No. 125UCDA P150/1900
Michael Collins to Arthur Griffith
Dublin, 14 December 1920
You will see from the attached letter1 that I was groping somewhat forward in reference to another visit from His Grace. It seems to me that no additional good result can come from further continuing these discussions. You will understand that I am looking at it from an entirely utilitarian point of view. We have clearly demonstrated our willingness to have peace on honourable terms. Lloyd George insists upon capitulation. Between these there is no mean: and it is only waste of time continuing. It may make it appear that we are more anxious than they, while of course, Dr. Clune is Ll.George's envoy, not ours. Every effort should be made to emphasise this point, and Dr. Clune should now, in my opinion, adopt the attitude to Lloyd George that when he saw the people of our side he was met frankly and squarely, and got a fair answer, only to find on his return that Lloyd George had receded from his first position. It is entirely in their favour to continue in this position -to allow a feeling of the continuance of negotiations to exist - while they continue their attacks unabated. See their attitude to Cork as an example.
Yet in emphasising Ireland's wish for Peace, which is her age long wish _ we need not fear to stand on the firm simplicity of our position. Hence, I agree with you that re-stating our willingness in the terms mentioned cannot do us any harm. The attitude of the past week has done much to restore the situation - to re-harden the spirit in many well-intentioned people who prematurely saw the final goal - to show again that England as ever remains the aggressor, and to demonstrate anew the righteousness of our struggle and our aims. Let Ll. George make no mistake, the I.R.A is not broken. The events of the week and these days are more eloquent on that question than all his Military advisers. Neither is the spirit of the people subdued. Although they won't give the prominence to the real position with regard to Galway as they did to the `resolution'. Yet it will tell on the people who do the directing. Fr. O'Flanagan unfortunately has not done a bit better in his reply than he did originally.
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