HC Deb 04 April 1921 vol 140 cc13-5
27. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Prime Minister whether any further progress has been made towards bringing about peace in and with Ireland?

42 and 43. Mr. HOGGE

asked the Prime Minister (1) whether since Christmas he has entered into any negotiations, direct or indirect, with the Irish Sinn Fein leaders; if so, with what result;

(2) whether he will endeavour to arrange an immediate truce in the Irish war, with a view to negotiating a settlement?

45. Major BARNES

asked the Prime Minister if the Government will exhaust the possibility of making a peaceful settlement in Ireland by offering the President of Dail Eireann facilities for convening under a safe conduct a meeting of that body to appoint representatives to discuss with the Government the future government of Southern Ireland subject to the three conditions laid down by him; if so, whether he will invite Mr. Arthur Griffiths to convey the offer and, on his agreement, release him for that purpose; and if he will give the names of the members of Dail Eireann who on account of being charged with crimes cannot be permitted to take part in such a meeting?


I am continuing to watch the situation most carefully, but no useful purpose would be served by adding anything to what has already been said on the subject.


Have there been negotiations, direct or indirect, with Sinn Feiners?


I have really dealt with this fully in the course of discussion, and have withheld nothing from the House on the subject. I have informed the House of Commons of everything that has taken place as far as I can, recollect.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Are we to understand that since the right hon. Gentleman made his last full statement he has taken no further steps at all and is contenting himself with observing the situation? Has nothing further been done at all?


I do not think it would help the object the hon. and gallant Gentleman has in view if I were to state everything that has been done in order to ascertain whether Irish opinion is prepared for a settlement. I have only to repeat to the House of Commons what I have said so often—that the moment Irish opinion is prepared to negotiate, and to discuss the matter, they will find the Government quite agreeable to meet them.


Are there any negotiations now?



Lieut-Commander KENWORTHY

Do the Government yet realise that force alone will not settle this question, and are they trying any other method?


Yes, the Government of Ireland Act, 1920.