§ THE EARL OF SELBORNE had given Notice to ask His Majesty's Government—
- 1. Whether the statement in The Times of 8th May is correct that a Minister representing the Irish Free State will shortly be appointed to Washington, and that His Majesty's Government has raised no objection to such an appointment;
- 2. Under what clause of the Irish Treaty will this appointment be made;
- 3. What stops His Majesty's Government propose to take to harmonise the representations of the British Ambassador and of the Free State Minister in respect of matters which concern both Great Britain and Ireland or the whole British Empire;
§ and to move for Papers.
§ The noble Earl said: My Lords, I have three Questions on the Paper, and I will not detain your Lordships long in ex plaining why I have given this Notice. The first Question admits of a perfectly simple answer—"whether the statement in The Times of 8th May is correct that a Minister representing the Irish Free State will shortly be appointed to Washington, and that His Majesty's Government has raised no objection to such an appointment." The second Question is:—"Under what clause of the Irish Treaty will this appointment be made." I suppose the answer to that Question will be a reference by my noble friend who leads the House——995
§ LORD PARMOOR
If not inconvenient might I say to the noble Earl that the Colonial Office, represented by Lord Arnold, will answer the first two Questions? The third must be answered from the Foreign Office.
THE EARL OF SELBOBNE
The answer by His Majesty's Government will be a reference to that clause of the Treaty in which the status of the Irish Free State is defined as being the same as the status of the Dominion of Canada. I think I am correct in saying that there certainly is no Article in the Treaty which directly deals with the appointment of a Minister at Washington or elsewhere. I think I am also correct in saying that the Dominion of Canada has not appointed any Minister at Washington, and, there fore, if the Irish Free State is now about to appoint a Minister at Washington, it is doing something which no Dominion has yet done.
That leads me to a brief consideration of the circumstances under which it could be said that the right to appoint a Minister at Washington is comprised within the ambit of the constitutional status of the Dominion of Canada. The information which Parliament has on this subject is very meagre. A11 we know about it is derived, I think, from an answer given by Mr. Bonar Law in the House of Commons, and by some words that fell from my noble friend Lord Long in this House when we were dealing with the Act of Parliament which embodied the Treaty.
My noble friend Lord Long will correct me if I unintentionally make a misstatement. I think the Imperial Conference which took place at the time of the late Government but one never came to any resolution at all on the subject of the appointment of Dominion Ministers at Washington. There was no resolution of the Conference. There was no definition by the Conference of the circumstances under which a Minister could be so appointed, but an arrangement—I am afraid a vague arrangement—of rather an informal character was come to between His Majesty's Government and the Dominion of Canada that the Dominion Government should, if they chose, appoint a Minister at Washington. It followed from that, as I think General Smuts has said in South Africa, that if 996 the Dominion of Canada could appoint a Minister Plenipotentiary at Washington it was open to any other Dominion to appoint a Minister Plenipotentiary at Washington, or at any other capital.
That consideration leads me to my third Question, which really is the point to which I wish particularly to draw the attention of His Majesty's Government:What steps His Majesty's Government propose to take to harmonise the representations of the British Ambassador and of the Free State Minister in respect of matters which concern both Great Britain and Ireland or the whole British Empire.The first question that arises is: For what purpose will the Irish Free State appoint a Minister at Washington? Is that purpose to be carefully defined as the interest of purely Irish concerns, or, I should rather say, of Irish concerns so far as they relate to those counties of Ireland that are within the Government of the Free State? Obviously, not the whole of Ireland is concerned, but only that part of Ireland which is within the Free State. If the Minister is to be appointed to deal with purely Irish concerns, and no other, has the definition of "a purely Irish concern" been thought out, and if thought out has it been agreed to by the Free State Government? Because if that is the idea, then surely everything—and we all wish to avoid future friction—depends upon an accurate definition, and one which is an agreed definition.
But if that is not the idea, if the idea is that the Mission of the Free State Minister should be less circumscribed, then I do ask the House and His Majesty's Government to consider all that is involved. A question may very well concern Ireland and Great Britain, or Canada and Great Britain, or Ireland and the whole Empire, or Canada and the whole Empire, and when once the possibility is suggested of more than one Minister at the same capital dealing independently with a common subject, the extraordinary difficulty and danger of the arrangement at once becomes manifest. There is no need to impute for one single moment an intention on the part of any Minister, or any Government, to create trouble. I do not suggest that for a moment, but I do say that without previous consultation and agreement it is perfectly impossible for two individuals, much less for two Governments, to 997 approach a difficult question from the same angle, or to give expression to the same opinion through a third party.
This appointment is a precedent which may be followed, and we are, I think, bound to consider the full extent of development to which this precedent may lead us. It might conceivably lead to six or seven (if India had the same privilege) Ministers Plenipotentiary, in addition to a British Ambassador, being present in the five or six great capitals of the world. Let us consider a less enlarged extension of the precedent. Let us suppose that at the time of the American Civil War there had been in Washington, in addition to a British Ambassador, several Ministers Plenipotentiary drawn from the different Dominions of the Empire. Dangerous and difficult as our relations with America at that time were, is it not quite manifest that the difficulty would have been multiplied, and the dangers enlarged to a degree which one almost, trembles to think of? Yet, if that kind of situation would have existed at the time of the American Civil War, what right have we to flatter ourselves that no situation of similar difficulty or similar danger can ever in the future recur at Washington or some other capital?
Therefore, the point I want to emphasise with all the earnestness in my power is that His Majesty's Government should use the whole of their influence, not to allow this development, or experiment as I really must call it, to be launched haphazard. It should only be done: deliberately and after a complete and mutual understanding between the Dominions—not one Dominion, not the Irish. Free State only, but between all the Dominions of the British Empire—and His Majesty's Government as to how these dangers are to be avoided, bow the action of their Ministers is to be harmonized with the action of His Majesty's Government. Above all, there should be, by mutual agreement, an exact limitation of the action and responsibility of each representative. If these precautions are neglected I do not think it requires any foresight to see that when a real crisis arises, and you have several Ministers and Ambassadors taking their instructions from several different Governments which are not in organised communication and which have not arrived at a common agreement beforehand, disaster must ensue. I beg to move.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (LORD ARNOLD)
My Lords, the noble Earl has put down on the Paper three specific Questions regarding the representation of the Irish Free State at Washington. In my reply I shall confine myself to the first two of these Questions, and the third, which falls more naturally within the purview of the Foreign Office, will be dealt with by my noble and learned friend, the Lord President of the Council.
The noble Earl's first Question is whether it is correct that a Minister representing the Irish Free State will shortly be, appointed to Washington, and that His Majesty's Government has raised no objection to such an appointment. I am not yet in a position to say that the Irish Free State will be represented by a Minister at Washington, inasmuch as the views of the, United States Government on this proposal have not yet been ascertained; but His Majesty's Government have instructed the British Ambassador at Washington to inform the United States Government that they have come to the conclusion it is desirable that the conduct of matters at Washington exclusively relating to the Irish Free State should be confided to a Minister Plenipotentiary accredited to the United States, and they trust that this proposal will be found acceptable to the United States Government.
The noble Earl's second Question is under what clause of the Irish Treaty will this appointment be made. I am not prepared to admit that it is necessary that every development in the constitutional relations between the Irish Free State and this country should be specifically provided for in the Treaty; it is sufficient that any such development should not be contrary to the Treaty; but in fact this proposal is by implication clearly covered by Article 2 of the Treaty which provides that the position of the Irish Free State in relation to the Imperial Parliament and Government and otherwise shall be that of the Dominion of Canada. It will be within the recollection of your Lordships that on May 10, 1920, the then Lord Privy Seal, Mr. Bonar Law, announced in another place that an arrangement had been concluded between the British and Canadian Governments to provide more complete representation at Washington of Canadian interests 999 than had hitherto existed, and that it had been accordingly agreed that His Majesty, on the advice of His Canadian Ministers, should appoint a Minister Plenipotentiary who would have charge of Canadian affairs and would at all times be the ordinary channel of communication with the United States Government in matters of purely Canadian concern, acting upon instructions from, and reporting direct to, the Canadian Government. The principle of distinctive representation at Washington having been agreed to in 1920 in the case of Canada, it must clearly, under the terms of Article 2 of the Treaty, be regarded as inherent in the constitutional status of the Irish Free State; and even had His Majesty's Government not been convinced that the appointment of such a Minister was desirable in itself, they would have felt bound, in view of the Canadian precedent and the terms of the Treaty, to agree to make proposals to the United States Government in the sense desired by the Government of the Irish Free State.
But I should, as I have already suggested, be unwilling that your Lordships should suppose that this proposal has been made to the United States Government solely as an automatic result of the Treaty and without consideration of its intrinsic merits. The proposal for the distinctive representation of Canada at Washington was made in consideration of the great and special importance of Canadian interests in the United States: and this consideration applies with almost equal force to the case of the Irish Free State. It is true that the Canadian Government has not yet availed itself of the arrangement made in 1920, but this does not affect the principle. The direct and particular interests of the Irish Free State in the United States are such that His Majesty's Government concur with the Government of the Irish Free State in thinking that these interests can be most conveniently handled by a Minister of their own. It is clearly understood that the powers of the Irish Free State Minister are strictly limited to matters and interests relating exclusively to the Irish Free State.
§ LORD PARMOOR
My Lords, it will probably be convenient if I reply to the, third Question asked by the noble Earl. It is one of great importance as 1000 regards our diplomatic relations in the future and I have been asked to answer it directly on behalf of the Foreign Office. I appreciate the difficulties to which the noble Earl has referred, but I hope I shall be able to show by the answer that they have been provided against to a great extent. You can have no absolute provision against all possible complications, but in this case every possible provision will be made and I do not think any difficulty will, in fact, arise. The noble Earl's third Question is:—What steps His Majesty's Government propose to take to harmonise the representations of the British Ambassador and of the Free State Minister in respect of matters which concern both Great Britain and Ireland or the whole British Empire.My noble friend who has just spoken has indicated in his reply that the powers of the Irish Free State Minister will be confined strictly to matters relating exclusively to the Irish Free State.
I desire to explain a little more fully, on behalf of the Foreign Office, the arrangements which it is proposed to make if the United States Government agree to the proposals made to them by His Majesty's Government in this matter and agrees to accept a Minister Plenipotentiary at Washington representing the interests of the Irish Free State, As the noble Lord has already pointed out, that step has not yet been taken on behalf of the United States. If, then, the United States Government concur in the proposals, the Irish Free State Minister will receive his credentials in the usual manner from His Majesty, his letter of appointment being issued by the Free State Government, Both documents will make it clear that his appointment is for the purpose of dealing with matters especially affecting the Irish Free State, The principle of the Resolution of the Imperial Conference of 1923 as to the negotiation, signature and ratification of Treaties, and in particular of that part of the Resolution which relates to the conduct of matters affecting more than one part of the Empire, will apply-generally to all questions with which the Minister deals. If any doubt should arise whether any particular question exclusively concerned the Free State, the point would, if possible, be settled by consultation between the Free State Minister and the Ambassador, and, if the matter could not be settled by such consultation, it 1001 would be referred by the Ambassador and the Minister to their respective Governments.
In order to meet the possibility that any particular question might in its initial stages be exclusively of concern to the Free State and might subsequently prove to be of concern to other parts of the Empire, explicit instructions will be issued by the Free State Government to the Minister that he is to keep in close touch with the Ambassador, and corresponding instructions will be issued to the Ambassador by His Majesty's Government.
These arrangements are designed with the view of limiting the representative of the Free State to Irish questions only, and have been agreed as the result of personal consultation between the representatives of His Majesty's Government and Mr. Fitzgerald, the Minister for External Affairs of the Irish Free State, who has recently been in London for the purpose of such consultation.
Before I sit down I should wish to refer to a matter which has already been touched upon by my noble friend, Lord Arnold—namely, the effect which this proposal will have upon the very important principle of the diplomatic unity of the Empire. In the instructions issued to His Majesty's Ambassador it has been made clear that these proposals do not denote any departure from this principle. While, on the one hand, it should be understood that the Irish Free State Minister will take his instructions solely from his own Government, so that the Minister will not be under the control of the Ambassador nor will the Ambassador be responsible for what is done by the Minister, on the other hand, the Minister will not be concerned with Imperial questions. His Majesty's Government are confident that this appointment will strengthen cordial relations with the United States without in any way impairing the principle, to which His Majesty's Government attach the greatest importance, of the diplomatic unity of the whole of the British Empire.
§ THE MARQUESS CURZON OF KEDLESTON
My Lords, I speak with some anxiety upon a departure which, in the form in which it has been announced to us, is obviously one of first class importance, and may have long and resounding 1002 effects in the history of the British Empire. I say I speak with some anxiety, because until I came down to the House I had no idea of the exact form which the reply of the Government was going to take, and because I had not anticipated that it would take the particular form which we have just heard. It is true, as has been pointed out, that the Government in dealing with this matter did not come to a ground that was wholly unoccupied or uncompromised by the action of their predecessors. It is true that in May, 1920—I think that was the date—Mr. Bonar Law announced, on behalf of the then Government, that His Majesty's Government had agreed to the appointment of a Canadian Minister at Washington.
I recall the circumstances under which that decision was arrived at. It was pointed out that the relations of the Dominion of Canada with Washington differed wholly, both in kind and degree, from those of any other Dominion in the British Empire; that the territories of the two Powers were co-terminous for over three thousand miles; that questions relating to trade, to industry, to fisheries, to property, and so on, were continually and daily arising between the two Governments; that hitherto they had been treated by a special Canadian Commissioner stationed at Washington, but that an enhancement of his status would facilitate the satisfactory conduct of affairs between the two Governments. Those were the views that were very strongly pressed upon the Government here by the Canadian Government. They were very strongly endorsed by the then Secretary of State for the Colonies, who, if I remember rightly, was Lord Milner. I hope I am not stating a secret that I ought not to reveal if I say that they were viewed with great apprehension by the Foreign Office, and that it was only with extreme reluctance that the Foreign Office, in view of the sort of considerations that have been, suggested by Lord Selborne this afternoon, acquiesced in this proposal.
But what happened then? The proposal having been agreed to, it fell to the ground almost immediately, and for these reasons. In the first place, the Canadian Government itself began to doubt the wisdom of taking advantage of the prerogative which it had scoured; 1003 secondly, it found—I believe that tentative advances were made—great difficulty in securing a proper person to accept the appointment; and in the third place, the attitude of the United States Government, to which I will turn in a moment, was itself doubtful. A further difficulty occurred which had a very wide Imperial bearing, and that was that, when this matter came up to be discussed at the Imperial Conference in London, we found that the Prime Ministers of the other Dominions had the strongest objection to anything of the sort. I recall that Mr. Bruce, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia, said that Australia wanted nothing of the kind. Mr. Massey, whose strong Imperial views are very well known, objected even more emphatically than Mr. Bruce, and there was therefore a general feeling that although this concession had been made to Canada—whether wisely or unwisely, it is too late to discuss now—it was one that, in view of the reluctance of Canada itself and in view of the plainly expressed antagonism of the other Dominions, it was desirable not to pursue.
That was the situation of affairs when His Majesty's present advisers took office, and that was the situation which confronted us until we received the statement of the two noble Lords this afternoon. We have heard from them firstly, that they are in agreement with the policy; secondly, that they have communicated that expression of their views to the Government of the Irish Free State; and, thirdly, that they have gone so far as to make a representation to the American Government that they are prepared, subject to the consent of the latter, to make such an appointment. In those circumstances, I think the United States Government may find it a little difficult, whatever their feelings may be, to disagree. However, I can offer no opinion about that, because the sequel remains to be seen.
What is the justification that is offered? We were told by the noble Lords that they felt that the interests of Ireland in America differed from those of other Dominions of the Crown, and apparently could be regarded as having a certain substantial identity with those of Canada. Is that so? It is true that there are many Irish emigrants to the United States, and that the Irish population there is very 1004 large and, I believe, politically very inconvenient. It is true also that questions of property and inheritance may arise, but I do not think there is any real substantial identity between the degree of interest which Canada has in the United States and the degree of interest which the Irish Free State will have in the United States.
Then we come to the actual procedure to be adopted. The noble Lord told us that if the Americans accept the suggestion, the future Minister Plenipotentiary is to receive his credentials from His Majesty's Government, and a letter of appointment from the Irish Free State. Then, assuming his appointment, he goes out there, and what is he to do? What is the limit of his power? Here, both noble Lords repeated the same sentence, which is that he is to be qualified to have the right to deal with matters exclusively relating to the Irish Free State. How is it possible to arrive at, or even if you accept, to adhere to, any such definition?
Let me give your Lordships one case which occurs to me. Let us suppose that the Minister Plenipotentiary desires to conclude a commercial Treaty, involving new trading arrangements, with the United States. The moment a question of that sort is raised, although the Irish Minister Plenipotentiary may look at it from the point of view of the Irish Free State, the interests of every part of the British Empire become involved. The matter ceases to be a domestic and becomes an Imperial matter, and the only solution which we get of a difficulty of that sort is that we are told that a consultation is to take place between the Minister Plenipotentiary and the Ambassador, and that in the event of that resulting in nothing the matter is to be referred to His Majesty's Government. I think your Lordships will find that this attempt to build a wall between matters exclusively affecting the Irish Free State and matters outside that boundary will be one exceedingly difficult to maintain.
Another aspect of the case occurs to me, which I think was hinted at by my noble friend, and that is the personal relations that will exist between the Minister Plenipotentiary for the Irish Free State and His Majesty's Ambassador. The noble Lord said that these gentlemen will, he is confident, get along quite well, and in so far as two British 1005 officials of high position and status are put, side by side to serve the Empire we may rely upon each doing his best in that direction. I can well conceive, however, a case, as policy develops, where the representative of the Irish Free State may, under instructions from his Government, be pursuing a policy quite different from that which commends itself to Great Britain. I can imagine political matters where you may have a situation in which your Ambassador at Washington and. the Irish Minister Plenipotentiary, in the same building or near each other, may be pursuing opposite policies, fraught with friction and possibly danger to the common interest. That difficulty is not solved by saying that the Minister is not under the control of the Ambassador and the Ambassador is not responsible for the Minister. On the contrary, those words demonstrate the gravity of the case which I am putting, and indicate the sort of situation that may conceivably arise.
The only other point I desire to take is that raised by my noble friend. Here is a matter which obviously cannot and ought, not to be decided in the interests, or from the point of view, of one Dominion only. You have Ireland pressing for this concession and, I think, under the terms of Article 2 saying, not unnaturally, that as they were put upon the same status—Dominion status—as Canada, they are entitled to demand the same privilege as in May, 1920, was conceded to Canada although not taken advantage of by her. Is it wise to conclude this arrangement with Ireland only? I must confess I should have thought that this was emphatically a matter for the Imperial Conference—for Imperial unity and for an Imperial plan—that you should have said to the Dominion Representatives: "We are rather compromised by what we did with regard to Canada in 1920, although Canada has not taken advantage of it, and here is Ireland demanding the same privilege now. We, realise that that raises a question of great importance to all of you. Whether you want to take advantage of it or not you may be driven, when the first representative goes there, to do the same. Public, opinion in your Parliament or country may demand that you shall not be put into a position inferior to that of the Irish Free State."
1006 That being the ease, I should have thought that no agreement ought to have been arrived at until you had put the whole ease before the Prime Ministers of the other Dominions and endeavoured to settle the case not piecemeal, as yon are doing, but on a general and Imperial plan. Those are the observations that occur to me to make on the spur of the moment, in reply to the statement that has just been made, and I am bound to say that they lead me to view the situation that you are about to create with no small apprehension as to its consequences in the future.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT HALDANE)
My Lords, I have listened closely to the speech of the noble Marquess, and in the one or two observations which I should like to make in reply I may say that I have been a little, perplexed in following his argument to know precisely what he was aiming at—what was his policy. I gather that he does not deny to a Dominion with full Dominion status the right to claim to appoint a diplomatic representative at Washington. In fact, that right, as he has told us, his Government conceded in the case of Canada. It is immaterial that advantage was not taken of it. I am far from reproaching the noble Marquess for having taken part in that decision. On the contrary. I think it was an inevitable decision. It is impossible to govern these Dominions otherwise than in accordance with their own will and their own wishes. They may go out oil it, but within the Empire they have a status which leaves them very large rights indeed.
The whole obscurity of this ease arises from the impossibility of giving a definite meaning to the expression "Dominion status." I have had, I suppose, in the course of my legal work, as much opportunity as anybody of having to realise-the vagueness of this phrase "Dominion status." We all know that in the case of Canada, for instance, she cannot legislate in excess of the powers delegated to her. But then these powers are very wide, and they have enabled her to build up a system of government in respect of which she is entitled to claim that she is perfectly free, morally and in reality, and that if she wishes to have a diplomatic representative in Washington she 1007 can claim to have one. If you come to ask how the powers are to be defined, then you are up against an insoluble question. The noble Marquess did not try to give a definition. The noble Earl, Lord Selborne, asked for a definition, but it was a request with which it was impossible to comply, because the thing is indefinable.
What the result will be of appointing a diplomatic representative depends upon Dominion status. It does not follow that because Dominion status cannot be defined, therefore things will happen which go over the line and imperil the unity of the Empire. The unity of the Empire is kept on the basis of freedom. It is because we give freedom to the Dominions to manage their own affairs that we hold them together, and that they hold together with us. There is an understanding, an unwritten understanding, which cannot be reduced to writing, but which depends on common purposes and common ends, which solve our problems for us in practice. It is on that that you rely in this case. I know—I have seen—how often small questions arise owing to the very vagueness of this unwritten Imperial Constitution. But I have also seen how these things solve themselves because there are ends and objects so potent that they mould the whole, and the details adjust themselves to the requirements of facts.
In the case of Ireland it was answered to Lord Selborne—who, to do him justice, did not press the point—that it is not under the provisions of the Treaty that this request was acceded to. It was for this reason—that Ireland has been given Dominion status, a status analagous to that of Canada. It is quite true that Australia and New Zealand have not asked for the recognition of diplomatic representation on their part at Washington. But they might do so, and, if they did so, I could see myself no answer to their request. It is involved in the possession of Dominion status. That was established by the noble Marquess himself when he, or rather the Government to which he belonged, acceded to the request of Canada, and the same principle will apply to Australia or New Zealand. The question has not arisen because they had not sufficient interest in the matter. In the case of the Irish Free 1008 State it has arisen. The Irish Free State has taken the view—and it is for them to take the view, and not for us to criticise it—that they want a diplomatic representative at Washington. Ireland has special relations with the United States, and if the presence of a diplomatic representative will facilitate those relations, and make them even better than they are at the present time, then we may all be thankful.
I have not forgotten the time of our unfortunate relations with Ireland, when the so-called Treaty was the result of the compromise that was made between the old attitude towards Ireland and the new attitude embodied in the Act of 1922. We are all thankful to have got away from the conditions of civil war, and back to a state of things which is, at least, very much better than the old condition of things. Doubtless, there may be friction between the Imperial representative and the Irish representative. I should hope not. It is a matter depending upon the tact of both sides, and if there are untactful representatives there may be friction; if, on the other hand, they are wise men, there ought not to be. But as for asking for any precise definition of anything such as Lord Selborne asked for, it is to ask for something which is wholly inconsistent with the unwritten Constitution which is the Constitution of the Empire—a Constitution which precludes the giving of precise definition. Therefore, your Lordships are again up against the old conflict of policy, with which the noble Marquess himself had to deal, and which ended in his being compelled to accede to the Canadian request. It is no use saying that Canada has a special position, owing to its long frontier with the United States. Ireland has relations with America of a different kind.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
Well, I mean the Irish Free State. The rest they leave to be managed by the Imperial Government, But the Irish Free State has questions of its own kind which it has to deal with, and those questions, I think, inevitably will have to be dealt with according to the common plan and the common pattern which governs us in our relations with the Dominions.
§ THE EARL OF SELBORNE
My Lords, I do not intend to press my Motion for Papers. I would only like to say, in conclusion, that I associate myself entirely with the criticisms made by my noble friend Lord Curzon, and I ask the House to note the real gist of the Lord Chancellor's speech. He prophesies that there will be no friction or trouble, and that there is no danger of friction or trouble. All I have got to say is that in my judgment his opinion is in direct conflict with the whole teaching of history.
§ THE EARL OF SELBORNE
Without careful preliminary precautions for the prevention of misunderstanding, the prevention of international offence, I say the danger is very real. I do not agree with the noble and learned Viscount that no definitions are possible. I admit the accuracy of his statement that, within the very vague and unwritten Constitution of the British Empire, logical definitions, such as you would find in the French Code, are not possible, but it is a long way from admitting that to admitting also that no understandings binding on reasonable people are possible. The noble and learned Viscount on the Woolsack never attempted to deal with the point so clearly and emphatically made by the noble Marquess, Lord Curzon, that this was a question which did not affect Great Britain and the Irish Free State only but affected all the Dominions of the whole Empire. I join emphatically in the protest that I think the noble Marquess, Lord Curzon, meant to register, that such a matter should have been settled or should be in danger of being settled between two parties only in a partnership where at least seven are involved.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.