Mr. J. H. THOMAS
I have no further statement to make except that the position still remains that the United Kingdom Government are desirous of a friendly settlement provided that it proceeds on the basis of the acceptance of the validity of existing obligations.
§ Mr. LUNN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there has been a general election and that the people of the Irish Free State have expressed their confidence in Mr. de Valera and, in view of the strong desire for a settlement, both in Ireland and in this country, will he not initiate negotiations with the new Government?
The hon. Gentleman has given notice of a question, and I assumed that he would wait for a reply.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Gentleman did send me notice of that question. I saw there was one of a similar kind on the Paper, so I could not allow him to put it.
That being so, out of courtesy to the hon. Gentleman, I will say that the position of the Government is that honourable obligations have been entered into between two parties, and we believe that they should be the basis of any future negotiations. I have never hesitated to say that we are ready to enter into negotiations, but it must be on the basis that, having made an agreement, they must keep their agreement.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied with the results of the policy of the Government up to now?