§ 15. Mr. OSWALD LEWIS
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he has any further statement to make on the subject of our relations with the Irish Free State?
§ 14. Mr. DAVID GRENFELL
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether any negotiations have been entered into during the recess for the settlement of outstanding difficulties between this country and the Irish Free State?
17. Mr. VYVYAN ADAMS
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he has any statement to make with regard to matters outstanding between the Irish Free State and ourselves?
§ 18. Mr. HANNON
asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether any proposals have been submitted by His Majesty's Government in the Irish Free State during the recess for the renewal of negotiations with the object of the settlement of the existing disputes between this country and the Irish Free State?
The SECRETARY of STATE for DOMINION AFFAIRS (Mr. J. H. Thomas)
No negotiations have taken place with the Irish Free State on the subject of the outstanding disputes. The position remains that, as I have previously stated, we are ready at any time to enter into negotiations with the Irish Free State Government for the settlement of all outstanding questions if a satisfactory basis for discussion can be found.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Seeing that the 'Government are stating all over the country that now is not the time to divide up into parties and that we should co-operate, is not this the time to extend 10 the right hand of friendship to the Irish and say: "Let us be friends, and then we will discuss terms?"
§ Mr. PALING
Does not the answer given by the right hon. Gentleman follow the answer given to a question in the Irish Free State Parliament, and, in view of this stalemate, is it beneath the dignity of the right hon. Gentleman to do something to re-open negotiations?
If dignity were involved, it ought not to be beneath the dignity of anybody to try to bring about a settlement, but nobody ought to know better than my hon. Friend that, when one of the issues involved is the continuance or otherwise of a Dominion in the Commonwealth of Nations, it would be a fatal mistake to enter upon negotiations unless there were a real and genuine prospect of a settlement, because it would do more harm than good.