Tuesday, 24 June 1947
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Norton: There are one or two matters to which I would like to advert in the course of the examination of this Estimate. One of these relates to a matter which has already been raised, namely, the question of our external relations. On the previous occasion I raised in this House the question of regularising our External Relations Act. It seems to me that our method of regulating our relations with other countries is most irregular under our present External Relations Act and under our whole constitutional procedure. It has been asserted in this House that the President is the Head of the State. I think the President ought to be the Head of the State, that he ought to be acknowledged by all citizens as the highest authority within the State, and that  so far as our relations with other nations are concerned, he ought to be the embodiment of the will of the people here, he ought to be the instrument through which we deal at the highest level with other countries.
When we come to look at the External Relations Act and when we come to look at our constitutional position generally, we find that when we come to accredit representatives to other countries, the President, who ought to be the head of the State, takes a back seat and there is pushed into the arena of our public relations with other countries a gentleman known as the king. We have acquired a king not because of any natural right on his part to be king—because of any sense of association with this country—but we have simply borrowed a king from another country. We have said to the other country: “Lend us this king of yours so that we may utilise him for the purpose of regulating our external affairs with another country”. That, to my mind, is the craziest scheme that has ever been invented. At the time it was introduced, I was strongly opposed to it—strongly opposed to borrowing this king for the purpose of our external relations. I thought then and I think now that it was a humiliating position in which to put ourselves. Strange as it might seem, I have some personal sympathy for the king because of the position in which he has been placed by a situation of this kind. One of these fine days we may well wake up to discover that the king will not do this job any longer for us. Then we will be in a nice situation! Then we will have to find somebody to do this job. As kings are not now as numerous as they used to be, it may not be easy to get another king to do the job. Somebody else then will have to do it. I should like to know from the Taoiseach who he thinks is the best fitted in such circumstances to do the job.
I think the obvious function of the Head of the State here is to accredit our representatives to other countries and that he ought to be the accrediting authority. The Head of every other  State does the accrediting in respect of that State. I should like to know from the Taoiseach what unusuality there is about our concept of life or of the Constitution that we cannot do what the other people of the world do, namely, utilise the Head of the State for the purpose of accrediting representatives to other countries. There is one simple question I should like to ask the Taoiseach to answer: why does not the Head of the State discharge that function here? Why will we not let him discharge that function? What set of circumstances compel us in 1947 to use as our accrediting authority the king of another country, in the selection of whom the people of this country had no say whatever?
The Taoiseach has told us that by all the methods of definition and by reference to authorities on the definition of a republic this is a republican State. I concede at once that it functions in a manner similar to the manner in which republican States function throughout the world, but it is a most amazing kind of republic at the same time. Does the Taoiseach or anybody in this House know of any republic in the world where the monarch of another country accredits its representatives abroad? Can anybody imagine France searching, for instance, for a Scandinavian King or a British King to accredit representatives from that country to the United States? Can anybody imagine even one of the Scandinavian countries asking the President of France or the President of the United States to accredit representatives from that country to Great Britain or any other State? Can anybody even imagine Great Britain asking the Head of another State to accredit representatives from that country either to this country or to any other country? The whole position is a perfect anachronism and the sooner we get rid of that anachronism and that piece of irritating novelty in our domestic legislation and in our constitutional code the sooner we shall make clear to the people of this country and to the world generally the constitutional status which this country enjoys to-day.
I think the Taoiseach asked Deputy  McGilligan in the course of a discussion on this matter a few days ago whether the Deputy desired to get rid of the King as the accrediting authority? Surely that is not the issue involved—whether Deputy McGilligan wants to get rid of the King or not. Ought not the Government to realise that the selection of the King of Great Britain for the purpose of accrediting our representatives abroad has no parallel in the constitutional procedure of any country; that you cannot get a parallel for that in any other part of the world; that it is something which, in fact, is being foisted upon our people in very unusual circumstances; and that the obvious thing to do is to regularise the position? Who is preventing us from regularising it? Nobody has dared to suggest that Great Britain would complain; nobody has dared to suggest that Great Britain has any right to complain. Nobody has dared to suggest that any of the countries in the world would not take from us a representative accredited by the Head of the State elected by the people of the State.
What is preventing the removal of that anomalous piece of machinery in our external relations? What is preventing us from appointing the Head of the State as the accrediting authority? Is there any power in this country preventing it? Is there any external power? If there is an external power, we ought to know that external power. We ought to know what is preventing the Government from taking the obvious step of appointing the President of this country as the properly recognised accrediting authority in our relations with other countries. We ought to have from the Taoiseach some explanation as to why a position of that kind is being continued. I think the Taoiseach must know that it is an anomaly which cannot be justified by any unusual and tortuous approach to the whole problem and that, when efforts are made to explain it, it is still as unsatisfactory as before the explanation is attempted.
I want on this occasion again to throw this issue into the realm of  public discussion in the hope that we can get away from something that nobody can justify; something, as I said, that is unusual and without parallel in the constitutional relations of one country with another and in the international relations of one country with another; and which ought to be got rid of at the earliest opportunity. I know of nobody preventing the Taoiseach from introducing legislation to get rid of it.
Mr. Norton: That makes our laziness all the more unjustifiable. We do not need legislation and yet we do not do it. This Presidential establishment is a pretty costly institution as it is. If it can be justified on this grandiose scale, its justification may reside in the usual function which a president discharges. If he is to take second place to the British monarch every time we are appointing a representative to another country, then I think we are deliberately insulting the President by withdrawing from him the function which he ought to have in the matter of accrediting our representatives to other countries. I should like to get some more enlightenment from the Taoiseach on this matter on this Estimate this year than it has been possible to get on previous occasions in justification of this unusual and novel procedure.
Another matter to which I should like to make a brief reference is the question of Partition. The question of Partition is rightly regarded by our people as a suppurating wound in our relations with the British people; not so much the British people at large, but with successive British Governments. So long as it continues, there can be no really friendly relations between the two peoples, because the partition of this country represents a thwarting of the will and of the desires of our people. It represents a sundering of this motherland, a tearing away from the motherland of six counties which ought to be, and geographically and otherwise are an integral part of the territory called Ireland. For many years now we have witnessed the partition of this country continue and almost  take on a new permanence each year. Unless something is done to throw that question into the arena of world politics, I am convinced that, by our own inactivity in the matter, we are continuing to condone the partition of this country by an external authority.
In recent months we have seen, in particular, the British Government graciously saying to the people of India: “We are now prepared to give you what you always had a natural and moral right to, the right to determine the form of government under which your people shall live”. We have seen the British offer one kind of settlement after another to the Indian people. We have seen them agreeing to the form of government which has been decided by the Indian people themselves. We have seen a promise by the British Government that after next year the Indians need not come even into the British Commonwealth; they are perfectly free to decide what form of government they will have. We have had declarations from prominent representatives of the Indian people that they would prefer to establish a free republic for India and the British Government consents to their right to do that. It does not dare to question the right to establish free institutions in India and separate these from the British Commonwealth and enter international affairs as a free republic of India. We have seen the British Government, too, recognising that she can no longer justify some of the extraterritorial rights she had in Egypt and she is being compelled by force of world circumstances to negotiate a new agreement with Egypt. She is obliged to shed some of the privileges and prerogatives which she had in Egypt.
It is in circumstances like that, in which Egypt is being given more liberty and independence and the Indians are now having acknowledged their right to set up a free republic in India, that we ought to bestir ourselves to raise this question of Partition with the same force and the same enthusiasm and with the same desire to compel a solution of the problem as the Indians and the Egyptians. I see no evidence here of  any such intention. I am strongly of this opinion, that if the British Government can offer the Indians, as a people and as a nation, the right to determine the form of government under which they will live, and if they are now willing to shed their extraterritorial rights in Egypt, there is no moral reason, and there never was, why the people of this country should not be given the same right to end here, by a free vote, the cancerous evil of Partition, a British-made product, conceived in Britain, implemented by Britain and possible of maintenance only by the support that it gets from Britain.
Is there any insuperable difficulty in our Government saying to the British Government that we want a formal conference with them on the question of abolishing Partition? Britain is an occupying power in the Six Counties, as big an occupying power as any of the victor nations in Europe. She has no moral right to be there, and never had any moral right. She is in the position to-day in which she is an occupation force in the Six Counties. It ought to be our task—and we may not have the opportunity for ever—to raise now with the British Government the question of ending Partition and restoring to this country the unity and the indivisibility which is the country's natural right.
It may well be that the Taoiseach has taken steps which have not been revealed to the House or to the country. An occasional reference to Partition in a broadcast makes no perceptible contribution towards focussing on that very serious problem the spotlight of publicity which must be focussed on it if ever we are to bring about a solution. It was not by occasional broadcasts that the Indians managed to push their problems into the forefront of world politics and to win an ever-widening measure of sympathy from the freedom-loving peoples of the world.
In our relations with Britain we shall have to insist that Britain will stand where she properly should stand in the eyes of freedom-loving peoples; that is, as an occupying authority in the Six Counties. She has no moral right there, no moral justification for her  maintenance there, no authority from the Irish people to occupy that portion of the country or to remain in occupation. I suggest that while other countries are gradually shedding their fetters, while Britain is being compelled to acknowledge throughout the world the right of oppressed and subjected peoples to fashion their own institutions and plan and order their own national lives, the Government should initiate proposals requesting the British Government to have a formal conference on Partition so that its evils may be pointed out to Britain and its dangers, even to Britain, revealed. In that way there can be brought home to them a realisation of the suppurating wound which Partition has brought about in the relations of the two peoples, with the hope that the British will be prepared to do for Ireland what they now apparently are willing to do for India, namely, to end unhappiness and to bring about a situation in which the two peoples, accepting the one way of life, the democratic way, with trade relations and intercourse which peculiarly fit the two peoples, can live in terms of amity and concord, one with the other.
I feel convinced that very valuable work can be done if the Government would initiate a conference of that kind. The present British Government can have no great love for the people who were the architects of Partition. They have shown they are not unwilling to break with the imperialism and ascendancy of the past, which fettered countries like India and Egypt. I think we will be doing worse than a disservice to the people of the Six Counties if this opportunity is not availed of for the purpose of initiating a formal conference with the British Government. I can see no harm arising; I can see it being used as a means of enlightening and informing British Ministers and the British public, and I can see, too, that it will have a very far-reaching effect in bringing home to the peoples of the world, all freedom-loving peoples in particular, that there is still a serious problem in this country, a problem which takes the form of six of our counties being held in subjection by an occupying force.
 If the Taoiseach takes steps along the lines I have indicated, he will gain for Partition a world-wide publicity that it has never yet got and, if not immediately, it may ultimately result in the British Government recognising that, even apart from their desire to please us, in their own interests they ought to bring to an end the cancer of Partition and all that it has meant in poisoning the wells of friendship between the Irish and the British people.
Mr. Cogan: In every debate that has taken place on the Estimate for the Department of External Affairs, there have been demands made on the Taoiseach to clarify our position in regard to the British Commonwealth of Nations. I think I was one of the Deputies who intervened in the debate last year and I demanded from the Taoiseach a definite statement as to what our position is. A statement was made by the Taoiseach then and, as far as I can interpret it, it meant that this country is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations and that it is not the intention of the Government to withdraw from that membership. I think a little more will have to be done to clarify the position, because there still seems to be a certain amount of confusion in the country. One leading newspaper, which ought to be well informed on such matters, made the following statement recently in the course of an editorial:—
“If Fine Gael came into office to-morrow, there is not a single measure carried through by Fianna Fáil which they could dare to repeal, even though General Mulcahy still speaks as if it were their intention to bring this independent State into a British Commonwealth status.”
So the Irish Press seems to be under the impression that this country is outside the British Commonwealth and it is defying the Opposition Parties to bring us back. I think there is room for some discussion between the Head of the Government and the editor of the Irish Press on this question. If  we are in the British Commonwealth, it is of small importance for the Opposition Party or any other Party to bring us back, if we are already there. I think there has been an attempt to deceive the people in regard to this matter and it is an undesirable thing that the ordinary people should be deceived. I think it is better that the people should be told exactly where we stand and what is our ultimate aim. If the ultimate aim of the Government is to preserve the existing relationship with the British Commonwealth and to seek on that basis the reunion of our country, I think they would be wise to let the people know that that is exactly their policy. Having regard to the importance of reuniting our country, I think there is a good deal to be said for that policy.
Partition is, perhaps, the major national evil. Our nation is divided and no citizen of this country, who is really and truly patriotic, can look with complacency on that division. No Irishman can regard that long straggling frontier across the face of our country with anything but regret and deep sorrow. It is not only the loss of six valuable counties but there is also entailed the demoralisation which the almost unending smuggling along the Border creates. There are all the conflicting interests as between the Six Counties and the rest of Ireland, the growing up of vested interests in Partition—vested interests within the Twenty-Six Counties which might feel that the reintegration of the Six Counties in this State might bring them economic disadvantages and vested interests within the Six Counties which are growing stronger and stronger every day.
On the question of the measures which should be adopted by our Government to bring to an end this unhappy state of affairs, there is certainly room for very considerable discussion and need for very careful consideration. World-wide publicity is a grand thing; it is a fine thing in the matter of exposing a wrong but one has always got to be extremely careful in regard to raising an international problem, particularly at a time like this when the world is in  its present extraordinary, abnormal condition. I have no doubt whatever that we should use our radio for the purpose of seeking to enlighten the majority of people in the Six County area and converting them to our viewpoint. I have no doubt whatever that our radio should be used extensively for appealing to the people of all Parties in Great Britain. That policy of seeking to educate the people of a nation with which we have a dispute is a prudent one. It is a better policy than the adoption of hostile or aggressive measures. In the years prior to the first great war, there was a long period during which national effort was directed towards enlightening the people of Great Britain and, while there may be many people at the present time who believe that much of that effort was wasted, and that much of it was futile, I think that, with the efflux of time and a clearer recognition of all the facts of the case, it has now come to be recognised that very important and useful work was done over a period of 30 or 40 years in enlightening the people of Britain and in preparing them to accept the idea of self-government for Ireland. There is no doubt whatever that as a result of long-sustained propaganda, the British people were converted in 1914, and even long before that, to the idea that this country should have self-government and the fact that they were, did play an important part in the ultimate achievement of this country's independence—perhaps a more important part than is recognised to-day.
Our attitude to the people of Britain should be one of friendship. There is an old saying that one can live without one's relatives but one cannot live without one's neighbours and since Britain is a next-door neighbour of this country, it is absolutely essential, particularly in world conditions of the present time, that closer friendship should be established between the two nations. Our appeal and our desire for the reunification of our country should not in any way impair that friendship. Enlightened opinion in Great Britain will, I think, eventually come to see that it is in the best interests of the people of that country as it is in ours, that this nation should be one.  Probably, in trade, in finance and in economics a united, independent Ireland, next door to Britain, is the best safeguard Britain could have. The fact that they will have a strong neighbour, a good neighbour and a friendly neighbour ought to be an inducement to them to go all-out to have this Partition question satisfactorily settled.
I hold that we ought to concentrate our energies on bringing the largest possible volume of propaganda to bear on this question, not aggressive and not hostile propaganda, but simply a clear and plain statement of our case and of the injury which our nation suffers by being divided, of the advantages which we would gain by being reunited as well as the advantages which that would also bring to Britain. On the question as to whether we should go further and appeal to other nations to intervene in this question, I have grave doubts. If I am living next door to another farmer and I have a dispute with him about a fence or some other matter, I can plead with him and appeal to him and I can bring every possible pressure to bear upon him to see my point of view, but if I bring my case before some other person I immediately arouse a certain amount of hostility in my neighbour. It is just a question as to whether an appeal to some other nation, such as the United States, might not in the long run do more harm than good in the matter of bringing this question to a satisfactory settlement. I am particularly influenced in coming to that opinion by something I read over the week-end. I read some propaganda which was sent to me by an organisation in America which calls itself the Connolly Memorial Committee. I believe that, if we were to link ourselves up with the type of propaganda that is circulated by that committee, we would probably ruin whatever hope we have of advancing the cause of national unity. That organisation has, apparently, published a pamphlet which it has circulated amongst the people of America, a pamphlet which grossly misrepresents the conditions here in this country. It is a pamphlet which, I think, ought to be repudiated not only by the Government but by every independent Party in this nation.
 I listened to a discussion here last week as to whether our Radio should be beamed on America so as to bring our propaganda and our publicity to the other side of the Atlantic. I hold very emphatically that our Radio should be beamed on the United States, but not for the purpose of initiating or dragging the United States into a conflict with Great Britain or with any other nation, but for the purpose of repudiating and contradicting the lying propaganda which has been issued by this so-called Connolly Memorial Committee. That committee has grossly exaggerated prison conditions in this country, and it grossly misrepresented the discussion which took place in this House. I see before me in that pamphlet the heading, “Mr. Boland threatens Deputy Donnellan.” We all remember the circumstances in which that alleged threat was made in this House. We all know the remark made by the Minister for Justice in that particular case was purely a joke.
Mr. Cogan: It is up to Deputy Flanagan to help out this particular kind of anti-national and anti-Irish propaganda if he thinks fit, but I am quite certain that the Minister for Justice had not the slightest intention of intimidating or threatening Deputy Donnellan in any way. I am quite sure, knowing both Deputy Donnellan and the Minister for Justice, that no one would be more grieved than the Minister for Justice if Deputy Donnellan were to commit some crime that would bring upon him the rigour of the law.
Mr. Cogan: I am not defending the Minister, but I feel that when you have a case like this, in which a jest thrown across the House is grossly exaggerated in a foreign country and used against this country, it is the duty of every member of the House to repudiate it, and I think that if Deputy Donnellan has any sense of honour or honesty or  decency he will repudiate that suggestion.
Mr. Cogan: My intention in bringing the pamphlet to the notice of the House is to show how essential it is to have Radio Éireann, through the proposed short wave station, equipped to deal with propaganda of that kind and to refute it.
Mr. Cogan: I know, but this is a matter of national external policy, and the full implications of it could not, I think, have been fully debated on the Estimate for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. It is a question of national policy whether we should direct our publicity towards rectifying and correcting serious misrepresentations of this country abroad. I believe that it is a sound policy to inform the American people as to what are the true conditions here. We cannot allow an organised section in America to link this country up with anti-British propaganda there, or with pro-Russian propaganda there because, inevitably, the major division into which the entire world is now divided must affect this question. We know that every bit of organised and well financed propaganda in the United States is directed towards building up a public opinion favourable to Russia. It is for that reason that our propaganda should be directed towards showing that, in this democratic country, we are able to manage our affairs, and that there are not here conditions such as have been described by this Connolly Committee. If the conditions were such as described by these people, democracy here would have failed completely and there would be a justification for American people coming to the conclusion that democracy was not worth defending. When we realise the danger to our  national interests of this type of propaganda it is only right that we should direct our external policy towards having the facts of our case properly presented.
Deputy Norton, dealing with the question of Partition, referred to the fact that India has been given freedom but India also has been partitioned and there again there is a tremendous problem to be solved. The problem of India has not been solved any more than the problem here has been solved and, recognising that fact, we should not be so cheerful in suggesting that there are easy and simple methods of solving the question of Partition. The question is very complex and very serious and all the energies of our people must be directed towards a solution. Therefore, in connection with world-wide publicity on the question of Partition or the question of the rights, interests and welfare of this nation, it is desirable that all Parties in this House should be brought into consultation by the Government. In old-established nations, such as Great Britain, whenever there is a decision to be taken involving foreign policy, it is customary for the Government to consult with the Opposition. Having regard to the dangers which lie all around in the present abnormal world situation and the danger of a false move in external affairs, it is desirable that such consultation should take place and that, if possible, in regard to the control and direction of radio publicity there should be set up some sort of advisory council to control that type of propaganda.
During the past year this nation applied for admission to the United Nations Organisation. The application was turned down as a result of the opposition of Russia and Australia. I am one of those who maintained that it was right that we should make application for membership but when our application was rejected the dignified course and from a national standpoint the most desirable course would have been to withdraw our application and to wait until the United Nations Organisation made up its mind to invite us to become a member. Once our application has been rejected, no  useful purpose is served by hanging on to the door-knob begging for admission. That is not a dignified or self-respecting procedure and no nation can afford to throw away its self-respect. The Taoiseach may know of some very sound reasons for continuing to knock at the door of the United Nations Organisation. If so, I would like to hear them, but I would be very slow to be convinced that that procedure is necessary. If there is a complete change in the formation of the United Nations Organisation—and only such a change will lead to a change in Russia's attitude towards this country—I am sure the Supreme Council of the United Nations Organisation will send us an invitation to become a member.
It is an extraordinary thing that this wonderful, humanitarian organisation in America did not think it necessary to make an appeal on behalf of Archbishop Stepinac. There was no agitation raised by this organisation in America in connection with the criminal manner——
Mr. Cogan: I know that, Sir. I wish to point out that the Archbishop has been the victim of an inhuman policy, a policy pursued in over half a continent and I want to urge strongly upon the Government that as none of these humanitarian organisations to which I have referred has taken steps in the matter, it is the duty of the Government to take such further steps as may be necessary to rouse public opinion in the nations of Europe that are still free against that crime and injustice.
Broadly and briefly, our external policy should be one of friendship with all free nations, particularly those that are nearest to us. Such a policy will be beneficial not only in regard to securing our ultimate national unity but in advancing our external commercial interests. I do not know why some people in this country claim the right or think it is good national policy to attack Britain on questions which have no concern for us. We had a demand made in this House during the past year by Deputy Briscoe that  citizens of this country should not be allowed to join the Palestine police. At the same time we know that citizens of this country are co-operating in helping the Stern gang and the people who are fighting against Great Britain. Our policy in regard to Palestine, I think, should be one of neutrality. If it is wrong for citizens of this country to join the Palestine police, it is equally wrong for citizens of this country, whether real citizens or synthetically-produced citizens, to co-operate and assist in the fight being waged by the terror gangs in Palestine. Our Government should take very strong action to ensure that no assistance is given by any section of our people to the terrorists in Palestine. I read an article in the Irish Press during the past year which rather astonished me, in view of that paper's position and I think it is desirable that we should have a change of attitude on matters of this kind. In that paper, there was a bitter attack upon Britain's policy in Palestine, but there was not one word of condemnation of the terrorist policy of the Jews. If you condemn one, you must condemn both.
Mr. Cogan: I know that the Government have no connection whatever with the Irish Press, but it is the duty of the Government, even though the Press is absolutely free, to give a lead in matters of this kind and to make it clear in their public pronouncements through the Information Bureau or any other means at their disposal that this country is not backing the Stern gang.
The world at present is in as grave a condition as humanity has ever faced. The present position is probably more serious than any other which faced humanity. We have an attempt on the part of one totalitarian Power to overrún the entire globe, to overrun all the nations of the earth and to bring them under subjugation. In such circumstances, it is the duty of a nation which is free, which is democratically governed, to take all such steps as may be necessary to avoid giving any assistance  whatever to the would-be dictators of the world in Russia. For that reason, I hold that our international policy should be guided by extreme prudence and circumspection.
Deputy Dillon referred to two documents which it should be the duty of every well-informed person to read. There is another document which any Deputy who wishes to take an interest in foreign affairs should study very carefully—the diary of Count Ciano, published in the Irish Independent during the last few weeks. Any man who has any desire to take an intelligent interest in foreign policy would do well to read that diary carefully, because in it we have revealed the malice and villainy of a small group of dictators who set out at that time to overthrow democracy and establish control over the entire world. That diary not only reveals how criminal was the campaign waged by Hitler and his immediate associates, but it shows how equally criminal was the conspiracy of those who associated with him. The Russian Government in 1939 were as much implicated in the attack upon the peace and freedom of the world as were the rulers of Germany, and it is only by studying documents of that kind, by studying the inner history and the motives which inspired these gangsters, that we can realise how grave is the position at present and how necessary it is for all nations, great and small, to co-operate in preserving the peace of humanity.
One lesson that a small nation such as ours should learn from Count Ciano's diary is that, whenever in doubt, whenever you have to choose between right and wrong, it is better to choose right. Italy, a weak nation, a badly armed nation, chose wrong and suffered for it, and we know now that the rulers of Italy at the time knew they were doing wrong. There may be people who will say that opportunism is sometimes good, that you can sacrifice principle in order to gain some temporary national advantage, and that we should sacrifice principle in the hope of winning back the Six Counties. We might get a guarantee  from some big Power, such as Russia, that she would restore the Six Counties to us, if we were to assist in her campaign for world domination, but I think that any potential advantage secured or sought to be secured by such means would be the same as the advantages which Italy hoped to get by entering the war.
There is one course, and one course only, open to a small nation such as ours, that is, to act truthfully and honourably in regard to other nations, to rely on the justice of our cause and of our case. If we do that, I think we shall eventually succeed in securing the reintegration of the Six Counties with the rest of Ireland and the establishment of a really democratic State for all Ireland. That should be the major aim of our external policy, and it is an aim which will be secured more effectively if the Government adopt the suggestion I have made and seek, in regard to external policy, the co-operation of all Parties in the House. If an effort is made by the Government to seek that co-operation, I think it will be forthcoming.
Mr. Cosgrave: It has become customary, in introducing this Estimate, to give no survey of any kind of international affairs, to give a mere detailed explanation of the various sub-heads in the Vote. A more usual and a better form of presentation would be for the Minister to outline, in so far as information is available to the Department, general world conditions and our interest in any particular aspect of world affairs. For some reason, however, with the exception of a brief reference to our application for admission to the United Nations Organisation and a short description of the fact that we are about to open two new Legations, the Taoiseach's introductory remarks were confined entirely to giving more detailed particulars of the sub-heads of the Vote. If a Deputy wanted information on that matter, it would be a simple thing for the Minister, when replying, to give full particulars.
In the Supplementary Estimate which is being taken with the Vote, there is a sum of £10,000 for cultural  relations with other countries and this sum is to be spent as a Grant-in-Aid. I would like to hear fuller particulars of the proposed cultural relations and receive more information on the form which those relations are expected to take. Certainly, in the absence of fuller information and in the absence of more detailed particulars, I cannot support a grant of £10,000 for such a purpose.
In addition, we have a sum of £500 for an Official Handbook of Ireland. This handbook is to be handed over to be developed by the chief of the Government Information Bureau. The experience of Deputies here in the past and the experience of most people is that the Government Information Bureau in certain cases is used as a Fianna Fáil propaganda agency, used in a manner which does not reflect credit on this country and which would in no way enable people outside to get an accurate view of conditions here. For that reason, in the absence of a guarantee that the preparation of this handbook will not be entrusted to the same hands with the same result, I cannot—and I think most people in the Opposition cannot—support a sum of £500 for that purpose.
On the whole question of propaganda abroad, a good deal of exaggeration seems to have taken place concerning criticism of this country abroad. Excessive attention is paid to the fact that we have critics outside, as all countries have critics outside their own borders who from time to time either write or speak in terms antagonistic to their interests. Deputies should realise that, with certain exceptions— important, but nevertheless existing exceptions—the majority of the world will be uninfluenced by any propaganda that we can do either on the wireless or through the Press.
I heard earlier this evening here strong appeals being made to the Taoiseach to use the radio as a means of influencing public opinion throughout the world. I take it that that means influencing anyone who is prepared to listen, or influencing anyone who may have associations with this country by ties of blood or trade relations or for some other reason. I wonder if Deputies realise that if we  were to broadcast to the Chinese in either English or Irish they would not be in the slightest interested. It is ludicrous to suggest that we should embark on a world-wide propaganda programme under the direction or the control of the Minister for External Affairs in order to influence public opinion in various parts of the world. This is generally referred to in connection with the question of Partition as a means of influencing people who are regarded as being in a position to effect alterations in the position of this country and Great Britain concerning Partition. On that matter, it might or might not have certain beneficial effects. So much has been said on it from time to time and a regular annual review generally takes place here on the question of Partition, that I do not propose to dwell on it at length. It is likely that more beneficial results would accrue from direct contact between the two Governments than from any amount of propaganda over the wireless or through the Press on the public either in America or in England.
It is true that a number of our people have left this country for America, many of them permanently. A great number of the Irish are the descendants of former emigrants and undoubtedly are interested in our welfare and in our position from the international viewpoint, but it is equally true that many of them have severed their link with this country and their material and other prosperity is bound up with a country which they have made their national home. In considering this question, then, we should give some attention to the fact that many of these people no longer regard themselves as Irish. However, large numbers still regard themselves, if not directly as Irish, then as descendants of emigrants. They have close personal ties with this country and many of them have relations and friends here. They are deeply interested in our welfare, but anything which would give them or their neighbours in America the impression that we were trying to use them as a tool might, in the long run, have results other than those we intend, as it might influence them adversely rather than  in our favour. Some Deputies are prone to exaggerate the effect of a campaign of that kind, under the direction of the Department of External Affairs, carried out over the radio or through the influence of Press agencies or through the proposed official handbook.
The Taoiseach was strangely silent on the question of emigration. From time to time Government spokesmen— and, in particular, the Minister for Finance and the Taoiseach—have alleged that Opposition propaganda is responsible for emigration or, at any rate, is a strong contributory factor. They have said they cannot understand why these people emigrate and they pretend to be amazed that they seek a livelihood elsewhere. In their innocence, they tell us they do not know why these people will not remain at home, as there is much useful work to be done. If they are in earnest and really want an answer, would it not be advisable for either or both of them, or all the Ministers, to stand some night or morning at any of our ports and ask some of the emigrants why they are leaving? They might get an answer that no one in this country could give them.
Mr. Cosgrave: I am coming to the position in which these people are abroad and want to lead up to that. It has come to my notice that various categories of workers who leave this country for England, on their arrival at the ports there, are ticketed and grouped on a numerical basis and then sent to their future place of employment or sent to a distributing centre, for further travel to the factories or towns in which they are to be employed. I think it is degrading that in 1947 our citizens should be ticketed and herded on a numerical basis to their future abode. I have heard complaints of the manner in which this operation is carried out to the effect that these people are, more or less, treated like cattle—herded together  and brought from one place to another. I think that some system could be adopted which would have regard to the dignity of these people as human persons and which would, at the same time, enable those who are employing them to get them expeditiously to their destination other than having them grouped numerically with a band on their arms and then herded and brought to the place of employment or place of further distribution. As far as I can understand, there is a distinction between certain categories of workers. I would like the Minister, when replying, to inform the House as to the distinctions made and who is responsible for the system under which Irish workers going to England are ticketed at the ports in this fashion.
A number of Deputies here have referred to our position in international affairs and our position should we eventually be accepted into the United Nations Organisation. Considerable speculation has taken place on our future rôles. Certain comments have been made on our status. A good deal of wonder has been expressed at our status at the moment in international affairs and at our proposed function should we be admitted to the United Nations Organisation and should we be enabled to take part in the deliberations of that body. I think it is true to say, not merely of individuals but of nations, that people always respect one for what one is and not for what one pretends to be. There is nothing more degrading than that we in this country should pretend to be one thing and, in fact, be another. From time to time the Taoiseach refers to our external position, refers to the External Relations Act, and discusses our sovereignty. Very often he says that we are completely independent and that if anyone has any doubts on the position he has only to look up the External Relations Act, and the Constitution and, further, that we can at any time, if we want to, repeal that Act. Certainly I, for one, would far prefer to see that Act repealed than that we should continue this never-ending form of apology when we are not certain what we are and when we  wish other people to believe that we are one thing whereas, in fact, we are another. We have, from time to time, heard statements and references to our position. We have, from time to time, heard from the Taoiseach and from the Government views on our position as though other nations or individuals outside were attempting to belittle our position or in some way to derogate from our international status. It has not merely been food for discussion amongst ourselves here and throughout the country but it has also been the subject of many articles in the Press. I think that a number of these articles and discussions suit the Taoiseach. I think the Taoiseach likes to have the problem discussed. It is a form of mental or other exercise in which people indulge and very often it distracts them from the true position —very often from other more pressing problems—but all the time, because of its nature, it attracts attention and we devote time to a discussion of that nature when we might more profitably discuss graver problems which, in every way, are having a far more serious effect on the lives and interests of our people.
There is one aspect of the matter upon which I would like to dwell, namely, that if we in this country have a false sense of our position, if we have a false appreciation of our status, and if we feel that other people outside have a similar false conception then would not it be far better, far more honest—possibly not as astute, not as suitable a political manoeuvre which, however, I do not regard either as astute or as a good political manoeuvre—to repeal the External Relations Act? I think the External Relations Act is a tricky manoeuvre and I think its abolition would enable this country to stand forth for what it is, to stand forth for what it has been in the past and, in the future, to stand forth as an independent State conscious of our status and of our history. I think it would be far more honest and far more in keeping with our traditions to repeal that Act. I think that to carry on as we have been is to continue what has been so aptly described as “living a lie”. There is nothing more corrosive  of national independence, of pride, than a form of status which some people consider astute but which, when examined more closely, appears to most people to be a tricky device.
I wish to refer to the question of the two new Legations. The Taoiseach referred to this matter as being primarily in the interests of trade and he said that in the future a number of these negotiations which, in the past, were carried out between commercial interests are now to be inter-governmental. I would like fuller information on that matter. Is the coal which this country secured from America to be regarded as an example of intergovernmental trade? I think we all realise that it was only when the coal exporting authorities in America were enabled to deal directly with the coal importing firms here that the necessary facilities were forthcoming. If the example and experience which this country had in connection with the importation of coal is to be regarded as a line for future trade in other matters and between other countries, then we would want a fuller guarantee that the new Legations will facilitate trade and that the increase in the diplomatic representation of this country abroad will, in fact, be beneficial to our interests.
Finally, I would like to urge on the Minister the fact that there has been some restriction on people wishing to leave this country in order to spend holidays in Britain. I do not know whether the restriction is one imposed by the Department or one imposed by the British authorities. However, the fact of the matter is that a number of agricultural labourers who were merely going to Britain for holidays experienced difficulties in getting the necessary facilities. In certain cases the refusal was at the British end, and in other cases the refusal was at our end. It may be that there is some fear that a number of these people will refuse to return and that they will take up employment in England. I imagine that an easy solution of the problem would be to give them a permit or passport for a limited period only. Certainly if people  from this country who have relatives or friends in England are anxious to spend a holiday there, despite the inconvenience, I think the facilities should be provided. I should like to say that I experience nothing but the greatest assistance and the most extreme courtesy from all officials of the Department of External Affairs in any matter which I bring before them. They deal with the matters in a courteous and considerate manner and, so far as my experience goes and the experience of anyone on whose behalf I had to make representations, the Department facilitated them in every way. But in connection with these permits and visas for people who wish to travel to Great Britain on holidays, there is not merely considerable delay, but, in certain cases, a blank refusal, and I think this restriction should be withdrawn.
Seosamh Ó Cinnéide: Bhíos ag eisteacht leis an diospóireacht so de hAoine agus indui, agus daoine ag rá go gcaithmíd bheith ar an nguth céana roimh an domhan ach ní raibh na daoine a labhair ar na mbinnsí thall ar an nguth céana cor ar bith agus dá bhrí sin, tá cupla abairt agam le rá.
I heard Deputy Cogan advocate a common national policy in external affairs and that advocacy is to be appreciated. But, listening to the debate on Friday and to-day, I did not see anything in common between the members of the Opposition. Deputy Cosgrave spoke of the futility of spending large sums of money in putting the position of this country before the world. He wanted to know what is the use of it; who would listen to us; would the people of China or the people of Peru listen to us? Before that, Deputy Cogan said that we were not doing enough to draw attention to the position of Archbishop Stepinac, a citizen of another small nation who is wrongly imprisoned. If we cannot do anything for our own country, what can we do for Archbishop Stepinac?
Another point made by the Opposition was that they were worried about our independence under the External Relations Act. Yet the same people are advocating that we should  not go abroad in stating the case about the mutilation of this country; that we should not tell the world about the junta in the Six Counties; that we should grovel and be subservient to John Bull; that we should do nothing to offend him; in fact, that we are to have no independence when dealing with this terrible affliction on this country. In one breath, we are told about our lack of independence and, in the next breath, when there is a national desire to reveal to the world the gerrymandering in the Six Counties we are told: “Do not do it or you will offend America, you will offend John Bull; you will interfere with the relations between the United States and Great Britain. Rather than such a thing should happen, let Partition go on; let hundreds of thousands of people be crushed out of existence; let them be deprived of ownership of the land and be knocked out of every public position, and establish the will of a certain group of individuals up there: a Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people.” I cannot see the logic of these people advocating independence where, they allege, it is not and, at the same time, advocating subservience to the people who are responsible for Partition.
Mr. Coogan: I should like to remind the House that, on 1st March, 1933, it subscribed unanimously to the proposition that a reunion of the Irish nation founded on goodwill should be the primary object of public policy and that every other constitutional issue should be subordinated thereto. What I have to say in relation to this Vote will be largely devoted to the problem of Partition, which has loomed largely in the recent speeches. But I want to say at the outset that, since that resolution was passed, I have seen no evidence, good, bad or indifferent, of any intention on the part of the Government to take any practical steps towards removing the barrier of Partition. Indeed, I have grave doubts that Fianna Fáil consider it wise in their own partisan interest to remove that barrier. However that may be, certainly during their 15 years of office no steps of a practical kind have been taken by them to effect a rapprochement with Stormont or by any other means to undo the evil of Partition. I regard their policy as deliberately calculated to preserve that barrier rather than to remove it.
If we take the efforts that have been made recently, both in this House and outside the House, to convince our people that we have a Republic down here as one of the examples of Fianna Fáil policy calculated to offend Northern Ireland opinion and calculated to make more permanent the Border, then surely we can conclude that there is no intention on the part of the Government to take practical steps in this matter. If there is one thing more than another calculated to offend Northern Ireland sentiment, it is the parading of this bogus Republic which we go on with down here. The second point I think that is offending Northern Ireland sentiment—and I say it in all seriousness—is the stress the Taoiseach and his Ministers lay repeatedly on Irish and the necessity for promoting Irish throughout the country; again, if you like, giving the impression to the people across the Border who do not want to learn Irish that, if they have ever to come under a Dublin Government, they will be forced to learn a language which they hate.
I want to make myself perfectly clear on these two points. Republicanism, de Valerism, if you like, paraded as Republicanism, is anathema to the Orangemen across the Border; so also is the Irish language. If we are continually harping on these two subjects down here, we are not going to take any practical steps towards getting inside the skin of the Orangemen. When I say Orangemen, I say it in all seriousness, because I firmly believe that the evil of Partition is due to the fact that we have in the Six Counties, and perhaps on this side of the Border, a militant political organisation of Orangeism, and these are the gentlemen who are interested in preserving the Six-County Government.
Therefore, I say that, every time we parade the Republic here and every time we give them the impression that we are going to bludgeon them into learning Irish if ever they come under a Dublin Parliament, we are sending them  farther and farther away from us than ever. I want to approach the problem of Partition from that particular angle rather than from any other angle. I think it is a mistake that we should give them that impression. For that reason, I disagree entirely with Deputy Norton when he suggests that we should cut the painter—the King, such as he is, in our Constitution.
Mr. Coogan: If the Taoiseach can put a different construction on this from the construction that I have put upon it, I shall be glad to subscribe to it, but I hold that in substance the King is there. The King's name is not mentioned—if that is the Taoiseach's argument, I concede straight away—and it is not mentioned in the Executive Authority Act.
“(1) It is hereby declared and enacted that, so long as Saorstát Eireann 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 Eireann for the like purposes as and when advised by the Executive Council so to do.”
“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 co-operation in matters of common concern.”
Mr. Coogan: In the Executive Authority Act the King is specifically the organ for external affairs, the organ written into the Constitution in Article 29. I hold in substance, in law and in fact that the King is in our Constitution by virtue of that provision.
Mr. Coogan: I am entitled to my opinion. I may say that the first time I read those two things together it was clear to me that the King is in the Constitution. I want to say that the King is the last link, and a very slender link, between us and the British Commonwealth of Nations. I was disagreeing with Deputy Norton in recommending to the Taoiseach that that very slender link should be cut, because I look upon it as the last hope we have, such as it is, of ever effecting a rapprochement between the Six County Government and ours. If you set up an absolute Republic here and cut the painter, then we have done away with all hope for ever of solving our Partition problem.
I hold strongly on this matter, because I can see across the Border almost 1,000,000 people who have sentiments  towards the Crown. We may not respect these sentiments, but they are entitled to their sentiments and to their opinions. If we set out deliberately to offend these sentiments, we have no hope of effecting that reconciliation which, I hope, can be brought about some day. I think the Orangeman is a pathological case from many points of view, but I think he has been made that deliberately by the centuries of mal-administration which took place in our history here. I believe that he has been brought to that pathological condition through historical circumstances, largely.
I would like to remind the House that the Orangeman, such as he is, is really an Irishman to begin with. Those people who are Orange to-day were, centuries ago, our people. They emigrated to Scotland and they lost the faith in Scotland. They or their descendants came back here and settled in the North and that is just the problem, that in the time of their exile, as you may call it, from this country, they changed their religion and came back to find we had held on to ours, and their descendants to-day have that peculiar religious fanatical outlook, if you like, largely conferred upon them from that time and fomented by politicians through the centuries since. The Orangeman is a paradox in many ways. The solemn league and convenant to which the Orangeman subscribes was, in Wolfe Tone's time, the solemn league and convenant of the Irish Republic, but it has become in Orangeism to-day the solemn league and convenant of Unionism.
Mr. Coogan: Yes, that is what makes it so objectionable, but I can see through the ramifications of the Orangeman's mind an Irishman, if you like, despite the paradox of his situation. He is really an Irishman, a contrary, if you like, stubborn, pig-headed Irishman, but nevertheless an Irishman, and we have to recognise that fundamental fact before we attempt any understanding with him. Unless we can do that, then we will completely fail to solve the problem  of Partition. I disagree with Deputy Norton when he hawks our political troubles and our Partition problem over to Clement Attlee in Westminster. I disagree with Deputy Cogan when he suggests that we should submit our case to Uncle Sam in Washington.
Mr. Coogan: I even disagree with Deputy Cogan when he goes so far as to put his hand on the door-knob of the United Nations Organisation and almost sings “Open the door, Joe.” I thought at the time Deputy Cogan came to the door he was going to parody “Open the door, Richard,” the song about which we have heard so much. I do not want to go into all this question about opening the door but I should like to see some attempt at going to Belfast to open the door. I think unless we go to Belfast to open the door we are wasting our time in sheer futility. That is the approach we have got to make to Partition and if we are not going to attempt to make that approach to Partition, then let us for goodness' sake forget it.
As I have mentioned Partition, I did, some time ago, interest myself in reading on this subject various people, amongst them Orangemen, and I came across some extraordinary statements. Away back in 1914 Sir Edward Carson was asked by a Pressman how the Ulster trouble came about. His answer was:—
I seriously suggest to the House that it would take us a good while to get to the fundamentals of Partition and there is no use in Deputy Norton, Deputy Cogan or anybody else coming to this House and suggesting that by a breath of wind in the right direction, Partition will disappear. There are too many facets to this problem for Partition to disappear, as it were, by mere wishful thinking. There is a big fundamental problem involved in this  question. It was of fundamental importance during the recent war and it will be even more fundamental in any future war. There is no doubt but that Britain regards the North of Ireland and the North-West passage as one of the chief outposts for the protection of Britain. There is no doubt but that if a base had not been available there for the American forces during the recent world war, their chances of getting a foothold in Europe would have been very remote. I merely mention that as one aspect of the problem that has got to be solved.
There are other facets of the problem that we have to remember. You have economic, historic and financial considerations involved in this question. I do not want to go into all these matters but I do want to suggest that amongst the Orangemen you had a history of persecution and a history of suffering for conscience sake. You have there an old tradition. Do not let us always forget that tradition, and assume that they are just pig-headed, anti-Papists who go out on the 12th July beating a drum. They have a history and a tradition behind them. Away back in the 16th and the 17th century these people were persecuted and were driven from their homes and their lands in the North. They were deprived of their jobs and their professions; their houses and their lands were cleared; it was “to hell or to Connaught” for them just as much as it was “to Hell or to Connaught” for the people down here in Cromwell's time. Let us remember these facts when we approach them. Let us remember that the descendants of these people who went to America fought with Washington, side by side with our emigrants and that more than half of the signatories to the United States Declaration of Independence were of Ulster stock. If we can remember these facts then we should have some appreciation of the problem that confronts us in approaching these people.
I know that there are many inconsistencies. I know it is hard to agree with an Orangeman who will praise Washington as a hero and at the same time who will look upon Wolfe Tone as  a traitor and a villain. I know that you have that difficulty in getting to the back of his mind but I do want to suggest that if you rush into this matter, you can do a lot of harm. If we take the right steps and try to see behind the mentality and the traditions of these people, giving them credit for all these things in which they believe, we may perhaps be able to bring them round to our point of view. I do not believe that anything in the nature of hawking our troubles elsewhere will get us anywhere. I hold that the proper approach to this question is that of Dublin vis-à-vis Belfast. I have seen little done in the last Government's time or in the present Government's time to effect a rapprochement. Rather on the contrary, have we gone further and further away from any effort at reunion. Behind the scenes something may have been done; I do not know, but if anything like that is happening it is all to the good. Years ago something was happening but unfortunate events down here ended them rather abruptly.
I do want to advocate strongly that there can be only one or two ways to solve Partition, the first being a rapprochement between Dublin and Belfast by which we shall be able to get these people to see eye to eye with us and arrange some sort of federal union with them. The other alternative is force. Mind you, force may become necessary some day. I am not a believer in having our country truncated indefinitely and our people handed over to the junta in Belfast. I do not believe that the people of this generation has done its part and I believe there is a big job of work awaiting future generations. I believe that the task of bringing about a union of the North and the South of this country awaits some Irish Cavour of the future. I do believe that we have given 25 years to what you might call delicate handling of the Partition problem. I do believe that we have given the kid glove every time to these people. I do believe that we have gone as far as we possibly can in holding out the hand of friendship and that, 25 years after the Treaty, it is time that we were beginning anew the effort to reunite our lost territory. I do not  want to go into details, into all the constitutional developments which have taken place. I did at one time go into the matter on behalf of a body of Irishmen and Englishmen who were endeavouring to see if there was any approach by which we could bridge the particular difficulty. Having gone into the matter I discovered that there was none by which we could do so, speaking legally and constitutionally.
May I remind the House that under the 1920 Act the Belfast Parliament was set up in June, 1921? In June, 1921, the King visited Belfast to open the Belfast Parliament. The Belfast Parliament was, therefore, a fait accompli even before the Truce of July, 1921, was signed and long before the Treaty was signed. Before the Treaty, or before the negotiations for that Treaty had been begun, the Belfast Parliament had been established as a fait accompli in the Six Counties.
It is well that the younger generation should realise that when they enter into discussions on the Partition problem. Under the Treaty and under the Act, there was a provision for a Council of Ireland. It was deliberately established for the purpose of leaving some way by which a reunion could be effected between the North and the South, but under Articles 12 and 13 of the Treaty the Council of Ireland was more or less abolished. It was preserved in form, but its effective powers were taken away. Under a subsequent enactment—the Free State (Consequential Provisions) Act of 1922 —the Council of Ireland's powers were placed in the position that if either the Government here or the Government in Belfast wanted to take these powers to themselves, then they could do so, but that if, after a period of five years, they did not do so, then an Order in Council could be made transferring the powers to the Six County Government. In actual fact, the powers were transferred to the Six County Government on the 1st April, 1926. These powers were limited powers. As well as I remember they related to the railways, diseases of animals and fisheries, but though they were limited powers still they were left  there as a tribute, if you like, to the hope that reunion might be effected even on such a slender basis as the Council of Ireland afforded. In actual fact what happened was that our people down here, in the circumstances in which they found themselves, did not, of course, take any cognisance of the 1920 Act, and did not take any cognisance of the Council of Ireland. The Council of Ireland went by the board so far as we here were concerned, and eventually the North of Ireland got these powers.
To-day, when there is some question of added powers being given to the North of Ireland Parliament and when, apparently, certain people who are outside this House question the right of the North of Ireland to get any extra powers, it is well that they should remember that that Parliament got these powers in 1926—powers which were intended for all Ireland and which would be exercisable by the Council of Ireland. They were given to them in 1926 and referred, as I have said, to fisheries, diseases of animals and the railways. The only thing that was left after that happened was the provision that the two Governments could meet at any time they saw fit or necessary on matters of common concern. That was left in a very nebulous sort of way— that if at any time the two Governments saw fit they could meet on matters of common concern. In actual fact, we have never met on common ground, and we do not seem ever to have had a common outlook on any matter affecting the country. I think it is regrettable that the two Governments have not availed of these very slender powers such as they were. I think it is regrettable that some effort has not been made over the years to effect an approach by the two Governments so that a common basis might be found for coming together on matters of mutual concern and of national concern. I think that if there had been some use made of these powers, it is quite on the cards that we would have made further progress towards reunion than we have made.
However, as I have said, the Council of Ireland is gone so far as we are concerned.  It is now a matter quite open to the two Governments to come together when they see fit, but the position seems to me to be that neither Government is prepared to take the initiative. Neither Government will make the first move, and in a situation of that kind things are bound to drift indefinitely. Neither Government, apparently, is prepared to risk its honour, good name or prestige in making the first move. The only link, therefore, that is left is the King as an organ in our external relations. I disagree with Deputy Norton and other speakers, who have advocated that that link should be cut. I think it would be a mistake, taking the broad view, to take the King out of the External Relations Act, and if I may say so, out of the Constitution, because I feel that it would be calculated to injure our position, particularly in relation to Stormont and the Six Counties, but more particularly in our relations with the Commonwealth of Nations. I think that would be a retrograde step, one that would be very much misunderstood across the Border, and one that would certainly be much more misunderstood throughout the Commonwealth of Nations.
Deputy Norton and other people seem to think that, by merely asking the present Labour Government in Great Britain, we could do a whole host of things as regards the removal of the Partition problem. I do not believe a word of it. There was a Bill recently before the British House of Commons relating to the North of Ireland. In the case of that Bill we saw that 200 British Labour M.P.s put down an amendment, the discussion on which was calculated to provoke a strom in relation to Northern Ireland. An extraordinary thing happened. When it came to the time to move the amendment nobody moved it and, as far as I can see, there was only one man who had the courage of his convictions—Mr. Bing—to come back to the North of Ireland and say what he felt like saying to the people in the North. So much, therefore, for their sincerity in the matter. As far as I can see, they are simply playing Party politics with the Six County position. They appreciate  that the Six Counties comprise the last stronghold of conservatism throughout the Commonwealth and feel they must play Party politics with it. I have no intention of suggesting to the Taoiseach that we should lend ourselves in any way to that. As far as I can see, it is a purely Party game in Great Britain. I think the approach should be a direct one between Irishmen and Irishmen. I would also like to stress a fact which emerged in the course of that debate, that almost every speaker who took part in it said that the problem of Partition, as far as they could see it, was essentially one for settlement between Irishmen and Irishmen.
I do not want to go into the historical aspects of Partition or to apportion blame for Partition—to apportion the blameworthiness for it on particular British statesmen. We all know who are responsible for Partition and we all know how it came about as well as the antagonisms that were there at the time. I do not want to waste the time of the House in going back on past history, but I do feel that while to British statemanship in the past the blame for Partition could largely be assigned, nevertheless, it would do us no good now to open old sores and traduce them for what they said in those days. I do sincerely suggest that we in this country in this matter of Partition have a very serious problem. It is at the root of all our problems, and particularly at the root of our international problems. It is a problem that we ought to face up to soon in the hope that we can effect a settlement between the North and the South. The problem is not an easy one. It is not one that can be solved by inactivity or by a negative attitude down here. It is one that demands a positive policy. I agree that it is one upon which all Parties in this House should have a common understanding. Above all, it is one that should be above Party politics. It certainly should not be made the plaything of politics. It is a national problem and I feel that every section of the House would be behind the Taoiseach if he were prepared to take some practical steps towards bringing about the ending of Partition.
 I, for one, have said before and I repeat it now, that I feel that we should have some representation in Belfast whether they like it or not. We ought to have some representation there; we ought to go there and try to contact those people and use our resources here for the purpose of peacefully persuading them of our goodwill, of our friendship and above all, of our tolerance. Many of those people have prejudices, narrow, bitter beliefs that if ever they came under a Dublin Parliament they would be ruthlessly treated in the matter of their religion and of their civil rights. We know quite well that because of the traditions which we have established since this State was set up the feelings and fears of those people are quite ill-founded. Nevertheless, they are there, and it should be our duty to do everything possible to try to get those people to realise that they have nothing to fear from coming under a Dublin Parliament. I would like to see, not a propaganda directed so much against Partition, as a propaganda directed by us to show that our Constitution is deliberately framed to embrace them whenever they see fit to come in; that our Constitution is so deliberately framed that, if they came in in the morning, English can remain their official language, if they choose to make English their official language. Our Constitution provides that either the Irish or the English language may be the exclusive language of a particular area. That has been deliberately put in to meet the North of Ireland problem but the North of Ireland people have never heard of that. They never realise it. They do not appreciate it. They read the daily newspapers and they think every time the Taoiseach speaks about Irish: “If we ever come under the Dublin Parliament we will be all sent to the Gaeltacht to learn Irish”. That is what they feel. They do not know about the other matter. They do not realise that even if they came in in the morning our Constitution would permit them to have a subordinate parliament in Belfast and that we could have some form of federation. These are the aspects of our position that I would like to have propaganda  directed towards, towards curbing the anticipations and anxieties and fears of these people, not, by shouting “Up the Republic” every fine morning, to get them to feel that we are going to trample on any sentiments they hold dear. I believe the parading of the Republic is calculated to do infinite harm in the Six Counties and I say that seriously as I have been many times amongst these people and I know every time the word “Republic” is paraded in any way down here it stinks in their nostrils.
It is time we woke up to these facts and faced realities and, realising what these people are, that we would go some of the way to meet them. I do not want the Taoiseach to go to the United Nations Organisation or Washington or London. I want him to go to Belfast. That is where we have to begin, and that is where we have to end. If we do not succeed in doing the job on Irish soil we certainly are not going to solve the problem on foreign soil.
Mr. Hughes: I wish to ask the Taoiseach a couple of questions arising out of this Vote. I agree with the Deputies who have commented on the method of presenting this Estimate. The Taoiseach adopted the method of merely giving the figures arising out of the various sub-heads. He gave little or no information on the very important matter of foreign affairs generally. In the past, and again on this occasion, he adopted the method of giving the minimum amount of information, listening to the discussion and then saying whatever he has to say at the end. I feel that the House is entitled to a different kind of treatment and, certainly, to considerably more information.
Mr. Hughes: I am leading up to that. The House has discussed at length a very important matter, the question of Partition. I do not intend to refer to that. It has been discussed in great detail. The Taoiseach gave us information about our diplomatic services abroad and the expansion of these services and told us that it was due to the expansion of our international  trade relations. He went on to say that international trade was becoming more dependent upon inter-governmental arrangements and that they had increased the personnel of our diplomatic representatives to 16 and had appointed a commercial secretary to the Legation at Washington and that Mr. Kerney had been sent as head of an economic mission to Africa. He left the work of our diplomats at that. The information I am looking for from the Taoiseach is, what has been done by our diplomatic representatives so far as trade is concerned because, while our representatives perform other functions and look after our people abroad, the most important feature of our diplomatic services is the economic aspect of their work and their interest in developing trade with this country. The House is entitled to know from the Taoiseach what is being done at present in the development of trade with this country. When we bear in mind the difficulties that have been outlined by the Minister for Industry and Commerce with regard to foreign exchange in the future and the figures he has given of our very substantial adverse trade balance at present and the gap between imports and exports which he anticipates will widen because of the additional imports that will be available when more goods come on the market, it must be considered a very important matter. The House is entitled to get very full information as to what is being done at present with regard to trade development, of the opportunities that are available and as to the policy that the Taoiseach proposes to pursue in future. World trade is in a very fluid condition and most countries are entering into trade agreements and arrangements to consolidate trade and to effect the security and stability which is essential to trade development and expansion.
It is extraordinary that we should have got no information whatever on such an important matter from the Taoiseach. I hope that when he is winding up the debate he will avail of the opportunity to give the House full and frank information on what he envisages as being in the best interest of the country so far as trade development  is concerned. Trade development is a very vital matter.
Mr. Hughes: We are discussing the diplomatic service and I want to know from the Taoiseach what our diplomats abroad are doing and I suggest that on this Vote we are entitled to full information on that matter. There is one other question I want to ask the Taoiseach. He told the House that we are now members of a number of international organisations. I am particularly interested in the work of the Food and Agriculture Organisation. We became a member of that organisation last year at Copenhagen and I was struck by the fact that the delegation we sent there was composed of civil servants with the exception of the Minister. Ours was the only country as far as I know that was represented in that way and I want to ask the Taoiseach is it his intention to pursue that in future.
Mr. Hughes: The Taoiseach need not shake his head. He probably does not know how Great Britain was represented last year. The leader of the British delegation was the President of the National Farmers' Union of Great Britain, Mr. James Turner. Evidently the Taoiseach and his Government think there are no farmers here capable of representing agricultural interests and that the only people fit to speak for the primary interests of this country are the civil servants. When I say that, I do not want to reflect on civil servants in the least; but I want to suggest that a bureaucratic  organisation of that sort is not the right way to represent this country abroad, and that the interests involved and that would be served by this international organisation ought to be represented.
I submit to the Taoiseach that it is quite possible to find farmers capable of speaking here on agricultural matters in the international sense and I object very strongly and resent that the Government have adopted the policy of sending civil servants instead. There is no excuse for that, as no other country is adopting that policy. I feel it is a reflection on the people who represent the primary industry. They ought to be encouraged to exchange views with other countries. It is lack of appreciation of what other countries are doing that has created a good deal of the stagnation attached to agriculture here. Evidently the Taoiseach wants to encourage that sort of thing and wants to suggest to Parliament and to the country that the only people qualified to speak for agriculture are the people in Merrion Street. I want an assurance from the Taoiseach that that policy is going to be changed in the future, not merely with regard to the Food and Agriculture Organisation but with regard to other international organisations as well of which we are members. The people of this country are the people best qualified to speak on behalf of this country in international assemblies. I do not object to civil servants acting in an advisory capacity—they must be there in an advisory capacity—but in an advisory capacity only.
In future, when we are sending delegations to these international organisations and paying money for affiliation and for the expenses of such delegations, they ought to be properly constituted. The Government ought to encourage our people to take an interest in these international organisations, and we certainly will not develop the interest, so far as the country as a whole is concerned, by sending civil servants. The Taoiseach may appear to be heated about it. I think it is a most reasonable request and it is something on which I would expect his co-operation. We are supposed  to be a democratic country. If we are, let us be represented in a democratic way.
Mr. Flanagan: Throughout this debate a good deal has been said on Partition, and I would like to join with Deputy Norton in making a very strong appeal to the Government to give this very important matter more attention than they have given it in the past. During our 25 years of native government no practical steps were taken, in my opinion, to end Partition. The tactics carried on in the South by the Taoiseach and in the North by the Premiers of the Northern Parliament such as Mr. Andrews and Sir Basil Brooke have resulted in Basil Brooke and Andrews keeping de Valera in power and de Valera keeping them in power.
Mr. Flanagan: The Taoiseach. They are playing into each other's hands. One will shout: “The Border must go”, and will have the whole South of Ireland behind him; Basil Brooke will shout: “No surrender; the Border must remain”, and will have the whole Six Counties behind him; and in that way they are keeping each other in power. It serves the Fianna Fáil Party and the Taoiseach to have the Border there, as otherwise the last trump card of the Party would be played out. Despite the fact that the Taoiseach has found so many trump cards in the last 15 or 16 years for election purposes to attract the support of the majority of the people, I believe that all his trump cards are not played, that he still has to throw out the trump card of Partition. Any Irishman can see that no serious effort has been made in regard to it.
Hearing Deputies suggesting how the problem could be approached, I think there is only one way of approaching it, that is, the Six Counties are ours and no more about it; we are entitled to them and we should pass England, the British Government or the Unionist Government of the North or anyone else, no compliment, nor should we pass any remarks good, bad or indifferent as to whether it pleases or  satisfies those people. The Six Counties belong to us and as far as having those Six Counties under the same administration as ourselves I believe the present Government have made no effort to bring about such a state of affairs. One could ask the simple question as to what attraction there is in the Twenty-Six Counties for the people of the Six Counties to throw in their lot with us. I say here in this House, with a very deep sense of regret, that the ordinary rank and file of Northern Ireland, the workers or the business people, would be insane and downright lunatics to throw in their lot with the Twenty-Six Counties at the present time, as our standard of living is much lower than theirs.
There is only one way these people can be attracted and that is by their having something to get that they have not got from the Six County Government. Our working-class people, road workers and agricultural workers, are only in receipt of 50/- a week, but in the Six Counties they are getting £3; our old age pensioners get only 12/6 but across the Border they get 22/6. If we could raise the standard of living in the Twenty-Six Counties by even 1/- more than the standard in the Six Counties, there would be no question of any steps being taken to bring the Six Counties in with us, as they would certainly come here to the improved conditions. While our standard is as low as it is, there is no hope of the ordinary rank and file in the Six Counties throwing in their lot with us here in Southern Ireland.
I have visited the City of Belfast and the City of Derry and have taken part in election campaigns in the North and I am satisfied that, when the people of Northern Ireland have their choice, they do not usually follow on the side where there is the loudest handclap, but follow the policy where there is a shilling better in wages or standard of living, and if we can give them that shilling more in the Twenty-Six Counties the North will throw in its lot with us. When that day comes, it will be very easy to deal with the whole question of Partition, as we will have the people of Northern Ireland behind us.
 From the way in which the Taoiseach has handled the Partition problem, I say that if there is any champion of Northern Unionism anxious to hold on to Partition or British rule and administration in Northern Ireland their greatest champion has been the Taoiseach. He has done everything humanly possible to make the Border a permanent fixture. He has gone even so far as to make public statements to the effect that we are now a republic, that we have achieved what we have been out to achieve in the past and that our State is an independent republic. That is downright “tripe”. There is no sane person in the country who believes we are a republic. While a certain section of our people believes we are a republic because the Taoiseach says we are, we are by no means a republic. If we are a republic to-day, we were a republic a week after the Treaty was signed. A republic, in my view, means complete national independence, economic freedom for the masses of our people and a State in which Irish ideals and Irish cultural traditions are fostered, and certainly the republic about which the Taoiseach speaks from time to time is by no means in accordance with the republic which Wolfe Tone and many others who have gone before us fought to secure.
As one ordinary citizen, I can safely say that I owe no allegiance to King, President or Taoiseach, and, as an Irishman, I feel very disgusted by the very small effort made, not only by this Government but by previous native Governments, to bring about a satisfactory ending of Partition. The Taoiseach may say that, so far as the King of England is concerned, he has no jurisdiction and no say whatever with regard to our administration, but the King of England has some functions, be they small or great, with regard to our Ministers abroad and the Ministers of other countries who are accredited to this nation. I always thought it strange that, when foreign Ministers come to this country, they present their credentials to the Taoiseach as Minister for External Affairs. I thought the proper course would be that they would present their credentials to the Head of the State.  Why should the President be ignored? We have a President who makes appearances at various ceremonies or big social functions, but when it comes to a question of recognition by foreign missions, he is completely ignored, and I should be glad to hear the Taoiseach explain why all foreign countries ignore the President. The President is recognised in no part of the world except the Twenty-Six Counties, and there only by a small section of the people because of his political record.
Reference has been made to this country's application for admission to the United Nations Organisation. I believe that when the door was slammed in the face of the Irish Government, the proper thing to have done was to walk politely away and withdraw the application. On the occasion of the debate on the question whether or not we should join that organisation, I said that I believed it would fail as the League of Nations had failed. The Government, in applying for admission to that organisation, were taking a very serious step, because the vast majority of our people were unaware of and unfamiliar with the charter of the United Nations Organisation. I should like to ask the Taoiseach what percentage of our people knew anything about that organisation or had read its charter?
Before any question of making an application for admission, the majority of our people should have been instructed and given some knowledge about the organisation. Copies of the charter should have been provided in large numbers for each household, so that people would know what this country was joining and would know that, in accordance with the charter, we were handing over to the Security Council the whole of our military activities, and agreeing that, if war came in future, that Security Council should determine what part of the world our Army should be sent to. If that had been explained to our people, I believe that the vast majority would strongly protest against our Army being sent to fight on European or any other battlefields. We have enough to do in defending our own shores, and, if necessary, fighting for our lost territory, without participating in battles  which are of very little concern to us or to our liberties.
The Bishop of Killaloe, the Most Reverend Dr. Fogarty, one of the most outstanding Churchmen of to-day, in an address some time ago, said he was delighted that Ireland's application for admission was rejected because the United Nations Organisation was bad company. I agree with that statement, and I urge on the Government that the step they should take is to withdraw completely their application for admission. The Taoiseach, in the course of his remarks on the occasion of the debate with regard to that application for admission, made no reference to the fact that, although all the arrangements for bringing about world peace were set out in the charter, that charter, which was designed to bring about peace and harmony amongst the nations of the world, never placed its deliberations under the protection of Almighty God. The name of God, the King of Kings, is never once mentioned in that charter, although peace and harmony amongst all peoples and nations cannot be brought about unless the efforts to that end are placed under God's protection.
Deputy Cogan bitterly criticised the literature circulated by the Connolly Commemoration Committee in the United States, and suggested that the radio should be used in order to make known to the world our case for the ending of Partition. Surely he has sufficient commonsense and intelligence to know that the radio here is used solely as a machine for the Fianna Fáil Party and that the people of America and England will get only one side—that we are a republic and well satisfied with our position. He has been a member of the House for the past 15 years and he should know that the radio is controlled and administered for one purpose only—the promotion of Fianna Fáil policy. If the Deputy wants proof of that statement, he has merely to listen to the news from Radio Éireann relating to the debates in the Dáil when he will find that only one side is given.
Mr. Flanagan: I am very well aware, a Leas-Chinn Chomhairle, that the Estimate for Broadcasting is finished. I consider, however, that I have a right to explain to Deputy Cogan and to this House that the use of the radio for the purpose of making known our grievance, so far as Partition is concerned, is not worth a straw.
Mr. Flanagan: I have read the circular and booklet to which Deputy Cogan refers. I do not know who the authors are and I do not know who is responsible for the compilation of the literature. I do not know whether they are Irishmen or whether they are Irish-Americans. I do not know whether it is a Catholic organisation or whether it is a group of Communists. From inquiries I have made I have learned, however, that there is quite a good communistic trend behind the literature that has been circulated from this committee in America. Nevertheless, I am in complete disagreement with Deputy Cogan, the reason being that I have read the literature very closely and carefully and I regret to say that every word contained in it is quite true. Deputy Cogan made reference to an exchange which occurred in this House between Deputy Donnellan and the Minister for Justice to which very good publicity was given in this literature. I was in the House during the exchange in question. As a matter of fact my own name and the names of many members of this House are included in that literature which, I may say, has been completely compiled from the official records of this House, word for word. It deals more closely, however, with the question of Partition and the treatment of republicans. I feel a deep sense of regret that it should be left in the power of any outside body to print the literature that has been printed. I am sorry to say our Government have left it in the power of outsiders to print the leaflets and the literature that have been printed and circulated in the United States. However, I must say that everything in  that literature is quite true and that the material has been taken from the Official Reports of the debates in this House. The Deputy also—I do not know whether he was serious or not—appealed to all those who are interested in foreign affairs to read Count Ciano's diary which is at present being published in the Irish Independent because, in his opinion, we would then learn something about criminal conspiracy, public trickery and so on. It would be very interesting if, at some future time, the Taoiseach's diary were published. There we would have criminal conspiracy — far more enlightening to our people, and an eye-opener to some of his followers to-day. I believe that if this country has the experience of one traitor that the greatest traitor we have had at all times is the Taoiseach.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Will the Deputy sit down, please? I cannot waste the time of the House any longer. The Deputy has been most impertinent to the Chair and must resume his seat. The Chair will not hear him any more.
Mr. M.E. Dockrell: This is rather an extraordinary atmosphere in which to stand up and make a speech on external affairs. I would like to say that this side of the House would not stand behind the remark made by the last Deputy. I think perhaps he made it in the heat of the moment and I hope that that is the explanation because I certainly would not like to hear any man, whether a Deputy or a Minister of State in this House, charged with such a serious matter. I think the Deputy did not realise the full implications of the words he used.
Mr. M.E. Dockrell: There always seems to be an air of unreality about this question of external affairs. I am afraid that that air of unreality which has always surrounded the subject of external affairs since the present Government have taken office, arises from the incomprehension which exists in the public mind concerning external affairs. I do not think any ordinary citizen of this country could truthfully say that he knows whether we are inside the Commonwealth or outside the Commonwealth, whether we are half inside the Commonwealth or whether we are half outside the Commonwealth.  The result is that that has its repercussions whenever we attempt to discuss this important subject.
Various speakers have mentioned the question of Partition. Partition is a major Irish tragedy. Certain people, however—not indeed confined to our own country—have what I might call “muscled in” on this question and I do not think they are helping it in any way.
Mr. M.E. Dockrell: I doubt very much the disinterestedness of their motives. At any rate, it does remain certain that those people do not help the situation. I think many people are apt to forget, when they are talking about Partition, that Partition arises from the wish of a certain number of people in the North of Ireland and that no matter how much world opinion is drawn on that unhappy situation the real kernel of it is the attitude of the majority of the people in Northern Ireland. I do not think the Government here makes any realistic approach to that problem. I have never seen this country—Southern Ireland—trying to adopt a policy that Partition did not exist.
There are ways in which it could. There are, perhaps, trade concessions of a major sort that could be made without any harm or hindrance to our own people in the South, but which might facilitate the North and would be an earnest to the people of the North of the sincerity of our wishes. I believe that it is along the lines of the North coming in willingly that any real solution can be found to this matter. The various people who propose panaceas and put forward schemes for propaganda are, I think, in the long run not really doing the matter any  good. I have talked to many people in the North of Ireland who have said to me that they would like to see Partition done away with, that they would like to see all Ireland united under one Government. I think it is only by our reliance on the goodwill and the ultimate good sense of people in the North that we shall achieve the end which all sincere Irishmen would like to see brought about.
I have never heard of any scheme put forward by the Government here as to what I might call a solution for a removal of the danger or uncertainties in which the great industries in the North of Ireland would find themselves if Partition came to an end. That is a matter which every North of Ireland person mentions when you talk about Partition. They say: “We have our great industries there which depend very largely on markets. Will those industries be in danger?” When the Government talk about Partition, I should like to see a constructive approach made to that subject. I should like a constructive attitude to be adopted by many people who pretend, at any rate, that they would like to see Partition done away with. There is a great deal of humbug talked about it. There are many people who are deeply sincere in regard to the matter; but there are some people who, I am afraid, are not quite so sincere or they would not talk in the wild and foolish way in which they do, a way which can only make the solution of the problem which we all desire more difficult of attainment.
I was interested to hear Deputy Cogan mention Count Ciano's diary. He mentioned that it showed up the attitude of dictators. I must say that it does show up the attitude of dictators. To my mind, it also showed the pharisaical attitude of this Government during the war years, which, at any rate, in its public utterances pretended to see no difference between one side and the other. Reading the statements and the happenings recorded by that man, you see what an evil thing the Fascist and Nazi attitude to human life and human dignity really was. But, I am afraid, we never saw any difference publicly; I think we did privately.
Mr. M.E. Dockrell: It certainly does not apply to Deputy Dillon. Concerning the actual expenditure proposed in this Vote, I see that in a number of places we have chargés d'affaires—in Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium and Lisbon. I wonder just why we have a chargé d'affaires in certain countries and not a Minister. It has been suggested to me that it is because we wish to carry out our representation “on the cheap”. I do not know whether that is a fair statement to make concerning our representation abroad; but certainly a chargé d'affaires is paid less than a Minister and keeps up a smaller establishment. I wonder is the net result one which, in effect, is a waste of money. In the main, would it be better to do the thing properly and have less representation abroad—select certain places and keep up a better state; or to do it over a wider area and not spend so much money on it? Nobody wants to see public money wasted. I do not suggest that it is actually wasted in these cases; I do not think it is. But I wonder are we under-paying some of our representatives abroad in an effort to cover too wide a field?
I should like to hear some statement from the Taoiseach concerning the policy behind our representation abroad. What is our ultimate aim; how far is the appointment of chargés d'affaires a temporary measure; how far is it the considered opinion of the Government that a chargé d'affaires and not a Minister in the various countries is the ultimate aim? I would welcome a statement concerning these matters.
In conclusion, I should like to say that I consider the Department of External Affairs one of the best run Departments of this State. The officials are courteous and efficient and I am sure the representatives abroad do us honour in the posts which they occupy. I would like to see that in our efforts to save money—which is a lawful purpose—we do not find ourselves, in effect, doing the job on the cheap.
The Taoiseach: On this occasion there have been repeated complaints,  which I heard a few times already, to the effect that in introducing the Estimate, I do not give a survey of foreign affairs generally. I do not see what purpose would be served by my taking the whole field of world relations and talking about them. It would be a different matter if there were some particular situation that we could immediately influence. If there were some particular matter in which action was required by this State, I certainly would deal with it in introducing the Estimate. It is said that a practice of the kind suggested is adopted in other countries. I am not aware of it. When foreign Ministers bring in their Estimates in countries that have a democratic organisation like ours, they deal with the matters that immediately and directly concern the State, and it is only in so far as their own State is involved that they give a general survey. In the case of Britain, for example, with its wide-flung contacts, it is natural that the Minister, in introducing his Estimate, should deal with the many problems that immediately affect Great Britain. It would be ridiculous for us to proceed on the same lines. Whenever a matter that immediately and directly concerns us has to be dealt with, and it is a new matter not dealt with already, I would naturally refer to it when introducing the Estimate.
There are two subjects, closely related, which have occupied a considerable portion of the time taken by Deputies in this debate. One is Partition and the other is our relations with States of the British Commonwealth. With regard to Partition, I think that everybody in the country knows what the Government's attitude is—that we think that the partition of our country was a cruel wrong, and that we believe that, as long as Partition persists, it will make difficulties for each part of Ireland and for both in its relations with Britain. It makes it difficult for us here because, when there is a wrong crying out to be righted, you will have people asking themselves how it can be righted; and seeing the difficulties of righting it in any other way, you will have people thinking of the methods of force. That is equally true for the other portion of  this country. The result is that it involves the Governments in two parts of the country in problems of an extremely difficult kind, and these problems become much more serious when there is a crisis. It is in times of crisis that those who think that force is the remedy will think of using the methods of force.
Partition, therefore, is a very serious matter for the two parts of our country. It is also serious in its consequences with respect to what was referred to here as the traffic across the Border. We have smuggling, we have attitudes of mind developing towards law and towards the rights of the community, and these attitudes of mind are, without a doubt, damaging generally to the morale of the country as a whole. It affects also the relations between our country and Britain. That has been pointed out by other speakers, who have indicated quite clearly their conviction—which must be the conviction of anybody who seriously considers the problem—that so long as Partition persists, the relations which people of goodwill desire to exist between the peoples of these two neighbouring isles cannot exist. The goodwill cannot, at any rate, be made fruitful.
How to deal with Partition has been discussed, and some of the speakers have said that this is a matter which can be dealt with only by dealing directly with our fellow-countrymen in the separated Six Counties. I am afraid there is something more to it than that. In order to end this, you will have to get concurrence of wills between three parties—we here who represent the people of this part of Ireland, those who represent the majority in the separated part of Ireland, and the will of those who are the majority for the time being in the British Parliament.
The Taoiseach: I am coming to that. It is true, I think, that if there were agreement between the peoples of the two parts of Ireland, British consent to  do the things that they would have to do could be secured. It was in that conviction that, when Mr. Lloyd George first communicated with me as President of the Republic back in 1921. I tried to have a conference here between ourselves and the representatives of those who were Unionists. My invitation to them was based on the view that, if we here in Ireland could come to an agreement, the British could hardly dare to refuse to honour it. I did not succeed in getting the representatives of the Six Counties to meet us at the time. I did have a meeting with representative unionists in this part of Ireland and we had no difficulty in getting agreement upon the immediate things with which we were dealing. But I was unable to secure the wider conference. Believing that the position is as I have said, and wishing to make it quite clear that it was so, when we had negotiations with Britain in 1938 I tried to secure from the British Government at that time a declaration to that effect, but I could not get any declaration at the time that I considered to be of value.
I think that it would make for a solution of this problem if at the present time the British Government would make a simple declaration to the effect that they were desirous of seeing Partition brought to an end, that they would do anything that they could to help to bring it to an end, and that if agreement was reached here in Ireland, there would be no hesitation on their part in giving effect to the agreement. Until, however, a declaration of that sort is forthcoming, we can only deal with this problem on the basis that there are three parties, the concurrence of whose wills will have to be brought about before Partition can be ended. That does not mean that I at all differ from Deputy Morrissey in the view that if we can get first a concurrence of wills between our people here and in the North, the other would follow.
The Taoiseach: I do not know, but I should like to see the ground cleared by removing whatever element of doubt there might be on the matter. The  question of Partition is not a new one —at least as far as I am concerned, and probably as far as most of the older people in the House are concerned. As far as I am concerned, I can say that it was the problem of Partition which first brought me into polities. It was when I realised that force was going to be employed to prevent effect being given to a decision which had been won in Britain as the result of 50 years of labour, that I felt that the time had come when the other method would have to be used. I think I can say that it was that realisation that first determined me to join the Volunteers and which has largely determined every step I have taken in Irish politics since. It was mainly on Partition that I broke with Lloyd George in our conversations; it was because, amongst other things in the Treaty, it seemed that Partition was still being provided for, that I felt that the Treaty was objectionable.
The Taoiseach: This is not the first time I have said it and it is true. The problem of Partition is a difficult one to solve. As was indicated by other Deputies who have spoken, there are only two ways of solving it. One is by force and the other is by the method of persuasion.
The Taoiseach: On that particular matter, I expressed my opinion back in 1921. I believe that it cannot be solved, in any circumstances that we can now see, by force, and that if it were solved by force, it would leave a situation behind it which would mean that this State would be in an unstable position. Great world changes can take place. I am not talking about enormous changes; I am only talking about  what one can reasonably foresee and hope for; and, in my view, a solution by force would leave this country in an unstable and unhappy position. I therefore agree with Deputy Morrissey in ruling that out as far as we are concerned.
There remains then the policy of persuasion. If you are going to persuade people that a certain situation should be changed, what you have got to do is to prove that it is wrong in its essence, and that there are evil consequences flowing from it. I take it, therefore, that in the case of Partition there are two bases on which you must work. The first is to show that it is unjust and the second that it leads to evil results. Apart altogether from the fundamental injustice of cutting up an old nation like ours arbitrarily into two parts, the way in which it was done was wrong. The general view that is spread abroad by those who want to maintain Partition is that there is something like a homogeneous community in the Six Counties, that they are, so to speak, a separate nation, entitled to that self-determination which was asserted to be the right of all nations during the first world war. I think everybody who understood the term at that time will admit that this right of self-determination was meant to apply to historical entities, entities that were entitled to be regarded as nations, that had the attributes and characteristics of nations. It was to entities of that sort that the right to determine how they were to be governed was to be conceded.
The term could have no application to a portion of a nation arbitrarily cut off and its use in this case was only a pretence designed to cover the real intention of securing for the time being permanence of power in that area for a minority political group in the nation as a whole. Nobody could say, I think, that the principle of self-determination was ever intended to apply in such a case. The Six Counties had no historical basis whatever as a unit. To disguise that they call them Ulster. Of course, everybody knows they are not Ulster. Ulster was not taken because, in the nine counties of Ulster, even at the time when Partition  was being considered, there was a majority, a small majority it is true, against it. It was believed that if the nine counties were taken it would place the minority whose interests Partition was designed to serve in a very precarious position, and on that account the historic Province of Ulster, as a whole, was not cut off but was itself partitioned.
On what basis did they proceed to cut off portion of the province? I think Sir Edward Carson, or Lord Carson—I am not sure of his title at the time—said that land grabbing was an old human failing and that they proposed to grab as much of the land of Ulster as they might be able to hold. It was on that principle of grabbing as much as they thought they could hold, that six counties of Ulster were cut off but not the whole nine. Even if one were to admit that preponderance of opinion in a specific area in favour of one particular view would be any justification whatever for partitioning an ancient nation, that justification would apply only to an area of approximately two counties around Belfast.
But, in addition, four other counties were cut off so that to-day you could take the four others, except Down and Antrim, as a block and say that that block of four by a majority desired not to be subject to the Parliament of the Six Counties, that it was simply by coercion that they were part of the area cut off and that they desired to be attached and to belong to the rest of this country. Therefore, even if you were to admit the principle of self-determination in the extreme form of allowing it to be used to cut off politically dissenting minorities, it is only two counties that that could apply to. There is no justification even on that basis for cutting off the six. Therefore, on any basis whatever, the cutting off of six of our Ulster counties cannot be justified.
I have already spoken of the disadvantages and of the evils that follow from that situation, and I do not think it is necessary to go into them further. I hold that the first thing that we have got to do is to make clear how wrong is the whole basis of Partition so that  fair-minded men, and particularly those who are immediately concerned, can understand the problem, and not be confused by the use of a name like Ulster or by suggestions about self-determination or any other phrases intended to hide away the real facts.
Now what can we do, apart from making the position clear to everybody? I repeat—I regard it of considerable importance that we should make the position clear. I believe it ought to be made clear in so far as we can do it to the people of Britain, and I think it ought to be made clear in so far as we can do it to the people of the United States of America. I believe that the public opinion of these two countries is of importance in settling this problem, and I think it is right that we should do what we can to inform that public opinion. But apart from making the facts of the position clear, which is helpful from every point of view, what can we do ourselves? The attitude that I have always taken is that we ought ourselves to go as far as we reasonably can go to meet the views of the people in the Six Counties. We could, of course, just abandon our own views. No one will expect us to do that. We must not forget that the people down here have their views which they hold just as strongly as the people in the Six Counties hold theirs, and that there are certain things which they are not prepared to sacrifice.
I was interested to hear repeated here arguments which I heard put forward by Mr. MacDermot when he was a Senator, that the name “Republic” here—the mere mention of it—is a deterrent; that therefore we ought not to mention it; and that the fact that we try to get our people here to use Irish, and to keep it as our aim to restore the Irish language as the spoken language of the people of this country, is also a deterrent. It is, I suppose, true to a certain extent that the people in the North have not the same interest in the Irish language that we have, and that the majority of them there are not interested in having a republic. But the people in this part of Ireland are. I do not see why the people in this part of Ireland should sacrifice ideals which they hold dear—completely  sacrifice those ideals in order to meet the views of people whose position fundamentally is not as just or as right as our position is. I have said, however, that we ought to go as far as we can. In other words, we ought to go to the point at which we would have the greatest possible measure of agreement here and there. I do not think that we would have advanced very far if, in order to get agreement in the North, we were to ignore the views of the majority of our people down here. How far, then, are we to go? There are obviously limits. What are they? I could not help thinking of this when I listened to Deputy Coogan speaking. May I say that on the constitutional position I have nothing whatever to say against his speech except that I do not agree with him on certain points of interpretation. When he came, however, to the question of historical differences and the question of religion I naturally asked myself: “Well, if they object to our religion, are we to change our religion, too?” Surely that ought to be proof in itself, the moment you think about it, that there are distances which the people down here will not go to meet the views of the people in the North.
As a result of the elections in 1918 and 1919, a republic was declared here by the representatives of the majority of the people, and that was maintained. In 1921, there was another general election. Those who went forward in the 1921 election went forward as candidates pledged to maintain the existing republic, and it was on that basis they were elected. There was, therefore, a republic here in 1921. The majority of our people proved they desired that form of government. The Treaty came. I am not going to go into that further than to say that I think it will be admitted by anyone who reads the debates at the time that it was accepted only under the threat of force.
The Taoiseach: I am giving what any historian or any fair-minded person will give. Otherwise, the thing would be absurd. I am making the case that the majority of the people down here desired a republic, and my belief is that in a free vote they would show they still desire it.
The Taoiseach: In dealing with this question of Partition, therefore, the problem is how far ought the people in this part of Ireland go to meet the views of the people in the other part so that there will be agreement both here and in the North? I believe that the Constitution as we have it—which makes all the provisions that were indicated by Deputy Coogan—as well as our association with the States of the British Commonwealth in the form in which it is at the moment, is the farthest that you can go to meet the views in the North and at the same time get agreement here. The Constitution is a republican Constitution. That we are a republican State here, nobody can deny. We are a republic.
The Taoiseach: I did not say that we are in the Commonwealth. I carefully pointed out that if being in the Commonwealth implied in any way allegiance, or acceptance of the British  King as King here, we are not in the Commonwealth because the position here is that we do not accept either of those things. Our position in relation to the Commonwealth is accepted and understood by the people who are immediately concerned in Britain, and it is understood by everybody who wants to understand it abroad. The only people who do not understand it are the people who do not want to understand it—the people who want to create political confusion. If there is any deception in the matter it is not deception on our part but deception on the part of those who, in the face of clear facts will still—because the situation is a bit delicate—try to create confusion about it.
The Taoiseach: This is a republican State. As a matter of our external policy, we are associated with the States of the British Commonwealth. We are not at the present time regarded as members of it, but we are regarded as associates.
The Taoiseach: It means that we are external to the British Commonwealth so long as the States in it regard the acceptance of allegiance to the King as the necessary link. If that is the bond which they have, we have not that bond and we have made it quite clear that we have not that bond. Deputy Cogan referred to the Constitution.
The Taoiseach: Deputy Blowick or anybody else can understand the position if he wants to. We have a republican State, but that republican State can have a foreign policy, I take it. For instance, if it wanted to—and we have applied—that republican State could be a member of the United Nations Organisation and take on the obligations of a member of the United Nations Organisation, whatever they might be. We were a member of the League of Nations, and we took on the obligations imposed by the Covenant  of the League of Nations and we lived up to those obligations.
The Taoiseach: If the United Nations Organisation accepted us, and if there was an arrangement by which that could be done, yes. If there was an arrangement agreed upon and accepted by which we could, why not?
The Taoiseach: We would be out— externally associated for the purposes for which we would agree to be associated. What is the difficulty? The difficulty is, of course, that some people want it differently and because they want it differently will not see it as it is. We are attacked by one section who say: “`You are not a republic at all because you have certain associations with Britain and the States of the British Commonwealth”, and other people will say: “You are not in the Commonwealth at all because you have not the particular type of relations with the States of the Commonwealth that they have one with another”. We are externally associated with the States of the British Commonwealth. That is the position as it is accepted at the moment.
The Taoiseach: With regard to the republic, that republican State, as I have said, can have any arrangement it wants to have with other States. The provisions of the Constitution were deliberately designed to enable us to be associated with any group of other States, not merely in the British Commonwealth, but in the United Nations Organisation or anywhere else; and, if it were considered as a method of value, as it was considered as a method of value for the States of the British Commonwealth, to use any machinery that might express or indicate that association or that relationship.
Now we come to the question of the use of the King of Great Britain, the  King of Canada and so on. I think it is accepted in these States that he is the monarch of each of these States. That position is the result of history and it has to be approached from the point view of its historical development. We came in here in 1932 under a Constitution in practically every Article of which you had the King in one capacity or another, as associated with the Executive or associated with the Legislature or associated with the Judiciary. In the Judiciary he was associated through the Privy Council. He was associated with the appeal from our Supreme Court.
The Taoiseach: The truth is that when we came in here, we inherited a position in which we had a Constitution with the King associated with the Executive, with the King associated with the Legislature and with the King associated with the Judiciary.
The Taoiseach: We hear people talking about living a lie. I remember the time when we had a lot of talk about Constitutional fictions. I wonder what the word “fiction” means in this context? Now, in order that there would be no Constitutional fictions, we got rid of every kind of fictional form in our Constitution. We got rid of them in 1936, before we did anything else. We wiped out the King and got rid of the Governor-General in every single Article of the Constitution, so much so that from the opposite benches it was  said: “You have no King in the Constitution; you have a republican Constitution.”
The Taoiseach: That is only the kind of parrot phrase to which the people opposite attach value. The position is that we came in here and we changed a Constitution which was monarchical in every feature of it. We got rid of these in the space of 24 or 48 hours, in 1936, on a certain historic occasion. But, we had to proceed cautiously and carefully. For example, I did not want the position created in which we would have to get all our representatives reaccredited. Consequently, in the External Relations Act, we provided for the use of the King by the Executive Government of the day in so far as it was prepared to use it, for such purposes as it was prepared to use it.
The Taoiseach: It was a very different position from the position ten days before—a very different position. It meant that if at any time the Government here—representing the majority in Parliament, representing the majority of the Irish people desired not to use that machinery they need not do it. If at any time it did not serve the purpose which it was intended to serve it could be got rid of. What was the purpose it was intended to serve? It was intended to serve the purpose of keeping up an association and that association with the State of the British Commonwealth was considered by us as desirable in the public interest.
The Taoiseach: It was considered desirable, because there was another problem that remained to be solved and because it represented a distance which I thought our people might go towards meeting the sentiment of the people of the Six Counties. It provided a method through which, if looking at the matter from a practical  point of view, our people considered that there was material advantage in maintaining an association, the association could be maintained.
We have worked on that basis. It is pretended that foreign representatives and foreign nations do not know what the position is. They know perfectly well what the position is. There is no deception of any kind. In our Constitution it is set out quite clearly that the executive power in the State is vested in the Government of the day, subject, of course, to Parliament. It is expressly provided in the Constitution that—subject all the time to Parliament—it is the Government of the day that is the supreme authority in the executive domain, whether it is a question of internal affairs or external affairs. As regards internal affairs, the Constitution sets out the respects in which the President of the State is to be the organ through which that executive power is finally manifested or put into action; and it is clearly set out and there is no constitutional fiction about it, that it is the Government here that has all the executive authority, both internally and externally, and that that is so as regards everything of an executive character that is done internally and externally, with one or two very small exceptions which are powers reserved to the President, such as the power of giving a dissolution or refusing it in certain circumstances. All the other executive functions of the State are discharged either directly by the Government or on the authority of the Government.
The Taoiseach: It is a question of the position now. I say that in our Constitution there is no doubt whatever about it. The position of the Government as the chief executive authority is made perfectly clear, and the organs by which the executive authority of the Government expresses itself are indicated, first of all, as far as the Constitution is concerned, by the powers which are given to the President and then by the power that is given to the Government, to use for accrediting purpose—at its discretion  for so long as they desire to use that method—the King, that is, the King of the several States of the British Commonwealth.
The Taoiseach: It does not matter a pin. I am talking about the position at present. The difference between the former position and what we have now is the difference between a lie and the truth. In the old Constitution there were powers “vested in the King.” Where was the lie and where was the truth? We have no fictions of any kind—that is the difference between our Constitutions. Instead of having the kind of lying and deception which was referred to here, we have made the position far more explicit—so explicit are we that even when the President performs the functions which he carries out, on the advice of the Government, it is written down on the face of the document that he is acting on the advice of the Government. There is no fiction of any kind——
The Taoiseach: —in regard to our Constitution. It has been suggested here that we might give more powers to the President. I remember well that, when the Constitution was going through, that question was debated. It was argued in the debate that the President was going to be a dictator, that he had so much power that he would be a dictator. Of course, that was absurd; it was just another convenient deception to use at the time. The Legislature can always add to the powers of the President, provided only that the extra powers would be exercised on the advice of the Government. For instance, if the method which we have so far used for indicating our association with the States of the British Commonwealth should not fulfill its purpose, if it is considered that it is not going to fulfill its purpose, it is very easy, if we wish to do so, to transfer these powers to the President by an Act of this Legislature. It is a question even whether you could not do it without an Act of the Legislature.
The Taoiseach: Simply by giving him a letter to sign, on the authority of the Government. The Government is the authority in the Constitution by which our external affairs are conducted and it is on their authority, no matter what instrument is used, that foreign representatives are accredited. The letters of credence show even on their very face, that it is on that authority that they are issued. Just as one person's signature can be used, so another person's signature can be used. Naturally, if you wanted to have the procedure established more explicitly, you would do it by an Act of this Legislature, but it is questionable whether that would be necessary. At the moment it seems to me that all that is necessary is that what is done should be covered by the authority of the Government and be accepted by the foreign State concerned.
The Taoiseach: If then, at any time, it is considered desirable to make that change, it can be done. It can be done very readily in a variety of ways. I have not deemed it desirable to change the procedure, certainly not at the present time. I think that it should be left there as a sort of external symbol, so to speak, of our association, but I would seriously consider whether it was desirable or not to change it if I thought that it was creating confusion in the minds of our people.
The Taoiseach: And if I thought that those who were desirous of creating confusion were going to succeed to such an extent that the confusion would have serious results. I do not believe that is so at the present time.
The Taoiseach: As far as it rests with Deputy Dillon and the others who pretend that they have a horror of living a lie and are really only trying to create a false impression, I know that confusion will be created. I am depending, however, on the common sense of our people, on the same sort of common sense as Deputy Cafferky  showed when he said that he was not being deceived, that he was able to read the Constitution and the relevant Acts. I believe that our people, seeing how the position has developed and seeing what happens, are not going to be deceived.
It is quite possible, of course, that the association could be put on another basis, which would not involve such a procedure at all. But, at any rate, for the moment, the arrangement serves a useful purpose from the point of view of the interests of our country. It does enable an association to be maintained which, I think, is valuable both materially and from the point of view of the ending of Partition. I have on previous occasions spoken of the reasons for the association and its value, so far as we are concerned, and I do not think it is necessary to repeat them now. I think I have dealt fairly fully with Partition and the more or less related question of the nature of our association with the States of the British Commonwealth.
Some other matters of a less important character were raised to which I should perhaps refer. One of these was the question what plan we had with regard to our representation abroad. We have an Ambassador, Ministers, High Commissioners and Chargés d'Affaires, and reference was made to the variety of titles. Well, in the case of other countries, there is a similar variety. As regards our representatives in States of the British Commonwealth to whom Deputy McGilligan referred particularly, we think that the present position is wrong. It means that our representatives in the States of the British Commonwealth and vice versa occupy as High Commissioners a position inferior to that of the representatives of other countries. The Canadian Government agree—I do not know about the others —that the position is anomalous. Logically, instead of taking a lower rank, these officers, as representing States which are associated, ought to have the highest place of all and ought to be of at least ambassadorial rank. I believe there will be development in  that direction. Already we have here a Representative of the British Government and we have a Representative in Australia. These things cannot be done by unilateral action however— they have to be done by negotiation and agreement with the other States concerned. But when we meet these other States, so far as we have influence, our influence will be used to see that the representatives here of the Commonwealth, and our representatives in those countries, will take precedence and not be put behind the representatives of the other countries.
The Taoiseach: If I were to try to reply to everything that crosses the Deputy's mind, it would take me a long time. They might be of Ministerial rank, and Ambassadors, too. With regard to our having posts headed by Chargés d'Affaires, that is not purely a matter of money as Deputy Dockrell suggested; it is also a matter of what the other countries concerned decide to do. Our attitude generally is that whatever the rank of the envoy sent by other countries, we reciprocate by sending a representative of equivalent rank. That is one way in which we may come to have a Chargé d'Affaires. We may also approach it from our own point of view—from the point of view of the amount and character of the work which requires to be done and of the extent of our interests in the country concerned. Every Deputy will admit, I think, that our interests in all countries are not the same, and that our interests in the United States, for example, or in Britain, or Canada, or Australia, are very different from our interests in other countries. Therefore, I do not think there is anything to be surprised at, in the fact that we have Ambassadors, Ministers and  Chargés d'Affaires. That is true of most countries. The general tendency at present, of course, is to go up the scale. Many countries are tending to give up Ministers and to make their representatives Ambassadors. I suppose each country is anxious, when questions of precedence and the like arise, that its representative will not be classed behind those of other countries.
I was asked some questions about the provision for cultural relations with other countries and about what was intended to be done in connection with it. I think I explained in general terms that the intention was to get a committee of people interested in cultural relations who would have a knowledge of our position abroad and the need there might be for making ourselves better known to other countries and who would be available to examine proposals made with that object. Countries larger than this country, and with more varied means of getting their outlook and the facts of their position known, have adopted this method, and we have been charged with being remiss in not having, in respect of the United States and other countries, made more use of the opportunities of presenting the cultural and other facts about this country.
That brings me to Deputy Dillon's attack upon the broadcasting service. It was very interesting to find that, at the time Deputy Dillon was attacking us and misrepresenting what the Minister for Minister for Posts and Telegraphs had said with regard to our beaming programmes to the United States, the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Marshall, was objecting very strongly to the curtailment of the funds to be made available to his Department for the purpose of explaining America to the world. I do not think there can be any objection to our explaining ourselves and doing what we can to undo the misrepresentations which have been spread about us. Like every good thing, it can be abused. No doubt there could be abuse by us, just as there could be abuse by the United States or Britain of their radio powers. But I do not think any such abuse will take place.
I think it was very wrong to try to  stir up the antipathy there is in certain sections against us and our people. I think it was quite wrong for a representative here to lend himself to a campaign of that sort. It was purely hypothetical—no single concrete case of what he suggested could be pointed to—but, even though it was hypothetical, the suggestion was quite good enough to make ammunition for those who want material to use against us and our people. I was in the United States and I know the position there. I know perfectly well that our people are well able to stand up to the suggestion that they are more Irish than American. They have proved themselves, in all their history, as being the most loyal of the various stocks which have come into that country, and they are not in a position in which they have to bow their heads because somebody shouts out that they are hyphenated Americans. That was tried before by very powerful people, but it did not work.
The Taoiseach: It did not work because it was bravely met—not because some people ran away from it and said: “We cannot do the things that it is right to do simply because this sort of propaganda would be used against us.” I am willing to admit, as I say, that there could be abuse.
The Taoiseach: But the possibility of abuse is not a reason for people talking as if abuse had actually occurred or was meditated and for giving an opportunity to those, who are looking for propaganda of that sort, to quote members of this House in support——
The Taoiseach: I do not understand the Deputy when he suggests that our Government should go around attacking people in other countries because of things they are doing. We do not inspire these things.
The Taoiseach: Naturally they would claim their rights as individuals to have their views. The Connolly Club was opened in London—I do not know what particular one the Deputy is referring to now. But I do know that the Deputy has been talking about Mr. Ziff.
The Taoiseach: He came here during the war and I saw him then. I do not know now whether I knew, when I met him for the first time, that he was a Zionist. He came later as a Zionist.  Thousands of people come here. As a matter of fact, one of the difficulties is to see all the people who want to see us and talk to us about Irish affairs and to do other work at the same time. It becomes a very heavy burden. Whilst on the one hand, it is agreeable to meet people interested in our country one way or another, it is, on the other hand, a serious addition to the work I have to perform here to receive these people every year from about some time in May until some time in October.
The Taoiseach: I meet a large number of people—old friends from the United States and people who are anxious to understand the position. Is it suggested that I should examine the credentials of every person I meet, know where he comes from and know all about him? I cannot do that.
The Taoiseach: The second time Mr. Ziff came here, I knew he was a supporter of the Zionist cause. I saw him, as I have seen many other Zionists and anti-Zionists, and as I have seen Arabs and discussed the Palestine problem with them.
The Taoiseach: People are frequently introduced to me and if I have met them before, as I had in his case, then I do not need any reintroduction if they want to see me. I do not know that Mr. Ziff is a Communist and I do not believe he is a Communist. I believe he is a Zionist who is interested in Palestine as the national home for the Jews—a subject which is not new to me, but which I know about back since the time of the Balfour Declara-body—no  tion. Is it suggested because Mr. Ziff, representing that cause, links up with certain other people in the United States, that somehow or other I am responsible for that? I was never consulted on the matter, nor was my approval necessary in any way whatsoever. What they do as citizens of the United States is their own business. If they do something of which a large section of our people in the United States do not approve, then as members of the community; as citizens of the United States, the objecting section will make their opposition felt. I do not know that Mr. Ziff is a Communist. I have been told—I have not seen it, but I have been told—that in fact he has repudiated any such suggestion.
The Taoiseach: But because Deputy Dillon thinks a particular thing is so, it does not matter what the actual position is. Whatever the facts, because Deputy Dillon thinks a Zionist is a Communist, therefore a Zionist is a Communist and that is the end of it.
Two further questions have been raised. The first is in relation to Lough Foyle. There are two matters involved in that question. The first concerns a several fishery there. I can  not go into this matter now, because it is at present in process of judicial determination. The other matter is the question of jurisdiction over the Lough. The same thing would apply to Carling-ford Lough. There has been, on this matter, an old difference of opinion between Great Britain and ourselves, and we have not been able to resolve it. It is ultimately associated with the whole question of Partition. We have tried to get some sort of modus vivendi for the time being without any question of prejudice to the fundamental question at issue.
The Taoiseach: I am aware of certain things and I am not aware of others. I do not know to what extent that statement is true. I do know that the Channel is a very narrow one and that it comes very close to the Donegal shore. It has never been brought to my notice that anything that would be regarded as contrary to our laws has taken place. If I am given any evidence I am quite prepared to look into the matter.
The Taoiseach: I would like to know what benefit we would get from such a conference. I would like to see a prospect of accomplishing something by it. I assure you I would be very glad to adopt that suggestion of a conference if I thought it would lead to a solution of the problem. I would be very glad to do so and we were always ready to do so. We have not been the people who have been difficult in that regard. However, there is nothing to be gained by a conference unless there is a real  chance of its leading to some result. I do not know that there are any other small points with which I should deal.
Mr. Dillon: Might I ask two questions, one about the procedure on which Australia chose to vote against our admission to the United Nations; and whether the Taoiseach considers it expedient to make any reference to an envelope full of Communist propaganda distributed by a gentleman called Gerald O'Reilly who, with another thug, called Quill, in New York are concerned to seduce many of our people into the ranks of the Communist Party by publishing pamphlets recommended by Mrs. McCurtain of Cork for the purpose of proving that the Taoiseach and his Government are bloodsuckers. I am not concerned to protect the Taoiseach's reputation, but I am concerned to afford him an opportunity of dealing with these political thugs and describing them for what they duly are, Communist paid servants.
Mr. Davin: On a point of order, Sir. I have no wish to defend Mr. Quill, but he was born in Ireland and he works in America and is a member of the New York City Council. Is it in order to refer to an Irish citizen who had to leave his country to get a living as a thug?
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: On the point of order which the Deputy raised, the Chair has no information about the personalities referred to and is unable to give a decision as to their personal character.
The Taoiseach: Deputy Dillon was good enough to accede to my request to postpone the question about Australia until I got the information. I was anxious to get the exact information and I have it here. It is an answer that was given in the Australian Parliament to a question on the 26th March, 1947, as to why the Australian delegate in the Security Council abstained from voting on the applications for admission to the United Nations. Dr. Evatt spoke as follows:—
“The Constitution of the United Nations requires that applications for admission must be made to the Assembly and there must be a reference from the Assembly to the Security Council. Without the Assembly dealing with the matter at all, the Security Council, two months before the Assembly met, took upon itself the duty of considering applications for membership. The Australian representative objected to that procedure in the first instance and maintained that objection by declining to vote at that stage.”
When explaining in the Security Council on the 29th August why he proposed to abstain from voting, the Australian delegate stated that the Australian Government would be prepared, at what it regarded as the proper time, to support the application of Ireland.
The Taoiseach: I will; but the Deputy should understand quite clearly that what he seems to expect us to do would be quite impossible. It would  be impossible on all occasions to issue denials. Nobody expects us to be responsible for what other people are doing. If there is a case where we have definitely to defend ourselves from imputations, it may be our duty to do it.
Mr. Dillon: I am not suggesting that the Government Information Bureau or the Government should concern themselves with every triviality which arises, acceptable or objectionable. This literature is concerned to seduce our people here and in Great Britain and in America into the ranks of the Communist Party by representing these people to be primarily concerned in matters of Irish nationality, which is a fraudulent pretence designed to deceive simple people. If the Taoiseach shares that view, then does he deem it expedient to take suitable steps to counteract it?
Mr. Davin: Apart from that, will the Taoiseach make inquiries in future, when representative individuals are coming from foreign countries, as to those on whose behalf they are coming here, if they are coming on behalf of anybody? Is there not some way of checking up on Communists and others who come from some continental or other foreign countries, apart from those who come from Great Britain?
Mr. R. Walsh: With regard to what Deputy Davin has said, I would ask the Labour Party to see that representatives of the Labour Party when they go abroad will be careful as to whom they associate with.
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