HC Deb 20 November 1917 vol 99 cc1008-9
45. Mr. BYRNE

asked the Prime Minister if the Government by force of arms or peace negotiations will insist that Germany shall be compelled to yield to Belgium the rights which the British Government is prepared to concede voluntarily to Ireland, or whether the Government are in favour of giving both Belgium and Ireland the right of deciding for themselves without reference to foreign influences of any kind the form of government under which they prefer to live and the measure of freedom to which they are entitled; and whether the Government will not prevent such decision coming into operation immediately when the will of both nationalities, based so far as Ireland is concerned on the principles underlying the Representation of the People Bill now before the House, has been ascertained?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Bonar Law)

I can add nothing to the statements already made as to the intentions of the Government with regard to Ireland and to Belgium.


Have not Irishmen the same rights as Belgians?


I wish Belgians had the same rights as Irishmen.


I wish to ask a definite and precise question—would the right hon. Gentleman or the Government come to terms with Germany if Germany would agree now to constitute Belgium—


The hon. Member must give notice of that.


I will put it on the Paper.

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