Dáil Éireann - Volume 2 - 17 August, 1921

VOTE OF THANKS TO THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA.

AN TUACHTARAN: Nuair a bhí mé i Mericá do chabhruigh ár gcáirde linn le h-airgead, is ba mhaith liom rún buidheachais a chur os bhúr gcóir.

THE PRESIDENT said he did not think it right that they should allow this Report to pass without giving expression of their thanks to the people of America for their generosity in subscribing to our Funds. It was generous, because they could not give the subscribers the same security for their bonds as other nations, which were recognised internationally, could give, but they intended that every one of these bonds would be made good by the Irish nation.

They asked for a Loan of ten million dollars in America, and they had received already five and a half millions. They got full value for the bond, and that value of five and a half million dollars was now in the Irish Treasury.

If there is one man to whom more than another the Irish nation should be thankful for the success of that enterprise it was the Chairman of the American Delegation on Irish Independence, Mr. Frank P. Walsh. He would be ungrateful if he did not say there that whilst he was in America and whilst his colleagues were in America there was never one single request that they asked of Mr. Walsh that he was not ready to accede to. His time and his influence were at their disposal. He put them at their disposal, because he felt that he was working in a noble cause. It was as a champion of that noble cause and as a friend of Ireland that they welcomed him there.

Also he would be ungrateful if he did not mention the person to whom most of the executive work in America fell. He was not at the present time, they regretted, a member of their Assembly. He referred to the late Member for Kilkenny, Mr. O'Meara. The fact that their funds were what they are to-day was due to the work in America of Mr. Frank P. Walsh and Mr. O'Meara.

Whilst they recognised the generosity of their friends in foreign countries, and whilst he was asking them to pass a vote of thanks to the American people and asking that Mr. Walsh should be for them in America the interpreter of their gratitude, he thought it would be wrong if they passed from these accounts without speaking of the magnificent response of their own people to the call.

In Ireland it had often been said in the past that their own people when asked would contribute more, even in proportion to their means, than people abroad. They were ready to give up their lives and their money for Ireland; and in Ireland, owing directly to the work done by the Minister of Finance, to whom all credit in Ireland was due, the amount that was asked for was oversubscribed by about one-half. Hence he thought they could feel that they had behind them the strength of the Irish people.

He was not such a cynic as to take it as an absolute test, but it was said that the best test they had of the support of the people was the amount they were ready to contribute in support of a movement. They would regard it as a good test.

The Irish people had responded to that test magnificently, and their friends in America had responded to it magnificently. He asked them to give Mr. Frank P. Walsh the duly authenticated thanks of that Assembly, to be conveyed by him to the American people, and also to give the Minister of Finance a vote of thanks, to be conveyed to the people of Ireland.

He was asking the nation as a whole to thank those who were pioneers, and who had enabled them to get thus far with the nation's work.

MR. MICHAEL COLLINS seconded the vote of thanks. He said he desired particularly to add his tribute to the work that had been done by the workers at home. Their friends in America could subscribe their five dollars and they could carry their receipts about in their [26] pockets without having a gun stuck under their noses if they were found. The people of Ireland had to subscribe under those conditions, and they did subscribe and took their receipts; and they worked for the loan through many holds-up and through many nights and days.

It was nearly as bad to have a loan receipt found on one as it was to be found with a gun. That was what the people who subscribed to this loan had to stand, and he could only hope and he could only assure them that, as far as he was concerned, his part would be done in making good the promises that these bonds would be redeemed.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Cuirim an rún seo os bhúr gcóir: Vote of thanks : “That we the Members of Dáil Eireann, the duly elected Parliament of the Irish Republic, in Public Session assembled this 17th day of August, 1921, hereby declare the gratitude of the Irish nation to the people of the United States of America for the warm support they have always given to the cause of Ireland and particularly for their generous subscription to the First Loan of the Irish Government, and we furthermore declare that each Bond Certificate purchased in the United States will be redeemed in due course by the Irish nation.”

Ceist curtha agus aontuithe.