HC Deb 06 July 1916 vol 83 cc1634-6
3 Major NEWMAN

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland (1) whether on the 25th ultimo a resolution was passed by the Queenstown (County Cork) Council that they strongly protested against the acceptance of the proposals of the Minister of Munitions as constituting a betrayal of the cause of their country, for which the Irish race and its leaders had laboured and made sacrifices since the union; whether their protest has been conveyed to those at present negotiating a settlement of the Home Rule question on the basis of a partition of Ireland; (2) whether at a specially convened meeting of the Cork County Council, held on the 23rd ultimo, a resolution was passed protesting against the exclusion of part of Ulster from the Government of Ireland Act as unjustifiable, and only to be accepted provided the exclusion was of a temporary nature, with satisfactory fiscal provisions, and accompanied by a complete amnesty for all republican prisoners, immediate suspension of martial law, and a promise that the excluded counties be allowed no executive of their own; whether he will bring to the notice of the Cabinet this considered resolution of an official Nationalist body; (3) whether, in addition to those who had previously registered their protest, the following local authorities have expressed their disapproval of the proposed settlement of the Home Rule question: Fermanagh County Council; Castlebar, Cootehill, Bandon, Claremorris, Newry, Pembroke, Wexford, Monaghan, Milford, Listowel, Kinsale, Mullingar, Ida, Queens-town, Belmullet, and Rathkeale urban and district councils; Kenmare, Bantry, Kin-sale, Athy, Dungarvan, Cavan, Killarney, Portumna, Clonmel, Listowel, Baillie-borough, Borrisokane, and Westport boards of guardians; and the Limerick and Sligo trade and labour councils; if so, whether he will bring this fact to the knowledge of the Government; and (4) whether between 5th and 29th June more than thirty branches of the United Irish League from all parts of the country passed resolutions hostile to the proposals for a settlement of the Irish question on the lines recently formulated by the Minister of Munitions; and whether any of these resolutions have reached him and been conveyed by him to the Government?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

The resolutions referred to have not yet been received.

55. Sir W. BYLES

asked the Prime Minister whether he will be able to make a statement to-day, or, if not, will he say how soon, on the progress of the negotiations for a new Irish Government?

56 and 57. Major HUNT

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether the Ulster Unionist Council, before coming to its decision thereon, were assured that the proposals of the Minister of Munitions had the unanimous approval of the Government; and (2) whether his attention has been called to the meeting of the Irish Nationalist Directory and to the resolution passed that the proposals of the Minister of Munitions should be accepted as the best means of carrying on the fight for a united self-governing Ireland; and, in view of this, does he still intend to go on with the proposals?


asked what proposals have been made on behalf of His Majesty's Government to the Irish leaders with a view to a settlement of the Irish; question in the interest of all concerned; and what progress has been made in connection therewith?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Asquith)

I hope to make a statement with regard to these matters on Monday next.


Before my right hon. Friend makes his statement, will he consult the Liberal party with regard to the settlement?

Major HUNT

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House that the Cabinet were unanimous about these proposals? Has he really forgotten that, too, already?


I never made any statement of the kind.


As Question No. 56 affects me personally, may I say that no such statement was made to the Ulster Council?


Altogether apart from the proposals that were made to the Irish leaders, and the prospective statement which we are to hear, are there not other people in the United Kingdom apart from the two Irish leaders who are interested in knowing what proposals were submitted to the leaders?


I shall make the statement on Monday.