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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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" * The Articles of the 1921 Treaty that gave most offence,
were these *—
that is to say, the two Articles I have just read—
c because they meant that part of our territory was still in
British occupation/
After most careful consideration of all the circumstances, and
after due consultation with the Chiefs of Staff, we came to the
conclusion that a friendly Ireland was worth far more to us
both in peace and in war than these paper rights which could
only be exercised at the risk of maintaining and perhaps
increasing their sense of grievance; and so we have agreed
that, subject to Parliamentary confirmation, these Articles
shall be repealed, and that the ports shall be handed over
unconditionally to the Government of Eire. We do that as an
act of faith, firmly believing that that act will be appreciated
by the people of Eire, and that it will conduce to good rela-
tions. I would remind hon. Members that again in the course
of the speech to which I have referred, Mr. de Valera repeated
what he had said on more than one occasion before, namely,
that the Eire Government would not permit Irish territory
to be used as a base by any foreign Power for an attack upon
this country. He further announced his intention to put those
ports into a proper state of defence so that he could implement
that assurance*
" I think I need say no more upon the Agreements, but I
would like to say one or two words about the position of
Northern Ireland. I have already told the House that we
declined altogether to discuss the question of partition, and
the Government of Northern Ireland were of opinion that the
other matters which were the subject of agreement were not
within their competence. At the same time, they did make
representations to us that it was possible that some provisions
in our Agreement with Eire might materially and injuriously
affect their economic interests in Northern Ireland, and they
pressed us repeatedly to do all that we possibly could to safe-
guard those interests for them. We listened to what they had
to say on that subject with very great sympathy. We were
extremely anxious that Northern Ireland should not suffer in