Tuesday, 7 July 1959
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. G. Boland: I should like to say that the attitude of the Fine Gael Party in this debate is typically contemptible. It was that Party which decided in the critical days of 1949 that this country would take no part in the struggle to repel the Russians, about whom Deputy Dillon was so eloquent on Thursday. Deputy Dillon was a member of that Party and, although he told us here last Thursday  that he preferred to be obliterated by an atom bomb, he did not see his way to resist the decision taken by his Government to be neutral in this fight. That was the policy initiated by the Fine Gael Party and by the Coalition Government and accepted by this Party.
In my opinion, it should not have been taken. I do not think our Party could have agreed to it, but they did. It was then a multi-lateral decision. Even Deputy Corish, speaking the week before last about the election of the Government, wanted the Minister for External Affairs to come down one way or another on one side or the other. That is not consistent with neutrality. As far as I understand neutrality, you have to treat both sides the same.
There is a lot of cant and humbug, too, about Red China. Red China is not one bit worse than Red Russia. It was Red Russia that shot down the workers in East Berlin in 1952 when they were trying to shake off the Communist bondage. It was the same nation that shot down the people in Budapest. It was Red Russia that kept this country out of the United Nations for years. I cannot see any case, either in logic or in reason, for refusing Red China admission to the United Nations. I can see another reason, and a very important reason, to which I shall refer later; but certainly the grounds that they are Communists and Reds, are no reason whaever, because of course Russia is there from the very beginning and so are all the satellite States. Everyone knows that. As I say, it was the Russians who kept us out.
I started by saying that the Fine Gael Party were living up to their usual contemptible record. They actually had the audacity to send Deputy Cosgrave to the United Nations a couple of years ago, to tell the people there that this country was not neutral, although he himself was a member of the Party and the Government—he was Parliamentary Secretary at the time—which decided it was neutral. If Fine Gael want that policy to continue, why did they not ask to have a change instead of criticising the  Minister for External Affairs for carrying out the policy initiated by the Coalition Government? Why did they not change their attitude altogether and be straight and honest about it?
I myself did not agree with this. I was only one person in the Party at the time. I thought we were entirely wrong, and still think it, because I am quite satisfied that our whole safety depends on a strong United States. I am not neutral in this, and never have been. My own personal view always was that every country in Western Europe should have come out and stood up against those who are going to overrun the rest and on the point of doing so. This hypocritical talk has been too much for me. That is why I have got up. I have not spoken much since this new Government was set up, but I cannot stand this type of rubbish spoken in this debate. It is only cant and nothing else.
The reason I think our Government should not have voted to have this case of Red China debated in the United Nations is that I agree with Deputy Dillon that the vital interests of the United States were concerned there. Those are vital interests. It meant that Formosa would have to be handed over, as far as I understand, to the Red Chinese and that would break the defence line of the United States in the Pacific Ocean and leave it wide open, unless some arrangement could be made whereby Formosa could be neutralised. It is well known that both sides in China— the people supporting Chiang Kai-Shek and the people supporting Mao Tse-tung—insist that Formosa is part of China. I believe that if that motion were allowed to be debated, the case in logic and in reason for admitting Red China would be unanswerable. But the strategic interests of the United States, and therefore the safety of the whole Western world, depend on Formosa not falling into their hands and for that reason we have had a vital interest. For the same reason, as I said before I left Stras- bourg on my last visit, when I expressed by view on what I thought about disengagement, I am quite satisfied  that the Western Powers know what they are doing. They were fooled twice. They disarmed after the war and it was only when the Russians started and tried to overrun the whole of Europe that they decided to arm again.
As was pointed out in the debate at which the Minister first spoke there —by the Netherlands Deputy; I have not his name at the moment—it is not the same thing to withdraw the Russians a few hundred miles back as it is to withdraw the Americans or the British from the Continent. They are not having any debate on that, and they are quite right. There is only one solution, one alternative to this—that is there should be either general disarmanent—complete, general, supervised disarmament—or let both sides face each other. Otherwise there would be only one power bloc, not two, and the Lord help us if there was only one.
There is my contribution. I tried to keep it to myself for as long as I could but, having listened to what I heard on Thursday, I thought it was time for me at least to say it was time Fine Gael gave up their hypocrisy and said whether they were neutral or not. If they are not neutral they are going back on the Coalition policy in 1949 in the critical days when it did matter what side a country was on.
Mr. G. Boland: Nobody ever put his hand on my mouth. I did not sell out like Deputy Mulcahy and the crowd over there who were always up for sale. What did they do? What excuse did they make for this neutrality? That it might imply recognition of Partition. In 1925 a Partition Act was put on the Statute Book by Deputy Mulcahy, Deputy McGilligan and that crowd.  That is the lame excuse they gave— that we were now defending western democracy. Why? Because it might imply a recognition of Partition. The people who passed that Act copper fastened it in the Republic of Ireland Act, 1948. I spoke against that and nobody put a hand on my mouth then.
Mr. G. Boland: As far as the jewels are concerned, I never had them. But there is one thing I want to say about the jewels. If the O'Higginses had the jewels they would never have given them back. They were never in my possession. Am I to be spoken about by the Deputy? I believe that if the Sweetmans had the jewels they would never have handed them back either. Not only were they given back, but a receipt from Mick Collins was given back with them. Any more questions now?
Mr. McGilligan: We are often told by the Minister for External Affairs, when he has no other reply to make, that his Government is not a Coalition Government. I do not know where they stand now after this oration by an ex-Minister, who apparently opposed them vigorously behind the scenes on two or three important points of national policy but never let his voice be heard until he was relegated to the shadow of the back benches, never let us know what these views were when he was able to control Government policy and when he was responsible for the policy his colleagues developed.
Mr. McGilligan: The phrase is most appropriate to the ex-Minister. Why did he stay on in the Cabinet in a Government with whom he so profoundly disagreed, if that was not selling out? Maybe the Deputy would answer me?
Mr. McGilligan: The Deputy took collective responsibility for the things his Government did, and that includes the attitude—criticised here by laymen and clergy—of the Minister for External Affairs at U.N.O. on the two or three occasions he was there.
Mr. McGilligan: It was completely inconsistent with our policy, and completely inconsistent with what the Deputy wanted to have as a policy, yet the Deputy sat quiet. Possibly there are other Deputies who will now break silence after Deputy Boland has given them the lead. I do not know what Deputy Boland has got so heated about. I know he objected about the attitude of the Minister for External Affairs to Red China, also about the withdrawal from Europe and also, I presume, about the “Nuclear Club”— three very important matters of policy. Is the Deputy sending in his resignation one of these days?
Mr. McGilligan: He will sit on with the policy controlled by the Minister,  and with three important points on which he is in violent disagreement? That is a revelation of the way in which a monolithic Party can speak, all with the same voice and holding the same views. I suppose the Deputy is only breaking out now because he is about to retire possibly. I want to talk about Red China. I agree, for the first time probably, with Deputy Boland; or rather he is agreeing with me now.
Mr. McGilligan: But at the same time he is agreeing with what I and this Party have been saying for quite a while. I gather that, in some way or other, he is against the policy of neutrality declared and carried out during the war.
Mr. McGilligan: I hope the Minister for External Affairs is getting wisdom from these late thoughts of Deputy Boland. I do not know how far Deputy Boland's contribution will go but I remember after a Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis that Deputy Booth brought forward his letter to the papers in which he suggested there should be extradition of the young men who were crossing the Border. At that Ard Fheis one delegate, named Donegan, said openly to the Convention that his trouble was that old I.R.A. men had confessed to him that if Gerry Boland were still Minister for Justice these young men would be up in Belfast handed over to the Northern authorities. Would Deputy Gerry Boland think that letting these young men play around the way they did was weakening our defences?
Mr. McGilligan: Deputy Booth followed up that by writing his letter suggesting an extradition treaty. That was taken up by Deputy Sherwin and denied by the Minister. The only person who ever suggested it openly was Deputy Booth. Deputy Boland was given as his coadjutor. But the men would not be packed off to Belfast. Was that the policy of the Party? Were we going to get those people to break away from the original great Party structure of those who now form the Government?
I want to come back to Red China. The excuses so far about Red China have been many and varied. Deputy Seán Flanagan said it was merely Fine Gael propaganda. The second thing is that people had not bothered to read what the Minister had done or had spoken, again possibly misled by us. The third excuse given by Deputy Seán Flanagan was that really the whole thing was confusing, that political issues were being confused with religious issues and his opinion was that we should leave those who are capable of instructing the people on religious matters to give them that instruction.
Let us see how they have faced up to this matter of Red China. The Minister complained several times that he was misrepresented. I want to put on record what he said. I take it from this booklet Ireland at the United Nations published by Browne & Nolan. The full text of the Minister's  speech is given and I presume it has been revised and that the Minister will not disclaim what is contained in this booklet. The matter about Red China is very easily disclosed and occupies about three-quarters of a page, Page 28. In the introduction, it is stated:
An Indian amendment to the Report asking for the placing on the agenda of the 12th Session of the General Assembly an item entitled “The representation of China in the United Nations,” was defeated 29 votes for; 43 against; with 9 abstentions.
Like many others here, we have no sympathy whatever with the ideology of the Peking Government. We condemn its aggressive policies in China itself and, particularly, its conduct in North Korea. No country has a greater horror of despotism, aggression and religious persecution than Ireland has. On all these grounds we reprobate the record of the Peking regime.
If merely by refusing to discuss the question of the representation of China in the United Nations we could do anything to improve the situation in China and Korea, we would vote without hesitation in favour of that course. We are not, however, convinced that refusal to discuss the question can now serve such a purpose.
Our aims should be to win acceptance for the principles of the Charter in China and to secure self-determination for the people of Korea. The belief of my delegation is that in the present circumstances progress can best be made to these ends by having a full and open discussion of the question of the representation of China in this Assembly. We are voting, therefore, in favour of the amendment proposed by the delegation of India.
Deputy Boland disagrees with that and so do I. It is represented that that was a mere matter of getting the subject  on the agenda. Then this statement which I regard as the statement of a simpleton is put forward as an argument that if we let the matter be discussed, we would win acceptance for the principles of the Charter in China and secure self-determination for the people of Korea. Did the Minister believe that if he allowed or promoted the matter of the admission of Red China to the United Nations, he would “win acceptance for the principles of the Charter in China and secure self-determination for the people of Korea”?
Mr. McGilligan: The Minister is still a simpleton. Does anybody here believe that? I know it went all over the world and people listened to what our delegation was saying there. I want to deal with the latest commentary on that. It comes from the Bishop of Galway, pronounced by him on the last day of March of this year and quoted in the papers the next day. His Lordship took the occasion of a rather strange meeting to mention this matter at all. It was the meeting of the Past Pupils Union of the Convent of Mercy, Galway, which was held in the Great Southern Hotel. That was not exactly the platform from which one would have expected a member of the  Hierarchy to talk on a matter like this. I take it to mean that his Lordship thought there was some sense of urgency about the matter because he took that opportunity, although it might not be regarded as being a very good one, to deal with the matter.
He spoke at great length of the strength and pretensions of the Communist rulers and of the advantages they had in that they did not have to get the consent of parliament, of trade unions or of public opinion. “They could act swiftly and ruthlessly but,” he said, “they had great disadvantages, great weaknesses and great failures” and then he indicated how Russia had failed to do many things.
They had failed to destroy Christianity even among their own people. They could not extinguish the desires and longings of the human soul for truth, freedom and that happiness and peace which came only from God.
His Lordship spoke of the hope which arose from the fact that the young people were increasingly rejecting the lies of the official propaganda as was proved by such writers as Boris Pasternak. He said that they had failed to establish Communism and that instead of that they had established a ruthless dictatorship, a soulless bureaucracy, a police state which had a highly paid privileged class of political bosses and managers and a servile population denied not merely freedom but even decent food, clothing and housing.
He went on to say that they had failed to increase agricultural output and that their highest rulers were liable to topple from power at any moment. “There could be no comparison between private enterprise and Communism even as economic systems. Private enterprise with all its faults not merely safeguarded a man's life and liberty but it gave him a far higher standard of living and of amenities. One had but to compare  the prosperity and living standard of workers in Western Germany and North America with Communist lands.”
“people might be favourable in their attitude towards Russia because of the folly of politicians at Yalta and Potsdam who were so foolish as to treat Stalin as a civilised ruler whose word could be relied upon and later to treat Mao Tse-tung as an advanced social reformer.”
“Russia is an aggressive imperialistic power which by naked violence imposed its rule and ruthlessly exploited eight small nations on its borders, Latvia, Esthonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Rumania.”
“Now China, which under its former government was peaceful and civilised, since it became Communist has also become a militarist aggressor. It attacked Korea without any reason. It took over Tibet, and now has suppressed the freedom of that ancient land by naked force. It helped to instigate rebellion in Vietnam; it is ready to sweep upon Malaya, Siam, and Philippines and the whole East.
Suppose England and the Six Counties went Communist and suppose that they gave rifles, tanks and men to a small Communist Party in this country and suppose that these Communists defeated our army and Government and drove them back  until the Government had to take refuge in the islands of Aran where it was protected by the sea and the American Navy. Now suppose that the Communists having imposed their rule on the country after a few years demanded to be regarded as the legitimate government although they held no free elections and ruled only by naked violence and oppression.
Would it not be a strange thing for the representatives of a country that always claimed to be on the side of freedom to support that demand of the aggressors even to support the idea of discussing it?
Would it not be regarded as a betrayal of the legitimate government, of the very principle of legitimate and free governments? It may be the fashion for those who worship the accomplished fact and who believe in force and so-called realism to ridicule a small nation holding out for principle and to recognise the fact of conquest but that has never been the attitude of Irishmen.
That is why our friends in America could not understand the attitude taken last year by the representatives of Ireland at the United Nations. We can only say that they did not truly represent Ireland. Since the case of Burgess and MacLean, it would appear that greater care must be taken by all countries that its representatives should sincerely believe in the moral and spiritual values that a country is determined to uphold.
I want to stop there. If the reference to Burgess and MacLean, who were not members of Government, is taken to be a reflection on the civil servants who operate under the control of the Minister for External Affairs, then, of course, that phrase should not have been used. Burgess and MacLean are evil names. They are evil people. One  of them was a moral pervert. The other was a dipsomaniac. I do not suppose that his Lordship intended to make this odious comparison with the members of the Civil Service who are, as I said, operating for this country at the United Nations and elsewhere throughout the world under the control of the Minister for External Affairs. But his Lordship did use the phrase, and I think he used it to point out that the moral and spiritual values this country upholds ought to be equally upheld by the Minister for External Affairs.
Burgess and MacLean, of course, acted on their own. They were treacherous. They did certain things, but no Minister stood over their actions. It is not fair in this context to speak critically of civil servants. The man who is responsible is the Minister and, if there is a lack of recognition of the moral and spiritual values this country is determined to uphold, then the criticism in that regard is levelled at the Minister.
Mr. McGilligan: Now we know the standard we have. If there is a criticism with regard to Burgess and MacLean, it means that the more responsible a post is, and the post of Minister for External Affairs clearly is a responsible post, then the greater care there should be, not on the Minister in selecting the civil servants, but upon the Government in selecting its Ministers in relation to the way in which he represents the spiritual and moral values this country is determined to uphold.
Mr. McGilligan: Later in his speech the Bishop of Galway referred to the mission of President O'Kelly. He spoke  about his great success. He said that he represented to America “the true heart of Ireland”. He showed that “Ireland believes in freedom because she believes in God, the Ireland that does not recognise the brutal fact of unjust conquest or oppression, the Ireland which accepts as friends only those who respect human rights and justice.”
Later, in his speech, he had this to say. He thought the President in his brief tour had “done more for Ireland in a few weeks than all the highly paid officials of the Department of External Affairs, Córas Tráchtála and Bord Fáilte, who have been tripping over one another in New York without any obvious benefit to Ireland.”
There, again, though his Lordship does speak of officials, I take it clearly to be the situation that he knows very well that these civil servants have not gone out to America of their own volition. They are sent there. It is —not the civil servants who make the work for themselves. There is work that they are supposed to do. That work is supposed to be of value. I take that comment to be a criticism of the Ministers who have spent, according to his Lordship, so much public money in sending out officials who, as he says, are tripping over each other, and yet have brought very little obvious benefit to Ireland.
Again, may I say that, so far as there may be any odious comparison between civil servants and the Burgess and MacLean type of public servant, I have no contact with the Bishop in that regard but, speaking of the officials of these various Departments, in so far as that may mean, on reflection, a criticism of the Minister who sent them,  I am in full agreement with what his Lordship has said. If, on the other hand, his Lordship is making comment on the activities of individuals who are simply carrying out duties imposed upon them by the respective political heads of the various Departments, I do not agree with his Lordship's criticism of civil servants.
That is one comment. I have many others here. Cardinal D'Alton is not, I imagine, a man who jumps hurriedly into a discussion without having read what is before him for criticism. He is not likely to be swayed by Fine Gael propaganda. He would be a man who would find it easy to ascertain the truth of any matter. Recently he spoke about the Minister's performance at the United Nations as a “truly lamentable one.”
Dr. Lucey of Cork added other words of criticism at the time the message was sent to the Oriel Society. The Minister must know that there was consternation amongst Catholics in America and amongst many friends of Ireland in America who were not Catholics at all. It is known that there were protests made. It even went the length that at a function, when President O'Kelly was over there, certain people objected. Certain people returned their invitations because at that function they might have had to meet Mr. Sobolev, the accredited representative of Russia in America.
There was no acceptance of what the Minister did. There was nothing at any point except criticism. Sir Arnold Lunn wrote an article in The Tablet after he had been to America. An attempt was made to answer that article by putting up one of the civil servants employed by our Ambassador in London to reply to that article. That reply merely had the effect of drawing a rejoinder from Sir Arnold. He said one thing, something I do not believe this country could recognise as an excuse for what the Minister did. He said, looking for some explanation of the Minister's otherwise inexplicable conduct, that the possibility is we are so anxious to get the subject of Partition debated on any and every occasion that the Minister thought  that if we got Red China discussed, that might be a suitable opportunity for raising the partition of Ireland. That, of course, was a mistake.
In all his attempted excuses in this matter, I do not think the Minister has ever descended to the level of saying that he wanted an opportunity to raise the partition of Ireland, and that that would be a good opportunity. All over Catholic circles in America, in various towns, at various receptions, at lectures and meetings the voice of protest was raised. Letters poured in, after the Minister made this infamous gaffe, and telephone messages, and the Embassy must certainly have been a most uncomfortable place. Resolutions were passed by a variety of societies. I can enumerate them if the Minister wants them.
The Minister went on to repeat his performance on the second occasion. There is a four-line verse that Hilaire Belloc wrote about a politician who got into politics because of his family connections and who did not make good. He was the champion dropper of bricks. The four lines were to the effect that the man's addiction for dropping bricks put the Ministers in such a fix that he very soon obtained an Earldom and then his lordship fairly hurled them.
The Minister, certainly, has advanced along the same lines. He made his original gaffe when he first put his name to this business of asking that Red China's admission to U.N.O., should be put on the Agenda. He repeated it a second time and has gone on to make further gaffes with regard to the nuclear club and with regard to what is called Aiken's plan for Europe. At least, it is so-called that, occasionally, in that lemon-coloured journal that the Department of External Affairs occasionally sends out.
Mr. McGilligan: That is the trouble. Would the Minister accept it as part of the diplomatic function that we should try to strengthen the bonds of friendship, respect and mutual help and not to antagonise our friends? I think that is sound.
Mr. McGilligan: One of the most amazing statements made during the discussion we recently had about P.R. was that made by Senator Lenihan upstairs, who said that all sensible people—and he added in brackets “I have talked to all of them”—were in  favour of certain things. The Minister now puts himself on the same footing. Nobody with any sense, is it?
Mr. Aiken: Cardinal D'Alton, I do not believe, knew anything about it. The Deputy said it was a recent announcement of Cardinal D'Alton's. It was made in reply to a letter immediately after the first speech.
Mr. McGilligan: I am not quoting anything that was not published. The “lamentable” affair—that is correct? Is it correct that Archbishop Cushing said, “The encouragement given to this diabolical régime has shocked and saddened me and all the clergy and laity in the diocese of Boston”?
Mr. McGilligan: I am trying to explain to people. People want to know why was this done. Nobody would expect, if it was repeated two or three times, that there would be a definite revolution of feeling. There has been quite a revolution of feeling. If the Minister would repeat these performances of his, people do ask why is it being done. I think at the beginning it was definitely vanity. I think now it is a certain amount of mulishness. There are persons who cannot withdraw and recognise a mistake and recognise the value of good criticism, and the criticism was very severe in respect of his activities there. With regard to the other places—the Rapacki plan—at least the so-called Rapacki plan which we are supposed to have adopted——
Mr. McGilligan: I do not know whether, as was the popular belief, President Ó Ceallaigh was sent to America with part of his aims being to try to rehabilitate this country in its external relations. There is certainly a popular belief that President Ó Ceallaigh's mission was partly for that purpose and those who commend him for his activities around America mainly commend him for the fact that he did wipe away the dirty stain that had been left on our reputation by what the Minister had done in his recent performances in America. I do not know, again, whether, at the time of the Papal obsequies, the Minister for External Affairs was kept hopping and hovering around the United Nations instead of being at home here  to be allowed to go to Rome to play the part that the Minister for External Affairs might ordinarily play.
Mr. McGilligan: There are times when one would not be complimented by remarks of the Minister. I feel highly complimented by what he has said. He is certainly a standard bearer for the truth and proper conduct in this whole matter.
There is the situation that the Minister has landed us in. He has gone off to America three times. He has the opportunity to declare his policy before he goes. He got another opportunity this time. We got no declaration of policy from him. He speedily went on to such things as the Refugees' Year, and so on. He must know that there was considerable aggravated talk and great anxiety in the country as regards his attitude towards, say, Red China and all that sort of incidental matter. He has not told us what he proposes to do or whether he proposes to take a better line than that along which he was travelling lately.
The other matter, in addition to all this affection for Red China and the desire to get the case discussed and disclosed in the United Nations, is that Deputies in this House may have noticed that there was a complete silence about Partition. Deputy Sherwin asked that the question of Partition be shouted aloud at all these conferences. That, I would not agree with. But, to have the External Affairs Vote going past for three years in succession without the Minister thinking it worth his while to say anything about Partition is astonishing, particularly when one knows of the boastfulness of the people who now handle External Affairs when they were luckily not in a position to have anything to do with it.
I do not know whether the fact that there was no mention of Partition means that there is no plan. I do not know whether the Government have  simply said: “It has been there for so many years. There is no way out of it,” and that they intend to leave the matter alone. Many views are held about it. The view that appears to be prevalent—and it is prevalent only because nothing else seems to be offering—is to leave it alone and to forget about it. One very strong adherent of the Irish language feels we cannot do anything about Partition until the people against us nationally in the North become enthusiasts for the Irish language. His view is that once they recognise the Irish language, learn it and recognise its value they will naturally fall into our hands.
A certain number of young people feel we should not antagonise the people in the North—that presupposes that the Northern Ireland people are entirely Irish—and that, therefore, we should not, even by argument, letters or any concentration on the weakness of their case do anything to dislodge them from the Six Counties. That is a very poor view. It may be that it will be accepted in this country as something that is inevitable because no movement appears to be gaining any ground except either naked force, which has been a failure and has been repudiated by most people down here, or else the attitude of leaving what is bad enough alone lest it might become worse. I do not know why that view should spread.
I think we have a tremendous case as far as Partition is concerned in respect of two whole counties in the North and in respect of bits of other counties. We have put forward that case in pamphlets and in official records from time to time. Not enough use has been made of that abroad. The history of this country since 1916 has been that it was mainly by argument and not by force, aided by friends of ours particularly in the United States, that we went through eventually to the Treaty and, from the Treaty, to the condition in which we now find ourselves.
If we have a good case, it should be argued. The stronger our case is, the greater the reason for having it argued at any of these international conferences which we attend. Shouting  our case aloud would be of very little use because we would antagonise everybody and get nowhere. However, quiet argument, particularly argument amongst delegates in small meetings, can be very effective. One knows from these conferences that the amount of work done outside the conference rooms themselves is very considerable. People have a chance to get in touch with people who are reasonably disposed and can then proceed by way of argument, documentation, statistics, and so on, to make it clear to them how strong our case is at least for the return to us of two whole counties and certain bits of counties.
I do not see how that can be described as an attack on brother Irishmen. If these brother Irishmen of ours are doing something that is wrong in holding down people whom they have no right to hold down then we are not doing anything wrong against such brother Irishmen in exposing what they are doing in that way. Some of our so-called brother Irishmen are very ready to proclaim that, by origin, they are Planters in that area and boast that they come from Scotch folk and that they do not at all accept the term “Irish”. They number only a small group of people in the North against us but unfortunately they are a strong group financially, commercially and, under their system of voting in their Parliament at Stormont.
I suggest we should not accept these defeatist plans simply to let Partition go by. I suggest we should not accept the situation as it is. We should try to work amongst friends of ours. To that extent, we should try to clutch to ourselves such friends as are there and try to make new friends instead of antagonising those who have a tendency towards us by activities of no value to this country which may only be destructive of the good friendship we might be able to make and maintain with other people.
Some Deputies have raised the question of fisheries and have asked when we will get legislation to provide better protection for our fisheries.  Legislation introduced today has some bearing on this matter. I presume it is to have the sea Border, so to speak, regularised by what they call the system of base lines. If that is all that will be done, the fisheries will not get very much protection. It is not that the space we claim as our territorial seas and in which our fishery rights prevail is too narrow but that we have failed to guard whatever fishery area we have.
We hope to see, when the legislation comes, how that political matter that has been evaded for many years will be dealt with. If the Government have this plan of striking what are called straight lines around the coast, at various angles, we shall be interested to see what they will do with regard to what was always regarded as the national claim—that all the waters around this island belong to this country and that only six Parliamentary Counties were given over, without any territorial waters around them. I shall be interested to see how the Government treat the matter of Belfast Lough and Lough Foyle and these other places where there is a possibility of difficulty unless we can get accommodation for fisheries.
There will be common ground in respect of these waters. Lough Foyle would possibly play a part in that. I shall be interested to see what progress has been made since 1932, when, prior to that, the then Opposition were very full of denunciation of the then Government because they had not taken over the whole of the waters of Lough Foyle by force and excluded British and Northern Ireland vessels from having anything to do with these waters.
Another matter that was raised here and which was the subject of very peculiar comment by Deputy S. Flanagan was the question of the Free Trade Area or the Common Market Area. Deputy S. Flanagan asked the Minister to avoid the conferences going on in Stockholm in this connection. He urged him, as far as he could, not to reveal to the Dáil or the country what is happening at these conferences. There is, of course, a  critical situation developing. It is developing without any publicity being given through Parliament or through the official notes as to what is happening. One does know there was an attempt made to have a Common Market and that was to be wedded to a Free Trade Area, and those negotiations broke down. The Common Market has since been established and there is now an effort being made on behalf of what are called the Outer Seven, meeting originally at Stockholm, to get another group formed who will make trade arrangements between themselves, lowering tarrifs, and so on, in the hope they will either be a powerful rival to the six Common Market countries or else get themselves a position of strength where they will have some bargaining power in order to enable the Six and the Seven to get into some area.
The position of this country in the mixed negotiations going on is rather peculiar. It was accepted apparently as a great triumph by the Taoiseach when, as Tánaiste visiting France for negotiations, he got this country recognised as one of the four underdeveloped countries of Europe. We rank with Greece, Turkey and Iceland. Whether we intend to avail of the chance we got I do not know but when we are not going to negotiate elsewhere I wonder have we lost the status which was so ingloriously fought for and obtained, as being the poor boy of the Western World? Are these people going to meet in their two organisations without any heed to the disastrous situation that would occur here if, say, the Outer Seven came to some arrangement with the Six of the Common Market without any appreciation of our conditions.
It was with some anxiety I read and quoted to the House already what appears to be the course of events over in Paris. The British published a blue book called “Negotiations for a European Free Trade Area”. They give publicity to the various negotiations that took place as between the delegates of 17 O.E.E.C. countries. At that conference our position in respect of agriculture was thrown away. Let me quote from page 34 of this booklet:
The case put forward by Ireland  for special treatment in respect of the Free Trade Area may be briefly summarised as follows. The present exceptionally heavy emigration of the active population is a matter of serious concern. Despite this emigration, however, unemployment in the towns and underemployment in the countryside remain substantial; while there is much scope for an increase in agricultural production agriculture is not able to provide greater employment than at present. (Some further loss of workers from the land may, in fact, be inevitable.) Greater industrialisation (and a corresponding increase in the present low-level of investment) is therefore necessary if Ireland is to provide work for its citizens on a more adequate scale. Hence the view is taken that protection is essential to the development of the economy, not only to facilitate the setting up of new industries but also to enable those industries which have been established in the past decades to consolidate and expand. A special problem for Irish export industries is the extent to which shipments to Britain may be affected by the gradual elimination of the tariff advantages which they enjoy in that market vis-a-vis Continental countries.
I read that as meaning that those who represented us in France said they saw no hope of any further agricultural development at home as far as employment is concerned. They said we had a special position, that we were underdeveloped and required protection. We know from the rest of the document that it is likely that protection will have to be abandoned over a number of years. Then it is said later that the special problem for Irish export industries is “the extent to which shipments to Britain may be affected by the gradual elimination of the tariff advantages which they enjoy in that market vis-a-vis Continental countries.” In other words it is accepted there that changes will be made by the British Association of Continental Exporters and that the acceptance of those conditions will work badly against this country. That has gone on over two  and a half years and we have not heard anything from the Government as to whether the omens are favourable.
This book says that unemployment is bad in Ireland and there is no great hope of getting, more employment through agriculture, and the easy going phrase used is: “emigration will provide for all that.” Those who represented us at Paris appear to have accepted the line that there will be some sort of arrangement between the countries of Western Europe which will mean, as the then Tánaiste said, the demolition of our protective equipment. We understood, as a counter to that, that if we were to get some betterment in our agricultural position it would have to be with England; yet here it is accepted that our trade with England will be affected adversely by the gradual elimination of the tariff advantages which we enjoy vis-a-vis Continental countries.
Added to all this we know that Denmark has recently been making definite approaches to England, repeated several times. It also has emerged from the discussions in London, where the Danes have been, that they have reached the point where they have aroused apprehension among the British producers of agricultural goods. Mr. Alan Day, an economist says in an article in the Irish Independent of the 5th June, 1959, that if Denmark has to get extra marketing facilities in Britain that will have to be at the expense of the British producer because:—
...one of the main assumptions of British Government policy is that nothing can be done which would disturb the rights of free access to the British market for agricultural products which is enjoyed by the British Commonwealth.
I know we have taken many wrong steps in the old days. There was a time when cattle were regarded as something disastrous for the livelihood of this country. There was a time when the British market as an outlet for our goods was derided; it was “gone and gone for ever”. There was a time when the Minister himself  told us in relation to ships that if all the damn ships were at the bottom of the sea our only difficulty would be getting indigestion and growing too fat from having to eat so much of our agricultural products.
We now reach the point where the Minister for Agriculture proceeds over to deal with what the British Minister in the House of Commons spoke of as the special traditional trading relations between this Country and England. But whether our special position has been safeguarded we do not know. The first time the Minister for Agriculture made his appearance at any of these Conferences was very recently because on being elevated to the position of Taoiseach the then Tánaiste possibly felt he could not go over. The Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for External Affairs were sent as a team to find out what was happening over there and to see if they could improve the position. However, we are without any information.
At the very start of all this Free Trade business this Party put down a motion asking that there should be collaboration between the Government and the Opposition and that there should be a Committee set up to look into the whole matter. That was refused and it was taken that the Government would look after that question. The Government have been looking after it but what the results are we do not know. One of these days we may be faced with an arrangement which will be as bad as the 1938 Trade Agreement which was entered into by the Government without any assistance from the Dáil of the day.
The blue book also speaks of loans that may be availed of by underdeveloped countries. It is quite clear that if loans are to be given for investment purposes the purposes to which these will be applied will be very carefully scrutinised. There are, indeed, many strings attached to loans to come from any special institution of a financial type set up under the old free trade system. I do not know whether that is part of the programme.
The question of extradition having been raised in this House, I direct my  attention to our constitutional position and also to the matter of the Human Rights Convention. There is a case pending before that Commission and, therefore I cannot speak about it, but the situation of the Convention itself vis-a-vis our constitutional position is certainly one thing that can be mentioned here.
Many people have expressed grave anxiety in this country with regard to the position which human liberty occupies in the Constitution. I think it can be said without being regarded as any distortion of the position that, as far as human liberty and the inviolability of the dwellinghouse are concerned, there is no constitutional protection in this country. Human liberty means that nobody can be detained or put under detention save as ordained by law. The dwellinghouse is in the same position. The legislative body has complete control, and the courts have so declared it, with regard to human liberty.
In those circumstances, we decided to sign a Convention of Human Rights. The Human Rights Convention give considerable protection against, say, unjust arrest, unjust imprisonment without trial, imprisonment without any promise of a trial. There is no doubt that, as far as the Constitution in this country is concerned, the Legislature has declared, and the courts have accepted, that that is the constitutional position.
Under the Human Rights Convention there are certain safeguards. There is power to bring the matter to the notice of the particular institution on the Council of Europe. They have a right to investigate and send over people to make an investigation on the spot. It is a rather lengthy procedure but it is one which in the end gives us a protection far beyond what our law gives and it makes up for the deficiencies of the Constitution in that matter and also in regard to the dwellinghouse. We have not made the Convention of Human Rights part of our domestic law. I am suggesting it is about time we did. Some countries have made it part of their domestic law, including England. You have the peculiar situation that in England you  have no real fundamental document of a constitutional type. Anything in the nature of law they have is not of a constitutional type at all and is capable of amendment just the same as one would amend legislation like the Road Traffic Act or the Intoxicating Liquor Act. The law is whatever the supreme House of Commons in England says.
England, nevertheless, has adopted the Convention and has made that Convention part of its domestic law. The position, therefore, is that pointed out in a lecture given by Professor Waldock, Chairman of the European Commission of Human Rights, on the 3rd September last year. The peculiar anomalous position in England is that, having no fundamental document of a constitutional type, they have accepted the Convention. Further, Professor Waldock wants to have the question a matter of constitutional rather than international law. The British have put themselves in the position, subject to all the safeguards, of having made it part of their domestic law. We have not and I do not know why.
It is not that there is really any great handicap. It is just this: if such things as arrest and imprisonment without trial are to become part of the law of a country for certain people that is subject to an inquiry. If people like to start the inquiry, the inquiry may lead to investigation and to a disclosure of the circumstances which would nullify the procedure attempted under it. There are many escape clauses. The Convention can be set aside or derogated from if a state of war, or any condition which threatens the rights of the nation, intervenes.
I do not know why we should not adopt it. It would fill the gap disclosed in our constitutional position in regard to these things. It would enable those gaps to be closed while at the same time in times of great emergency the Government would have all the powers they liked to deal with anything in that connection.
I shall mention one other matter. This country adopted a Constitution in 1922. That Constitution was very flexible. It was open to amendment by way of ordinary legislation for a  fairly considerable period. During that period—it was a seven year period— it was still further enlarged by ordinary legislation so that it could be amended by the ordinary procedure of Parliament for another seven years. Before that second period had passed, the second Constitution came along. The second Constitution came into operation then at a particular time. It had a period—a limited period of three years—in which there was a possibility of enlargement. Before that period was up, an amendment was put through Parliament enlarging the phrase “time of war” as used in Article 28 of the Constitution.
That enabled a time of war to be declared—at least a time of war was established by a declaration of this House and the Seanad. The time of war, when so declared by a Resolution of the two Houses, remains until the two Houses decide that the emergency has gone. We passed that emergency Resolution. Then there was the outbreak of war in 1939. That emergency Resolution has never been repealed. This country is living under conditions in which no provision in the Constitution may be invoked against legislation which is either passed for a particular purpose or expressed for that purpose nor can the provisions of the Constitution be invoked against anything which is, or purports to have been, following up that particular type of legislation.
Mr. McGilligan: It is surely. Matters dealing with the Constitution as far as bringing in Conventions are surely matters for the Estimate for External Affairs. Surely it is obviously one of the approaches for a Deputy to ask when is the Dáil going to be asked by Resolution, not by legislation, to remove the emergency period of the state of war in which we have been since 1939? I do not think it is  realised that this country is in that position since 1939.
Mr. McGilligan: It will not. There is no legislation required to bring back the Constitution to full effect in this country. I take objection if it is. No legislation is required. The House passed a Resolution with the Seanad in which we declared an emergency for certain purposes. Since 1939 we are really living under conditions in which the Constitution may at any time be set aside by legislation. It looks, indeed, as if this country cannot stand a Constitution of a rigid type. We have never lived under a Constitution which has been clamped down upon us without any avenue of escape. The avenue of escape was there since 1929 in that Resolution and prior to that it was always in the two Constitutions which were flexible and could have been amended.
In regard to this matter of our representatives abroad, one of the arguments used is that we are terribly independent and must show our form of independence on every occasion. Nobody objects to a pride in independence, or even to the ostentatious exhibition of our independent position, if the circumstances require it. Is there anybody one meets at the United Nations Organisation who doubts that we are an independent country? In any event, if our independence is in question by anybody, is our independence brought better to his notice, or is it better demonstrated, by the Red China resolution, or the Nuclear Club or the Aiken plan? Where does independence come into question? Do we enhance our independent position by annoying our friends? I suggest not. If we want to get our independence demonstrated  to people who do not believe in it, there are other ways and if there are other ways which do not break bonds of friendship which have been forged over the years, then we should at least not take any step which would antagonise any of our friends as the Minister did.
Mr. Booth: I am tempted, in a way, to try to reply to the last speaker. Yet, as I tried to follow him, I found that his main point was to quote from other people, to misinterpret them and to indulge in personal abuse. I am not surprised that he should have left the House so hurriedly after concluding. I hope he is ashamed of some at least of the completely unjustified insinuations he made and of the misinterpretations which he put on statements made by a variety of people. It is a pity that he could not make a speech of his own in connection with this Vote and stand over it in a more courageous manner. However, he prefers to shelter behind others and as soon as he has finished, to run away. I do not propose to refer any further to his rambling efforts, many of which, with all respect to you, Sir, I felt were entirely irrelevant.
I am afraid I must disagree with that. That seems to me to be an extremely narrow approach to the whole matter. Purely short term self-interest is a rotten basis for any policy. If we are concentrating only on what we can get, we are bound to fail. We have also got to consider what we can contribute to the world in which we live.
I agree with Deputy Dillon to this extent, that our vital interest is the same as all other countries at the moment in so far as it is our vital interest that tensions in the world today should be reduced and, if  possible, that peace should be secured. We cannot deal with this purely on the basis of what is Ireland's immediate advantage. We have got to regard it in its proper connotation as a world problem. Consequently, if we keep going back and saying: “What is the Irish view on this?” and: “What is best for Ireland on that?” we would be bound to go wrong and it is precisely because the Minister has avoided that that I support him most strongly in the attitude he has taken.
There has been a ridiculously long peroration from Deputy McGilligan and also, I am sorry to say, from Deputy Dillon on this question of what they call Red China. I agree with Deputy Boland on this matter that it is fantastic always to be tagging China with the word “Red” and to forget to tag it on to Russia and the other satellite countries. It is assumed that there is some other Chinese Government than the Communist dominated one at the moment. We must face the fact that the Chiang Kai-shek regime no longer exists as a Chinese Government, in spite of the fact that it has been financed and armed by America almost  without limit. The fact remains, which we have got to face, that China is Communist and has become Communist by the same unscrupulous methods as the other countries which are now Communist, did.
Deputy Dillon was rather annoyed because the Minister's attitude “gave bitter offence to the American people,” whom he described as our traditional friends. A typical piece of exaggeration and over-generalisation by Deputy Dillon, because the fact that certain bodies and certain groups passed certain resolutions does not give any justification for saying that the attitude of the Minister for External Affairs gave offence to the American people as a whole. In fact, I am never quite so sure as other people are that we have so many friends in America. We have some but so have other European countries, as well as those in the Middle East and Far Eastern countries, too, because it is a country which has absorbed people from almost every country in the world.
We have some friends in America but do not let us be fooled into thinking that America is just the fairy godmother of the Western World and is distributing good things out of sheer good will, and out of friendliness to us. We are grateful for the American assistance which is given to us but we must remember that we must face the facts. Americans are good business people and they are making what they consider to be a good business investment in Western Europe through Marshall Aid. American aid is part of their own defence policy and is not at all given just as a token of good will. Therefore, I think we should not fool ourselves that we have all that quantity of American good will, or ever had it. We have had it from certain groups but from certain groups only.
Mr. Booth: It is always possible that I may disagree with a lot of people. I may find myself in a minority of one and I may be wrong but it does not stop me from saying things if I believe they are right.
Mr. Booth: I should not like to give my views on that, but I do not think it is relevant. As far as I know, we have no friends in Russia, but, perhaps, the Deputy may be able to help me on that more than I can help myself.
Mr. Booth: We are accused of giving bitter offence to the American people and, when Deputy Dillon was speaking along that line, I questioned him as to whether our position was not understood by the American Government. Deputy Dillon said: “I do not think so.” That is as far as he could go. Later I asked him: “Which Governments have objected?” That was at column 558 of the Official Report and Deputy Dillon replied: “If we only had to deal with Governments, it would not matter so much but I am afraid we are getting to the point when we will have to deal with people ...”
I cannot follow Deputy Dillon to that extent because I always understood a Government dealt with a Government. Deputy Dillon says no, we must get beyond that stage of dealing with the American Government and deal with the amorphous body called the American people. How we are to find out what the American people think or want, without consulting their Government, I do not know. I do not know how we could ever allow ourselves to be influenced by the resolutions of small sections of any community, either in this country or in other countries. If we are to do as Deputy Dillon and Deputy McGilligan would like us to do, it would mean that our foreign policy would be dictated by any group of American people who might gather together, pass resolutions and send telegrams or letters to our Embassies in America, or to our Department of External Affairs at home.
 That is not my idea of how Irish foreign policy should be decided. We will decide it by ourselves, and for ourselves, without asking other people in other countries to tell us what we should do. Have these groups who have objected—these vocal groups in America to which Deputy McGilligan referred—forgotten that their own Government is in full diplomatic relations with not only Russia but many of the other Communist countries? Are they objecting to their own Government's attitude or are they asking us to adopt an attitude quite different from the attitude they are asking their own Government to adopt?
I think we should try to get it clear what is qualification for membership of the United Nations. Surely the only qualification which is recognised at the moment is that you should have a Government which is in effective control of a certain country? That is the only qualification. It is not that you are nice people to know, are good democrats, have held frequent elections, or anything like that. Many members of the United Nations have no such qualifications at all, and it is known and accepted that they have not; yet they are accepted as members of the United Nations.
Mr. Booth: I certainly do. I see no reason why Russia should be allowed to stay in and Communist China left out. There is no reason whatsoever except that America objects to it in her own defence interests. There is no moral question at issue at all. Once you admit Communist Governments to the United Nations, you cannot just say: “We will not allow Red China but we will allow Red anybody-else,” and I object to the ‘holier than thou’ attitude adopted by the Opposition, the only advocate of Christianity. I am devoutly thankful that Christianity is not solely safeguarded by them.
Mr. Booth: I shall deal with Northern Ireland later, if the Deputy will be patient. The present system of admission to the United Nations is as was adopted in our case. You have bargaining behind the scenes: “If we let in so-and-so, will you let in somebody else? If you agree to these three countries, we will agree to those two.” It goes backwards and forwards. There is no question of morals or anything else but a fair-day bargaining going on behind the scenes, bargaining and package deals. Is that the way people should be admitted to and excluded from membership of a world body such as that? It is far better to deal openly with elections and face the facts, however much you dislike them.
That is precisely what the Minister for External Affairs was trying to do, to get the facts before the public, to find out what was the reason why China would not be considered—to get all the facts and then make up our minds, but certain people did not want the facts to be made known.
I think the intervention of the Minister in the Middle East crisis in the Lebanon was very helpful and, again, I am delighted to join in the tributes to the officers who went out to try to help the situation which had developed there.
I now come back to the question of disengagement in Europe. Despite the fact that Deputy McGilligan insists on calling it withdrawal, which is an entirely different matter, the fact remains that at the moment there are thousands and tens of thousands of armed men facing each other across artificial barriers, barbed wire fences and so on, and anyone who has any army experience at all knows there is a danger in having armed men facing each other across such a barrier. It is astonishing what can happen in the early hours of the morning when morale is low. I have seen it myself. I have heard complaints from sentries  that the railway sleepers which were placed in the Phoenix Park as a defence against aircraft landings were not only forming fours but were advancing on them in massed formation, simply because things do happen in the early hours of the morning which are very frightening to anybody.
When the light is bad, morale is low. There is a danger when you have armed men facing each other across such a barrier. Somebody will see movement where there is no movement. There is the danger that some sentry with an automatic weapon will suddenly let fly at a target which is not there at all and, by mistake, he may kill another man. A fusillade may break out, may flare up along a frontier and, before you know where you are, you may have a full scale European war and perhaps a world war which started by mistake. Surely there is justification for saying: “You retire ten miles and we will retire ten miles. At least we will remove the danger of hitting ourselves with small arms. It will reduce the danger.”
Nobody suggests that that is a solution. I know it is not a solution but it is a safeguard. It is a safety measure to prevent people fighting by mistake, and it must be remembered that many wars have started virtually by mistake.
The Minister and the Government were criticised for their participation in efforts to restrict the development of nuclear weapons. Deputy Dillon has referred to this as a slap in the face for General de Gaulle. Again, I certainly cannot follow that. It is as if the possession of nuclear weapons is a guarantee of respectability, of power, of influence, and almost of virtue itself. We are not trying to stop France from becoming a great nation. We do not want to prevent France from becoming great or having a good influence or anything like that but, as a small nation, we see that the more people who are experimenting with nuclear resources, who are actually discharging or storing nuclear weapons and manufacturing them, the greater the danger will be of something happening  by mistake and one of them going off where it should not go off.
Here again, it was not put forward as a solution. The Minister never said it was a solution that the Nuclear Club should be restricted to its present membership. What he did say is that it was a helpful measure or something to that effect, some way of preventing the situation from getting worse until we could make some progress or gain time to make progress.
There has been some reference to the Council of Europe and that is a matter of tremendous interest to me because I have been there as a substitute member last year and a full member this year. I feel sufficient attention is not paid to this Council. It is only when you go there as a member that you realise the amazing strides that have been taken towards European integration, something of which we in Ireland know virtually nothing. To me, it was certainly almost a breathtaking experience to find myself in such an assembly, and to find parliamentarians from so many countries obviously very friendly with each other, knowing each other well and discussing matters in a friendly way. I felt very much out of it because everybody seemed to know everybody else while I was still only trying to find my way around.
I think anybody who has been there has had the same experience. I found it difficult to give as much attention to it as I would like and I would not seek election to the Irish delegation after this year because I do not think I could spare the time. We should be more careful in selecting delegates so that they will be able to stay there longer as Irish delegates to the Council of Europe and more fully enter into the European movements.
I think this House is not being kept properly informed of European developments. There are not many members who really know by how much national sovereignty is already restricted in Europe by organisations such as the European Coal and Steel Community and more recently by the development of the Common Market. Countries are voluntarily surrendering  large slices of their national sovereignty to supra-national bodies. I hope, therefore, that we may in future have more chances to debate European questions as dealt with in the Council of Europe in order that we might come more fully into the stream of European thought.
Far too much has been said about Partition in this debate. Deputy McGilligan was no help in that regard. I hope the word “Partition” will be banned forever from the language; I think it is a misleading word which only increases the whole misconception which exists about the problem here. We must face the fact that there are inherent differences which are basic both in religion and political loyalty which divided the communities long before the Border was ever set up and that the Border really only recognises a division which was already there.
I know that is not a nice thing to say, but I believe it and I feel it should be said because it is much easier to say that Partition was imposed upon us and that the country was rent in twain and so on. Then we have a grievance and we have somebody to hate, somebody to fight. But I do not think that would ever get us anywhere; it certainly has not got us anywhere so far. The fact remains that the country is divided in itself and we have done nothing to heal that division. We must face the fact that we have made no progress towards unity of minds and that it is because too many loud and impassioned speeches have been made on both sides. Do not let us lay all the blame on one or the other; we should each take our share and on each side, each of us has been speaking only to our own side. It was only for home consumption or we have tended too much towards that.
Mr. Booth: Recently, we have had a number of speeches from Mr. Brian Faulkiner, the Unionist Chief Whip, and he gives what is, to my mind, a completely misleading picture as regards the support among our people for illegal activities. I do not think he really believes it; I would doubt it myself. I do not think he really believes we are all behind them as strongly as he suggests we are. Unfortunately, he has quoted a number of resolutions of sympathy passed by local authorities and it is very hard to get around that. In fact, numerous county councils have passed resolutions of sympathy with the men who are engaged in illegal activities. Mr. Faulkiner may be wrong—I think he probably is, on his side—but those who proposed and passed the resolutions of sympathy were at least equally wrong on their side.
We should take our share of the blame for these illegal activities when we give any sign of condoning them. There is no use in just denouncing them and then going on shouting about the intolerable injustice of Partition. If it is so intolerable, we cannot blame anybody who resorts to force. In fact, it is not so intolerable, but saying so goes down well in certain quarters. I would certainly say that illegal activities by illegal organisations directed against Northern Ireland are criminal, nothing more or less, and they have been stated——
Mr. Booth: In so far as the matter of Northern Ireland has been raised as a matter which should be the responsibility of the Department of External Affairs, I am trying to point out what our attitude and what the attitude of the Department and the Government should be to the whole question of the disunity of our country.
Mr. Booth: I am trying to deal with the attitude of the Government  and the Department of External Affairs at present to the unity of the country. Personally, I feel we should accept the situation and try to work within the situation as we find it at present for our mutual benefit and for the mutual benefit of our peoples: I mean all our people, whether in Northern Ireland or in the Republic.
Mr. Booth: Whether the Border goes or stays, we should still work together and if we cannot work with them when the Border stays, we shall not be able to work with them when the Border goes. The simple removal of a land frontier does not change people's minds in the slightest. We are not trying to work with them as we should. I think the Government should state officially that we will not consider unity at all, unless and until the majority of the people in Northern Ireland express a wish to have unity. I think this business of protest and protest and protest, as Deputy Sherwin suggested—and even Deputy McGilligan—is the greatest nonsense, most wicked and dangerous nonsense.
We are far too greedy. I think we have been failing in our duty in that regard. I would hope that the Government's policy would be one under which we would be prepared to discuss and consider and offer to give up something, do something positive ourselves or cease doing something which offends the people in Northern Ireland. I do not think we can ask the Northern Ireland Government to talk to us on our conditions because our conditions are that they do not exist as a Government at all. We must forget about that.
I hope the Government, and particularly the Department of External Affairs, through the Minister, will use its good offices to get into direct personal contact with their opposite numbers in Northern Ireland. I can see no reason why that should not be done and I think in fact it would be welcomed by the great majority of the people. I would hope that by so doing we would not give any offence by using terms of abuse that are often used, such as “bigotry,”“occupied territory,”“puppet government” and “police state.” I would not even mention the term “The Six Counties”. I always get very annoyed when we are referred to as “Eireann”, and I say: “The name of the State is “Eire”, or “The Republic of Ireland”. They still say they would like to call it “eerie” and that it gives them some fun. I think we should call them by the name they have taken for themselves, whether we like it or not. What I would like is that, as a Parliament and as a Government, we should try to achieve reconciliations between those elements of our people which are not reconciled at the moment. This can be achieved only through some sacrifice somewhere. It is not a sacrifice of blood, but largely a sacrifice of prejudice and preconceptions. We often criticise these things here, but if they have the battle cry “No Surrender”, let us not take up the same battle cry and say we want unity but on our terms and with no surrender on our part.
Mr. Booth: I have always hoped that some time Deputy Coogan might make a sensible remark, but once again I am disappointed. I would appeal that our main emphasis should be a realistic one, to approach the Northern Ireland Parliament as a de facto Parliament, and say so; that our  Government should deal with them directly and in a friendly and cooperative way, to make it perfectly clear that we will be friends with them, whether the Border goes or stays, and that we are not just trying to soften them up for the day when we will grab. If we do that, we can do a great day's work for Ireland. If we fail to do it, we will be inciting other people to take other, stronger, more violent methods.
The question of trade agreements was raised and I have a word or two to say on that. I feel that our Embassies abroad are not sufficiently staffed. I would hope for increasing co-operation with the Department of Industry and Commerce on trade and tourism. I know there are some civil servants who are detached from the Department of Industry and Commerce to work with the Embassies abroad, but I cannot help feeling that more would be well justified. I have no criticism about the size of our Embassies abroad. I think they are absolutely essential and should be increased in staff rather than the reverse.
In general, I feel that the policy of the Government is one of independence, of clear-sightedness and of considerable courage. I agree with it absolutely and I have absolute confidence in the Minister and the policy which he has put forward. I wish him the very best of good luck in continuing the negotiations which lie ahead of him, in the question of the removal of import duties and the setting up of some sort of free trade area. I believe he will be able to carry them out successfully and I hope he will have the full confidence and support of this House in the very difficult negotiations which still lie ahead of him.
Dr. Browne: In reading this debate and the contributions made to it up to the present, and in making my own contribution, as a Deputy of a Parliament in such a tiny country as ours, where we are making suggestions concerning the activities of great Powers in what is essentially a power conflict between great nations, I cannot help feeling slightly overshadowed by the thought of the Skibbereen Eagle and the tendency to exaggerate the  influence of our Minister—who is doing the best he can and working as hard as he can—and of our Delegation at the United Nations. For that reason, I do not suppose one can ever take very seriously anything in connection with the Department of External Affairs, particularly in relation to its foreign policy. Being a realist, I understand that the greatest change, probably in world history, has taken place in the past few years, initiated at Hiroshima. At that time, there were no neutral nations and no neutral powers.
The debate appears to have developed into a rather parochial Chauvinistic, narrow-minded, bigoted attack on the Minister, for his attitude to the enlargement of the United Nations, extending its powers and extending its representation and, on the other hand, into a rather frightened, apologetic defence for his attitude. It seems to me that he has been attacked on three major decisions of his in the United Nations: one, concerning his proposals about the Nuclear Club; two, about his suggestion concerning disengagement in Europe; and three, concerning the admission of China to the United Nations. I should like to make some comments on these three points and also to remind the Minister of the undertakings he gave in the past and which he may be able to give in the future in the United Nations, in which I am interested.
The United Nations, is the one opportunity which small nations like ours have to make some contribution to the formation of the new world society. Consequently, I cannot help feeling a certain satisfaction that the Minister has taken some constructive steps to try to establish our point of view in the new grave issue which is confronting world society today. The three main issues he has dealt with and which have been discussed in this debate—disengagement, the Nuclear Club and the admission of China— seem to me to be linked up as part of a global policy, a perfectly permissible and understandable policy, on the part of the Minister. They all appear to me to point to his assessment of a situation which can no longer be considered in the old context of our interests, the  old conflict of Imperialism and Nationalism and so on.
Indeed, Partition and Unionists, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Social Democracy—these have all become relative irrelevancies in the present trend of world society. The only real discussion which must concern the politicians of the world and their peoples is the discussion concerning extermination, Agamemnon, the end of the world. It is quite a frightening problem but clearly anyone who considers the trend amongst the great powers, and among the lesser powers, too, must understand that is the problem facing all our societies today.
I must say I regretted there was so little apparent understanding of that great dilemma facing us all here in Ireland today as well as every other country. We can no longer be neutral, but I do not believe it is a question of being neutral from the West or from the East. Even that definition of nations is no longer valid. It is now those who believe that the arms race towards world suicide must be halted and that the nuclear age, with all the terrible things it holds for the world, must be avoided.
Something of that understanding of the problems facing us all must have motivated the Minister to some extent in his activities in the United Nations. He is a man who has been in politics for a very long time and it must be clear to everybody that his attitude on the China issue was a considered one —an attitude which could easily have been the reverse of what it was. He could have taken the attitude of Deputy Cosgrave, with which I am not disagreeing at all, in abstaining from moving the motion. But it seems to me that this enlargement of the United Nations, the extension of its powers to pursue that end, was a deliberate action on the part of the Minister. It seems from the discussions here up to the present that there is very little appreciation of the real dangers we are all facing, arising out of, not the Communist threat, but the threat of nuclear war. I welcomed then the Minister's motion in that regard, his attempt to limit the Nuclear Club, but I should like to urge him to go rather further.  His Nuclear Club proposal has now nearly become obsolete. However, it is an advance on doing nothing.
Deputies have spoken as if we are completely independent, or likely to be independent, of the consequences of the nuclear arms race. In the first instance, we have no doubt suffered the consequences of the initial steps in the arms race, the consequences on our people of nuclear fall-out which has doubled in the past few months in every country in Western Europe. Nuclear fall-out is a human creation, avoidable and preventable, that will cause to some children in our society the effects, on the one side, of bone cancer and blood cancer—both killing diseases—and, on the other side, the genetic changes and mutations in our children which will mean that some of our children will be born—avoidably and preventably because nuclear bomb testing is a human creation—mentally defective or with various forms of deformity, children who are born blind or whose brains are too big for their skulls.
The Medical Research Council of Great Britain made it quite clear that a heavy dosage of nuclear fall-out radiation is dangerous and that increasing nuclear fall-out merely increases the dangers I have just talked about. Various estimates have been made as to the total number of children already having these mutations. The terrifying thought is that unless some action is taken on the lines suggested by the Minister in the United Nations towards the limitation of nuclear testing and the expansion of the use of the nuclear bomb, these figures will grow in every country in the world, including Ireland. For that reason, it has always shocked me that there appears to be so little public appreciation, understanding or concern about these matters. The present position is—and Deputy Dillon supported this proposition—that General de Gaulle wants to test a bomb in the Sahara Desert. The unfortunate people of Ghana have protested. General de Gaulle has replied that he would take all the precautions he could to prevent danger to the people of Ghana  but he is going ahead with this bomb, unless there is some solution on the lines suggested by the Minister.
It is quite clear that if General de Gaulle, or France, goes ahead with the bomb, Western Germany is going to ask that it be allowed to test its bomb and it is perfectly reasonable that Czechoslovakia, Poland and Yugoslavia and most of the countries of Central Europe will do the same. In view of the rocket bases in Formosa, it would be perfectly reasonable for China to go ahead and test their bomb. At present it is estimated by the American Academy of Science that there are 12 countries capable of creating their own nuclear bombs. Twelve added to the present three makes 15 countries and within the next five years, there are eight countries with the technical know-how and resources which are capable of producing their own bombs. So, taking these 23 countries testing their nuclear bombs, the incidence of nuclear radiation fall-out will pass increasingly beyond the danger point.
It is very difficult to assimilate the realities of this proposition, but they are realities. They are facts which have been vouched for by world scientists. Consequently, it would seem to me that the Dáil should do everything it can to try to encourage the Minister to go forward with the attempt to limit this madness of weapons of annihilation which are being prepared by world powers at the present moment. The Minister is being supported in his present resolution by the proposition of the British Labour Party. I disagree with that proposition for the reason that I do not think that any Socialist society should retain a weapon of that power and that nature designed for the annihilation of another nation. Their proposition is that a club should be formed which could be joined by all those willing to unite, with the exception of America and Russia. If negotiations can be completed at that level, Britain would then abandon her bomb.
I would ask the Minister to bear in mind in regard to this proposition that the British Government would have to be reminded that it is not sufficient, for them to give up their bomb if they  are not prepared to give up their rocket bases as well. They should not keep rocket bases or permit bases for the continued use of American nuclear bombers. To retain those bases in Britain while giving up their bombs seems to me to be an evasion of the realities of the situation.
It leads us into deep water to suggest that Britain should give up the American bases which are in Britain but we have a vested interest and a very real vested interest in it. Once the shooting war starts, there will be, in effect, no Irish Sea. We would be in it together with Britain and consequently I do not think it is an impertinence on the part of a Deputy to adversely criticise the decision of a British Political Party concerning the nuclear bomb proposals and any future action they may take on this very important question. I would urge the Minister to pursue this task with renewed vigour were he to concentrate on this issue alone in the United Nations. It is an onerous task but we cannot afford to desist or slacken in our attempts to solve this grave impasse.
On the question of the admission of Red China I know perhaps that the safest political policy would be to keep one's mouth shut. Listening to the debate I do even more clearly appreciate the dangers of misrepresentation but I think there is a case to be made and I should like to put it this way. The United Nations is an attempt to establish a world society parliament, even though it is a primitive type of such parliament, in which it would be possible for nations of widely different views and completely different ideologies to sit down together and have discussions and when possible to reach some sort of a compromise on their differences. We must be realistic about it; we must accept that if we are prepared to sit down at a round table with Russia and the Russian satellites there is then no valid reason for keeping China out of the United Nations on political or ideological grounds. My attitude would be one of slight amazement and pleasure that China should be prepared to sit down at a round table for any discussions. At least one has some hold or control, however  tenuous, upon this fantastic power. Its future direction and the direction of its actions, nobody knows, but at least if they are members of the United Nations it is conceivable that some curb can be devised to keep them within the bounds of reason.
There is a case to be made for bringing China into the United Nations. We can learn something from the slightly more biddable attitude of the Communist world in recent years. It is due, it is true to the death of Stalin and to the coming to power of Khrushchev, to some extent—also to the great advance in progressive education and enlightenment of the Russian people and the even limited opportunities for enlightenment they have had. The new educated young Communist will make it impossible for the old autocratic Communism of Stalin to continue in the new age. I do not believe a people as talented, as clearly gifted and educated to the standard of the Sputnik, are a people who will continue to accept the old transitional idea of Stalinist Communism. I only hope that this is so, but I think it is a reasonable speculation and I think it follows from recent thawing in relationships by Soviet Russia both at home and abroad. It is, however, speculation.
At the same time conditions are changing and we have to recognise that fact. The position was difficult for Russia during the Hungarian rising by the very fact that she was a member of the United Nations and it was possible to impose some sort of censorship on her actions. Admittedly, there was very little practical action which could be taken to stop her doing what she did, but at least there was some slight deterrent in the expressed disapproval of the United Nations. Everybody is agreed that in Eden's act during the last days of his political life in Britain the disapproval of the Suez invasion was most effective. Admittedly America was a great help on that occasion, when she refused to support Britain, but I think the United Nations played their part well.
There is a further point. This matter of China is concerned with the foreign missions and everybody regrets the hardships they suffered but is it not clear that, if there is any likelihood of  a return to China of the different Churches which have been expelled, there must be negotiations at some time or other? Keeping China out in the cold will not solve anybody's problems. It is conceivable the Church will have to negotiate some sort of concordat with the Peking Chinese, if they are permitted to have such. The Church has accepted this situation in different other central European countries. Could access to such negotiation with these countries be best established through the United Nations? Would it not also have been better if the United Nations had been able to censure China were she a member during the invasion of Tibet?
Would it not have been some help to Tibet—not that I am absolutely convinced that Tibet was a society which should be changed for the better —if the atrocities that are reported are true, if China had been a member of the United Nations? Would it not have been possible for us to have applied some sort of curb and, as I say, brought her to a realisation that the old imperialist excursions, whether French or British, the old colonialism, are outdated and objectionable and there are more desirable ways of establishing a point of view——
There is only one other point. On the question of disengagement, I am not an expert on these things and I am speaking completely as a layman. It seems to me to be absurd to have vast armies deployed throughout Europe, wasting men and money, when the next war will be fought possibly at a distance of 3,000 or 4,000 miles and land armies probably will not come into contact at all. Anything that gets these people back into productive employment in their own countries and saves them wasting their time and energies and saves the taxpayer money is laudable.  If Russia wants to attack, she will not be concerned—if she attacks in Western Europe—with a land army. She will fire off her rockets, and that will end that matter. So, on the general principle of reducing the number of soldiers in any society, I would be in favour of the disengagement suggestion and it seems to me to be part of a strategy towards easing tension in the world by easing tension in Europe.
Some of the Deputies who have spoken here have failed to face certain difficulties. They have failed to face a full appreciation of the fact that we have ended one epoch and entered quite a new, novel and terrible one and that the extermination of whole societies is a reasonable possibility according to the best scientific authorities. Somebody said—I think rather blasphemously—that if you cannot maintain peace by adopting the principles of the Sermon on the Mount you must take other means within the Christian code in order to maintain it.
Deputy Dillon talked in the context: “If things get too bad, we shall blow ourselves up.” That seems to me a futile, fatuous doctrine of despair and certainly unacceptable to me. If we are concerned with what is called the Communist menace—I do not intend to speak for Christians though it has always been my belief that Christians have always held that, in the words of the Scriptures, “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”, namely, the Church—I would ask those Deputies who say there is no solution, other than a world armed with nuclear bombs, have they no longer this belief in the ultimate victory of Christianity? Do they not believe that in peaceful co-existence the Christian ethic would prevail?
Deputy Dillon said that he would rather be blown up by a bomb than live in servitude. Why should we have to live in servitude assuming that we achieved to the aim, the declared aim, at any rate, of the world leaders to-day, that is, world disarmament? Would it not be desirable that we should instruct our Minister to advocate, not only, as he has done, that there should be limitation of nuclear arms, but that the Russians and the  Americans should not retain the arms or give them to any other Power?
It is very difficult to know the truth in the international discussions at Geneva and various other discussions concerning attempts to come to some agreement between nations but one does get the impression, rightly or wrongly, that the Russians want peace, that the Russians have an amazing self-confidence in their own particular ideology and their social and economic development and that they believe that in peaceful co-existence they will dominate the world. All right. That is their point of view. Do we no longer believe that we have a better ideology than the Russian? Are we in the West frightened at the challenge and do we want to continue to petrify the discussions between nations in the present sterile, fatuous cold war?
Deputy Costello or some other Deputy said that our vital interests are in the West. He supported Deputy Dillon's suggestion that we should consider only Ireland's vital interests and take action accordingly. I believe that the issue has gone beyond that stage of West and East and I think our vital interests are with those who want peace and who are determined to make sacrifices, if necessary, to obtain peace. The first step towards achieving that must be the limitation of the bomb to the existing holders. That is the least desirable objective. The most desirable objective is the reduction of the British holding of the bomb and the British holding of bases and then the Russian and American withdrawal from the nuclear race. I know that these are all very formidable considerations but they have come to concern us very, very closely.
I do not agree with Deputy Lindsay who said that if you want peace, you must prepare for war. Practically every arms race which we have seen in the last 40 or 50 years has ended in war. While it was possible to have war and to survive, the important point is that it is no longer possible to make a mistake and to end up in a war because a nuclear war is, in fact, the war to end all wars. Therefore, I would hope that the Minister will persist in his actions in the United Nations, particularly  in respect of the attempt to restrict nuclear testing and the eventual restriction of nuclear arms altogether.
There is one other point in connection with which it is possible that we can be of some assistance in the United Nations. It concerns the great question of racial discrimination. One of the great fears that most people appear to have is that the Communists will win the war of mind, the war for the minds of African countries. Nobody knows whether that is so or not. However, I believe that we should be prepared to be quite unequivocal in our declaration that we do not accept any of the many manifestations of racial discrimination which exist in societies to-day.
I heard great praise here of General de Gaulle and was surprised because General de Gaulle has tolerated many terrible things in Algeria, against which I think we ought to protest. The Minister knows very much more about it than I do. I asked a question concerning the Algerian National Government. These are people who are attempting to free themselves from French colonial domination. Is the Minister satisfied that there is no help that he can give to these people who are fighting for their freedom? Is there no way in the United Nations in which the French Government can be called to answer for the incidents arising from the torturing of Algerian nationalists by de Gaulle's police, which has happened both in Algeria and in Paris recently, and disclosed in a book that de Gaulle suppressed? Is there no way in which the French Government can be called to answer for these charges? Whether they are crimes or not can be proved.
The last war was fought by the French and the British and the Western democracies against a lunatic who believed in racial superiority and yet, these very powers who fought that war are themselves perpetrating much the same excesses and horrors on their subject people—de Gaulle in France and Algeria and the British, to a lesser extent, in Nyasaland and Kenya.
I listened with interest to Deputy McGilligan telling us that the British have written into their civil laws, into  their domestic legislation, the Declaration of Human Rights. The immediate reaction to that is to feel that it is the supreme act of hypocrisy on the one hand to lay down the fine propositions of the Declaration of Human Rights and, on the other hand, to witness the permission to imprison without trial the leaders of oppositions in many of the African countries. I have in mind in particular the appalling excesses in the Hohla Camp.
I should like to remind the Minister that he gave a partial undertaking that he would reconsider the whole question of protesting, if he can protest and if it is in his power to protest, in regard to this issue in Kenya where 11 men were beaten to death by their guards, certainly with the consent of the British officials and the Kenya Government. That took place in a forced labour camp in Kenya. These unfortunate people had nobody to defend them at all except—to their great credit, let it be said—the British Labour Party. Outside Britain, no attempt appears to be made to defend these people or to protest against this brutality.
We would be prepared to shout our heads off so far as slave labour camps in Russia are concerned. We should equally be prepared to raise this matter, if it is permissible, in the United Nations, in an attempt to see that the newly-freed people of Africa are made to understand that we are on their side, that we do not accept the nonsense of racial superiority or that there is a difference between men because of the colour of their skins.
I wonder if the Minister would consider taking some steps in relation to the present boycott move in South Africa, on the same question—a boycott against apartheid in South Africa, against the white South Africans, the Afrikaners. I understand the National Congress started the boycott which it hopes to extend and expand in order to achieve their freedom from the slave labour conditions in which a vast number of the Africans have to live and work.
We are a tiny country but we are a member of the United Nations. We  have gone through so much of this sort of thing in our time that we should feel a certain sympathy with the Africans in their efforts for freedom from the brutality of the South African Government. I wonder if it would be possible for the Minister, at the United Nations, to help them in their great struggle or whether it will be possible for him to persuade his colleagues in the Cabinet that we have a moral responsibility to express our distaste and disgust for the attitude of a Government which would so treat its people as the South Africans are being treated today.
I wonder if it would be possible for the Minister to persuade his colleagues to see about boycotting certain South African goods here in Ireland? It would not cause very great inconvenience and it would be a source of inspiration to the people in question. The one country that has taken that step so far is the tiny country of Jamacia. These are not useless gestures. I imagine the Minister must be well aware of this himself from his own experience in the past. He must realise what a consolation it must be to get signs or signals of encouragement from any nation, no matter how tiny.
We took no part in the last war, the war against Hitler, Nazism and Fascism. There was the same appaling racial madness with Hitler and it cost 6,000,000 youths their lives. The rights and the wrongs of it are history now, but one of the great issues of the world today is the establishment of racial equality.
Some people think it is easy for us who are so far removed from the realities of living in a multi-racial society to make suggestions such as the one I have made. I do not think anybody will doubt that we would be prepared to face all the implications; each one of us—individually, first—would be prepared to face all the implications of integration should the situation arise. Otherwise, certainly, I would not be prepared to make such a suggestion.
I think the Minister can be reasonably well-satisfied with this work. It has been suggested that his actions  have made great enemies for us but I do not think that that is likely. In the world of power politics, decisions are taken on numbers, largely. I think those Powers that may have been upset at the time by his decision would be very glad to get our support in the future. I do not think that that probably would worry the Minister. His decision was probably a decision conscientiously taken but I think it is a reality at the same time. He can claim, indeed, in the charges that he has lost his friends, that, in the consideration of the motion which he put before the United Nations, he got no fewer than 37 people to vote while 40 abstained. Certainly, on that part of his proposal, he has been well vindicated.
The Taoiseach: I wish to intervene in this debate very briefly, and primarily for the purpose of making it clear beyond doubt that the attitude taken by the Minister for External Affairs in the United Nations Assembly on all the matters to which reference has been made in this debate followed on discussion with the Government and had their prior approval. There is no foundation at all for the suggestion that the Minister was influenced in any way by a purely personal viewpoint which had not been fully debated with the Government and cleared with them before being expressed.
I think this country is fortunate that, at this time, we have as Minister for External Affairs a person who possesses the very special qualifications which Deputy Aiken has. I have had many indications that the speeches made by him at the United Nations Assembly succeeded, because of their clarity and directness, in winning praise and respect from many, even including some who did not fully agree with the views he expressed. His attitude and his conduct at the United Nations Council and in its Assembly have won increasing respect for the viewpoint of this country. They have secured recognition of the fact that this country has a viewpoint and are contributing to the growth of our influence in the United Nations Assembly which can be of importance to us in the future.
 We believe in the United Nations and we want to be good members of it. Indeed small countries must support the development of a world organisation such as it and the commencement of the rule of law between nations. But if the United Nations is to be effective in preserving peace, its Assembly must, in our view, be free to discuss any situation existing in the world which appears likely to endanger the peace. We cannot in principle accept a contention that the Assembly should not discuss any proposal brought forward in the context of a threatening world situation merely because one or other of the Great Powers did not wish it. While asserting that principle we must be on our guard at all times to ensure that our position will not be misunderstood, that the interests of friendly States will not be ignored, and of course have consideration also to the suitability of raising an issue at any particular time.
I do not think anybody who read the full text of the speech made by the Minister on the Resolution proposing a discussion upon the admission of China to the United Nations could misunderstand our attitude. Unfortunately some people did not want to understand it, but I am sure they will in time. I want to make it clear, arising out of certain remarks that were made here this afternoon, that this country has taken no decision on the question of the admission of China. That question has not yet arisen. The resolution about which the controversy developed dealt solely with the question of a discussion in the Assembly on that point. The Minister for External Affairs supported a motion for a discussion on the question. If a proposal for the admission of China came before the United Nations other factors would be relevant to the question, as well as the character of its Government, and we would have to give these factors due weight before coming to a decision as to what our attitude should be.
We know that in the United Nations there are many countries whose form of Government we would not like to see repeated here, countries of whose policies we strongly disapprove and the philosophy of whose rulers is  abhorrent to our people. However, if the United Nations is to become what we want to see it, an effective shield for world peace, then clearly it must be of that character. A grouping of nations that were not likely to become involved in conflict with one another, whose forms of Government and outlook regarding the conduct of the affairs of the world were not in disagreement, would be an alliance of a different character. Perhaps it would have some value but it would not be the United Nations which we want to see growing in influence and effectiveness in preventing the danger of war. We want to see a real United Nations whose members are pledged to peace and who are willing to accept the verdict of the other member countries in relation to any acts of theirs which might imperil peace.
Whether it is in the interests of world peace that Communist China, with 600,000,000 people, even though it is ruled by a Communist Government with whose outlook we are in complete disagreement, should be within the United Nations or out is a question upon which many strong views have been expressed here. Certainly in a situation in which any one country can, through the use of nuclear weapons, bring about almost total world destruction, and knowing as we do that China has the technical capacity to create these weapons, we would like to see her in some situation under which she would be pledged to submit any disputes which might develop between her and other countries to the judgment of the United Nations before seeking to settle them by the arbitrament of war. If every time we vote on any issue in the United Nations we are going to be held to approve of everything done and said by those who vote with us, or if every time we vote in favour of having a discussion on a problem we are to be represented as having a particular view on that problem, then our position there would become impossible and we had perhaps better withdraw from the organisation altogether.
I do not intend to refer to the other  matters which were mentioned as having arisen at the United Nations during the debate. The Minister will deal with those, but there was some reference made here to trade discussions now proceeding with Britain and I want to make it clear that I do not think that the time is suitable for a debate upon that situation in the Dáil. At the right time we can have a very full discussion as soon as there is some development in the situation or some proposition for consideration.
The discussions which have been held in London were arranged at our request for the purpose of enabling us to ascertain the viewpoint of the British Government and the likely outcome of the multilateral negotiations which are about to begin in Stockholm and of the bilateral talks affecting agricultural products between Britain and Denmark. Further discussions are contemplated next week. At some stage these discussions may develop into formal negotiations with a view to the modification of our existing Trade Agreement or its replacement by a new Agreement. Nobody could at this stage attempt to forecast when that might become either possible or desirable. But in view of the prospect that negotiations of that character may become necessary in the comparatively early future I would urge upon Deputies—and this refers to the speech made by Deputy Dillon in particular— that they should not be proposing in public to the Government, to those who may have the responsibility for conducting these negotiations, the concessions we might make in them. It is reasonable for Deputies to state here what we might seek to gain in any such talks but to have members of the House urging us to make concessions at this stage is obviously more likely to weaken our bargaining power than to help the country to secure any advantage.
There is one further matter to which I want to refer arising out of Deputy Dillon's speech. During the course of it he made disparaging remarks about certain countries with which we had rather intimate relations during the course of the Free Trade Area negotiations in Paris, the countries that were concerned with the operations of  Working Party 23 of the O.E.E.C. We were not grouped with these countries because of any belief of ours that our conditions are similar to theirs. Everybody knows that the problems of Greece, Turkey and Iceland are in many respects fundamentally different from those of this country. If we worked with them, as we did, for the purpose of producing a common statement of the modifications of the obligations of the main agreement which the other countries were negotiating which might apply in our countries, it was done at the request of O.E.E.C., and for the purpose of facilitating their negotiations and avoiding the necessity for a series of proposals varying in detail from one country to the other but not very much different in general character having to be formulated during those talks.
All that is over now. Working Party 23 is quiescent and, indeed, the whole operation at Paris has come to an end. Whether it will ever start again, I cannot say. There is, therefore, at this stage no question at all of any concerted action between this country and these other countries that were grouped with us in Working Party 23 at Paris. Whatever representations they may be making to other countries in Europe, arising out of future trade prospects, or what policies they may follow in the new situation that may develop, are matters upon which we have not got much information.
We are now acting upon our own and solely for the purpose of safeguarding our own interests. If the future of European trade arrangements ever again gets back into the ambit of O.E.E.C., if we have to begin again the process of negotiating a 17 Nation agreement, then it may be that Working Party 23 will be revived and we shall find ourselves, to some extent, working with these countries for the purpose of shortening the procedures and reproducing a common formula such as emerged during our original talks.
It is not, however, in this country's interest that we should be represented as believing ourselves to be in the  same situation as Greece and Turkey or having the same problem as theirs. In the new situation we are acting on our own. We are concerned solely with our own interest. I think, however, because we need good-will wherever we can get it, it is undesirable that Deputies, in relation to these countries or any other country, should make the type of disparaging and insulting remarks Deputy Dillon permitted himself to indulge in.
I cannot say to the Dáil when it may be possible for us to give it any more precise information regarding these trade talks than is available now. I mentioned here in reply to a Parliamentary Question last week that the Stockholm talks are due to begin on July 20th. They are likely to be protracted. It does not seem to me that the practical difficulties of negotiating a Seven-Nation Free Trade Agreement are going to be very much less than those that were associated with the negotiation of the proposed 17 Nation Agreement. It may be that these talks will be quite protracted and that it will be some weeks or even months before we will know what may emerge from them.
Our contacts with the British Government are designed to ensure that they will be aware of our interests in any commitment they may enter into which could have repercussions upon our trade. I must say that the indications are, as was conveyed in the communique which followed the most recent talks, that the British Government are as concerned as we are that the traditional and mutually beneficial trading agreement between the two countries should be maintained and developed in whatever situation may emerge in Europe.
Mr. Norton: The Taoiseach's speech, particularly the concluding words, namely, that the British are as  vitally concerned as we are with the maintenance of our traditional and mutually rewarding trade relations, provides an opportunity for expressing satisfaction that that is the atmosphere surrounding the talks between the two Governments because the European position now has deteriorated in recent months from our point of view. We are not in the Common Market and obviously we cannot and do not want to accept membership of whatever the Stockholm Seven throws up. Therefore, we are now left with the companionship of Turkey, Greece and Iceland. We have got to try to fend for ourselves and find export markets for ourselves in countries which do not offer very much scope as far as Irish exports are concerned.
The Common Market will be virtually out and certainly out from the point of view of rewarding trading relations with these countries. We can send them butter at half the price at which we sell it here but nobody regards that as anything but lunatic trading. We can deal with the Stockholm Seven when they take some positive shape on the basis of sending them subsidised exports if that is permissible under the rules of their group but it is quite clear that, with seven countries in one camp and six in the other and only three left to claim to be in the category of undeveloped countries in Europe, there are going to be very few trading prospects available so far as the Irish agriculturist or the Irish industrialist is concerned.
I have no doubt, however, that those entrusted with the negotiations with the British Government from the Irish side will do the best they can for this country. That is a natural role for them. That is an understandable position which they should take up but what I am concerned about here is to get whoever is negotiating to recognise that our position now is an extremely difficult one from the standpoint that practically all of democratic Europe is in, or is about to roll itself into, two camps and as far as we are concerned trading relations with both camps will be extremely difficult.
As the Taoiseach said, the British  recognise that they have traditional trading relations with this country. They recognise that these trading relations have been of a rewarding kind. If we accept the view that we desire to trade with the British on terms which will be mutually advantageous in the future, then I think it should be possible to sew up with the British Government a trade agreement which, in the long run, may give us better prospects for industrial and certainly for agricultural expansion than by hanging around the back gate of the six Common Market countries or the seven Stockholm countries for the purpose of trading to get in there either on compassionate grounds or on the basis that we can trade by some methods of trading which will not be remunerative.
From our point of view I think we have some obvious benefits to offer to the British Government. We can offer the British Government wider markets in this country for goods which are coming in today from other countries who buy from us about £1 for every £5, £6 or £7 that we buy from them. I think we would be entitled to say to the British Government, “Right, we are willing to give you that kind of market in Ireland provided that you, for your part, will open your market on a more rewarding basis to our agricultural exports and at the same time provide an outlet for certain classes of industrial goods which we produce.” There would never be any danger that we could flood the British market with industrial goods to such an extent as to embarrass the British. The industrial imports of Britain from countries throughout the world represent a vast item in the British economy. Our industrial production multiplied by 100 would still not make an embarrassing impact on the British market, when you consider what is coming into the British market from overseas countries.
I think the former Taoiseach recognised that in this matter there are possibilities of a good deal with the British. We have something substantial to offer them; they have something substantial to offer us. If we go into the negotiations, on the basis  that both we and they are concerned to preserve our traditional and economically rewarding trade relations, it should be possible to do a deal and probably a better one than any we are likely to do either with the Common Market Six or the Stockholm Seven.
I for one do not want to embarrass the Government in the slightest in these negotiations. As I said, we have obvious advantages to offer to the British Government and we are not an inconsiderable customer for British goods. We can still take more British goods on terms, the terms being that what we need to import in the main we will import from the British provided, and on the other hand, that the British will open their markets wider for agricultural goods which they are not at present importing from us, and will find a market in their country for industrial goods which we produce or which we may produce in the future.
Such goods as we produce and export are not likely to be an economic embarrassment to Britain but they could justify not merely an opening for wider markets but make all the difference in providing the additional openings for employment which our people so badly need at present. I wish those engaged in these negotiations the best of luck. I do not think anybody desires to embarrass them. I, for one, do not want to do so. The Government hold strong cards in their hands in the advantages they have to offer, and the British Government have always been able to show an aptitude for realising on which side the bread is buttered. It is particularly desirable that some steps should be taken to ensure that our position, vis-a-vis the British agricultural market, should not be worsened by any concessions by Britain to Denmark in return for the export under favourable conditions, of British industrial goods to Denmark.
The Taoiseach referred to disparaging remarks made by Deputy Dillon last week in the course of this debate. I am tempted by that reference to ask whether we are at peace or war with the Scandinavian countries. A member  of this Government at a meeting in College Green on the 15th June, said that Governments elected by P.R. votes were all bad Governments and that Parliaments elected by P.R. vote were all bad Parliaments. I understand that we have got friendly diplomatic, relations with Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Holland. Those are Governments with which we are on friendly relations, I thought, but they have all been elected by proportional representation. I do not wish to bring the ghost of P.R. into this House, even to remind the Government of their sanguinary losses in the recent referendum. Still, I am bound to ask whether it is regarded as the modern method of diplomacy to tell countries, with which we are on friendly terms, that their Governments are bad because they were elected by P.R.?
A speech of that kind was made by a member of this Government in College Green and was reported in the Press: that Governments elected on the proportional representation principle were bad Governments. That is an irresponsible statement. I would understand an irresponsible member of the Government making a statement of that kind but when you find that it was made by no less a person than the Taoiseach, somebody needs to remind the Government that they should conduct their diplomacy through more delicate methods than by those indicative of a bull in a china shop. I hope, now that the ghost of P.R. has been laid, and that the nation has not collapsed, that they have been taught a lesson and that the lesson will extend to the language they use when referring to other countries with which we have friendly relations.
I do not want to say very much on the question of Red China. I do not want to engage in any baiting of the Minister this evening. I do not think any very useful purpose is served by that practice. I think the whole world looks with awe and anxiety at what is happening in the United Nations. The people are reading with profound gloom and horror of the threats from nuclear weapons which involve the destruction of mankind, the destruction not merely of nations but indeed of the  whole human race and the utter fragmentation of all that our human civilisation has been able to build up in the past 2,000 years. In a situation of that kind, at which the world looks with awe, it is natural that people should endeavour to devise any and every method by which war and its awful consequences can be avoided. I suppose it is inevitable that in these circumstances methods new and novel and which depart radically from the traditional, should be adopted in order to see whether any progress can be made along one line or another in this endless search for a pattern which will give the world universal peace.
Mr. Norton: I know, but there are odd fellows in every team and Deputy Booth, I think, has earned that reputation amongst his present friends. So far as the question of Red China is concerned I think that the Minister would not represent the views of this country in present circumstances if he were to vote for the admission of Red China to the United Nations. However, I do not believe that, in asking to have the matter discussed, he necessarily intended to vote for the admission of Red China. I think the criticism which has been levelled against him has been criticism that once he desired to have the matter discussed it ultimately followed that his first move was just a preliminary to an affirmative second move. I am not prepared to believe that. I think there would be an outcry among our people if an Irish Minister, in the circumstances of 1959, were to vote for the admission of Red China to the United Nations. I am quite sure that, whatever the Minister's status as a diplomat may be, he is a politician with his finger on the pulse of the electorate in Ireland. He would know that that would mean a short shrift for him as far as political life in Ireland was concerned.
 What I am concerned about in this matter is that we are a small country in the United Nations. There are over 80 of them there and there must be others who can pick chestnuts out of the fire besides Ireland, and they ought to be given full scope for their operations in chestnut picking. I think one of the mistakes of the Minister was in taking a leading part on the question of desiring to have the Red China issue discussed in the United Nations, as there are other people there who can pick chestnuts out of the fire when it suits them. There are people skilful enough to get others to do their chestnut picking, so that their own fingers may not stand the risk of being singed with fire. What we have got to do, particularly a small nation such as ours which cannot command respect by its Army, by its Navy or Air armadas, is to secure the goodwill of as many democratic countries in the world as we can, by our conviction that what we do is motivated by a desire to do the right and the democratic thing and, above all, to maintain close association with our democratic friends.
In the United Nations, of course, countries of various political hues are associated. The countries there are representative of democratic countries, are representative of totalitarian countries—totalitarian countries of the Left in the main, but sometimes of the Right as well—and it is difficult for a small nation such as Ireland to pick its way through the labyrinth of dissension and manoeuvring which is inevitable in an assembly of that kind. What we must be careful to do in the United Nations is not to insult our friends and we ought to make it clear, in our discussions, that our friends in the United Nations, and every other international organisation in the world, are those who recognise the spirituality of the human person, who recognise human rights, who exalt human liberty and who, in their day-to-day dealings, are informed by a concept of democracy which recognises the right and the liberty of men and women with no power and no wealth, to determine the  institutions under which they will live, and the form of Government which they desire.
Our friends cannot be the totalitarian States. Our friends cannot be the authoritarian States. Our friends in the United Nations and elsewhere must be the democratic States and we must be careful, even in spite of the temptations there of extensive Press advertisement, to have harmonious contact with our democratic friends even though association with others might, perhaps, get us worldwide publicity. I think the mistake the Minister made was that, in the circumstances, he allowed himself to be dragged too far away from our democratic friends. I do not at all accuse him of having any occult intention and of desiring to have a Communist State admitted to the United Nations, but I think he can be accused, in the set of circumstances which surround him, of drifting away from our friends and causing us to be misunderstood and blamed amongst people who must always be our friends in the world in which we live today.
As I said at the outset, I do not think anything is to be gained now by a constant reiteration of what was done in regard to Red China. I think the Minister cannot be insensible to the feelings of the Irish people on that particular issue. As far as this country is concerned, whatever set of circumstances, mainly British organised, keeps us out of N.A.T.O., in the fight between the forces of Communism and the forces of democracy, there can be no neutrality as far as this country is concerned. This country, whatever its own domestic problems may be, in the fight between the forces of Communism and the forces of Light, which represent democracy, must be on the side of the forces of Light and, on that question, there will be no doubt whatsoever as to where the Irish people stand. It is by knowing that, by thoroughly understanding that, and keeping close to the viewpoint of the Irish people that the Minister will find in New York the best guide he can get, that is, by constantly referring back to the people without whose votes and  goodwill he has no title deeds to represent them in the United Nations.
The question of whether we should make use of the United Nations to raise the question of the Partition of this country was raised today at Question Time by Deputy Corish and, judging by the reply made by the Taoiseach, it seemed to me that question was now on the long finger and was likely to remain there for a considerably longer period. I am wondering, however, whether we are not carrying this delicacy of our relationships with the United Nations too far on the anti-Partition side, while being prepared to let our associations run riot on the non-anti-Partition side of the United Nations activities. It is true that the United Nations have sent people to ascertain the questions of dispute and disputations in the Sinai Peninsula in Israel. They have sent delegations to the Lebanon and Syria as well, and have shown a disposition to investigate problems of that kind, whenever such problems were raised.
The United Nations' Charter as it is, bases the extension of the right of self-determination to all countries in the world, and the Four Freedoms of the Atlantic give our people the right to expect that our nation, founded on the Four Freedoms of the Atlantic, and with the Charter such as the United Nations' Organisation has, should concern itself with the problem which is causing such ill-feeling at home here, in one of the oldest countries in the world. I would not think it in any way beneath our dignity or incompatible with our status in the United Nations if the Minister for External Affairs were to take a day off from some of these complicated world problems to sit down and see in what way, and with whose assistance, he could raise in the United Nations the question of inducing that body to send a goodwill mission here and to Britain and to the Six Counties with a view to arranging a conference to discover in what way the principle of self-determination among nations could best be applied to the circumstances of partitioned Ireland.
Britain affects to be concerned about the reunification of Korea, about the reunification of East and West  Germany: here at home at our own doorstep is a reunification problem which she could help to solve tomorrow by offering two sentences of advice to the Six-County Government and by withdrawing from that Government, in the event of its failing to take that advice, the generous subsidies without which the Six Counties as an administrative unit could never exist. Now that we are well known in the United Nations, now that we have found our feet, so to speak, and know our way around that assembly, now that we have participated in a variety of committees, I think it would be the appropriate time to raise the question of invoking the assistance of the United Nations in a peaceful and democratic way in trying to find a solution between the parties concerned in Partition, namely, the Six-County Government, the British Government and the Irish Government.
That would be a fruitful piece of work to which the United Nations should set its hand. I cannot see how they could refuse to do so because of the manner in which they have intervened in less serious disputes elsewhere. I can well imagine that if the members of the United Nations have regard to the Charter which is the basis of their existence, it should be possible to arrive at a solution of the problem in a manner which would give satisfaction to all Parties concerned.
Mr. D. Costello: The intervention of the Taoiseach this afternoon had, at any rate, one result. He has now made it clear to those who excused the present Government on the ground that the Minister for External Affairs had acted on his own and not on the initiative and with the consent of the Government, that they were wrong. The Taoiseach has now made it clear that the Minister's actions and speeches in the United Nations over the past two years have been in fact part of Government policy. To the extent that it clears up this misapprehension, the Taoiseach's intervention was of some value: beyond that, it was of little value.
It is to be regretted that when the Taoiseach decided to intervene in  this debate, he did not take the opportunity which very badly needs to be taken to explain exactly what the foreign policy of the Fianna Fáil Government has been. One of the main criticisms that have been made against this Government is their silence on their foreign policy. It is true that we have had the speeches of the Minister for External Affairs in the United Nations. We have seen his votes on different matters but the Minister has been remarkably silent on the foreign policy of his Government and his Party. In fact, since last year as far as I know, the Minister has made but two speeches in this country on matters appertaining to foreign affairs—when he made a formal speech of congratulation on the anniversary of the Council of Europe and when he made a formal gesture of disapproval over the Tibetan insurrection and the ruthless methods of the Communists in regard to it. Beyond that, he has remained silent on the attitude of his Government on the many matters on which the public and this House are entitled to have some information.
The position is that for two years the Minister has gone to the United Nations and taken certain lines and made certain statements and we have had the task of trying to interpret from his actions and his statements what we believe the foreign policy of the Government is. On several occasions, we have challenged him in that regard and asked him for a clear statement of his position and that has been refused. Some slight improvement was made this year in the Minister's introductory speech on his Estimate; otherwise, in the past two or three years, the Minister speaking in the Irish language, merely accounted for expenditure of money in his Department and completely ignored any matters of policy or any statement of views of the Government. The Minister has contented himself on each occasion when he has been responsible for this Estimate in the past couple of years with giving no indication of the Government's foreign policy and with replying briefly and inadequately to any discussion. This year, the improvement is merely slight, the Minister merely citing some of the historical events of the past 12  months, again without giving any indication of the Government's attitude.
We point to the matters raised in this debate this afternoon, and referred to in previous years also, because we believe they indicate a change of foreign policy from that adopted by the Government of which my Party was a member. The Minister's attitude concerning the Communist regime in China and the debate on that matter in the United Nations has been referred to here, as it has been over the past two years. Certain distinctions have been and must be made in discussing this matter. I do not quite accept the view of Deputy Norton that the Fine Gael Party is interpreting the Minister's action as meaning that he is going to vote for the admission of Red China— we do not know. I think it was an extraordinary admission from the Taoiseach today that the Government had not yet made up their minds as to what their attitude would be if the vote in the United Nations was successful and if, in fact, the question of Red China's admission were put on the agenda.
For two years running, the Government's representative has voted in favour of putting the admission of Red China on the agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Taoiseach now states they have not made their minds up as to what they will do, if it goes on the agenda. I do not know what the attitude of the Government is but it is extraordinary to have it stated here today that the Government have not made up their mind about the admission of Red China. It was of some benefit to know that Deputy Booth's statement is not accepted by the Government; it is of some benefit that the Government have not made up their minds and of some benefit that they have not adopted Deputy Booth's attitude—that we should admit Red China.
I should have thought it unnecessary to repeat in this House the arguments that have so frequently been made by representatives of the United States Government concerning the admission of Red China into the United Nations Organisation. The tremendous prestige  value of such admission is an obvious argument against it. The threat of expansion of Communist influence in the Far East as a result of the admission of Red China into U.N.O. is another argument and the fact that the affairs of the United Nations might be seriously interfered with by the emergence among its members of a new and very strong Communist power has been frequently adverted to.
I think it will be appreciated by the House that the attitude of the United States in this regard is the correct one and I do not think it is sufficient for Deputy Booth to pass that attitude over by saying that it is only in the interests of the United States Government that Red China should not be admitted to the United Nations. It happens to be in our interests and it happens to be in the interests of all democratic and anti-Communist countries that the influence and prestige of Communism in the Far East should not be increased. It is not just American foreign policy; it is not just American interests that are involved in this question. It also happens that our interests are involved as one of the small States of the Western world that wish and hope that Communism will not achieve victory in any part of the world.
I stated that this discussion must have been split up and I have stated that we do not believe that it was necessarily implied that the Minister was going to vote in favour of the demand of Red China in voting for the admission of Red China in the way he did. I should have preferred if the Minister had made that clear in his opening speech here, although he said that he was prepared to answer any questions which might be asked. I would ask this question: When do the Government propose to make up their mind as to whether it is in favour of Communist China being a member of U.N.O.? I should also like to ask this question: Is the Minister going to vote again if a similar resolution or amendment is put down in the terms of the Indian resolution of last year which he voted for and as he voted for in the previous year?
The first time the Minister supported  the Indian amendment, two years ago, nearly, he made a very short, inadequate speech, giving merely a negative argument to explain his vote. The fact that he went to such great lengths the following year, and spoke at much greater length, indicated quite clearly that he realised that he had been totally inadequate in what he had said the previous year and indicated that he had not appreciated the likely consequences his vote and his statement would have. The speech he made last year, in an attempt to justify his vote, the vote of the Irish delegation on this matter, employed, I think, a completely spurious argument. It attempted to show that the deliberations in U.N.O. could be compared with the deliberations in a national parliament. He suggested that in national parliaments we like to have all important matters discussed. He suggested that Governments would allow Oppositions to put down motions and have matters discussed during parliamentary time and he attempted to draw an analogy between a national parliament and the discussions and deliberations of U.N.O.
No such analogy exists. It is obvious to anyone with any knowledge of the affairs of U.N.O. that on practically every issue—but particularly on this issue—great questions of prestige were involved. The prestige of the Western position was involved in this question, as it was in the previous years. By supporting the Indian resolution in this matter, we were deliberately voting for something which it was in our interests and the interests of our friends in the Western world to vote against and in the interests of our enemies in the Eastern world to support. If Deputies would only read the debates which took place, both in the General Committee of the United Nations and in the General Assembly, they would see the sort of atmosphere in which this matter was discussed.
This was not an academic discussion, as to whether it would be a good thing or a bad thing to discuss the admission of Red China. It was a full dress debate, with the West lining up  against the East on the merits of the Communist regime. I would ask Deputies to read the speech of Mr. Zorin, the representative of the Soviet Union, where he sneered at Americans, at Chiang Kai-Shek and the Formosa regime and praised in glowing terms the work of Red China and the Peking regime. In that atmosphere, where delegate after delegate from the Eastern Communist States got up to support, not just an academic idea that we discuss the merits and demerits of Red China, but time and time again to praise that regime, and where the Americans and their supporters in the Western side suggested that it was not a good time, for very good reasons, that this matter should be discussed, we come in and take the side of the Russian Government and that of the other Communist States. It seems to me that, in those circumstances, we had very little to gain by such an action, that it is impossible to justify what we did and that our own national interests were damaged by it.
It may be possible—some Deputies have tried to do it—to denigrate some of the statements which have been made by religious groups and individual churchmen against this country's attitude at U.N.O. I am not attempting, as has been suggested here by some of the Deputies from the Government side, to bring religion into politics and to try to bring a “holier than thou” attitude into this matter. What I am suggesting is that if, in fact, a small country such as ours takes an action which results in such a considerable amount of opposition among people from whom we would expect friendship, there is clearly an indication that our actions should be severely questioned. In fact, of course, whilst we should pay attention to the religious groups and the individual churchmen who have expressed strong disapproval of what we did, it is obvious that that disapproval was not merely confined to the members of the Catholic community and the Irish Catholic community of the United States. It is obvious that our action was something against American foreign policy and something which must have caused official foreign policy  in the United States some embarrassment. For these reasons I think the Government acted most unwisely with regard to this question. They did not keep the interests of this country in the forefront. They did not see that our friends in the West were strengthened, as should be our constant concern in the debates in the United Nations.
The question of the withdrawal of troops, or the general term “disengagement,” has also been referred to by us here again, because we believe that it demonstrates a point of view with which we are not in agreement. There are many different types of proposal which have all come under the general term “disengagement.” I want to say, at the outset, of what I want to say on this subject, that it has been the declared statement of the important people in the NATO alliance that any of these proposals for disengagement which have been made so far would amount to the weakening of the West and giving the balance of advantage to Russia. Statements are available from General Norstad, from M. Spaak and from many of the French politicians as well. They clearly indicate that the proposals with regard to disengagement which have come from various sources, all would involve a weakening of the Western position vis-a-vis the East and all would involve a strengthening of the Communist position in the very delicately poised military situation which exists in Western Europe.
It is sometimes stated—and, indeed, it was stated here in rather näive terms by Deputy Booth this afternoon—that it would be good to withdraw troops back even by ten miles, but it is frequently forgotten that the balance which exists in Europe at the present time achieves what the NATO alliance sought to achieve, namely, the stopping of Communist aggression in Western Europe. Just because the Eastern Communist countries know exactly that there is a certain point beyond which they cannot go without provoking war, the existence of that state of affairs has meant that war has been avoided. One of the many arguments, and one of the strongest, that can be put up against the neutralisation of Germany is the fact that such a position would involve  an area where the cause of the Great Powers, and particularly the machinations of Russia might result in a situation which would amount to a casus belli. At present it is apparent to all powers on the Continent exactly what would amount to a casus belli and what would not.
I brought these two matters into the discussion for this reason. The proposal by the Minister for External Affairs for disengagement, his suggestion for the withdrawal of American troops from Germany, was directly in conflict with the declared foreign policy of the West German Government and the United States Government. His statements and his actions in the United Nations with regard to the discussion on the admission of Red China were again directly in conflict with the views, desires and considered opinion of the United States Government and many of our friends in the Western world.
I want very briefly to refer also to the nuclear disarmament proposals of the Minister. I want to point out to the House that everybody—not just the Minister and not just we on this side of the House—desires a genuine degree of disarmament. The reduction of nuclear weapons is something that is to be desired also but it is something which has to be brought about in the general context of the military situation. In fact, proposals for disarmament which would benefit Russia make more likely a nuclear war than the present situation of the balance of terror. The thing that we have to avoid is making any suggestions which would in fact, if adopted, result in an advantage for the Russian Government in this balance of terror which exists at present.
It is of some significance that the Minister's proposals were supported by the Communist bloc, by some Latin-American States and by the Afro-Asian group. It is of some significance that the Communist bloc supported him while our friends in the West abstained from voting—I presume with the prior knowledge that he was proposing not to go on with his motion. It seems to me that the Russians must have evaluated the proposals made by the Government  and come to the conclusion that, if adopted, they would have been in their interests rather than in the interests of the West.
There is one aspect of the Minister's proposal on which, I think, we are entitled to some elucidation. When the Minister spoke last year on these proposals in the General Assembly on the 19th September he said it was in the interests of the existing members of the so-called Nuclear Club, as well as in all our interests, that it should be restricted to its present membership, but he specifically referred to the Nuclear Club as the United States, the U.S.S.R., Great Britain and France. Recently it appears he has put down a similar type of resolution again on the agenda of the General Assembly, and, according to the Irish Times of Saturday 20th June: “Ireland proposed yesterday that the United Nations take action to limit possessions of nuclear arms to the three powers which now have them.” I checked to see if that statement was also in the Irish Press and it was. If that is so, it appears to indicate a change by the Minister from last year; that whereas last year, he was prepared to concede that France was a member of the Nuclear Club, it appears that this year his attitude is that France is not a member.
Mr. D. Costello: I am glad this has been cleared up because it does appear to me that such a statement as  appeared in the papers could conceivably involve us in disagreement with countries on most friendly relations with us.
As I said, the speeches and actions of the Minister have to be interpreted by us and by people interested in these matters because we have not got a clear statement from the Minister, nor from the Government, of where they stand generally. I should like to ask the Minister questions which he refused to answer last year but to which, I think, we and the public would like to have an answer and indeed are entitled to have an answer. I would ask him to state whether he accepts the proposition that it is in the national interest of this country to strengthen the interests of the Western democracies in the United Nations Organisation. I should like to ask him also whether the Government is in favour of a more neutralist position in world politics than that maintained by his predecessor, because I think the actions and speeches of the Minister indicate that he is in favour of a more neutralist position in foreign affairs than the inter-Party Government was and that he is in favour of adopting the position of being a more uncommitted country than our Government thought proper.
In this regard, I think the manner in which the Minister's statements have had an effect on the Deputies supporting the Government is of some significance. We had Deputy Booth stating this afternoon that he was in favour of the admission of Red China into the United Nations Organisation. Last week we had Deputy Seán Flanagan stating that we had come to be recognised as a non-committed country, neutral and fair-minded. I am not in favour of Ireland being a non-committed country. I see no conflict between being a committed country and being a fair-minded country.
Deputy Boland referred earlier here to what, I think, he termed the dishonesty of the Fine Gael Party in not joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and yet wanting us to take up a strong position against the Communist countries. I believe we  have adopted a position of military neutrality for reasons which can be justified, but I think that military neutrality does not mean political neutrality and that military neutrality imposes on us a greater obligation in the political field to show our support for the Western democracies and to help them in the United Nations Organisation as far as we can. Because this talk now is going about that we are an uncommitted country and that we are neutral, and because in that context military neutrality does not necessarily mean political neutrality, because we are being talked about as being a sort of honest broker whose job it is to bring parties together, as if we are not involved ourselves on one side—because that has developed and because our friends abroad are likely to think that is our attitude—I think the foreign policy of the Government has not served us well since they came into office.
The Minister's statement in the House last week on this Estimate must be given a very small welcome in that he did a little more than he had done for years and spoke in English for a short time about the affairs of his Department and the history of events of the past 12 months. It is most significant that a number of matters were left out of the Minister's statement. I refer in particular to a matter to which Deputy Booth made reference, namely, the affairs of the Council of Europe. One of the criticisms, one of the major criticisms, to my mind, of the Government's foreign policy is that they have so completely ignored our position in Western Europe, the fact that they have played an entirely negative role in the past two years in the Council of Europe, and the undoubted lack of interest which the Minister has shown in the affairs of the Council of Europe. We happen to be a member of the Council of Europe and the O.E.E.C., and no other European organisation. Affairs in Europe are coming to a very critical stage, and it is in the interests of this country that we should play an active part in trying to resist the pressures that exist at the present times, not only towards the  economic, but also possibly, the political division in Western Europe.
Reference has been made to the Community of Six and to the proposals for the outer free trade area of the “Seven”. If, in fact, two rival trading blocs are to be set up, not only our economic interests, but also our political interests in Western Europe will be affected. It seems to me to be most desirable that we should endeavour to see, so far as we can, that this division will not take place. Our duty should be very clear. We should try to see that the Council of Europe, as one of the two European organisations of which we are members, is strengthened. I should like to see the Government supporting the suggestions that have been made for an amalgamation of the Council of Europe and O.E.E.C.
I am well aware that there are certain technical difficulties in the way of such amalgamation, but these technical difficulties have been adverted to in many proposals and they are not insurmountable obstacles in the way of such amalgamation. It is a movement which has the support of many influential people on the European mainland and it is a proposal which this country would do well to support. It seems to me, naturally, that it would be in our interests to support the two European organisations of which we are members, and to see that they are strengthened. Something which is likely to occur, and is occurring, is that the importance of the Council of Europe will decline with the passing of time as the Community of Six comes into being. The spokesmen of the “Six” are likely to pay much more regard to the Assembly of the European Economic Community than to the rather vague assembly at Strasbourg.
It seems very likely that in the course of time because no steps are taken to avert it the Council of Europe will decline in importance and prestige and such a decline would not be in our interests. By amalgamating the two, it might be possible to establish a European organisation which would help to stop the divisions becoming any wider, which would help to bring all the 15 or, possibly, 17 countries of  Western Europe into an organisation that would be strong and authoritative and which would have considerable prestige behind it.
I mention these matters because I feel that the fact that the Minister has taken no part at all in the Assembly of the Council of Europe is to be deplored. Perhaps it is a good thing that he did not, if he was going to take up a completely negative attitude on behalf of the Irish Government at the deliberations of the Council of Europe. I think it is an undoubted fact that we are now regarded in that Council as merely a pale appendage of Great Britain, and that the insular attitude which Great Britain takes on in any of the matters which arise at the Council of Europe, is quoted by our representatives. That is not in our best interests and it appears to me that we should have a foreign policy which is designed towards securing the strengthening of the Council of Europe and that we should play our part in that movement.
Deputies have naturally referred to the concern which is felt at the developments which have occurred in recent months with regard to the possible creation of two rival trading blocs of neither of which we would be members. We took no part in the discussions leading to the creation of the European Economic Community and it now appears that we are not taking part in the discussions at Stockholm. I can see no reason why we did not send a representative, even as an observer, to the Stockholm talks. I know we were not asked, but surely that is not an insurmountable diplomatic obstacle. The position now is that we have to send our Ministers to Great Britain in order to find out what is happening at Stockholm.
It is most likely that we would not in fact take any part in an outer free trade area of the “Seven” that was created but I do not think that should have stopped us from sending at least an observer to the talks in order that we might know exactly what is happening there. The arguments against sending an observer are rather fatuous. Nobody here is going  to be unduly stampeded into some economically wrong decision just because we sent an observer to Stockholm, and it is most desirable that we should know exactly what is going on, and not have to find out at secondhand, from what the British representatives tell us, how our interests are likely to be affected by these discussions. As I say, it is most unlikely that we would join an outer free trade area and that brings me to another matter to which I should like to refer.
Newspaper reports indicate that this division of Europe which is feared, may possibly come about in a worse form than at present, and that, in fact, the other small countries which are not taking part in the Stockholm talks, Greece and Turkey, are going to try to seek membership of the European Economic Community and to see on what terms they could become members of that community. It would be impossible for anyone to suggest that Ireland could become a member of the European Economic Community without knowing the terms on which membership would be granted. But I think the time may very well come, and come quickly, when we must seriously consider what are the possibilities of our joining the European Economic Community.
I am fully aware of the economic factors involved, particularly our close trading position with Great Britain, some of the social and some of the economic provisions of the Rome Treaty, and some of the elements of supra-nationality existing in the Rome Treaty. Luxembourg is a small country which got in on special terms into the European Economic Community. This country would certainly have to get in on special terms too. It is not possible to state yet whether or not we should join, but I think the attitude of the Government has been wrong all these years in that the Government did not have an observer at the discussions that were going on and did not see what were the possibilities of some link being forged between this country and the community of the States concerned. That might not have been necessary had the negotiations  for a Free Trade Area succeeded.
It is my earnest hope that the result of this growth, if it materialises, of the outer Seven will be to force new multi-lateral negotiations for some form of Free Trade Area. If, in fact, that does not happen, if we are faced with a position in which special arrangements may be made resulting in undermining our position in the British market—for example, undermining it through Danish competition—and we do not obtain any benefits of the outer Free Trade Area and become more and more cut off as a result of the trading relationships between the Six and the common tariff barrier coming into operation around our markets in Europe, in those circumstances we should seriously consider the terms on which it might be possible for us to become members of the Community.
It has been frequently said that this country needs friends. Friends help us, not just in political and prestige matters but also in economic matters. One of the reasons we do not get all the sympathy that other countries have been able to get—I am thinking particularly of Portugal—is because our foreign policy in European affairs since the War has been, I believe, a completely negative one. We have failed to participate in this movement towards a closer European community. That movement has been a movement for good in the Western world. Matters which may appear small at first sight are important. It was a good idea to send a special representative to Strasbourg and it is a pity that no one has replaced the individual who filled that post. I support the suggestion made that a permanent representative should be sent to Strasbourg.
There is one matter of detail to which I should like to refer with regard to representation at the Consultative Assembly. It was most satisfactory that at the last Assembly our delegates were briefed, and very adequately briefed, on the matters arising for discussion on the Assembly's agenda. Delegates going to Strasbourg for the first time find it difficult to know what is and what is not important, what should be concentrated on and what  should be ignored. Because so many subjects are tabled for discussion, there is a certain obfuscation and Deputies are inclined to be put off discussions in which they could take part. I hope the practice of briefing Deputies will be continued. I would suggest that it is not desirable that the attitude of the Government should be indicated in that briefing. These are matters upon which the individual should make up his own mind. Any attempt to the contrary could be interpreted as an effort to get support for the Government's attitude. We do not go there as supporters of Governments. We go as representatives of Parliament. It is not desirable that any influence should be brought to bear, particularly on Deputies who go out for the first time, to indicate to them the manner in which they might vote.
I do not wish to make any further reference to the question of Partition except to point out that some time ago a motion in the Seanad received the support of the Taoiseach, a motion in which it was suggested that certain steps should be taken to promote active co-operation on economic and social matters between the two parts of the country. The Taoiseach at the time indicated that he would take active measures through an investigation of the various Departments to see what means could be devised for bringing about that economic and social co-operation. I put down a question some time ago to discover what had happened in the meantime. Apparently nothing has happened. I should be glad to know if it is in fact the Minister's view that we should encourage economic and social co-operation between the two parts of the country and what steps he proposes to take to give effect to that.
Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Aiken): We have had two days' discussion on this Estimate. A great many subjects have been debated. Fortunately the Taoiseach was able to deal with one matter and I do not propose now to refer to it any further—the discussions that took place in Stockholm and London about the establishment of a Free Trade Area.
Mr. Aiken: One subject that came in for a great deal of discussion was Ireland's attitude to the present, world situation, and what we should do and say about it in the United Nations. It is all very well for Deputies to be emotional about wrong and evil in the world. Can we afford to be emotional about the atomic bomb? As I see the situation, the only alternative to a relentless drifting into nuclear warfare is that we should make every effort to establish an international rule of law based on justice—justice for all countries, including our own.
We who hold responsibility today in the various countries of the world are faced with the terrible hatreds and confusions caused by the two great World Wars of this century and also by the disastrous way in which these wars ended, the disastrous pacts that were made at Yalta, Teheran and Casablanca. What we have to ask ourselves and keep in our mind, having assumed responsibility of membership of the United Nations, is how best we can play our part to help the statesmen who have the burden of the world's troubles on their shoulders to find their way back through the maze of difficulties that surround them, that have been bequeathed to them, to the true road to peace, the road to a real peace based on law and justice.
In my humble opinion, we cannot find the road to peace unless a number of the nations who have benefits from past conquests are prepared to give up part, if not the whole, of their conquests, and unless they are prepared to adopt a completely revolutionary change in their ideas about war, about strategy and about the economics of war. The old conception of war is simply no longer valid. In the old days, when a nation did not like the sort of peace it had, it took the road of war to find a better peace. But we are living in a world today in which the end of the road through war is not a better peace for anybody and cannot be, but must be utter destruction of the major Powers who are involved  and, at the very best, for the rest of us a lingering death from the poisonous radiations left by the explosion of atomic bombs. That is the alternative we have and there is no use in getting mad about it. We have got to face it calmly and we here in this House have to ask ourselves what rôle we, as a small nation, should play in that situation.
My belief is that in all our calculations we should face that fact with our eyes open. We cannot get out of our dilemma by turning our backs upon the situation or by bemoaning it or by continually denouncing one or other or both groups of Powers or by urging that they should prepare for ever more speedy and all-embracing destructive means of war. As I see the situation—and I have tried to think hard about it and I have lived through two world wars, with my eyes open, I think, and through all the revolutions and troubles of the past 40 years in this and other countries—the only road that is open to get a better peace than the peace that is being kept at present by the ‘balance of terror’ between the great Powers is the road of negotiation, discussion and agreement, first of all, between the major Powers and then by the rest of us, as to the best means we can take to establish a rule of international law which will be based on justice and which will be enforceable by an international police force.
In view of some of the emotional phrases that were thrown around here today, the denunciations of my attitude on various matters in the United Nations, I should like to put this question to the members of the principal Opposition Party, because it faces this country today and it is inescapable: whether we should, in this situation, try to keep the ‘balance of terror’ stable so that it will not topple on all of us, keep it stable while we search for true peace, or whether we should, by a loud mouth and bellicose participation in a cold war, help to speed up the nuclear war in which, as I see it, there can be no victory for any nation or for any cause, including the cause of Christian civilisation which our people have always regarded as fundamental?
 What good would the type of speeches that were made by Deputy Dillon and Deputy McGilligan in this Assembly do in the International Assembly if the Minister for External Affairs were to repeat them there? For myself. I have no difficulty in making up my mind. There is nothing to be gained for Ireland, nothing in the world, or for any of the principles which the Irish people hold dear in being a party to inciting the great Powers to greater enmity or to encouraging them to take up even more menacing positions than they have taken up, or encouraging them to develop and to spread around the world even more destructive weapons of war. There are already too many people in the world and in the United Nations playing that game—spurring the greater powers on to fight like two fighting cocks. In my belief, the Irish people expect more from their Minister for External Affairs.
The United Nations Organisation was established for the purpose of providing a forum at which international difficulties could be discussed and at which suggestions could be put forward for the improvement of international relations and of the settlement of disputes. Unfortunately, in the past, the United Nations has been used by some of the Powers to block the road to peace and merely to be a sounding-board for the propaganda of the cold war.
Personally, I have no difficulty in making up my mind on what the rôle of the Irish delegation should be within the United Nations Organisation. That rôle is not to exhaust our energies in denouncing injustice and war, much as we detest them, but to make constructive contributions to the search for true peace. That rôle I claim the Irish delegation has fulfilled to the best of its ability.
A good deal of time was devoted to the situation in Europe. There is one aspect of the European situation that tends to be forgotten in the interesting task of trying to evaluate military and political strategy in the present situation, and that is the countries that were left occupied in Eastern Europe at the end of the last war. I have tried to  keep them in mind. In particular, I have tried to keep in mind the country in Eastern Europe that is most like our own, Poland, for whose freedom the last war was supposed to have been started and which was left in chains with the others at the end of the war.
Although, thank God, we were not as a nation committed to the last war, nor were we responsible for the disastrous pacts that were signed at the end of the war which left these nations in chains, we have a responsibility— because we are the representatives of Ireland if for no other reason, but for an even more important reason than that inasmuch as that when we joined the United Nations we accepted the responsibility of membership—to do all in our power to help to retrieve the situation, the disastrous situation, the disastrous conditions upon which the last war was ended both in Europe and the Far East.
My belief is that if the men who were responsible for managing affairs at the end of the last war could have foreseen the rapid development of nuclear weapons they might have established a different peace. I do not believe, for instance, that it was ever a good idea to have the line of the Iron Curtain going down through Germany with part of supposedly Western Germany, stuck in, one hundred miles, as an island in the East. I do not even think the Russians in the present day and age are gaining anything from the occupation of these countries which Stalin insisted on taking over at the end of the war. The strategic ideas on which that occupation was based are gone with the wind. They are completely outmoded. They belong to an age that is as outmoded today, in terms of nuclear energy released for war purposes, as, say, the bow and arrow were in the last war, and even more so.
I shall come back to that subject again when I deal with the step for step drawback I suggested in one of my speeches. However, I want to say here that we took no initiative at the United Nations, we cast no vote and we made no suggestion for the purpose of emphasising our independence or “throwing our weight  about”, as Deputy Dillon put it. We cast votes and we made suggestions for one sole purpose, the purpose of making progress—what progress we could—towards a world order in which disputes would be settled on the basis of law and justice, fortified, as they should be, by a spirit of charity between the nations.
There has been a lot of loose talk about what we said at the United Nations, what we suggested and how we voted on the various occasions. I want to put on the records of the House how we voted on the major issues, indeed, on all the issues that were raised in Plenary Sessions except the discussion on Chinese representation. It gives a good idea of what went on over there.
In the 12th Session, that is, in 1957, the Irish votes with which the United States agreed numbered ten. The Irish votes with which the U.S.S.R. agreed and on which the United States abstained numbered three. The Irish votes with which both the United States and the U.S.S.R. agreed numbered eight and there were eight other Irish votes given for proposals which both the United States and the U.S.S.R. combined to defeat. They did not agree with the Irish vote and I did not accuse the United States of being Red because she voted with Russia on these eight occasions. I thought she probably had a point of view.
In the 13th session, 1958, there were 13 Irish votes with which the United States agreed, four with which the U.S.S.R. agreed and on which the United States abstained, nine on which both the United States and the U.S.S.R. agreed and two on which both the United States and the U.S.S.R. did not agree with us.
I do not intend to go through all of these votes but I should like to give some idea how the voting went and the subject matters involved. The question of Cyprus came up for discussion and there was a draft resolution recommended by the First Committee which expressed the earnest hope that further negotiations would be held  with a view to having the right of self-determination applied to the people of Cyprus. I do not have to tell anybody here or elsewhere how we voted but it is interesting to note that not only did the U.S.S.R. vote with us but the United States abstained on the question of Cyprus. I think we were right to vote with Russia and that Russia was right to vote with us on that question of self-determination for the people of Cyprus. The United States had her own reasons for abstaining and she abstained.
There was another question down for discussion. That was the inclusion of an item on the agenda which the General Committee recommended. It was the question of West Irian, that island which is divided between Holland and Australia and to which Indonesia is making claims. We votes to discuss that item; so did Russia, and again the United States abstained. I think Russia was right to vote with us on that question.
Another question which came up, and in which the Deputies might be interested, was the question of apartheid in South Africa. Again I do not have to tell anybody how we would vote on that question. Apartheid is anathema to our people. We recognise that there are emotional difficulties involved and we have never ignored that in the United Nations or anywhere else. However, the Political Committee recommended that the General Assembly adopt the resolution deploring the South African Government's failure to respond to previous resolutions and appealing to it to revise its policy in the light of the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and of world opinion. We could not do otherwise than vote for that resolution no matter who else voted for it or against it. Russia voted for it and the United States abstained. I could go on detailing more of these votes but they are all in the Library for the Deputies to see for themselves.
There was one other matter in the 13th Session in relation to Algeria. The resolution called for the recognition of the right of the Algerian people to independence and urged negotiations between the two parties concerned. We  voted for that resolution. The Soviet Union also voted for it and again the United States abstained. There were two votes on that issue and the voting went in the same fashion.
A great deal of the debate was devoted to the withdrawal proposals I made in 1957. I am prepared to argue that matter with anyone. I have argued it in public and in private with many people and I still believe that any fair-minded person who approaches the European entanglement from the point of view of the interests of the people concerned—the people of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary—keeping in mind the development of nuclear weapons, will come to the same conclusion.
I realise that certain professional military men do not like that idea. I have yet to meet the professional soldier who was prepared to give up a piece of ground or surrender an old gun. He always wanted to keep it lest he might want it some day. Of all the professions in the world, the most conservative of all is that of the military officer. It is our job as representatives of our country to try to see these problems not from the narrow point of view of military or economic convenience but from the rather broader political point of view, taking account of all the human problems involved as well as the strategic situation. It was in thinking of what we could do about the occupied countries of Eastern Europe that I got the idea of the step-by-step withdrawal. I still think it is a good idea. It has been discussed a lot since I put it forward a couple of years ago. There have been other suggestions for withdrawals, notably by Russia but the Russians wanted America off the European Continent while they would withdraw their troops only back to Russian soil. Since I made it, it has been discussed at great length by Professor Kennan and others. Mr. Rapacki, Foreign Minister of Poland, put up a variant of the idea but his idea was not, indeed, anything like the idea I put forward.
He merely suggested that the atomic weapon should be withdrawn from all these countries in the heart  of Europe, including the countries occupied by Russian troops. That, as anyone can see from thinking on the matter, would leave six American divisions and a few of the divisions of their allies, facing about 60 divisions of Russian troops in these occupied countries, without the atomic weapons with which they were armed to stop the 60 divisions.
My proposal was not that anybody should drop his nuclear arms or any other sort of arms but simply that they would take them with them; that if the Russians were a mile to the east, America would go a mile to the west and the United Nations would come in between and supervise the operation while the one mile became hundreds. I still think it is a good idea.
The American troops went into Europe not to stay there for all time. They went in to stop the Russians rolling over the rest of Europe. Sometime we hope the situation will be such that the boys can return home. My proposals did not mean that they would leave Europe. It meant that they would withdraw as far to the West as the Russians would to the East. Measuring it on latitudinal lines, it would mean roughly that if the Russians got back into Russia, the Americans would be back into northern and southern France. They would be still east of Paris, on the line of Strasbourg down across northern Italy.
I would still urge that, if an agreement could be made, America and her Allies would get back to that line in France and Italy. They should pay that price if the Russians would get back to Russia. I think they should be prepared to pay it. I think it would be a very good arrangement in the interests of the United States, the Russians, all those occupied countries and all our interests that that agreement should be made. Again, for my part, if such an agreement could be made, I see no value to anyone in a continuation of the present situation in this nuclear age. There is no net advantage to be gained by either side in prolonging the agony.
If America, by agreeing to that  situation, could put the people in all these Russian occupied countries in a position to tell the Russians to go home, I think it would be a very healthy position for everyone, including the Russians. I think it is a great waste of their energy and they are running a great risk of war by remaining where they are. I think the Russians should be prepared to draw back if America is prepared to draw back; I think America should be prepared to draw back if Russia is prepared to draw back. It would be unrealistic to ask one to draw back if the other did not.
We have to accept the situation. Whatever suggestions we make must be reasonable. they must be enforceable by reason of their wisdom because they cannot be enforced at the point of the gun by anybody, either by Russia or by the United States, without disaster to themselves.
I made one suggestion which was very simple with regard to the Middle East, that is, that the groups of Great Powers should withdraw from military and economic competition in that area. They should allow the people in those countries to go neutral, if they wanted it. They should try to persuade Arabs and Israelis to make a non-aggression pact which should be guaranteed by the United Nations and that all the United Nations should get together to put up a development fund for that area. That has been backed by the United States since, by President Eisenhower himself. If these countries agree to go neutral and have a non-aggression pact between themselves, the United Nations should come in to support and guarantee it, provided that there were made available there the facilities for oil and transport which neutral nations always keep open even in time of war. If war breaks out in that strategic area, the flames will spread far and wide. It has always been a critical strategic area of the world. It still is in view of its great oil resources and its transport facilities.
The other suggestion made with regard to that area was that the Arab refugee question should be taken up  vigorously. There are a million Arab people who have been driven from their homes. They are still living, after all these years, in camps looking down upon the land from which they were driven. You have got people in that situation. These people are half starved and are not being educated. The United Nations are spending $40 million a year to keep them alive and barely alive. I think it would pay us all if an agreement could be come to between Arabs and Jews that the United Nations—it was the United Nations that created that situation, or at least they confirmed it and made it worse—should get together and guarantee these Arabs a reasonable sum and help to get them resettled.
We now come to the suggestion about the proposed agreements to prevent the wider dissemination of nuclear weapons. Anybody who thinks about it for a moment will see that the more nations possess the nuclear weapons, the harder it will be to prevent war breaking out, and even if war does not break out and we want at some time to disarm, the harder it will be to reach a balanced disarmament. There are some problems with which we have to live for a long time and everybody tries, if he cannot eliminate the problem facing him, at least to try to contain it and to do something about it that will prevent it getting worse.
It would be very wise for us all in this world today—seeing that we cannot destroy nuclear arms and that we cannot disarm the people who have them—to try to prevent more people getting them. If the nuclear powers would agree that they would not give these weapons to other countries—and I think it would be in their interests to keep such an agreement—then the countries that are not producing nuclear weapons should undertake not to produce them in the future. That would not be Utopia. There still remain the nuclear Powers with their great stocks—and they are pumping out more. The next step, if such an agreement could be made, would be to try to cut off production; that the nuclear powers, as the second step, would agree to cease manufacture, and we would go on in that way.
 It is vain to hope that the nuclear Powers will dispossess themselves of these weapons, dispossess themselves until the international rule of law has been agreed upon, and until there is an international police force to enforce the law that will give the nuclear Powers the assurance—and the assurance to their satisfaction—that they are not going to be attacked. If we reach those conditions, we could get down to thinking what the next step would be, but we are not is sight of the establishment of those conditions. It is not on the horizon and the problems involved in the final dismounting of nuclear weapons, and the use of the materials in them for peaceful purposes, are tremendous. We are not going to be able to solve them in our day, I believe, and we must hand down some of the problems involved to our children. We should all agree not to hand any more burdens to the next generation than we can avoid. If we can make the agreements I suggested—the nuclear powers not to distribute these weapons to other countries and the non-nuclear powers not to manufacture them—we would be doing a good day's work and reducing the number of problems that we must, in any event, hand on to our children.
My belief is that an ever growing number of people are in favour of the approach of trying to contain these nuclear weapons while we search around trying to see how we can organise peace, develop peace and develop the art of living together without war. Even if I were convinced that we were going to fail in the effort, it would be our duty to continue trying; if we succeed, of course, it will be a very important first step, in my opinion, on the road to a stable peace.
There is one further question which was debated here at great length and with a great deal of viciousness on the part of Fine Gael. Deputy McGilligan talked about my “lack of recognition of the moral and spiritual values of the country” by voting for a discussion on Chinese representation. He said I betrayed the “moral and spiritual values of our people” in so voting. He said he wanted to turn me from the immorality of my act, my “evil course”. Now, it will be remembered  that away back in November, 1957, the Fine Gael Party moved a vote of no confidence in this matter. That motion of no confidence on the issue of my voting for a discussion on Chinese representation was rejected in the Dáil by a two to one majority and although I voted again in exactly the same manner a year thereafter, in 1958, nine months ago. Fine Gael did not repeat their motion of no confidence on that issue.
Until recently, I had hoped that the more responsible members of Fine Gael had come to realise that their propaganda on this question was not only false and vicious but that it was detrimental to Ireland and to Christian civilisation. Basic characteristics and virtues of Christianity are truth and charity, and the spreading of lies, even by a political Party, is detrimental to Christian virtues especially if that Party hold themselves up to be defenders of the faith, as Fine Gael do. During the Presidential Election many Fine Gael speakers, in urging the voters to reject the Fianna Fáil candidate, Eamon de Valera, repeated the slanderous allegation that the Irish delegation to the United Nations was comprised of Burgesses and McLeans, was unmindful of the moral and spiritual values of the Irish people, was advocating a recognition of conquest, was creating the impression that Ireland was going Communist and ganging up with the Communist bloc and was betraying Christianity by inviting the Russian delegation to the reception for the President in New York.
When Deputy Oliver Flanagan made that allegation in this House he was loudly cheered by all the Fine Gael Party. But Deputies will have noticed in this debate, apart from Deputy McGilligan who is always putting his foot in it, that most of the Fine Gael Deputies who spoke did not repeat there allegations. They pussyfooted a little bit. Deputy Cosgrave confined himself to saying he thought our attitude “was a mistake”. A mild one only. Deputy Esmonde said he thought it “was unfortunate” and he went on quickly to say: “I would like to be fair to the Minister about what he actually said which was misconstrued”.  He did not tell me I was “betraying the moral and spiritual values of the country”. He said across the House that he thought what I actually voted for was misconstrued. He did not say it was an “evil course” as Deputy McGilligan did; it was merely misconstrued.
Deputy Dillon, of course, took up not quite the vicious attitude of Deputy McGilligan and if Deputy McGilligan—I want to say this before I forget it—had to climb on to the bodies of his grandmothers and grandfathers for several generations to get a crack at Fianna Fáil he would do it. He is a low type who would climb on the body of a dead Pope to have a crack at Fianna Fáil. And Deputy McGilligan did that today.
Mr. Aiken: I take it Deputy Corish wants to join the next Coalition unless his Party has moved—is it to the Left or to the Right? I do not know whether his Party is moving to the Right or whether Fine Gael has gone over to the Left.
Mr. Aiken: “I do not know again why at the time of the Papal obsequies the Minister for External Affairs was kept hopping and hovering around the United Nations instead of being at home here to be allowed to go to Rome to play the part that the Minister for External Affairs might ordinarily play.” Is not that a pretty low-down piece of propaganda? The Government appointed the Tánaiste who was a senior Minister to me to represent the Government at the obsequies of the late Pope. Surely to God Deputy McGilligan should let the late Pope rest in peace and not be using his dead body as a ladder from the top of which  to throw bricks at Fianna Fáil. There are certain things that should not be said even by Deputy McGilligan.
Mr. Aiken: I shall come back to this point. I cast a similar vote nine months ago to that which I case in 1957 in favour of putting the Chinese representation question on the agenda for discussion. Fine Gael moved a vote of no confidence in 1957 but they have not moved a vote of no confidence about it since, although I repeated the vote nine months ago. Instead, they preferred to go around the country with these allegations, as Deputy Flanagan did in the Presidential election. They are afraid to face it in the House.
Deputy Cosgrave came in mildly on this question. I do not want to embarrass him but he had to come in and talk about what I had done in the United Nations. Though he did not approve of the line that Fine Gael was taking, he did not blame them for using this thing in the Presidential election and using an emotional letter from a priest who did not know the truth about what I had done. But when the question came up in 1956 as to whether the matter of Chinese representation would be put on the agenda Deputy Cosgrave representing Ireland gave as his excuse for voting against discussion of the matter at that time, the grief and horror there was at what had been carried out in Hungary a few days before. That was all the excuse he gave. The rest of his speech was a justification and a demand for putting it on the agenda for discussion at the appropriate time. This is what he said: “We admit there is a problem. We recognise that sooner or later in this assembly we have got to make up our minds whether we are going to leave the de facto Government of over 500,000,000 people without representation in the United Nations or whether we should try to come to some arrangement acceptable to the conflicting views which exist among us on this matter”.
If it was a mistake for me in 1957 and 1958 to vote for placing that item  on the agenda for discussion I would like to know was it not a mistake for Deputy Cosgrave to say, as Coalition Minister for External Affairs, that the matter should be discussed only that it was not appropriate to discuss it a few days after the Hungarian revolution and the tragic repression of the Hungarian people by the Russians. Deputy Cosgrave should really have kept off that subject. It is really too bad that he does not have the courage of his convictions and say that all the excuse he could think of for not discussing the matter in 1956 was to say: “We cannot do it now after Budapest.” He should really admit that it was not a mistake on my part but that I was perfectly correct in voting as I did because this was a matter which affects the peace of the world and a matter which there could be no justification for excluding from the debate of the U.N. assembly.
After all Deputy McGilligan's allegations about my “evil courses” and about my “betrayal of the moral and spiritual values of the country” and after all the speeches that were made round all the church doors and after sodality meetings in the Presidential election. Deputy Lynch comes in and denies today that they tried to brand the Minister for External Affairs as a Communist. I am very thankful to Deputy Lynch and I hope that Deputy Mulcahy and Deputy Sweetman will convey to him my best thanks for his certificate.
I have already put on the records of the House the reasons I voted to have the representation of China placed on the agenda back in 1957 and the reasons I voted for it in 1958 are contained in the booklet of my speeches for that year. I had them printed so that they would be handy for Fine Gael and so that we could see whether they had one word of criticism to say about one word that appeared in them. Deputy McGilligan tried his hand today, but, of course, it was lucky for me I had my little booklet to hand and I was able to pull him up on the spot when he was trying to misrepresent what I had said. However, as I said, I am convinced that as a representative of a nation, with our traditions, I  had no option in 1957 and 1958 but to vote for the placing on the agenda of a question as dangerously important as the question of the representation of China. I do not propose to go into all the issues involved in that question.
I spoke at length about the matter on 28th November, 1957, and I do not propose to repeat myself. As far as I am aware, the vote I gave for the discussion of the Chinese representation was never used by Communists to create the impression that Ireland was going Communist or ganging up with the Communists and, if they had used that propaganda, I would have been the first to get it. It would have been sent to me immediately, in gilt letters, but they never used it. It was left to the Christians, the people who call themselves Christians, like Deputy McGilligan, to say that our vote meant we were Communist, or were ganging up with the Communist bloc. Some of the papers which also describe themselves as Christian, and which broadcast these allegations, refused to publish a refutation, or even to publish the speeches I made in support of the motion.
I want to give as an example the Irish Independent. I spoke and voted in the United Nations for putting this item on the agenda—the question of Chinese representation— on 23rd September, 1957. It was not until October 8th that we were finally able, between pushing and shoving, to get the Independent to publish my speech, or a word of my speech, but between 23rd September and 8th October, it splashed all over the place, front page and back page, articles, letters——
Mr. Aiken: ——and speeches, misrepresenting what we had done, like the allegation of Deputy McGilligan, that we were going Communist, or were ganging up with Communists, and that we had betrayed the moral and spiritual values of the Irish people. All these were published day after day, articles and speeches, in the Independent from 23rd September to 8th October, but  not one word of what I had said in that debate. Finally, we pushed them into doing it and when I repeated the vote, in 1958 for want of more up-to-date material, the Independent splashed as a hot news item comments that had been made over a year before in the United States. They could not get any up-to-date comments condemning our attitude so they had to publish, as hot news, comments that had been made a year before, many of the commentators not knowing what I did and what I said about the vote. So much for the Independent. There were other journals worse than the Independent and I just want to give a couple of examples.
On 31st December, 1957, a colleague of mine, Senator Mullins, sent a letter to the Brooklyn Tablet and that letter, refuting allegations made in another letter to the paper, was refused publication, and they have never found space to publish it since. I want to put that letter on the record.
Who benefits from the allegations that the two-to-one vote in the Dáil in support of Mr. Aiken's stand at the United Nations is a proof that the large majority of the Dáil, comprising both Government and anti-Government deputies, were ‘cleverly but thoroughly brain-washed by Red sympathisers?’
Any of your readers sufficiently interested to read the Debate can order a copy of the Dáil Debates for the 28th November, 1957,  through any newsagent, if it is not available in their city Library.
Mr. Troy's other allegations of communism against the Irish representative and the Irish people are equally untrue, but that will not stop them from being quoted by enemies of Ireland. There wasn't a single Irish passport issued to any person young or old, to go to the Moscow Musical Festival, and Mr. Troy's story of ‘500 young people’ who got Irish passports and ‘came back singing the praises of the Communists’ is a figment of somebody's imagination.
The only censorship in Ireland is operated by the Censorship Board to shut out obscene and immoral publications. This censorship has been called, in Mr. Troy's words, “rigid and totalitarian” by those who think that all sorts of pornographic books and papers should be allowed free circulation in Ireland as in other countries. The Censorship Board have, of course, no right to stop the publication of political opinions such as those favourable or condemnatory of Ireland's attitude at the United Nations, and many of these including The Tablet's article of 28th September were in fact published in the Irish Papers and quoted in the Dáil Debates.
That letter was refused publication. The readers of The Tablet are still under the impression that 500 children got Irish passports to go to the Moscow Festival and that they came back singing “The Red Flag”. I would like to repeat Senator Mullins' question: “What good cause is being served by that type of stuff?”
I want to put on record another letter which was not published. In the June issue of this year, the Irish Digest published another slanderous attack, to which Senator Mullins replied on the 3rd June, a month ago; but his letter was not published in the July issue,  although they had it for a month; and up to this moment he can get no assurance that his letter in reply will ever be published. That is the reason I want to put it on the record. It is a letter of the 3rd June to the Editor of the Irish Digest and is as follows:
In your June issue you reproduced almost in entirety, an article by “Louise Horton” which appeared in The American Mercury in May, on the subject of the Irish Delegation's vote at the United Nations in favour of discussing the question of China's representation in that organisation.
This article claims that the vote in question “even one year later might still have remained unknown to a large majority in Ireland itself if it had not been for the strong persistent voice of one man.” The “one man” is a Dr. Maurice Leahy, of New York, to whose glorification the article is largely devoted. The article concludes by referring to an alleged “conspiracy of silence” by the Irish newspapers about this vote.
As you and your readers must be well aware, there was no such conspiracy of silence and the Irish newspapers reported the whole question from the beginning. Reports of the vote were prominently featured in the “Irish Press” and the “Irish Times” on 24th September, 1957. All the newspapers carried reports, comment and correspondence on later dates. The question was debated at length in the Dáil on 28th November, 1957, and that debate in turn was fully and prominently reported by all the Irish papers. It is surprising that an Irish magazine should now reproduce the claim of an American writer that it was only a year later, in October, 1958, that the question, through Dr. Leahy's agency, “finally cracked the silence of the Irish papers.”
The arguments put forward by “Louise Horton” have all been heard, in more lucid and intelligent form, in the controversy here, especially in the Dáil Debate, and have been answered. The ‘pros and cons’ of the whole discussion are very well set out in an article in  your contemporary Hibernia (for May, 1955) by Fr. Michael O'Neill of The Maynooth Mission to China.
Fr. O'Neill begins his article by noting that Mr. Aiken's vote was in favour, not of admission of the Peking Government but of a discussion of the question of Chinese representation. He goes on to quote from Mr. Aiken's Dáil speech and comments: “The charge that the Minister is unconcerned about the persecution of religion in China or that he is unmindful of the aggressive policies of the Peking Government, can scarcely be sustained in the light of his Dáil speech.” He states that Mr. Aiken was on firm ground in emphasising the importance of the Korean issue in connection with the question of Chinese representation and he adds: “If in 1957 the U.N. Assembly had agreed to discuss the seating of Communist China, Ireland would have asked, and here I quote Mr. Aiken's speech, ‘whether it was possible to get from the Chinese Communists not only the usual signed pledge, which includes the promise that they would “practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours,” but whether, as an earnest of the pledge they have to sign, they could be persuaded to give religious freedom to the Chinese people, withdraw from Korea, and allow a free united Korean Government to be elected, under United Nations supervision, for the whole of Korea’.”
Father O'Neill goes on to cite some of the arguments which are made in various quarters in favour of the admission of the Peking government and comments: “These are serious arguments and, it is only fair to add, they are put forward by intelligent and sincere men, whose attitude towards Communism is beyond suspicion.” He then sets out the arguments against the admission of the Peking government: that it would give the power of veto to another major Communist power, that it would be looked on in Peking as homage to the regime, and that it would lead to a strengthening of Communist influence on the periphery  of the Chinese colossus. His concluding words are: “There is no easy solution to the U.N. dilemma over China. One can only hope and pray that the final decision of statesmen on the matter, will both increase the authority and prestige of the United Nations and contribute to the peace of the world.”
It is evident that the intervention of people like “Louise Horton” in this field does not contribute in any way to such a solution. It is important to note that the viewpoint of “Louise Horton” is not that of the statesman who moulded the foreign policy of the American Government. “Louise Horton” claims that even a willingness to discuss this question would be to yield in a matter where “moral right and justice are concerned.”
The late John Foster Dulles on the other hand always made it clear that his approach to the question was a purely practical one and that he was prepared to recognise the Peking Government — and consequently admit them to the U.N.—if ever he was satisfied that it was in the interests of the United States to do so. In one of the last of the great series of his addresses on foreign policy he declared as follows:
“The objectives of our policy towards Communist China are the same as our objectives in respect to other aspects of our foreign policy, and that is to serve the enlightened interest of the United States.... Anytime it will serve the interest of the United States to recognise the Chinese Communist régime, we will do it. We are not controlled by dogma or anything of that sort. It's a very simple question: will it serve our interests and the interests of the free world and our allies, to whom we are committed, to grant recognition? If the answer to that is that it will help it, then we will recognise. If the answer is that it will not help it, then we will not recognise, and the answer today is no (Address to the National  Press Club in Washington reported in The New York Times, 17th January, 1958).”
The context in which these slanderous insinuations are made should however be known. The American Mercury for May, in which this article originally appeared, contains, as well as anti-Semitic and anti-negro material, violent attacks on a number of prominent people, who were alleged to be “Reds”. Thus, Einstein and Thomas Mann are supposed to have been “veteran fellow-travellers in the Communist front apparatus.” The Rockefellers, who are “financed by Zionist bankers” used their money “to soften China for Communism.” Even President Eisenhower and the late John Foster Dulles are accused by The American Mercury of treacherously aiding Communism:
“Eisenhower joined the Council on Foreign Relations and became associated with the Hiss-Field-Lattimore-Acheson-Dulles crew after Hiss had been indicted for perjury in connection with treason ... Peace, obviously, can be attained only by withdrawing the aid which our Government so treacherously has been giving to our communist enemies through its ‘internationalist’ schemes.”
By way of footnote, I should like to point out a significant difference between “Louise Horton's” article as it appeared in The American Mercury and as it appeared in the Irish Digest—a difference which cannot be accounted for by condensation. In the article as printed by  you “Louise Horton” says that Mr. Aiken's vote was praised by “one of the non-Catholic papers published in Ireland.”The American Mercury version—the version intended for American readers knowing little of Ireland—did not say “one of the non-Catholic newspapers published in Ireland.” It said “one of the Red newspapers published in Ireland.” To “Louise Horton” of course all men are “Red” who do not approve of Dr. Leahy—including the two to one majority of the Dáil who supported Mr. Aiken's stand for free discussion of all major international problems in the United Nations Organisation.
In conclusion, there is just one matter to which I want to refer. It is the attack made by Fine Gael through their mouthpiece, Deputy and former Parliamentary Secretary, Oliver Flanagan, on my action in inviting the Russian Delegate at the United Nations to the reception for President Ó Ceallaigh in New York last March. In addition to what I said in the reply I made to Deputy Flanagan when he raised this question on the 29th April, I wish to point out, in view of the Fine Gael effort to get county councils to condemn our action in inviting this Russian to the reception and particularly in view of the Fine Gael speeches in support of the Fine Gael resolution introduced at Westmeath County Council, that there were many precedents during the Fine Gael Coalition for this invitation.
I was present at a reception given in the Castle by the Fine Gael Taoiseach, the Coalition Taoiseach, at which 40 representatives, officials from Communist countries, were present. Yet, according to Deputy Flanagan, we betrayed Christian civilisation by inviting one. Deputy Flanagan was not repudiated by Fine Gael. They did not say to him “Deputy Flanagan, do not object because Mr. Aiken invited one in New York; we invited 40 in Dublin.” I was present, too, along with a Coalition Minister at a dinner given in  Dublin to a Russian Minister and his staff.
The Coalition Taoiseach and Minister for External Affairs gave many receptions in the United States. One was held in New York for the President to which the Russian delegates were invited by me last March, but that was not the first reception given by an Irish Minister in America to which the Russian delegates were invited. Dozens of them were given by the former Taoiseach and the former Minister for External Affairs to which, quite rightly and naturally, the Russian representatives were invited. I am convinced that the Coalition Government were perfectly right and sensible in so inviting them to these various functions, and I believe that most wise people who want to see some progress made towards peace will also agree.
In connection with this subject, I have here a cutting from the Boston Pilot, the official organ of the Boston Archdiocese. It is dated June 13th, 1959, and lest anybody might have thought the Coalition Government were wrong in inviting these Russian delegates, I want to put this article on record. It underlines their wisdom and points up something else. This is the quotation I want to give. The heading reads: “Cardinal Ottaviani Discourages Diplomatic ‘Isolation’ of Russia.” The article is written by Patrick J. Whelan from La Crosse, Wisconsin, and it is dated June 11th. It reads:—
When he was asked: “Would it do any good for the free nations of the world to isolate the Soviet Union?” he did not say that it would do good, that to do otherwise than isolate them would be “recognising conquest.” When he was asked: “Would it do any good for the free nations of the world to isolate the Soviet Union?” he did not say that not to isolate them would be letting down or “betraying the moral and spiritual values” of Ireland or any other country. He said: “Absolutely not; the most important thing is to keep in contact—not to close the Soviet Union off.”
There is no one, I think, who dislikes dictatorship of any kind more than I do. I am glad the day has gone when the Opposition used to wear the Fascist blue shirt. It is right that with the world as it is, being in a situation where we cannot make war to establish right because if we do we blot out everything, if people have a message to pass on, we should keep contact with those to whom we hope to deliver it. On the basis that you cannot have any contact and that it is betraying civilisation and spiritual values if contact takes place with people of whom you do not approve, St. Patrick would have stayed out of Ireland.
I believe we should keep in contact with all the countries who have power over the fate of the world whether for good or evil. We have no means of combating them or turning their energies to useful purposes except by keeping in contact with them and by encouraging them to negotiate and to evolve a system of world order based on peace and justice, the sort of peace that we want to achieve. I trust we  shall continue in our efforts like all sensible people and I pray God that the negotiations at present going on in Geneva between the Russians, the Americans, the British and others will be successful, and that the outcome will show some little step, however small, on the road to reducing tension and opening the way for a more stable peace which will be lasting and which will open up new possibilities for our children and an improved standard of life for people whose standard is very low at the present time.
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