Seanad Éireann - Volume 36 - 15 December, 1948

The Republic of Ireland Bill, 1948—Committee and Final Stages.

SECTION 1.

Question proposed: “That Section 1 stand part of the Bill.”

Liam Ó Buachalla: Tá súil agam go mbeidh cead agam beagán a rá i dtaobh an Ailt seo den Bhille. Ba mhaith liom a rá go bhfuil mé i bhfábhar an Ailt agus ba mhaith liom a rá, thar ceann na ndaoine atá ar an taobh seo den Teach, agus atá in aon pháirtí liom, gur maith linn an tAlt seo a bheith sa mBille. Caithfidh mé a rá, tar éis bheith ag éisteacht leis an diospóireacht an tseachtain seo caite, go raibh faitíos orm go b'fheidir go loitfí cúrsaí an Bhille sa tSeanad trí leasú a chur isteach sa mír seo. D'éisteamar go foighdeach leis an Seanadóir Bigger an tseachtain seo caite agus é ag cur síos ar an Acht arb é is ábhar don Alt seo. Bhí sórt faitís orm mar gheall ar a mhíshásta a bhí sé agus mar gheall ar a mhéid a bhí sé in amhras ar bona fides an Rialtais i dtaobh an Ailt seo, go mb'fhéidir go mbraitheadh sé de dhualgas air féin leasú a chur isteach. Tá mé an-tsásta nár chuir sé a leithéid isteach. Mhillfheadh sé cúrsaí an Bhille agus mhillfeadh sé an aondacht atá in ár measc fré chéile i dtaobh tábhacht an Achta seo a dhul ar ceal. Is dóigh liom gurb é an fáth nach bhfuil aon chur i gcoinne an Ailt seo ná gur léir do gach duine sa tSeanad, [297] sa Dail agus taobh amuigh nach bhfuil aon amhras a thuille ann i dtaobh status an Stáit seo. Ar feadh blianta bhí amhras ar dhaoine—is doigh liom go raibh údar acu, údar ag a lán acu, amhras a bheith orthu—i dtaobh status an Stáit.

Níl mé sásta a rá go bhfuil an leithscéal sin ag gach duine. Tá daoine ann, agus is dóigh liom go dtaispeáinfidh mé ar ball é, nach raibh aon ghá go mbeadh mí-thuiscint ar chuid mhaith acu agus da mba rud é go mbeadh daoine níos fonnmhaire mó ná bhíodar breathnú ar an bhfhírinne idir an da shúil, nach mbeadh an oiread sin amhrais ná an oiread sin easaontais sa tír agus bhí.

An mhír seo, Alt I, agus an réiteach atá inti; go gcuirfear an tAcht Caidreamh Coigríche ar ceal, admhachtáil é sin, ann féin, ar neamhspleáchas iomlán an Stáit seo. Marach go bhfuil Bunreacht na tíre ag tabhairt na cumhachta dhúinn, marach go bhfuil an Pháirliméid seo neamhspleách go hiomlán, ní fhéadfaí an mhír seo a chur isteach sa mBille. Ach an raibh gá leis an amhras bheith ann, an oiread agus a bhí? An Taoiseach é féin in áiteacha, is léir—tá mé sásta é sin admhachtáil— go raibh amhras air, agus a údar aige. Níl mé sásta go bhfuil údar aige agus amhras bheith air an t-am ar fad, nó faoi gach rud; ach chuir sé ceist antábhachtach ar Dháil Éireann, nuair a bhí sé ag caint ar an mBille, nuair a bhí sé ós comhair an Tí sin. Dúirt sé ar cholún 372, iml. 113:—sí an cheist a bhí ag déanamh buartha dhó san am: an rabhamar taobh istigh den Comhchiníochas, an raibh Rí os cionn na hÉireann:

“We have not been able to find out or to get a specific answer to that question, whether we were or were not a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.”

Sin ceist réasúnach: an rabhamar taobh istigh den Chomhchiníochas nó nach raibh? Dá gcuireadh daoine thíos faoin tír nó, béidir, cuid againn sa tSeanad nó sa Dáil, ceist den tsórt sin, go n-abróimis go rabhamar in amhras, béidir go mbeadh leithscéal éigin againn; ach níl mise ar na daoine a déarfadh go bhfuil an leithscéal sin ag an Taoiseach, ná ag [298] Árd-Chounselléirí a bhí ar aon intinn leis cur i gcoinne an Bhille ar an mbealach a bhíodar. Tugaim faoi deara gur luadh na nithe seo cheana sa Dáil agus taobh amuigh de. Sílim go raibh sé riachtanach dúinn go gcuirfimis ar Thuarascáil an tSeanaid é, an chaoi díreach a bhí an scéal san am atá caite.

B'fheidir, ag an am seo, nach mbeadh sé as bealach má abraím chomh mí-shásta agus tá mise go háirithe agus chomh mí-shásta agus tá an mhuintir ar an taobh seo liom mar gheall ar nach bhfuaireamar cóip de Thuarascáil an tSeanaid go dtí a haon an chlog inniu. Cinnte, is dóigh gur cuireadh isteach sa mbosca aréir í nó am éigin inné, ach ní bhfuair mise mo chóip i gcóir an Diardaoin agus na hAoine seo caite go dtí a haon an chlog inniu. Ar ócáideacha, is cuma, béidir, faoi sin; ach ar ócáid den tsórt seo, agus Bille chomh tábhachtach leis an mBille seo, agus Imeachta chomh tábhachtach leis na hImeachtaí a bhí ar bun sa Seanad, Diardaoin agus Dé hAoine na seachtaine seo caite, is dóigh liom nach ceart nach bhfaighmis, ar ais nó ar éigin, cóip de na hImeachta, tamaill roimh an gcruinniú.

Nílim ag cur aon mhilleán ar aoinne a bhaineas leis an Taoiseach nó leis an gCléireach, ach is ceist í go gcaithfidh an Coiste um Phríbhléidí a scrúdú, agus féachaint chuige nach dtárlóidh a leithéid arís.

Micheál Ó hAodha: Ní bhfuair mise tuarascáil na hAoine fós.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Tá cúis chasaoide aige, díreach mar atá agamsa. Sílim go bhfuil an Seanadóir Ó hAodha ar aon intinn liom. Tabhair faoi deara nach bhfuil aoinne againn i gcoinne an Bhille, ach ag iarraidh rudaí a léiriú, mar is dual agus is ceart iad a léiriú. Ní féidir é sin a dhéanamh i gceart mura mbeidh cóip d'Imeachta an Chruinnithe seo againn, go tráthúil, le go bhféa dfaimís é scrúdú agus freagraí a cheapadh ar aon phointe is dóigh linn a bheadh ag teastáil.

Mícheál Ó hAodha: Ní fheadar an bhfuil a fhios ag an Teach go rabhmar anseo go dtí tar éis a 8 a chlog Dé hAoine, agus níl ach oireadh [299] áirithe Tuairisceoirí ag scríobh síos na n-óráideacha. Tá clódóirí anois, agus le tamall maith, ana-mhall. Is dóigh liom, mar sin, gur íontach ar fad an rud é go bhfuil Tuarascáil Díospóireachta na hAoine againn inniu mar atá. Ní bhfuair mise é. Ní dóigh liom gur féidir óráidí na hAoine seo caite, a rinneadh ar a hocht a chlog sa tráthnóna, a chur ar fáil roimhe seo. Bheadh sé thar chumas na dtuairisceoirí agus thar chumas na gclódóirí é sin a dhéanamh.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Tá súil agam nach gceapann an Seanadóir Ó hAodha go bhfuil mé ag tromaíocht ar aon duine nó ar aon aicme.

Mícheál Ó hAodha: Tuigim nach bhfuil.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Is dóigh liom go bhfuil Imeachta an tSeanaid ar Bhille Phoblacht na hÉireann chomh tábhachtach sin go mba chóir go mbeadh gach tuairisc againn go tráthúil, go bhféadfaimis scrúdú a dhéanamh orthu roimh theacht isteach go dtí an chéad chruinniú eile. Tá a fhios agam nach raibh sé indéanta sa chás seo. Ach shílfeá, agus a thábhachtaí an ócáid, go mbeadh an Bille curtha siar go dtí an chéad sheachtáin eile, go dtí go mbeadh seans againn scrúdú a dhéanamh. Bíodh sin mar atá, tá a fhios agam go bhfuil a ndícheall déanta ag na daoine a raibh baint acu leis an Tuarascáil. Admhaím an méid sin, ach is trua nach raibh na leabhair ar fáil.

An Cathaoirleach: Lean leis an Alt seo anois.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Tá mé ag iarraidh fháil amach an raibh an cheist faoi status an Stáit chomh deacair ar a socrú agus tá daoine a rá. Táim ag iarraidh a thaispéaint chomh maith, a shásta atá mé, go bhfuil Alt l ann. Nuair a pléidheadh an cheist sin, i 1936, labhair an tOllamh Thrift ar an scéal. Ba duine anchruinn, an-tuigsionach é agus duine —chomh maith agus is cuimhin liom— a raibh tuairim aige nach raibh ar aon dul le tuairmí an Rialtais a bhí ann [300] san am. Scrúdaigh sé an scéal agus dúirt sé:—

“I do not think it is possible to stress too strongly that this Bill is not a Bill which, in a sense, appoints a successor to King Edward VIII. If we pass this Bill, we shall do two straightforward things. We shall, on our part and of our own free will, accept the abdication of the late King. We shall appoint to the new King certain functions in relation to external matters. That is all that this Bill does.”

Níor mhiste, b'fhéidir, a mheabhrú don Teach céard a bhí sa mBille féin a raibh sé ag caint air. Is Bille í atá beagnach chomh gairid le Bille Phoblacht na hÉireann agus Bille, dar liom, atá chomh simplí le Bille Phoblacht na hÉireann. Is é Alt a 3 an tAlt tábhachtach. Deireann sé:—

“(1) It is hereby declared and enacted that, so long as Saorstát Éireann is associated with the following nations, that is to say, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and South Africa, and so long as the King recognised by those nations as the symbol of their co-operation continues to act on behalf of each of those nations (on the advice of the several Governments thereof) for the purposes of the appointment of diplomatic and consular representatives and the conclusion of international agreements, the King so recognised may, and is hereby authorised to, act on behalf of Saorstát Éireann for the like purposes as and when advised by the Executive Council so to do.”

Tá dhá rud thábhachtacha ansin— an focal “may” an chéad rud, agus an dara rud, nach bhféadfadh an Rí feidhmiú, beag ná mór, gan comhairle agus gan údarás ó Rialtas an Stáit. An focal “may”—cé mhéad uair a bhí sé i gceist againn sa tSeanad cén chiall atá leis? Ma bhreathnaíonn sibh ar an mBille ós ár gcóir, bhéarfaidh sibh faoi deara an chaoi a bhfuil “may” agus “shall” á úsáid ar chaoi nach mbeadh a fhios agat céard díreach atá i gceist. “May” sa gcás seo, sa mBille Caidrimh Coigríche, is é an chiall atá leis go cinnte, go bhféadfadh an Rí feidhmiú [301] an uair a gheobhadh sé údarás agus comhairle ó Rialtas an Stáit seo. Ní fhéadfadh sé é dhéanamh uaidh féin; ní raibh aon údarás aige beag ná mór, méar ardú i dtaobh gnóthaí na tíre, ach amháin an uair a déarfadh Rialtas an Stáit seo leis é. Thairis sin, ní fhéadfadh an Rialtas Éireannach aon chomhairle a chur air, ná aon údarás a thabhairt dó, ach amháin sna cásanna áirithe atá luaite sa mBille.

Tuigeann an Taoiseach go maith an rud atá i gceist agam, mar bhí sé in a Theachta an uair sin agus bhí sé ina Ard-Chounseléar chomh maith. Is duine é a bhfuil an-mheas agam air i gcónaí mar Chounseléar. Ach, san am chéanna is fiú an méid seo a thabhairt fiao deara. Bhí sé a rá a dheacra a bhí sé míniú fháil an rabhamar taobh istigh den Chomhchiníochas nó nach raibh; an raibh údarás ag Rí Shasana feidhmiú ar ár son no nach raibh maidir le ghnáth-imeachta na tíre.

Dúirt sé:—

“I entirely disagree with the views put forward by Deputy Norton on this subject—that we are by our act to-day in a hurried fashion electing the British King as King of Ireland.”

An locht atá agam ar an rud ar fad— níor mhínigh an Taoiseach é nuair a bhí sé ag caint san am—gur húsáideadh caint daoine áirithe i dtaobh an Bhille mar chruthúnas go raibh an Stát seo ceangailte lámh agus cos le Impireacht Shasana, agus go mba é Rína hImpireachta sin Rí na hÉireann.

Ag leanúint dó san óráid chéanna dúirt sé—agus tá na sleachta le fáil ar cholún 1433 Iml. 64:

“Section 3——

an tAlt is tábhachtaí san Alt atáimid anois a phlé:—

is a most extraordinary section and I am not at all sure that on its strict legal construction it may not have the effect which would, I am sure, be very welcome to some members of the Fianna Fáil Party and some of their supporters throughout the country. In fact, the effect of this Bill which is to give us half a Crown is that it gives no Crown at all.”

[302] Ansin, tá an Taoiseach i n-amhras. Ceart go leor, admhaím go bhfuil sé i n-amhras, ach, ar a laghad, má táthar i n-amhras ar rud ar bith, agus go háirithe nuair atá an tír i gceist, ba cheart an breithiúnas a thabhairt i bhfábhar na tíre.

Deir sé arís—bhí sé fíor—go raibh sé an deacair a rá an rabhamar taobh istigh den Chomhchiníochas nó nach raibh—col. 1433, Imleabhar 64:—

“We propose solemnly to pass an Act of this Dáil stating that we will allow the King to act for us in external affairs so long as the other nations recognise him as the symbol of their co-operation. But they do not recognise the King as a symbol of their co-operation. Therefore, this Act never can come into effective operation and, therefore, the King cannot act at all in external affairs with the authority of this Bill, when it becomes an Act.”

Nach é an trua nár cuireadh i n-iúl do dhaoine áirithe sa tír, ar a laghad, muna bhféadfaimis a bheith cinnte faoi cén chaoi a raibh an scéal, go raibh, ar a laghad amhras an-mhór ann ina thaobh? Sin buaidh an Bhille seo, má bhí amhras ann, agus má tá amhras ann, go gcuirfidh sé seo an t-amhras ar ceal.

Scrúdaigh an Seanadóir Ó Labhradha an scéal agus dob fhiú a thuairim cuid mhaith. Deir sé:—

“Examining the Bill in the time that I and the House have had in which to do it, it would seem to me that the effect of it is to remove the King from the Constitution and to give to this country a republican Constitution. That may or may not be a desirable thing.”

An rud atá tar éis titim amach, an fáth go bhfuilimíd ar aon intinn i dtaobh an Bhille seo, go bhfuil sé admhaithe inniu ag na daoine a bhí i n-amhras le fada, go bhfuil an scéal mar a bhí Fianna Fáil a rá an t-am ar fad, gur Bunreacht Poblachta an Bunreacht atá againn. Ar a laghad, má bhí amhras ann, be cheart go dtabharfaí an breithiúnas i bhfábhar an Stáit.

Ach bhíodh daoine eile taobh amuigh [303] den Taoiseach agus de dhaoine sa mbaile ar an dtuairim nach rabhamar taobh istigh den Chomhchiníochas. Mar shompla, luadh é sa Dáil. Ní misde má dhéanaim tagairt don nóta a chuir Cordell Hull chuig Ceannasaí an Stáit, mar bheannú “to the young Republic that had been newly born here in Ireland.”

Ba mhaith liom sliocht amháin eile a luadh agus beidh mé réidh leis. Fuair mé tamall ó shoin cóip d'aiste a scríobh Dorothy MacArdle i dtaobh status na tíre seo. Is fiú áird a thabhairt ar a tuairim. Is stairí í.

Mícheál Ó hAodha: Ní hea. Ní stairí ar aon chor í.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Tá cead ag an Seanadóir Ó h-Aodha a thuairim a bheith aige. Muna n-aontaíonn sé gur stairí í, sin ceist dó féin. Ní rachaidh mise i n-argoint leis. Fágfaidh mé an scéal, mar a dúirt an tAire Gnothai Eachtracha sa Dáil le goirid nuair a bhí sé ag cainnt ar an mBille seo, fágfaidh mé é faoi breithiúnas an phobail. Fágfaidh mé é faoi breithiúnas na stairí a thiocfas inar ndiaidh agus faoi breithiúnas an phobail. Iarraim ar an Seanad agus ar an Seanadóir Ó hAodha go háirithe, bheith foighdeach go luafaidh mé an tuairim a bhí aice i dtaobh an scéal:—

Leathanach a 10 den ath-chló a chuir Gill ar an aiste “Without Fanfares”:—

“The Constitution (Amendment No. 27) Act was the last signed by a Governor-General of the Irish Free State for it removed from the King and his representatives every trace of their remaining functions touching the Irish Free State. The signing of Bills and the summoning and dissolving of Parliament became duties of the Chairman of the Dáil, the appointing of judges that of the head of the Executive Council. It was sweeping in effect. It transferred to the Executive Council the rights which the King had exercised outside the Irish Free State, the right to appoint as advised the State's diplomatic and consular representatives and the right to conclude on its behalf treaties with other States. [304] This enactment released the Twenty-Six County area from all that remained of subjection to Great Britain.”

Mr. M. Hayes: Subjection to Great Britain? A b'iad sin na focail?

Liam Ó Buachalla: Is iad.

Mícheál Ó hAodha: Taispeánann sé sin nach stairí í.

Liam Ó Buachalla: “and severed the last link with the Crown.”

Ar leathanach a 11, adeir sí:

“No shred of a monarchical function within the Irish Free State remained.”

Béidir go gceapfaí go bhfuil mé ag piocadh amach díreach na focla a fheileann dom le haghaidh an cháis, ach Miss MacArdle féin, bhí sí i n-amhras agus le cothrom na féinne a thabhairt dí agus le cothrom na féinne a thabhairt don Taoiseach agus dom féin, léifidh mé leath dosaen líne eile as an sliocht céanna—leathanach 14 den alt chéanna. Adeir sí:—

“Goodwill has been created, and in spite of certain ill-timed outbreaks of prejudice from war weary Britons and from sections of the Press, remains. We speak freely about our republic and touch off no hostile guns. Its critics are here at home. ‘De Valera's fairyland republic’ and ‘the shadow without the substance'’ it has been called, but the opposite is the truth. We had the republic of our will and vision from 1916 to 1923 but it struggled unsuccessfully for recognition and a stable place in the international scheme. What we have to-day is substantially a status and a constitutional freely working democratic State.”

Mícheál Ó hAodha: But not a republic.

Mr. Baxter: Oh, yes, an encyclopaedia republic.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Tá sé i n-am againn deire a chur leis an sórt sin dícheille “Dictionary Republic” and “Lawyers' Republic.” An mineóchaidh [305] aon duine dom céard é an difríocht atá eatortha? Ach, deir sí:—

“If we are not yet contented, it is because two limitations remain. A section of our territory is excluded from freedom and our fellow nationalists in Ulster still suffer raids, arrest and imprisonment without trial, as we did 25 years ago. That is one reason why the bells of liberation are not yet pealing here. Another reason is that our relations with the Commonwealth of Nations is unique and complex and both at home and abroad is often considered more imperfect than it is. In one way or another time will probably remedy this.”

Is cosúil go bhfuilimíd tagaithe go dtí an t-am. Má bhí amhras ar dhaoine áirithe i dtaobh status na tíre, ní mheasaim go raibh údair maith leis an amhras sin a bhí orthu. Dá mbeadh daoine níos réasúnta i dtaobh na ceiste sin ná mar a bhíodar agus comhairle do chur ar a lucht leanúna i dtaobh na tíre, ní tharlódh an oiread sin mioscais sa tír beagán blianta ó shoin. Ar aon chuma, ní theastaíonn uaim a thuilleadh a rá faoi. Ní hé nach bhféadfaí a lán eile a rá. Sílim gur leor an méid sin le teaspáint gur beag atáimid a dhéanamh agus an mhír seo á rith chun an tAcht atá i gceist a chur ar ceal, gur beag atáimíd a dhéanamh agus é sin á chur i gcríoch thar cuidiú le daoine an ceo a bhí ortha, dá ndeoin nó dá ainneoin a scaipeadh. Is maith liom an mhír seo bheith ann. Táim tar éis míniú cén fá gur maith liom é bheith ann. Ba mhaith liom na tuaraimí a bhí agam i dtaobh an amhras a bhí sa tír d'fhágail ar imeachta an tSeanaid.

Mr. Duffy: I am wondering, after all this discussion, what precisely the last speaker has been trying to prove. We are discussing Section 1 of the Bill which says:—

“The Executive Authority (External Relations) Act, 1936 (No. 58 of 1936), is hereby repealed.”

I have not yet discovered whether the last speaker is in favour of repeal or against it, and, after all, that is the issue which we are considering in this [306] Committee Stage. One would imagine that, in the course of a speech occupying 45 minutes, the House would be told on which side the Senator was speaking. It is true that he devoted a great part of his speech to proving, I think, that there was no need to repeal the section inasmuch as we had, under the External Relations Act, all the elements of a republic, and that, therefore it followed that the repeal effected here was unnecessary. I take it that it was his case that the Bill as a whole was unnecessary.

I think the case that was made for the Bill on Second Reading mainly rested on the fact that it removed confusion; that it got rid of confusion. I think that is the case that was made for it. No one argued very enhusiastically whether, in fact, it was necessary to have this Bill in order to secure the republic. What was argued was that there was confusion in people's minds, and that the effect of this Bill would be to remove the confusion.

Well, Sir, with all respect, might I point out that the first person who, so far as I am aware, used the expression “confusion” in relation to the situation which we are now discussing was Deputy de Valera. As far as I can discover, he was the first person who alleged that there was confusion, and who encouraged most people to think that the External Relations Act must be disposed of to get rid of the confusion. I think there will be no difficulty in showing that that confusion was widespread. It was not confined to the people of this country. It was shared by people in other countries, including people who are very friendly towards this country. For instance, the Deputy-Acting Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr. Walter Nash, commenting a few weeks ago on the introduction of this Bill said according to a message which appeared, with the Wellington date-line, in the Irish Press:

“Although the legal effect of the repeal of the Bill is clear and Ireland will cease to be a member of the Commonwealth, it should be a matter of the utmost satisfaction throughout [307] the Commonwealth that the Government of Ireland...”

and so on. The governing words in that statement are: “Ireland will cease to be a member of the Commonwealth.” The Acting-Prime Minister of New Zealand believed, when this Bill was first introduced in the Dáil, that Ireland was then a member of the Commonwealth, but he was not alone in that view. In an editorial in the Sunday Times on the 28th November last this was said:—

“The Republic of Ireland Bill, and Mr. Atlee's statement on it, at least dispel the uncertainty and sham that have surrounded Éire's relation with the Commonwealth since 1937. Britain and the Dominions held that she was still a member. Mr. Costello said she was not. Now, beyond equivocation, Éire is out of the Commonwealth, and the principle is vindicated that no country can belong to it which cuts all links with the Crown.”

These are two widely differing authorities, one being the Acting-Prime Minister of New Zealand and the other a leader writer on one of the most influential of the British Sunday newspapers, and both taking the view, first and foremost, that there was some ground for confusion, but insisting that their interpretation was right—that Ireland was in the Commonwealth. Writing on the 5th December in an article already quoted from the Sunday Times, Viscount Simon, at one time Attorney-General of England and at a later period Lord Chancellor of England, said, regarding the measure which is before us:—

“That does not alter the fact that a community may take a step which, in its own eyes, is justified and necessary but which none the less snaps the last remaining constitutional thread.”

There you have an ex-Lord Chancellor and an ex-Attorney-General of England talking of this Bill as snapping the last constitutional thread.

But without going abroad for these authorities, I would like to come nearer home, and quote what Deputy de [308] Valera said. The quotations which I propose to give are not new. The bulk of them, I think, have already been used by the Minister for External Affairs in the debate on this measure in the Dáil. The first quotation which I have is from a speech delivered in Dáil Éireann on the 25th May, 1937. That was the occasion on which the Dáil was considering the present Constitution. It was then in the form of a Bill before the House. An amendment was submitted for the purpose of making it clear that this country was a republic. The Taoiseach of that day opposed the amendment and, in doing so, said:—

“that as there is an acute difference of opinion of such a character that it would mean that we would not get acceptance of this Constitution by a large section of the people, was to leave this matter to be decided as a separate independent question.”

An amendment which was tabled proposed to declare that this country was a republic, the amendment was resisted because the Constitution might not get acceptance if it were included. Consequently, the Taoiseach that day believed that there was something to distinguish the State described in the Constitution from a republic. If he did not believe there was something which distinguished one form of constitutional position from another, there was no point in resisting this amendment, which was successfully resisted. Developing his argument and encouraging people to believe that what was being done then was not the last word on the subject, Mr. de Valera said:—

“It can be decided outside the Constitution and put as a separate and independent question. I think that is the proper place for it and so I have to resist the amendment.”

The question whether this country was to be described as a republic or not was a matter for decision outside the Constitution, a matter to be decided independently. Why Senator Ó Buachalla gets all hot and bothered about this, I do not know. We have here in unmistakable language in the official records of Dáil Éireann the views of the Leader of his Party on this subject, [309] the view of the Minister who was piloting the Bill for the enactment of the Constitution through Dáil Éireann, and he was in no doubt whatever that he was asking the House and asking the country to accept something which constitutionally was not a republic. If there is a doubt about that, we can pursue it further. We have the question raised at the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis in November, 1938, when delegates from Fianna, Fáil cumainn were not happy about this, 12 months after the Constitution came into force, and they raised the issue in order to have it clarified.

An Cathaoirleach: The Senator should keep away from what was discussed at the Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis and deal with the section as it stands.

Mr. Duffy: I submit that I am entitled to show where the confusion exists and the cause of it. Surely I am entitled to show that? Is not that the whole purpose of the Bill?

An Cathaoirleach: The Senator need not deal with decisions at a Fianna Fáil Árd Fheis, or discussion or debates there.

Mr. Duffy: I am going to quote from a speech by the Taoiseach as reported in the newspapers. I am entitled to do that, because here is the case where he admits there is confusion. In his speech, he said:—

“There may be obstacles of fact or material or other grounds, but there is no legal obstacle to declaring a republic in the morning.”

In other words, there is not a republic to-night but you can have one in the morning by declaring it. He said:—

“Dáil Éireann has only got to repeal the External Relations Act, 1936, and you have a complete republic in fact for this part of Ireland.”

Mr. Hawkins: Under the same Constitution.

Mr. Duffy: He had not thought of [310] the Encyclopaedia then. The critics of this Bill——

Mr. Quirke: What is the Senator complaining about? Is not everything all right?

Mr. Duffy: No. I want to know on which side of the House Senator Ó Buachalla stands.

Mr. Quirke: The very same question I was asking myself—on which side of the House Senator Duffy stands.

Mr. Duffy: Would the Senator allow me to conclude before reaching a decision? The difficulty is that Senator Ó Buachalla devotes 45 minutes to a discussion on Section 1, the only purpose of which is to repeal the External Relations Act, and I am endeavouring to find out—because it is very helpful to all of us to know exactly what we are doing—precisely where he stands on this. I am trying to suggest that he is suffering from an overdose of the confusion of which Mr. de Valera complained on a number of occasions in relation to our constitutional position. I am now trying to encourage him to support this section on the grounds that it will get rid of the confusion. I am entitled to show that and I want to come exactly to the point where Mr. de Valera conceded and argued that there was confusion. Speaking in 1938, he said:—

“I feel that if we were able to say we are an independent republic, there would be none of this confusion which exists at the moment and which is helping to cause dissatisfaction and, in a sense, is a source of danger.”

The purpose of the section we are dealing with is to get rid of that source of danger, to dispose of the argument on one side by the Acting Prime Minister of New Zealand and the London papers, that we are in the Commonwealth, and the assertion on the other side that we are an independent republic. When this section has been passed—as undoubtedly it will be passed, and to leave Senator Quirke in no doubt as to how I stand, I say I am [311] voting for the section as it stands—and when this Bill becomes law, there will be no doubt there as to where we stand. We are outside the Commonwealth.

Mr. Hawkins: In the Constitution that you opposed.

Mr. Duffy: We opposed it for very good and valid reasons. If we want to go back on that we can.

Mr. Baxter: Do not. That will not help Fianna Fáil.

Mr. Duffy: It would be very interesting to know, having regard to the boast made here on the Second Reading from the Fianna Fáil side of the House, what developments there have been over a period of 25 years. For instance, a case has been made, though I do not propose to develop it now——

Mr. Hawkins: Do.

Mr. Duffy: No, the Chair is the judge of order, not Senator Hawkins. The case has been made that there was nothing done between 1922 and 1932 to take any of the venom out of the Treaty.

Mr. Hearne: Then there was venom in the Treaty?

Mr. Duffy: Yes, sure. If the Senator would only have the good sense to read the facts surrounding this subject before coming in to consider this Bill, we would avoid a good deal of confusion in different terms. If the Senator were to read, for instance, the declaration made in Dáil Éireann by the Labour Party on the 6th December, 1922, he would probably begin asking himself a number of questions as to why there were five years of frustration following the Treaty instead of getting busy to alter and amend it there and then. I would like to point out that some of the things for which the Labour Party agitated during those years were achieved with the consent of the people who then sat in Dáil Éireann. For instance, one of the most important of all was the refusal of this country, notwithstanding the Treaty, to permit an appeal to the [312] Privy Council. I suggest that that was one of the most important indentations made in the whole Treaty position. I do not want to pursue it on this section because I am trying to confine myself as closely as I can to the section.

Mr. Hearne: The Senator has dealt with Fianna Fáil and has gone back to the Treaty. I think the door is dangerously open.

An Cathaoirleach: The Senator should come back to Section 1, the repeal of the Act, of 1936.

Mr. Duffy: I am endeavouring to show that the main purpose, I think the big achievement, of this Bill, is to get rid of confusion and I think I have shown that there was confusion in various places, including important places, in this country and, if we have got rid of the confusion, we have acieved something valuable. That is why I am uneasy about the criticism of the Bill and the attitude that has been adopted towards it in certain circles. I want to say at once that, in the Dáil, Deputy de Valera made it perfectly clear that he was a supporter of the Bill, that he believed it was necessary. He justified the various sections, even those that were challenged, and pointed out that they were essential.

What troubles me, therefore, is, why there should be a good deal of time devoted to an indirect criticism of the Bill, a kind of subdued opposition, not expressing itself in a vote against the measure but in creating suspicion, in creating a belief, as was attempted on the last occasion when we were discussing this Bill, that there was something behind it, that there was something we had not been told, something we must be careful about. That is not a reasonable attitude towards a Bill of this kind. If those who are criticising the repeal of the External Relations Act are opposed to that, they should say so. If they are not opposed to it, if they are in favour of the repeal of the External Relations Act, then they should vote for this Bill in an uncritical manner.

Mr. Quirke: Senator Hearne says that the door is dangerously open and I do [313] not mind suggesting that in the midst of a lot of free horses being spurred through open doors—

An Cathaoirleach: I hope the Senator is not going to——

Mr. Quirke: To make a Second Reading speech, like Senator Duffy? No.

An Cathaoirleach:——open the doors any further.

Mr. Quirke: Certainly not.

Mr. Hearne: They are wide open.

Mr. Quirke: Senator Duffy finds very great fault with the speech made by Senator O Buachalla but, as far as I could hear, he has not quoted one thing that Senator O Buachalla said with which he did not agree. Anybody would think that Senator Duffy in his statement on this particular section was trying to convince Senator O Buachalla that he should, in fact, vote for this section. We did not hear what Senator Duffy had to say on the Second Reading, but anybody listening to Senator O Buachalla on the Second Reading could not possibly be under any misapprehension or be suffering from any misunderstanding as regards his attitude. His attitude is the attitude of everybody in the House, not alone in connection with the Second Reading but in connection with this section in particular, the repeal of the External Relations Act. Senator Duffy goes to great rounds to explain all this misunderstanding and what Mr. de Valera said on such a date and what the Taoiseach said on another date. We have it on the authority of the Taoiseach, the Minister for External Affairs, the Attorney-General, Mr. de Valera and about 40 others who would ordinarily be regarded as authorities, that we had, in fact, a republican Constitution here and I think it is spurring free horses or pushing open doors to press the thing any further. If we want to go back to find out what Mr. de Valera said, we find that on April 23rd, 1933, at Arbour Hill, he said:

“Let us remove these forms one by one so that this State that we control [314] may be a republic in fact and that when the time comes the proclaiming of the republic may involve no more than a ceremony, the formal conformation of a status already attained.”

In my opinion, that is the situation now; we are proclaiming the republic, having removed the various——

An Cathaoirleach: We are repealing the External Relations Act, 1936, in this section.

Mr. Quirke: I am sorry if I am out of order.

An Cathaoirleach: It is the opinion of the Chair that quotations from speeches made outside are not relevant.

Mr. Quirke: If the Chair wants to rule me out of order, all I can say is that I would like to register a mild protest that the policy has been changed between the last speaker and myself. I am sorry.

An Cathaoirleach: The Chair does not like that. The Chair pulled the last speaker up when he thought he was going beyond bounds and the last speaker obeyed the ruling of the Chair.

Mr. Honan: I did not expect that there would be any speeches to-day, on the Committee Stage, after what we had the last day. As far as I am personally concerned, I raised some points so that they would be clarified and the clarification was made and a satisfactory assurance was received from the Taoiseach and the Minister for External Affairs that there were no strings attached to this Bill. That being so, as far as I am concerned, I am sure everybody who professes to be a republican is now prepared to accept it—I am, at least—in the form in which it exists.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Tá súil agam go bhfuil sé in ordú agam beagán eile a rá, go háirithe mar fhreagra ar an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh. Is trua liom nach dtuigeann an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh an Ghaeilge ach ní chuireann sé aon ionadh orm. Níl sé chomh fada sin ó shoin ó thug an [315] Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh tairiscint isteach os cóir an tSeanaid agus b'é brí na tairiscinte sin go rachadh Cléireach an tSeanaid amach agus go scrúdódh sé imeachta an tSeanaid agus go bhfoilseodh sé don tír cé mhéid colún de na tuairiscí oifigiúla a líonann gach comhalta den tSeanad in aghaidh na bliana. Cheap mé go raibh sé le corn a chur ar fáil mar dhuais don té a líonfadh tuairiscí an tSeanaid agus go mbeadh sé fhéin ag coimhlint go géar leis an duais a bhaint amach. Má thóg mé 45 nóiméad ag cur síos ar an scéal níl aon leithscéal le déanamh agam leis an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh ná le duine ar bith eile an fhaid is léir don Chathaoirleach nach bhfuilim ag briseadh rialacha an tSeanaid. Is cuma liom má leanaim ag caint 10 nóiméad nó 10 n-uaire a chloig an fhaid is a chóimhlíonaim mo dhualgas. Ceapann an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh go bhfuil amhras orm. Bhí mé ag míniú ar feadh an ama ar fad nach bhfuil amhras orm ach go rabh mé ag taispeáint go bhfuil amhras ar dhaoine eile, is ar an mbéalach a mheas an t-iar-Thaoiseach go rabh amhras ar dhaoine eile i dtaobh status an Stáit seo agus gur mhaith an rud é alt a 1 a bheith sa mBille agus an tAcht Caidrimh Coigríche a chur ar ceal. Ba mhaith leis an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh innsint dúinn céard dúirt Mr. Walter Nash í dtaobh status na tíre seo. Má tá mise le rogha a dhéanamh idir Mr. Walter Nash agus an Taoiseach atá ós ár gcóir beidh mé i bhfábhar an Taoisigh. Ba cheart go mbeadh fhios ag Mr. Walter Nash céard a chiallaíos ballraíocht an Chomhchiníochais. Tá sain-mhíniú nó definition ann:—

“They are autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate to one another in any aspect of their external affairs though united by a common allegiance to the Crown and freely associated with members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.”

Sin sain-mhiniú ar bhallraíocht an Chomhchiníochais. Tá sé in am, dá bhféadadh an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh sreangscéal a chur chuig Mr. Walter Nash, ag meabhrú dhó gur cheart dó [316] eolas níos cruinne a bheith aige ar céard is ballraíocht den Chomhchiníochais ann. B'fhéidir go mbeidh sé scioptha á dhéanamh agus a bhí nuair a bhí sé ag cur sreangscéal chuig Mr. Attlee. Deireann Mr. Nash gur comhalta den Chomhchiníochas sinn. Níl an Taoiseach ar an tuairim sín agus b'fhéidir go scríobhfadh an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh chuig Mr. Nash a rá leis céard dúirt an Taoiseach. Luaidh mé é an lá deiridh. Scrúduigh sé an scéal, é fhéin agus an tAire Gnóthaí Eachtracha nuair tháinig sé i gcomhacht. Bhí mortabháil níos troime air nuair bhí sé ina Thaoiseach ná mar a bhí nuair nach rabh sé ina Thaoiseach agus d'fhreagair sé an mhortabháil sin, gurb é an tuairim a bhí aige faoi status na tíre:—

“The result of all these questions and the discussions which took place between the questions was that the Minister for External Affairs and myself having come one way or another

(beagán paraphrase)

finally came to the conclusion that we were not a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Mr. Baxter: And we were not a republic.

Liam Ó Buachalla: “Apparently then as a result of all that we reached the point where everybody said we were not a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. That is the answer to those who are asking why we are leaving the Commonwealth of Nations.”

Deir an Seanadóir Baxter “and we were not a Republic.” Is í an cheist atámuid a phlé anois: an rabhamar ins an Impireacht? Ar chomhalta sinn den Chomhchiníochas? Sin é an sórt cainte a bhí ar bun ag an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh a chur an míthapa ar an tír sna blianta atá caite agus sin é an bhuaidh atá leis an mBille, an tAcht Caidrimh Coigríche a chur as, go nglanann sé an ceo agus go scaipeann sé an t-amhras.

Bhí caint ar an bPoblacht, caint ar status na tíre, agus eile. Is truaigh nach gcuimhníonn an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh nó an Seanadóir Baicstear ar thuairisc a thabhairt i dtaobh brí na [317] bhfocal a bhfuil siad ag baint feidhm an oiread sin astu, “Republic agus Republicanism.” Is seafóid an chainnt acu a rá gur “Dictionary Republic” an Republic seo againne. Nuair tháinig an t-iar-Thaoiseach os cóir na Dala le freagra a thabhairt ar an gceist díreach, na foclóirí a thug sé isteach nó ar thug sé isteach na téacsleabhra is údarásaí? Ní as foclóirí ach na húdair is fearr a d'fhéadfadh sé fháil ionas go bhféadfadh sé an cheist a fhreagairt go cruinn. Ag an am sin bhí an t-iar-Thaoiseach á ionsaí ar na dlíodóirí—dlíodóirí do réir gairme agus dlíodóirí nach raibh ina ndlíodóirí do réir gairme. Tá fhios againn an chaoi a raibh cuid acu sin ag iarraidh é chur i sáinn. Bhí Sasana á rá, nuair a ritheamar Bunreacht na tíre, an Republican Constitution, nach ndearna sé aon difríocht chomh fada agus bhain sé leo. Bhí fhios ag an tiar-Thaoiseach, nuair a bhí freagra le tabhairt aige, go mba cheart dó am a thógáil agus a bheith cinnte dá chuid téarmaí sul a dtabharfadh sé an freagra. Sin é an saghas duine é, nach gnáthach leis freagra tapaidh a thabhairt. Taispeánann gach a ndéanann sé gur fear stáit é.

B'fhéidir nar mhisde a mheabhrú don tSeanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh agus don tSeanadóir Baicstear an chiall atá leis an focal “Republican” do réir an fhoclóra. Dá gcuirtí ceist ar an Taoiseach sa gCúirt faoi abhar ar bith, nach mbeadh ar an Taoiseach féin dul go dtí na leabhra dlí agus na foclóirí, sul a bhféadadh sé freagra a thabhairt ar an gceist? Ní shamhlaíonn aon duine gur rud mícheart é, ná aon mhasla don Taoiseach na d'aon dlíodóir eile go rachaidís go dtí na leabhra dlí, nó na teacsleabhra, nó na hAchta le go bhféadaidís freagra a thabhairt ar aon cheist a cuirfí orthu. An míniú atá ar an bhfocal “Republican”—

An Cathaoirleach: Is dóigh leis an gCathaoir go mbeadh sé níos fearr don tSeanadóir labhairt ar “Republic”— Poblacht, in alt a 2. 'Sé seo Repeal of the External Relations Act.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Sin é a b'fhearr liom ach ní thógfaidh tú orm é mar mheas mé nuair bhí cead ag an Seanadóir Ó Dubhthaigh labhairt ar an mbealach a labhair sé ar an constitutional [318] position agus eile, agus cead ag an Seanadóir Baxter a bheith ag cur isteach ar an mbealach inar chuir sé isteach, go mbeadh sé de chead agam iad do fhreagairt.

An Cathaoirleach: Bheadh sé níos fearr ar an gcéad mír eile.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Ba cheart dom é a rá nach rabh mé ach ag iarraidh iad do fhreagairt do réir mar d'éirigh na ceisteanna.

Seán Ó Guilidhe: Nach bhfuil sé in am deireadh a chur leis an díospóireacht seo? Tá an chaint seo ar siúl le fada anois agus bhí sí ar siúl an lá faoi dheireadh. Gach a bhfuil le rá ag gach taobh, tá sé ráite.

We are all agreed about this Bill. We are all in favour of it and we will all vote for it. It will pass without a division. There has been a lot of discussion which was really not necessary at all. The discussion has turned on the question of whether we were a republic before this will become law or not. One side say that we were not and the other side say we were. We on this side believe that in essentials the republic was in force in this country for the past 12 years since the enactment of the Constitution, while other people say that it depends on the passing of this Bill. When we are all in agreement on this particular section of the Bill, that the Executive Authority (External Relations) Act of 1936 is hereby repealed, we all admit that a certain amount of confusion was caused by this Act. People all over the country and all over the world who did not study the Bill did not realise what it meant. If this clears the confusion and the misunderstanding we are all in favour of it, so why talk about it?

Mr. S. O'Farrell: I did not intend to speak on this section, but a point occurs to me on which I would prefer to ask for information rather than attempt to make a statement. I am in favour, naturally, of the passing of Section 1 and of every other section in the Bill, but Section 1, in repealing the External Relations Act, withdraws from the King the authority which he was authorised to use on our behalf in [319] the External Relations Act of 1936. In that way, we are getting rid of the King as our external agent, but I assume from what has been said in this House and in the other House that we will still be in some form of external association with Canada, Great Britain and the other nations we have been working with in the past and will no longer be any part of the British Empire. Article 29 of the Constitution, however, says:—

“For the purpose of the exercise of any executive function of the State in or in connection with its external relations the Government may, to such extent and subject to such conditions, if any, as may be determined by law avail of or adopt any organ instrument or method of procedure used or adopted for the like purpose by the members of any group or league of nations with which the State is or becomes associated for the purpose of international cooperation in matters of common concern.”

The point I am making is that, by the repeal of the External Relations Act, we are definitely withdrawing the authority from the King to act, but it seems to me that, under the Constitution, if we remain in association with any group of nations in the future, it is quite possible for some future Government—perhaps a Government led by Senator Bigger—to come in here and quite constitutionally to restore the King as a constitutional instrument.

Mr. Quirke: I do not at all agree with Senator O'Farrell's reading of the Act. He says that we are now removing the authority which the King had to do certain things under the Act. I claim that the King was not entitled to do certain things under the Act as such, but that we, under that Act, to use the particular expression “may, in certain instances, use the King”. That is a completely different thing.

Mr. Baxter: And you did so use him.

Mr. Quirke: Yes, we did so use him.

Mr. Baxter: We are repealing that now.

[320] Mr. Quirke: Yes, but what we are repealing are not certain rights which the King had over this country but certain rights which we claimed to use the King as an agent.

Mr. S. O'Farrell: Senator Quirke apparently misunderstood me. I said the exact wording of the 1936 Act was that we may use the King, but it went on to say: “He is hereby authorised”. We are withdrawing that authorisation from him now.

Mr. Baxter: I realise the folly of those of us who are not lawyers getting into a discussion on this matter. We had a whirligig of an argument from Senator O Buachalla which led nowhere, and, so far as one could judge, he was not clear himself what he wanted to do and he did not succeed in clarifying the situation for us. So far as this section is concerned, it is quite clear what it will do. Senator Quirke has stated it briefly. We are going to create a situation in which outside nations will be under no misunderstanding as to who accredits our representatives abroad or who signs international agreements. The President, the head of the State, will do that and whatever Senator O Buachalla may think, the Premier of New Zealand and the people like the author of that article in the Sunday Times are people with international reputations. They have stated their views as to the status of this country. That is going to be changed.

From 1916 to 1921, we were fighting for recognition for the Irish Republic. We spent a fair amount of money on the man who is now President up in Phoenix Park when he was in Paris trying to get recognition from other nations. We did not succeed and we have not got it yet. We are not recognised as an Irish Republic by any nation outside, and it is quite clear that there has been a great deal of confusion within the country. The statement of Deputy de Valera at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis is an indication of that. That is all going to pass into history and nobody will be in any doubt whatever, when this Bill is passed, as to what the status of this country is. It is important that we should recognise [321] the fact that not only do we know ourselves what our status is but our status will be accepted by all the other countries, by Mr. Attlee and by all the heads of the States of the Commonwealth. The United States, the French or any of the other peoples of Europe will have no doubt about it. I think we can all be agreed on that and can accept this section for what it is. I have not taken up much time on it, but there has been a great deal of talk about nothing and a great deal of talk by some people who did not understand what they were talking about.

Mr. O'Reilly: Senator O'Farrell referred to Article 29 and asked how far it would be possible for a future Government to make an arrangement in respect of external association with any group of States. I suggest that Article 29 is flexible enough to allow any future Government to make an arrangement with any State or group of States. According to that Article, it would be possible, if the Government of this country considered it expedient, to make an arrangement with, say, the United States of America to do certain things, including the things that have been done under the Act now being repealed. If the Government wanted to do so and provided also that the President of the United States was agreeable to do the things which have been done under the Act which is now being repealed, that sort of machinery could be set up, but, if that is to be done, it can be done only with the sanction of the Parliament of this country. It would require an Act of the Oireachtas to bring about that position.

An Cathaoirleach: It cannot be done under Section 1.

Mr. O'Reilly: I take it then that I am out of order?

An Cathaoirleach: These are hypothetical questions.

Mr. O'Reilly: I merely want to say that I feel there should not be any fears in that regard. I do not think there are, because that matter is really one for any future Government.

[322] Mr. Douglas: The point raised by Senator O'Farrell is the only one which is not simply a matter of discussing history. I think he wants to know what the Constitutional position will be when this Bill has been passed, and it seems to me that the answer is that this is an act of the Oireachtas, done within the powers it has under the Constitution. It does not amend the Constitution because you cannot amend the Constitution simply by an Act of Parliament. The Constitution remains exactly where it was before. That means (1) that Parliament has power to pass this Act and (2) it would have the power, if it were foolish enough, to-morrow to reinsert the same thing within the Constitution and to pass some similar Act, provided it came within the Constitution.

We cannot simply, by an Act of Parliament, amend the Constitution. Therefore the matter does not arise. I think that if Senator O'Farrell is suffering from any illusions or fears that, for example, Senator Bigger might get into the Dáil or that people with similar views to his might succeed in forming a Government and proceed to pass such legislation, I do not think he need be unduly alarmed, because it would require a majority of both Houses to do so, just as it requires a majority of both Houses to pass this Act. It seems to me that there is no need for the Senator to worry.

Mr. S. O'Farrell: The Senator misunderstands me. I did not say it would be necessary to do that. My point was that it seemed to me it would not be necessary to have special legislation, because Article 29 of the Constitution gives the Government, even though we repeal the External Relations Act, exactly the same power to appoint any foreign instrument, organ or method of procedure in connection with our external relations. A Government, having that power under the Constitution, would require no new legislation. It could still appoint anybody it liked, including the King of England.

Minister for External Affairs (Mr. MacBride): As may be determined by law. There must be a law to enable the Government to do it.

[323] Mr. S. O'Farrell: My point is that it does not for ever bar the door against the King of England or anybody else. I am not making any point against it.

Mr. Douglas: But that would have to be done by another law.

Mr. MacBride: Parliament can do what it likes within the framework of the Constitution.

Question put and agreed to.

SECTION 2.

Question proposed: “That Section 2 stand part of the Bill.”

Mrs. Concannon: Under this section it is provided “that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland”. I would like to know what is the meaning of the word “description”. I have been told that in Johnson's dictionary “description” is defined “as lax and fanciful”. I agree that Johnson's dictionary is now quite out of date. I would like to know what is the meaning of the word “description” in law. Is there any special significance attaching to the use of the word?

The Taoiseach: There is a very substantial significance attaching to the use of the word “description”. I did not bring any dictionaries with me today.

Mrs. Concannon: They can be useful very often.

The Taoiseach: I do not agree with the Senator in thinking that they would be useful. If I say that my name is Costello and that my description is that of senior counsel, I think that will be clear to anybody who wants to know. If the Senator will look at Article 4 of the Constitution she will find that the name of the State is Eire. Section 2 of this Bill declares that “this State shall be described as the Republic of Ireland.” Its name in Irish is Eire and in the English language Ireland. Its description in the English language is “the Republic of Ireland.”

Mr. Colgan: I am a bit worried about the name—the Republic of Ireland. We have had a lot of appellations [324] given to this country in our time, some of them that we resented. I should like that there should be no ambiguity about the name. I wonder why the description should be the Republic of Ireland. It is a new name.

Mr. Duffy: No. It is the Constitution of Ireland that you are working under.

Mr. Colgan: The Proclamation of 1916 proclaimed this to be the Irish Republic. As well as I can recollect, the Proclamation made by the First Dáil on the 21st January, 1919, reaffirmed that Proclamation, and declared this to be the Irish Republic. I would like to have some explanation as to why we are now using the phrase the Republic of Ireland.

The Taoiseach: Is the Senator sure that he is correct? I should like to know if he has got with him the documents which he is purporting to quote from?

Mr. Colgan: No.

The Taoiseach: I think the Senator is incorrect. It was popularly referred to as the Irish Republic. The Proclamation was “Poblacht na hÉireann” —the Republic of Ireland—and it is Poblacht na hÉireann that we have in the Irish text of this Bill.

Mr. Colgan: I see, but to the man in the street that meant generally the Irish Republic. There may be some legal reason for the title the Republic of Ireland. To me at all events the title—the Republic of Ireland—is not as practical, if you like, as the Irish Republic. I think that the description of the State should be “the Irish Republic,” and not “the Republic of Ireland.”

The Taoiseach: May I calm the Senator's artistic worries?

Mr. Colgan: They are not artistic.

The Taoiseach: May I tell him the practical reason why we put in “the Republic of Ireland”, apart from the legal reason? Ireland is, of course, the name of this State in the Constitution. If you are giving a description of the type of State this is, then you will [325] refer to it as “the Republic of Ireland”, using the constitutional name. If you call it “the Irish Republic” you are doing something that is not in the Constitution. What we did, from the constitutional and legal point of view, was to follow the Constitution specifically. Otherwise, we would be told that we were doing something which was unconstitutional. I suggest to the Senator that what is really worrying him in regard to the expression “the Irish Republic” is this: that that expression became current in popular usage.

Mr. Colgan: And would still remain so.

The Taoiseach: It probably would, in one sense, but I hope it will not remain because, apart from our desire and our necessity of following the constitutional appellation of the State, we wanted to get rid of the jeering use of the word “Éire” which has become current in the last few years. That is the practical reason why we have adopted the expression “the Republic of Ireland”, and the practical reason coincides with the constitutional necessity of using the word “Ireland”. Perhaps that will satisfy the Senator.

Mr. Colgan: I am satisfied.

Mrs. Concannon: We are all very glad that the word “Ireland” has been restored. We all know that the word Éire was used in a way to suggest that we were a sort of Free State. It is sometimes used in inverted commas. We know that a very undignified kind of use was made of it. It has certain spectacular advantages. I remember that when the Constitution was going through the Dáil, and when the use of the word “Éire” was under discussion, somebody asked—as well as I remember it was Deputy Jordan— what would be the adjective for Éire. Nobody seemed to know what it could be. I think it was the same Deputy who suggested that it would be a great disadvantage, which we all agreed it would be, if people began to talk of Éire butter as “hairy butter”. Well, we are getting rid of that now.

Mr. Duffy: I should like to have some assurance that, when this Bill becomes [326] law, official documents will bear the heading “The Republic of Ireland” when they are published in the English language. In this matter, I think one of the biggest sinners amongst the Departments of State is the Department of Education, a Department from which one would naturally expect precision of language. The report of that Department bears the heading “Éire”. The body of the report is in English, with the exception of the Minister's signature. The Minister for Education continues to use the word “Éire” in the English text of the Department's reports. The body of the reports, as I say, is in the English language, but the title at the top is “Éire”. I should like an assurance that official documents published in the English language will in future bear the title of “the Republic of Ireland” and not the incorrect title “Éire”.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Rinneadh tagairt cheana don cheart atá ag daoine nach dlíodóirí a bheith ag cur síos ar cheisteanna mar iad seo. Tá sé chomh maith againn ár n-aigne a dhéanamh suas nach féidir an obair seo ar fad fhágáil faoi dhlíodóirí. Cé mhéid uair a bhí dlíodóirí sa Teach seo ag troid le chéile agus ar theip orthu réiteach a dhéanamh faoi na ceisteanna a bhí á bplé acu? Más rud é, agus shílfeá sin ón gcaint go dtí seo, nach bhfuil cead ag aon duine labhairt ar na ceisteanna seo ach dlíodóirí, bheadh sé chomh maith ag 95 faoin gcéad againn ár bpáipéirí a bhailiú agus glanadh amach as an Teach. Tá na dlíodóirí riachtanach ach ní féidir linn, agus ní bheadh an pobal sásta, é a dhéanamh, na dlithe fhágáil faoi na dlíodóirí amháin. Daoine gur dlíodóirí iad agus daoine nach dlíodóirí iad caithfidh siad bheith foighdeach leis an gcuid againn nach dlíodóirí sinn do réir gairme, bíodh gur dlíodóirí sinn do réir polaitíochta.

San Alt seo, Alt 2, táimid ag déanamh, is dóigh liom, rud ciallmhar go dtí pointe, sé sin, táimid ag baisteadh Poblacht ar an Stát. Fearracht go leor daoine eile, b'fhearr liom dá bhféadadh an Taoiseach agus an Rialtas téarma éigin eile fháil mar ghairm don Stát in ionad an téarma “Pobacht,” mar is cuma liom céard a tharlós, ní díbreofar as ár gcuimhne go [327] gciallaíonn na focla “Poblacht na hÉireann” an Phoblacht a fógraíodh i mbliain 1916 agus a bhí i réim sa tír suas go dtí 1921. Tá deacaireacht ann, fé mar is léir don Taoiseach, téarma feiliúnach fháil. Cén difríocht a níos an téarma seo “Poblacht” i gcás na tíre? Thug an Taoiseach sompla anmhaith air. “Costello” an sloinneadh atá air, an t-ainm atá air. Dlíodóir é— sin é a ghairm. Míníonn sé sin céard tá ann. Díreach ar an gcaoi a dúirt mé an lá eile, tá cúpla miliún beithíoch againn sa tír seo, agus dá gcuireadh an tAire Talmhaíochta—agus is duine é a dhéanfadh a leithéid—fógra amach amáireach go gcaithfeadh gach feilméar sa tír cárta a clóbhualadh agus é a chrocadh thart ar mhuineál gach bó agus bulán sa tír á rá gur bó nó bulán an beithíoch sin, cén difríocht a dhéanfadh sé? Ar aon chaoi, tá súil agam go bhfuilmid ar aon intinn i dtaobh an Ailt seo agus thug an Taoiseach féin míniú ar cén fáth go mba cheart dúinn bheith ar aon intinn faoi. Is Stát Phoblachtach í seo. Admhaíonn sé gurb ea ó ritheadh an Bunreacht. Níl seisean anois ach ag tabhairt láí ar láí. Dúirt sé féin, ag caint ar Imeachta na Dála, colún 1022, Iml. 113, 3, ag cur síos ar an mBunreacht—ba mhaith liom an réamhrá a léamh chun bheith féireálta dhó:—

“There are certain arguments, which I have never mentioned, in connection with this Constitution which might possibly throw doubt upon its validity.——

Ba deas uaidh é sin:—

But I have never mentioned them. I have accepted it. I accept it as the Constitution and as the fundamental law of the country in the first place. I accept it and I have always accepted it as a republican Constitution.”

An Seanadóir Baicstear, nuair chuir sé isteach orm tamall ó shoin, theastaigh uaidh go n-inseoinn dó céard díreach a deireann an foclóir. Tá cead agam a mheabhrú dhó anois:—

“Republic: Of or pertaining to a republic; having the form or constitution of a republic; characteristic of a republic or republics.”

[328] Poblacht a bhí sa tír seo ó 1937. D'fhógair mé sin de ló agus d'oíche gach áit a raibh an seans agam, ach is cuimhin liom an t-am nuair a bhí an Bunreacht á chur os cóir na tíre, daoine údarásacha ag dul síos agus suas tríd an tír ag obair in a choinne agus ag rá a mhalairt. Is mór an moladh don iar-Thaoiseach agus is mór an moladh do mhuintir Fhianna Fáil an obair a rinne siad sna blianta atá caite Mír 2 a bheith sa mBille. Ag an am céanna, ba mhaith liom a mhiniú don Taoiseach gur dóigh liom nach bhfuil éirithe leis an deacracht a bhí ann i dtaobh “Éire” nó “Ireland” a bheith mar ainm ar an gcuid seo den tír a sheachaint. Mar shompla, caithfidh mé féin, beagnach gach aon lá a bheith ag cur síos ar chúrsaí tráchtála agus ar chúrsaí geilleagair na tíre fré chéile. Go dtí seo, nuair luainn an téarma “Éire,” bhíodh orm, go mórmór ag caint le strainséirí, míniú dhóibh gurb iad na 26 contaethe a bhí ar intinn agam. Nuair bhínn ag caint ar thuaisceart na hÉireann bhíodh orm a mheabhrú dhóibh nach é Cúige Uladh a bhíodh i gceist agam ach na Sé Contaethe, cuid d'Éirinn. Cén difríocht a dhéanfas an téarma nua nuair a bheas muid ag caint ar dhaonra Phoblacht na hÉireann? Nach gcaithfidh muid a rá i gcónaí: “Ní hé Poblacht 32 Contaethe atá ar intinn agam—séard tá i gceist agam ná na 26 Contaethe”? Ar an gcaoi chéanna, tá an-trioblóid agam maidir le tuaisceart na hÉireann— caithfidh mé “na Sé Contaethe” a rá. Bhíodh an Seanadóir Ó hAodha ag magadh go minic faoi chomh míchruinn agus bhí na téarma, “Éire” agus “Ireland.” Is dóigh liom—agus tuigim go maith an trioblóid agus an deacracht atá ar an Taoiseach—nach bhfuil an deacracht sin sáraithe againn. Ní féidir linn, ón méid adúirt sé féin linn an lá eile, ach a iarraidh ar mhuintir na hÉireann, an oiread agus tá ar ár gcumas, an téarma seo “Republic of Ireland” nó “Poblacht na hÉireann” a chur in usáid. Is cuma cé leis a dtaitneoidh sé nó nach dtaitneoidh, ach ina dhiaidh sin tá sé chomh maith againn a admhachtáil go bhfuil an deacracht chéanna ann faoin mBille seo agus bhí sa scéal suas go dtí seo. Mar adeirim, ní dhéanann an tAlt seo ach láí a thabhairt ar láí— [329] Poblacht a bhí againn ó 1937, admhaíonn an Taoiseach féin é sin. Admhaíonn duine ar bith a bhreithníos an scéal go réasúnta, Éireannach nó Albanach, gur Poblacht í seo ó ritheadh an Bunreacht. Ní gá dhúinn dul isteach sa gceist cén fáth nár tugadh Poblacht uirthi. Pé ar bith fáth a bhí leis, sin í an fhírinne i gcónaí. Nílmid anois ach ag rá gur Poblacht an Phoblacht a bhí againn go dtí seo. Is maith liom gur shocraigh an Taoiseach, an dá théarma “Republic of Ireland” agus “Poblacht na hÉireann” a thabhairt isteach. Tá súil agam go mbeidh gach aon duine sa Stát dílis don chomhairle a thug sé dhó, agus go n-úsáidfear ceachtar den dá théarma sin do réir mar is Gaeilge nó Béarla a húsáidfear.

Mr. Hawkins: This, like Section 1, is a very simple section, saying:—

“It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland...”

Already a Senator has asked as to what “description” conveys. From the discussion here and in the Dáil since the Bill was introduced, we have heard much about the declaration of the republic, that we now have a republic, but when we read the section before us, we can easily see that we are not in the process of declaring a republic. We admit that we have already a republic but that that State —which everyone has known as Eire or Ireland—is in future going to be known as the republic.

There are one or two questions to which I would like to have a definite answer in connection with the Bill before us. Article 4 of the Constitution of 1938 reads: “The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland”. There has been confusion concerning the use of the word Éire. Some people suggest that the description was made use of in order to distinguish as between one part of Ireland and another, while others suggest that it is used as being the existing Irish term in preference to the English one. The Constitution which governs this State and which passed through both Houses cannot be [330] altered here. The only authority that could change the Constitution are the Irish people. The Constitution lays it down definitely that the name of this State is Éire or in the English language, Ireland.

As a layman, seeing that this Bill is being piloted through the Oireachtas by two very capable Ministers, I am sure that one or other of them will be able to answer a question, for instance, as to the position when legal action is being taken. Will it be by the people of Ireland, of Eire or by the Republic of Ireland? When will the term “Republic” be used. Is it legal to drop the term “Éire” or “Ireland” and to substitute “Republic of Ireland”? In future years that may be a delicate question for lawyers to decide. I leave the question to the two Ministers. It is one that should be clarified.

It is because such a clarification was not in the Constitution when enacted, that people did not quite understand what was being done by making widespread use of the word “Éire” and that difficulties and confusion were created. Senator Duffy when speaking on the Bill said there was confusion. I suggest that there was no confusion, and that whatever confusion did exist was deliberately created. We are not here to declare a republic. I do not ask the House to accept my word seeing that at the last sitting of the House we had a statement on the matter from the present Attorney-General. He said when speaking on the Bill:—

“The point I wish to bring out is that, on the 11th December, we enacted in Dáil Éireann this Act which gave us a republican Constitution...

Examining the Bill in the time that I and the House have had in which to do it, it would seem to me that the effect of it is to remove the King from the Constitution and to give to this country a republican Constitution. That may or may not be a desirable thing.”

That was the statement of Senator Lavery who is now the Attorney-General under the Constitution by which this State functions. While it is [331] regrettable that the republican Constitution when put before the people met with very serious opposition, we are very glad that people who put up the obstacles have been converted—both the present Taoiseach and the Attorney-General, and that those associated with the Government have come to accept the Fianna Fáil policy and every step that was taken then.

Mr. Baxter: The Fianna Fáil policy was to keep the King in the External Relations Act.

Mr. Hawkins: If Senator Baxter wishes to dispute whether the Fianna Fáil Constitution either removed or maintained the King, does he agree or disagree with the present Attorney-General?

Mr. Baxter: That question did not arise in the Constitution at all. It arose in the Constitution Amendment Act.

Mr. Hawkins: There is no such thing as the Constitution Amendment Act. This House or the other House cannot amend the Constitution. The Irish people only can do that.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I suggest that the Senator is getting away from the question before the House.

Mr. Hawkins: Doubts have been raised on this question. Senator Baxter and Senator Duffy had doubts as to what may happen after the passing of this Bill.

Mr. Baxter: We are dealing with the section now.

Mr. Hawkins: When this House assembled after the election, Senators elected a Cathaoirleach and a Leas-Chathaoirleach and I think they have sufficient confidence in them to conduct the business without Senator Baxter taking upon himself the duties of the Chair. Having put these questions to the Taoiseach, as to the use of the word “republic”, a word that is sacred to the Irish people and which was first declared in 1916, I conclude with the hope that, having renamed this State a republic, we will not go [332] back, seeing that there is no necessity to abandon the “republic” and that a guarantee will be given that it will be maintained.

Mr. Bennett: Now that by general consent the Bill has passed through various stages, and removed any confusion, I should like to say that I regard as important what Senator Duffy said about the future name of the State, whether it should be described on official documents as Eire or as Ireland. In order to avoid confusion in future, and perhaps to dispel any that existed in the minds of people in neighbouring countries, the matter should be clarified. We all know that English writers persist when dealing with Irish affairs in describing this State as Eire. It is our wish that they should use the term given in the Constitution, Ireland. If we send literature abroad, as we have been doing for the past 25 years, how can we blame English people for calling this State “Éire” when we do so ourselves?

I want to see whatever confusion exists removed by the passing of this Bill. I wish to ensure that correspondence for places outside the State should have the word Ireland on it. We could, perhaps, use the Irish version within the State. For those living in foreign countries the word “Ireland” has a sentimental value, an association with Irish history. We ought not to depart from that. I hope it will be possible to have all literature leaving Ireland for America and for other countries headed with the constitutional version —Ireland.

Mr. Douglas: I agree with the last two speakers that the name may be of considerable importance for purposes of clarity. But, I do not think there should be any too hasty decisions made. We cannot control the English language and we certainly cannot control the way in which the English people use their own language or the names which they may adopt. We can, I think, by using “Éire” help to prevent the likelihood of misunderstanding.

One of the criticisms of the present [333] Constitution was the belief that the English people, at any rate, would use the word “Éire” to apply to 26 counties. We all resent that and all are most anxious that it should stop. The Government, by changing the name on stamps and by making other changes, particularly in documents that go outside, will be able to do quite a bit, although the most important immediate change would be on customs boundary posts. It is quite absurd when, say, English people travelling from the Six Counties to the Twenty-six Counties, find one marked “Northern Ireland” and the other marked “Éire”. They naturally assume that is the boundary of what we call “Eíre”. It is extremely important that that should be changed.

I have no sympathy or interest in praise or blame or claims as to who did this or who did that or who made more mistakes or caused more confusion than the other. That is rather undignified and is something which should be avoided as far as possible in this Bill. I think, however, that Senator Hawkins got a little bit muddled in his facts. He quoted Senator Lavery when he was a Deputy and he quoted a speech that he made on a Constitution (Amendment) Bill, amending the old Constitution. It was the old Constitution which, as amended, by removing the name of the King from it, which then Deputy Lavery described as a republican Constitution. With great respect, I do not think it is of very much importance what he thought at that particular time, and I imagine he would agree with me but it is just as well that we should be clear and that Senator Hawkins should be clear when he raises the matter. I have no idea what attitude Deputy Lavery took to the new Constitution when it came. I do not know whether he was a member of the House at the time or not. I was not a member of Parliament at the time but that is an entirely different matter. One thing that is quite clear is that the old Constitution was amended, I think the day before the External Relations Act was passed, and that amendment took the King's name [334] out of the Constitution and it could be argued that it was then a republic de facto. I am not interested in these arguments because I think we look silly to people outside when we spend too much time arguing what we were in 1936 and what we are now, when we can get a Bill which creates a status and makes a description which is carried unanimously through both Houses. Surely we might be content to leave it at that without too much argument.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Níl fhios agam ar thuig mé an Seanadóir O Dubhghlas i gceart. I am not sure whether I understood Senator Douglas correctly but I think he implied that the aim of the Constitution was to ensure that the name “Eire” as the name of the State would be used by outsiders.

Mr. Douglas: Oh no, I never said that. Might I correct? I never said that was the aim. There was no such intention. I said some of the criticisms were the fear that it might so result. That is all I said.

Liam Ó Buachalla: I am glad to have that correction. An trioblóid atá ann faoi an scéal seo ar fad, in Alt a 4 den Bhunreacht adeirtear: “The name of the State is Eire or, in the English language Ireland.” 'Sé an chuspóir a bhí ag lucht ceapaithe an Bhunreachta agus sé cuspóir agus aidhm an Bhunreachta duine ar bith a bheadh ag caint i mBéarla go dtabharfadh sé “Ireland” ar an Stát agus go dtabharfadh sé “Eire” ar an Stát dá mbeadh sé ag cainnt i nGaeilge. Deireann an Bhille seo an t-ainm a bheas ar an Stát feasta—“It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland.” Sé an rún atá againn ná nuair a bheas duine ag cur síos ar an Stát i mBéarla go dtabharfadh sé “the Republic of Ireland” ar an Stát; nuair a bheas siad ag cur síos ar an Stát i nGaeilge go dtabharfadh siad “Poblacht na hÉireann” air. D'fhéadfainn níos mó ná aon leagan amháin a thabhairt don tSeanad i mBéarla i dtaobh an téarma sin ach ní chuideoidh mé le na daoine ina dtuairim nach ainm ceart é a bhaisteadh ar an Stát. Tá mé ag rá nár eirigh linn ins an Alt seo an trioblóid [335] a bhain le ainm an Stáit go dtí seo a sheachaint agus chím go bhfuil scóip ag daoine gur mian leo an Stát a mhaslú i gcónaí, mar a rinneadar nuair a thugadar “Eire” ar an Stát agus iad ag caint i mBéarla. Luaidh mé é sin—nár eirigh leis an Taoiseach—níl fhios agam cén chaoi a bhféadfadh sé é dhéanamh—an deachracht sin a sheachaint. Céard a dhéanfas muid má thógann daoine ina gceann nach dtiubhradh siad “The Republic of Ireland” ar an Stát díreach ar an chaoi nar dúradh leo nach ceart dóibh “Eire” a thabhairt ar an Stát? Níorbh fhéidir linn tada a dhéanamh faoi. Sin é an fáth go ndúirt mé gur thaithnigh liom an faire a thug an Taoiseach an lá deireannach do mhuintir na tíre a bheith cúramach faoin ainm a thabharfadh siad arár Stát. Luaidh mé trioblóid a bheith agam fhéin ó am go ham. Admhaím trioblóid bheith agam go minic agus “Ireland” úsáidte i mBéarla ar an Stát go dtí seo. B'fhéidir go mbeidh an méid seo de shásamh agam: gach am a mbeidh ceist faoi, is féidir linn míniú a thabhairt ar an éagóir atá le réiteach fós againn, an Teorainn, an deighilt mhínádúrtha atá ar an tír.

Mr. Summerfield: On the Second Reading of this Bill I confined my remarks almost entirely to references to the misuse of this word “Éire” in the English language. I had not intended to speak at this stage of the Bill but was persuaded to do so because of the remarks of other speakers who feel, as the people of the country feel, that now that the change in our description has taken place under this Bill, we in the Government should, in all thing which are under Government control, drop completely the misuse of the word “Eire” when the English language is used. Our use of the word “Éire” has been a reason to encourage other people who are not friendly disposed towards us to coin the abominable word “Eirish”. We are all agreed, whatever our political opinions may be, that our description is “Ireland” and nothing we do should encourage other people to take that from us. Other nations have changed their titles and taken new names and the new names [336] have been accepted by the world. We are entitled to expect that other English-speaking countries associated in the Commonwealth of Nations should accept that change. It is only reasonable to expect that they should accept our designation of ourselves. The Taoiseach should give us an assurance, and through us assure the people, that we will never again see official documents in which this country is described as “Éire”. We must bring back the use of the word “Ireland” as the description of the country for it is ours.

Mr. Quirke: If I were Senator Bigger, God forbid that such a thing would happen——

Mr. M. Hayes: To Senator Bigger.

Mr. Quirke: ——I would feel very important because as far as I can see every speaker who stood up on this section appeared to be trying to convince Senator Bigger. Senator Duffy, I know, was trying to justify the fact that he was not here for the Second Reading but everybody else, it would appear, was attempting to convince the one man who spoke against the Bill.

Mr. Baxter: All the talk has been on that side of the House on this section.

Mr. Quirke: Not at all; if it had this would all have been finished long ago. Senator Baxter got up to cause more confusion——

Mr. Baxter: Not on this section.

Mr. Quirke: There seems to be a feeling here that people must get up and talk, whether they talk sense or not. I do not think that there was any doubt that the Attorney-General was of any opinion other than that the Constitution which was already in force was a Republican Constitution, and if there was any doubt the Taoiseach cleared it up in the Dáil and I do not see any necessity for talk on that point.

Mr. Duffy: This is Section 2.

Mr. Quirke: I know it is.

[337] Mr. Duffy: Where does the sob stuff come in then?

Mr. Quirke: Section 2 describes this State as the Republic of Ireland. What is wrong with that?

Mr. Duffy: Nothing.

Mr. Quirke: It is to ease people's minds, and assure them that nothing disastrous will happen, because we have this Republic of Ireland.

Mr. Duffy: It is you who are disturbing them.

Mr. Quirke: Nothing of the kind. What I am doing is trying to convince anybody who is open to conviction that there is no change. I will quote the Taoiseach himself in the Dáil. On the 1st December—page 839—in reply to Deputy MacEntee the Taoiseach said: “I accept that Constitution as a republican constitution. The Deputy is pushing an open door as hard as he can.” Apart from trying to make political propaganda——

Mr. Duffy: Come to the description.

Mr. Quirke: If we had not a republican constitution we could not call this State a republican State.

Mr. Duffy: Are we not in favour of changing the description? That is all that is involved.

Mr. Quirke: Of course I am in favour of calling this State the Republic of Ireland. Nobody is objecting, but Senator Duffy would suggest that somebody was objecting. We are all in agreement.

Mr. Baxter: Then what did you get up for?

Captain Orpen: This section simply sets out the form of the words used to describe the State and its objective is to avoid any further confusion or ambiguity in this country or abroad. It has been repeatedly pointed out by the Taoiseach and others that the Constitution of 1937 is republican in form, and it might be said that this Section does little more than to add a label. It is well, however, to guard against [338] implying anything more into the term “Republic of Ireland” than the words connote, that is to say a type of Constitution in which the people act through their elected representatives only. In the past many of those who desired and worked for the establishment of a republic both here and elsewhere adopted a policy of non-co-operation with others. This policy was determined by circumstances and has nothing to do necessarily with a republican form of Constitution. I stress this point because some people seem to think that a republic must of necessity remain in isolation if it is to survive. It means that a State is sovereign and has the undisputed right to determine its own destiny, but republics need good will and co-operation just as much as other States in similar circumstances.

Question put and agreed to.

Section 3 agreed to.

SECTION 4.

Question proposed: “That Section 4 stand part of the Bill.”

Mr. Hawkins: I think it would be well if we could have some indication from the Taoiseach as to the date on which it is proposed that the Act should come into force and that the name of the republic should be used.

The Taoiseach: I am sorry that I cannot give the Senator any specific information as to the precise date on which the Bill will come into operation. I think I have explained that there are certain matters that must be the subject of discussion between the two countries. Legislation will probably have to be passed in the British Parliament and in the Oireachtas. I think it may not be necessary to wait for the actual enactment of the legislation, but until the precise subjects that have to be dealt with are definitely ascertained I think it is not possible for me to say the date on which it will come into operation. It will be as early as possible and I do not think it will be too long.

Question put and agreed to.

Title agreed to.

[339] Agreed to take the remaining stages to-day.

Bill received for final consideration.

Question proposed: “That the Bill do now pass.”

Miss Pearse: I want to say just a few words. First, there has been no confusion in my mind as to whether or not we had a republic. I know we have had it since 1937, but there has been confusion and it has been difficult sometimes to explain the position to other people, both within the country and outside it, to those who wish to see the truth and also to those who did not wish to see the truth, and there are none so blind as those who will not see. We all know that the republic was first declared in 1916 outside the G.P.O., and it was approved by the people in 1918 and ratified by the Dáil in 1919. Through many vicissitudes and very sad years, it fought its way for life until 1923, when it was finally defeated in arms. Years passed, and another Government came in, and from the time that Government came in until 1937, bit by bit, to use a commonplace expression which I was accustomed to use at home amongst my friends, they made strenuous and successful efforts to dig us out of the Empire. One effort after the other succeeded, in face of fierce opposition. In 1937 we were in the position of having our republican Constitution and from that moment we were a republic.

Now the name is to be definitely affixed. There is much to rejoice about, because it is better to have the thing clear, especially when we can discuss it in a reasonable manner with other people, those who are with us and those who are against us. It has been a hard fight, and I am very pleased that this Government has been the Government to put the label on the republic, if you like to put it that way, to put the name on it. If the Fianna Fáil Government had attempted it— for wise and unwise reasons, they did not—it would not have gone through unanimously, and, in face of the world, it is a great thing to have such an important Bill as this going through unanimously.

[340] There is one more thing I want to say, and it is a rather strange thing— I do not think there is one in the country who will agree with me—I am very sorry that we are not to be aliens. Why? Because we are aliens. I always like to be what I am. If I am rich, I do not want to be called poor, and, if I am poor, I do not want to be called rich. If I am Irish, I do not want to be called English, and, if I am English, I do not want to be called Irish. We are either Irish or English, and, if we are Irish, we are aliens. I look on myself as an alien to England, as much as I am an alien to France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland or any other country.

It is not that I want to be an unfriendly alien—I am just as friendly as I am towards France—but I am definitely an alien to England, and I think it is an extraordinary thing that we are to be Irish and yet not aliens to England. It is trying to have the thing both ways and we cannot have it both ways. Perhaps we are still living another lie. However, I am very pleased to be here when this Bill is passing through, as I was very pleased and very proud, on 3rd May, 1933, to be one of 77 Deputies who voted to remove the Oath from the Constitution. That was the first big step and it was a proud and happy day when I went into the Division Lobby in the Dáil to vote against the detested Oath, which up to then all Deputies and Senators had to take.

Liam Ó Buachalla: Ba mhaith liom féin a rá chomh mór agus tá bród orm agus chomh mór agus tá bród orainn ar fad gur ritheadh an Bille seo d'aon ghuth. Is rud an-deas é agus is moladh mór do mhuintir an Oireachtais é. Mar dúirt mé, nuair thosaigh mé ag caint ar an mBille inniu, bhí imní orm ar eagla go gcuirfí leasú síos ar cheann de na hAltanna. Tuigim go maith na smaointí a bhí ag an Seanadóir Bigger. Ní aontaím leis, ach, san am chéanna, ní féidir liom a rá nach bhfuil trua agam dó agus an chaoi ar cheap sé go ndearnadh feall air agus gur ligeadh síos é. Is maith liom taobh amuigh de sin, gur admhaigh sé an chaoi a bhfuil an scéal agus an chaoi a bhfuil an saol, agus nár chuir sé as [341] dúinn agus nár mhill sé cúrsaí an Bhille trí aon leasú a chur síos.

Tógann an Bille seo, tá súil agam, ábhar achrannach as saol polaitíochta na hÉireann. Mhínigh mé agus mé ag caint cheanna, gurb é mo thuairim nach raibh gá leis an achrann ná leis an easaontas sna blianta atá caite, ach bíodh sin mar atá. Ná ceapadh aon duine, agus sinne ag cur síos ar na rudaí seo ar an mbealach ar a bhfuilmuid ag cur síos orru agus mé ag dul siar ar an méid a dúradh sna blianta atá caite, ag bailiú fianaise i dtaobh ár gcúis é fhéin, gur le holc don Taoiseach nó don Rialtas é. Ná ceapadh aon duine nach rabhamar go láidir ar thaobh Bille mar seo ón gcéad uair agus anois. D'fhéadfadh tuairim a bheith aige—bhí sé agam fhéin—gur ar éigin a bhí gá leis an mBille; ach ag an am chéana, is léir ón díospóireacht go raibh amhras ar dhaoine, agus, fé mar mhínigh an Seanadóir Nic Phiarais, go raibh gá deireadh a chur leis an amhras sin. Sa mhéid go gcuireann an Bille seo deireadh leis, tá ríméad orm agus sa mhéid sin molaim an Taoiseach.

Maidir leis an gcuid eile den scéal, caithfear é fhágáil ag lucht staire. An tAire Gnóthaí Eachtracha, nuair bhí díospóireacht idir é féin agus an t-iar-Thaoiseach, Éamon de Valera, dúirt sé nach rabhadar ábalta teacht ar réiteach faoi na pointí a bhí i gceist acu agus dúirt an Teachta de Valera—tá sé le fáil ar cholún 946, Imleabhar 113, Uimh. 6:

“You are playing with words”,

agus ansin:—

“Mr. MacBride: I will leave that to the people. They will be well able to judge.

Mr. de Valera: And they will judge.”

An méid atá scríofa, tá sé scríofa. Ar an dara lá de Mhí na Nollag, dúirt an tAire Gnóthaí Eachtracha go bhfágfaidh sé an scéal faoi bhreithiúnas mhuintir na hÉireann. Ar an 7ú lá, tar éis dícheall mór chun an scéal a chur os a gcomhair chomh fada agus d'fhéadfaí é a dhéanamh, thug muintir na hÉireann breithiúntas ar an scéal. [342] Tá sé chomh maith é fhágáil mar sin ag muintir na hÉireann san am atá le teacht.

Déanann an Bille an méid seo, agus deir an Taoiseach é, agus tá mé ar aon intinn leis: Réitíonn sé an bealach dúinn le díriú ar an gceist achrannach dheireanach atá a déanamh buartha dhúinn a réiteach. An Bille seo a ritheadh, níl fáth ná abhar nach seasóchaimis ar fad le chéile agus go dílis chun a fháil amach cad é an plean a bheas againn le deireadh a chur leis an deighilt mí-ámharach atá ar an tír. Tá súil agam, de thoradh an Bille seo a rith, nach fada go gcuirfear plean os ár gcomhair le gur féidir linn díriú ar an gceist gan é fhágáil mórán níos fuide. Tá súil agam, maidir leis na geallúintí a rinneadh le linn an toghcháin deiridh, go bhfuil plean ag cuid de na daoine atá san Rialtas anois le deireadh a chur le deighilt na tíre agus go gcuirfear na pleaneanna sin os comhair na tíre gan mórán moille. Tá súil agam gur pleaneanna ciallmhara iad chun an eagcóir sin a réiteach. Tá súil agam nach fada go mbeidh sé de rath agus d'onóir againn sa tSeanad a chur in iúl do mhuintir na hÉireann go huile agus don domhan go huile go bhfuil deireadh leis an deighilt sin atá ag déanamh an oiread sin trioblóide agus an oiread sin caillteanais dúinn mar náisiún.

Mr. Duffy: Before this Bill leaves the House I would like to say one or two words in relation to it which, I think, may at least show that all of us do not subscribe to the view that the enactment of this Bill is going to effect, by itself, any profound change in the setup of this country. I am not going to go over any of the ground covered already by the very extensive, almost unlimited, volume of quotations which we have had from Senator O Buachalla. I want to address myself to the condition which will be created here by the enactment of this measure. The discussion leads me to feel that what most people consider important is separation from Britain. What I consider important is not merely separation but freedom, and when I say freedom I mean real freedom, not merely the freedom to sing The Soldier's Song, or to fly the Tricolour. I want to feel [343] that this country is free to protect its people, free to promote their welfare and free to alter its economy in such a way as to ensure that nobody will suffer hunger or want in the midst of plenty.

Now, I do not know whether some of the speakers on the other side of the House, who have been enthusiastic about the devotion of the Fianna Fáil Party to the republican cause, feel just the same way as I do about this matter. At least, they did not feel that way a year ago. Some members of the House will remember that I then endeavoured to prevent the enactment of legislation in this House which authorised a British ship-owner to fly the Irish flag on a British-owned ship. I got no support from the people then supporting the Fianna Fáil Government. Now, there is not much use talking about freedom or talking about the description on our letter heads if we are going to permit the economy of this country to be subordinated to that of another country, and we are doing that clearly and unmistakably so long as we permit our maritime laws to be construed in the interests of foreign ship-owners.

Mr. Colgan: What about the trade union movement?

Mr. Duffy: I will come to that. There is more hypocrisy talked on that by humbugs than on any other subject.

Mr. Colgan: There is one humbug you know.

Mr. Duffy: The next point I want to come to is this, that there is nothing in this Bill which will take from the Bank of England the power to direct the economy of this country so long as we permit Irish currency to be subordinated to that of British currency.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: If there is nothing in the Bill dealing with that, the Senator is not in order in discussing it.

Mr. Duffy: That is my difficulty. There is nothing in the Bill dealing with it, and, so far as I know, there is nothing in the Bill to prevent an Irish [344] Government from dealing with it. I am not aware of any law passed during the last 16 or 17 years which would prevent an Irish Government from dealing with it. Governments here have, in fact, dealt with currency; they have dealt with trade unions and they have dealt with insurance companies, but in every case they left the position worse than they found it. I do not know whether you object to my proceeding. If you do, I do not want to.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: These various matters which the Senator has referred to were dealt with in separate Bills which came before the House, but none of them is included in the present Bill.

Mr. Duffy: That is so, and if you so rule I have nothing further to say, except to go on record as insisting that this Bill, by itself, will make no difference whatever to the ordinary people of the country. There will still be poverty in the midst of plenty unless we do something to prevent it.

Mr. Quirke: On the Final Stage of the Bill, I would like to say a few words following what Senator Duffy has just said. He said he wondered if the Fianna Fáil side of the House were quite so republican a year ago as they are to-day.

Mr. Duffy: No, I did not say that. I never said that. I was simply trying to draw a distinction between republican freedom and separatism.

Mr. Quirke: I may be wrong in the commas but I am not in the full stops.

Mr. Duffy: You are wrong in your facts.

Mr. Quirke: It is the Senator who is wrong in his facts. I would like to assure him that, were it not for the loyalty of the Fianna Fáil supporters in this country and of the Fianna Fáil representatives in this House and the other House, if a republic was depending on Senator Duffy and those who at the present time are associated with him, it would be God help the republic.

[345] Mr. Duffy: God help it now.

Mr. Quirke: I do not agree with you at all.

Mr. Duffy: Is this open to debate? If so, I insist on my right to resume my speech.

Mr. Quirke: You want to be on both sides of the fence.

Mr. Duffy: The Chair ruled me out on this.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Not on this matter, but when the Senator was referring to matters which may be the subject of future legislation.

Mr. Duffy: I take it that I will be entitled to resume on this?

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I am afraid not, Senator.

Mr. Quirke: Some of Senator Duffy's friends or supporters are apparently in favour of this Bill. Others of his friends are not in favour of the Bill. If I judge him rightly Senator Duffy wants to be in the position when this Bill becomes law, of being able to say to one side:“When the Bill was under discussion in the Seanad, here is what I said,” and to the other side:“When the Bill was being discussed on the Final Stage in the Seanad, look at what I said.” I think we have passed the time for any more misunderstanding. Senator Duffy's final contribution could do nothing more than create more misunderstanding. There is no longer any room for doubt. We know where we stand to-day and we can say it is a good job that this Bill was introduced if for no other reason than to make a lot of people go back and learn the history of their own country.

Mr. Duffy: It has not succeeded with them all.

Mr. Quirke: Generally speaking this debate has been carried out on pretty decent lines though just a few unfortunate statements were made and one came from my friend Senator George Bennett who wanted to know what mandate there was for the economic war. I am not going into the economic war. I merely want to correct any [346] wrong impression that might be created by saying just a few words.

Mr. M. Hayes: Surely, Sir, the time to answer Senator Bennett was on the debate in which the statement was made. If we are going to discuss the economic war now we shall start a new debate on this Fifth Stage. We agree with Senator Quirke that the debate was on a good level and we should not spoil it at the very last moment.

Mr. Quirke: I merely wanted to make a correction, and I think my colleague Senator Bennett was wrong. It is a great job that the people of this country—in saying “people” I mean certain people who did not heretofore go to the trouble of learning Irish history—as a result of this Bill have gone to that trouble so as to realise what has taken place. I believe that that is a good thing and I do not think it was right during those debates for people to suggest that those opposed to the Treaty at the time were not on the right side, or that those who were anti-Treaty took the wrong side and because of that we are in the position we are in to-day. I deny that emphatically. I say that were it not for the people who took the anti-Treaty side then we would never have reached this position to-day. Since the people who were then in opposition to us became the Government they took the line of opposing every possible advance which was made since Fianna Fáil came into power. The same thing happened right along. At every step we were opposed, in the case of the removal of the Oath, the Governor-General and so on.

Mr. Duffy: On a point of order, is this in the Bill?

An Leas-Cathaoirleach: The Senator is replying to a statement made during the debate.

Mr. Douglas: Is it in the Bill? If not, whether he is replying or not it will not be in order.

Mr. Quirke: The only excuse—and I would like to see some excuse—for this opposition to the forward march of this nation seems to be the idea of trying [347] to justify the attitude they took during the Treaty debates of 1922.

Mr. Hayes: That is very true.

Mr. Quirke: We have got this far and have practically unanimous agreement on this Bill. The Government of the day should now take the necessary steps to publish a certain book which will put the matter beyond any further doubt. That book is the volume of Debates on the Treaty, December, 1921.

Mr. Hayes: To May, 1922?

Mr. Quirke: To January, 1922. Some people may say that that is easily got but I know it is not. I know very few people even in this House who have ever read it. As far as the debate at that time went and the attitude taken up and the viewpoint those people took, I am as clear as I am of my own name, but a lot of people are not as clear as to what took place. I do not propose to go into it now. All I say is that we have a right to ask for the publication of that book, not for half a dozen copies but that it should be issued liberally, to members of the Oireachtas and with copies available for purchase by students of history now or in the future.

Finally, Fianna Fáil are very pleased that this Bill has been carried through and the decision to pass it has been unanimous. We hold—and we challenge contradiction—that we are now, will be in the future, and have been in the past the custodians of the republic in this country.

Mr. Colgan: I am very pleased that I should be here in the Parliament of Ireland when this measure is passing its final stages. Many unnecessary points have been introduced in the debate as to what this or that person did. If we take the long and the broad view we will realise that in every generation over the last 700 years there have always been men and women who did what they considered best for Ireland and there is no necessity to say what we would have done in such circumstances. Let us give credit to all who did something. I remember as a [348] young man I had no room for the late John Redmond and his Party but on coming to mature years I realised that he did sincerely what he believed was in the best interests of Ireland. If it were not for these people we would not have the inspiration to do what we did eventually. Senator Duffy referred to me as a humbug.

Mr. Duffy: With all respect, I never said a word about the Senator.

Mr. Colgan: At any rate, I never stood on a British recruiting platform in my life.

An Leas-Cathaoirleach: The Senator said he did not refer to Senator Colgan.

Senator Colgan: The Senator started as usual with his petty suggestions as to what the other side of the House would do. We all have something that we might not be prepared to boast about. We go through life and do things we should not have done, and when they are thrown at us we do not like them. I suggest that the Senator should look over his own shoulder the next time.

Mr. Duffy: What was I criticising that the Senator found objectionable?

Mr. Colgan: The Senator was criticising the present Government.

Mr. Duffy: Surely, that is not a crime, in a democratic country.

Mr. Colgan: On this stage of the Bill it is necessary to give credit to the last Government for what they did. Only for them we would not be here to-day, and I suggest that Senators should remember that.

Mr. M. Hayes: I am very loathe to intervene on the Fifth Stage. This Bill does remove confusion, but Senator Quirke is labouring under a very grave illusion if he thinks that any Act of Parliament can remove confusion or misunderstanding from the human mind. Confusion and misunderstanding derive from original sin and we cannot legislate them away as has been very amply proved in the course of this [349] debate in both Houses. Senator Quirke is under a complete misapprehension if he thinks that the republication of one volume of debates of Dáil Eireann will help to put our history right. Those of us who have taken part in the history of recent years can only gauge that history in one way. History is something that will have to be written, measured and appraised later on when the actors who made the history will have passed away. The best thing we can do is to leave a record of what we think and what we did. The notion that Parliament and Acts of Parliament can make history clear is a very foolish one. Governments cannot make history, but Governments can, of course, make certain material available.

Mr. Quirke: Does the Senator see any reason why the book should not be available to the young men?

Mr. Hayes: I am all for history and for the availability of documents and I was going to say that. In regard to this particular Treaty debate, perhaps I am the only person except Senator McCartan in the House who had the Honour-or the misfortune—of hearing the Treaty debate.

Mr. S. O'Farrell: So did I.

Mr. Hayes: I was a member.

Mr. S. O'Farrell: I was listening to you.

Mr. Hayes: I said that on that occasion that I was neither ashamed nor afraid of the decision I had come to, to support the Treaty.

Everything that has happened since, including this Bill seems to me to have confirmed that particular stand. There is a volume of the Dáil Debates which is just as difficult to get as the volume that Senator Quirke has in his hand. That is the debates after the Treaty had been accepted and approved by the Dáil—from January 1922 to May 1922. These debates were very important and if Senator Quirke is doing any historical research I recommend them to him. They would help him to realize how much he owes to the Treaty. The very seat he occupies was made by, with, and under, the Treaty.

[350] Mr. Quirke: This seat?

Mr. Hayes: The Senator's seat was physically made by, with, and under, the Treaty. The seat on which the Senator sits, the House in which he speaks, the very building in which these debates are held in this and in the other House were transferred to us by virtue of the powers we got as a result of the Treaty.

Senators have been worried about another section of this Bill dealing with the name and title of the State. We have been humbugging ourselves to a very large extent by pretence on this language question. We have made a very foolish effort to mix two languages. A good deal of the trouble and the objection by us to what the English do, arises from a very foolish attempt of ours to mix two languages which, in fact, do not mix. We called the State Éire in the English language. The Constitution of 1937 did so in the first draft, or purported to do so; it said that “Éire” was the name of the State. There was an amendment; “and, in the English language, Ireland.”

The original idea was to call it Eire. We tried to bring a word into the English language. When the English people got that word, they naturally did what they liked with it, making adjectives “Éireann” and “Éirish.” We cannot dictate to the English people what kind of language they will speak, and neither can we, by any process, mix the two languages here and expect to get satisfactory results. I do not know if Senators ever attended a meeting which they had to address and began with “Mr. Chairman”, or when the Taoiseach was present with “Mr. Chairman, Mr. Taoiseach”. That is very stupid. “Mr. An Taoiseach” which I have heard, would be still more stupid. If you happen to know Irish and say “Mr. Chairman” and “A Thaoisigh”, that seems to be an incongruous mixture.

When one starts out to do something with a perfectly good intention, it sometimes leads one to paths that were never suspected. One must travel these paths. We cannot make English people use their own language [351] in the particular way Irish politicians wish them to use it. If we continue to use the word Eire the same result will follow.

I should like to express my complete agreement with Senator Colgan that nobody ought to think at this stage that he has a monopoly of patriotism or sole charge of the republican tradition. The republican tradition is neither Gaelic nor Catholic. The Gaelic tradition in this country was essentially royalist and was not democratic in the modern sense. The republican tradition comes to Ireland entirely through the English language and is comparatively recent. En passant Saorstat Éireann was the official Irish translation of Irish Republic by the first Government in 1919. We should not endeavour to find out what Party has done most but rather acknowledge that every Party, and Parties before we were heard of did good for Ireland in different generations and that when this Bill has been passed it will be a distinct advance. This Government is doing something now which the previous Government did not do and perhaps in their circumstances could not have done. Ministers in the present Government have the opportunity to do it now. It is a step forward. We should welcome the advance without wrangling as to where the credit for the advance should lie.

The Taoiseach: I do not intend to prolong this debate but I feel that it would not be proper for me to let it conclude without thanking Senators from all sides for the manner in which this debate has been conducted and for the sympathy with which this Bill has been received. It is a great source of satisfaction to me and to my colleagues in the Government that while naturally Senators on different sides wish to put forward their own viewpoints to make clear their claims to have made contributions to the situation which will be, shall we say, clarified by this Bill, there has been no effort to belittle results achieved or benefits that we hope will accrue to the people from the enactment of this measure.

[352] There has been considerable discussion on the confusion that existed, or that was thought to exist, since 1936, as to the nature of this State's status. I want to say on this Final Stage of the Bill what I have stated before and reiterated. The purpose of this Bill is not to end the confusion. The purpose of this Bill is not to gain any political advantage for the Government. The real aim of the Bill is to end the bitterness that has been in existence between sections of our people for the last 25 years. I think Senators generally, in discussing the measure, have given a headline to the people. They have not attempted to belittle results. They have not, as a whole, endeavoured to introduce any bitterness into the discussion. We hope, and I think it will be the unanimous desire of all Senators, and of every section, that from this time onward there will be no digging into the past, no recrimination, no competition as to whether this Party or that Party gave the greater contribution to the fulfilment of the national ideals, which we all share.

Senator Miss Pearse said that she was sorry she would not be an alien after this Bill passed. May I assure Senator Miss Pearse that when this Bill is enacted and put into operation, she will be an “alien” because, from the point of view of our law, she will be an Irish national—an Irishwoman. As I stated in the Dáil when this Bill was going through, the purpose of the fight for freedom for the last 700 years has been to make Irishmen what are called “aliens” but what we recognise as Irish nationals. No Party in this State has ever recognised that any Irishman or Irishwoman has any nationality other than Irish nationality. We fought for that in the Imperial Conferences of 1926, 1929 and 1930. We never gave way one inch on that.

That fight for recognition, according to British law, was only recognised by the British Parliament in passing the recent British Nationality Act, which will come into operation on the 1st of January of next year. Up to last month, according to British legal authorities, Irishmen or Irishwomen in England were British subjects. That has come to an end now.

[353] I say that if we had not been able to achieve what we have in fact achieved, recognition of this as a republican State, without dislocation of business, economy or finance, we would still have brought in this Bill and taken all the consequences with it. We would be regarded as “aliens” as Senator Miss Pearse has stated.

The Commonwealth countries agreed with us—South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India. They recongnised that there is a certain relationship between us, not based on any nonsense about links or whether we are in or out of the Commonwealth, but a relationship arising from tradition and long established usage, and that it is good business to continue it. Therefore, while our people will be recognised in England as Irishmen and Irishwomen we will have attached to our Irish nationality the same rights as the British, or as it is in the Act, British subjects.

I am glad to say that we are still “aliens” but with special rights as such accorded by British law. That is to say, we have our Irish nationality but, by arrangement, we will give British subjects and Commonwealth citizens certain rights in this country that these countries have reciprocally agreed to give Irish citizens in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and India. That does not jeoprdise our nationality. It recognises what we have asserted for 700 years.

When this Bill comes into operation we will have something which will be of inestimable advantage to the Irish people. I hope and I believe we will have put an end to bitterness based upon the past history of this country and that we will have given to the Irish people institutions round which they can rally, and of which they can be proud. These institutions will be to Irishmen and Irishwomen what the Crown is to British subjects, whether they are in Australia, in Canada or elsewhere. They will be our institutions. Irish institutions, and the young people who have held apart from politics in this country for the last 28 years, can now come in and [354] take their part in the very serious and difficult tasks that still lie ahead of us.

I rejoice to hear from Senators Stanford and Fearon that the people whom they represent are resolved to play their part. We have welcomed them long before to-day or yesterday, or this month or last month. They have a part to play and I believe they will play it, a part in the new Ireland, a part we want them to play, and one which will be valuable to the new Ireland.

Throughout the course of this debate, I have carefully and scrupulously avoided referring to myself personally or to the Party to which I have the honour to belong. I do not propose to depart from that self-imposed rule in my concluding speech on this Bill, but I will give myself one indulgence and one only. I will say that it is a matter of the greatest regret to me that I had not the opportunity—and never will, I suppose—of having Senator Bigger in the witness box for one quarter of an hour. If I had, I would demonstrate to any impartial judge and jury that the speech he made about me was not merely disreputable but dishonest.

The last thing I have to say is that I have often been proud to belong to Cumman na nGaedheal and Fine Gael and was never prouder than I am to-day on this last stage of The Republic of Ireland Bill, that I am still a member of the Fine Gael Party.

Question put and agreed to.

Business suspended at 6.10 p.m. and resumed at 7.15 p.m.