HC Deb 15 March 1922 vol 151 c2182
47. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the Prime Minister if he will assure the House that the Constitution of the Irish Free State when drafted by the Provisional Government will at once be submitted to Parliament, so that the said Constitution may be approved by Parliament and, if necessary, amended before being submitted to the Irish electorate for acceptance?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Churchill)

No, Sir. The Constitution must necessarily be submitted to Parliament before the Free State is established, but I cannot undertake that it will be so submitted before it is submitted to the Irish electorate.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say how the full freedom of Parliament to deal with the Irish Constitution, promised by the Prime Minister, will be secured if the Constitution is first submitted to the Irish electorate? It is a very important matter, and I think we ought to know.


It has been repeatedly said that the Constitution will be drafted in Ireland by the Irish, just as the Canadian Constitution was prepared over there, but the ultimate Bill ratifying that Constitution will have to receive the assent of Parliament.


But is it not an outrage on the freedom of Parliament if it is not asked to approve the Constitution before having it submitted to the Irish electorate, after which it will have no control, except to take it or leave it?

Rear-Admiral ADAIR

Does this not really mean that this Constitution will be arranged by Sinn Feiners and rammed down the throats of this House in the same way as the Treaty Bill?

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