyond all reasonable doubt. At present the Turkish people may say: “We are technically at war.” On the other hand they may equally say: “We are not technically at war.” In order to remove all doubt on that point, if the Deputy will read the words of the resolution he will see that he has put too definite a connotation upon the words.
Deputy Figgis stated that he hoped that no further Treaty would be brought before the Dáil without an amendment to the Royal title. I felt quite strongly myself on that, and as I stated here on a former occasion, we are making representations with regard to that. The royal title is a matter which affects, not only Great Britain, not only Ireland, but it affects Canada, Australia, and the other members of the British community. I have been assured that steps are already being taken, and that such steps can only be taken in consultation with all the members of the British community to rectify the apparent existing disparity between the title and the actuality behind the title. Deputy Baxter asked what authority the British had to negotiate peace on our behalf. I thought I stated clearly in my opening statement that we could not recognise that this Treaty in being negotiated for, without every State being represented, had been negotiated properly, and I quite agree with him that we could have every reason for protesting and saying that as we were not there we refuse all responsibility in the matter. I explained, however, in my opening statement that the Treaty was negotiated over a period of a year. We have every reason to be angry. We were not invited to send our representatives there, nor were we invited to be a signatory, but the question arises, shall we nurse our anger and shall we put our own anger—our own pride if you like —before the well-being of the peoples of Eastern Europe? In this matter, weighing up one thing with another, I think it is better for us to be generous, if you like, and say that, although we may say we have been wronged we are prepared to be wronged rather than that ill should come to others. We must remember also, and I think I made it  clear, that this thing which happened in regard to the Lausanne Treaty must not be regarded as a precedent, and if the same thing happens again we must refuse to have anything to do with the ratification of any similar Treaties. That is a thing upon which the whole Dáil can be entirely agreed. The Deputy says that he thinks that in acquiescing to the terms of this resolution we will be bound by the whole Treaty. The terms of the resolution make our attitude perfectly clear. I, myself, believe, and the Government that negotiated this Treaty also believe that we are committed to no active thing other than the clear definition of peace, where a lack of clearness may exist with regard to peace. We are stating exactly where we stand. If it is considered that our acquiescence in ratification of this Treaty only binds us so far as we are agreed, then there is no need for any stipulation about it. We have no nationals involved.
I have stated the position with regard to the Straits Convention. I think in a matter of war and peace that we have an equal right with any other State in the British community. When it comes to negotiating peace, unfortunately, it cannot be arranged merely by saying that a state of peace exists from this date on. This Treaty runs to some 250 pages. All sorts of details have to be gone into and my own opinion in the matter is this, that in the event of war and in the event of negotiating peace, this nation is a coequal nation. If they agree that peace should be declared they can so agree to any details of the peace, such as any delimitation of boundaries and so forth. There must be absolute equality as to the implementation of that Treaty and it can be done in a number of ways. It can be done by each State in the community being represented by a plenipotentiary. It can be done by a series of clauses and by one State agreeing with one set of clauses and another State agreeing with another set. I think that in the future an arrangement will have to be made among the nations forming the British community with regard to the implementation of matters in a Treaty  such as this. I think I have dealt with most of the points raised and I think that if Deputy Baxter will read the resolution carefully and see exactly the significance of it he will see that he read a great deal more into it than is there.
Mr. BAXTER Mr. BAXTER
Mr. BAXTER: Would the Minister say what would happen, in the event of the Treaty being broken—where would we stand?
Mr. GOREY Mr. GOREY
Mr. GOREY: We would be at war.
Mr. FITZGERALD Mr. FITZGERALD
Mr. FITZGERALD: We hereby make it clear that we are at peace with Turkey. As I said, there are two opinions: one that a technical state of war exists, merely because war has been carried on and, another, that a technical state of war exists because a formal declaration of war has been made. If the Treaty is broken in such a way as to lead to war, this legislature can, by its own volition and by its own act, decide that Ireland is going to take part in that war. If this legislature decides that Ireland would not take part in that war I would refer the Deputy to Article 49 of the Constitution.
Mr. T. MURPHY Mr. T. MURPHY
Mr. T. MURPHY: If we had a representative in Constantinople and the Treaty was broken, could our representative stay at Constantinople?
Mr. FITZGERALD Mr. FITZGERALD
Mr. FITZGERALD: He might have to stay there.
Mr. BAXTER Mr. BAXTER
Mr. BAXTER: In the event of the Treaty being broken and if we had a representative in Constantinople what would be the position?
Mr. FITZGERALD Mr. FITZGERALD
Mr. FITZGERALD: There are 250 pages in the Treaty and there are far more than 250 ways in which the Treaty can be broken, and there would be a different situation according to these 250 pages. The question is far too vague.
Mr. BAXTER Mr. BAXTER
Mr. BAXTER: It should not be vague. Would our representative have to negotiate another Treaty in order to maintain peace?
The PRESIDENT The PRESIDENT
The PRESIDENT: There is the question of the ordinary collection of nations that go to make up peace. If a number of nations go and make peace it is not fair for one nation to  say: “We will not agree,” and thus tear up the whole agreement. It has to be a whole agreement. We have a certain responsibility there to the other nations and it would be unreasonable for us to refuse to ratify this. I take it from what I have heard, that the Turks have made a very good peace.
Mr. FITZGERALD Mr. FITZGERALD
Mr. FITZGERALD: I misunderstood the Deputy. He seems to have forgotten the fact that this Treaty is negotiated not merely between the British community and the Turkish people, but it is negotiated on one side by the British, Italians, Japanese and French, and I say that if that Treaty is broken, Turkey and Japan may go to war in the same way as France and Turkey might go to war. I think what the Deputy has in mind is the possibility of war arising over an infringement of the Straits Convention. If that is done, the arrangements in the Treaty are that it be referred to the Council of the League of Nations, and Great Britain is by this committed to take such action as the Council of the League of Nations unanimously decide upon. On the other hand, the members of the British community, other than Great Britain, are not committed by that. They would only go into the matter through the Assembly of the League of Nations, and as I have said in joining the League of Nations we made it perfectly clear we are bound by the limitations imposed by Article 49 of our Constitution. Therefore, as I read it, Great Britain may be committed to war, but a distinction is made between Great Britain in that Convention and the British Community in other Conventions. Great Britain can be merely bound through the action of the Council of the League of Nations, but we are not, I consider, to be bound by anything except our own action.
Mr. JOHNSON Mr. JOHNSON
Mr. JOHNSON: I would like it to be put much clearer than the Minister has stated, that it is the view of the Ministry, it certainly is the view of the Dáil, that if Great Britain went to war with Turkey, because of some matter arising under that Treaty, we can simply say, “We are not at war with Turkey; we refuse to go to war with Turkey, on anything arising out of that Convention  or that Treaty.” Surely we can say that as definitely and as clearly as it can be put.
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS
Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Will the Minister accept this as an accurate answer to the questions that have been put—that if it required a specific resolution of the Oireachtas to create a state of peace, it will require an equally specific resolution to create a state of war with another State, and to end that state of peace we have declared?
Mr. FITZGERALD Mr. FITZGERALD
Mr. FITZGERALD: I agree with Deputy Johnson wholeheartedly, and also with Deputy Figgis.
Mr. ESMONDE Mr. ESMONDE
Mr. ESMONDE: Will the Minister state his intentions regarding Conventions 4 and 5?
Mr. FITZGERALD Mr. FITZGERALD
Mr. FITZGERALD: With regard to Conventions 4 and 5, we are not adhering to those Conventions; we are excluded from them.
Mr. COLOHAN Mr. COLOHAN
Mr. COLOHAN: I would like an explanation of the latter part of the resolution, which says “The Saorstát thereby incurs no commitment other than the definite establishment of peace.” I would like to know what commitments we are bound to in the definite establishment of the peace. The word “technical” has been used frequently in the debate, and why could not the word “technical” be used here instead of “definite”?
Mr. FITZGERALD Mr. FITZGERALD
Mr. FITZGERALD: I drafted this resolution as carefully as I could, and I used the term “definite establishment” as distinct from a doubtful establishment of peace. There was, to my mind, peace established when war stopped, but as I have said a number of times here, some people could have cast doubt on it and said “the peace is not there until it is formally declared.” It is to make it perfectly clear and definite beyond any doubt that this form has been adopted.
Question put and agreed to.
Dáil Éireann 8 TREATY OF LAUSANNE. MOTION TO ACQUIESCE IN ITS RATIFICATION.