HC Deb 23 February 1922 vol 150 cc2086-7
Colonel NEWMAN (by Private Notice)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the decision reached by Ard Fheis in Dublin yesterday, it is the intention of the Government to ask this House to proceed with the Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill?

Major C. LOWTHER (by Private Notice)

asked whether the attention of the Colonial Secretary has been drawn to an agreement concluded between the different parties in the Irish Free State to postpone indefinitely the holding of an election; what effect this decision will have on the policy of His Majesty's Government; and whether he will consider postponing the further considera- tion of the Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill?


We have not sufficient information regarding what took place in Dublin yesterday to enable us to form a judgment as to the course which should be pursued. We have invited Irish Ministers and signatories of the Treaty to come to London for an early conference on the whole situation.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say, for the information of the House, whether he is prepared, now to modify his anticipatory programme of last Thursday as to the course of events during the next few months?

Colonel NEWMAN

Is it the intention of the Government to ask the House to proceed with the Irish Bill on Monday?


In reply to my right hon. Friend the Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir H. Craik), of course, I made it plain that the programme and time table which I gave were subject to variation, at any rate, in their intermediate stages. As far as the question of business, asked by my hon. and gallant Friend opposite. (Colonel Newman), is concerned, that will be dealt with in due course by the Leader of the House.

Lieut.-Colonel CROFT

In view of this hiatus that is likely to be created, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will now continue the policy of withdrawing all protection from Ireland?


I had better take some opportunity of making a statement on the subject.